Notes from Class: Continuity

Here is a progression of games to play. They come to bring to light the virtue of continuity and as a quality to change your encounters from collisions to freedom within the meelee.


  1. Have a partner place a fist or foot on you. Tense and then relax your frame to achieve two goals. First to let go of the vector the contact is leaning toward and second to drape yourself withing the contact movement. This means you allow your shape to move without stopping withing the shape your contact has at the moment.
  2. Have a partner place a fist or foot on you. Relax toward them without moving them and drape your body over them with this in mind. Start each try with either shoulder or hip so you create an array of momentary solutions to each contact and build your inner constelation of awareness. From awareness you can make a key for the door instead of trying to break down the door.
  3. Have a partner push you continously as you move with them and maintain as much contact as you can with them. Make sure your eyes are relaxed from fixating on the horizon and allow your spine to move without forcing it to keep a line.
  4. Have a partner engage and push and pull on you as you walk from A to B. Relax on the move so your partner cannot distract you from your heading. Increase the contact to body pushes and holds as you move and relax your spine to keep moving without bracing against the push pull contact.
  5. Have your partner hold you by some way (neck, arm, eyelashes or belt ). Avoid getting out of the hold and instead use it to relax your body so you bring both of you to the ground. Do not go limp. Do not stop looking and play dead. Move continously and sink instead of using your wight as an excuse to not do the work.


Relaxing means : moving without excess tension. It does not mean you get to expect going limp will do the work for you.  Try it out.

Notes from Class: The inner constelation

The inner constelation.

Draw an imaginary line from one toe to each hip. Draw an imaginary life from each hip to each shoulder. Divide the body by half side to side and front and back. Repeat the drawing of the lines to the front and back and side and side of each hip and shoulder. Now divide each foot to front and back and side and side and center (I know, Its so easy…) and repeat the entire process.

Now, Tense and relax each line in turn and play the inner harp, moving the tension from line to line and feel the interwoven (pun intended) resonance between the lines.

Extra credit. Start from that place in your abdomen where you push and move from and draw lines to every location we mentioned so far. Add the spine coulum and notice while walking how the lines shift and arch.

Have a partner place a a knife or a fist on your body. Tense a line and release a strike from the arms to that contact from each side and then from above and below. Repeat the play all around the body and at different heights and angles. Enjoy the process.

Have a partner push a fist or blade gently to your body. Repeat the previous work, starting with releasing your frame tension and creating with that release, one continous movement sequence.

Have a partner push a fist or blade to your body. Repeat the previous work and relax your hips to step toward your pusher.

Have your partner push you continously as they try to move through you. Repeat the previous work and allow your body to shift angles to be able to move in any direction you choose, while maintaining the freedom of choice.

Have a partner grab you and pull. Repeat the previous work and work to avoid being dragged. Choose your direction by both relaxing and initiating. Don’t just surf the wave.

Move toward a standing partner and innitiate contact  as you enter and exit their static engagement zone. Notice how this changes your eye focus and body tension. Keep yourself in your breath and maintain your freedom to move, pivot and angle while in contact.

Move toward a parten that is pushing always toward you.  Repeat the previous work as you engage and disengege. Notice where you are and how you choose your angle in the movement and where your eyes are drawn.

Extra credit. Draw lines from each toe to the center of the foot and to the heel. Bring one leg up by releasing the hips to move and avoid freezing one leg in a fixed position. Move on these lines with the grounded foot and from there, continoue to move the airborne leg from the hip. Draw shapes in the air and repeat.

Havea partner stab you with a rounded stick at any level. Move on one leg to avoid getting impaled as you engage with the airborne leg. Change legs often and move around to avoid getting fixed on a pattern.



Ten odd tips on being in the army

  1. Don’t be the best dressed man on the bus.
  2. Touch each door before you open it.
  3. Look up the time on your wristwatch only when you have to.
  4. Relax your arms when you jump.
  5. Learn sixteen different knots.
  6. Always give credit when it is due.
  7. The way is much more familiar when you look behind you every fifty steps.
  8. Carry a pen and a small pencil.
  9. Find at least two directions for everything you see and hear.
  10. Repeating yourself is mostly unnecessary. Repeating yourself is mostly unnecessary.
  11. Count things yourself. 🙂

Three drills for better striking

Here are three drills for better striking. Remember it is better to avoid getting struck than developing a thick hide. There is always a blade somewhere.


