Movement Inspiration 12/27/13 contact and improv
Almost 4 years ago I introduced the idea of a pyramid of movement with locomotion as the bottom layer, manipulation as the middle layer and combat at the top, this has since been adopted by a number of other natural movement thinkers. This idea was for me a way of simplifying the 10 basic skills of Methode Naturelle and a response to the fitness pyramid of crossfit with gymnastics, weight lifting and sport.
I realize now this was not complete, the top layer is not combat that is only part of the top layer, the top layer is interaction with another living thing whether combative or cooperative, its both partner dance and martial arts. Touch is powerful and should not be ignored in the development of physical practice.
Within the context of parkour a consistent problem is the inability to move from isolated segments of movement, and preplanned sequences to the ability to improvise and move seamlessly.
The ultimate goal is not to be very powerful and fluid doing something you have scripted and visualized in your head endless times but to be able to move like this adaptively in response to the demands in front of you, to become the man who can run and whom nothing can stop.
To this end I have come up with many games that develop improvisation but the best one was introduced to me by Frosti Zernow from team tempest. It is a variation of contact improve adapted to parkour. In the game one player initiates the next players movement by pushing or pulling them, the other player tries to accept the momentum without resisting and find a way to create movement flow out of it moving through a set of obstacles before initiating the next player. I will put up a video showing this soon.
It helps you to develop the ability to move without thought, to develop what in martial arts is call mushin no shin mind of no mind. It helps your recognize how many options you have and helps overcome the hesitation and loss of rythm that occurs when we feel we have messed up the movement we intended.
Lately I have been exploring more ways to bring contact and improvisation into my practice thus the parkour capoeira featured earlier on the blog, but for now I want to feature the masters at this type of movement dancers.
This video shows an incredible facility with movement, creative, flow and senstivity to a partner beautiful stuff.
Look for more info about the movement pyramid and its components in full length articles soon.
My challenge for you today is to work on movement with contact and improvisation. If possible try the game described above.
With all the talk about dance on the blog recently I also wanted to feature this video from my one of my students who also happens to be a awesome dancer independently of his training with me. Its awesome to see him starting to put together his different skill sets.