Rope Agility

I love to see commercials for expensive devices in fitness and the martial arts. I love even more to find solutions hiding under my nose to bring fun, progress and health to myself, my students and anyone else.

Here are four rope drills that get the job done:

  1. Take a rope that extends from one hand to the ground and back to the other hand and cross over it forward and back. Shorten the rope a by a wrist width and repeat moving forward and back over the rope until the rope is nothing but a connection between the arms. Once the hands are touching, slowly lengthen the rope till it reaches the ground again. You will find that moving and articulating the hips in all directions is key to spreading the movement needed to traverse the shortening loop. The other part lies in letting the breath lead the motion so no excess tension is created.
  2. Take a length of rope as long as both of your arms and hold it in one hand. swing it overhead in a circle and then under your legs as you jump over it. Repeat for both directions and hands and let the breath lead the pace.
  3. Have a partner hold a length of rope about your height and stand two steps away from you. Have them swing the rope at knee height as you jump over the rope. Start while facing the rope and then progress to being sideways to the rope and almost facing away from it to learn to complete the picture from slivers of sight. That is an important skill to acquire.
  4. Tie a loop at one end of the rope and loop it over one foot. Give the other end to a partner and have them work slowly to imbalance you as you work to maintain your standing balance or roll with it when needed. Remember to release your eyes from the partner to allow free movement and use both legs and hips to spread the pull and twist generated by the rope.

And have fun doing so.

Increase your natural jumping ability

1 Do walks on toes and ball of feet.

2 Do hill sprints.

3 Lose mass you don’t need.

4 Start the jump on an exhale when possible (inhale as you bend and exhale when you spring up).

5 Swing your arms toward the target (forward or up for example).

6 Do a prep light jump to load the “spring” in the legs.

7 Aim in your mind beyond the target.

8 Work on springing to a straight hip spine relation by jumping from sitting on your shins to a squat.

9 Jump rope on one leg at a time and use a heavy rope like a climbing rope.

10 Work on strengthening your toes for the jump especially the big toe by pulling and pushing on a blanket on the ground with just your toes.

And give it time 🙂

A visual aid to print:

jump skeleton sharon friedman

For Emily 🙂

One simple push

Complicated things are made of simpler and simpler things ? Let’s assume they are all the same and see how this works. Avoid learning how to open all keys and instead learn how a house is made.

Let us take a push to the back of the head and play with it and see if the situation changes or does it simply require the same approach in different ways.

Start with standing straight. Keep yourself straight and have a partner push your head and walk around you to push from all sides and angles. Keep your awareness on how your body creates a path of tension to keep you in place and add speed (not force) to the game to create and release the tension without delay.

Now, reverse the push point of view and lean on your partners hand from different directions and again feel the tension your body creates to keep you straight.

Now, choose a shoulder and start moving your body the moment your head is touched by your partner. Switch your start point every four pushes and go down the body until you reach the feet.

Now, push your partners hand with your head from all angles and have them work to push you where you are not active (paying attention) as you try to navigate the hand in your own direction. Move without snaps to keep yourself healthy and focus on breath first and contact second.

Now, have your partner circle you walking (initiating the predator pray mindset) and push you from your blind spots. Focus on breathing continuously and if you see it coming, move but not away J from the contact.

Now, walk freely and have your partner walk behind you. This again initiates the predator pray mindset and it is important to keep in mind we are both at the same time. Have your partner push your head from behind as you walk and utilize what you have done so far to:

  1. Keep breathing without pause
  2. Keep moving without excess tension
  3. Adjust and act on the contact when it makes sense
  4. Use your entire body in every move

A fun addition is to grab their clothes as you push the head 🙂

Hang on a branch or bar afterwards to decompress the spine.

Breathing is a bridge

Once you can feel yourself breathing, you can open your sphere to connecting to others on the basic level. This applies to bodywork, to martial art and simply being aware.


