Saturday, October 24, 2009


Hahaha... so Rick showed me this exercise which is called "Thor's Hammer"

It's an exercise where one takes a hammer, hand-held sledge variety and holding it out, as an extension of both arms, flings it rapidly up and down by bowing and unbowing at the hips.

It is important to:
-Keep the arms in the same relative position with the body (so it's not the arms moving, but the hips).
-Bounce the hammer toward the opposite side at each endpoint.
-Pay attention to the connected springiness feeling.

I've been playing with it a little bit, and it's been helping show me where I'm holding tension (and a break in my lower back)
Right now I'm just bouncing it low, trying to get the feeling of what it's supposed to be like, and so I don't hurt myself.

I'm hoping to bring it to Rick's on sunday, and get some feedback on how I'm doing.

Alright, the above part of this post was written last week, but I didn't want to submit it until I had done a little bit more practice, so here's the update.

On sunday Rick took a look at the practice, and helped me become conscious of the front and back connections, and how they related to the different endpoints of the hammer swing. At the low endpoint, I feel the stretch through the back channel, and at the high endpoint, the stretch goes down my front to my toes.

There were some little breaks that Rick also helped me see, like breaking at my shoulders, or midback, or near my sacrum, and I'm still playing with how to get all three at the same time.

I'm also still getting some tweaking in my hips/lower back, and I think it has a lot to do with not letting that area move and holding it rigid... so I have more to explore here.

Also, to those of you who didn't know if it would happen- I exchanged the hammer for a new one, and per a suggestion, went with the 4 pounder instead of the 2.5

Happy training to all!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The New Paradigm

Your HandsImage by Toni Blay via Flickr

Hey, I've decided to take a more informal stance to my blog... not going over "big ideas" for the most part, because it's hard to think of them :-P and also I get caught up in that and it's not really helpful to my practice to force them out. SO - now I'm just going to use the format of talking about what I'm working on.

I've been working a lot on keeping my hands level in stance. It seems fairly straightforward, like just about every other structural component of stance. Just put your hands a level place, so they're even. Simple, Right? Apparently not so much. Why can't I consistently do this one simple thing? I swear I've been working on it (on and off) for 3 years... It's like my achilles heel, my " Dan's Left Arm".

So far these have been the issues keeping my hands from evenness:
1. My left hand "wants to be" higher than my right.
2. Sometimes when I think it's even, it's still higher.
3. If my attention drifts, there go my hands again. (And to be honest, my attention is only so-so)

But I've been working on focusing on my hands, and things have been getting better. Lately I've been putting more attention and intention in structure (still trying to remember relax), and it's been paying off... I'm starting to notice more connections starting to show up.

Anyway, that's how things are for now, look forward to more posts soon!

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