Most of the time we are training to react. We memorize a response and couple it to a trigger and run the program in a loop. This takes a lot from our freedom and usually it is akin to trying to open all doors with the same key.
Here is a simple drill to start releasing this form of trigger work in three stages.
1. stand facing the wall and have a partner press you to the wall his fists hands and feet. Keep breathing and work to remain comfortable. Add a small screw in one of your hands or attached to the soles of one leg and repeat the drill without a fixed tempo so the student facing the wall can learn to choose what to do and avoid getting tense in anticipation. Change roles and repeat several times.
2. Stand facing the wall and close your eyes. Repeat the above drill and note how your body feels the contact before it arrives and remember to remain relaxed and comfortable. If a screw is moving toward your spine move to avoid injury and as the breath continues and the body moves the limbs come with them and can provide the solution (sometimes the body is enough and sometimes the wall can be of help)
3. Hold your breath and repeat the above drills until you can hold no more and a bit after that. Learn to know you are human and mortal and even then there is a lot you can do to keep moving for yourself and for others.
Eyes closed = more attention to other senses
Breath held = more attention and acuteness to everything
Many of our viewing of what is portrayed as violence is very straight forward. One walks directly toward the other and start hitting and grabbing or just stabbing. While this does happen , the reality of things is that when you are approached in such manner it is easy to become agitated and actually do something about it from running away to drawing your 45…
In your practice start from the obvious and walk and then run toward your partner to start the contact. Make sure you keep your eyes and thoughts on him or her and repeat the drill a few times. Talk on how being stalked feels and reverse the roles. Now repeat the drill with a more realistic and silent approach. We walk with our eyes relaxed from focusing on the target and the thoughts on anything that makes sense from what to eat at night to what is the number of trees to the left. This way in addition to not plotting a course directly to the target by walking toward another target that is close or planning a parallel course we are able to supply our partners with a more honest drill and through this we make ourselves more aware to smaller and smaller signs and if you remember to keep breathing you may be able to go home afterwards.
Never think you are more than another person. We each have one life and it will not be wise to neglect that fact.
Start by yourself facing a wall. Start walking toward it and learn how many steps it takes to reach the wall with your front. Do this from different distances and then from each side and walking backwards.
Have a friend turn you around and place you in some position in a room and while you are making a steady noise move slowly until you reach the wall. Avoid charging ahead and learn to understand what your body and senses are telling you. Repeat from different places in the room and allow the map of awareness to build within you.
Continue with a partner standing and you learning to know how many steps it takes to first reach him, next to reach an arm distance and then to pass touching body to body and arm to body.
Repeat the drill with your partner walking first just forward and then walking in any which way.
Now add another partner walking toward your static target which is a tree a box or a standing partner and here you will work without speaking to time reaching the target together. Continue to a slowly forward moving partner as the target and then to a free moving target moving forward backwards and stopping from time to time.
Most would agree it is better to avoid getting within arm reach of a mugger, a rapist or just someone angry at the world. Getting to be able to detect and learn to know where you are even when the view is constricted and knowing how to move to stay free is valuable and worth investing in. Remember your timing must be free from following what your mind focuses on. Stay free.
Easy is working your strengths to someone’s weaknesses. Easy is not fun in learning. Place the top of your forehead (don’t overdo it if you are balding as I am 🙂 ) to your partners top of forehead and your hands shielding your eyes. First feel the hard surface of the bone against yours and via treading directions and movement work to bring your teeth to your partners neck as he works to do the same. As in everything avoid his or her teeth to your neck and remember there is no prize for becoming dead weight. Start working slow and avoid getting marks on your hard or soft surfaces.
It is tempting to speed up and to avoid getting too much into the game have a third partner walk around you and pull on your legs if you are not paying attention to what is around you.
Remember you are human and so are others. Remain free.