The only true commodity you have in your life is your time.
One of the best and easiest ways to protect and enhance your time on earth is to go towards the cold with open arms and a bare chest.
In one month,
Increase their control of themselves
Develop a healthier body and mind
Learn to enjoy doing “hard” things
Learn better breathing patterns which affect everything
Start by taking a cold shower once a day. Open the water on COLD at full strength and walk in and stand there for just one minute.
There is a bit of a shock from the cold so focus on breathing the tension out by exhaling more than inhaling and mind how deep you breathe to avoid getting in more than you want at the moment.
Increase the time after a few days to two minutes and establish a breath tempo that allows your body and especially the muscles around the lungs to move and feel relaxed.
Increase again and again until you reach ten minutes a day and add the focuses as the minute count increases.
1 minute – Once entering the cold – focus on exhaling the tension from the change in temperature. Avoid inhaling more than you need.
2 minutes -Focus on letting a calm tempo of breath emerge once the shock is past. mind how the breath affects your torso tension.
3 minutes – Focus on inhaling and direct the power of the breath to your upper back and the heat generation there.
4 minutes -Focus on letting your heart beats and breath sync in tempo.
5 minutes -Focus on spreading your awareness to your toes and fingers.
6 minutes – Focus on feeling the amount of air you take in and how this increases and decreases the pressure in your lungs.
7 minutes -Focus on spreading your awareness to your arms and legs and the feeling of blood flow in them. The blood moves the heat the body generates and directs it.
8 minutes -Focus on your hips and shoulders and place them so the blood can flow better and your inner heat will maintain what is needed with only the energy required.
9 minutes -Focus on moving your limbs with the breath as tempo and letting the breath channel through the entire body.
10 minutes – Focus on moving on your feet in tempo with your breath and remaining calm and relaxed.
The added benefits of this cold protocol are (higher water bill non standing) better metabolism and immune system, better heat generation and awareness using breath and body awareness and greater calm due to taking yourself on and removing the excess.
There is a simple shortcut to getting a lot more from practice.
Ask yourself and ask those you train/work with, what is the purpose of the work ?
For a soldier it can be a mindless job to carry a pack and walk silently in the night but a proper leadership will give a true purpose to this movement in terms of a raid, keeping his skills and fitness growing and having become better at some of the attributes needed for the job.
A martial artist which can be a soldier, a father or any other profession must also have a purpose to the work in order to progress in all human capacities.
Are you working to better transition from position A to B ? Are you working on seeing opportunities you have missed out of lack of knowledge in previous work ? Are you working to time yourself better in movement for striking ?
All these are valid but you must ask yourself before and during each time you train (If you ever stop) what do you want to get done this time ?
Just asking this and preferably out loud, will speed up your growth and do not limit this to just your martial art practice.
breath hold – Practice pushing a resisting person from A to B while holding your breath. Listen to your body and thoughts as the discomfort builds and let it go. You can add it almost to any drill in various ways. Contact me for more 🙂
The long exhale – Inhale softly and start exhaling slowly and evenly. Start doing a movement continuously from footwork to contact drills and release your spine and torso as the pressure lowers in your abdomen. This is a great drill for posture and alignment under pressure and will bring you to yourself when the heat rises.
The fast switch – This is an action reaction drill – breathe and perform a movement and as you are prompted by contact/sound or anything else move straight from inhale to exhale or in reverse and continue to move. This takes the breath taking out of surprise and helps keep transition smoother and smoother.
The reverse – We tend to speed up beyond what is needed when scared or startled 🙂 Breathe very fast in and out and as you are attacked (in a drill) slow down to normal breathing and continue to move freely. Sometime all it takes to stay calm is to go a little be to the other side.
Drills for elevations of spirit and body must not be dry…
Fist– Two people start at the push up position facing each other. Both lift opposite arms and they push each others fist back and forth.
Double fist– Two people lie on their backs with their heads facing each other. Place both fists against each other and push and pull in at the same time while relaxing the muscles of the torso as possible so as to use the least amount of tension.
Scissors – Lie one your behind with body and legs in the air facing a partner in the same position. Aim to move the other to their back by using no tension and just movement and breath in the legs.
Three as one– Three people facing to the outside while crossing arms together. Sit and get up and site and roll together and get up again. Aim to spread the load and communicate with body movement where the group must go.
Up and down the shaft – place a sturdy shaft perpendicular to the ground and climb up and down on it using dynamic body tension and shifting your mass from side to side.
Open close– One lies on the back and presses the knees together as the partner pull them apart. Aim to use your breath to distribute the work and activate just the parts of the body that are needed to the task. Do the same in reverse and up and down.
light pressure awareness– We know the pressure of a finger is enough to cut flesh when focus to the tip of a blade. Press one or two fingers lightly as your partner breathes and relaxes to avoid contact becoming impact. Start standing as the relaxation will take you to the ground and back.
Bound – Place both hands behind your back and keep them there. Have a partner hold the top of your head and strike you with arms and legs as you move to have the incoming limbs slide over you instead of sinking in.
Inner pressure– Place a target about ten body lengths away and have one partner push the other to that target as the partner resists by moving and never by tension. Have them hold their breath for as long as they can and laugh as their face releases the mask it holds in everyday life.
1. Small steps – If you do not know where you want to end up, choose small term goals and changes such as learning a skill, gaining social skills and getting better at moving yourself.
2. Necessities – What can you not live without – Start by elimination and end up with what is truly necessary in your life besides bacon 🙂 .
3. Fixing cracks – There are small things that irk us. A mistake we repeat, a pattern we often miss and so on. Many times, getting past those with a bit of work we reveal a new panorama that was hidden behind that obstacle that now elevates you.
4. shift your point of view – Some cliffs are assailable from one angle and completely out of the question from another. Aim to approach a task from different directions and you will find new freedoms and perhaps a new goal.
5. Do nothing – Sometime the best way to get there is to not get there. Avoid all tasks you can and see which thoughts and feeling surface when the drums of daily chores are muffled. Often a change in scenery and a broken telecommunication device will open the wellspring of ingenuity that is the gift of man.
“What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—and yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me— nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.”