Notes from class -Partner resistance

Drills for elevations of spirit and body must not be dry…

  1. Fist– Two people start at the push up position facing each other. Both lift opposite arms and they push each others fist back and forth.
  2. Double fist– Two people lie on their backs with their heads facing each other. Place both fists against each other and push and pull in at the same time while relaxing the muscles of the torso as possible so as to use the least amount of tension.
  3. Scissors – Lie one your behind with body and legs in the air facing a partner in the same position. Aim to move the other to their back by using no tension and just movement and breath in the legs.
  4. Three as one– Three people facing to the outside while crossing arms together. Sit and get up and site and roll together and get up again. Aim to spread the load and communicate with body movement where the group must go.
  5. Up and down the shaft – place a sturdy shaft perpendicular to the ground and climb up and down on it using dynamic body tension and shifting your mass from side to side.
  6. Open close– One lies on the back and presses the knees together as the partner pull them apart. Aim to use your breath to distribute the work and activate just the parts of the body that are needed to the task. Do the same in reverse and up and down.
  7. light pressure awareness– We know the pressure of a finger is enough to cut flesh when focus to the tip of a blade. Press one or two fingers lightly as your partner breathes and relaxes to avoid contact becoming impact. Start standing as the relaxation will take you to the ground and back.
  8. Bound – Place both hands behind your back and keep them there. Have a partner hold the top of your head and strike you with arms and legs as you move to have the incoming limbs slide over you instead of sinking in.
  9. Inner pressure– Place a target about ten body lengths away and have one partner push the other to that target as the partner resists by moving and never by tension. Have them hold their breath for as long as they can and laugh as their face releases the mask it holds in everyday life.

And smile when time comes

The obstacles are the learning

Any movement and any activity can bring on new lessons and learning.

Here is a simple movement exercise and obstacles on the way to further the learning gained from them.

One can repeat a movement ten thousand times and learn nothing.

One can hone a movement ten thousand times and learn everything.

The smart gorilla drill:

Start by walking on your toes and fists.

Walk forward and back, Walk with your body slightly aimed to the side, Walk with your stomach to the floor and walk with your stomach to the skies, walk with your behind close to the ground and with it high in the air.

Now the learning begins.

  1. Hone the breath – movement connection – Make it so each contact with the ground happens on an exhale so your body mechanics aid in keeping the contact contact and not impact.
  2. Hone the touch – Make it so each contact is silent both on the outside in your ears and inside in your body so there is local increase in pressure on one joint or area.
  3. Hone the eyes – Make it so you look around you with every movement and let the top of the spine articulate and limber under the pressure of the position.
  4. Hone the mass – Make it so the center of the body shifts to better sway the limbs like a wave instead of ticking like a clock from placement to placement. Think of walking as swimming and it will make sense.
  5. Hone the floating center – Make it so a partner or more push and pull on you as you move on the ground. Shift your center of movement and move where you are free under the changing and surface conflicting vectors.

Our progress depends on our focus. Our focus depends on our purpose.

 

Wheelbarrow walks – old-school tech

Walking on your fists is great. Walking on your first with a friend is even better.

Enjoy both rolls in this movement and note how the body learns to move as one, once tension is healthily distributed throughout the body. Let the breath lead the motion and relax your arms on contacting the ground to avoid excess tension.

Please resist the urge to push your friend too fast 🙂

Place your fists on the ground and let a friend hold onto your ankles.

Walk forward and back on your fists for 40 breaths

Walk sideways left and right on your fists for 40 breaths

Walk forward and back on your forearms for 40 breaths

Walk sideways left and right on your forearms for 40 breaths

Walk toward your feet and back by moving on your fists and bending the hips for 40 breaths

Jump with both fists forward and back for 40 breaths and mind to let the breath distribute and continue the motion instead of holding onto the impact

Reverse rolls and enjoy the work and how funny we look when we work honestly.

 

Strikes 101

Blunt impact comes in many forms. Preparing to give and receive impact can greatly clear the fog of imaginary outcome and grow your awareness to your thoughts, feelings and your physical body.

Practice these methods of movement with consistency and attention and you will feel progress in your impact.

