Use of the tension wave in alignment

Place your hand on your partner in an open palm fashion and check that you are comfortable and avoiding spreading yourself. Tense your body from the toes to the hips and relax a few times letting the breath lead the movement and feel where the body naturally wants to go. Keep in mind also to touch your partner and avoid leaning on him or pressing him in any way. You loose your awareness and freedom this way. Now add the movement to the tensing and relaxing and connect it to your arm and palm to redirect your partner or change his alignment. Work from all sides of the person and include breath holding in this drill to learn to release the fear and tension of sudden contact.

Have your partner come and walk into your open hand or fist as you hold it in front of you and than to the sides and back and exhale the tension that comes from this contact. Start with your eyes closed.

Continue with your partner or partners coming to hit you or move you toward a chosen destination like the trunk or a car and you use your breath and tension wave first in full tension and as the awareness comes to the surface in a more economic fashion to redirect and control the situation to your survival.

Control of others can only blossom from control of self. There is no control without awareness and all things from humility to perception come from it. It is the beginning and the end. Pay attention.

Hitting with awareness

Place you hand or fist on your partner and feel him breathe. Avoid pressing on him in any way and simply touch. Allow your breathing to sync and at any point sink you fist into your partner as you feel an opening or sifting. In this sinking simply move your body and relax the arm so it screws inward along with the opening in your partner density and allow your breath to keep going without stop. Do this several times for each arm and than move on to this:

Breath with your partner as you contact him without support and at some point change your breathing and see how this affects your partner. Do this several times and than progress to sinking in your partner as you change your breath and also a little before and a little after. The same can be done walking together and changing breathing pattern at once and noticing the difference and than adding a change in direction.

This is a sutle drill but the benefits to your striking will be very noticeable.

Have fun and change and vary each time you work. Learning and cleaning are the goals not the drill itself.

Projectile tools use in movement

Attach a light point marker like the ones used in presentations to the end of the barrel of your rifle a stick a handgun or a simple pensile and point it at your partner. He or she will move logically so the barrel will not be pointing at them and your objective is to see what is happening as you direct the business end of your tool to your partner. Mind to avoid focusing on him because this will narrow your field of sight and allow him to manipulate your posture and direction and instead see the sights whether they are iron sights, laser or light or simply your awareness. This way you are free to move instead or reacting to an external trigger.

Next stand next to your partner and direct the tool to him in the same way minding not to fix your body by paying attention to the soles of your feet and how you choose to place your mass on them. Walk around them while keeping your eyes relaxed to see the next thing coming at your and allowing you to both see the objective and the rest without strain. Start slowly and note how the body can relax and change the alignment and the way you move your limbs to do the work instead of keeping a stance and moving rigidly and with a narrow line of sight. Using a heavy object such as a bag at the end of a stick is good to learn to shift your tension around in your body instead of tensing against it and loosing the battle against reality. Instead simply breathe and as you pay attention the logical solution will present itself. If you are in the armed forces or simply defending someone who cannot do this for himself place the strap or a bag at the end of your rifle or any tool and find a way to keep moving and staying relaxed. Remember life is movement and as you become rigid and strain against reality it will give you a hard lesson in humility. Start with humility and you are without limits.

Now have your partner move to end the possibility of you using this tool on him by taking the tool from you or taking you out of the work (for example a hit to the throat with a stick) or by directing the tool at you. Move slowly to avoid hurting each other but move with intent. Relax your face and remember to keep breathing and the idea of staying alive in mind. Again keep moving where there is less resistance so if for example your handgun hand is held move from the body and allow the elbow to move and keep the hollow in your partner to allow both to learn to move better. An inexpensive and good option to clean ideas of pride from yourself is to use a water gun where you can feel the hit and know that a wet arm or torso or even foot is a bleeding one in reality. Keep breathing and moving and avoid the downfall of pride. Learn from every contact and from everyone you meet and see.

Smiling is not prohibited.

Short work

Start with a partner and make threatening postures and movements toward each other. Notice the reaction in your body and intention and watch for the beginning of aggression. Now simply move and work without the aggression and note the difference in the result and the the mirroring of intention and escalation in each other.

Once you have done this and released a bit of tension from outside do a few slow push ups and squats tensing and relaxing body parts as you move and simply paying attention to the change in the whole body alignment in every breath.

Now place one arm or leg and have the partner push and move it using first his body (chest, back head) and than using limbs. First push and than allow the body to simply walk and feel where there is less support or attention in the partner and move logically.

