1) Slowly stretching the body in various ways on the ground. It was important to breathe in during the relaxed phase of the movement and breathe out in the tensest stage of the movement.
2) In pairs, Partner 1 (P1) did front rolls and back rolls on Partner 2 (P2).
3) Static Push Up for around three minutes. When it started to hurt, burst breathing was used to reduce the pain and relax.
4) Keeping the same position, the students picked up one arm to the side and then did the other side. The purpose of this drill was to learn how to spread the tension evenly throughout the body. The weight of the body should be evenly distributed between the one fist and two feet. This is some work that we did with Vladimir Zaikovsky the first time he came to Japan.
5) Still in the push up position, the students picked up their right arm and left leg. This meant that they were balancing on the left fist and right leg. They then tried the other sides. Again, it was important to spread the tension throughout the body and make sure that the weight was evenly placed on the fist and foot.
6) They tried balancing on the right fist and right foot. They then tried the left side
7) With their backs and heals against a wall, each student did 10 squats breathing out on the way down and in on the way up. They then did another ten repetitions breathing in on the way down and out on the way up.
8) They next faced the wall with their toes and knees touching the wall and did squats. It was important to keep as close to the wall as possible. They did the same breath/ repetition pattern as above.
9) They next stood with their side touching the wall with their arm directly above with the palm touching the wall. Keeping their side as close to the wall, and keeping their form straight, they did squats. Same breath/ repetition pattern as above.
10) In pairs, P1 massaged P2’s stomach using their hand. First of all, P1 started off on the surface but gradually pushed deeper. It was important just to use the weight of the arm to allow the hand to gradually fall deeper and deeper into the body. You weren’t supposed to push using strength. When P1 found an area of tension or pain, they allowed P2 to use burst breathing to reduce the pain and relax the area. This work was done very slowly.
11) Standing up, P1 pushed P2’s hips in a backwards direction from the front. P2 had to breathe out on the push, relax and keep their form. P2 allowed P1 to push them. P2 didn’t initiate any movement at all. This was done to relax the hips while keeping their form.
12) From the same position, P1 pushed on P2’s shoulders in a downward direction so that P2 could feel the direction of the push, relax and go softly and smoothly into a squat. P2 felt the push and allowed P1 to push them. P2 had to totally relax themselves, so that they could be pushed without P1 feeling any tension or resistance in them during the motion. This again was done to relax the hips while keeping a straight posture. It was important to breathe out on the push
13) P1 lay down on their back. P2 started pushing P1’s stomach and chest muscles with their fist. First of all, it was done just on the surface and then the push gradually got deeper and deeper. On each push, it was necessary for P1 to breathe out. Once P1 was relaxed, P2 started to drop their fist onto P1’s stomach and chest. At the start, it was done from a short distance above and then P2, little by little, dropped their fist from a higher and higher position; not too high though! If the strike went deep, P1 had to use burst breathing to relax the area that has the tension in it. P2 had to observe P1’s state at all times. When dropping the fist, P2’s wrist had to be straight and, except for a little tension in the fist, the arm and body was relaxed. It was important to strike the soft areas and be careful of hitting joints and bones. Again, this was done slowly and with kindness. One fist was used and then P2 changed sides.
14) To end the session, each student was struck by me, the Instructor, so that I could check that they were breathing correctly, keeping their form straight, while relaxing and moving with the direction of the strike. If a strike went a little deep, the student had to use burst breathing and appropriate movement to rid themselves of the pain and any tension that might’ve accumulated in the body. After each student finished their turn, they did ten slow push ups, squats, sit ups and leg raises.
15) Circle Up