One of the most important objectives during a hand-to-hand fight is an unbalance of such a complicated psycho-biomechanical system as a human being – of your rival or a group of rivals. Using an adverse method we should acquire a skill to make the objects we interact with remain stable. There is a theory of stem stability in the exercise we are going to talk about below. Our universal trainer in this exercise will be a straight stick 150 centimeter long and 8-10 centimeter across diameter. The closest analog to it is a spade handle.
The easiest variant of this exercise is to balance a stick on a palm without spending more efforts than the weight of an object. In the process of an object balancing you should relax your muscles as much as possible. You should maintain the straight position of a stick due to your attention. To achieve this you should concentrate on an imagined line which connects upper and lower ends of a stick.
Having tried to do this exercise for the first time you will see that it is not easy to maintain a vertical position of an object for a quite long time (for 2-3 minutes, for example). Try to understand your feelings and what prevents you from doing this one would think easy exercise. Are you muscles relaxed? It’s excellent if “yes”. It means that you spend fewer efforts to hold a stick in a vertical position.
Then pay attention to your breathing. The calmer and more natural your breathing efforts are, the easier it will be for you to control a vertical position of a stick and the fewer efforts you’ll have to make. Making your breathing slower and calmer you sedate your nervous system, your thoughts stop disturbing you from fulfilling an objective that is to maintain a stick in a vertical position.
When you have reached the first tangible results: all the body muscles are relaxed, breathing is quiet and even, your thoughts are concentrated on the task – as a consequence of all this it doesn’t take great pains to maintain a stick in a vertical position, you should make your task more complicated.
But before I tell you about more difficult variants, read a parable from one of the books written by K.S. Stanislavsky which is entitled “Self-Cultivation of an Actor”.
A Maharaja was choosing a new minister. He promised to accept the one who would go around the town with a huge vessel with milk filled to the brim and would not spill a drop. A lot of people tried. They were called to, frightened, distracted and they failed. “These are no ministers” – Maharaja said. Then one man went with a vessel. He was distracted from his vessel with no cries, no fear and no tricks.
«Shoot!” – the Ruler cried.
They shot but it didn’t help.
“He is what I call a minister” – Maharaja said.
“Have you heard the cries?” – He asked the man?
“No, I haven’t”.
“Have you seen how they tried to frighten you?”
“No, I haven’t. I was looking at the vessel”.
“Have you heard the shots?”
“No, my Ruler. I was looking at the vessel”.
This parable shows how a person’s abilities increase if he can control his attention.
When you have reached a stable inner state you will be able to fulfill certain objectives. You will not only have to maintain a stick in a vertical position but simultaneously interact with the environment.
There are a lot of variants of such an interaction, to any taste: you can recite a poetic text or prose, sing something or start to talk about everything with those who are next to you at this particular moment, you can also make calculations and etc. In other words you should do any other type of work simultaneously with balancing. It is even better if you can make the moving task a bit difficult; for example, you can draw any figures with a free hand.
Further development of this level of motion can be holding a stick with other parts of body, for example, with fingers or your elbow and its shift from one place to another without losing its vertical position. Thus, a stick can be an indicator of your inner state which will show you how well you can control yourself and your psycho-emotional condition.
Using this methodology you can adequately assess your psycho-muscular and psycho-emotional reaction and make well-timed corrections in your personal training process.
Before I draw a line under this short article I want to make one warning. Sometimes during the seminars while this exercise is being demonstrated I’m asked the question: “Can we balance 2 or 3 sticks at the same time?” and etc. Balancing is not an end in itself, but one of many means of reaching your goal. Doing this exercise we do not act like jugglers or magicians, we don’t need an audience who will be fascinated with our art of balancing. We cultivate our abilities with the help of a stick that it is.
Ar. A. Kadochnikov