Solo work:

  1. Rest your arms on the ground and roll your shoulders and body to turn your arms palm up and down. Slowly close your fingers together to form a relaxed fist that has room to compress if met with a wall or hard opposition. Now place your arms to your sides and roll your body and shoulders to shake tension from your arms until they move like chains on the ground. In this you can relearn to move with no excess and unleash if you will, the power a demolition ball.
  2. Stand in an open space and with an exhale, relax your spine from the top downward until your upper body is resting on your legs with your legs unlocked. Inhale and straighten up fully and send the momentum to your entire body so your body motion sends you jumping forward. Repeat with awareness to keeping your body relaxed as possible but maintain the needed framework for moving tension around at will. Watch for small children before making the leap. J
  3. Stand with your legs under your hips. Breathe and relax your knees to a semi squat with each exhale. Focus on moving one hip forward and one back in each release of tension and continue to move with your breath. Focus on your hips-spine-shoulder connection and direct the semi squat to your shoulders to swing your shoulders forward and back, Once this is done, direct the movement to travel to the elbow and then to the wrist and hand. Play with speed and slowly become comfortable with changing speed instead of keeping a consistent pace. This will allow you to release the stored energy from your structure without excess tension or changing your posture unnecessarily.
  4. Place yourself on your fists and feet facing downward. Place your mass on your muscles by keeping angles in all your joints. Breathe and sway forward and back and shift your mass from fists to feet and back. Once this is comfortable, lift one limb up and continue to play shift side to side and forward and back. Continue to place one limb on a wall at a time and then two limbs on the wall and play with the mass shift from angle to angle. Repeat the process on your knees and on your forearms and remember to always allow the joints to move on the impact to avoid fixation and damage to yourself. (Some joints such as the wrist if you are hitting with your fist should remain at a comfortable angle but not move too much to avoid hyper tension in the joint)
  5. Stand with your arms to your sides. Inhale and raise your arms slowly. Feel the blood moving in your arms and repeat with attention to moving the blood inside in sync with the movement of your arms. Awareness to your movement inside will allow you to better impact without bouncing back and with greater affect. This connects with the first point of letting the body move as one instead of fixating and pushing in the moment of impact.

Partner work:

  1. Place your fist on your partner and place your awareness in your hips-spine-shoulders. Allow the elbow to move in all direction and relax to allow the fist to sink in the partner without increasing the tension of your movement. It will be wise to separate the idea of movement and tension. You can move from release and you can move from tension and everywhere in between. Repeat the work with your foot on the partner. Working standing and sitting on your behind will add a lot of awareness to the work.
  2. Have your partner walk randomly and work to place your fist, foot or body on them and sink your contact to turn them and change their alignment on the move. Focus on staying relaxed and playing with the contact instead of trying to land the strike. Stay comfortable and work to see existing openings instead of forcing them.
  3. Close your eyes and have your partner push and pull on you. Relax your body toward them and sink your contact on the go. Let your entire body be the instrument.
  4. Have your partner strike you continuously. Relax your body to avoid absorbing the strikes and move up and down as you are being struck. Maintaining freedom within the contact is a key to freedom from being led and true freedom.
  5. Smile and have a good conversation as you strike your partners and move. Mind to keep breathing freely instead of trying to ride the breathe in and out and find how this releases you from being controlled by outside stimulation and inner pressure. This is a combination of your mind, body and feelings together as you maintain your calm mind active while getting struck and striking. Without this, you must shift each time you strike and that is a misfortune.

Enjoy the path as it has no end.

Wall walking

WALK THE WALL

100 STEPS WITH YOUR FISTS ON THE WALL SIDE TO SIDE

100 STEPS WITH YOUR FEET ON THE WALL SIDE TO SIDE

100 STEPS WITH YOUR FISTS ON THE WALL UP AND DOWN

100 STEPS WITH YOUR FEET ON THE WALL UP AND DOWN

100 STEPS WITH YOUR FISTS ON THE WALL SIDE TO SIDE WHILE FACING AWAY FROM THE WALL

100 STEPS WITH YOUR FISTS ON THE WALL UP AND DOWN WHILE FACING AWAY FROM THE WALL

 

ROLLING THUNDER

Thunder rolls over the landscape. It goes into every opening and shakes and affects what is in its wake. Thunder is of course the outcome of lightening so we must approach our striking movement in the same manner. One of the other qualities of thunder that goes without saying is that it is not affected as a whole. You can engage a part of the wave while the rest goes on undisturbed. Let us play with that quality to become the source of lightening.

 

Ideas to consider:

  1. The body is the lightening, the force. Allow the body to move the arms and legs.
  2. A tense limb both gives and receives pressure and tension. A relaxed limb can choose.
  3. Two moving parts can create a greater level of freedom than one. Do not focus on one body part. Be a whole human.
  4. Waiting means you are always late, always in someone’s control. You breathe, let your breath be the wave you ride to freedom.
  5. A dancer can dance, a fencer can fence. Be a human being first. Just move. Walk and climb and roll. Do not give names and categories that define and jail your thoughts.

