The invisible sword

It is up to us to be logical but it is equally paramount to be illogical in our pursuit of truth and affect.

Here is an illogical lesson plan for the sword. It mirrors a simple truth of resistance vs control but from the other side of the mirror.

Begin:

  1. Hold your sword in your hand but allow the mass of it to point downward. Imagine it resting quietly in calm water.
  2. Shift your hips in a way when the middle stays in place and the hips move, one forward and one back and in reverse. Transfer that movement to the sword by letting go of excess tension in the spine and shoulder and let your breath be the rhythm.
  3. Keep the image of the sword in calm water in your head and add to hip movement to draw the sword out without splashing any water or creating any excess tension or movement. Keep your hand closed around the hilt so any adjustment in angle is made by the body, shoulder, arm and wrist.
  4. Keep the edge of the sword in your head and draw the sword from the down position to pointing up but so it maintains its up position out of balance and not out of tension. You can also balance a wooden stick on a finger for practice but keeping the sword upright in your grasp is more beneficial for the dialog between resistance and control.
  5. Start drawing a Mollinet by drawing a circle to your right and one to your left in one continuous motion coming from your hips and guiding the movement by spreading the movement between your shoulder, elbow and wrist. Always be aware of the edge and lead with it when appropriate.
  6. Have a partner place a staff or a sword parallel to the ground. Strike it with force and feel the resistance passing back to your sword arm and how your vision is affected.
  7. Breathe and release the wrist to let the sword strike the other sword and continue the movement with moving the elbow but with a relaxed wrist. Mind if the movement continues smoothly and if your vision maintains its focus more clearly.
  8. Breathe and Release both shoulder and wrist so the release meets at the elbow and strike the other sword in a continuous manner with each breath.
  9. Stand an arm and a sword away from your partner. Hold your sword in balance and watch both your and their swords. Find the wave of the pulse in yourself and in your partner and strike as theirs pulse. Release the motion continuously to keep the opponent from touching your tension or yourself and within that mold, you will find freedom and opportunity.

The straight road is not always the shortest. There are times where there are many valid ways and it is the choice which makes the way.

drawing a curve with a striaght line

People discuss the merits of a curved blade compared to a straight. People discuss the proper use of tools and cloud their eyes from seeing the purpose past the tool.

It is a common saying that when holding a hammer you will seek and see nails everywhere but look past that to the task at hand and past even that to the continuous purpose of living a full free life.

The Japanese carpenter used to use a marking tool called a sumitsubo. It is a ink blot with a silk draw line attached to it. In the beginning, the carpenter only sees the possibility to draw a straight line using a simple tension method. The carpenter who is more attune to his craft will be able to cast a curve by twanging the silk and using the right amount of tension.

I ask you to treat tools as they were meant to be. Tools to be used to the task and to help you grasp your own essence more fully.

Drill 1:

Take a stick and a partner to work with. Push the partner with the stick and each time you touch the partner with the stick, relax your feet so your body aligns with the pressure you are using with the stick.

Watch the arc of the stick in motion as you do the drill and add to this natural movement so your sink into the contact even more. You will see with your partner what moves them more and what feels deeper as you practice.

Drill 2:

Take a rope or a belt and hold it with enough pressure to create a straight line. Have your partner press this line in various directions and you will work to perform these tasks:

  1. Keep your breath continuous and avoid trying to sync with your partner. Move as one.
  2. Keep the rope line a line. Move around the tension and find how you can move pressure and tension dynamically in your body.
  3. Smile. Relax your face and eyes to avoid being a slave to a horizon that exists only within you.

 

Footless and handless

This drill helps in getting past the push/pull movement and into moving ourselves as one unit. Continuous attention to this practice will give you more fluidity in motion and thought.

Solo version:

Sit and start moving from one side of the area to the other with no contact with the ground with either your feet or hands. Keep your breathing continuous and and your eyes relaxed from focusing on one direction or object.

Partner version:

Repeat the previous drill but have a partner walk through where you are and avoid impact. Continue to work as your partner or partners try to push you and pull you with their arms and hands as you move about and then add the lower limbs in the fun.

The more you pay attention the more it pays forward afterwards.

To know fear

One of the stages of getting to know yourself is to know your own fear. Fear will control you if you turn a blind eye to it’s affects on your psyche and body so we will aim to bring our awareness to this as well.

One of the ways to learn the fear response is to learn how and when we bring our necks in. This happens as an innate response to a loud noise or unwelcome touch and is bodily explained by protecting the soft neck with the hard head and scull.

