Being in the water is a natural experience. We’ve all spend months in liquid and returning to it is second nature.
Standing neck deep in water is relaxing and can be challenging in the right mindset and conditions. If the temperature is low, then the body needs to contend with the elements and the blood flow and heat generation is getting a workout. If the temperature is mild, the body can receive the same by swimming and diving.
One of the great things in water is they resist all movement and give instant feedback. Clap your hands in front and clap them behind you and feel the water resistance to the movement. Try to do this faster and faster and the water will respond in kind.
Kick with your feet and strike with your arms. Roll and turn, switch positions and height. Shadow fight slow and then faster and faster and you will get a great lesson in movement efficiency and your entire body will learn to move more as one unit and forgo excessive tension and movement.
Breathing wise. When the temperature is low. Direct your breath into the places that warm your body. The locations are slightly different for each person so note where your body is warmer in cold environments and study yourself. This is a focus drill of course and through that, you learn to direct and use your nervous system and visualization to generate actual heat.
Also, Just enjoy the water and watch out for gators 🙂
There is a saying that we are treated as worse as we allow.
I want to introduce a few physical examples of this concept but also urge you to consider where this concept comes to life in everyday life and the relationships we hold with family, friends and the powers that be beyond the people.
- Distance – Consider the distance we dynamically hold and mold between ourselves and the world. Aim to determine the distance between people and yourself as well as the position you are in, instead of letting others guide, bully, direct and request you at their will. In many ways, the ability to detect being bullied, guided and circled will aid in avoiding being mugged, attacked and so on. Distance is not just physical, it is a manifestation of our state of mind and the way we position ourselves in the social hierarchy.
- Breath control – Speaking cannot happen without breathing. Not much else can happen without it either. Notice and mind your breath as you speak and as you move withing distance and action. Avoid letting people taking your breath away by minding your own breath first and staying within the rhythm which suits you. We are either masters or slaves. There is only freedom or servitude unless you find the golden line of true cooperation or dare I say love.
- Conflict – Manipulation, subterfuge and plain use of force are evident everywhere in nature. The fight to feed the young, kill the competition and avoid being mud beneath the wheel of time is everlasting. Consider with each interaction, which role we play and to what extent we are in control of the dynamics. We are only human when we act human. It is easy to lose sight of our humanity when pressed and there again, recognizing the pressure, is the key to letting it pass within without passing it on to us.
Art by my beloved Natalia Friedman.
Today we have many schools for martial art that teach very little while costing us time and even derails us from true understanding and harms us.
How do we distinguish what is good for us and what is harmful ? How do we take this lesson and enact it in our being instead of keeping the lesson in the classroom?
We ask questions and stand for what is good for us even if others call us names and attempt to shame and derail us.
Does your martial art school elevate students when time passes and money transfers hands or only when the quality of the student rises ?
Does your art benefit you outside your school ? Do you think more clearly? Do you move better? Does your awareness level and breadth rise and are you healthier ?
Does your martial art force you to look inside and acknowledge more strength of character than you thought you had ? This can come in many ways from investing in deep practice to helping others rise.
One of the earliest arts I studies was Korindo Aikido. We learned to roll and move on wooden floors, fight with hands feet staff sword and dagger and to avoid getting hid by one of many. Aikido has a bad name today in the martial art world and many say it is not fit for the ring or octagon. That is not the true test of a martial art. I have seen it help many grow as people and it has saved my skin in the service many a time both in movement, awareness and mortal combat.
I urge you to take this a step further and stop acting nice by abiding by ruling and pressure from outside and start being nice by standing tall and standing for what you believe in no matter what the outside calls you or tries to control you by trying to paint your beliefs in a certain way.
The martial way is not about who wins a bout in the ring, it is not about who has the fastest kick or the hardest fist though they are nice to have.
The martial way is about being a beneficial member in your tribe, about being free to advance your beliefs and keep learning and being able to protect and grow yourself and your loved ones. The best soldiers are leaders, scholars, innovative thinkers and people who answer the question “Am I my brothers keeper?” in the affirmative every day, not by acting nice but by being nice. Being a person of worth instead of a drone in someone else’s plan.
Do pushups 🙂
Do breathwork and always stand for what is right.