Walk forward and in every step relax into a squat and up keeping your legs under you the entire time and avoiding tensing or spreading your legs more than it is comfortable. First walk and in each step inhale and than exhale. Progress to two steps of one continous inhale and than two of exhale and change directions backwards. Do this moving up in the breath scale and moving forward and backwards and than changing direction and your view in every step.

Have the partner push you using the hips and legs in walking and do one push from you and one from him. Stay in contact with each other the entire time to release the eyes to see more and to feel where you can sink in your movement. let the arms and shoulders and head participate in the push once you feel the body moving relax but as one and see how you can choose where to go no matter which tension or pressure is presented to you.

Add to this movement drill a grab or pinch or both from time to time in the tissue of the face or the clothes or anything that works and allow the breath to lead the movement and note how the body aware can move in more than one direction in order to survive and how you can choose to be tense and move at the same time. It is important to know how to change the movement and rhythm of the body without disturbing the awareness of the mind. Keep doing this drill until you can keep breathing without stop and can direct your self without a fixed rhythm or constant level of tension. To be free means you control your own tension and direct it. We are more than drums that make a noise simply when hit.

Have your partner move into you and you allow him no support except contact to give him a frame of location to follow. First move very slowly paying attention to yourself and where you wish to be and slowly relax your body and eyes and allow the breath to release the tension the partner is moving toward you and give him just enough contact so he spreads himself and has no aggression or tension to feed and work with.

Most important is to move with your own intention and not directed from outside. If there is for example a push in your chest you can move against it or around it or if you pay attention give it no support and feel where it is logical for you to move your body to finish the work. Keep in contact to know what your partner is doing but avoid following. Move slowly at first and remember it is not a match in a ring. Speed is paramount when surprise and guile are taken out of the equation. Stay within yourself and  keep breathing. It makes no matter who shoots first but who hits first

Keep breathing and paying attention. We are already alive so we just have to keep breathing 🙂

stand a pace or a bit more from the wall facing either direction and lean toward the wall with your feet relaxed and flat on the ground. Let one limb move from the body to contact the wall and direct and smooth your approach until your body is relaxed against the wall. use the same limb or another to push yourself back upright again without forcing a plan but by feeling where your body can go in each moment. For example we face the wall and collapse toward it with one fist leading. Your fist glides on the wall giving you just the right amount of support to remain calm and in control (pretty much the same thing) and than when before it becomes work to use the fist we move so the forearm provides the support and than the arm and shoulder and back upright. Do this first at a pace to keep things comfortable and progress to a pace and a half and than to two paces. This is a great way to learn to be free in your direction of your own tension and to free the spine and the entire body to move freely without tensing too much against anything. Repeat the drill with closed eyes with a partner if you have one and have him or her stand against the wall. Keep breathing and let the breath lead the movement. It may seem a bit slow at first but the speed will come with the awareness and it will be yours rather than a reaction of fear and tension.

One person stands before you and you use your hand to turn him so he doesn’t see you. It makes sense to do so if a person is acting hostile at times. Do this drill slowly so you find where he is open to the turning and use the lightest touch of your fingertips first and than the hand and only than the fist and arm. Keep breathing and as you progress have him press on you and than come to hit you as you do this simple drill. When you are aware the logical solution will simple be there for you in the way of running from the place or taking him down or simple taking a rock and hitting him in the top of the spine. Do this drill as  a person come to you first from the sides and than from the back and only at the end follow the path where you are attacked from the front. The chances are your attacker is not stupid.

Knife survival tactics

Take a knife and start walking. hold it in different positions while keeping yourself comfortable and relaxed and see how you can work with the knife using just the body movement. Repeat the drill while sitting on your behind and moving about and also prone on the ground taking care to keep breathing and relaxing the eyes from focusing on objects and rotating yourself around a perceived interest.

Now start walking and as you walk move the knife at the end of your arm constantly and as you walk move the knife through the path you just covered so if someone is coming at you he or she will always be coming at the edge and not at you. Remember to move from the sides and back and not just following both eyes and see how you can relax and keep breathing and moving all at once.

Add a partner coming at you with a blade or something else and repeat the drill leaving something either behind where you just were to hit or stab or slash or lever and so on or walking/rolling/ moving out of the way and moving the blade or something else through the path minding not to get caught or tense and don’t forget to stop short the partner from time to time using a hit to his moving tension and keep breathing.

