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.

Swim with the sharks

All the power in our bodies come out once punctured well. It is well illustrated in a crowd where we cannot pay attention to all individuals and must swim in streams of perceptions and assumptions.

We can grow as people from accepting and moving from this feeling of a small fish in the ocean. Step by step, we can open ourselves to our senses and clean our mind to work better in the great ocean of mankind.

 

  1. Walk in a crowd and notice anyone carrying a bag or parcel. Once you are overwhelmed with quantity, create a sphere around you and try to see what is the size of sphere you can manage work this within. Change the rule of attention from time to time to clear your head from stiffness.
  2. Walk in a crowd and notice anyone lacking a hat or any other item. Once you are overwhelmed with quantity, create a wide beam  in front of you and try to see what is the size of beam you can manage to work this within.
  3. Walk in a crowd and notice people headed for each other. Estimate where they meet and where they will go from their meeting place. Airports are both good and bad for this play J
  4. Walk in a crowd and notice who is positive and who is negative in the crowd. Notice the general temperature of the crowd according to the composition and the direction it is going. Listen to your senses that tell you to stay or go in the location. They rely on airborne hormones, sight, smell and much more.
  5. Walk in a crowd and notice the pattern of the moving people. See who is going somewhere and who is pacing or walking around waiting or lurking. Note where you line up in that perspective and who gives you more than a glance.
  6. Walk in a crowd and do nothing special. Walk aimlessly and listen to your pulse and breath. switch from self attention to outer attention and notice how you accept and acclimate to the change. The change itself is a gate you can recognize outside of yourself as well.
  7. Walk in a crowd and notice who is looking or listening to you. Mind reflective surfaces to look without creating line of sight and listen to the tempo of people walking. Do they change as you change ?

 

Step by step, we climb the stairs. Enjoy the road. There is no end to the climb.

Notes from Class: Letting yourself in

Boom Boom Boom is what we expect from a fight scene in a movie or even a knife fight. There is a reason historical swords and harness (plate and shield) are lighter than what we use today. In a fight it is about letting yourself in without letting yourself get hammered.

Begin with giving permission to be touched. We must be aware of the fear and flinch in order to ride this wave and use it to our advantage.

  1. Place a finger on your partners head and push. Have them collapse their structure from their knees and pay attention to how they do it. Make sure to have them collapse in different direction and from both legs and not just one preferred modus operandi. Make sure they allow their bodies to move instead of falling like a log.
  2. Place the blade of the hand on the neck of your partner and push down and up and side to side. Have them collapse while keeping their horizon (eye focus and internal horizon) free to move while in contact. Maintain as before the focus to help your partner be free from being a follower. Make choices on the go.
  3. Hold onto your partner using two points of contact. Have them tense the entire body against the hold to feel the coil of tension and on the second breath release the coil and move the body in semi collapse toward the partner. Move within the movement of the hold and bring the partner down using just movement. Consider you have 76 more people attacking you so do not waste your energy.

Continue with giving yourself permission to keep moving.

  1. Breathe and move your hips in a pattern. Have your partner engage you and focus on letting each movement come from this preexisting movement. You are always in continuous if you are aware that you are alive, breathing and moving.
  2. Repeat the work, only now move your shoulders in a pattern.
  3. Repeat the work, only now move your head in a pattern.

Enjoy the melee. Join in combat with a clean mind and an open heart. You will not always win but you may learn.

Notes from Class: Continuity

Here is a progression of games to play. They come to bring to light the virtue of continuity and as a quality to change your encounters from collisions to freedom within the meelee.

 

  1. Have a partner place a fist or foot on you. Tense and then relax your frame to achieve two goals. First to let go of the vector the contact is leaning toward and second to drape yourself withing the contact movement. This means you allow your shape to move without stopping withing the shape your contact has at the moment.
  2. Have a partner place a fist or foot on you. Relax toward them without moving them and drape your body over them with this in mind. Start each try with either shoulder or hip so you create an array of momentary solutions to each contact and build your inner constelation of awareness. From awareness you can make a key for the door instead of trying to break down the door.
  3. Have a partner push you continously as you move with them and maintain as much contact as you can with them. Make sure your eyes are relaxed from fixating on the horizon and allow your spine to move without forcing it to keep a line.
  4. Have a partner engage and push and pull on you as you walk from A to B. Relax on the move so your partner cannot distract you from your heading. Increase the contact to body pushes and holds as you move and relax your spine to keep moving without bracing against the push pull contact.
  5. Have your partner hold you by some way (neck, arm, eyelashes or belt ). Avoid getting out of the hold and instead use it to relax your body so you bring both of you to the ground. Do not go limp. Do not stop looking and play dead. Move continously and sink instead of using your wight as an excuse to not do the work.

 

Relaxing means : moving without excess tension. It does not mean you get to expect going limp will do the work for you.  Try it out.

Fist ups

Let’s have some practical fun while gaining deeper awareness health and ability.

 

  1. Stand and have a partner place a fist on your stomach. Exhale and relax your frame to drape over the fist and rise up with your inhale. Repeat while reversing your breath and for different angles and locations on your front.
  2. Stand and turn your back to your partner. Repeat the drill you worked on your front and release your horizon perception so your body does not go into a tension isolation over a fixed plane (don’t try to imitate an ostrich or a European politician)
  3. Stand with your side to your partner and repeat the drill.
  4. Have your partner lie down and repeat the drill starting on all four limbs facing down and then facing up.
  5. Have your partner walk around you and push their fists into you. Use the breath phase you are in to release your frame and bounce back to push the fist out and away. Focus on moving from your hips and shoulders and directing the fist out in different directions. This will develop the inner awareness to movement generation and manifest in every movement you make.

 

Note. You can do most of the work by yourself with a sturdy stick and a corner to anchor one side of the stick. Make sure you work gradually and avoid  harming yourself.

Notes from class: Horizons

We walk and look in lines as we are taught. We naturally walk and see in arches and the hold the horizon and gravity has on us amounts to a great lever on our movement.

Here are a series of plays to release the hold we manifest from our perception of the horizon and gravity. Let yourself move. Movement is the cure.

1. Stand a comfortable distance from each other and throw a short stick between yourselves. You can receive and send the stick only by moving from the trajectory and pressing the stick to your body with a limb or two. You cannot use your hands and thus you are freed to bend twist and move continuously. Less is more in many cases.
2. Lie down and have a partner stand over you.  Have them stomp on you or press the end of a stick to your body as you repeat the movement from the previous play.
3. Have your partner strike you twice with his upper limbs. Move along the arches of their movement and use your initial movement to press their limb to your body and keep moving.
4. Add a lower limb strike to the previous play and now pay attention to your feet. Allow your mass to move from the front to the back of the foot and from side to side. Let the contact slide on you by the quality of your body awareness. All technique is, is a key to one door. Be the key maker.
5. Add a hold to the beginning of the previous play. Moving from a hold is many times a matter of inner levers.  If a rope is held in one point and twisted, It will move in the air and stay untwisted.  We must release the hold of the earth and move with our spine and heart free from resistance. Acceptance is freedom.

Acceptance is not giving up though. It is participating in the great game instead of trying to cheat in the moment.