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Staying Hip

The hips are the center of the body.

Moving them well contributes to all other movements and connects them in an enhancing chain of small and greater movements.

Begin:

  1. Place yourself in the pushup position and rotate your hips while in this in one side and then the next. Note your preference and always start the movement with the breath.
  2. Place yourself on one fist/hand and turn your body sideways to the ground. Repeat the hip rotation and release your eyes as well as you breathe and move. Do this for both sides.
  3. Place yourself on both fists/hands with your chest to the stars and repeat the rotation both ways. Consider how movement under slight pressure helps us learn to move all things as one.

Continue:

  1. Place yourself on one fist/hand and opposing side foot – repeat the hip rotation and work to let the movement balance you, rather than tension and bracing the movement chain. Water does not break, ice does.
  2. Place yourself on fist/hand and the same side side foot – repeat the hip rotation and focus on breathing excess tension out.

Further on:

  1. Do a handstand with a partner or with your legs on a tree trunk and rotate your hips. Focus on the reversed blood flow and let the mass sync itself in balancing out movement and activation.
  2. Hold yourself on a tree branch or a pull up bar and rotate your hips. Let the body unwind and let it smile.

Enjoy.

Risk

There is always risk in a fight and there is a risk in avoidance too.

We choose by making decisions and by postponing them too. Sometimes our decisions are made out of negatives being weighted and sometimes by a higher values such as hope or a need to change for the better.

In mortal combat and in life, we choose all the time. A slave in the dark continent chooses too but his choice is meager compared to another human who grew up in a land of presumed freedom. Choosing freedom is a hard choice because again, it entails a great deal of risk.

Returning to combat, We choose to practice drills. Many of them have rules which limit the freedom and possibilities of the outcome and the outcome is what matters.

The more freedom we have, the more risk we must undertake and here is the line. Will we choose freedom now and may or may not survive or do we choose the momentary safety of self limitation and end up in a slow decline.

Take risks daily. Small risk, medium risks but those that lead somewhere or at least have a trajectory. There is a reason why a horse pulling a carriage has blinders. He is not going anywhere by his own volition.

Drills:

  1. Breathe – Take a breath before making a decision you make daily – choose to alter your action by a bit. Wear your shoes differently, take another route to work, Speak to a stranger that you see on the way to the monkey bars, choose to exercise instead of watching a video of someone else moving…
  2. Sight – Look at your day differently, what is dangerous in your day because of your choices ? Do you choose to eat something that will take you from your family before your time comes ? Do you practice being comfortable in your body ? Do you know how to speak in a convincing manner ? Do you know how to write and how to read ? Simple questions deserve to be answered daily? In the martial sense : Why do you choose the drills you do and what do they grant you ? Where are you destined in the martial pursuit ?
  3. Contact – Humans die without contact. Sometimes the body keeps living but the heart dies. Make contact with your loved ones on a daily basis when possible and engage with your surrounding so that every day you know more about the people around you and yourself. Otherwise. Read Alice through the looking glass.
  4. Null – Take something you care not for in your life and remove it from your day. Stop complaining and take small actions toward your freedom. Make your future self smile and laugh and don’t wait for him to laugh. Laughter is a powerful weapon and it can lead to understanding self governess. Be the one who decides when to say NO, not today, no more.

Seeing with closed eyes

Are there secrets that hide behind our eyes ? Perhaps so.

We enjoy a waterfall of input from our eyes on a regular basis. This overabundance overrides other input streams causing us to devote less time to our hearing, smell, taste and body sensation. A monochrome painting gives less input but allows us to see other aspects that would be lost otherwise.

Closed eyes release a great deal of mental bandwidth to process other flavors as the next suggestions suggest:

  1. Start a constant sound (sometimes, owning a smart phone is good) place the sound in a static place and navigate the space according to the distance, angle and height of the sound.
  2. Start a constant sound and have it moving in a repetitive way. A friend or a toy truck can be or service here. Repeat the navigation drill and let your mind and senses feel the path of the sound in space.
  3. Find a quiet place. Not always an easy task and listen to your own breath and heart beat. Find your own sound reflected in the trees, walls or whatever is around you. Let your sound become a part of the surroundings and with breath, let it dissipate and grow more efficient.
  4. Lie on the ground and crawl around a safe location. Find your way with your body and limbs and feel the different textures of the ground and what is around you. Let the temperature of the different materials tell you where you are and where the sun warms the surface and how. Let the smell and residue on the ground tell you again where you are. The same will work with your eyes open as the capability spans and grows with deep practice.

Breathe, move, communicate with yourself and others.

10,000

The only one that cares about the effort it took to get where we are is us 🙂

Nobody else really cares.

The shortest path between two points of learning is not to grind repetition after repetition or using effort and resistance.

The shortest path is that of deep learning. 1o,000 repetitions of a sword stroke, a roll, a strike or a choke are nothing but honing a position in time. Good for conditioning and great for building spirit but they are not advancement in skill. 10,000 slightly different repetitions of a direction or getting from A to B are accumulated learning and as such serve as a force multiplier or in economics as a compound interest where every repetitions amount to more than what it is and serves as a learning moment.

We will most likely not have those 10,000 repetitions one after the other. Many will just be empty or at the same place we were yesterday, but the aim to make each repetition, unique in some way. That is what makes us excel over time and see more than what our yesterday eyes could.

Be different constantly and enjoy the moments of joy in learning.

The blood flows either way, why not learn during the ins and outs of our breath.

Fear itself

A mother tells her child. “Don’t be afraid my son, be a man”

That is not what a man is. A man is he who is afraid yet steps forward despite and because he is. We are not without our faults but fear is not to be feared. It is energy coursing in our veins when danger looms close and the waves cover our heads. Fear is a drive to avoid harm or to seek and eradicate the evil of cruelty and hate.

