Stand a step away from the wall and facing it. have a partner come to push or pull or hit you from behind (mind the shadows on the ground) and you need to move with him and stay with him without getting stuck or hit. The contact needs to start in an ambiguous way so only when you feel or see the knife you know the purpose of the contact. Have the partner come at you either with the knife at hand to cut and stab or on him or not at all and in this drill you learn to distinguish by body language and by the work the intention and to avoid getting hurt without hurting without need. Let each other wait and deal with the tension and pressure of the oncoming and unknown and breath out the tension so you learn to deal with life’s gifts, the good and the bad.
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Stand or squat and lean forward till you feel the end of movement is there and relax. Place your awareness in your feet as well and work on lifting or releasing the heel or the toes in time to learn to control or at least guide your movement in this uncomfortable situation. Let the breath lead you and align the body so you walk forward. For example you lean forward from the hips and look to the right. Now lift the heel of your left foot and let it align with the direction of your body through the guidance of your eyes. The body will shape itself according to your will and you will roll more comfortably.
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We tend to mirror our partners and people we see in society as a part of integration and wanting to succeed and fit in. For example if you will have a conversation with a friend and lean forward he will probably lean forward as well and if you rub your neck he will also mimic the movement to some extent. If a partner strikes or works with a knife to slash our legs it may not be the best idea to stand there and try to work with just your arms to return the favor. Start by having a partner with a knife work on stabbing and cutting you with a knife and you fold forearm over forearm at your back and use your body first to move to survive. You can of course use your body to attack as well but keep your survival the number one priority. We keep the arms on the back in that way to help us understand the movements of the torso and if we have more than one partner we learn to free the eyes from focusing on something other than OUR surroundings.

Relax the face and people will be more relaxed around you.
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When you walk down the street and carry a suitcase you will carry it close to the body. It is easier and much less likely to be grabbed and taken. Do the same with a tool like the knife and screwdriver. Have a few partners walk randomly and at any time draw your knife and work on someone. Note how far it is from your body and how easy it is or hard to take the blade from you or control your body without taking the blade away. You can do the same with soft crayons and children and get the same results over a while. Remember the drill is a way to get somewhere. You can find many ways to yourself. Find the shortest one.
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Take your driving wheel and divide it into four half circles being up, down, right and left. Take a note to see which parts of the wheel you are using in your driving and as a drill in awareness and efficient movement work on touching only the wheel which is in any part you choose for that drive. This will show you you can use smaller more efficient movements to do the same work and extend less of yourself out in effort because you may not have that reach or power at some point. When we learn to do more with less we can do much more with what we have at any given point. Have fun learning and remember it is life that is the goal and classroom for everyone.
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The same way a moving hand is a strike a deflection and a lever we can use gear that we have for many uses if our mind avoids placing a sticker on it. For example a colored nylon bag is both a signaling device, a water collecting device, a hazardous material tool (either drugs, human waste, heated C4 etcetera) an arresting tool placed overhead, a gear bag for wet clothes, a water purifying device (leave the water in the bag in the sun and let it sit and evaporate from one side to the elevated side) and so on. This is just an example but the idea is to be free and keep the mind working when you do the work. The way to reach that is to breath and keep aware of yourself. From there the road to self mastery is paved.

Keep your eyes open.
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Consider survival as a group activity. Most do this without thinking about it and thus find some of the tools unavailable when they need them. Consider who are you going to call if you have two flat tires and you need your kid picked out of school. Consider who will arrive at your house the fastest in case of a fire and is speed higher valued than work capacity 🙂
Consider a fight in it’s social context such as creating a positive outlook for yourself and knowing how to control your breath and temper to work so the people around you are coming to help or at least not disturbing you. This is not a small feat and as we work to create a net of connections for our families which support us we need to be aware of it and know it comes from a good place in our heart. People are not stupid and your intentions if clean will be rewarded and otherwise.

1 Who do you call if your house burns down ?
2 who do you contact if you loose your mobile phone?
3 Do you have friends with guns ?
4 If there is war in your country, Do you stand on the walls at night ?
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Clothes are there for a reason. They isolate and protect us from the outdoors and from other people at times. They block wind and sun and project an image and give us pockets to keep our keys and mobile phones 🙂 Work on moving with the least amount of clothes you can once in a while to learn the difference and adapt to that specific moment. For example roll naked on the floor of the shower room (Decide for yourself if that is a wise idea in your choice of showers) roll with just underwear on carpet and bare floors and see how you need to change the roll with all this exposed skin to protect. Roll in your swimming suit in shallow water and roll with just pants in the bushes and so on. This is a very small change to make in terms of mass and protection but a large one in attitude and awareness.

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Hitting is very important in survival and for the spirit. It helps us control and guide the structure and focus of partners and attackers and in practice it helps us clean ourselves of self pity and fear. Hitting can be done using almost all of the body so we must address it as movement because once we give something a name and specific description it stops to grow and evolve.


 

Drills for better (not just stronger) hitting:

 

Relaxation-alignment:

 

Take a wall or a standing person and walk up and down his body or height using your feet or fists. Let the breath lead each move and keep your body aligned so you can breath well (lungs are aligned and not compressed) and the head is free to move so the body is free to move as it follows the eyes on the most part. Do this with eyes closed as well to learn to listen to the body. Do this also with the ground or with a person prone on the ground and have him tense and relax his muscles on the point of contact so you learn to stay relaxed and move even when the contact is with tension.

 

Stay in the static push up for ten minutes and inhale the created tension up and exhale it out. Once this is done, start to move the limbs with the breath and the natural movement of the body and walk on fists and feet while the body is aligned. Add to this very slow movement so you learn to pay attention to any and every point of tension in your body and dynamically clean it out.

