The MartialBody system is defined as a supplementary training system to develop a series of useful attributes that can enhance and augment the martial artists ability to use their specific Martial Art. It is not a martial art unto itself and should not be viewed as such.
This system is built on a deliberate progression to develop the 6 attributes which is then repeated. This is a cyclicar approach, progress is gained after each cycle of training where deeper and deeper understanding of the methods are achieved. The 6 attributes are trained in the following order
1) Heaviness (heavybody)
2) Stability (stablebody)
3) Connection (connectedbody)
4) Agility (elasticBody)
5) Complexity (spiralbody)
6) Fluidity (Fluidbody)
The system runs from 1 to 6 for a specific reason.
First, we start with the HeavyBody Attribute. If you think of trying to lift an unconscious person they will often feel FAR harder to lift than a conscious one – something I was able to test many times as a nightclub doorman. The reason they feel heavy is due to the depth of relaxation they possess. HeavyBody, and the appearance of ‘heaviness’ as an attribute is reliant on this release of tension. The training is designed to bring this release under our control so that we may utilize it. However, the training, by its very nature, rids our body unwanted or unconscious tension. This comes first as it is usually tension that creates postural misalignments and flaws. It would be a mistake for us to begin to build tissue over postural flaws and so releasing the bindings through which they are created comes first in the process.
Second comes the StableBody. Here we focus our time on harmonizing the body's joints and aligning the structure of the body. This process is not easy to manage if we are still tense or tight, and hence it comes after the HeavyBody section. Here we are training our ability to align our bones, joints and posture and training to increase our ‘proprioception’ and mapping our body in our awareness. This is a tedious process as we much constantly assess and correct our misalignments in fine detail.
Once we have the soft tissues and the well developed structure, we are able to build on top of it, and here is the realm of the ConnectedBody. In this section we stretch and pull on chains of tissue so as to link them neurologically and physically. This process is the start of the ‘building’ phase of MartialBody Training and from it a type of whole body connected power immerges. In the later stages we find an ‘internal stretch’ inside our bodies in any position which produces a fullness, or oneness. This is what Ueshiba would term, ‘removing the slack’.
Next we begin to develop ‘elasticity’ in those same tissues – this is the ElasticBody. This elasticity is the domain of agility and will give us a strong ability to move with speed. It is the equal opposite to the HeavyBody in that is an expression of the up direction. This process is similar to the famous ‘Ching Gong’ or lightness skill of traditional Chinese internal arts. We cannot develop this if we have not learnt to feel and connect the appropriate lines of the ConnectedBody, as these same lines are the ones we increase elasticity in, so it must come after this.
Now that we have a soft, stable, connected and elastic, structure, we can begin to move it with complexity. SpiralBody is the beginning of the ‘movement’ phase of MartialBody training and here we train the body to move with complexity. The process takes us from point to point movement, to linear rotation, to circling, and finally to spiral movement. The aim here is to entrain a deep twist into the body so that it will always express it, even in seemingly linear movement. This complexity will engage more tissue, will create unusual force vectors and generally be harder for an opponent to perceive or deal with.
Finally we come to the release of the mind so that it can act in accordance with the requirements of the situation. This can only happen when the body is actually capable of enacting the will of the mind and so comes last. This is where fluidity and flow states become present and is the known in the MartialBody system as the FluidBody. I would define this as the hardest training in the MartialBody system because it is a process of, essentially, re-wiring our natural inclinations related to movement, action and re-action.
As you can see, each part of the process builds on the last. This is a clear progression and although each of the ‘Bodies’ can be extraordinarily effective on their own, they are also constituents of a complete approach.
Once the exponent runs through the process, they should return to the start – focusing on the HeavyBody – addressing deeper unwanted tensions and then moving through the cycle again. Each run through may take a years, but with each cycle… the depth of the attribute increases.
The main purpose of MartialBody training is for it to be effective and real. If you train it you get the results it is really that simple!
The most difficult thing is to actually train it. All to often now people want information, but information doesn't transform your body, only real and sustained training does and with the MartialBody approach all you need to do is train it, really train it and results are inevitable.