Martin Wheeler – Movement and Striking Seminar – London April 21/22

30 Apr

I recently went to a seminar with Martin Wheeler in London. I found it extremly interesting and eye opening, it was a fairly small group so i got to work with him in a few demonstrations and be hit by him. I was blown away by his depth of skill in Systema, and his ability to show and demonstrate ideas. It was very different watching him and working with him, and things that looked visible on the outside, were invisible when you were working. His strikes seemed to come from nowhere and the power and fullness was incredible to feel. His ability to control, feel and change mine and others psches was immense. Some details and drills:

– Recomendation for the knees, if you have had an injury, how to heal them quickly – Walking on a carpeted floor on your knees forwards, backwards, sideways etc for a short time, breaks up grissle and old tissue, to allow new tissue to grow.

– Walking is very important, the most fundamental exercise, we can do it everywhere, feel where we are tense. An exercise to become aware of where we place are weight in our feet = Walk stepping on the toes pulling yourself forward and allowing the foot to place on the floor. Looks kind of like skating.

– Walking tips – weight on whole foot, relax hips, knees, don’t bob or sway.

– Exercise 5 mins – 1) AT AN EVEN PACE: Pushups, when tired situps,when tired leg raises, when tired squats, and repeat for 5 mins. 2)Then same thing but AS SLOWLY AS POSSIBLE for 5 mins – BREATH. 3) Then AS FAST AS POSSIBLE for 5 mins- breathing matches the movement.

– Recovering: when restoring yourself the burst breathing, should not tense you, but should relax you.  Learn to clean yourself with the breathing.

– An exercise to feel the heaviness of your arm and to feel your way into the person. Lay/drop your whole arm on the person- on their body somewhere, and feel the way through in one motion, think of the persons muscles as rocks and in between is the water, you need to find the path of no tension where the water is.

– Flow is not fighting, flow is designed for learning, learn how to break the flow.

– Touch the person with the fist on a deep level, of his body, his psche.

– Own the space, where your body is, Own The Space.

– Don’t find the other people, Find yourself, don’t lose yourself.

– Balance between tension and relaxation, control to go both ways, but your neutral state is a balance.

– Squats on person laying down keeping weight the same and relaxing body.

– Pushups on the person, keeping the weight the same on the partner in every point in the pushups not letting the weight come into your hips or legs, but keeping all the weight in the arms/fists.

– Massage: Very important in systema.

Person 1 lays down on front, P2 then kneels on P1s muscles starting with the lower leg, P2 use bone/shin of knee to apply pressure, make the other person work/breath. Work up their upper leg, then onto their back, use both knees at the same time, kneeling on person, working up the muscles alongside of their spine, .

P1 then turns around and lays on back, P2 walks along legs then along, stomach and on chest.

P2 then pushes into P1s stomach in different places, letting P1 work and relax the area before moving on, interesting how much people hold/tense the stomach muscles and don’t realize it.

Martin demo’d by having someone push their fist into his stomach, and you could see it went right in almost to the floor, very inspiring to see.

Deep Massage:

Learning how to clean the spaces between the joints, working on the collar bone. Partner 1 pushes their thumb under the collar bone from P2, and rubs it along the length of the bone and feels the grissle and roughness, try to smooth it out relax the connective tissue between the bone and muscle. This can be done with any muscle and bone join. Make it intense for the partner. Make them work.

Overall an amazing seminar, with a very real and interesting feel. I look forward to more seminars with Martin.

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