KINESTHESIA – THE ART OF THE BODY FLIGHT

that’s what it’s all about good friends good jumps and good times when it’s done right there’s nothing quite like skydiving if you’ve completed your basic jump training you’re only a few steps away from joining in on fun dives like the one we’ve just seen in this program you’ll learn how it’s done and after practicing the techniques with your instructor you’ll be ready to enter the exciting world of relative work notice that none of the skydivers seen here use the hard arch that you may have been trained to use now there’s nothing wrong with the hard arch it’s intended to provide stability and free fall and that’s what it does relative work however involves more than just maintaining stability the key is to control your position relative to other jumpers this control is best achieved with a slightly modified and more relaxed arch called the box man it’s best to think of the Box man position as a collection of seven angles these seven angles are divided into two categories non adjustable angles shown here in red and adjustable angles shown here in green the first and most important angle is the neck angle which positions the head perpendicular to the torso allowing visual contact with others this visual communication is so critical that an experienced jumper learns to check his teammates altimeter instead of his own to avoid even a brief lowering of the head many have discovered the benefits of the did ur audible altimeter this tiny device delivers a loud clear reminder at a preset altitude the other non adjustable angles are the arm torso angle the elbow angle and the thigh angle each of which is positioned near 90 degrees they’re called non adjustable angles because they never ever change like the fixed wings and tail of an airplane they make aerodynamic control possible quality sequential relative work depends on these angles remaining constant now let’s take a look at the adjustable angles the chest the lower back angle and the knee angle when the adjustable angles are positioned as shown here near 135 degrees for the chest and lower back angles and near 90 degrees for the knees they form the neutral position all relative work from the beginner dies you’ll see here through the highest scoring competitive dives is based on this neutral body position but it’s characterized by what it does as much as by how it looks so we’ll need to define it further in neutral the airflow over the surface of the body is symmetrical meaning that it is the same on the right as on the left and the same in back as in front when this symmetry exists a jumper falls straight down rather than at an angle neutral is also defined by staying on heading meaning that the jumper isn’t turn another characteristic of neutral is falling at a steady rate in the middle of the fall rate range with the right jumpsuit in the neutral position a jumper will fall at about the same rate as any other jumper in the neutral position the neutral boxman is also a position that’s easy to take grips while in and one that’s easy to take grips on but we should emphasize that no skydiver achieves neutral flight by trying to concentrate on seven different angles at once it’s not something that’s made to happen instead it’s something that’s simply allowed to happen by relaxing into the air and letting the head elbows and knees blow back in the wind the way the hair does this brings us to the first skydive of the program in dive one you work on flying in the Box man neutral position while your instructor flies around you inspecting and perfecting your stance until your box man position becomes second nature dive one should be repeated at the beginning of every training weekend or if your drop zone offers higher jump altitudes dive one can be incorporated into the beginning of the other sky dives

having learned to hold still in terms of free falls rate trajectory and heading the next challenge is slow controlled movement in any given direction the first component will study is fall rate or levels the primary angle controlling fall rate is the lower back angle flattening the lower backs 135 degree neutral angle toward 180 slightly increases exposed surface area causing a jumper to catch or cup more air the result is a slower fall rate and an upward movement or translation relative to another jumper remaining in the neutral position sharpening the lower back angle toward 90 degrees slightly decreases exposed surface area streamlining a jumper to spill more air the result is a faster fall rate and a downward movement relative to another jumper in neutral in dive to your instructor hovers in front of you in the neutral position serving as a point of reference while you slowly translate up and down the goal here is to adjust only your lower back angle for a very slow but precise up-and-down movement remember to stay at all times in the box position in dive 3 you work to stay level with your instructor who offers minut level problems the goal here is to avoid having to make fast Corrections by anticipating the problems aiding earth so that the corrections themselves can be minor in small groups again with everyone in the proper suits adjusting the lower back angle alone should be all that’s necessary to correct four levels but in larger groups or when jumpsuits aren’t so compatible adjustments of the chest and knee angles must supplement those of the lower back these secondary fall rate adjusters likewise add to or subtract from a jumpers exposed surface area flattening the chest 135 degree neutral angle toward 180 and stretching the knee angle from it’s 90 degree neutral toward 135 drastically increases a jumpers surface area resulting in a much slower fall rate and an even faster upward translation sharpening the chest angle toward 90 and tucking back the knee angle toward 45 drastically decreases a jumpers surface area resulting in a much faster fall rate and an even faster relative drop in dive for youagain work to stay level with your instructor but this time by working your secondary fall rate adjustment angles into the movement as your instructor offers slightly more difficult level problems the goal again is to avoid having to make fast Corrections by anticipating the problems and compensating sooner care must be taken to add and subtract surface area symmetrically to keep all these ups and downs in a perfectly straight downfall also keep in mind that as more effort is put into adjusting adjustable angles so must more effort be put into not adjusting the non adjustable angles the next movements will examine our forward and backward translation like the secondary fall rate adjustment techniques just covered forward and backward are controlled by adjusting the chest and knee angles but whereas fall rate control requires both angles to flatten or sharpen simultaneously forward and back requires one angle to flatten while the other sharpens for forward movement the chests neutral angle is sharpened while the knees neutral angle is stretched this subtracts surface area from the upper body while adding it to the lower body causing the upper body to fall just slightly faster and therefore slightly lower which sends more air out the back and results in a slow translation forward for backward movement the chest is flattened while the knees are tucked back this causes the body to pitch head up which sends more air out the front resulting in a slow backslide in either case the overall addition of surface area at one end must equal the overall subtraction at the other for the movement to stay level with a person remaining in neutral in Dai 5 your instructor again flies in the neutral position as a point of reference while you practice backing off and moving in take care and not to focus on these new skills to the exclusion of those already developed flying in the box and staying levels are still required at all times we stated earlier that the overall

