Hard and Soft
Nothing new, (is there ever?) more a reminder to myself of how to find the balance as I recover from being a bit too floppy in the recent past.
Hard and soft balance, complement, harmonize with each other.
Train with hard things (surfaces, weapons), you become soft. Train with soft things, you can become hard.
Hard weapon strikes soft surface, or strikes softly. Soft surfaces call for harder weapons and deeper strikes.
The exceptions and combinations are where it gets interesting. A whip (or wave) is both hard and soft, each where it is useful. Most any movement requires a blending of the two. Hard can come from tension, bones, breath, or movement(speed). Soft can come from the same places: tissue, blending, relaxation. Even the quality of movement and intention can be what is needed to balance with your environment. Let the environment tell you where each is needed in its turn.
Systema striking (trying to create relaxation even as we hit) allows for the littlest effort to be quite hard where it is useful, way down deep.