Our perception (sensory awareness and body-space awareness) is the key element for learning movement. Not memorization of techniques, performance cues, or instructions.
Instead of learning techniques, if you simply understand the basic cycle of movement and how to apply it, you can create an appropriate and efficient (natural) technique for any movement. Applying it requires perception. Perception is only developed through paying attention and regularly practicing diverse, natural movement.
So rather than trying to learn and copy techniques, understand in simple terms what is really hapening when you move, enhance your perception, and see how much simpler and more natural movement becomes and feels.
If it’s within your current ability, try the Shaolin Head Flip demonstrated in the video. It’s a simple enough movement that doesn’t require any extraordinary raw physical strength or ability, but it does require a certain body-space awareness and basic perception to FEEL the movement, coordinate the action, and do it safely with minimal effort.
Rather than just exercising, enhance your perception!
Here is a hip mobility progression from easy to difficult. Mobility means flexibility together with strength. The easier progressions shown here require the least amount of strength and as you get to the most difficult digressions there’s an element of elastic and explosive strength needed and an ability to reposition the body quickly and instinctively by flexing the joints (not the muscles).
Of course there are also more difficult progressions than what are shown here, but this is enough to chew on for now.
When I was a young child, I never thought to myself that I need to workout or get some exercise. Yet, I was almost constantly moving, playing, and getting lots of so-called exercise. If I found a stick, I found a way to use it. A wall, a ball, or just a patch of grass were all reasons to play and use my body. Not with the intention of exercising or getting healthier or losing weight or looking good or anything like that. Simply because I’m alive. It’s no different today at the age of 37. Why should it be?
If as an adult you find yourself not feeling as youthful, energetic and alive (without a cup of coffee), happy, etc, then what is different about now compared to when those things seemed more natural and easier? It’s not just the responsibilities, work, age, or similar excuses people use... we all have that to deal with. It’s the approach. The outlook. The accumulated choices (or forfeiting of choices). The priorities. The psychological drama. I’ve never, ever regretted going outside to play. Never regretted laughing genuinely. Never regretted investing time to learn something new. Neve regretted sweating and tiring myself out from simply playing. Never regretted getting a few bumps, bruises, or grass stains because I went outside to play in the backyard.
It’s the fountain of youth. Drink up.
This is the essence of Skillz Movement. It’s available to anyone.
Prepare. Protect. Practice. Play.
The extent to which the body and mind are properly prepared, trained, and maintained determines one’s ability to breathe and move efficiently and to ‘bounce back’ from the external forces put on the body and mind daily (e.g. gravity, weight, ground reaction force, fear, stress, etc).
“A young tree bends in the wind and snaps back with force.”
You can train yourself to be young, flexible, and resilient, or you can train yourself to be old, rigid, and fragile.
Train young. Play. Move better. Live better.
Techniques are just abstract ideas and philosophies. All movement should be as natural as walking. A baby learns to walk without learning any techniques. There’s no need for techniques. Only if you’ve trained/lived yourself out of the ability to move naturally, then you need an effective process to re-train your body and mind to relax and move naturally.
Most limb injuries (i.e. to the arms, including the shoulder/elbow/wrist joints, and to the legs, including the hip/knee/ankle joints) come from improper use of the limbs. Specifically, from carrying excess tension in the limbs and using them as the primary source of strength and leverage. This creates rigidity, weakness, and fragility over time.
The limbs are just extensions of the body (trunk) and should be used that way. But since modern living has most people moving in such limited ways, people become like robots - disconnected from their bodies and unable to use the body in its natural integrated capacity.
Learning to move better, more naturally, through a regular movement practice and/or proper training can eliminate a lot of unnecessary problems and correct existing ones.
If you don’t move and train in a way that utilizes and strengthens the natural elasticity of the body, you will weaken the body, erode the joints, and make the ligaments and tendons more susceptible to injury. This is mostly about HOW you move, but also a little bit about what types of movements and training you do, as certain types of exercises/stretches and machines, for example, force the body to move unnaturally.
The photo below illustrates a beneficial exercise for the middle section of the body, with emphasis on strengthening the posterior side. The main function of the middle section of the body is to connect and control the upper and lower sections so strength and power can effectively be transferred, and elasticity can be utilized. By understanding this, one would not waste time doing endless crunches or using ab machines found in many gyms. Not only is it an ineffective/inefficient way to train, but it’s also potentially harmful.
Working against natural movement principles means working against the body, which has consequences. For an intelligent, safe, and effective approach to training the body, check out our services.
When two bricks collide, it’s pure friction. If they hit hard enough, they will shatter. Being strong in the way a brick is strong is a fragile and limited kind of strength. It’s one-dimensional. But when water crashes into a brick, it yields. It can crash with enough power to wipe out a brick house, and still it can flow around it effortlessly. It’s a much more versatile and powerful kind of strength. How you train and develop your body determines if you become like a brick, or like water.
“Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard."