There are times where training in a school is forbidden or not possible. There are always ways to hone the inner blade as many cultures have shown us before, from adopting agricultural tools into weapons to masking fighting moves in dance and song.
Here I focus on the family unit. Here are twenty drills or games to do by yourself or with the kids to better their attributes and emotional capacity to do good under pressure.
- Take a ball and throw it in the air and catch it again using the same hand. Transition from laying down to standing without stopping movement and breathing.
- Take a ball and throw it to the ceiling and catch it. Throw it again and catch it after turning a full turn in one way and then in the other. Continue to add turns as much as you can and remember to let your eyes time the motion.
- Stand two steps away from a wall and lean on it with one hand. Throw the ball up or bounce it off the floor and switch hands and catch it with the other hand. Continue and if possible, add distance from the wall.
- Place yourself in the push up position while holding a ball in one hand. Roll it toward the hand on the ground and place it to replace the support. Mind the breath to lead each shift in mass.
- Stand two steps away from the wall and throw the ball at the wall and catch it using your arms and body or legs but not the hands. Repeat and see of you can free your hands from the drill altogether.
- Place the ball on the wall and keep it there using the top of your head. Roll it down the body using just the body movements down and up. Think how sails can move a ship sideways from the direction of the wind.
- Throw the ball away from you and see exactly where it is. Close your eyes and retrieve the ball without touching anything other than the ground and the ball.
- Start with one laying down on the ground and one is standing up. Throw the ball between each other as you continuously switch from laying down to standing up. Remember to keep breathing and let the body angle play its course on its own.
- Take two balls and throw them to each other at the same time. Continue to throw them with the rhythm of your breathing and start walking together as you keep throwing the balls with the same tempo.
- Stand together facing the wall. Throw the ball to each other by bouncing it off the wall. Aim to catch it by moving from its path and pulling it to your body with an arm and keep going.
- Stand back to back and move the ball from one to the other around you, above you and and underneath you. Continue to do so and try to surprise each other with the delivery as the other side senses the direction from the body contact.
- Stand five steps from each other with your backs to each other. Any side can start turning and throwing the ball at the other and the other needs to avoid getting hit while hitting back with their ball. Listen to the shift in mass and the change in breath before the move. Listen to yourself first.
- Place the ball on the ground and pass it from one to the other using just one foot at a time. You cannot stop to kick the ball but must move continuously and time the steps so every kick is also a step.
- Stand one step from each other and hold the ball at shoulder level. One drops the ball as the other has to catch it and to step away before being touched by the one who dropped the ball. Here you are allowed to go to the ground, move in any direction as long as you avoid hurting each other. The more we pay attention, the more it pays forward.
Fun games to strengthen and bring more movement awareness to kids and adults with heart
1. The broken cement truck – one person starts transitioning between being on all four limbs facing the ground and facing the skies as one or more use their feet and legs to try to keep him in one of those states.
2. Ground glue – one person brings themselves as close to the ground as possible with all their parts and one or more use their hands to peel them off as they move to maintain contact with the ground.
3. Wave surfing – One moves to pass through a line of people holding hands together as they move to bring him back from whence he came.
4. Medusa – one group or person is moving toward the watcher/medusa. Whenever the watcher hears something, they turn swiftly and if they catch the movement, they get to change places.
Strength makes life easier. We choose paths and follow them. Choose one that makes you strong in all your faculties and take your friends and loved ones with you.
The cost of being weak is heavier…
1. Tie the rope to a tree trunk. Climb the rope from laying down prone and see who can do it faster among your pals. Use only your arms.
2. Lay the rope flat on the ground and tie a kerchief at the middle. Start two people at pulling themselves at each end and see who gets to the middle faster. Try not to get a concussion and use just your arms.
Tie the rope between two trees at
shoulder height. Walk on your hands or fists between the trees with your
legs walking on the rope. Use the rope as little as you can.
4. Loop the rope around the waist, while on your hands and feet, and give the two ends to a partner. Pull them forward and maintain the rope around your waist by turning and twisting your hips and thighs.
Tie the rope to a tree above head
height. Sit down and climb the rope to a standing position and back. Use
the body to create the best angle and mind your elbow angles as well to
the best outcome of use of force
vs use of structure.
- breath hold – Practice pushing a resisting person from A to B while holding your breath. Listen to your body and thoughts as the discomfort builds and let it go. You can add it almost to any drill in various ways. Contact me for more 🙂
- The long exhale – Inhale softly and start exhaling slowly and evenly. Start doing a movement continuously from footwork to contact drills and release your spine and torso as the pressure lowers in your abdomen. This is a great drill for posture and alignment under pressure and will bring you to yourself when the heat rises.
- The fast switch – This is an action reaction drill – breathe and perform a movement and as you are prompted by contact/sound or anything else move straight from inhale to exhale or in reverse and continue to move. This takes the breath taking out of surprise and helps keep transition smoother and smoother.
- The reverse – We tend to speed up beyond what is needed when scared or startled 🙂 Breathe very fast in and out and as you are attacked (in a drill) slow down to normal breathing and continue to move freely. Sometime all it takes to stay calm is to go a little be to the other side.
Train smart so you will not be hit hard.
Drills for elevations of spirit and body must not be dry…
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Games and stories are the best way to teach the young and non walking dead.
Here are a few ways to bring your child more into the moment and show that paying attention pays.
- One more cat – Choose an animal like a cat or an object and see who calls it out faster and in greater amounts. You can have a cat counting contest or a broken pavement contest it matters only that we pay attention. Change what the object is from time to time as the seasons change (red leaf for example) and enjoy the extra awareness.
