Pieces of darkness

We start this drill solo with inhaling and exhaling while walking taking the same amount of steps per each breath phase. Walk around the house or wherever you are and open your eyes only on the Inhale (the body and mind relax more on the release so it is better to start the work on it) Allow the awareness and memory to come to you without straining and increase the number of steps you take per phase. Repeat the drill with eyes closed on the exhale and change the place you do the drill without placing yourself in danger.

The second step is to blink your eyes open only when you switch from inhaling to exhaling and vice verca and again allow the number of steps to grow naturally as you learn to pay attention to more of the signal your body is already getting. When you body tenses up or fear rears up simply speed the breath up and the sight blinks along with it. Matching the breath to the work is a response but choosing to breath according to the honest signal your body and mind are giving you allows for freedom.

The last phase is doing any drill with changing speeds. For example you walk a few steps and then spring for a matching number of steps along with your breath spiraling up and down. Use either eyes open on one breath phase or blinks between breath phases or if you have a student you can trust rely on voice commands to adjust direction and action.

Work with the goal to increase awareness and you will gain confidence out of self knowledge. Work to gain skill and you will always be limited to the cage you draw yourself into. Be clear in your goals or you will be the drum someone else beats on to make sound.

Learning to accept contact and maintain vigilance

We start with at least three students for this drill. One stands and accepts the contact working to move as a whole and keep his sight relaxed. The second walks about and works both to be relaxed and not show his intentions and to come in and take down either other student when his attention is narrower and the third standing or walking around the first and applies this treatment to help him accept contact and avoid injury.

You gently place your fist on his head and neck and from the shoulder and elbow release tension to sink in where the awareness in the contact is lower and affect his entire body and psyche. Use burst breathing for this (swift exhale and relaxed inhale) and once the sink is over remove the contact swiftly starting the movement from the shoulder. This reverse engineering of getting strikes will enable with diligent practice to release the excess brace tension when struck and what remains is whole natural movement and eyes that see all instead a narrow tunnel along the fist coming your way.

Giving classes is a privilege and a joy to me and it is also a chance to thank my students for showing up and giving their hearts and minds to the work.

Whole body movement

Lie on the ground and place all four limbs and head in the air. Move from being face up to down and back again and travel from place A to B in as many ways as you can. Now add a partner who will work to push and pull you toward point B (anywhere from a tree to a bag on the ground) and you try to move away from that point. Avoid kicking at least for a while and change roles from time to time. This drill along with letting the breath start movement will show you how moving your body as a whole works well and allows you do get the job done and avoid injury.

Things need not be complicated or demand special equipment to work. Be honest and work at the basics. The results are there for the taking.