Have two or more partners walk through you and your job is to simply move out of the way and avoid being grabbed and taken either up/down sideways by them. After you do this walking drill for a while have one of them run through you and the rest keep walking. This way you have to relax and choose the speed you are working with each moment at a time. Play with the speed from super slow to sprinting and have a mix of it so you learn to see speed as what it is. Just another part of the work. This is a good drill to learn to relax the body and the eyes and of course to learn to avoid being grabbed. Keep your eyes from focusing and keep your shoulders and hips relaxed and moving all the time. Use your hands only if you must and make sure you don’t stop to move someone but move and move someone.
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Start from standing and have a partner come over and at the same time grab a piece of skin of your face or neck and stab you with a practice knife. Your job is to avoid focusing your body awareness in the pinch and move to flatten the blade and survive.
Points to work on:
1. first move with the knife as a whole from the body , If you try to move the part touched you will be cut sooner than later.
2. Keep breathing and note where the breathing effects your form. If you are stabbed in the stomach avoid pressing the diaphragm down.
3. When you pinch and hold you become static and a statistic. Move and keep moving. Move and in more directions than one in each hand.
4. Keep your eyes relaxed to see the entire picture and walk so you naturally cover what is around you. This releases you in the mind and in the body from attachment to the partner.
5. Only lift the knife hand and anything else you move as much as needed. Get to where you want to go and sink in.
6. Sinking means you relax the elbow and let the knife move or the hand align and move according to the tension you feel and go into the open door rather than working hard to make one.
7. Once you have worked on this for a while, work as both are moving and remember to avoid contact if you feel uncomfortable and from the partner side to move the knife without the partner seeing it.
8. Move what is free to move. If you are stabbed from the side and attempt to move from the same side leg (ignoring the hip) you will tense that part and keep it in place more than if you move as a whole and relax.
9. NOTHING IS WRITTEN IN STONE. DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU IN THAT INSTANCE AND REMEMBER THAT IF IT WORKED ON HIM ONE TIME IT IS LIKELY TO FAIL IN THE NEXT TRY. HE KNOWS MORE NOW.
10 Avoid technique refining. every moment is different. See what you have and work with it.
Have fun and don’t bruise your friends face if he has a date tonight. 🙂
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Take a key or a coin and hold it comfortably using the fingers closer to the thumb. Stand at a comfortable distance from your partner and move your hand outside of his line of sight and pinch the back of his neck or the lower part of his arm (just a suggestion) between the object and your thumb. Now you have to avoid stopping and gripping him because in this way you are simply anchoring yourself and stopping yourself so the pinch needs to be simply a part of the moving hand and you use it to guide and control your partner toward what is safer for you. Work on this from different positions such as when being chocked or from a seat of a car (keys are usually used in a car) and remember that the pinch is just a distraction and concentrating him at one point so the rest of him is free for you to control. Avoid focusing on your pinch and just keep moving and if this does not work try something else. As long as you are breathing there is hope.
Consider pinching without an object as well and remember it is just a tool.
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Close your eyes and start walking. Have a partner place a stick in the way of your body and legs and you have to keep moving and learn to lessen the tension from the impact and change of shape. first focus on keeping your breath going and later add focus on your alignment and keeping the spine and head as upright as possible. Once you do this several times and observe the drill as your partner does this, add some push to the stick in different directions and later on a leg in the way or a grab and it is a good way to learn to spread yourself in the entire body and to learn to move as a whole.
Keep the movement to the minimum as you work and remember that each part of you can move separately.
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Hi, I get a few mails asking for a routine to work with or questions about Systema. I will be glad to help if I can but please start with answering the following questions with care.
(If it is a specific question just send it)
1 What is Systema for you? How would you explain the work to someone else?
2 Where can you feel the pulse in your body?
3 Check the major areas in your body and tense and relax them. Which parts also tense and relax in addition to what you want done and can you relax them once you are aware of them?
4 Stand on one leg and close your eyes. How long does it take for you to loose balance if you are doing simple movement like head turning, shoulders rotation and writing with your hands and leg in the air. How does it feel? Where do you tense up?
