Posts Tagged ‘Aliveness’

Inspiration 10/10/14 Parkour Contact Improv

I have mentioned my approach to aliveness in movement a few times here on the blog and went into greater depth in my interview with reconnected human. I will go even more depth soon but aliveness is about being able to deal with more variables and to step outside of the preplanned and and be able to adapt, this means the capacity to improvise.

In the parkour community I have found this capacity very lacking, and in the community now called itself the movement community I see the same thing. Improvisation is not a focus and building progressively towards the capacity for improvisation is very underdeveloped.

Improvisation is at the heart of combats sports and alive martial arts, as well as team sports though the variety of movement is often underdeveloped, partner dance, improvisational dance and Capoeira are all great for improvisation ability while offering more movement variety though less intensity.

Three years ago Frosti Zernow from team tempest introduced me to a contact improv drill for parkour which I have found incredibly developmental for improvisational ability, for movement sensitivity as well as being really fun.

In Parkour the focus is so often on doing specific movements that it can be easy to get stuck in a mindset of failure if you miss an element or disappointment if you focus too much on stuff you don’t yet feel ready to do. This drill allows us to let go of that mindset and touches deeply on our innate sense of play, we never play this without lots of laughter, smiles and excitement developing.

I wanted to share a quick clip of the drill with some of the rest of my training from colorado this last week.
Contact improv is in the second clip first clip is improv without contact.

and then some improv inspiration from dance

The basics of the drill are simple, one player gives another a push or pull to give them some momentum the second player tries to move with the contact and then create as sequence of movement out of it ending by intiating the next player. Learning how to get the right mindset, ways to give other people momentum in a way they can interpret effectively, as well as more variations on the game require more hands on teaching, if your in the bay area definitely check out our next seminar if this interests you it will be a significant focus.

Next time you get a chance to train with some partners make sure to play with this drill.

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Movement inspiration 9/22/14 Sandy sliding, flipping, and sundry

Last Friday I met up with my old training partner Dane, for a training session at a discovery park. We finished the day together on big sand slope, sliding down a seam in the sandwall, then doing wall flips, side flips and front flips into the soft sand. A nice soft sand slope provides a really wonderful environment to explore acrobatics, the float time and the softness of the landing make for an exhilarating experience, in addition, king of the hills sand races, and sliding movements are all great ways to enjoy a  good sandy area. Like swimming holes, rocky creek beds, and trees this one of the quintessential play environments. Its natures version of a foam pit, slip and slide, and wrestling mat.





My challenge to you then is to find some time for some play on a good sand slope.

For inspiration check out Shade’s POV sand flipping here

and Teg’s sand slope interactive/combative parkour

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Movement Inspiration 8/1/14 Canyoning/canyoneering

Yesterday my friend Dane and I took our first canyoning/canyoneering trip to a place called silver creek. It was an epic adventure, including getting stuck in traffic for an hour because of the blue angels jet team, then  arriving to find 3 miles of road washed out making the hour hike in a 2.5 hour hike in.


All of which meant we didn’t get into the canyon until 3:30 by which time shade had almost completed captured the canyon, so the jumps into the cool water were less refreshing and more an intense passage. The fatigue and cold made it a little harder to enjoy the incredible beauty of sculpted rock, the crystal waters and the many beautiful waterfalls, but intensity is enjoyable in its way, to face something difficult, something new and pass through it, is an amazing feeling.

This what I train for not to be fit or to look good naked, nor even to just be able move beautifully, but to experience aliveness. To step into the chaotic maelstrom of reality and the capacity to adapt, to thrive and to enjoy it.



Does your training develop your ability to buffer cold and heat, to deal with chafed skin, to keep moving through fatigue, to tell how deep a pool of water is and if there are any objects in it, to be comfortable dropping 20 feet from a cliff into water, to climb while being buffeted by a watefall?

Here is some canyoneering inspiration for you courtesy of Warren Verboom.

If you do choose to go canyoning please read up and be careful, there are special dangers involved in canyoning, flash floods, hypothermia, difficult rescue, its not just about being physical capable you need to have your brain turned on too.




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