Totally devastating exercise, enhanced by visualizing various swings as weaponized strikes.
I was planting today and had the shovel, and a vaguely worded Tolstoy? quote that I read about regreting compliance to the emergent soviet tyranny came to mind. Some of you might be familiar with it, him wondering how the trajectory would have gone if the terroristic political police in the beginning were not met by shuddered and cowed villagers, but groups of men "in every alley way" (maybe is the exactish wording, for the search curious) with farm implements and shit resisting them.
So then I thought of Mao saying that all warfare was an extension of the sword, spear or bow, and then of the movie Troy, and how devastating the spear fighting in it was, and how they must have trained to fight with such weapons.
So tada, grabbed that shit and went around the building in the dark and started some basics that will become a more comprehensive routine.
Warm-up was 2-hand grip over the head in like a kendo stance, just whirling it in a circle over the head to loosen the grips and familiarize with grip. X number (I did 20) of rotations with each handedness.
FIrst exercise was jabs. It is pretty difficult for people without much arm and shoulder and core strength to hold a shovel out at all maybe from the neighbor kid that tried and failed. So I held it crouched halfway maybe between the middle of the handle and where you would crouch a lance, and shot it outward with a throwing motion forward, but catch the back of the handle, so the shovel is fully extended and in one outstretched hand. So, 20 of those with each hand. Then 20 of the same but from a crouched, squat, as-though-picking-it-up-of-the-floor position.
After that I was pretty pumped up, but my curiosity and playfulness got the better of me, so I just experimented with the weight of it, swinging it around my waist or upward in an arc levered against my ribs under my arm pit, working out foundational perspectives of hypothetical multiple opponents for shovel katas and shit.
Alas, now my entire upper body feels muscle-fuzzy, which is the best kind of soar when you feel all expansive fluffy cloud-webbed under your skin. So, I will be developing it more along the routine of the jabs as I play with it more.
I am going to do a youtube search for shovel training now.
edit: obviously, no solidarity in me : (
"Ah, those endless forests, and their horror-haunted gloom! For what eternities have I wandered through them, a timid, hunted creature, starting at the least sound, frightened of my own shadow, keyed-up, ever alert and vigilant, ready on the instant to dash away in mad flight for my life. For I was the prey of all manner of fierce life that dwelt in the forest, and it was in ecstasies of fear that I fled before the hunting monsters."
Jack london, "Before Adam"