The mechanics of pushing and pulling are simple and obvious. We create a platform of tension whether dynamic or static using our frame and from that we use body and limbs and sometimes our heads to apply pressure extending and contracting our muscles and through our joints and bone structure. Things are more complex as we address our connective tissue which has its own set of sensory and movement capabilities, resulting in a mesh or matrix of ripples in tension resulting in our movement from infancy to our ends.
Now to the point. Pushing is both mechanical and emotional. We brace and use our posture and movement to either push or pull things and people toward us and away from us. Moving past this part of us we become detached and able to move unconcerned by the outcome and free from outside manipulation whether emotional or physical.
We learn to push and pull first to allow the body to understand, pressure, contact, distance and angle. We learn to push because we must become aware of our fears to release them. We learn to push also because it is a fun drill and as humans we need contact to be healthy.
Then, we learn to move as if there is no one there. To feel where our contact sinks in without excess pressure and to move with awareness within several points in our bodies and with our eyes relaxed from following so we can finally see what is happening without trying to force reality to bend to our egos and emotions.
How can we do this ?
First focus on breath. Breath and move instead of moving and then following with breath. Let the breath lead each movement in practice both alone and when moving with a partner. Allow the breath to move separate from our base desire for success. Success once achieved, becomes poison holding us in a rut of trying to repeat what was helpful for a moment which already past. Letting go of success and the desire to succeed lets us ironically succeed much further and enjoy the process without the start and stop of attempt and with the dance like continuum of detachment.
Second focus on alignment. A calm mind resides in a calm body. We cannot fight our own demons as we just layer them into a wall inside ourselves and eventually they will poison the well and tear us down. We can let them go (tension, bad posture, habits which do not serve the moment, emotion) by acknowledging the tension, acknowledging the focus in the eyes tracking something that a moment from now will not matter and letting it go. The body and mind must find a different pattern to replace it or a change in thinking pattern must come to replace what hurts us. Otherwise, we are harming ourselves in the long run.
Lastly, play must replace work to advance and create the authentic motion and emotion which are the seeds of natural movement. Placing goals with dates can work for a while but setting a direction with no end will keep us learning and progressing forever.
The strike will sink and the will to hurt will dissolve on both sides when the mind and body are ready.
More drills and games to help realize this coming soon.