First Aid Kit
You should prepare a first aid kit to carry in your gym bag. Since our art maintains a high level of activity and contact you may expect the usual scrapes, occasional cuts, carpet burns, and bruises. The use of first aid is to prevent your injury from escalating. Prompt proper treatment will allow you to return to training and shortens the healing process.
Sensei Primeaux has researched oriental medicine – acupressure, herbology and energy healing. He is a proponent of TCM. BUT he is not a MD, OMD, or playing one on T.V. He offers this information only as a suggestion based on his experiences. Consult your mom or own doctor when you need to.
- SPORT BANDAID – the adhesive on these things are meant to stick to sweaty athletes.
- PETRO CARB – a Watkins product that replaces topical antibiotics. It takes the inflammation out and speeds up healing without adding another antibiotic to your system.
- DIT TEH JOW – we make our own high-octane version of this classic Shoalin formula. This erases bruising and swelling from the site of martial trauma.
- THE GREAT MENDER – another marvel of the Chinese medical tradition. This is the companion to the Jow, but it works from the inside out. Sensei Matt uses it for headaches and other things it was not designed to do.
- COACHES TAPE – use it to mark hurt territory (like a flag to your partner or sensei to warn him of your hurts) during training. Sometimes used to hold a bandage on or a toe in place.
- 2 X 2 GAUZE – for applying the Jow.
- HEADACHE STUFF – sometimes acupressure will not work fast enough. We like BC Powder. Use what works for you so that you can get back to training.
- PE MIN KAN WAN – used to keep the nose dry during sniffle season. Stay away from pseudoephedrine (it makes your heart race and your prostate swell).
- CURING PILLS – replaces all of your digestive remedies. Make sure this is in your bag when we travel.
- TIAN SAN QI – another wonder of the Chinese herbal community. Stops bleeding internally and externally. The asians were known to carry pellets made of this during war. They would scrape it into the wound when necessary and swallow the remainder.
- IT is important to increase your flexibility if you are going to remain free of injury. Stretch at every available opportunity. The following is a brief list of stretches you should attempt throughout the day.
- THE bones of the wrist, hands and fingers should be bent in all possible directions to the point of moderate pain. It will prepare you for the multiple of locks you will learn. As you learn new locks, use them to stretch. Use turning, bending and pressing motions to create as many angles of tension and torsion as possible.
- THE neck should be rolled and stretched with the head hanging forward. Modern therapist tell us not to roll the neck with the head back as that can create shear pressure and damage to the vertebrae.
- THE shoulders and arms can be loosened and stretched by pulling the elbows across the body and behind the head. Drawing various circles with your hands is a great way to get the juices flowing in those joints.
- YOU will learn a multitude of stretches for the hips and legs. Work at your own pace and remember to breathe.
- ROTATE and stretch the spine as much as you can. Slow relaxation and breathing into the stretch is the key to stretching, especially as we get older.
BREATH EXERCISE IKKYO
1. Sit in the meditative posture of your choice.
2. Rest your hands together, palms facing upwards, with your dominant hand on bottom. Your thumbs should touch lightly. The opening should be a circle resting slightly below the navel or hara. Do not press the thumbs together with any pressure or let them pull apart. They should remain gently touching throughout the meditation.
3. Push your tongue up to seal the roof of the mouth.
4. Close your eyes.
5. Begin to slowly Baby Breathe, inhaling the air down into the abdomen, expanding the stomach as the air enters the body. Fill the lungs from bottom to top then push it down toward your tailbone. Time the breathing with a slow count so that you have filled the lungs just as you reach four.
6. Exhale slowly from the top of your lungs to the bottom, contracting the stomach inwards by pulling your stomach back toward your spine. Do this for a count of eight to ten.
7. Repeat the breath without pausing between. The goal is to have seamless breath. Initially, focus on the count to keep any other thoughts from invading. Attempt this for at least 10 minutes a day.
While it is possible to get your breath down to four per minute, do not force this in the beginning. Use the above counts as a guideline and adapt them according to your current health and abilities. You will benefit by practicing this as much as possible throughout the day as the goal is to make Baby’s Breath the way you breathe naturally.
By marrying our breath with our movements during practice we will soon find peace with the universe. This practice will begin on the mat and eventually move into every aspect of our daily life. As we breathe in we will receive the attack and learn the very essence of it. Then as we exhale we can change the energy of the attack and send it back into the universe or ground it to the earth. Thus we are acting as filters during an attack as we change aggressive ki into better ki that can be used for compassion and healing. This is a correlation of mind and breath. Holding your breath is like constricting your mind.