Draga in Old Norse means ‘to draw’, ‘drag’, ‘pull’ and ‘win’.
Draga is the name Odd Svendsen gave to slowly performing movements that are found in Glima, Glima warming up exercises, or natural movements that enhance the understanding of Glima.
Glíma in Old Norse means glimpse or flash because of the speed in which the techniques are employed. Though draga movements may be the same movements as found in Glima, when doing these movements incredibly slowly, they cannot be called Glíma (glimpse / flash).
Draga is used to motivate and to "draw out" a balance and understanding within a person. An understanding of a movement comes from within. Understanding has to be drawn out, rather than pressed in. Understanding without doing is just theory, which is why draga is so fundamental to understanding.
Draga motivates a practitioner. It motivates on many levels of the physical, mental and spiritual. A motivated person is more productive in life. A person who practices Draga is often dramatically motivated to a fresher physicality, mentality and spirituality. A practitioner of draga is energized, making them friendlier, happier and healthier people.
Spirituality was an integral part of the Norse people. It was a part of everything they were. For the Scandinavian people of the Viking Age, everything in nature had a spirit. For these people, it was important to communicate with spirits and cultivate their own strong spirit. Through draga we are able to cultivate a strong spirit.
DRAGA MOVEMENT and BALANCE
Movement is all important, in the physical, mental and spiritual. Through Draga, we are able to create balance in movement and grow.
Some movements in Draga are Viking wrestling dynamic resistance excercises, but when done as Draga, the way of moving in between these exercises connects them an a fluid way, making them part of a larger and greater whole.
Draga is a great way of expanding the consciousness and healing the spirit. It is a great way of generating energy and channeling energy. It is a great way of finding personal balance.
The ultimate goal of Draga is liberation and freedom, physically, mentally and spiritually. As we do not live in a vacuum, there is constant change and movement. Through Draga excercises we can connect with our core self and positive energy and find or create balance within and without.
Just as Glima has 5 principal ways of attack, Draga has 5 principal meanings:
Draga as a way of connecting with and drawing good energy
Draga as a way of being strong and flexible
Draga as a way to attaining a goal
Draga as a way of understanding Norse philosophy and spirituality
Draga as way of balancing the mind, the body and the spirit
ODD SVENDSEN - MASTER of BALANCE
Balance in movement
Odd Svendsen travelled around Norway in his younger days, performing feats of balance and balance in movement. In theaters all over Norway, Odd performed amazing feats of balance on his own, and with a partner. These movements were all done very slowly. Each movement was a series of smaller adjustments in balance. He was a master of balance in movement.
As an older man, Odd used draga as a way of keeping in shape and staying strong and flexible. Long after retirement, Odd was muscular and could perform impressive feats of strength and balance.
Odd introduced Tyr Neilsen to Glima, and showed him how to understand draga as a physical, mental and spiritual exercise. When showing Tyr a glima movement, Odd did so slowly, adjusting each movement and balance, so that Tyr understood this art at a very deep level.
When Tyr said that draga reminded him of Yoga and Thai Chi, Odd told him of the origins of modern Yoga lay in Scandinavia. In later years Tyr found other sources that confirmed this, such as his work with Lars Magnar Enoksen and through the writings of Yoga historian and Yoga teacher Mark Singleton.
(Odd is a Norwegian male name, and comes from the Old Norse Oddr, which means sharp end of an arrow or edge of blade)