Tag Archives: Pushups

Becoming Truly Relaxed

28 Sep

In Systema one of main aims is to become more relaxed, calm and free. In the beginning most people take this as “become floppy”, which is ok, this is a period of learning and after a while most people swing back to being too tense, then too floppy continuously until they come to a mid point where they are relaxed, strong and whole.

Some exercises to help with becoming whole:

– Push-ups, leg raises and squats with Breathing – These exercises will give your body a correct form.

Walk on the back massage – This will keep you relaxed and make you feel more “full” and whole

Wall walking – This will connect your arms and your legs together

– Getting hit – This will make you full and relaxed, as you learn how to collect your body together

Walking – a fundamental part of your training. Try some of the exercises on this link – this is from a seminar with Alexander Andreychenkov.

 

Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions on this.

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Russia classes 2013 with Vladimir Zaikovsky

12 Jul

This time with Vladimir in Russia was (as always) extremely interesting, he gave us some new and challenging drills, involving relaxation, body control and balance:

The first drill was to relax our shoulders and connect our body. It began in a push-up position at the lowest point, almost but not quite touching the floor.
Now you stretch out one arm in front of you and slightly to the side, put it down on the floor and drag your body forward, while doing this the opposite leg curls up and climbs forward.

Now with the other hand stretching forward and out to the side slightly, now drag yourself forward and the opposite leg curls up and you push off the feet to move forward. If you’re doing it right it should feel and look like you’re swimming, using a minimum of muscle, try to just shift your weight and relax your body.

Then do the same exercise but now going backwards in this low push-up position. I’ll make a video on this as it is not easy to explain or understand in writing.

– Now go in a normal push-up position, but instead of on fists, rest yourself on your forearms and elbows, in a position which feels comfortable – where you’re not tensing yourself unnecessary – now hold.
Try to shift your weight to your legs then back to your arms and if your arms feel tired, shift the weight more to your feet. Shift your weight around your body and feel what changes inside.
Keep holding for 4-5 minutes and relax!

– Then do the same as the above drill but change position so you are laying sideways off the floor, balanced on your forearm and elbow, back straight. Now hold. While you are doing this learn how to shift your weight
to your legs, arms, and then try to make the weight 50/50, experiment while in this position, relax your psyche and body. Then switch and do the same on the opposite side.

– In a push-up position again, this time in the upward position. Stretch one arm out in front, then the other, then one leg, other leg, then opposite legs and arms, then others.
Now go down the full way in a pushup position. Now balancing on on arm, stretch your other arm directly out in front of you, hold for 10 breaths then change. In this exercise Vladimir asked us to try to do it without shifting the weight of our bodies.

The drills emphasized relaxation, balance and economy of movement. The first drill we did for 30 mins + – which was very tiring, but afterwards my body felt connected on a completely new level.

Alexander Andrichenkov seminar Paris – Dec 2012

19 Dec

This seminar was awesome, as i got to work with Alexander quite a lot. From working with him, i felt and learnt a huge amount. Working with him as with any of the top masters brings confidence, correct feeling, intuition and wholeness.

Alexander’s power, humility and skill of teaching was always present at this seminar. There was so much information and many drills in this seminar, here are a few;

Warmups
Walking 1-20 and back down,
Pushups, leg raises, squats – 10 or 20 times each one
Slow Pushup, squat and leg raise 10 and 20 counts
Pushup position hold
– Walking inhaling and tensing up arm from fingertips to shoulders, exhaling and relaxing shoulders to fingertips then reverse. – in this also inhaling into and out of the part
– Walking inhaling and tensing up from toes to upper legs, then exhaling and relaxing from upper legs to toes.
– Walking inhaling and twisting arms upwards to tension then relaxing downwards, keeping your arms shoulder level out to the sides at all times.
– Walking on heels of feet, the walking on toes,
– Group exercise: walking, jumping forward, backward, straight up, situps together, going up and down from the floor together, arms linked. All of this in a circle, co-ordinating everyone’s movement together.

Stick work

– Forget the stick, concentrate on the person

– Spin the person around your axis or around his axis (spine)
– Person lays down on floor, holds one end of stick, you hold the other end, now using stick you turn him, he must relax, but keep hold of the stick
– Standing up, one person holds stick, you hold the other end with two hands. Now move him around, rotate his arms and body, try to tense his body starting from the wrist, elbow
arm, shoulder and too his spine, then manoeuvre him to the floor, experiment with small and large circles of movement.

