Take a partner and cradle his head in your hand on your body. Start by turning in all directions at normal height and than on half and full squat. Add to the turn another direction such as back and to the right and again follow all heights. Now add bending and curving your body in… Read More

Stop and than slow down

It is important to keep both ego and tension in check. Both need to exist in some way but as a tool rather than an existence for its own sake. When you join in combat consider it joining in combat. There is more than your movement and wishes on the ground so allow yourself to enter rather than force your way.

Start by tensing up and letting yourself get hit all over and feeling and sensing how your body moves and handles.
Repeat the drill as you relax in increments till you are without tension that is not working for you and again note the direction your eyes follow and how the tension and alignment change during the drill.
Repeat the drill and now let the hitting move you and work to move as a whole relaxed together (start with pushing) so for example if you are hit in the leg your body moves rather than your leg moves from under you or if you are hit in the chin your body moves rather than your head twisting off your neck (I think you can see where I am headed here…)
Repeat the drill and now come to meed the hitting with your limbs and or body relaxed and letting them hit you and simply feel the tension in your partner or partners (you can feel the tension of your partner if he is hitting you with a stick as well you simply need to address the man with the stick rather than the stick with the man)
Repeat the drill and now add to the movement of the hit to guide it so you avoid getting harmed and avoid getting tensed up beyond what is working for you.
Repeat the drill and now connect with him or her or them wherever you want and ride their hits to use their tension and movement for your own needs and survive (this is good to do with a group surrounding one person with everyone hitting without stop)

This drill sequence is meant to allow you to relax and be humble when you do the work. You don’t need to be faster than someone else when you can ride his fist and control his form and spirit through this. You don’t have to be stronger than the taller heavier person if you can see all of him as a person and feel where he is unaware and without density. you need to work on yourself and through this comes Control and humility.

To my student: This will be on Thursday or Friday lesson and remember there is great fun in hitting your partners legs with fists.
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Take any natural position you find yourself in as in standing, sitting and prone and slowly tense one side of you. It can be the front, back side or lower and upper half and keep yourself tense. Once you feel you are fully tense on the picked side start to feel and relax the other side of you and through awareness feel where you got tense in the neighborhood of the tension and this will bring a lot of awareness and through this control to your movement.

Now do this in a non natural position such as twisted or bend by yourself or by a partner. Work on just minding the tension in your body as you are being twisted and feel how this tension or its elimination by awareness can free you to do the work rather than responding to someone else working.
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Take the sit up and the leg raise and mind the direction and twisting of your hands as you go through the movement. This will tell you if you are tensing or moving your shoulders and chest without you noticing it or as an uncontrollable response and from awareness comes relaxation and control. Pay attention to yourself.

I know I wrote the last lines before but they are important to a good life.
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Connect the length of your breath with the depth of your tension. Breathe normally and start to tense and relax your different pieces of the puzzle and end with tension of your whole body and using the breath to relax one part at a time. Follow this by breathing slower and deeper (if you used one heart beat to inhale use three or more) and increase the depth of the tension along the length of the inhale and exhale. Note of the added tension increases your awareness to the tension in the parts that are near the purposely tensed part and learn to relax more by it. Relaxation > Awareness > Control.
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Start on your stomach and have a partner press his foot on your body and than if you are ready walk on your body up and down a few times. Tense up your body where you feel the contact and breathe continuously. Continue and repeat the drill but now with less and less tensing and more focus given to the density the breath brings to the body and being able to keep your alignment with minimal tension. Have your partner lie down and repeat the drill a few times as the walker learns to relax his feet and gaze and to note the information his feet are giving him about the surface support and texture.

Continue to one pressing his foot or fist into one point and releasing sharply in order to learn to be aware of the reaction our body has while working to stay in place and when you learn to clean out the reaction and act simply to keep breathing and moving move to another point and do the drill again. Once you do this on the ground facing down and than up do this against a wall and add placing your arms and legs in different positions and doing the same pressure and release to learn to clean out the support to outer tension and once this is done do this while walking and moving. This is a simple drill but it can aid in anything from crowd work to hitting to anything else.
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Take your partner and start working on survival upon attacks. Work by controlling your speed and awareness of it by starting with an attack which takes 20 breaths and lower the count to one and back again. This is a very good tool to start this path of control from within and knowing that the breath is the start and gauge of it all.
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Have a partner take your head or limbs and start to lever them gently. Note to move with him before the point of discomfort and way before the pain to illustrate survival movement to avoid damage to yourself. As you move and blend in his movement tense and relax the part that is levered (neck, wrist, knee et cetera) This will help in learning to work through and control the fear in the body and to sometimes bypass it or use it to our advantage. Remember to keep breathing and to work on the ground, sitting standing. You can also use this to take the lead in the movement and to guide your partner toward where you want him by connecting to his imbalances and going from there.
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Take a stick and hold it in a comfortable distance between the hands. Now with both hands bring the hands apart as if you are working to lengthen the stick and bring all the tension to the hands and fingers and work to keep the neck and shoulders free to move. Do this a few times in different heights and with palms facing either up or down and after this tense in any directions you choose and as you keep the tension move one hand in or out using the fingers and the palm as you keep the tension on the same level smooth. Do this using both hands and remember that if you look down or into your hands to monitor them you are learning to ignore the information they are sending you all the time and ignoring the many benefits of seeing people and other animals come and go. The other thing to note is that if you look down you tense the neck and it affects your entire body. Learn to give support and to work as you give support and you will be able to control more than yourself over time. For example if you can both give the impression of being held at the neck as your arm supports your breathing you will be more able to deploy  a firearm or to escape the hold when it is appropriate. Sometimes it is better to do the work without a crowd but for this you have to stay calm and keep breathing.
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