Thursday, February 18, 2010

Body structure and alignment exercise

Utilising the body structure and alignment

Walking on your feet and fists like a cat forces you to utilise your body structure to overcome fatigue in order to move in the most efficient way. Biologically unlike some animals humans are not made to walk on all fours and if we try to do that without sufficient body conditioning we tire fast. Similarly if you walk hunched or without rhythm with your breath you also tires fast.

On all fours regulate each step with your breath. Walking softly make as little noise as possible. Change direction, walking forwards, backwards and in a circle. Challenge yourself by walking over obstacles eg staircase and furniture. If you are tired stop and rest in this position and this will motivate you. While you are moving about observe if you are moving with your trunk aligned. Mentally note if you are navigating with either your hips or shoulders or both. Can you change course using both? This is a great drill to spread the tension all over your body using your breath and body structure alignment as a support.

The principle of work-in-progress

The principle of work-in-progress or non-completion.

Not completing an action may seem the antithesis of a good survival and self-defence strategy but it is a realistic option and does have its place in your capability to survive a vicious street attack. Being free from an obligation to finish a movement makes your counter-response unpredictable to your attacker. You are able to change according to what is happening and see threats as they are rather than forcing yourself to complete something that is inappropriate for the moment.

For example when your first intention is to kick someone on the knee, and instead you miss your intended target and kick the air you can continue in another direction and throw a left hook at his jaw or decide on something else that further your chance of escape and survival. Keep breathing and moving freely. Relax your face and eyes and at the same time pay attention to where both of you are going.