addition and subtraction of surface area must be equal to remain level with someone hovering in neutral but the fact is that skydive seldom stay at a constant neutral fall rate to compensate everyone must continually make fall rate adjustments always with their lower backs and often with their chests and knees while working on other maneuvers in dive six your instructor adds slight fall rate problems to the forward backward dribble to move up while going forward the added surface area of your shins and feet must exceed that taken away from your chest fall rate and forward backward techniques are likewise combined to move down while going forward or to move up or down while going back this all may seem very complicated at first but with practice the necessary mental computing becomes automatic the true challenge lies in keeping in mind at all times that basic body position is still our first priority followed by staying level and only then by the particulars of any task at hand an example of such a task would be taking grips which is the goal of dive 7 where your instructor continues to present fall rate problems while you become responsible on each forward move for taking grips above all else it’s important at this stage to resist the temptation to reach in any way at all out of our box man non adjustable angles which can only result in a time-consuming backslide the next movement we’ll examine is side-to-side translation like secondary fall rate and forward backward techniques flying sideways is also controlled by coordinated adjusting of the chest and knee angles and like forward and reverse side-to-side requires some of these angles to be flattened while others are simultaneously sharpened however where forward backward is regulated by the relationship between the upper and lower halves of the body side slides are regulated by the relationship between the left and right halves of the body to slide to the left the left side of the chest is tucked back along with the left knee while the right side of the chest and the right knees angles are flattened this causes the left side of the body to fall slightly lower which sends more air out the right side and results in a slow translation to the left to slide to the right the right side is tucked back while the left side is flattened in dive aid your instructor again flies neutral as a point of reference while you practice sliding from side to side remember again the importance of building skills and on top of each other body position levels and distance from your instructor must all be maintained while sliding from side to side in dive 9 your instructor asks for rate problems to the exercise in dive 10 you again become responsible for grips the final movement left to examine is rotational movement or heading control which should be familiar from basic freefall training however there are some differences between the way most jumpers are first taught as students to turn in freefall and the method most suited specifically for relative work the first of these distinguishing characteristics is the relative lack of body movement involved in a relative work turn as is the case with all the techniques in the program staying in the box body position is Priority One when it comes to heading control a slight Bend of the waist in the direction of the desired rotation is the only movement necessary for a slow level turn in place the second and far more noticeable difference in relative work turns is the head movement involved virtually everyone is initially trained to look in the direction of their first freefall turns looking in the direction of a turn is a very natural thing to do we do it driving our cars and even while walking and in freefall a turn of the head will tend to add to the bend in the waist and thus speed the rotation but good relative work doesn’t require fast turns what it does require is that we see each other and that’s why relative