 

Have a partner prone on the ground and you place your fists or feet or knees (you get the point) on him and your other end on the ground and using this contact you let the contact sink in and find the easiest direction and tension to roll him on the ground. Do this forward and backwards and as always let the breath lead.

 

Stand on one leg and close your eyes. Have people come at you to push you and hit you and you have to push them away and than down and avoid getting hurt as possible.

 

Stand at a comfortable distance from a partner and place your fist or leg on him. Move and let another limb or body part find the way to the partner and touch him without support (leaning on him or tension in the contact or change of your alignment in order to maintain distance from him out of fear) only once the second contact is there will you release the first and so on around your partner to the right and to the left. You can do the same for a concrete pillar if you don’t have a partner. Have him slap the top of your head if you leave him altogether. You keep in contact with him to feel his intention and movement and survive and control his spirit and remember that hitting is a three way deal. You contact his body, his intellect and his spirit.

 

Have a partner prone on the ground and place yourself on him (it will be easier if you start in a cross shape). Start rolling on him up and down using just your body and legs to move and letting the breath lead and after a while add your arms and shoulders as a natural part of the movement in hitting your partner on the ground. Avoid creating a static placement of your body such as stopping to look and than hitting. You stop moving you stop living.

 

Stand behind a partner and push his body forward and have him use the movement to move his body and hit your arms and legs and body by letting his body relax and send the limbs naturally to survive. (You are pushed in the back of the left shoulder so you let it move forward and the right elbow moves up and back to help the pusher think of himself rather than about you)

 

Stand out of reach of your partner and when you are both ready come within contact distance and hit each other once as you keep moving. Come closer again and hit twice and so on to ten and back to one. Remember to keep moving and relax your eyes so you can see all the free space for you to move through rather than just the legs and arms moving toward you. Keep yourself aligned and let the walking do the talking rather than bending to reach from a non comfortable distance. Keep your face relaxed and your mouth closed so the jaw stays in place.

 

Stand or squat a bit and have people come at you either with fists or just using their bodies. Bring out an arm or a leg to contact them and let the contact be relaxed so you are able to feel their movement and from that release you will be able to guide them past you without hitting you. Afterwards add a downward direction by letting the contact sink in that direction. (When you wish to direct downward from the contact remember that both bodies are in motion and that there is an opening. You just have to be relaxed enough to sense it.)

 

Have a partner walk at you and time your movement to hit him with his walking or running so you can sink in the direction where he has less support. Support means where he is less dense (Density as a combination of awareness and dynamic control of tension and alignment) and supported by his structure.

 

Place your arm on your partner arm and use your tension and movement to guide his body toward a goal. Work on having tension only where it is needed by using the least amount of movement and by directing the tension into your partner. (If you need to guide a knife hand that comes to your stomach then you move your body to the side and your forearm moves up as it is already rotated from the body and than you can stay relaxed and feel where his body is open and guide his entire body and survive.)

 

Breath-awareness

 

Sit/stand/prone and breathe naturally. Feel where your alignment is tensed up in holding you in an uncomfortable shape such as a tensed up lower back and inhale while you direct the pressure (fullness as a combination of dynamic tension awareness and control and the right alignment to afford good breathing and movement) from the diaphragm toward this location to clean out the need for muscle tension to keep the pose. Once the alignment is more relaxed and moving/breathing which are the same is freer you repeat the process for other locations and remember that something caused this so think what you are doing to create this in the first place. You can only control others after you have some control over yourself.  

 

Place your fist or hand on a partner and feel his breathing. Practice pushing on each stage of the breath individually and note your own breath sync with his or his with yours. Later on feel the pulse and hit on it or between beats. Continue to do this without touching but by listening and seeing first yourself and than your partner.

 

Do the four basics drills with the addition of walking with fists (let the fists move naturally as a part of the movement of the body) and sitting down and getting up (no hands) extra slowly by increasing the number of breaths you take to go through it. Start with one full breath or inhale/exhale and climb all the way to sixty and down again or start and sixty and climb down and up. This will bring out all the tension in you and give you a way to clean it out. Furthermore if you find yourself tensed simply guide the breath to this area (s) to let the breath move you and find release and a new way to move.

 

Take a whip (Vladimir and Mikhail have great whips) and start to hit yourself gently and increasing the impact very slowly. Breathe the tension and pain out and let the body move to survive if you need to. You need to clean yourself of tension fear and self pity regularly to be able to direct it into others. A surgeon who uses clean instruments and dirty hands cannot do his job. Look at yourself honestly and you will always find something to work on.

 

Stand and start to count your heart beats. Hold your breath at the end of the exhale (or any other part of the breath) and work on relaxing yourself and moving to guide the building tension out of you. Do this several times with increasing your ease of accepting this discomfort and let the relaxation this brings affect your movement. (This of course applies to all the basics drill and to life. Do relaxed push ups while exhaling over twenty heart beats and so on.)

 

This is just a very short list of drills for better hitting but the best one is to meet Vladimir and Mikhail and learn from them and learn on your own from their DVDs Instructors and your own time. Nothing replaces a hit from Mikhail in helping a student learn humility and from there the road is clear to doing good work.

 

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This is a fun drill for three. One lies on the ground  and the others step on him on either side. First they change places with their eyes open and than again with their eyes closed. Next you change places without touching each other with your eyes open and than again with your eyes closed. Add to this a stick held by both or a stick held by each of them and you will find many ways to learn relaxation and awareness works. Have them advance backwards or sideways. Let them work with one tensed leg or out outstretched arm and let the solution present itself. Life is about living and winning is an option. Surviving is not.

This is an excellent drill for a father with two kids.
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