Notes from class: moving tension

RELAX is a horrible word. Most times we tense up when we hear it or think it because we add more activation without intention. Let us take another road and that will make all the difference.

Let us make natural tension our friend. It serves a purpose and keeps us upright. It can be a great guide to knowing where to move and how if we treat it as such. Your frame is a network of tension arches. They shift and bend but never disappear. Fright and surprise create a surplus in activation and as nature does. We shall not waste.

  1. Breathe comfortably and divide in your mind your body from hips to shoulders to front and back and side and side. Inhale and tense your front and release on the exhale. Repeat a few times and move your tension activation to the back. Continue to one side and then another until you cover front and back and both sides, one at a time.
  2. Breathe and tense a part from the previous drill and as you exhale move the tension to the opposing or contrasting part (side and side and front and back) Work this with different speeds of breath and remember to pay attention where the tension bleeds around the location you are activating.
  3. Breathe and keep one shoulder tense. Move it in circles and in shapes while tense and note how it feels to move while tense. That is a key to moving under tension but without letting it dictate our alignment and tension. Repeat for the other shoulder and and then move both while tense.
  4. Breathe and tense your shoulder either on the inhale or the exhale creating a short cycle of on/less on. Repeat the shoulder movements of the previous movements and note the changes in the shifting of tension as you move. We all tense. Not all pay attention.
  5. Breathe and tense your forearms. twist them left and right with constant and changing tension. Lean on a tree or wall and repeat. Note how tension and body alignment changes with purpose and direction.
  6. Hold your breath and listen to your pulse. Feel it speed up as you keep the hold and how your body tenses up. Let go and repeat. Listen to your thoughts and inner monologue as well. It matters.
  7. Have a partner push and pull on you standing up. Each time you are touched, tense by intention another part of the body and ride the tension with movement. This comes to De-vilify tension and to prepare the body and awareness to using tension as another tool.
  8. Have a partner push and pull on you while sitting or on the ground. Play with the tension in your body independently of their contact to develop your freedom from the cause and affect state of mind. Enjoy the coming and going and ride the tension both inward and outward. black and white is for Sin city.
  9. Have a partner grab and grapple with you. Play independently with your tension to purposely create frames for them to work with instead of your movement. Avoid guiding them and simply create veils for them to work with in their own way. Manipulation works both ways while a broadcast can remain free.

Do the work with a clean heart and you will gain more of yourself. Do the work with intent to harm and control and you will gain a mask to superimpose itself on you.

Published by

Sharon Friedman

Student and teacher of movement and Martial art. Husband and Father. I can rebuild you, I have the technology :)