 

MOVEMENT WITHOUT PRESSURE

Place one fist on the other and breathe. Move both fists together in the air in arches and lines. Move them in your front and overhead and at your back. Roll the surface of one fist over another and use your elbows, shoulders and body to move the grid without creating a crest in the tension lines.

Place one fist on the fist of a partner. Have them attempt to tense you up and move your body through that contact. Move your feet, your hips and spine to keep the contact of the partner fist while you move your body and tension on your own without letting the contact affect how you carry yourself.

 

MOVEMENT WITHOUT ANCHOR

Place one fist on your partners body. Have them breathe and let the fist slide on them instead of press in by moving just the hips side to side. Continue to doing the same by moving just the shoulders in rolling motion. Continue to doing the same by moving the spine in continuous arches. Move from your breath and most of all, Move by your own volition. Never wait for the drum to be hit.

Place one fist on the partners body. Start to push and turn in order to bend and wedge the partner into a tense and static position. The partner who is getting the fist contact moves with breath and relaxed eye horizon (seeing what is in front of us instead of fixating to the horizon) and most of all: relax both hips and shoulders and the connecting spine so you move everywhere without letting the partner contact pressure you.

Place two fists on the partner body. Move both from the area of the spine between the shoulder blades to create lines of tension in the contact body. Have the partner release the contact movement downward and sideways by allowing the body to move as before and letting the pressure go back to the partner by moving your own body and no attempt to control anything besides yourself.

Strong hands

Here are proven methods of increasing the ability of hands and fingers. They come to make us more capable and less fragile in a world of impact and shearing.

Make yourself strong so you can do the work you want done.

  1. Hanging on rough surfaces – We all hanged on rounded bars on gym classes. Some even use gloves. Hang on tree branches and on square beams. Take it a step further and hang on different parts of the palm to learn to relax further and allow the body adept and grow stronger in all angles.
  2. Walking on your fists – Start walking on your fists on a wall. Walk sideways and up and down. Let your breath create the tempo and move from the body. Keep your wrist relaxed to move while under pressure and continue to do so on the ground. Make sure you move silently and without excess tension. Allow the fingers to move while under pressure and not fight the contact. Take it a step further and walk on the sides of the fist and on the back of the fist. Close your hand around a fragile object such as an origami bird and walk on your fists without breaking the object.
  3. Walking on your finger palms – Walk on the flats of last joint of each finger (Distals) while maintaining an arch on each finger. Maintain the least amount of tension to keep the arch and walk on the wall side to side and up and down. Mind to breathe out the excess tension instead of letting it sink in the body.
  4. Pulling rope – Tie a strong rope to a strong anchor. Sit on your behind and pull yourself up by pulling on the rope and easing yourself down under control. Stand a step away from the rope and fall forward. Grab the rope on the way down and swing with it.
  5. Hammer throw – Take a light hammer (1 kg or a bit more) throw and catch it by a predetermined part. This goes beyond throw and catch into hand eye coordination and body mind relaxation. The uneven mass creates the greater learning experience and fun here. ( do not do this on tiles….)

21 DAY RESILIENCE CHALLENGE

GENERAL INSTRUCTION:

  1. Each movement starts with the breath. Breath dictate tempo.
  2. Avoid locking your joints.
  3. Move smoothly. Noise is for performance.
  4. Tension is a tool. Use the right amount. Less is more.
  5. Technical: perform each workout three times a week. Preferably with a day in between.

WEEK 1

  1. WALK ON YOUR FISTS
    • 30 double steps forward and backwards while you are facing downward and your body is parallel to the ground.
    • 30 double steps forward and backwards while you are facing upwards and your body is parallel to the ground.
    • 30 double steps side to side on the wall facing away from the wall and with your arms overhead.
  2. ROLLING
    • 10 rolls forward and back from the knees.
    • 10 rolls side to side from the knees.
    • 10 rolls turning left and right from the knees.
  3. HANGING
    • Hang on the bar and air walk forward 30 double steps
    • Hang on the bar and air walk backwards 30 double steps
    • Hang on the bar and inhale bringing your shoulders into their sockets and release on the exhale. Repeat 30 times.

WEEK 2

  1. WALK ON YOUR FISTS
    • 40 double steps going sideways while you are facing downward and your body is parallel to the ground.
    • 40 double steps going sideways while you are facing upwards and your body is parallel to the ground.
    • 40 double steps up and down to your waist height on the wall facing away from the wall and with your arms overhead.
  2. ROLLING
    • 20 rolls forward and back from a squat.
    • 20 rolls side to side from a squat.
    • 20 rolls turning left and right from a squat.
  3. HANGING
    • Hang on the bar and air walk forward 40 double steps
    • Hang on the bar and twist your hips to each side 40 times
    • Hang on the bar and inhale bringing your shoulders into their sockets and your shoulder blades together and release on the exhale. Repeat 40 times.

