A line in the sand

There is a saying that we are treated as worse as we allow.

I want to introduce a few physical examples of this concept but also urge you to consider where this concept comes to life in everyday life and the relationships we hold with family, friends and the powers that be beyond the people.

  1. Distance – Consider the distance we dynamically hold and mold between ourselves and the world. Aim to determine the distance between people and yourself as well as the position you are in, instead of letting others guide, bully, direct and request you at their will. In many ways, the ability to detect being bullied, guided and circled will aid in avoiding being mugged, attacked and so on. Distance is not just physical, it is a manifestation of our state of mind and the way we position ourselves in the social hierarchy.
  2. Breath control – Speaking cannot happen without breathing. Not much else can happen without it either. Notice and mind your breath as you speak and as you move withing distance and action. Avoid letting people taking your breath away by minding your own breath first and staying within the rhythm which suits you. We are either masters or slaves. There is only freedom or servitude unless you find the golden line of true cooperation or dare I say love.
  3. Conflict – Manipulation, subterfuge and plain use of force are evident everywhere in nature. The fight to feed the young, kill the competition and avoid being mud beneath the wheel of time is everlasting. Consider with each interaction, which role we play and to what extent we are in control of the dynamics. We are only human when we act human. It is easy to lose sight of our humanity when pressed and there again, recognizing the pressure, is the key to letting it pass within without passing it on to us.

Art by my beloved Natalia Friedman.

Running

Running a one of the movements humans excel in. Most people do not know we can outrun almost any animal on earth in long distance running and we can carry quite a bit of mass as well.

Getting there from a modern sedentary life is less of a straight line. Several factors require treatment and vigilance to fulfill the genetic gift our predecessors created in a life of hard work, hunting and war.

Let us begin from the bottom and move up.

Feet – Most stomp their feet flatly on the ground due to lack of nature time and footwear. Aim to walk barefoot when possible and to allow the foot to hug the ground. Mobilize the toes and especially the big toe to be a part of the step and to make contact with the ground without force.

The first contact is one of three keys to effortless running. A person has to move all limbs from the center and avoid pushing against the contact as much as possible. This is very simple but not easy. Moving the limbs and legs in particular from the hips and body and only moving the mass to the leg on the ground after the contact has been established and confirmed as safe.

A side note is that once of the earliest signs of a culture is a healed leg bone. Before culture, once you broke your leg, you were dead. a sure step is more vital to our survival than we know.

Stand and slowly peel one foot off the ground by moving your body and hips. Place the foot back on the ground using the same frame of mind and movement and only then, place your mass on it.

Legs and hips – The best way to learn to move your feet on the ground is off the ground. water walking as water polo players practice or hanging on a tree branch we can swing our legs and move our hips easily and without unyielding contact. Practice air or water walking as often as you can and it will translate to a full body movement that goes past pushing and pulling.

Body and head – leaning forward and twisting creates tension and disrupts the movement of the entire body as one when they don’t happen out of purpose. keep the body upright and the sight forward and open to avoid excess tension and to allow the body what it is good at.

Breath – Letting the breath lead action takes both listening and letting go. Allow the breath to be the first movement of each step, the exhale to be the channel where the ground contact ends toward the skies (nothing supernatural here, just continuous movement) and keep the breath incoming and outgoing through the nose.

If you run for fun, run. If you run because you must, look behind you from time to time and see where it brings you.

Risk

There is always risk in a fight and there is a risk in avoidance too.

We choose by making decisions and by postponing them too. Sometimes our decisions are made out of negatives being weighted and sometimes by a higher values such as hope or a need to change for the better.

In mortal combat and in life, we choose all the time. A slave in the dark continent chooses too but his choice is meager compared to another human who grew up in a land of presumed freedom. Choosing freedom is a hard choice because again, it entails a great deal of risk.

Returning to combat, We choose to practice drills. Many of them have rules which limit the freedom and possibilities of the outcome and the outcome is what matters.