Place your open hand on your partner and feel them breathing. It is easy on the chest area and more challenging in the limbs 🙂

Move with your partners breath to release their tension or to bring them to a stuck area they pay less attention to.

Place your mass on your partner (hand, fist, foot…) and sink in with relaxation as they exhale. Move deeper and deeper to allow relaxation in the contact and understanding in yourself.

Be static (standing, sitting) a step away from your partner and listen and look for their breath.

Walk with your partner and notice their breathing constantly.

Stand a step away from your partner and aim to make contact with them in between the inhale and the exhale. Have them move while on the edges of the pendulum.

Lie on the ground and roll over each other. Aim to be over your partners body and use the breath as a wave to ride over any obstacle.

Your breath is the key. It is not the only key.

How to teach your kid to act and resist abduction and live a full life

How to teach your kid to act and resist abduction and live a full life


  1. TRUST

You must place trust in your kid and work in a way that there is communication between you. Trust allows your kid to tell you he feels something is wrong and the family gains the synergy or working together. Many times the danger comes from something that lies dormant near us like a person in a uniform we are used to ignore or someone we already danger scanned once. Trust your own senses and place trust in your child.



We all walk around in full kit, with our battle buddies and in the best shape of our lives, except when we don’t. Teach your kid to see things with open eyes. A school bag is a deflecting shield from stabs and a throwing weapon. A pen or pencil is a stabbing weapon and you can use one body to move another with the right mechanics.

  1. Once in a while, take your kit and look at it from another point of view. See it from the point of view of an abductor (name tags give the other person information you may not want for example) and see things from other choices of use. A pair of glasses and some aluminum foil can be a signal device, a mobile phone and a needle can be an incendiary device in the right hands…



From birth, we condition our children to obey and nature too has cues to freeze, fight or flee running in our veins. We must work we our kids to let them choose freely when to obey their conditioning and nature and when to over right the program. Teaching your kids to move when shouted at or when a loud sound is heard releases the freeze affect from dominance and teaching your kids to move freely with no breathing or sight and perform complicated tasks through games and competition will open a whole new world of confidence through knowledge.


  1. Finding your way in darkness through a maze or through one part of a car to another.
  2. Holding your breath and competing for a distance moved with twists and turns and having to think and make choices on the run literally.
  3. Teaching your children to run when told to stop, move when told to hold and so on.
  4. Teach your children to work as a group when one is singled out by an adult.
  5. Showing your children through action (trust) and words that they are always welcome and thus negating the effect of threats and bullying into compliance from outside the family cell.



Most martial art and self-defense classes teach tricks (technique) and attempted efficiency (levers and coordination of some sort). Teach your kids to adept to what is in front of them and at their sides and back. Teach your children different paradigms and let them play. Allow your children to become creators instead of followers.


  1. Play with your child with stiff limbs so they can climb and push and pull your body through the stiffness so they learn when to be stiff and when to let go dynamically according to the situation. For example: make a ladder with your arms and have your child climb it and play with it.
  2. Take a light stick and have your child pull the stick toward himself as you stab and swing the stick at him. Allow him to see something coming at him as an opportunity as well as danger.
  3. Have your child tense and relax his body parts and play different games while doing so. Let them choose what level of tension they use and learn they can move even when tense.



We see a lot more than we know we see. Our minds filter and give hierarchy to all things. Sit with your child in nature and simply absorb and open yourself to everything around you. Talk without judging on what you notice and how your senses from smell to touch to resonate and let your child learn to see instead of watch and be whole instead of the sum of some parts.



Even Disney movies are filled with pain and tragedy. Let your child see the dead bird and discuss what will happen further. Let them know injustice is a part of things and they can and will loose and get hurt and that it is their choice to cower or continue to do something and think for themselves under pressure. Do not toughen up, just be honest.



Speak and play with your kids so they are unaware of this productive and energetic part of their qualities. Let them explore their emotions and logical processes with the appearance of fear and let them feel how their bodies dissipate and reform fear into other energies and movement.

