No styles, no systems, no rituals, no lineages, no masters, no labels, no belts, no katas, no uniforms, no dogmas;

Only the process of self actualization & personal expression of truth through functional combative movement and fitness.

On a purely physical level, we share how to individually and collectively use all of our natural tools as well as extended ones, offensively and defensively in a strategic and tactical manner and in all ranges of combat.

We're put through functional physical fitness training where we learn to push ourselves through our own perceived limitations. We also have much to offer on nutrition, health and optimum performance.

On a more cerebral level we learn about the psychology of violence, fear, stress & confrontation management skills, deescalation strategies and holistic survival tactics.

As the mind navigates the body; by challenging personal self defense dogmas and individual & core belief systems, personal growth and evolution occurs.

On a human level, we learn about the ripple effect and the moral, legal, and ethical consequences of our chosen actions while self examining our darkest emotions. We are encouraged to question everything, to learn to think for ourselves, to be more accountable and research everything we learn and to be open and responsive to life without judgment.

On a personal level, the training can make you face and slay your own demons.

Everything shared here is highly encouraged to be individually researched, to “absorb what is useful, add what is specifically of your own and disregard the rest.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Expressionless Striking Drill

I just got back in from hitting the heavy bag and thought I would pin this little solo-drill. 

Many times when I’m striking the heavy bag or a strike pad, (punching mitts, kick shield, etc.) I tend to put in a lot of emotion into my strikes. When I’m working the front (“This is Sparta!”) kick for example, I am envisioning kicking down a door where some psychopath has my children. I often find (and feel) my facial expressions and other body language quirks working overtime, showing my intent to tear into someone. Not to say this is “always bad”, but I noticed I, at times, show these same expressions when working off of the passive stance and pre-emptive work; which would undermine the behavioral manipulation we’re striving for (i.e. using a passive stance and congruous body language and choice words allows the attacker’s ego to rise while lowering their guard…slight shifts in body language that deny the behavioral manipulation will alert the attacker with your own intentions). 

I decided to begin working on remaining expressionless (at least, striving to hide the anger/rage/fear) when I started hitting the bag. It can be harder than what it seems on paper, let me tell you.

It might seem simple, but when you truly and honestly evaluate yourself, you may catch yourself beginning to smirk, your jaw tighten up, your eyes squint, your upper lip beginning to snarl, your teeth gritting together – all before you actually let loose with your strike. 

Why the importance of such a drill? Within the framework of Senshido, we strive to understand Aggressive Body Language (ABL) as a means to pick up on intent to act. Many times people will say Senshido practitioners move “faster” than others – when in actuality we train ourselves to move “sooner” than others, because we can pick up on the bad guy’s intent to act via having a comprehensive understanding of common ABL. Knowing this, isn’t the reverse true as well? If body language is between 60-80% of communication (depending on which study you subscribe to), even the slightest aggressive body language can drastically change the altercation, allowing the attacker’s guard to rise up and mentally prepare for your physical retaliation. 

This drill is outlined for striking, but it can also be done with clinch work, ground work, etc. Your imagination is the limits. 

How to internalize the drill: 

With the daily struggles in life, the workload, family problems, people who don't know how to drive, etc. we often will exhibt various facial expressions and body language that shows how we truly feel in that moment. Sometimes, we are not aware of how others may perceive us - especially those closest to us. So, begin taking inventory of what your body language and facial expressions are at any given time of the day (in particular, pay special attention to these things during stressful moments with family, friends and co-workers). When you honestly begin to internalize the drill, you will become more aware of your body language and will have the tools to begin changing them and having a more proactive approach to the situation, instead of compounding it by any negativity you may exhibit. 


Malachi Bond

Senshido International Team Member - Senshido Alaska

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