The more freedom we have, the more risk we must undertake and here is the line. Will we choose freedom now and may or may not survive or do we choose the momentary safety of self limitation and end up in a slow decline.

Take risks daily. Small risk, medium risks but those that lead somewhere or at least have a trajectory. There is a reason why a horse pulling a carriage has blinders. He is not going anywhere by his own volition.

Drills:

  1. Breathe – Take a breath before making a decision you make daily – choose to alter your action by a bit. Wear your shoes differently, take another route to work, Speak to a stranger that you see on the way to the monkey bars, choose to exercise instead of watching a video of someone else moving…
  2. Sight – Look at your day differently, what is dangerous in your day because of your choices ? Do you choose to eat something that will take you from your family before your time comes ? Do you practice being comfortable in your body ? Do you know how to speak in a convincing manner ? Do you know how to write and how to read ? Simple questions deserve to be answered daily? In the martial sense : Why do you choose the drills you do and what do they grant you ? Where are you destined in the martial pursuit ?
  3. Contact – Humans die without contact. Sometimes the body keeps living but the heart dies. Make contact with your loved ones on a daily basis when possible and engage with your surrounding so that every day you know more about the people around you and yourself. Otherwise. Read Alice through the looking glass.
  4. Null – Take something you care not for in your life and remove it from your day. Stop complaining and take small actions toward your freedom. Make your future self smile and laugh and don’t wait for him to laugh. Laughter is a powerful weapon and it can lead to understanding self governess. Be the one who decides when to say NO, not today, no more.

10,000

The only one that cares about the effort it took to get where we are is us 🙂

Nobody else really cares.

The shortest path between two points of learning is not to grind repetition after repetition or using effort and resistance.

The shortest path is that of deep learning. 1o,000 repetitions of a sword stroke, a roll, a strike or a choke are nothing but honing a position in time. Good for conditioning and great for building spirit but they are not advancement in skill. 10,000 slightly different repetitions of a direction or getting from A to B are accumulated learning and as such serve as a force multiplier or in economics as a compound interest where every repetitions amount to more than what it is and serves as a learning moment.

We will most likely not have those 10,000 repetitions one after the other. Many will just be empty or at the same place we were yesterday, but the aim to make each repetition, unique in some way. That is what makes us excel over time and see more than what our yesterday eyes could.

Be different constantly and enjoy the moments of joy in learning.

The blood flows either way, why not learn during the ins and outs of our breath.

Stiff Mobility

One of the best ways to find your way around the mountain is to walk around it. This time, we will use the stick to release stiffness in the body and in the mind.

For these ten movements you will need a sturdy shaft that reaches from the ground to your chest at least. I have used a hoe shaft for years and it serves me and my students well.

video and further instruction is at my online classes and online free videos.

  1. Hold the stick in both ends in front of you. Sit down and pass both feet past the stick and roll over the shoulder to lie on your stomach and back to a standing position.
  2. Sit on your knees with the stick held in both ends. Roll forward while keeping the stick to your side.
  3. Sit on your knees with the stick held in both ends. Roll forward while keeping the stick ahead of you at the front.
  4. Sit on your knees and roll to each side at a time with the stick held in both ends and keep the stick from touching the ground.
  5. Hold the stick in one hand aimed at the skies. Transition from standing to laying down and switch hands during the transition as you switch from inhale to exhale.
  6. Hold the stick in the crooks of your bent elbows. Roll forward and backwards. Breathe and use the shoulders and hips alignment to move freely.
  7. Hold the stick in the crooks of your bend elbows. Lie on your back and transition from laying face up to face down, without letting the stick touch the ground.
  8. Hold the stick in the bend of your neck and chest. Transition between laying on your back and standing up and aim to keep the shoulder blades and shoulders as relaxed as possible.
  9. Hold the stick in the bend of your bent knees. Transition between laying face up and face down without lifting the torso off the ground. Find which angles work for you between the hips and spine.
  10. Hold the stick in one hand and against the top of the opposite foot. Transition between Standing and sitting down. without lifting both legs off the ground.

