Tuesday, 9 August 2011

An Inanimate object vs the Human Body (Notice the Feeling)

A real amazing piece of advice from Victor Petrov (Виктор Петров) one of my teachers in Moscow, came to me a while ago via e-mail. Victor advised me of the following;

"You can do easily what you want with many things which are inanimate objects (for example -any ball, stick). You can touch it, observe and explore to start with, and then if you want toss it to the ground or
place it very carefully like very fragile glass, this is also not a problem. When doing this all our movements are all real, calm and just occur naturally. HOWEVER when instead it is human body which we go to place our hands on, we become tense/shy.... and try to invent some sort of sophisticated movements to perform this task."

It's funny. When I think about all the activities I do throughout my day; opening doors, brushing my teeth, picking up and carrying my bag. All of these things are done without thinking and with just the right amount of force, the right pressure in the right place in the right time. I also don't get angry or apologetic when picking up my bag (i.e. F#%K YOU BAG!!!!!!! Or OMG I'm so sorry bag), I just pick up my bag or perform the required activity.

The great thing is that this just occurs naturally and unconsciously, and without the need for contrivance. Now the trick is to be able to replicate this but not by TRYING TO MANUFACTURE this when working with a person. A better way would be to REMEMBER THE FEELING, then keep it when you begin to work with a person. In this way you ALLOW IT TO OCCUR.

The Work
Grab yourself a partner. Walk up to your partner, place your hands on him comfortably and take the person to the ground exploring the biomechanics of the human body. NOTICE THE FEELING.

After doing the above several times to get a good feel, go find yourself an inanimate object of some sort. Preferably something not too small. Something like a chair, box, bag, etc.

Now this is important. Don't get all weird when you go to move this inanimate object. Don't TRY to feel something strange and remarkable. What you want to NOTICE instead is just completely ORDINAIRY. Something just NORMAL and UNREMARKABLE. Just move your object around as if you are just doing it in your day to day life... Because this is exactly what you are doing. While you are doing this don't try to force a feeling. Just NOTICE THE FEELING.

Now go back to your partner. REMEMBER THE FEELING from when you were moving the inanimate object. All you need to do. Now work with your partner as previously described, but now move him as if he were an inanimate object.

See what happens...

Both people should feel all what happens with their bodies (inside and outside). In the future be able to do what you want with your body and partner's body too. The key is to NOTICE and REMEMBER THE FEELING.

.... I can't think of a relevant picture. Here's a far side cartoon I found funny.

Justin Ho
Principal Instructor
Systema Sydney Russian Martial Art

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