Choose wisely

We are raised with a set of beliefs we are supposed to operate by and thus succeed in being a part of current society and maintain the status qua. Let’s ask a few questions and see where that leads us as people  instead of cogs in the grand machine. There is a beginning and an… Read More Choose wisely

The stick crawl

Take a sturdy stick and ten paces of clear ground. Crawl back and forth using these variations to clear tension and build good movement all over. Guidelines: Keep breathing. Let the breath make the pace of movement Relax your eyes. Let yourself see what your body is showing you. Avoid making noise. Noise is garbage… Read More The stick crawl

Hitting is very important in survival and for the spirit. It helps us control and guide the structure and focus of partners and attackers and in practice it helps us clean ourselves of self pity and fear. Hitting can be done using almost all of the body so we must address it as movement because once we give something a name and specific description it stops to grow and evolve.


 

Drills for better (not just stronger) hitting:

 

Relaxation-alignment:

 

Take a wall or a standing person and walk up and down his body or height using your feet or fists. Let the breath lead each move and keep your body aligned so you can breath well (lungs are aligned and not compressed) and the head is free to move so the body is free to move as it follows the eyes on the most part. Do this with eyes closed as well to learn to listen to the body. Do this also with the ground or with a person prone on the ground and have him tense and relax his muscles on the point of contact so you learn to stay relaxed and move even when the contact is with tension.

 

Stay in the static push up for ten minutes and inhale the created tension up and exhale it out. Once this is done, start to move the limbs with the breath and the natural movement of the body and walk on fists and feet while the body is aligned. Add to this very slow movement so you learn to pay attention to any and every point of tension in your body and dynamically clean it out.

 

Have a partner prone on the ground and you place your fists or feet or knees (you get the point) on him and your other end on the ground and using this contact you let the contact sink in and find the easiest direction and tension to roll him on the ground. Do this forward and backwards and as always let the breath lead.

 

Stand on one leg and close your eyes. Have people come at you to push you and hit you and you have to push them away and than down and avoid getting hurt as possible.

 

Stand at a comfortable distance from a partner and place your fist or leg on him. Move and let another limb or body part find the way to the partner and touch him without support (leaning on him or tension in the contact or change of your alignment in order to maintain distance from him out of fear) only once the second contact is there will you release the first and so on around your partner to the right and to the left. You can do the same for a concrete pillar if you don’t have a partner. Have him slap the top of your head if you leave him altogether. You keep in contact with him to feel his intention and movement and survive and control his spirit and remember that hitting is a three way deal. You contact his body, his intellect and his spirit.

 

Have a partner prone on the ground and place yourself on him (it will be easier if you start in a cross shape). Start rolling on him up and down using just your body and legs to move and letting the breath lead and after a while add your arms and shoulders as a natural part of the movement in hitting your partner on the ground. Avoid creating a static placement of your body such as stopping to look and than hitting. You stop moving you stop living.

 

Stand behind a partner and push his body forward and have him use the movement to move his body and hit your arms and legs and body by letting his body relax and send the limbs naturally to survive. (You are pushed in the back of the left shoulder so you let it move forward and the right elbow moves up and back to help the pusher think of himself rather than about you)

 

Stand out of reach of your partner and when you are both ready come within contact distance and hit each other once as you keep moving. Come closer again and hit twice and so on to ten and back to one. Remember to keep moving and relax your eyes so you can see all the free space for you to move through rather than just the legs and arms moving toward you. Keep yourself aligned and let the walking do the talking rather than bending to reach from a non comfortable distance. Keep your face relaxed and your mouth closed so the jaw stays in place.

 

Stand or squat a bit and have people come at you either with fists or just using their bodies. Bring out an arm or a leg to contact them and let the contact be relaxed so you are able to feel their movement and from that release you will be able to guide them past you without hitting you. Afterwards add a downward direction by letting the contact sink in that direction. (When you wish to direct downward from the contact remember that both bodies are in motion and that there is an opening. You just have to be relaxed enough to sense it.)

 

Have a partner walk at you and time your movement to hit him with his walking or running so you can sink in the direction where he has less support. Support means where he is less dense (Density as a combination of awareness and dynamic control of tension and alignment) and supported by his structure.

 

Place your arm on your partner arm and use your tension and movement to guide his body toward a goal. Work on having tension only where it is needed by using the least amount of movement and by directing the tension into your partner. (If you need to guide a knife hand that comes to your stomach then you move your body to the side and your forearm moves up as it is already rotated from the body and than you can stay relaxed and feel where his body is open and guide his entire body and survive.)

 

Breath-awareness

 

Sit/stand/prone and breathe naturally. Feel where your alignment is tensed up in holding you in an uncomfortable shape such as a tensed up lower back and inhale while you direct the pressure (fullness as a combination of dynamic tension awareness and control and the right alignment to afford good breathing and movement) from the diaphragm toward this location to clean out the need for muscle tension to keep the pose. Once the alignment is more relaxed and moving/breathing which are the same is freer you repeat the process for other locations and remember that something caused this so think what you are doing to create this in the first place. You can only control others after you have some control over yourself.  

 

Place your fist or hand on a partner and feel his breathing. Practice pushing on each stage of the breath individually and note your own breath sync with his or his with yours. Later on feel the pulse and hit on it or between beats. Continue to do this without touching but by listening and seeing first yourself and than your partner.

 

Do the four basics drills with the addition of walking with fists (let the fists move naturally as a part of the movement of the body) and sitting down and getting up (no hands) extra slowly by increasing the number of breaths you take to go through it. Start with one full breath or inhale/exhale and climb all the way to sixty and down again or start and sixty and climb down and up. This will bring out all the tension in you and give you a way to clean it out. Furthermore if you find yourself tensed simply guide the breath to this area (s) to let the breath move you and find release and a new way to move.

 

Take a whip (Vladimir and Mikhail have great whips) and start to hit yourself gently and increasing the impact very slowly. Breathe the tension and pain out and let the body move to survive if you need to. You need to clean yourself of tension fear and self pity regularly to be able to direct it into others. A surgeon who uses clean instruments and dirty hands cannot do his job. Look at yourself honestly and you will always find something to work on.

 

Stand and start to count your heart beats. Hold your breath at the end of the exhale (or any other part of the breath) and work on relaxing yourself and moving to guide the building tension out of you. Do this several times with increasing your ease of accepting this discomfort and let the relaxation this brings affect your movement. (This of course applies to all the basics drill and to life. Do relaxed push ups while exhaling over twenty heart beats and so on.)

 

This is just a very short list of drills for better hitting but the best one is to meet Vladimir and Mikhail and learn from them and learn on your own from their DVDs Instructors and your own time. Nothing replaces a hit from Mikhail in helping a student learn humility and from there the road is clear to doing good work.

 

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This is a fun drill for three. One lies on the ground  and the others step on him on either side. First they change places with their eyes open and than again with their eyes closed. Next you change places without touching each other with your eyes open and than again with your eyes closed. Add to this a stick held by both or a stick held by each of them and you will find many ways to learn relaxation and awareness works. Have them advance backwards or sideways. Let them work with one tensed leg or out outstretched arm and let the solution present itself. Life is about living and winning is an option. Surviving is not.

This is an excellent drill for a father with two kids.
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