  1. Immobilization – Hold your child in a tight hug and let them breathe and feel your heartbeat and warmth (unless like me you are of Polish decent J) Have them move within this hug and graduate with care to playing with getting away from different holds and tickles as the confidence in movement under pressure is created from knowledge. Another game would be to walk in a pack where you have to change your direction without disturbing the pack movement. This of course can be done in variation and in different group sizes from a mother father and son crew to a whole pack.
  2. Suffocation – Breath is taken for granted by those who do not move much. Play with your kid by completing tasks under a given number of breaths and later on with one inhale or exhale to do the same and lastly do the task with no breath at all (the task can be to get the keys from the house or locate a black bird on a branch)
  3. Noise – Nature teaches us that one wrong step can mean death so we sometimes play possum or our bodies give up to avoid the expected pain of death (being mauled by a social justice warrior ) Speak and demonstrate to your kids that you can move after the initial shock and that it is part of the normal bandwidth to be afraid as it is just one of the thriving mechanisms we have. Curiosity did not kill the cat.
  4. Falling – Falling is a fear we have back from the days swinging did not mean dancing. Show and play with your kids how to jump and roll, how to find their way in the air (throw them in the air and let them land in the water and so on in growing amounts of spin and twist) and let them move on the monkey bars upside down and all about.
  5. Separation from the pack – Many threats of excommunication are made throughout childhood by peers and adults. We must show and talk with our kids about this and about being true to themselves. The family is god to a young child. Be a good one and keep your child from swaying in the treacherous seas of growing up.
  6. Sudden loss of senses – Disorienting and overwhelming experiences create a reset in our systems which can be used to affect change and influence. Teach your children to develop the situation without haste and to not rely on one faculty to guide them to their destination. Teach your kids to find their way when they enter a dark room from the sunlight and in reverse, Teach your kids to read a map and find their way in the day and at night and teach them that it is ok to be lost and not know what to do. Just keep seeking your destination.


To sum up, Children have great potential. We mold them and they mold us. Place your family above all else and grow together with honesty and attentiveness for the present and the future.

In the long run, it is just as important to know why we do things as it is to do the right thing. Lead and follow with a clear mind and heart and show the same to your family, both born and chosen.

Riding the blade

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.


Testing brings us to defining ourselves by our measurements. How fast you are. How strong you are and how well you perform in the tests you chose to do.

The problem lies in defining ourselves by our measurements. Are you your pull up test score or your ability in a ruled test with practice blades with no real danger to them ?

I suggest you let of of  some of the measurements and open yourself to the idea of quality. Your personality and self awareness is what will drive through life. You can be the best at everything but as long as you are not the commander of the ship, you will not be using or steering the ship well.

Tests come in order to place a mark on you in order to place you on a grade in society hierarchy.  That grade allows you to act a certain way and instead of knowing yourself you define yourself by an external measurement.

Here is a drill for you:

Do push ups every day. Learn how you feel differently about it each and every day. Feel how doing the same each day brings you new and different lessons each time. All you have to do is move and pay attention.

And smile. 🙂

With a partner hit each other one at a time using either limbs or the body taking 10 breaths to complete each movement. Use your body and limbs to escort the attack to you without moving away at first and simply feeling the movement and the tension in your partner. This looks weird but it lets you move with your partner without trying to move him and thus to actually feel without fear and tension. Do a few of those from different sides and different limbs. Now pay attention to where your body wants to go as you feel the tension from the attack and let the body move as you still let the limbs simply touch and feel the attack ( you may feel you are already moving him or her without intention because he will feel the lack of resistance and his movement will be grander than his intention) Do this for a while and work on matching his or her speed or less so you avoid flinching by awareness. Start to move as you feel the tension and now while in contact feel where there is an opening and add to the movement still keeping with the 10 breaths per movement and keep the breaths even and relaxed. This is a hard drill especially in the beginning where if feels ridiculous to guide the hits in but consider that when you clean the tension and fear and allow your partner or partners to enter, you will be free to do as you wish as you are within the movement.