Our bodies are equipped with countless hidden gauges, providing us with critical information on our well being. All too often we ignore them. Imagine a race car driver ignoring his speedometer and tachometer - instruments vital to the success and safe operation of his vehicle. Ignoring them would not fare well for the driver and vehicle.
I often see people ignoring they’re bodies speedometer and tachometer while training. This results in sloppy and careless work, while also leaving them out of breath.
Watch the hands and feet of those that have mastered this system - they are in complete control of their speed, power and breathing. There are many simple things you can do to start to build this awareness and understanding for yourself.
How to begin...
1. Sit or lie quietly with your eyes closed.
2. Inhale through your nose and make your body completely (100%) tense for 10 seconds. Exhale through your mouth and make you body completely (100%) relaxed for 10 seconds.
3. Inhale through your nose and make your body (50%) tense for 10 seconds. Exhale through your mouth and make you body (50%) relaxed for 10 seconds.
4. Inhale through your nose and make your body (25%) tense for 10 seconds. Exhale through your mouth and make you body (25%) relaxed for 10 seconds.
5. Repeat with push-ups, squats, leg / body raises.
* Similar things can be done with speed and breathing, just remember to stay focused on what you are developing. It becomes easy to cheat so have a friend watch you or videotape yourself.
When you’re ready, apply this during training.
1. As your partner grabs, punches, kicks or stabs – Use a 100% of your effort to put them down. Be careful.
2. As your partner grabs, punches, kicks or stabs – Use 50% of your effort to put them down.
3. As your partner grabs, punches, kicks or stabs – Use 25% of your effort to put them down.
* Feedback is critical, so talk to your partners. Ask them if they felt any difference in the work? Look at the difference in your partners reactions? Look at the difference in you reacted?
What I find useful with this work:
1. It allows me to explore one of the key principles in Systema; ‘Using the least amount of effort to control a situation’. By working with minimal effort it allows me to limit the disturbance and irritation to my own and partners psyche.
2. Gives me the option of hiding my abilities; something that you might find necessary in certain situations.
3. It allows me to focus on what needs to be done rather than what I want to do.
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