How The Indian's System Is Different
( Originally Published 1930 )
This method of body building and corrective physical training has been developed through intimate contact with American Indians of many tribes. It is founded upon the secret knowledge of old Indian adepts and true Medicine men, having been handed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. These teachers instructed their people to develop body, mind and soul together, in accordance with Nature's laws, laws which they had penetrated deeply. Only to one who has studied the red man's methods and has learned for himself the carefully concealed knowledge does he admit the facts, and then only after the discoverer has proven himself a worthy and trusted friend. The author has worked long and earnestly to learn the Indian's method, and, while giving him full credit for its conception, believes this is the first attempt to present it to the young people of our day in a scientific system of physical education and one which meets with their desires for something new, inclusive and different.
Simplicity is the keynote, of the entire work. Long words and technical terms have been carefully avoided. Simple language is used throughout, making it easy for anyone to understand. The Indian system is easy to learn and easy to do ; anyone can master it. Full directions accompany the exercises with broken-line illustrations, the heavier lines showing the weight placement and the muscles used in the movements, and the light lines indicating the muscles kept flexible or relaxed.
Natural and Normal
First and foremost the Indian system of physical education is something more than mere athletics. The Indians believe, as did the Greeks and Oriental peoples, that a normal physical training must include, at the same time, both mental and ethical training. Each naturally compliments the other, since man is essentially triune in his nature, having a body, mind and soul ; each part of him depends more or less upon the other parts for complete expression. Therefore, this is not merely a book of physical exercises but a guide, at the same time, to mental and emotional control.
The principles as well as the methods of this system form a foundation work for all forms of physical education, physical training and corrective therapeutics. The work is in no way restricted to short period exercises, but may be incorporated into all sorts of motions, at work, exercise, or play. The Indian's method of weight-placement and movement, with its mental and muscular control, may be literally lived every hour of the day, continuously, in every act and motion, and is a constant source of benefit. It is obvious that exercises which may be practiced in every circumstance of life and at all times, whatever the occupation, are of far greater value than those used only occasionally. Being much broader in scope than mere athletic training it is infinitely more interesting. It is neither mechanical nor monotonous, and, being perfectly natural, it produces normality while developing the individual through natural, sensible and practical methods.
Because of its deep psychological effects, its mental control, its ethical and aesthetic culture, this system is unique and meets with the instant approval of all interested in higher education as well as those who appreciate the enormous value of combining mental with physical training.
Since thoughts of some sort are constantly running through the mind, anyway, we believe it is far more beneficial to direct constructive thoughts into proper channels while exercising, thus gradually gaining absolute control over the body as well as the mind and emotions. This is a tremendous aid in developing will power as well as in controlling the desires and impulses ; it gradually mentalizes the body while developing great strength and endurance, and, at the same time, keeping one healthy and happy.
The kind and quality of thoughts employed while using a certain set of muscles have a direct bearing upon the kind of power generated in the body. This combination is very effective in its subtlety, producing the most amazing and satisfactory results quite simply.
The outstanding feature of "Growing Straight" lies in how the work is done. While many of the exercises given herein may seem familiar, in reality they are quite different from other systems. We are naturally limited to three sets of motions, to and from the body, and rotary. But the manner in which the muscles are used is different and the posture while exercising is different, while the thoughts and will power, being definitely directionalized, produce very definite results. Further-more, the entire system is based upon flexibility rather than upon tension or rigidity; upon periods of relaxation following all contractions and upon rhythms of motion. Particular attention is given to rhythmic breathing, the cultivation of grace and poise, the alignment of the head and spine,and the proper placement of the internal organs. The whole secret lies in how you work and how you think while you work. Preference is always given the method of procedure. over the number of times a motion is made or the speed with which it is executed. Speed is as much a matter of flexibility and habit, as strength is the result of growth.
With its strong dramatic appeal the Indian system is at once attractive to both young and old. We are all eager to acquire a knowledge heretofore held secret and mysterious. It is a powerful, graceful, colorful method of education, filled with hidden meanings and capable of easy receptivity. It awakens a deep appreciation of Nature together with an underlying feeling of joy and happiness.
The business man, the laborer, the housewife, the college student, the child, and even the invalid, as well as those leading a sedentary life, will find that by incorporating the principles of the Indian's system into their lives they will be enormously benefited, their health assured and their lives lengthened.
—such as tennis, riding, swimming, walking, bowling, football, baseball, polo, may all be practiced to much greater advantage under this system, for it is invaluable in limbering up the joints or muscles and in building up great strength and endurance.
—acrobats and entertainers can double their ability and greatly enhance their resistance and endurance while lengthening their lives and the period of their usefulness by employing these principles in their own line of work.
Devotees of the grand old Scotch game will find herein that ability to relax and become perfectly flexible so heartily extolled by all professionals. One may acquire an easy, graceful and forceful swing with-out that "tightening up" or nerve tension. Mental hazards are easily overcome, along with that depression following poor shots. Your game will improve fifty per cent and your strength and endurance will treble.
What It Will Do for You
This system will absolutely remodel the entire body, producing a more perfect symmetry of form. At the same time it will produce rugged endurance and subtle strength, with graceful movement and poise.
It is conducive to health, strength and longevity.
It develops will power and conquers emotional impulses.
It develops brain power and gives mental control.
It teaches alertness, quickness of thought and action, and trains the mind to concentrate, therefore producing greater efficiency.
It teaches the art of relaxation so much needed in this strenuous age. Flexibility of body and mind are basic principles for any kind of growth.
It teaches how to obtain absolute freedom from all nervous tension. It stimulates the circulation of the blood and nerve currents.
It relieves undue pressure upon the vital organs and all strain upon
the muscles, nerves and feet.
It relieves the spine of all strain, retaining the supple litheness of youth.
It develops a graceful contour, remarkable strength, and great endurance. One becomes practically tireless.
The muscles acquire a catlike grace along with great agility and swiftness of movement.
It is very effective in stimulating and regulating glandular function, and, in conjunction with proper sun and water baths and diet, is a preventive against disease.
The Indian has learned the secret of keeping fit. He knows how to speed up resistance, how to create energy within himself, and how to overcome any tendency to laziness or weariness. His endurance is notorious.
If you are underweight the Indian system will build you up. If you are overweight the Indian system will reduce you.