Movement Training for Humans
Movement inspiration 7/8/14 Otter King
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Movement inspiration 7/8/14 Otter King

When I was in my early teens we played an awesome game every summer, a game we called otter king. I was the champion of this game, and after each victory I would stand upon the dock and stare down at my vanquished opponents in the water around me and scream, “I will crush your skulls like a clam against my tummy!”.

Ok, so we actually called the game King of the Dock, and while yes I was the champion I never screamed that line; it is actually from an episode of South Park. None the less, it is a great summer game and otter king is a much cooler name for it.

It’s pretty simple: start on a platform elevated above water, wrestle to throw the other guys off the dock, then climb back up and wrestle some more.

In the right circumstance you can mix grappling, swimming, and climbing and possibly other locomotive movement. If you have the base level to feel comfortable with the swimming, grappling, and falling into the water, give it a try. It’s an amazing combination of movement capacities and incredibly fun.

You can of course regress the game by using more limited wrestling, like having set foot positions or not being able to use your hands, and be careful of environmental hazards.

My inspiration for remembering this game was recently watching the all-time kings of this game, small clawed river otters. Below I put together a little edit of the best video I could capture of them doing their thing at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. Take some inspiration from it and work towards being able to play in and out of water moving your own body and moving with other people with the same fluidity, grace, and abandon of these beautiful animals.

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