Embrace fear and find yourself on the other side, not brave, but whole. The man who hides his fear, will less inspire others to step forward and change.

One last notion. Nature does not waste. Fear is not a mistake or error but a mechanism for survival and growth. It is perverted into hate and cowardice when it does not go to its natural path of self preservation and progress.

A man is nothing when confronted by a lion but lion is nothing when confronted by a human.

CHAIR POISON

Our bodies are a wonderful evolution. Generations of gathering, hunting, building and fighting with each other and ourselves.

Sitting is a common poison we administer to our bodies. It shortens our tendons, creates tension and blocks the flow of blood and other systems in the bodies. It is a part of almost any day so daily undoing is required.

Drills to undo sitting:

First – Don’t sit when possible or sit using a position that undoes some of the position damage. For example, a kneeling chair.

  1. Lie on your stomach. Inhale and raise all limbs and head in the air and arch the spine off the ground. Exhale and release. Repeat sixty times.
  2. Lie on your back and bring your heels to your behind. Inhale and extend your feet downward to bring your hips forward. Exhale and release. Repeat sixty times.
  3. Lean against a wall with your arms straight to the sides. Inhale and press the shoulders and then arms against the wall to bring the body off the wall. Exhale and release. Repeat thirty times.
  4. Stand a step away from the wall and place both hands on the top of your head. Place them on the wall and walk in a circle in place so the body rotates on two axis, the ground and the wall. Repeat ten times to each direction.

Enjoy the freedom and never forget to appreciate your health and freedom.

Stiff Mobility

One of the best ways to find your way around the mountain is to walk around it. This time, we will use the stick to release stiffness in the body and in the mind.

For these ten movements you will need a sturdy shaft that reaches from the ground to your chest at least. I have used a hoe shaft for years and it serves me and my students well.

video and further instruction is at my online classes and online free videos.

  1. Hold the stick in both ends in front of you. Sit down and pass both feet past the stick and roll over the shoulder to lie on your stomach and back to a standing position.
  2. Sit on your knees with the stick held in both ends. Roll forward while keeping the stick to your side.
  3. Sit on your knees with the stick held in both ends. Roll forward while keeping the stick ahead of you at the front.
  4. Sit on your knees and roll to each side at a time with the stick held in both ends and keep the stick from touching the ground.
  5. Hold the stick in one hand aimed at the skies. Transition from standing to laying down and switch hands during the transition as you switch from inhale to exhale.
  6. Hold the stick in the crooks of your bent elbows. Roll forward and backwards. Breathe and use the shoulders and hips alignment to move freely.
  7. Hold the stick in the crooks of your bend elbows. Lie on your back and transition from laying face up to face down, without letting the stick touch the ground.
  8. Hold the stick in the bend of your neck and chest. Transition between laying on your back and standing up and aim to keep the shoulder blades and shoulders as relaxed as possible.
  9. Hold the stick in the bend of your bent knees. Transition between laying face up and face down without lifting the torso off the ground. Find which angles work for you between the hips and spine.
  10. Hold the stick in one hand and against the top of the opposite foot. Transition between Standing and sitting down. without lifting both legs off the ground.

Smile and enjoy the work.

ransuru@yahoo.com

The size of your heart

We can only do what we attempt and believe we can do.

How do we free space in our heads and hearts for new thoughts and beliefs?

Begin by walking calmly and paying attention to your thoughts and emotions. Start Inhaling on one step and exhaling on the next. As you are relaxed in this state and need not invest attention to maintaining it, add a step to both phases (inhale, exhale) and repeat until you reach your current limit of X steps per inhale and the same for exhale. Once there, Go down one step and then up again and then, add two steps at the same time and press the number of steps upwards until all you can do is breath and walk.

This will clear your head from outside thoughts and allow the heart to reset and release emotion that was held inside and not moving anywhere.

The simplicity of this work is deceiving and this is just the first stage.

Much more is hidden in plain sight.

TENDON STRENGTH MONTH

A car is powered by its engine and fuel but the transmission carries the power to where it is manifested.

Let’s focus also on our transmission which is our joints and connective tissue.

Here is a three month plan to build up the the tendon mind health and connection. Tendons take longer than muscle to grow and change so take care to listen to your body and never play the music out of tune. Practice the holds and movements below in an alternating manner where you spread them. Do each one three times a week to let the body build itself and come together in a new way of locomotion.

Three times a week:

  1. LOWER BODY – Bend at the ankles, knees and hips till you reach a ninety degree angle at the knees and the feet are under the hips. Walk 120 breaths forward and the same backwards, sideways and turning. Keep your back upright at all times and allow yourself to relax your face and neck.
  2. LOWER BODY – Place your feet on a sliding surface ( a sock on a stone floor or smooth plastic on a rug) as you lie face up on the ground. Inhale and lift the hips up by pressing one foot backwards and repeat 60 times per side and alternate with each step.
  3. SPINE – Lie on your back and arch to for a full body arch with all limbs joining the arch. Breath and rock forward and back for 120 breaths. Repeat while on your stomach and on each side. Allow one arm on the ground when you are doing the sides to ease into the movement. Keep the arch alive instead of stiff and move from your breath.
  4. UPPER BODY – Hang on the bar and sway forward and back for 120 breaths. Avoid straining yourself in the beginning and build to a full 120 breath of swinging forward and back. Once you can do it in one go, advance to playing and swaying in different directions and heights. Swaying is much more taxing than static holds so progress with care.
  5. UPPER BODY – Hang on the parallel bars for a 120 breaths. Sway the body forward and back and again, take your time in getting to doing this in one set. Make sure your shoulders do not sag and on the other hand are not tense and your entire body moves as one.

Enjoy the movement.