Sunday, March 29, 2020

Beginner Persian Meel Exercises

Meels made by BodyMindFit
Persian meels are larger than Indian Clubs, weighing between 2 and 10kg each (5 to 20 lbs). Meels train the whole body through a combination of weight and circular movements. 

Here I'm sharing some videos and tips from Tom Crudgington of BodyDevelopment Gym in Bath, England. He has the following advice:
-Stay light. 
-Build a base layer of basic moves. 
-Rest. Don’t start out swinging heavy clubs daily. Start with twice a week and build up from there. It is like anything else… you have to condition yourself. Be prepared to be in it for the long-haul.

Tom's basic drills are Door Frame, Alternating Chop, Block>Sweep>Chop, and Crucifix Drill.

Door Frame

Alternating Chop
Here the emphasis is in keeping stable around your abdomen. always be mindful of pulling into your mid section, pulling your elbows in nice and tight to the waist.

Cast - Block, Sweep and Chop
Basic Persian meel cast carries on from the 'door-frame' drill shown earlier in the series. Here the pushing block action is beginning to turn into a swing and flow move.

Crucifix Drill

Here are some videos and tips from Paul Taras Wolkowinski:
Middle Cast

Low, Middle and High Casts

Paul's Instructions (
Swing the clubs up together from the floor and hold them in front of the chest not touching the body, keep your wrists just below waist level, at roughly 100 degrees. To start lift one hand up and over the shoulder, elbow should be pointing up, then bring the club back to the front and repeat on the other side.

When you are comfortable with this movement, push (cast) the club across your back and turn your body as the the club swings to the outside, then pull it back up to the front.

Traditionally Persian Mil Clubs are swung alternately around the shoulders keeping time with a drum beat. In swinging terms each arm performs a closed arm inward back circle, each club is pushed (cast) up over the shoulder, dropped and swung to the back, with a quarter body twist the club travels outward completing the circle with a sharp pull to the front of the body.
There are three casts, LOW cast, MIDDLE cast and HIGH cast.

Low cast is made by the hand holding the club kept close to the neck and passing to the back below the ear. Starting position is from the waist.

Middle cast is made by the hand holding the club kept close to the ear and passing to the back at ear level. This cast is quicker than the low cast because the club is lifted higher and has further to drop which means a quicker swing and recovery. This cast is very popular, both Meels are worked together. Note that the hands should come to the front in passing the face roughly at nose level before the Meel is brought to rest in the upright position.

High cast is made by the hand holding the club pushed over the top of the head raising the club even higher, the club has even further to drop and the swing is fast, this cast is a one handed version of a mace swing and is great preparation for advancing to gada or mace swinging, promoting great shoulder flexibility and incredible grip strength.

All three casts should performed with a turn of the shoulders and body as the Mil Club drops at the back, the turn harnesses the energy of the drop helping to pull the Meel up and back to the front position. It is quite natural to assume a body sway, like an upside down pendulum.

Footwork. As the Persian Mil Clubs are cast rhythmically transfer your body weight from one foot to the other creating a small sliding step that is done in time with the turn of the shoulders and body.

Shifting your bodyweight is very important, and very much part of swinging Persian Meels. For example, if you are going to swing the club on your right hand, you should aim to transfer your body weight to your right leg and slide your left foot over to your right foot. Then to swing the left-arm the same happens in reverse, you transfer your body weight to your left foot and slide the right foot over to the left foot.

On account of one, the first club is lifted and swung.
On the count of two, the first club returns to the front starting position.
On account of three, the second club is lifted and swung.
On the count of four, the second club returns the front starting position.

You should aim to keep the club as close to the body as possible without touching, this is very important when you prepare to swing the club, you should try to steer your hand holding the club between the top of your shoulder and your ear. In doing so the base of the club should rise behind you with the push-up before you let it fall into the swing.

Lastly, here's a flowing exercise developed by the inimitable ZenKahuna:

1 comment:

  1. apparently, Tom from Bath has made a new crossover club in conjunction with BodyMindFit. The only negatative is the cost of shipping. But, I may buy something.I also watch the videos of Zenkuha.