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.

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