The Tactical Library: How To Be An Explorer Of The World, Keri Smith

how-to-be-an-explorer-of-the-worldMuch of what we do in Systema is dependent on our ability to be aware of our surroundings and our internal state. The main obstacle to this awareness is habit, constant repetition of a stimuli will cause us
to become gradually insensitive to it. Whatever we are not paying attention to then becomes invisible, we become automated, moved by habits through a world that barely makes it to our consciousness.
What Keri Smith offers us in this book is mainly directed to artists, who need to learn to recover their awareness of the world in order to be capable of offering a unique view of it. To me, this is the greatest unintentional Systema book since the Tao Te Ching. Filled with practical exercises to enable the ordinary and the ubiquitous to come in fully to our conscious awareness, it almost reads like it was written by Konstantine Komarov.

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From the Tactical Library: Somatics, Thomas Hanna

somatics-thomas-hanna-nagaikaEssential reading for all owners of a human body, period. In this book, Thomas Hanna, a student of Moshe Feldenkrais describes the mechanisms by which the body and mind are linked together, and how abnormal movement and muscle tension will affect not only the physical aspects of health, but also psychological well being. All emotions will manifest physically, by generating muscle tension that will alter posture and breathing. What actors know and use in their work is the existence of a two way relationship between emotion and physical manifestation, if you imitate the manifestation, you will evoke the emotion.

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Meet a Real-Life Super Soldier

The theme of the super soldier is quite prevalent in popular culture. The release of Captain America adds to a long list that includes “the Manchurian Candidate”, Joe Wright’s “Hanna” and recurring characters like Wolverine or Jason Bourne exploring the idea of transcending the physical and mental limits of humans to allow actions that would otherwise be impossible. Historical examples of this thinking has typically resulted in failure, and more importantly, human tragedy. Nazi Germany’s programs seeking to raise children in controlled environments devoid of compassion, or the American MK-Ultra program seeking to erase and rebuild personalities in test subjects are well documented examples of this.

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