Lie face down on the ground and place a flat hand under your chest. Slowly inhale and using the movement of the inhale lift your chest and head supported by the part touching the hand. Exhale and let it come down at the same pace. Repeat this in both directions up and down and and work on first relaxing your body despite the disturbance of the hand and than becoming aware of the movement you have in the area the hand touches and than from that location to the rest of you.

Repeat this process using a fist after you have done it with a flat hand and use both hands in different locations and one over the other to see how you find a way to move.

Work on letting the breath actually move you and add to that and see how you fare afterwards in the rest of the drills. Remember you have to work constantly to clean yourself as tension is building all the time. Have a partner aid you by placing a stick under you and moving it from place to place and afterwards add to this a knee or a foot on the opposing side of the stick to help you learn to be free under pressure.

Do the same drill facing up and remember to keep the spine safe.
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To keep the body temperature tolerable and the comfort level higher dig a shallow ditch in the sand and note how even fifteen centimeters can relieve the blaze of the summer sun and the reflection of the earth heat. If you are on surveillance you can remove the traces of your print afterward and this can also be done in a forest environment with opposing outcome. If you are in a dry climate you can use the earth to create a barrier from the air and in a wet climate like a rain forest you will need additional layers of isolation in the form of leaves, nylon bags and the like. Isolation usually means low conductivity of heat which is achieves by the material itself or bu bubbles of air caught in the material such as wool.

Even wrapping material can keep you warm at night if you are stuck with a broken leg and no fire and hugging a dog will provide a lot of heat as well.
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On Walking

Walking is the basis for movement in most cases and an important motion to pay attention to. I wish to bring out an idea of mine for practice so we learn to walk better and as a result of improving the basics we improve all.

My idea is to keep the legs under the hips at all times when possible. This sounds simple but consider your walking and note if you are throwing one leg forward and than falling on it with your entire mass? Do you step away from danger using one step and form a sort of triangle which tenses you up?

Try for a while to walk this way: When you wish to move you relax your hips and move one of them toward your destination and relax the leg so it whips (in walking speed, this is not a hit although it can become one) and follows the advance of your entire aligned body. the other leg follows suit and hovers above the ground under your hips and is much more free to advance than if you plant both feet each time. This planting becomes rigid and tense after a short while and it is more difficult to transfer tension from the body to the legs and to receive hits this way. If when you walk you simply shift the support from one leg to the other you will also be able to shift the support when you are hit and be able to avoid tensed up contact it the legs (consider being hit in the leg when it is hovering relaxed in the air and when you stand firmly on it and try it with a stick by yourself or with a partner using fists and feet.) You will be able to slide this tension off you and another benefit will be that if you are walking underground or in dense vegetation your legs will be relaxed an thus more aware so you will not snag and get caught in wires and shrubs.

If you need an image to make this more real in your head before you try think about an ice skater like Vladimir Vasiliev writes in his wonderful book The Systema guidebook. Start out slowly and just keep your legs under your hips and play with the mass shifting with the hips and after a while your hips will relax more and than the spine will also be more clean of tension and free to move.
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unlimbering the spine after a long heavy march

After a long march or several days under a lot of weight the spine can compress and other tissues deform a little under this unnatural movement. Hang yourself on a branch, a pipe or other and place your hands far from each other so your arms form an angle over ninety degrees. Keep your head in line with your body and press your arms to each other as you inhale and relax on the exhale. Be aware of your hips and let them relax and unwind using this drill. Next place your hands one over the other or close and if you feel tired one facing the other and use the shoulders to turn the body and head left and right with your breath. This will unwound your shoulders but remember not to be a noodle and keep the shoulders in their sockets. Next using a shoulder wide hold inhale and bring the head and legs forward and exhale and let them swing back and again a few times. Let the body align itself and you will feel much better and perhaps a bit taller afterward.

This is also good for wrists that have been twisted but not sprained.
Read More unlimbering the spine after a long heavy march

Rolling learning sequence:

Rolling learning sequence:


Lie on the ground first face up and than face down. Tense and relax in parts and in waves and than proceed to press the part tensed to the ground going over all the body and now also on the sides.


Continue to do the same drill only now you lift that part in question off the ground and focus on relaxing your parts which are close to it.


Continue to using the legs to turn your body over from face up to face down and as you do this move your arms continuously to learn how it changes the way the body moves on the ground.


Continue to lifting both legs off the ground and use the back muscles now to move the legs from side to side and up and down. Relax the shoulders and arms and help yourself by placing your hands behind your back so you become aware of the movement your back is able to perform.


Continue to sitting on your behind and lifting your arms over your head. Relax the shoulders and lie down and get up using your legs and body.


Continue to repeating the same drill only now you lie down and roll to face down and keep moving all without letting the arms touch the ground.


Continue to lying on your stomach and placing your hands behind your neck. Arch up as you breathe and very slowly relax down and mind how you move your head. Relax your shoulders and hips and Note to the direction of your eyes and remember the body goes where you look.


Keep your hands behind your neck and use your legs to roll face down and up a few times and than lift your legs in the air and repeat the rolling learning to move from the body.


Sit on your behind and reach to the sides with both arms. Look under one armpit and slowly go to the ground and when you reach it relax completely and rise up and repeat for the other armpit.


Repeat the previous drill and now as your lower back is on the ground lift one leg first and than the other till they are perpendicular to the ground and than use your back to lift them more toward where you are looking and at the same time move your shoulders as you did in previous drill to help the body move.


Lie on your stomach and hold both ankles with your hands. Arch your back so you lift in the air and slowly relax down. Use the breath and the body movement to roll face up and face down a few times and learn to connect the tension between the shoulders and hips.


