It is a given statement to almost everyone that you have to push and pull to move people and that you need support for this effort.
We are modeled as pulleys and beams, elastic and hard and it is all true but we are ignoring three simple things.
The first is that we are dynamic structures and the nervous system governs this shifting and tilting mechanism with great grace and ability. That same nervous system corresponds with us and mirrors the contact it has. We naturally brace for impact and naturally relax when touched with a loving touch. Implement this into your practice by not pushing and pulling on each other and letting your contact move about the person until you feel where both your nervous systems meet and you can connect and release instead of an attempt to override and control. Stroking a cat and leading it to relax on the ground is easier than trying to push it there by force… If a person punches me. My goal is not to be relaxed or tense. My goal is to support my moving structure with just the right amount of tension to avoid excess which leads the contact into impact and harm. There is no right breath phase for getting hit. Only a continuous and dynamic shift of breathing to accommodate REALITY.
The second is will and desire. We want to stay where we are when we are uncertain of where to go and we want to see where we are going or we become afraid and display it with anger. It is easier to give several options to your contact without forcing them to one strict path or choice and thus avoid a struggle of will and conflict. Allow your contact to lead themselves and place before them the option that makes sense so it will be their choice or so it would seem. For example if a person with a knife grabs for my arm, I may let him grab it so I will know where his arm is and through that contact I will guide the rest of him or her away from myself or according to the situation. Avoiding a grabbing hand may be a gut reaction but also a choice of not entering the game on better stakes.
The third is our perception of how the contact should act and follow through. People expect that the robber will extend his handgun in a display of control over the space so they can grab the gun and be a hero for the day. An experienced person will hold both groceries and weapons close to the body where they are less likely to be taken away and hinder our movement. If a person is straddling us and pushing us down, most try to push away and to roll away. Why not use that person for a shield against his or her friends and bring him closer to you so they do not see where your arms are going.
There are many ways to paint a canvas and even though the end result may seem the same. It is the way and not the end which matter and unsheathe the person within. Take joy in the daily practice of becoming who you are and make everyone your teacher.
http://vigilanceandtranquility.com In this video we go over attacks with one and with two point of orientation or one or two movements within the same attack or contact. This allows for an honest lesson in natural movement and also a longer life span.
In this video shot at Frankfurt 215 at Thorston school, We show how to give ourselves permission to connect with each other using relaxation. Direction and affect come from being human. Not soft not hard, Human.
We move. We feel and we think. It is the definition of life.
The thing starts to get complicated when we separate qualities from each other and instead of putting everything in the same mix, We place them into boxes without knowing how they all work together.
We are bone and blood. Connective tissue and nerves and more. They have to work together as soft and hard, rope and stick and bungee cord. The more we have of one quality, the less is needed to achieve another.
In this example, let us discuss stability and fluidity. Stability can be the wholeness of your connective tissue, it’s health and span, The force of your muscles coupled with the activation of the nervous system.
Fluidity can be moving from different points in the body at the same time. Being seamless in your thoughts and actions and in all body parts working in sync.
The more we are stable, The easier it will be to move as one since you will need less tension to create a solid yet dynamic structure and it will be easier to let impact move through you and spread instead of rending your flesh and bones.
Here are three drills for stability that promote fluidity as well:
Yes you can eat the cake and have it whole. 🙂
Walk on your hands/fists and feet. take a step with each breath phase and move forward and back, side and side, facing up and facing down.
Place your self on your stomach and lift all limbs in the air. Turn from belly to back and return with each breath phase.
Stand and tense your body whole, Relax as you exhale and roll to the ground and back up.
These drills are not complex and you need no gear to do them aside from time and wanting to. Make sure you practice with grace in mind and the joy will follow.