work turns are often done with the head looking opposite the direction of rotation in dive 11 you and your instructor practice short turns with head turns for eye contact notice how some of the heads turning is in the direction of the turn and some isn’t but at no time is eye contact lost in dive 12 your instructor adds fall rate problems to the exercise and in dive 13 you again become responsible for grips remember slow rotations with good form will result in more hookups than faster ones that sacrifice precision these drills also require fall rate forward backward and side-to-side control as turns are made past the center point of the dive another drill that integrates all the control movements is die 14 where you circle your instructor taking stair-step grips remember more hookups will result from slow close encircling and from faster movement in a wider orbit your never reach discipline is put to the test again and died 15 our final tool a drill where you again circle this time taking star side body and caterpillar grips the goal here as in all the dives in the program is to move your box man body position around the sky without ever moving out of the position itself as you know rather than a sensation of falling that one might expect free fall feels more like flying in a 120 mile per hour wind that seems to blow up from the ground by flying in a belly to the wind attitude you can achieve a measure of control over the speed and path of your free fall making relative work possible so far we’ve shown you the basic belly to the wind techniques for maneuvering in various directions relative to another jumper on exit however the direction of the relative wind blows from in front of the aircraft rather than up from the ground control is still achieved with the same techniques and in the same belly to the wind attitude but here belly to the wind is no longer synonymous with belly to earth immediately out the door a novices desire to orient himself parallel to the ground can cause him to struggle to an attitude completely off the relative wind and therefore completely unstable while an expert sees little or no difference between falling over the ground and falling toward it keeping the wind against the chest is all that matters here are a few tips for achieving controlled exits first resist the tendency to bunch up outside the door spread out comfortably into more of a box position with your torso facing into the wind to minimize the transition required later likewise the head and eyes should be turned to each other before the count begins the count itself should be loud rhythmic and supplemented by a smooth rocking motion to keep everyone in sync immediately off the aircraft remember to ignore the horizon and concentrate on presenting your torso to the wind the transition to falling toward the ground will take care of itself by simply focusing on flying flat relative to the others in the event of a funnel let go and then reform the first formation to continue with the dive on side-door aircraft without a strut step all the same principles apply but extra effort is required to pre position in the door for proper presentation of your torso to the relative wind with all the basics covered what you need now is practice your goal should be the completion of five or more hookups in a single skydive with another student who’s completed the two way dives with your instructor repeat dives 7 10 13 14 and 15 with you and your partner alternating between the instructor and student roles for a total of 10 jumps do not attempt to increase the degree of difficulty by intentionally adding fall rate problems to the dives the way a professional instructor would do completing the formations will be

challenging enough the next part of the program introduces 3-way our W the secret to mastering 3-way is to remember the basics you learned doing two-way there aren’t any new angles to learn nor any new methods for maneuvering adding a third person to your formation simply offers you new ways to practice what you already know but a few guidelines will help you deal with the added complexities involved guideline number one is easy take your instructor along with you and your partner to strengthen the group guideline two is another easy one never ever be the low man on the dive but if one of your partners goes low it’s your job to move down to him don’t wait for him to come up to you number three is the hard one the moment you see even the slightest separation horizontal or vertical you’ve got to react instantly to close the gap but move slowly while closing it as you know freefall costs a fortune so there’s no time for hesitation nor is there time to make up for mistakes that result from trying to go too fast the only way to save time is to start your maneuvers sooner so that you can then take the time to do them right the first time so the maxim is move now but move slowly guideline for is two dirt diver more ground practice isn’t just for beginners the best skydivers in the business dirt dive as much or more than most because they know that mistakes are expensive while dirt dives free guideline five is to always stick to the plan you dirt dived never deviate from it in any way for any reason any plan B no matter how well it’s executed is by definition a failure remember that smooth movement through the entire sequence is the goal grip switching or improvising in any way can only make a bad moment worse in dive 16 your group builds a line formation and takes turns individually flying from one side to the other the objectives of the dive are simple the most important one being to adjust yourselves to skydiving with two other people this dive also gives you an opportunity to exercise our new fall rate policy due to an individual Flyers tendency to drop the low if you’re in the two-way line and find yourself seeing the backpack of the soloflyer relax into a slightly faster falling position to bring him back into the dive when it’s time for your own solo movie anticipate the problem and see if you can solve it before the two-way has to likewise be prepared to react before horizontal separation becomes a factor in dive 17 you practice some free flying skills by rotating through a series of opposed wedges as each person takes his turn at the point of the wedge with a heading opposite the others remember to turn heads to see the entire group as opposed to focusing on grips this will help fight the ever-present temptation to reach in dive 18 you again build a series of opposed wedges but with individual go-around moves similar to dive 16 the challenge in flying the 2-way piece is in maintaining eye contact with the soloflyer as he goes around the end person has the middle person blocking his view to contend with while the middle person has to do a head switch again the soloflyer must concentrate on staying close both horizontally and vertically always remembering that the slow move in close takes less time in a fast move that scribes a wider arc dive nineteen differs only in the direction of the individual go around move which changes the dives primary focus forward backward control to side to side control in dive twenty you practice the star formation as individuals fly completely around to their original slot this move will