Second part to come..

Vladimir Zaikovsky – Russia Classes 2012

5 Jun

In my month in Russia, the best classes for me, were with Vladimir Zaikovsky, they were practical, precise and demanding – mentally and physically. The learning was non-stop. He made sure we understood practically what he meant by unity, relaxation, and other terms that are usually more esoteric and uncertain. He demonstrated and talked about precisely what he meant and how to acquire/feel certain feelings and ideas.

From my memory and collections of notes, Here are some ideas, drills and suggestions from him:

– Unity of body arms and legs connected and work together.

Drill to feel: Pushup position against wall, slowly go up feel connection between arms and legs, with your weight and attention evenly distributed. Same on the floor in a pushup position, legs and bit wider, weight 25,25,25,25 % on arms and legs, Feel solid, relaxed and connected, Then your partner pushes you from above, side and different ways and you should be bouncy and relaxed but at the same time whole.

Drill for Unity – Put your legs on wall and your hands on the floor and turn around, so you belly is facing up and then turn around arm over arm, leg over leg going along the wall. Repeat for 10-15 minutes. You can’t do this if you don’t relax your shoulders and also you can only do it with unity = an equal weight distribution.

– Don’t describe, words are only words,. feel, collect the feeling and remember that feeling.

– Floppy is not relaxed, Don’t overestimate relaxation. You need to find the tension of the other guy, you need to go inside the other person. Not just movement on the outside. You move inside of him. Profound.

– Many people have different explanations. For example, If i ask about punching, a boxer will talk about technique, a bodyguard will talk about the situation, a street fighter will ask who he needs to punch. Look at this life, live in this moment, ask what is required in this time/situation, different things, different situation.

– What works in slow motion doesn’t always work fast.

– Keep body weight 50/50 upper/lower, side to side.

– Personal advice to me “Wake Up”

– First Victory then the War, The work is already done, before you begin.

– When doing pushing drills with fists, and other such sensitivity drills, don’t look for mystical energies don’t communicate with ghosts or spirits, the answer is here not there. It is right here, just our natural reactions and senses.  Look at him, how is he affected, watch the tension in him.

– Be in the situation.

Next: Wrestling with Vladimir Zaikovsky

 

 

Vladimir Vasiliev Seminar – Hamburg 19/20th May 2012

25 May

This was an extremely interesting seminar!  I saw many old friends and “seminar goers” and met many new people, the atmosphere was very enjoyable. I have not seen Vladimir since 2006 and that was in the UK. His way of moving has changed a lot from the outside. He is still amazingly fluid, soft, hits very hard and invisibly but is at the same time a remarkable, calm, funny man. Throughout the seminar he was constantly making jokes, relaxing us all with a smile, while bombarding us with a torrent of incredible, interesting and useful information.

Now for some specifics:

Pushups – Pushing the floor away from you rather than pushing yourself up from the floor, a minor difference but very hard to achieve. Vladimir says pushing the floor away from you is the proper way to do pushups for striking. You can start this exercise from the lowest position on the floor, then going up smoothly. Start at a position when the muscles have no grab – cannot work… so you have to consequently use your tendons and ligaments. Vladimir also mentioned keeping the whole fist flat on the floor, and feeling the floor fully underneath your fist for the whole movement.

Then Vladimir said he will teach us how to go down in the Pushup, this involves releasing/relaxing your elbow muscles fully, allowing your body to drop to the floor. This took some work and muscle control.

Squats: The same thought also was applied to squats, the idea of pushing the floor away from you, with your feet. while keeping your feet flat on the floor, weight evenly distributed; between both legs and from front to back of feet. Then going down was simply a matter of relaxing/releasing the knees, letting the body drop to the floor.

The kind of psyche control necessary for this work is interesting; releasing, relaxing and letting go is not always easy.

Leg Raises: Lifting the legs up with a minimum of tension, rasing the upper legs first then the lower legs, kind of like a smooth, relaxed, wave-motion. Then relaxing them in the same way dropping/relaxing the lower leg and upper leg simultaneously but allowing the natural movement of the knees to work, hinging the leg first so that the feet impact a quarter second before. Again this was a combination of muscle control, relaxing and just letting go.

Vladimir showed all of these exercises in a calm, effortless way. It was inspiring to watch.

Next post: other exercises shown at this seminar and some ideas from Valentin Vasiliev, who was also there.