  1. Lean with your fists on the wall or the ground depending on your current energy level. Start moving your head from side to side with the tempo of your breath, Continue to moving your shoulders with the movement and then increase the movement to your center and allow the movements of your body to lift and rest your fists on the surface. The drill lets you move your arms and make contact without increasing your level of tension and through that create movement that is more efficient. Efficient is Affective.
  2. (Repeat the drill with your back to the surface. It helps a lot to grow your awareness throughout the range of natural movement)
  3. Rest your fists or hands on a hard surface. Breathe and tense each finger at a time. Note how tension bleeds from area to area and continue to breathe calmly. Tense the palm and the back of the hand and then the wrist in turn. Now tense the entire hand and release tension in one part at a time. This drill gives you awareness to levels and areas of tension so you use what is needed and no more. Here, less is more.
  4. Place an object suspended in the air. It can be a rolled up piece of paper rolled into a ball with a shoe string to hang it or any other high tech device. Place yourself a few paces away from it and start walking toward it. Time it so you strike through it on the go and with your eyes relaxed from following and fixating. Repeat from other angles and speeds and laugh and learn when your timing is off. A broken key does not open the door. Keep the key loose from bending.


Enjoy the work so you keep doing it. That is a great “cheat” for life and keep your loved ones safe.

Fist ups

Let’s have some practical fun while gaining deeper awareness health and ability.


  1. Stand and have a partner place a fist on your stomach. Exhale and relax your frame to drape over the fist and rise up with your inhale. Repeat while reversing your breath and for different angles and locations on your front.
  2. Stand and turn your back to your partner. Repeat the drill you worked on your front and release your horizon perception so your body does not go into a tension isolation over a fixed plane (don’t try to imitate an ostrich or a European politician)
  3. Stand with your side to your partner and repeat the drill.
  4. Have your partner lie down and repeat the drill starting on all four limbs facing down and then facing up.
  5. Have your partner walk around you and push their fists into you. Use the breath phase you are in to release your frame and bounce back to push the fist out and away. Focus on moving from your hips and shoulders and directing the fist out in different directions. This will develop the inner awareness to movement generation and manifest in every movement you make.


Note. You can do most of the work by yourself with a sturdy stick and a corner to anchor one side of the stick. Make sure you work gradually and avoid  harming yourself.

The draw

Drawing the blade can be a martial art like Japanese 居合 or a simple task we perform while preparing a meal for the family. Lets play with drawing in particular so we can better integrate it into the work.

  1. Place the knife in front of you and close your eyes. Take it in one hand and place it in the sheath and then draw it back out. Repeat for each hand while facing the blade and with your sides and back to the blade. If you reach with your eyes, you engage a lot of yourself. When you reach with your awareness, you are less committed and more free.
  2. Place the blade in its sheath and on your body (belt, underarm, vest or other carry method) and roll on the ground forward and backward and side to side. Notice how you shift your movement with the blade on you and notice others moving in a compensation patterns as well.
  3. Lie on the ground with your blade on you and with your breath leading, draw and return the blade with each hand and then repeat the movement slower with a breath hold and with your eyes closed.
  4. Repeat the previous drill while gently rolling on the ground. Note that your eyes can either go to the knife operation or work with your body movement. Choose wisely.
  5. Tie a rope to a limb and walk around. Have a partner tug on the rope as you draw and resheath the blade. Note your breathing and tension in your body. Use your body to spread the pull and ride the wave of it.
  6. Repeat the previous drill while rolling on the ground. Relax your eye horizon fixation. It may save your life one day.
  7. Hold wrists with your partner and look straight ahead. Have them walk around you as you release your frame tension to stay untangled and at the ame time, draw and reshath your blade. Repeat with all variations and don’t forget to laugh.
  8. Repeat the previous drill while sitting on your behind and your partner walking around you.
  9. Stand a step away from the wall and draw and sheath your blade continously. Have a partner throw tennis balls at you and you avoid contact of the innitial throw or the rebound while doing the work.
  10. Hold a partners hand as they try to move away from you and repeat the draw and sheathing movements both standing and on the ground.
  11. Have a partner hold onto you in some way (eyelash hold, arm around neck, pants belt grab, bear hug) and drag you somewhere as you repeat the draw and sheathing movements both standing and on the ground.
  12. Wear gloves you use throuout the year from snow gloves to nomex and repeat any drill in the progression.
  13. Tape a few fingers together and  repeat any drill in the progression.
  14. Hold another object in one hand ( a rifle, a hammer, a medical kit) and repeat any drill in the progression.

Enjoy what you do. It smooths the rolling of the wheels.