- What is missing – Take a scene that is well known to everyone and remove one part. See who finds out what it is first and how. For example – take away the favorite picture off the wall and see if it is noticed.
- Color blind – Things change color by season or man action. Note the changes the locals make in their yards and clothes, mark the changes in the leaves and trunk and mark the change in the skies and in the horizons.
- Insects birds cats and dogs – Where you have insects making noises, you will not find birds, where you hear birds, you will not find cats and so on. Listen and predict what animals or people you will find about and learn a mighty lesson on rings of association.
- Echo lines – There is a distance beneath which no echo is heard by us. Guess and match who finds the line of the echo in different places and ranges. There is a lot to learn about the three dimensional nature of waves thus.
- The closing tap – A tune is made out of sound and silence. check who notices when the washing machine has ended its cycle, when do the birds finish their evening calls and gain the full range of the tune.
- The lost ant – Hide a small paper clip inside clothes and see when it is detected, Place a plastic bottle cap under the sheets and see who is the true princess or just place an acorn on the ground and see who chooses to step lightly 🙂 The appreciation to touch goes beyond the fingertips.
- The right key – Take objects that seem similar and close your eyes to pick the right one. It can be keys, clothes and anything that matches, your fingers and mind will connect past the oversight of the eyes and awaken even more.
- The tower – Take very light objects like disposable plastic cups or clean ear cleaning sticks and build towers with them. aim to make them as gentle as possible to better understand the lightest touch.
Many fights and endeavors in life are determined before the actual visible contact begins.
- Our awareness and focus
- Our knowledge of self
- Our ability to know what is important
These can put us in a place where we already won or in a place where we need to dig dip to simply survive.
Here are a few simple attention and focus drills. See how they relate to you and be safe about it. Chosen discomfort is a good teacher, injury is not.
Take two or three friends and stand as a triangle about three steps from each other. (Put on eye protection)
- How to throw a knife – Hold the knife using the handle and have the pointing finger rest on the flat of the blade. Move the elbow and shoulder so the arm ends up pointing straight at the target and let the knife slip from your grasp and fly tip first toward the student of chance.
1. Take one practice knife and throw it from one to another in a set manner, tip first. Have your partner move out of the path of the blade and catch it at the handle.
2. Close one eye and repeat the drill.
3. Repeat the drill but now aim to pass the knife not in a set pattern but aim to surprise the receiver by not showing any tells to the throw. This teacher understanding of body language and eye focus.
4. Walk together in a circle and continue to pass the practice knife between you first in a set manner from A to B to C and then randomly and with the least amount of tells you manage. Avoid using speed as the key ingredient. The learning will diminish if you consider it a game. See all the facets of the diamond.
5. Repeat but with one setting the direction of the walking circle. All must pay attention to the randomly changing direction and the flying practice knife.
6. Take three practice knives and pass them in a set pattern first in one direction and then in the other. Mind to avoid throwing the practice knife while a partner is retrieving a knife that was not caught 🙂 It will happen.
7. Repeat the drill but throw the knives aiming to show the least amount of tells and remember to avoid throwing the knives while some are retrieved as now one can get two knives thrown at them at the same time.
Aim to focus on what matters. First avoid being in the path of the flying knife and let the body movement assist you in catching the knife in the handle. Avoid catching the blade unless you are acting out of necessity and remember to not be where you are attacked.
We tend to over complicate things. Memorize a thousand techniques, Practice the technique ten thousand times and so on.
Here is a simple formula to practice and widen your awareness to what is happening.
1. Location – Simply choose not to be where the attack happens – work with your entire body so you do not end up in a weird stance and choose where you want to be instead of being moved by touch or fear.
2. Angle – Every movement should have some change of angle – It will allow you to maintain freedom of thought by not being stuck to the attack in your mind and allow you to see the entire picture which will allow you to stay within yourself so you do not get sucked into the others intent. Further more – angles allow for less impact or no impact when the body and mind are free.
3. Focus – If you see just the attack – your focus is on it solely. If you see the entire attacker – you are stick stuck though less – If you see yourself and the attacker in the free space – you can make choices that are not just bound by what is happening and shift the outcome without being overly affected by it.
Example – Michael is attacking Ryan with a stick. He is swinging from right to left (common directive) Ryan moves forward to be offset sweet spot of the stick swing and turns his body so he sees the scene instead of being sucked into a part of it. Michael is shifting his swing downward to strike at the feet and Ryan chooses to move into Michael’s body and turn so his elbows augment the stick hold.
In this example there is no technique, only principles at play.
Enjoy the work and keep it free.
Success is not just winning – It is freedom from technique and getting better at being yourself.
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.
I like power. We all do, but power is not the answer against a blade or a verbal attack. One must work consistently on control and thus create a measure of awareness which guides the power and creates the final outcome. Power in impact can reach a point of diminishing return, Grace does not.
Here is a challenge (people like challenges)
Do this straight for 30 days
- Hold a cup of water in your hand with water filling it and almost overflowing. Sit down on your behind and get up 10 times with no contact of arms to the ground and with no spilling of water.
- find a stout round roll like a metal bottle or an actual wood log and stand on it. Teach yourself to walk on the log and take 10 steps forward and 1o back. Make sure you have a way to dis-log safely before you start walking. Falling hard is hard.
- Reach a handstand with your legs resting lightly on a wall. Breathe and move to free stand and note how your body balances and overbalances itself. Focus on your breathing and maintain the hold for 120 breaths. (If this is hard physically, divide it to smaller parts)
The simple stuff is key to reaching grace.
Do this and reap the benefits or better yet, enjoy the work.