Most of the aggressive postures and movements can be traced to a fear reaction. All the hand movements are covering soft flesh with bone and bringing your chest and arms forward hides and covers your loins and abdomen where a stab will kill you sooner and delete the chances for future offspring.

On the other hand. A relaxed posture is neither closed nor open but mobility oriented as we are not stuck in the future or the past and free to roam the now moment.

Lie on your back with your arms at your sides and your legs together. Press from hip level to neck one side of the back to the ground so the lower back, ribs, shoulder blade and shoulder touch the ground together. Press the back of the neck to the ground and feel how this tension affects your thoughts. Repeat the pressing drill with the other side of the back and compare to know which of your sides is more tense at the moment.

Continue by moving your body from side to side as a worm to relax tightness and to ease instead of press the entire back to the ground. compare your neck tension levels to how it felt when you pressed it with force to the ground.

Slowly raise your legs off the ground and move you back again to better support the mass and change your arm position to relax more and more of your back to the ground.

Slowly relax your legs to the ground and use just breath and movement to ease all the parts of the back to the ground.

Now have a partner push and pull on you sitting and standing and note if your movement is more whole and less jumpy and tense than before.

To the beat of a different drum

We march at night silently. We march. We march. We march.

Soldiers must work in groups to attain their goals but so do everyone else. To learn to work together and on the reverse angle of this to learn to work within someones resistance we must be aware of their tempo of movement and work within it.
How can we do this ?
1 place your hand relaxed on your partner and work to feel his pulse. Once there work to feel both yours and his or hers without letting the two affect each other. Freedom must precede action in the mind.
2 Allow your partner to attack you using different speeds and always work slower then him or her to gain both mental and bodily smarts and again freedom from repeating what was just uttered.
3 Attack your partner and from time to time freeze in motion and see how this affects his attention and movement. Do this drill with a swift exchange of roles so there is no fixation on waiting. Waiting is a key step in dying.

Place your hand on your partner’s eyes and move his gaze so his whole body is effected by it. For example you feel he is tense toward the downward movement so you move to the side and up and he is in your control. From this uncomfortable situation (keep moving him and moving yourself) he has to remember he has arms and legs and use them to escape and affect whoever is in contact with you. You can start this on the ground by moving the head or anything else you like (take his toe and twist it and watch the whole body react) and move toward a higher position to learn to relax the spine more and to remember all of your body and to use it when you are under pressure. Another way to start this is to stand on one leg and receive pushes and pulls from your partner and letting your body relax and find the smallest movement to avoid getting hurt and keep your options open.

Remember people will come to you in all times for things you may or may not be ready for. Our ability to think and change will get us through along with our faith that it is possible.

Place your hands in your pockets and go for a walk. Climb up and down some stairs with your eyes closed and over low fences and hedges. Move over or under rocks and limbs of trees and note to yourself how your body wishes to reach out and make contact and how you manage to find a way to pass even if you are used to using your hands. For example stand before a low fence with sharp or at least uncomfortable tips at the top side and walk it’s length. Find the best place to pass it or change as you go along and slowly move over it using anything but your arms and hands. Remember that nature gives you a chance but once. Do what you can to make it a good one and the rest is in other hands.
Take the up position of the basic push up and with the breath tense and relax each part of you. Go down to the bottom and repeat the drill. Lie on your back and relax and tense and relax each part. Rise to the sit up position and repeat. Lie down and lift your legs overhead and repeat. Stand up and repeat, squat to the bottom and repeat. Notice the differences in the areas that also tense up when you tense and work to relax all the parts which are not in use. This way you will be able work more efficiently and avoid freezing and slowing down when it matters.
Start on the ground and have a friend place a foot on your ankle facing up or make a motions detector (a bell cased in a ball on a string or something to that effect) and put some mass or pressure on it. Now move all your body to find out what you can do without or before you move the pressed bit of you and what can you see or feel if your eyes are closed or you are working in the dark (injury or collapsed structure) move to the other side and do the same and than move a bit up to the shin, knee,thigh,hip sides and center, lower back,stomach,sides of chest, upper back,throat (no jumping),shoulder pits,arms,forearms,wrists,hands and head. Once you do this, do the same for your partner if you have one and feel with your foot or feet as you can press on many points at the same time and travel between them as you wish how you can level using the ground.

work on this in a flat surface first and than on the stairs or anything else you have around.