Being in the water is a natural experience. We’ve all spend months in liquid and returning to it is second nature.
Standing neck deep in water is relaxing and can be challenging in the right mindset and conditions. If the temperature is low, then the body needs to contend with the elements and the blood flow and heat generation is getting a workout. If the temperature is mild, the body can receive the same by swimming and diving.
One of the great things in water is they resist all movement and give instant feedback. Clap your hands in front and clap them behind you and feel the water resistance to the movement. Try to do this faster and faster and the water will respond in kind.
Kick with your feet and strike with your arms. Roll and turn, switch positions and height. Shadow fight slow and then faster and faster and you will get a great lesson in movement efficiency and your entire body will learn to move more as one unit and forgo excessive tension and movement.
Breathing wise. When the temperature is low. Direct your breath into the places that warm your body. The locations are slightly different for each person so note where your body is warmer in cold environments and study yourself. This is a focus drill of course and through that, you learn to direct and use your nervous system and visualization to generate actual heat.
Also, Just enjoy the water and watch out for gators 🙂
Moving into the attack with softness means you do not meet force with force but force with movement. Trying to take the attack on our frame exposes ups to cuts, stabs and control. Adding to the movement keeps us free.
Do not limit the application to physical contact 🙂
Watching strength is inspiring. After all, most of the time we have the same parts as the strong man or acrobat 🙂 Here is a simple method to become stronger in degrees. Something that requires almost no tools and can be used for many people in many conditions and levels of movement.
Let’s take the simple push up for example. Some people can do many and some can do only a few. With a simple switch of angle you can hone your movement awareness, joint health and power.
Stand a step away from the wall and place your hand or hands (hint, hint) on the wall. Relax your body but keep it straight and do push ups at this tiny angle and subsequently little pressure. To most this will be a warm up or a joint movement but to some this can be a stage to greater strength from wherever they are. Even a strong athlete can be weak as a baby after an injury or disease and having steps to climb, allows you to progress instead of finding yourself at a dead end.
Now you slowly increase the angle you do pushups or one handed pushups at and in time reach the ground where you perform the classic pushup.
Then you can move a step or angle further and start lifting your legs up on a stool and then the wall or chair at growing angles until you perform handstand push ups 🙂
Sometimes giving yourself small steps to climb instead of looking at a mountain from afar will allow you to progress instead of getting stuck. The same goes for being stuck in a hold by a stronger opponent or another problem in life. Playing with small moves will lead to less injury and more ability to develop the situation and above all: When you do something, you cannot be overwhelmed or crushed by it.
Be strong at an angle. Teach your children to take steps toward their freedom without letting fear command a jump and loss of control.
The body works as we move it. Our idea becomes movement and our input decides the amount of resistance we have for the work.
Begin standing with your feet under you. Relax from the hips down and place your fists on the ground beside your legs. Move your body from your hips to place the fists in a movement walking forward until your body is in the superman position and back several times paying attention to letting the breath lead and avoid trying to move the body from the arm but moving the arm from the body. Only use as little tension as needed to keep your desired shape for that breath and no more but no less.
Repeat the drill but no from the shoulders start the movement of lifting each leg at a time and moving in a walking motion again to the superman position and back several times. It is easy to rely on muscles and contact. Rely on your breath and move the limbs from the body.
To master yourself you must do a little each day. One cannot drink the ocean but you can swim it.
Tension is a form of movement in stasis
Lie on the ground with a partner at arm’s length and have him push you with one hand. Move with the direction of the push and add to this by using your body to turn and twist him. For example if you are both on your backs and he places and pushes your chest you place your hand over his and lift the other side of the chest letting his hand sink and in the same time turn so he is controlled and twisted facing down.
Work on this with awareness. If you are not relaxed you will not feel what you have and jump to false conclusions.
Take a stick or a sword and at least two friends and in an open space or work slowly. Now have your partners come to grab and hit you and your job is to keep them away with your movement and the stick. The idea is to learn to keep moving in a way that helps you be aware to more around you and to keep the movement relaxed and minimal by moving from the body. Things to look at are the tension in your face and in your hands (means you are focusing on the outside and moving from the hands and not from the body), relaxed breathing and your walking (if you jump, cross your legs or move erratically it means you are controlled and your movement is not your own)
Start by standing in a comfortable distance from a wall or your partner and place your fist on him/it. Now as your body is aligned and comfortable do a one arm push up on the support and place your other hand on the support. Do push ups as you go around the support and work so the wrist is relaxed as possible and the movement come from the elbow first and than from the shoulder. Have the partner do the same for you or hold onto a door frame or a tree or some support and lean away from it in the same manner. Notice to the support you have to introduce in order to stay aligned and lead it to the sky or to ground in order to allow it to move through you without harm.
Progress to someone walking towards you and you placing your fist on him and redirecting him. Notice how you lift your hand and remember to let the breathe lead you when possible. It is good to do some work without breathing so the body will know it is possible.
Move to hitting your partner as he moves away with the body aligned as much as he can and placing his hand on you and either pushing or pulling (think how the bodies move and how you can stay moving) Do this for a while and than do a few push ups and sit ups to relax.
Now have a partner hit you and you move with the body to let the strike slide next to you and add one arm to press the arm to you or just using the arm. Avoid moving too fast out of fear. Relax and remember to survive first. Use only one hand for a while as your partner uses both arms and learn to move from difficult situations. Your partner will learn to strike from all situations.
After you do this for a while and so has your partner join the drills and have him strike and you capture the arm with one hand and place and either push or pull with the other. You can also hit with the one arm and don’t limit yourself to the common strikes. You can for example slide the coming arm overhead and continue the level with the opposite shoulder and lower your hand open to the neck or groin of your partner. Find your way.