5 Take a tennis ball or something alike and roll it on the ground. Walk and squat and pick it up a few times without stopping the movement and note if your alignment is affected, Do you look down, Do you stop at any point and so on.
6 Place your hands behind your neck and with the breath sit down and get up a few times. Avoid using your knees to get up and write how you did this.
Repeat the drill lacing fingers behind your back and write if and how you tensed and changed the alignment of your back.
7 Lie on the ground and use both legs to draw your name in the air and do the same in reverse. Write how it felt and how did you move.
8 Take your ankles or feet in your hands and roll with the face toward the knees a few times and write where did the movement start and how did you roll.
9 Take your ankles or feet in your hands and bring your hands to the lower back forming a loop. Now roll side to side. Again, How did you move and breathe.
10 Start square breathing and rise in the count as you walk. What is the highest number you can reach and hold for at least ten minutes? How does it feel. Where does the tension lie ?
11 How did you feel when you where doing these drills. What did you focus on, Which parts of the work appeal to you? Which parts of the work where uncomfortable or meaningless?
12 What questions do you want answered using Systema?
13 (last questions) How do you use Systema in daily life?
A video will be welcome but not mandatory.
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We use our arms each day in many directions and that knowledge helps us use them better. It is good to teach your legs to do the same. For example take a person walking down the street and follow him or her for a short interval while you are facing him. This is easy enough so let’s move on. Do the same as you are seeing him only with one eye open and walking sideways using one side at a time. Do the same walking backwards and in smaller angles until you learn to walk simply by moving your hips in the direction you want to go and letting the legs follow.
Another way to go about this is to move in a circle or around an object such as a house or tree while at all times facing the same direction. Next you walk this circle while all the time looking either in or out and avoiding the open legs, close legs work. Find a way to move naturally and remember you have two hips.
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Stand relaxed and slowly with the breath tense and relax your entire body. Have a partner come to you and hold an arm or body part and start walking and your job is to move with him so there is no tension in you and no change in alignment. This means you do not get dragged or pulled and your spine is erect and free to move. After a few times with this add placing the free hand or both if a body part is taken on your partner and make this move obvious in order to capture his attention and focus. After a few times doing this simply add another direction to the movement and move both hands/arms on his body (use the legs as well if it feels right and mind the distance between you) in order to change his alignment and bring him to the ground after you are free to move. Remember to avoid getting dragged to the ground yourself and to let the breath start the movement. Let the arms follow the movement of your body which is walking and change the direction your eyes are looking. This way you will naturally feel more free to move and your own focus will be more in you than in your partner. Another note is to avoid freezing your arms on your partner and shaking him to get him down. Let the arms move in two different directions as you walk and remember you have two hips and two shoulders aligned.
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Have a few friends come at you to hit and grab you and you have to stay free to move and avoid being cornered or lead to a specific location. Note to keep your eyes from focusing on one person and keep your breath going. When you are in a tight spot choose when and who to engage and try to keep the work to the minimum. Remember that intention is noticed in feeling and body sense so listen to your body and feelings and choose what to do. That way you avoid the already cornered and intimidated position and it is easier to avoid a fight than to end it sometimes.
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Have a partner come at you and grab one of your limbs. Remember he is more likely to grab your hands and wrists if you bait him so try and find what works for you. Once you are held move your entire body in the direction he is moving and at the same time move the next lever or joint toward him leaving enough freedom in it so it rotates from the act of walking. You can also place your hand or foot on his grab and further effect his alignment and tension. Once you are closer and your bodies are closer you will be able to work on him to gain your freedom better than if you where wrestling with him on the point where he is concentrated.
An example for this can be sitting on your drunk friends chest and trying to take away his car keys so he will be safe for the night. If he grabs your wrists in resistance simply let him push your wrists and extend his arms while you move your elbows forward and lever his extended elbows and than take away the keys.
Not everything in life is one sided.
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To heal and calm a partner place your fingers and palms where the pulse is stronger and for a while just be aware of his pulse. Now use your breath and time it with your pulse and insist on calming yourself as you feel his pulse. After a while his tension will find a way out rather than burn the body and there will be some more relaxation and life in him. Remember to keep within yourself as you work and don’t hang on the outcome. Work in good faith but don’t follow your ego into it.
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