Tag Archives: Russia

Moscow HQ Seminar – Internal Work (April 2013) – Part 3

18 May

Part 3 – Letting the weapon pull you up from the floor

These exercises are an extension of the last two parts.
Hold a stick in your hand and then keeping your shoulder relaxed, raise your arm straight in the air, relax your whole body, raise the stick and let the weight of the stick carry you around. When you do this correctly it should feel like the weight pulls you forward and up lightly and with power.

Now you have a feeling of the weight and power of the stick or sword. Next comes a drill which i found extremely interesting:

Step 1- Lay down, completely relaxed,
Step 2- Hold the stick at your side, pointed up in the air, again relax your muscles and then slowly lean the weight forward and point the stick into the air, into a trajectory that feels like it is pulling you up.
if you do this correctly you will sit up and continue to a standing position.
Have a look at these videos, you can see when the muscles are heavily involved and when they are minimally involved, it can look effortless:

Now try the same from a cross legged sitting position, with the stick in both hands, sticking it through the air in a trajectory that pulls you up. Then try the stick on one side of you, held in one hand, flow the stick through the air, and again in a trajectory that feels as if it pulls you up – to a standing position.

After quite a bit of this work, Michael told something interesting; he said that in the old times, the knights and warriors would steer their horses using their sword by pointing it forward and turning it different directions,
the horse would feel the weight and would change direction, turn and move according to how the sword was held.

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Moscow HQ Seminar – Internal Work (April 2013) – Part 2

11 May

Part 2 – Letting the hand, blade or stick lead the movement

The general principle in these drills is to let the weight of the stick lead the movement, and to let the stick pull you in different ways, so you don’t have to use muscles or force.

The first exercises were with a stick and were as follows:
Lay down on the floor, completely relax your body. Hold the stick in your hand facing towards the ceiling, continue to relax your muscles.

Slowly bring the stick across your body, carving a trajectory in the air, as to turn yourself, while relaxing every other part of your body. It should feel like the weight of the stick pulls you.

To do this correctly you need two things: relaxation and the right trajectory of the stick.
This is hard to explain, so here’s a video:


Watch from 2 mins 15 seconds

Then try the same exercise but now using just your hand, you can see in the videos below Michael gives the person something to reach for and guides him along the right trajectory to turn himself using just his hand.

Try the same with your hand the opposite way, reaching behind your back , leading from you palm, relaxing the rest of your body, as if the hand is pulling you.

Try the same exercise with your legs, with them leading the movement, and relaxing the rest of your body, especially your spine.

Try different ways of letting your hand turn you, For example; not only reaching across the body, but keeping the arm on the same side and just rotating the wrist and letting that turn and connect your body.

These are difficult exercises that require awareness, concentration and relaxation. You will feel when you do these correctly.

 

If you have any questions let me know, as these not easy to explain from a screen!

Moscow HQ Seminar – Internal Work (April 2013) – Part 1

5 May

This for me was one of the most interesting seminars I have ever been too. The topic was inner work, and Michael explained and demonstrated a lot, which was very interesting to see. See the video below for clarity.

Part 1 –  How a Blade or Stick can Correct Your Body, Give You Strength and Deepen Your Relaxation

– The first exercise was standing straight and relaxed and holding a stick in your hand pointing straight up, completely relaxing your body. Michael said that if you hold it correctly it will feel weightless and will help you have a straight back and good form. He went to explain that while holding a stick in this way and continually relaxing ourselves – this will heal and straighten our spine, it will help to align us in a correct form.
Change hands – do this for 15/20 mins just to get the feel of it

– Bring the stick in front of your chest, so your hand it about stomach level, find a relaxed comfortable position there. Relax all your body, from spine, to bicep, forearm and wrist, leaving just enough tension to hold the stick, – if you do this right the stick will almost hold itself. Michael explained that when this is done with either a stick or a blade, actually seeing the weapon – the wood or the metal – will give you strength, confidence and power. The effect is much more apparent with a sword.

– Bring the stick into the first position arm held at your side, stick pointing upwards. Relax again your whole body, now this is hard to explain – you just have to feel it; Put all of your body weight onto the end of the stick, transfer your body weight right to the end of the stick. Now lean the stick very slightly forwards and let the weight take you forward, and walk. Bring it back straight and try the same backwards, sideways. Let the weight of the stick shift your body weight, different directions.

– Same exercise as before, tilt the stick slightly forward and let its weight guide you, just walk forwards, keep walking around, relaxing your body as much as possible, feeling the weight of the stick and it’s weight “pulling” you forward.

Rolling the Russian Way

22 Apr

In Russia there were some classes with trainers who i didn’t know, very skilled people but not normally teaching every week.

One such morning session, had a group of us, doing some very interesting movement drills;

– From a full down squatting position roll forward into the same low squat position in one movement – it is one movement. If you do this right it feels like you roll as one whole piece and land as one whole peice. Your weight starts on two legs and finishes on two legs

– From a standing position roll forward the same as the last roll and land in a squat. Your body should be collected and whole.

– Then the next step is from a standing position to roll forward and in one movement let the momentum and weight of the roll take you and stand you up. In the roll the weight will be in your whole body, when both feet land to get support, your body weight will be in your feet (tip: let your body weight travel up to your upper body and this will bring you standing up from the roll – without using strength.

– Afterwards you can do many kinds of rolls rolling sideways from standing, rolling forward, landing on one leg and coming up.

The most important thing: These are done in one continuous movement – no breaks in the movement.

(You can try using a shorter inhale/exhale to make the movement flow)

Vladimir Zaikovsky: Movement and Balance

21 Jul

What follows are some exercises and tips given by Vladimir involving movement and balance:

Knife Throwing:

– This was one of the best exercises with a knife i have ever done, basically get a metal knife, blunted, then throw the knife firstly too  each other, the idea being to move away and catch the knife at the same time, with the moving away movement. After a bit of that, you throw the knife at each other – In this exercise you must throw the knife at the person, not too them. Slowly increasing in intensity and variety.

Knife Movement:

One person grabs the other by the neck and first of all stabs slowly into the other persons body, different ways, then increasing with intensity and hardness, so if you don’t move well you feel it. One idea give here is that the body moves first then the hands move, body first then hands. The person being stabbed could also put their feet together, so their body really has too move.

Vladimir emphasized that these drills are about using the knife as a training tool, not specifically learning to fight with/against a knife, that came later 🙂

– Roll on the floor keeping knife pressed against body with one hand

– Roll while passing knife from hand to hand in  the movement of the roll.

Stick Head Walking:

– You place a stick (facing forward), with the middle in the middle of your head- balance it, then start to walk, forwards, backwards, faster slower

– Same , but now switch position of stick so two end are pointing to the left and right, which the middle in the centre of your head, now move.

– Then place the stick on one of your fingers and balance it pointing straight up, and walk and move. (switch hands)

(for these try to stay calm inside and you’ll find that you’ll feel the stick more and it will move less)

– If you’re with a partner get a knife and throw that to each other, forwards and backwards. Otherwise, grab a knife and pass that around your body.

Stick – Floor Exercises:

– Lay on floor, with one hand hold the stick near the middle, kind of like an overhead hitting position, from there put one end on the floor and lift yourself up with one arm, using the stick as support.

– With stick use as balance support on the floor and roll around with it, getting up down etc.