Notes from Class: levers holds And joint manipulation

There are countless holds levers and ways to manipulate the joints. There are however a few ways to play with the body to bring our  innate knowledge into awareness. That way we are able to create those on the move and without trying to force one way over the other.

Principles for the play:

  1. Our bodies and movement are not perfect – there are always openings and vectors unnoticed and unmanaged in any given moment. Use what is there instead of trying to force a method you envision in your mind.
  2. Keep the far away goal in mind instead of the pathway you see in your mind. Your thoughts are possibilities. Let them go if they do not serve the moment.
  3. Placing a focus on the contact dissolves the connection to self. Move yourself from the center outward and each part freely and avoid using the contact as support. Each time we push and pull, we lean and remove our freedom of movement.
  4. See yourself and see your contact as one. We have the same body with little changes here and there. We work the same way and what is comfortable or uncomfortable to you is mostly the same to others. Know yourself and you know the other.
  5. Keep in mind that we do not know everything. Is there a knife ? Are there others in the engagement ? When is it over ? Ask yourself questions and know the value beyond looking for the answer.

Games to bring the natural awareness to the surface:

  1. Hold each others wrist and transition continuously from the ground to standing and back. Change who leads the movement and after a while have one move to get up as the other moves to go down.  This game with changing holding locations on the body or with the use of rope or stick will teach a lot of fluidity in getting somewhere without fighting over position.
  2. Hold a hand or fist on your partner and have them tense a part of their bodies away from the contact. Push or pull and have them relax that pat and keep moving. Place with your hand placement and body part tensed to bring to the forefront the awareness to tension release freedom and continuous motion. You must play your own game within the whole.
  3. Hold your partners wrist and start turning your own body. let your movement transfer to your partner without relying on twisting the contact point to allow whole movement to manifest. Repeat the game for the ankle and move up the limbs with care to keep learning and avoid trying to succeed.
  4. Hold your partners wrist and move your body up and down and turning to use it as the second point of contact to change the angles and press/twist of the joints. Make sure you are seeing the complete person and move with them instead of trying to control them. Go up and down all limbs with this game and see how you fare both on the ground and off.
  5. Have your partner hold you tight. Breathe and release the natural resistance to the hold and move your entire frame to use the others hold on you to play on your terms.

Avoid fast movement when not needed. Learning is about understanding and knowing, not about posturing as something we are not. Let the speed come to you.

Learning to use the legs

A series of drills to aid the student in learning to use the lower limbs. Remember we are all the same. We all walk crawl sit and get up. nothing needs inventing.

1. Place your hands relaxed on your lower back to feel when you are over tensing it and start sitting down and getting up with the breath leading movement. If you have a partner have him hug you and fall to the ground when he sees a lack of attention in you and you continue to breathe and move.

2. Have your partner hug you and stand still and stiff as you try to sit down and get up. As you try to sit down he tries to stay up and in reverse on the way up. Keep breathing and see how your movements can affect all of his movement and not only where there is contact.

3. Close your eyes and stand still. Have your partner come to hug you and as you feel the contact coming move to avoid the closing of the arms around you with your body movement placing and leg movement.

4. Walk freely as one or more try to close their arms around you. Use your body movement first and your legs second in avoiding and when the arms close around you continue to move. Place the importance in the lessons from the drill and not in the drill itself. A key is nothing without a door to open. < Yes I do sound like a fortune cookie

5.  Lie on the ground and move with your body and legs to bring to the ground a standing partner. Avoid pressing and pulling with the legs and start the movement from the body.

6. Have a partner walk around as you move on the ground with the intention to roll under him and to bring him down to the ground. Take care to avoid harming yourself in the process.

7. Have a partner come and grab you in some way as you stand with your eyes closed. Start moving with the direction of his contact and bring him to the ground using only body movement and your legs.

Keep breathing and avoid the snakes in the grass. Sometimes your eyes are the crutch you depend on. Open yourself to all your senses.

leg freedom Three drills

1 Solo work: Stand on one leg and draw the numbers from 1 to 20 and than erase them backwards (in reverse) with one end of your foot and than with the other. Do the same with your knee and with the other leg. Change positions at will with the ground leg as it aid in no way to create discomfort in yourself.

2 Solo work: lie on the ground and relax your upper body. Use your legs and waist alone to move your body from X to Y and to turn and direct yourself this way and the next.

3 Partner work: look forward and up and and stand in a slight angle to your partner. as he moves move to place your foot where he intended to place his and offering no resistance add a sideways movement to his leg letting his structure collapse. after a while doing this drill have your partner stand behind you and use your breathing to clean the anticipation from your body and mind. Have your partner touch your legs with his without any pressure and once in a while have him place all his mass on the contact by lifting his other leg allowing you to experience a lot of resistance to your current structure. keep breathing and allow all your body to move blending with and directing the force given by your partner so you are less affected and escape without braking contact with him. Repeat this drill until you can move without tensing up and control the situation without letting the first contact raise your tension levels. Keep breathing and relax your eyes.

Take a knife and gently push it into your body. Relax your hips and roll to avoid the stab and as you go down hit the partner or where it should be to defend yourself. Get back up and check where your eyes are pointing and repeat. If you have a partner to do this with it will be better so if you don’t have a systema partner have your wife or kid push a pen into your flesh and if you don’t move relaxed have her line you in blue or red Innocent (do avoid hitting the wife and child, a tickle is just as good in this case since you have to place your hand relaxed to land the desired result)

Another solo or partner drill is to take a stick and sweep it through your legs. Lift the leg closer to it and move your body to blend with it and to control it. Remember that if you stay in place you are following his lead and not avoiding the fist. Remember to land soft on hard on this one or learn through the work…