Stand between two partners and have them push you using one hand or fist from one to the other and at the same time turn you to face the other. In this drill focus on avoiding breath stops to think and work with the breath and not by manipulating it so you learn to use what you have at hand. Keep the body as relaxed as possible and using just the least amount of tension. Above all pay attention to the tension and alignment of your feet and legs so you feel when you are giving support to the other by working your tention against his or hers. Simply allow the contact to sink in and to feel where the door is already open. Don’t hurry, especially at first.

Repeat the drill using the legs to push and than the entire body.

Short work primer

Here are a series of drills to teach the feel and idea behind one of the short work tactics:

1 Start walking using the square breathing method and matching your breaths to your heartbeats and breath (one step per pulse and expanding the breath according to the pulse count) keep your arms up in different positions and mind the tension building in the arms and shoulders and release it with the breath. Pay attention to the pulse in the entire body and if you can connect the pulse from different spots to one beat.

This drill allows you to move with relaxed arms and eventually once you pay attention to let the body lead the movement in the arms. As the arms relax in different positions and you feel the pulse uniting you will allow the body to lead the arms and shoulders in a relaxed way with the least amount of tension (effectiveness and efficiency in one)

2 Do push ups on your fists tensing first the arms than the body and than the legs in turn and than choose a number and do this number of push ups using just one breath and learning to listen to the body and knowing when to change breath phases and at times to override it.

This drill allows you to move through the tension and to spread the awareness in the entire body and to move relaxed even when parts of you are tense.

3 Stand up and tense the body completely in one swift wave. Relax and feel where there is movement and exhale and massage the tension out of these places using the end of a stick.

This drill lets you feel the tension inside you in movement and to release it using the breath. The stick allows you to feel more tension so you have a comparison point.

4 Stand up and exhale until you feel you cannot exhale anymore with comfort. Hold your breath as long as you can and shake and move the tension building inside you. Remember to relax the spine and avoid crumbling your ribs inward.

This drill is excellent to learn to truly relax and to build your endurance mentally and physically. I can say it is one of the best drill to learn true relaxation when used wisely and with care. Don’t fight the tension within. Relax and simply be aware of it.

5 Have a partner walk through where you are and you simply move out of his way leaving the arms or a leg behind and letting it relax and become heavy as in the drill where you keep the arms in the air and as the contact forms exhale (later on you will be using all the breath phases) and let the movement go through you and when possible add something to it and remember the goal is to slow down the partner or opponent rather than speed past him or them.

This drill is good to learn that moving out of the way is logical to avoid being injured and to learn how you naturally position and move your limbs and if you can your body to move with and by that direct others. Remember that without self awareness there will be no control.

6 Have a partner pose as in an attack (for example arms out to strangle or strike) and you move the body out of the way and allow the arms to contact the partner and add to his tension (his intention is in his body tension and pose) so you can direct him to avoid injury and gain your freedom. Does this drill when his comes at your sides and back. Remember that people may from time to time attack not from the front J

This drill will allow you to feel how you tense when someone else is tense and to release the tension through breathing and movement and once you feel how easy it is to let go of the press back fear action it’s hold on you will be less and less noticeable. Remember to move very slowly at first and do this drill till you are comfortable and relaxed when a partner or more are sprinting at you with fists and feet.

7 Have a partner strike at you and move the body where it makes sense to move to avoid harm and let the arms and legs to contact and direct the partner working where you can add to his tension or striking where the tension is. For example if a partner is coming to wrap his arm around my neck from the side I may lift the shoulder closer to him as I move forward and as the body moves the arm comes around and strikes at the tension at the back of his neck or wraps around his arm and continues his movement to the side and throws him to the ground.

This drill allows you to work either with or disrupting the tension. You can strike to his bicep as it tenses up or allow the hand to relax and slide on the outer side of his arm as it straightens forward giving the appearance of support as you move forward and the elbow of the same hand connects with his ribs.

Have fun and if you are wondering about work at high speed simply try these drills and mail me if you still feel uncertain.

Start at the static push up position and have a partner lift up your feet using his hands. Your partner will walk in different directions and change directions and speed at will. You move using your body and arms and fists to remain relaxed and comfortable as possible. Remember to keep breathing and to find out how to keep your line of sight clear and free. Change roles and repeat a few times to learn to feel the changes in movement from the touch and to learn to navigate in different positions and limitations. Once you have done this repeat the drill facing up and if you cannot move using just your arms you will find a way to use shoulders and body and the rest of you to keep again as comfortable and free as possible.