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.
Here are three mobility movements for the shoulders, spine and hips. All involve moving two patterns of movement together to create human movement. We are more than one tool playing in the dark.
- Shoulder mobility comes to release held tension and fixation in the shoulder and upper spine.
- Spine mobility comes to release rigidity of movement and release new patterns of movement in the spine to avoid injury and facilitate energy transmission over the spine in intake and outtake.
- 3. Hip mobility comes to release fixation in the hips and to allow the body to channel movement to and from the ground.
1+1 = more than two sometimes.
Practice is very formal when danger is close and thus much is gone in the haze of getting good at a drill instead of learning about yourself and learning to accept what is.
Have a partner hold a covered knife and have him move in a continuous oval cutting motion that includes the space you are taking.
Start by keeping your hands to yourself and moving your body out of the way and toward his back. Keep both legs under you at all times.
Continue by letting your arms move from the movement of your body and staying close to the partner knife hand or hands.
Now add a traveling hand with the always moving knife hand. Be as light as a butterfly after a fast and never try to control the situation.
Your breath moves you, Your eyes control your boundries, Your movement shows all including you what you are afraid to accept. Let go of controlling the situation and ride the wave.
I will present three drills to replace fear with awareness and movement.
Video will follow soon.
- Start prone on the ground and have a partner stand on your ankles. Breathe and relax and proceed to tense and relax your body parts. Continue with small movements that build on one another (meaning you do not go back to the beginning but work from where you are) until your partner is not on your ankles anymore without you doing something to push him off. Repeat for the fists and for the chest when it makes sense J
- Start standing with a partner holding onto a limb of yours or a rope tied to a limb. Have your partner push and pull on you as he keeps the hold as you do the following work: Choose four locations in the body from shoulders to heels as you see fit and try to include a part you do not feel very alive in. With each push, Start moving with another body part toward your partner and allow the fact that you are still tied together to untangle the pressure chain that he tried to build.
- Start with your eyes closed and on one leg. Have your partner push and pull on you as you do the following: relax the leg on the ground so there is no buildup of tension in the leg and relax your hips so both legs touch the ground but without bracing. Repeat the drill until you can move the lesson of no resistance when it is not needed to the same push and pull with your eyes open and your legs both on the ground.
Sometimes less is more. The less you try to improve and the more you just look both inside and out, the easier life gets both for your and for your loved ones.
Do something nice for yourselves each day and enjoy the awareness that follows.
So you want to reach out and touch someone ?
What happens if he or she is not in agreement with you ?
What if they are doing something about it other than not being there ?
Start with a partner sitting on his behind and you sitting an arm length from him. Have him place one arm in the air toward you stay still. raise your arm slowly to contact the arm and slide on the arm refraining from creating a contact spot your are moving around and seriously moving your arm and shoulder freely rotating your forearm, moving your elbow and shoulder ALL TOGETHER!. It will also eventually work if you avoid letting the breath lead the movement but it will take a few more lifetimes so make your decision about this.
When you ask why we are sitting on our behinds I answer to note how we can move without our legs and hips so we avoid compensating with one part over lack of awareness in another.
Continue with your partner raising his arm toward you and back and you maintaining contact but without resistance or leaning on him during all the movement.
Continue to add him rolling his body toward you while he extends toward you and you do the same work as your own body evades his all while maintaining contact and awareness to your own tension and the most important part of the key your breathing.
Now repeat the drill standing and replacing rolling with walking and running and adding a stick or other tool when you feel comfortable with it.
We are already afraid so there is no need to push toward it in training and learning. Learning to release fear is more fruitful then learning to coexist with it.
It is important to work on all facets of the person at the same time when you train so they will all be present in daily life and when the rockets start to fall. The best way to do this is to confine both ends of how we perceive ourselves to the same time.
Start by standing or laying prone on the ground and breathing smoothly. Exhale slowly and continuously until you have nothing left and then hold and tense and relax parts of you until your body starts to move out the accumulated tension on its own with shaking and more.
Repeat the drill with smoothly inhaling until you are full and then holding and tensing and relaxing for a while and note the differences in how your body works naturally to take out the tension on its own.
Now that you went to the two ends simply hold your breath when you are at a comfortable position and repeat the drill. Know that you are working well when you feel comfortable. If you are working under stress that is not intentional such as in the static push up you are not paying attention and if you are working with a partner and your movement feels uncomfortable or painful you are already injured if you are working at high speed.
Now bring your legs overhead and in this position repeat the three drills and then bridge up and again repeat the drills to learn how your body is working to end this inner conflict and stay healthy under tension. Once you do all this you can work with a partner to wrestle lightly and with your aim in this drill to stay within your comfort zone and to keep breathing smoothly. The aim of the drill is to help you clean out excess tension and unneeded movement in a way that promoted health and calm.
Once you have done these drills on your own and with a partner (remember to be free in your thought as well. It can be play wrestling with your child or a game of pass with a ball) continue to do the work using the inhale to end, exhale to end and pause on comfort to end with simple movement drills. Start with the four basics of pushups, sit ups, leg raises and squats that allow you to learn how to guide your breath in movement and then add simple movement such as sitting down and getting up, walking and so on.
It is very tempting to go straight to survival drills that depict simulations of violence but it is harmful to work this way all the time. When you come with all your stored tension and unaware movement to the drill you think you are doing well when in fact you are just pressing the tension further down your throat. When you focus on the goal in life rather than in on specific event you will gain much more in all cases.
Now take a stick with slightly pointy edges and as one works on the three breath cleaning drills you poke and push/pull them and they simply move to stay comfortable. Remember that acting out of fear is reacting and it is the act of allowing the outside to control you.
The stick person works on moving without relying too much on the stick and on paying attention to where the tension is in your partner so you can work better and help your partner clean his or her movement better.
Change roles and remind your partner to avoid giving control to others with his eyes by working from all heights and directions (legs from the back, throat from the side, between the legs and to the side at the same time and more) and remember most attacks do not come from the front and most attackers show their perceived weapon for intimidation before the actual hit and not just for their ego boasting.
I prefer to work barefoot or with light moccasins. Others depend on their Crocks in the farm for irrigation and quick cleaning and the list goes on and on. Do your regular work with different footwear than what you have in mind and see how you can roll and turn and squat with dancing shoes or with steel toed boots. Work on pushing each other lightly on a flight of stairs and do the basic drill of sitting down and getting up with your rifle on a moving target (or simply use a laser pointer on a cat…) in different footwear.
Have your partner lie on the ground and stand on his stomach. Have him escape your mass by moving starting with the free points and advance to standing a few on one and in different positions (kicking is optional but very motivating) point your gun or pointer at a silent target while standing on your partner and have him move first by just breathing and than moving about as he or she wishes. Your job is to let the moving ground under you manifest just in that area and to keep a relaxed and mobile upper body and also stay on target. Advance to having a partner throw balls at you as you are held by one leg and levered to stay put. This will allow you to learn to keep local tension local and to correspond with your handler to avoid giving him your movement in advance. In short standing and moving on a partner will help you both clean out excess movement and to learn to move each part freely from the other.