WEEK 3

  1. WALK ON YOUR FISTS
    • 50 double steps forward and backwards while you are facing downward and your body is parallel to the ground.
    • 50 double steps forward and backwards while you are facing upwards and your body is parallel to the ground.
    • 50 double steps up and down to your waist height on the wall facing away from the wall and with your arms overhead.
  2. ROLLING
    • 30 rolls forward and back from a standing position.
    • 30 rolls side to side from a standing position.
    • 30 rolls turning left and right from a standing position.
  3. HANGING
    • Hang on the bar and air walk forward 50 double steps
    • Hang on the bar and twist your hips to each side 50 times
    • Hang on the bar and inhale bringing your shoulders into their sockets and your shoulder blades together and release on the exhale. Repeat 50 times.

Notes from Class: The inner constelation

The inner constelation.

Draw an imaginary line from one toe to each hip. Draw an imaginary life from each hip to each shoulder. Divide the body by half side to side and front and back. Repeat the drawing of the lines to the front and back and side and side of each hip and shoulder. Now divide each foot to front and back and side and side and center (I know, Its so easy…) and repeat the entire process.

Now, Tense and relax each line in turn and play the inner harp, moving the tension from line to line and feel the interwoven (pun intended) resonance between the lines.

Extra credit. Start from that place in your abdomen where you push and move from and draw lines to every location we mentioned so far. Add the spine coulum and notice while walking how the lines shift and arch.

Have a partner place a a knife or a fist on your body. Tense a line and release a strike from the arms to that contact from each side and then from above and below. Repeat the play all around the body and at different heights and angles. Enjoy the process.

Have a partner push a fist or blade gently to your body. Repeat the previous work, starting with releasing your frame tension and creating with that release, one continous movement sequence.

Have a partner push a fist or blade to your body. Repeat the previous work and relax your hips to step toward your pusher.

Have your partner push you continously as they try to move through you. Repeat the previous work and allow your body to shift angles to be able to move in any direction you choose, while maintaining the freedom of choice.

Have a partner grab you and pull. Repeat the previous work and work to avoid being dragged. Choose your direction by both relaxing and initiating. Don’t just surf the wave.

Move toward a standing partner and innitiate contact  as you enter and exit their static engagement zone. Notice how this changes your eye focus and body tension. Keep yourself in your breath and maintain your freedom to move, pivot and angle while in contact.

Move toward a parten that is pushing always toward you.  Repeat the previous work as you engage and disengege. Notice where you are and how you choose your angle in the movement and where your eyes are drawn.

Extra credit. Draw lines from each toe to the center of the foot and to the heel. Bring one leg up by releasing the hips to move and avoid freezing one leg in a fixed position. Move on these lines with the grounded foot and from there, continoue to move the airborne leg from the hip. Draw shapes in the air and repeat.

Havea partner stab you with a rounded stick at any level. Move on one leg to avoid getting impaled as you engage with the airborne leg. Change legs often and move around to avoid getting fixed on a pattern.

Enjoy.

 

Three drills for better striking

Here are three drills for better striking. Remember it is better to avoid getting struck than developing a thick hide. There is always a blade somewhere.

 

  1. Lean with your fists on the wall or the ground depending on your current energy level. Start moving your head from side to side with the tempo of your breath, Continue to moving your shoulders with the movement and then increase the movement to your center and allow the movements of your body to lift and rest your fists on the surface. The drill lets you move your arms and make contact without increasing your level of tension and through that create movement that is more efficient. Efficient is Affective.
  2. (Repeat the drill with your back to the surface. It helps a lot to grow your awareness throughout the range of natural movement)
  3. Rest your fists or hands on a hard surface. Breathe and tense each finger at a time. Note how tension bleeds from area to area and continue to breathe calmly. Tense the palm and the back of the hand and then the wrist in turn. Now tense the entire hand and release tension in one part at a time. This drill gives you awareness to levels and areas of tension so you use what is needed and no more. Here, less is more.
  4. Place an object suspended in the air. It can be a rolled up piece of paper rolled into a ball with a shoe string to hang it or any other high tech device. Place yourself a few paces away from it and start walking toward it. Time it so you strike through it on the go and with your eyes relaxed from following and fixating. Repeat from other angles and speeds and laugh and learn when your timing is off. A broken key does not open the door. Keep the key loose from bending.

 

Enjoy the work so you keep doing it. That is a great “cheat” for life and keep your loved ones safe.