Smile and enjoy the work.

ransuru@yahoo.com

The size of your heart

We can only do what we attempt and believe we can do.

How do we free space in our heads and hearts for new thoughts and beliefs?

Begin by walking calmly and paying attention to your thoughts and emotions. Start Inhaling on one step and exhaling on the next. As you are relaxed in this state and need not invest attention to maintaining it, add a step to both phases (inhale, exhale) and repeat until you reach your current limit of X steps per inhale and the same for exhale. Once there, Go down one step and then up again and then, add two steps at the same time and press the number of steps upwards until all you can do is breath and walk.

This will clear your head from outside thoughts and allow the heart to reset and release emotion that was held inside and not moving anywhere.

The simplicity of this work is deceiving and this is just the first stage.

Much more is hidden in plain sight.

There is no self without solitude

I love movement and awareness but it is all for nothing if the thoughts and feeling running through the brain and the endocrine are not out own.

It is easy to follow and even easier to drift in the current. The best medicine for that is to climb on a rock in the stream and be by ourselves.

Here are seven methods of reaching some solitude in the sea of repeating devices.

  1. Choose why you get out of bed in the morning each morning. A schedule is nice but a life of purpose is actually living.
  2. Choose your words. It is easy to repeat and costly in mental energy to re-frame a situation and statements but very worthwhile in the long run.
  3. Choose your companions by their actions and not by their words. A funny person is nice to have around, a solid guy is a difference in quality.
  4. Justify your actions to yourself on a constant basis. Having a session of self critique is extremely valuable to see shifting off course and also finding good ways to better our methods and choose what is truly good for us.
  5. Reduce the clutter in your belongings and in your mind by removing what does not aid in your prosperity on a regular basis. An example of this would be to clear your schedule from watching videos which do not help you learn or update skills and to remove from your abode, that which sees no use or serves no purpose.
  6. Spend time in silence. Listening to our thoughts and listening without waiting for our turn to talk is an eye and mind opening experience. Learning to listen is a skill worth investing in and it opens us to think without
  7. Choose something new. Repetition is king in honing but choosing change and alterations is a must in growth.

Books to build character.

A mans substance can be felt and though flash and pose is shiny, it is not lasting.

Books to build character:

  1. Beyond Band of Brothers by Richard Winters.
  2. The Doctor and the Soul by Victor Frankl
  3. Westward the Tide by Louis L’Amour
  4. Inside Delta Force by Eric Haney
  5. Maps of meaning by Jordan Paterson
  6. The Dichotomy of Leadership by Jocko Willink
  7. The Ashley Book of Knots by Clifford Ashley
  8. Write your own book by you…

A single idea can change your life. Each of these books has many ideas that can alter the course of time in your life. Invest wisely.

Avoid the Void

Cutting something off or trying to stop a behavior usually does not work out smoothly. The reason to that is we subtract without addition and thus create a void in our, movement, thoughts and feelings

One way to remove the unwanted habit or trait without creating a void is to replace it consciously with another.

Examples:

  1. Every time a craving for a food arrives, we do some pushups or any movement that fits. This one works very fast.
  2. every time a flinch out of fear happens, repeat the situation but focus on breath continuation and chosen movement. This one takes its time.
  3. Every time a dark thought comes along, Instead of dwelling on it, raise the thought of what can I learn from this ? This one is a deep change method. Replacing patterns of thought inside us with others is a true metamorphosis, capable of incredible shifts:

Change “I don’t know how to do this” to “Lets see how we start”

Change”That is too hard for me” to “What out of this I can do now and grow from it”

Change”I can‘t fix that” to “”What can I learn from this”

Change”This really is terrible and frustrating” to “If I don’t like it, what am I doing to change it”

Physically: “I don’t know how to get out of that hold” to “Where in my body I am free”

Physically “I am fatigued, I am lost” to “Just continue to breathe and move with whatever comes”

Change is constant but its direction is not. Make your change aware and make it yours.