require more discipline of the soloflyer to stay close as speed builds up in the orbit and head switches of both fliers in the two way in dive 21 you and your partner practice side body grips as you fly around your instructor who signals the brakes from formation to formation side body grips tolerate even less reaching than star or stair-step grips think about putting your nose in the instructors ribs before closing hands on grips dive 22 is similar to 21 but with star and cat grips on this dive you and your partner look for the completed big picture and signal the brakes yourselves cats are one of the most delicate types of grips so be sure to fly into place and stop completely before taking dive 23 combines dives 21 and 22 into our first 4.3 way dive as the list of formations gets longer so must the amount of time devoted to dirt dives 5:24 combines all the grips covered thus far making for a brain busting eight point sequence remember again our goal is to move our box man body position around the sky without ever moving out of the position itself no introduction to relative work would be complete without a four-way dive step up to four way is especially important because it so increases your group’s options in terms of formations four-way is also one of the format’s that competition is based on and because four people constitute a full Cessna load at most drop zones it’s a number that will allow you to take the plane without having to coordinate with other groups and i25 we had another jumper to the end of our opposed wedge to make a four-way accordion as on dive 19 we drop one person off to go around to build another four-way accordion whenever another jumper is added to a groups equation the potential for difficulty multiplies as does the opportunity for fun if the group remembers to stick to the basics to solve what may appear to be very complex problems congratulations for now the lessons over but before running off to the drop zone to try out what you’ve learned listen to a little RW advice from veteran skydivers from around the world my advice to novice skydivers is to utilize videotape as much as possible video allows you the time in the environment to thoroughly critique a dive so you can analyze and pick apart things you couldn’t even begin to absorb during the skydive itself you can use this both for your own sky dives and for videotape of others as well the bottom line is that in my mind the sky dive with videotape is as valuable as approximately three without it so use video as much as possible my recommendation to the beginning jumpers is one is to obey the basic safety rules learn them and practice those with our team we have a coach and among us we have over 7,000 skydiver so what I would recommend to a beginner would be stick with your instructor what I recommend for the novice is to keep your skydive simple if the dirt dive is too difficult the sky dive will be virtually impossible to enhance your learning the key is to keep it simple for beginning skydivers I recommend don’t try to do too much too soon keep the die small the big guys offer opportunity for big disappointments even when they do work everyone doesn’t get a chance for personal improvement

we have a little extra for you an introduction to a program called vial flight a three dimensional orientation system developed by nationally renowned gymnastics coach professor ray bright freestyle skydiving is catching on and this information will prove invaluable in launching your freestyle career welcome to bio Flight this section of your video will act as a resource and guide for movement in three-dimensional space bio flight is a spatial orientation system that I originally developed for the space program the human form will serve as the basic model bio flight uses the color code system for axes and planes which corresponds geometrically to the vestibular system located in the inner ear the vestibular system is a sensory organ that provides the brain with information about position and movement in three-dimensional space these are the terms labels and colors used in the bio flight system the first axis we will examine is blue which goes through the top and the bottom of the body the next axis is yellow which goes through the front in the back the last axis is red this one goes through the left in the right in bio flight all movement is considered a transformation there are two basic kinds of transformations the first one is translational motion and the second one is rotational motion we begin with translations translational motion is the movement of an object from one point space to another on the blue axis you can translate top board and bottom word on the yellow axis you can translate forward and backward and then the red axis you can translate rightward or left word the direction of travel will be identified by the surface that leads the linear movement on any given axis for instance if the top leads on the blue axis the translation is top word on blue if the bottom leads on the blue axis the translation is bottom word on blue if the front leads on the yellow axis the translation is forward on yellow if the back leads on the yellow axis the translation is backward on yellow if the left leads on the red axis the translation is leftward on red if the right leads on the red axis the translation is rightward on red the next type of movement is called rotational motion rotation occurs when a body or object spins or turns about its own center of gravity or around another object the point of rotation is referred to as an axis there are three axes and the angular distance travelled is measured in degrees on the blue axis you can rotate rightward and leftward on the yellow axis you can rotate rightward and leftward and on the red axis you can rotate forward and backward the direction of rotation is determined by surface displacement in order to standardize the terminology we have chosen the top in front as the key surfaces that lead the movement to determine the direction of rotation for instance the key surface for blue rotations is the front if the front displaces the left on the blue axis it is a blue rotation left if the front displaces the right on the blue axis it is a blue rotation right the key surface for yellow rotations is the top if the top displaces the left on the yellow axis it is a yellow rotation left if the top displaces the right on the yellow axis it is a yellow rotation right a key surface for red rotations is also the top so if the top displaces the front on the red axis it is a red rotation forward conversely if the top displaces the back on the red axis it is a red rotation backward these are the basic translations and rotations they can be combined to form any and all possible movements it is important to remember to use the body as the main frame of reference since the top and bottom front and back and left and right are always

constant as an example the rotational direction of these skydivers appear to be the same however they are rotating in opposite directions freestyle maneuvers can be complex and very fast by utilizing the bio flight system you can learn these as well as other advanced skills