Stop and than slow down

It is important to keep both ego and tension in check. Both need to exist in some way but as a tool rather than an existence for its own sake. When you join in combat consider it joining in combat. There is more than your movement and wishes on the ground so allow yourself to enter rather than force your way.

Start by tensing up and letting yourself get hit all over and feeling and sensing how your body moves and handles.
Repeat the drill as you relax in increments till you are without tension that is not working for you and again note the direction your eyes follow and how the tension and alignment change during the drill.
Repeat the drill and now let the hitting move you and work to move as a whole relaxed together (start with pushing) so for example if you are hit in the leg your body moves rather than your leg moves from under you or if you are hit in the chin your body moves rather than your head twisting off your neck (I think you can see where I am headed here…)
Repeat the drill and now come to meed the hitting with your limbs and or body relaxed and letting them hit you and simply feel the tension in your partner or partners (you can feel the tension of your partner if he is hitting you with a stick as well you simply need to address the man with the stick rather than the stick with the man)
Repeat the drill and now add to the movement of the hit to guide it so you avoid getting harmed and avoid getting tensed up beyond what is working for you.
Repeat the drill and now connect with him or her or them wherever you want and ride their hits to use their tension and movement for your own needs and survive (this is good to do with a group surrounding one person with everyone hitting without stop)

This drill sequence is meant to allow you to relax and be humble when you do the work. You don’t need to be faster than someone else when you can ride his fist and control his form and spirit through this. You don’t have to be stronger than the taller heavier person if you can see all of him as a person and feel where he is unaware and without density. you need to work on yourself and through this comes Control and humility.

To my student: This will be on Thursday or Friday lesson and remember there is great fun in hitting your partners legs with fists.

Pick an animal like a cat or a dog and follow it around staying clear of his area of movement. Keep with it from place to place as you mind to make the least amount of noise and movement (hand gesture and head movements which are not doing anything for you) and through this you will get to know and appreciate the circle we form around ourselves in terms of comfort and reaction. It is different when we call for or move toward a person than when he approaches us. Make a note to be aware of this and how better you can move and breathe to clean the building tension in you and you can create less tension in others in your movements and thoughts. A street dog or a cat are a good place to start in places where they are not lunch and in nature after a while you will begin to note the circles of awareness you have according to your senses as you let go of the tension under the trees.

Deserts also work well for this if you have water.

Have a partner move around you without stopping and follow him with your eyes without fixating on him. Move your body rather than your neck to keep him or her in your sight and note the difference in your freedom of movement when you take care to keep both your body relaxed and your eyes free.
Take any natural position you find yourself in as in standing, sitting and prone and slowly tense one side of you. It can be the front, back side or lower and upper half and keep yourself tense. Once you feel you are fully tense on the picked side start to feel and relax the other side of you and through awareness feel where you got tense in the neighborhood of the tension and this will bring a lot of awareness and through this control to your movement.

Now do this in a non natural position such as twisted or bend by yourself or by a partner. Work on just minding the tension in your body as you are being twisted and feel how this tension or its elimination by awareness can free you to do the work rather than responding to someone else working.

Sometimes it is important and sobering to consider failure and looking at yourself when you are down. Consider what would you do if you are stuck in an elevator for an unknown length of time and need to go to the toilet or if you happen to be sucker punched and are on the ground with a black eye and three large and armed people are hovering over you. Are you going to try to fight your urges or accept them for what they are and yourself for what you are a man a woman a child. We are not perfect and realizing this will bring a new level of control and awareness to your performance. You might cry fire fire and alert the unfriendly neighbors to call for help as you hand over your wallet but your cash is in your shirt or you may find a crack in the opening between the cage of the elevator and the shaft to aliviate some of the tension and maintain some form of decorum. Some times we get punched in the face in this way or another. Think about it.
This is a great game for children and couples or just good friends. During each day displace an item and check each other if they notice and how long it takes them to find the item or find another option to get the job done. Avoid displacing the car keys of an ambulance driver and as in always be mindful of what happens to people when they think they have lost something. If you are a man and are married you are already playing this game only without you knowing it
Do this drill laying on the ground, leaning against a wall and standing. Start with your partner pushing you using either fist or foot and adding another limb to the hitting. You move with the direction of the contact using your body to let the contact move on its course while keeping in contact with it and at the same time your limbs which are moving with your body are moving to hit your partner and at the same time avoiding his path of movement. Consider this a drill of placing your safety first and placing your awareness in all parts of you. Your partner should help you learn by hitting whatever you leave in his path using anything at his disposal. Remember there are no rules to survival but the ones you impose on yourself.
Take a chain (a rope with young kids) which reaches the ground from your hand relaxed standing. Have one or more partners come at you to grab you and you move your body to swing the chain at them so they avoid you. You keep your body relaxed and your arm touching your body so you learn what you can do with just your body.
After everyone has done the drill replace the chain with a dull knife and do this again adding moving the arm from the elbow down and again see what you can do with just this.

To show how important thinking of yourself first and others later in terms of space have your partners try to grab and lift you off the ground (add a trunk to this drill if you and your partners are willing) and see how you manage with large movements with arms fully extended in reaction in contrast to placing yourself where if fits you in space and using the least amount of movement in the limbs and body to control others.

Stand or sit in front of your partner and start to draw numbers or letters using one finger. The partner has to read it once you are done and so you verify your communication. Change places and after a while progress to drawing two different things using both hands and reading them in turn. Going through the numbers between 10-40 is a good place to start.
Repeat this drill using the feet and your body by walking and you will gain a lot of awareness and coordination while having fun.
Go outside of your house or tent and look for a stick or something that can serve as one. It can be a piece of metal or wood or plastic but for this drill take the first that is able to serve as a stick. Find a place or return to were you learn and work on doing the same drills you do with a stick while using this found stick while adapting to the edges, dirt, strange shape and so on of what you have with you now. Simply find what you can learn with what you have with you at the moment.

Have fun.