Lie on your back and lift just your back in the air using your legs and shoulders. Hold your hands together behind your back and roll face up and face down without letting the hips or hands touch the ground. Learn to connect leg drive with the body.


Lie on your back and place either a stick or one arm perpendicular to the spine and using the breath slowly lift your body so you use only this for support. Learn to place soft tissue on hard contact and align hard tissue to pull together soft tissue and work on soft contact.


Sit on your knees and reach to the sides with your hands. Slowly lower yourself forward and make sure something other than your head touches the ground first.


Repeat the previous drill and move your body forward using your legs connecting the leg push with the shoulder alignment and the body movement to the point where you can balance your body on your head and shoulders.


Repeat the previous drill with one knee down and one in the air.


Repeat the previous drill squatting with one hand behind your back and one to the sides.


Lie on your back with your legs resting on a wall or a pole or a person and use your legs to push your back up again focusing on your eyes and shoulders and roll slowly one leg after the other and note how this effects your hip alignment and thus your spine.


Stand and lift one leg in the air. Slowly bring it up and to the back and balance this mass by moving your body forward minding your eyes and shoulders. Rise up and repeat a few times with each leg.


Repeat the previous drill only lift the leg in front of you and move your body back to balance out the mass.


Now stand and lift one leg in the air and slowly tense up your body and relax in this position. Move your body forward and balance it out with your leg and tense and relax again moving in small breaths worth and tensing and relaxing within each one and back.


Stand and let the body fall forward till it rests on your knees and from this position lift or slide one leg and while focusing on the shoulders and eyes roll.


Stand and tense your legs all the way to the hips and fall backwards relaxing upon contact and roll backwards.


Stand close to a wall or a person and roll parallel to it without touching it.


Place both hands together in front of you and roll backwards sliding or lifting one leg and slowly resting yourself on the soft parts.


Tense up both arms and roll forward and backwards focusing on the movement in your shoulders.


Tense up both legs and roll forward and backwards focusing on the movement in your hips.


Squat and roll to all sides as you hold a chain or a rope or belt in front of you and pull to the sides to stretch it.


Sit on your knees and hold both hands at your back and place a bag or a person in front of you and push yourself forward using the shins and feet to meet the ground and what is in the way. Slowly push the object or person ahead till you can do this on the ground and mind your eyes and chin.


Sit on your knees and slowly lower your body backwards till your head or shoulders touch the ground and slowly rise back to gage the distance under tension.


Stand and close your eyes and slowly roll to all sides


Roll and enjoy it.



Read More Rolling learning sequence:

Monitor yourself toward control

1. Feeling your heart rate: you can start by sitting and placing a finger on your neck where a big exposed vain is and relaxing. Slowly extend the area where you feel the pulse and connect the points where you feel the pulse until you can feel the pulse throughout the body even while doing the work.

2. Feeling your blood pressure: The small blood vassals are easier to monitor at start so feel the blood rushing through your ears and fingers where capillaries are full and note to yourself how full are they. Continue to the face and hands where you are aided by the location of many skin sensors and through this process you will gain an awareness to your blood pressure.

3. Feel your temperature: To feel your temperature you need to remember that the body temperature is usually a little higher than that of the limbs and extremities such as ears and fingers. Once you have this in mind place a hand on your heart and feel the temperature shift. Feel the air moving on your fingers and note to yourself beyond simple annoyance if you are hot or cold and are you producing more heat than the air is taking from you. Note the connection between all these factors and once you pay attention control will follow.
Read More Monitor yourself toward control

Stand in a comfortable distance from your partner and place one fist on him and lean on the fist. Your partner will move in place to remove the pressure and both learn how to move so the strike slides off you if you cannot move away or have to stop the hit. Next do the same drill when the partner moves slowly to hit and you move to slide him off upon contact. Slowly increase the hits and remember to keep breathing. Work from all angles and sides and later on try to work with eyes closed and using the ends of a stick.

If you cannot or must not move from where you are, you can still gain some relaxation and alignment in movement by lifting one leg off the ground by a little or walking in place.
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Close your eyes and start walking. Have your friend touch you lightly using one finger and leave and you have to work with eyes closed to place your hands on the front of his neck and lower back. Do this a few times and switch roles. Keep breathing and change the target location of the hands and after a few times change to placing a foot parallel to his and a hand on his forehead and switch again. Remember to use your legs and to be comfortable when you work. Note how placing and working with this awareness to the legs adds to your work.
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Have your partner walk using a regular pace and you walk around him as he walks. First pay attention to your alignment and make sure you are choosing your steps instead of following or dragging your body in orbit. Now place the knife in it’s sheath or in your pocket and keep walking. Draw the knife from time to time and work to make it invisible to your partner who in turn will simply walk away from you when he feels the drawn knife or come swiftly to bear hug you. Do this several times and switch roles from time to time to give the head and body time to evaluate and digest. Continue and now pay attention to the distance between you. Your partner who is the walker without a knife will keep a distance in which you cannot stab him without throwing the knife and you have to learn to merge with his path without distancing him. This is awareness and relaxation. You can also do this using many people or with kids using a water gun or a soft pen.

Keep breathing and your movement will not stop.
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Use a hard floor and place a bag or a partner on the floor in your path. Close your eyes and walk toward it and when you make contact keep moving and if you must roll. Do this a few times and tense and relax your legs to make sure you don’t stress the work. Now tense up one of your limbs and do the same drill or roll on a voice command like a hand clap and see how you fare this drill. Work on all limbs and than on the neck and learn to work around and through tightness on the ground. After this drill lie on the ground and roll back and forth taking away movement either in your hips or shoulders and again see how you find a way to do the work. Keep breathing.
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