The stick is one of the all-time great training tools available. Its genius is in its simplicity, like all good things! Below, I have outlined some basic stick drills that I often use to help me through those training plateaus.
Just remember, the stick is a tool/weapon that does not lie, what ever it did is because you gave it the direction.
Warm-up with a stick:
Begin by hold the stick in one or two hands and rub it all over your body. Rub hard enough to feel some friction but not enough to cause pain.
Once again hold the stick in one or two hands and this time tap the body lightly. Tap lightly enough to feel contact but not enough to cause sharp pain.
* These are two great ways to warm-up the body and increase sensitivity!
Rolls with a stick:
Put a stick through your t-shirt from arm to arm - resembling a scarecrow. Now start to roll slowly.
Put a stick down you pant leg. Start to roll. Once again I recommend going slowly.
Lay a stick on the ground and slowly roll across it (backwards and forwards).
* These are three great ways to develop rolls on uneven surfaces.
Hold the stick in the hand and begin to swing it around the body. .
Hold the stick in the crux of your elbow and begin to swing it around your body. Use only your elbows to handle the stick and not your hands.
Hold the stick in your hands and begin to use your legs to swing the stick around.
* There is no right or wrong way, just don't let the stick stop or hit you. Let the body become light and follow the movements of the stick.
Training with a partner:
Have one person swing the stick, while the other moves from the line without contact. Increase the speed as your partners' confidence grows.
Again with one person swinging the stick, the other takes the strike on the body as softly as possible. You can still move but the idea is to study absorbing strikes. Focus on letting the stick hit tissue not bones and increasing the surface area that comes into contact with the stick to dissipate some of its force.
Each person should now have a stick. One person swings the stick towards the other. The second person should use his stick to redirect the oncoming stick. You can use large or small movements to redirect.
Strike each other with a stick. Hit fleshy areas like the chest, stomach, thighs, butt or hamstrings, avoid bones. This is not body forging and should not be done everyday. Take the pain of the strike away with your breath.
* In the above exercises, the body should be light and follow through each movement. Don't hold them onto yourself.
Remember to always be alert as the stick can change directions suddenly and quickly. The whole body can act as a fulcrum or just parts of it. Look for leverage points to create momentum both for taking and using the stick.
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