What is Evolve Move Play?
Learn to move like a human, to reclaim your capacity to move with flow over grass, rocks, and trees, play with sticks and stones, and learn to develop yourself through contact, roughhousing, dance and combatives. Reconnect with nature and develop your aliveness in movement to become more resilient embodied human.
What is the purpose?
Ok so humans evolved to do specific movements, who cares if we don’t need to do them today. Why do we train these things if we don’t need to chase down mammoths and fight off invading tribes?
At Evolve Move Play we believe the highest purpose of movement practice is create deeper aliveness, deeper embodiment and deeper engagement with the world.
We believe that movement in nature where we evolved, engages us and develops us on far more levels then movement in the gym, we believe that in fact natural movement is a physical form of nutrition that when missing from a person’s life leads to Ill health the same way that not eating a whole food diet is bad for your health.
We believe that the fundamental natural movements are whole foods for physical development and exercises are supplements.
When we have to live a unnatural life, then we do need exercises to help us compensate for what is missing but we have made the mistake of focusing too much the supplements in our research and practice of physical education.
Our approach to physical education has tended to look at the human in a reductionist way, a set of parts to be improved, but the potential of movement training goes far deeper than better abs or a tighter butt. We are not a body and mind we are a body-mind and every aspect of us cognitive, emotional and physical is affected by how we move.
The way we move and the environments we move through, impact our moods, our alertness, awareness and focus, they can make us strong and robust not just for lifting weight but for dealing with cold and heat, for deal with abrasions and bruise, even the way our mind handles pain both emotional and physical is deeply affected by our movement practice.
We believe to develop the strongest, most adaptable most resilient and happiest human beings you need to give them movement and it needs to be rooted in the movements we evolved for.. Move Like a Human to live and feel alive as human truly should.
What Do People Say?
Dave Wardman of Physical Alchemy:
“I have met Rafe twice in the flesh – both times he’s come out to ‘Straya. He is not a small human. An ‘outlier’ in body morphology in the Parkour realm, as far as I can tell. Seeing him, dare I say heroically, climb some of the larger trees in Sydney with speed and ease, as Dave clung to the lower branches trembling, was highly impressive. Not to mention the jumping is done at a great height between branches, or some of the tricking moves [ particularly the ‘gainer’ ] he can pull off at +6ft and ~95kg.
Rafe is the creator of the Evolve Move Play method. A method incorporealatoring elements of play, natural parkour [treerunning], rough-housing, movement games, athletic development, body integrity and antifragility practices for resilience, working with fear and its repatterning, rewilding, ecological knowledge and anthropology, systems theory and motor learning perspectives of skill acquisition – and a whole lot of other stuff I have likely missed!
He also has massive forearms. A trait that all of those ‘in the know’ admire greatly. Lamentably, he confessed to me that he had always had them and it wasn’t from volume of brachiation on thick tree branches, or secret evolutionary training methods. Still, I am suspicious that some secret forearm training does, indeed, lurk within EMP..
Besides the personal physical feats of high degree and the hard work of art formation involved in EMP, Rafe is passionate about community fostering – and he ain’t afraid to paint the town yellow to facilitate this.
He has created what is one of the best movement and related fields podcasts to these ends; and now also hosts retreats to foster human connection on top of the many workshops taught.
Also, sequestered from his day to day mentation is his inevitable destiny to become a druid -as evidenced by his dad totes being a wizard who lives in a tree-house and who drives one of the most auspicious wizard-mobiles in the world; his love of beards, reverence for Nature and passion for oration and bestowing lore upon the populace.
Once this current narrative arc completes, and his non-muggle heritage is shockingly revealed, digested and assimilated into a more powerful version of himself – Dave, Rafe and Simon Thakur will congregate at the top of said tree-house – on the solstice – for an evening of ceremonial ‘halfling leaf’, whence we will nod, stroke our beards, talk about books and say ‘indeed’ excessively.
And most of all – Rafe has done all the above and is also raising three beautiful children with his wife Beth. It is possible something only one who has a family with children, and also teaches, and creates a method, can understand – but I for one am in awe of what he has managed to do in even the short time since we first met.