It is important to pay attention to ourselves first and to others after. People who wish to blend or enter another in training or in an actual conflict tend to make themselves in the shape and tempo of the other to blend into him or her. In doing this we distort and change ourselves giving us tension, change of alignment and breath. For example if someone comes at me with his arms to grab me I may see an opening to perform a technique and  mold myself to make it happen but within this action I break my own form and try to fit in. Work to see instead of looking for something, and you will see all. Work to blend by seeing and feeling where you can go as a whole moving the way you do and breathing without changing your own rhythm and avoid trying to complete someone else’s picture. Paint your own.

A nice way to note this tension from outside created by the focus in outer things is by looking at a direct target. Look  at a tree and have a friend move and twist your neck for you and find how you tense up and how you are already tense by fixating on the outside. Now relax your eyes and just see and repeat the drill and note if there is less initial tension and less tension in movement as you remove this leaning of the eyes. Now close your eyes and repeat and take something from the drill.

Let me know what you think.

Systema Israel.

The more we learn the easier and simpler things become. To make this leap simply think of the purpose of what you are doing and pay attention. When you think and pay attention you stay calm and attentive.

Take for example the static push up. People do this for “core” power and that is all they get from this because that is their intention. If you are clean of intention you are free to receive whichever gift the drill or person have for you. The same goes for an attack. All attacks have openings and tension in it and if you are calm using your breath you will see or feel those as well as the danger.

Keep breathing.

Take any basics movement such as push ups, squats and leg raises and do them with tension in only one limb. For example do a push up  while tensing one arm and learn to do your work as you want it without having to tense against the tension and with simple awareness let the affect of it go past you without affecting you. Do a squat with one leg tensed and note the effects it has on your alignment and vision. It is vital to spead yourself in the body to feel how this affects you and how you naturally clean the tension and it’s affects out. This way you learn yourself.

Take this into your life rather than into just a class and find new freedom for yourself and those around you.

Start with a plastic bottle and press it to your body with just enough pressure to keep it on your person with your arms without using your hands. Have a partner work to take the bottle from you using pushing pulling and anything he or she wants and you simply move as you wish to keep the bottle touching your body somewhere. This is a great drill to learn to flatten knives on the body for children and older children and it teaches the value of movement and awareness in a fun and engaging way. Later on you will use a short stick and later on a knife to feel the more real objects at work and add more people and less awareness to the mix such as one closed eye or with a thick coat on to learn to move as you are.

Remember to keep breathing and remember it is not about perfect movement but simply getting the job done so you can go home to your wife and kids.

I got married on the third of this month and it is a great pleasure to have a person to share your life with. In Systema we learn to make the circle we draw around us larger and larger and it is also deeper in effect. Remember to keep your eyes forward and up and your heart clean.