Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Six Count

 
 
Me a long time ago in a different universe
 


I discovered something interesting and useful while attending a exercise class sponsored by the Bank I used to work for. Since that time I have used it to confund students for the fun it shows. It also is a tool that can make a difference in their training if they choose to use it. (And, when giving clinics in other schools I have enjoyed watching the black belts in those schools become confounded too.)

 

We were shown a glimpse of the Feldenkrais motion studies developed by Moshé  Feldenkrais, who among other accomplishments was a Isralei Judoka and a researcner into motion studies.

 

Moshé Pinchas Feldenkrais (Russian: Моше Пинхас Фельденкрайз, Hebrew: משה פנחס פלדנקרייז, May 6, 1904 – July 1, 1984) was an Israeli physicist and the founder of the Feldenkrais Method, designed to improve human functioning by increasing self-awareness through movement

 

What the drills showed was how to increase ability very quickly using the brain in a different way. The drills were very deceiving in their simplicity, but the principle they used is easy to understand.

 

In the normal brain, researchers have discovered the left side of the brain controlls the right side of the body. And the right side of the brain controlls the left side of the body. (Just as a note, when injured either hemisphere of the brain can assume the entire role.)

 

By getting both sides to communicate more efficiently the body works better. We were shown, and practiced, various drills to accomplish this. I recognized one of them useful for my student’s class, and began to incorporate it back in 1982 and ever since.

 

By performing this simple, initially quite confounding drill, the student can perform more efficiently. While this is demonstratable, we have not had the time to go further with this. There is a vast difference between seeing these few drills in action and understanding Feidenkrais motion studies. I have tried to read some of his books, but never had the time to understand more. Just another thing that might me useful but never enough time.

 

Use of the one drill:

 

1, Have the students do any kata they all know well, often as simple as possible.

 

2. Then show them this drill.

 

a.     Take your right hand

a.     Point it to the ground

b.     Point it to the heavens

c.      Point it to the ground

d.     Point it to the heavens

e.      Point it to the ground

f.       Point it to the heavens

Then have everyone try this, Remark how well they are doing.

b.     Then tell them that we are going to try the left hand

a.     Point it to the ground

b.     Point it out to the side

c.      Point it to the heavens

d.     Point it to the ground

e.      Point it out to the side

f.       Point it to the heavens

Again have everyone try this, and again remark how well they are doing.

c.      Now tell them that the drill is doing both sides at the same time and now they are going to try this. Slowly count the drill out 1-2-3-4-5-6.

d.   Do it a few times, tell them how well they are doing.

 

d.      Then pick up the speed, faster and faster. 1,2,3,4,5,6 (perhaps switch the counting  to Japanese, and count the cadence, faster and faster)

e.      In time everyone loses count. Beginners and black belts.

f.       Then explain I tricked everyone that was the hare side which we did first.

g.     So now take the left hand

a.     Point it to the ground

b.     Point it out to the side

c.      Point it to the heavens

d.     Point it to the ground

e.      Point it out to the side

f.       Point it to the heavens

h.     Then taje the right hand and

a.     Point it to the ground

b.     Point it to the heavens

c.      Point it to the ground

d.     Point it to the heavens

e.      Point it to the ground

f.       Point it to the heavens

i.       Now tell them that the drill is again doing both sides at the same time and now they are going to try this. Slowly count the drill out 1-2-3-4-5-6.

.   Do it a few times, tell them how well they are doing.

 

j.        Then pick up the speed, faster and faster. 1,2,3,4,5,6 (perhaps switch the counting  to Japanese, and count the cadence, faster and faster)

k.     In time everyone loses count. Beginners and black belts. Except you.

l.       Now make it challenging. Work one side rotation after the other.

m.  One time start with the left hand going out, then repeat with the other side and the right hand going out. . Slowly count the drill out 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12. Then pick up the speed going faster and faster, and switching sides with each rotation.

n.     This will have left all confused, except for you.

o.     Now have everyone repeat the kata drill where they began.

 

 

You will find a better performance. Showing absolutely that by working both hemispheres of the brain in unison, they have better performance.

 

 

While I have used this a few times myself, just before competition, there are many reasons my study of this practice, has not gone further.

 

 

This is not necessary for good karate practice. In time the performance does get better.

 

 

And no I am not always perfect. It is good to share with the student’s that even Sensei can mess up.

 

 

Master’s level

 

It is a good thing to stay a step ahead of your students. To do this I suggest this addition to the drill. Early one morning I saw this on Mouscercize on the Disney Channel. The idea is to incorporate a lower body stepping practice into the drill.

 

What you are going to do is add a 3 step to the 6 count drill.

 

Chose to use your right foot. Then keeping your weight on your left:

a.     Step forward with your right toes on the floor.

b.     Step to the side, with your right toes

c.      Step back , with your right toes

Then repeat the process

d.     Step forward with your right toes on the floor.

e.      Step to the side, with your right toes

f.       Step back , with your right toes

 

While this could be also done with the left foot I have never done so. When doing the 12  count version , I have always just used the right side.

 

 

You can have fun with this as it seems simple. If you find it difficult it should help to remember how difficult it was to be a beginner training for the first time. If you have the courage to try this, I salute you. Many will dismiss this saying it is silly.

 

 

But should you ever stand in-front of me, decrepit and disabled as I have become, I can still do this, Make my day.

No comments: