How to position the head while crawling on the back using shoulders?

Discussion in 'Russian Martial Arts' started by AlwaysLearning, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. AlwaysLearning

    AlwaysLearning White Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    How should one position the head while crawling on the back using shoulders? If I leave the head relaxed on the floor, it interferes with the movement. If I raise it, strong pressure goes into the back of my head right away (after doing that for just a minute, five minutes later my head still hurts and I feel a little dizzy).
     
  2. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2014
    Messages:
    11,446
    Likes Received:
    2,109
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Head off the ground.

    Grow stronger.
     
  3. AlwaysLearning

    AlwaysLearning White Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    First, isn't the pressure into the head caused by blood pressure? Could doing that be a dangerous practice?
    Second, constantly holding the head off the floor does not seem to be relaxed. In fact, in the "Systema Excellence" seminar DVD (at 1h20m into the film), Konstantin Komarov points out that one should relax his neck when falling and shows the correct fall with his head going to the ground. Of course, it needs to be understood how it is safe to fall as he suggests...
     
  4. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2014
    Messages:
    11,446
    Likes Received:
    2,109
    Trophy Points:
    263
    if you relax your head while falling it is going to bounce off the ground. Which I am going to suggest you avoid.

    Otherwise what exactly are you doing? Just laying on your back and using your shoulders to push you forwards and backwards?

    Head is not on the ground in any movement I can see here.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. AlwaysLearning

    AlwaysLearning White Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Yes, propelling myself in the direction of my head by rotating shoulders.

    Nice work. I don't know this particular instructor and it's difficult to make a judgement about how relaxed or tense he is during this demonstration. I can't put a fragment of the seminar that I cited due to the copyright restrictions, so you'll have to either watch it yourself or believe me. In any case, we cannot simply dismiss what Konstantin says and shows. We need to understand it.
     
  6. gpseymour

    gpseymour Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    7,106
    Likes Received:
    2,163
    Trophy Points:
    403
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    I've trained throws and ukemi (accepting throws) in a number of arts, and I can't imagine a fall where it would be a good idea to just let the head relax. That puts your neck muscles at risk (minor whiplash is a possibility in some falls), and adds jostling (and possible impact) to the head/brain.
     
  7. gpseymour

    gpseymour Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    7,106
    Likes Received:
    2,163
    Trophy Points:
    403
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    Copyright laws allow for "fair use" (in the US), so posting a tiny segment for discussion is not illegal.

    "In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner." from Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Center.
     
  8. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2014
    Messages:
    11,446
    Likes Received:
    2,109
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Ok so i did a bit of shoulder rotating movement. and did not have a problem with my neck. There was certainly no blood pressure issues.
     
  9. AlwaysLearning

    AlwaysLearning White Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Then it's something with me. Has anyone encountered this problem and can make a suggestion?
     
  10. gpseymour

    gpseymour Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    7,106
    Likes Received:
    2,163
    Trophy Points:
    403
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    It might be that you are using too much effort when raising your head. Relaxed effort should be enough. More than that, and you'll start compressing the blood pressure sensors (and beyond that, the major vessels) in your neck. You may also have an issue with the angle you're using (some people seem to get that sensation of pressure and others don't). Try just barely raising your head off the floor, then moving gently and with as much relaxation as you can. If that reduces the issue, then one of those two is your problem. Figuring out which is just a matter of increasing the angle with relaxation, then reducing the angle and tightening the muscles.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,101
    Likes Received:
    470
    Trophy Points:
    163
    i have gone to the ground a few times. once on ice (happened so quick i had no idea where i was) the others by a sweeping kick i didnt see coming. i can tell you through experience, tuck your head when you fall, bashing my head on hard surfaces was not fun. i can contest that i had no tension in my neck when i went down...not advised.
     
  12. marques

    marques 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    730
    Likes Received:
    205
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Location:
    UK
    As usual, there is a variety of suggestions. A Systema guy probably will say head down (no tension) is better. Mine, head up. Just change position before "five minutes".

    PS: I realised the previous Systema video also shows head up. Good.
     
  13. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Senior Master

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    4,051
    Likes Received:
    2,740
    Trophy Points:
    403
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    Head up. It shouldn't cause pain. Either you're doing something wrong (holding your breath or tensing up too much would be my first guesses) or you have some sort of medical issue.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  14. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    5,969
    Likes Received:
    3,390
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Maui
    What is the purpose of the movement, first? Are you escaping his position in a grappling sense? Creating distance in a "he's standing you aren't sense"? Is it a scramble?
     
  15. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2014
    Messages:
    11,446
    Likes Received:
    2,109
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Look up systema. There is a lot of movement training.
     
  16. KangTsai

    KangTsai 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    May 5, 2016
    Messages:
    793
    Likes Received:
    162
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    How's your blood pressure? Mine is dizzily low as of late, but I have no problem which such positions. I have rippling Sternocleidomastoids myself.
     
  17. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2004
    Messages:
    27,240
    Likes Received:
    1,338
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Drop Bear was correct in his first post. In this movement you want your head off the ground and based on your explanation of the problem I would deduce that your neck muscles need to be stronger.
     
  18. AlwaysLearning

    AlwaysLearning White Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    I asked in any case and was kindly granted permission. Here it is:

     
  19. gpseymour

    gpseymour Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    7,106
    Likes Received:
    2,163
    Trophy Points:
    403
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    Ah, this is not from a throw, but from a standing fall. In a throw, there is more energy than that, and keeping the neck relaxed would be a bad idea. I'd argue it's a bad habit to get into, and a bit of relaxed tension will help protect the neck muscles, as well as the head.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Brian King

    Brian King Master Black Belt

    • Supporting Member
    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Messages:
    1,414
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Bellevue, Washington USA
    Always Learning,

    First, anytime we are doing a drill or exercise in Systema (or any art or endeavor) it is very important that you understand your purpose for doing said exercises or drills. Every drill and exercise should have multiple layers of instruction and learning. A dozen people can be doing the same simple drill and each focusing on a different aspect, lesson, or piece of the drill/exercise.

    Second, anytime we are doing a drill or exercise in Systema it is very important that we keep an open mind and focused awareness on the expected and importantly the unexpected lessons that the drill/exercise might be providing. Even the most mundane of daily tasks can provide a wealth of internal and external information and understanding.

    Every drill should be unique to and for the person doing the drill.

    On the op you asked, “How should one position the head while crawling on the back using shoulders? If I leave the head relaxed on the floor, it interferes with the movement. If I raise it, strong pressure goes into the back of my head right away (after doing that for just a minute, five minutes later my head still hurts and I feel a little dizzy).”

    First, I would like to address the pain and dizzy. From reading your post, it sounds like you crawled for about a minute and after stopping your head still hurt five minutes later and you felt a little dizzy. Without being there and with the stipulation that I am not a doctor (or lawyer or Judge or Priest) and if wise you would take everything I say ‘with the cynicism of one reading the internet’. Always Learning, I do not know the level of pain, nor the surface that you were crawling upon. I cannot tell if you had suspended your breathing or were holding your breath. I cannot tell if you were using your head (and neck) as a sort of weighted pendulum to ‘help’ your locomotion. In general, often dizziness is an indication that breathing has fallen behind/under the level needed for the physical exertion required. You might be holding your breath or exerting and blowing out too much breath or… any number of things.

    The pain might be from imbalance of blood pressures; it could also be that you are using neck muscles and fascia around your face and skull too much.

    Where a person holds their head while exploring a back crawl depends on the person and the nature of the work being explored or utilized. For myself, (and I am certainly no speed expert) I tend to float my head just above whatever surface I am traveling across. My hair (cut very short) brushes the surface of the mat/floor/ground, but the skin around my skull does not. I do not usually raise my head too much as that strains the neck as well as provides target for shrapnel, bullets, or boots. If crawling over obstacles then I do raise my head to help facilitate transition over the obstacles.

    For me, the back crawl is not a speed contest across the room. It is an opportunity to open up my pecs and back. It is a chance to work in isolation the scapula. It is to better learn how to move from whatever freedom within my body that I might find. It is a solo massage to help me learn to deal with body strikes. It is a solo massage to help me work the spine and surrounding areas. It helps exercise some of the lymphatic system. The movements are a way of learning how to organize the body to move under restriction (standing or ground or in-between) It is a way of learning how to contact the ground with less fear. LOL should my shirt or jacket bunch up it is also a way to learn to deal with strangulation. Importantly it helps to tap down and strengthen the psyche and the body to prepare for deeper work. There are many more lessons depending just how deep one wants to delve. It can be a very humbling exercise.

    For you Always Learning, perhaps the first lesson that the drill teaches has already been experienced? Go slow, take your time, do not hold your breath (unless that happens to be what you are exploring) Feel the joy in the movement and experiencing. Do not set goals but rather just experience and feel the movement, the many different ways of organizing your muscles and tendons to accomplish the simple goal of moving a single inch then the next. Learn to let the ground comfort, guide and teach you. There is a Russian saying…a hard ground is an honest training partner.

    Good luck
    Regards
    Brian King
     
    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page