Tag Archives: Stick Exercise

Just Do It…

29 Feb

I found the last few classes with Arend extremely interesting in their simplicity and at the same time in their complexity.

Some insights, drills and ideas:

– Do your movements, as you butter toast, drink tea, as you pick up a stick/knife from the floor. You just pick it up nothing more nothing less, you don’t contort your body in any strange way, you just pick up the stick and notice how your body leads the movement, and you move as a whole.

– One simple exercise that you can do to observe all of these amazing things is: Kneel down and relax in that position, put a stick next to you and just pick it up . Notice how normal, free and whole you are. You are just doing it, our work should be the same. Notice also you don’t tense or prepare your body you just do it, calmly, softly and naturally

– Stay soft and movement comes from the body.

– When you walk, you are just walking, there is no need to walk strangely, just walk normally, calmly, relaxed. An example: when you watch models walking, they walk with very straight bodies and feet facing forward, but does it look natural? Relaxed?


– Everything is inside

– An interesting conversation over meditation, resulted in the following thoughts: That meditation makes your mind clear, so you are in fact happy and have nothing in your mind all the time, but if you have this, then there is room for all kinds of negative/bad thoughts or good thoughts to come into your mind. Think about this you banish all thoughts, you have a clear mind, you skip merrily down the road and suddenly a car comes and knocks you down, but because of having no thoughts you didn’t worry or take action to produce what you wanted (to live) you just went with the flow, whatever happened – happened , you didn’t make a choice. Something Arend said “You must make a choice in Systema and in Life” Profound.

– This goes further, with giving the person a clear intention or not, making a choice is key, if we don’t show the person where we want them to go or do something, then they will just keep coming towards us.

– Own your own space, (don’t be a pussy) notice michael “he is just there, he doesn’t shrink away if someone comes into his space, neither does he tense up and extend more, he is just there”) whole, calm and powerful.

Warning: 3D Movement

26 Feb

This class was inspiring and interesting with ideas flowing the whole time.

Here are the insights i got from the lesson:

– 3D Movement – you work on all plains of movement not only left or right but also up, down, foward, backward, diagonally. The more directions the better as then the partner becomes intwined in your movement and is easily tangled in their own tension.

– Intention – when you start to push someone, their intention goes their, some people tense, others relax. The important thing is knowing how to work with their intention, know where they are full and where they are empty. If you start thinking about what you want to do, your partner feels your intention and can escape, if he does’nt know what you are going to do/ where you are going to push before you do it, it becomes difficult to move away/tense up or escape from it. Try touching one part of your partners body, watch how he/his mind jumps to  that part, then another part, then try to trick him go to touch one part but touch another. What is his feeling?

– When walking towards a person, how you move towards them, subtly influences their body, twisting your body, moving into their space in certain ways – even before you touch them, influences their inner tension.

– Stick exercises, with a stick hold it anyway you want – warm yourself up and relax yourself, rolls, pushups, situps, leg raises, squats, rolling on stick etc..

– Massage yourself with the stick, create your own ways, an interesting idea is to put one end of stick against the wall and the other end pokes into your stomach, you move the stick to the points you feel a lot of tension in your stomach and leave it their, poking it in more when you need to. This is an excellent drill for relaxing the stomach and getting into those small, tense areas.

– Be calm inside, have patience.


Mindwork Seminar Saturday

20 Feb

There were a lot more people on saturday with a bigger place, this changed the feeling and energy of the seminar, it was one of the funnest i’ve been to.

We started off running – systema style, relaxed body, ankles, feet, hips, shoulders starting from 1 step inhale 1 step exhale then onto 2 steps inhale 2 step exhale up to 14 then when we reached 14, we were to began again 1 step inhale, 1 step exhale. This was explained that you could do 1 to 14 then back down through 13, 12, 11 etc, but this way of going straight to 1,1 afterwards makes you change your breathing pattern quickly, you have to adapt more.

– 5 pushups with our whole body tense as possible slowly with burst breathing, same exercise – 5 situps, then 5 squats the same, going as far down in the squat as you can manage with full tension.

– 5 pushups with half tension burst breathing and slow! same with situps and squats.

– 5 pushups completly relaxed, let your body flop down as a unit then wiggle up with your shoulders. 5 situps completely relaxed, flop down as a unit then kind of wiggle up using as little tension as possible – imagine no tension. Then 5 squats completly relaxed, the same letting your body drop onto your legs then waveing yourself up different ways.

Then rolling on the floor completly relaxed, the softer your breathing the softer your rolling. Change the breathing and change the movement with it, inhaling one movement, then exhaling the second continuously.

Then we did a few exercises with a stick, here are my favorite:

Person puts the stick over their shoulders – scarecrow style, then falls down, gets back up. Do this foward backward and roll. Then same exercise but with stick behind back in elbow crutchs.

Then Person 1 puts stick behind head again and Partner 2 pushes and pulls the stick to take the partner down to the floor, working slowly and softly, making it harder for the partner with the stick by positioning him to fall in awkward positions.

Then a few things with a knife, one of my favorite drills, was you kneel opposite the partner, then you try to stab them with a knife, they disarm you staying on knees, then they stab you.

An important thing i got from working with the guys from systema finland was Staying Calm Inside. This is more difficult than it sounds, and it shows me how much i have to work on.