What is movement? Have you ever taken a moment to ask yourself and define, what is movement? In our modern age of innovation and creation, I have spent the last decade researching what this concept is; both from the standpoint of biology and physiology in forms of energy on the humanistic level, but also understanding the movement of interdependence in relation to our surroundings. Over the course of the last several years this idea of “movement” in the health and fitness industry has started to take shape, transform and manifest a trend that many ask; what is it, why is it, and is it here to stay?
If we “google” the word “movement,” (seems like a good place to start as any), there is no true definition of the word itself, it seems it is subjective and can mean many things. Wikipedia (movement as in a clock) suggests ; “movement is the internal mechanism of a timepiece.” Wikipedia goes on to include sub divisions in art and music, motor control for human physiology and onward to a social movement, as in a revolution of sorts. All applies.
At the simplistic level, I feel that this, all of this, is true and if we look closer we can see that they all have varying degrees of commonality. Humans are a timepiece, are we not? Everything in our internal mechanism is constantly in a state of movement and change – we grow, develop, evolve, age, slow down, speed up etc. We are in a constant state of internal dance.
One of the best descriptions of “movement,” I have heard most recently, is by Ido Portal, born and raised in Israel he is a pioneer of movement culture. Literally, that’s his company as well! his video has been shared around the globe and what I love about this dude is the first thing he says is; “I don’t do exercise, that’s not what I do, I talk about movement. Fitness is a small, small, small world within the universe of movement.” He is bang on.
Historically, movement has been used to express emotions and in language to express creative thought, and we can see throughout history that dance and music has been part of almost every cultural lineage as a means to tell stories of epic grandeur and to express one’s inner soul to the world, to be closer to family and to ones spiritual path, to release energy.
The Flow of energy:
Any infinite state of being has energy. Every living thing, human, animal, plant, water, air, earth and fire – is all comprised of energy and is in a constant state of motion, a constant state of flow. As an athlete I was introduced to movement as a young child, dabbling in ballet and dance, then gymnastics for a short term, then martial arts for the past 10 years. Each with it’s own style and expression of movement and motion.
In my professional career, apart from the obvious Yoga Teacher Training and Strength and Conditioning Certifications, I was first introduced to the “free movement” concept when I started playing around with the Functional Movement Systems, over a decade ago.
This system is usually thought of and represented in our industry, as a screening tool to address and identify dysfunction or breakdowns in movement patterning in the human form. By breaking down the joint by joint approach, the FMS combined the science of movement, but with a more clinical approach to help bridge the gaps in treatment and diagnosis to prevention and evolving ones perspective on how each joint relates to the other etc.
A school of thought that was born out of the neuro developmental process and paediatric development fields, by researching how we, as infants use motor control, how we do what we do. As babies we are not told to move, we just do. We weren’t taught to fire our core, or told how to roll over or to use our limbs. We weren’t taught to crawl or walk; it is genetically coded in our DNA. Movement is the expression of our own internal and external connection to our world.
Most recently, over the last 3 years, working full time in a clinic and a sports environment with the FMS systems and Fit to Train Human Performance Systems, I find many people, young and old do not explore movement as we did as children and the body breaks down as a result of de stabilization, and loss of joint mobility. When we are not free to move, our health deteriorates. It’s as simple as that.
Our industry, the industry of fitness is great, however, it does segregate and break up methodologies in order to understand how they can apply to us, but at the same time – they are not separate. For so long I have heard phrases such as: “I can’t lift weights, I am an endurance runner,” or ” only cardiovascular exercise will result in weight loss,” or ” I can’t lift weights, I’ll bulk up.”These phrases are still part of our industry and a re education is deeply necessary to overcome the exclusion of our disciplines and to resurrect the inclusion of natural movement and play.
Now, re educating that to clients who want to lose weight, want to rehab an injury, want to be pain free is the hardest, but also most rewarding part of my job. Every day I have the opportunity to show clients how to improve their well being by proving the quality of movement, rather than merely the quantity is the key component in flow – in going beyond just the movement. When we flow from one movement to the next, with intention and purpose, controlled and methodical appreciation of every joint, muscle, system, breath and connection – we are in flow and we begin to see things differently, we being to feel a way of life, not a moment or fragment in time.
The Movement Revolution:
Yoga and Martial Arts are ancient forms of, what I call a dance of the soul. 5,000 years ago, it was not taught as a form of “exercise” or merely a way to find your Qi in “meditation.” It was and still is a flow of life, our energy force, our communion with ourselves and our surroundings and it is a way of being, not a “thing.”
Yet, it has given birth to many methods of modern day “movement” based trends that are gaining leverage in our industry as the best way to live a fulfilling, happy, enriched life.
Scott Sonnon: TacFit CST & Intu Flow:
“Youth is the ability to adapt and remain in flow.” – Scott Sonnon
Last year I was introduced to a pioneer in this field of movement, none other than Scott Sonnon, founder of the discipline of joint mobility, a world renowned joint mobility program called the Intu-Flow Longevity System.
In addition to this he has created RMAX International, with disciplines such as; Prasara Yoga, the TacFit CST (Circular Strength Training), TacGYM, TacFit Police, TacFit Commando, Recuper8 etc. All of which bring to light the necessary structure and education of movement with purpose that outlines a scope a practice beneficial for any person or professional designation.
You will have to wait till next week to learn more about Scott’s empire when we take a closer look at Intu Flow and Wolf Systems mobility yoga classes.
To learn more about Scott Sonnon, watch this video on how he started his journey in flow: http://youtu.be/P5Aq-eSzu5E
John Wolf of Wolf Fitness Systems: Evolution Kettlebell Groundworks
Next up, I was introduced to John Wolf, founder and alpha male of “Wolf Fitness Systems.” John is also the Director of US Operations for RMAX International with Scott Sonnon. I sourced out to find John Wolf after watching a video from TacFit Police, as I was pursuing a career in law enforcement last year; which is still a large part of my vision. Learning more about his work with TacFit CST, and Intu Flow, as well as his own creation of the movement discipline called “EKG (Evolution Kettlebell Groundwork); a style of training that combines the movement discipline of the joint by joint mobility approach, as well as building strength and endurance with kettle-bells, club-bells, and circular body weight training.
Next week I will be flying down to Salinas California to meet John and “The Pack” and to experience first hand this style of training full force.
To see EKG movement in real time, check out this video edited by ESIK Productions: http://youtu.be/dddATDpw5-c
Through John, I linked up with Animal Flow founder Mike Fitch and through Fit to Train Human Performance Systems I was connected with MoveNat. Two organizations speaking the same language – that movement, play and exploration are at the heart of flow and living a fulfilled life.
MovNat and Animal Flow:
Two more pioneers and leaders in our industry, I have had the pleasure to connect with is MovNat, an organization that teaches real-world physical competency and conditioning based on natural human movement skills, to support a lifetime of physical activity. Their movement skills focus on locomotive skills (walking, running, balancing, jumping etc), as well as utilizing manipulative skills (throwing, carrying, lifting, catching) and combative skills (grappling, striking, hunting… back in the day).
The other is Global Body Weight Training Systems and Animal Flow founded by industry leader Mike Fitch. Animal Flow is a primal workout system combining animalistic movements with elements of Parkour, break dancing, and gymnastics in a freestyle flow of fluid movement that he coins is intense and fun, and I would have to agree.
To learn more about Animal Flow check it out here: http://youtu.be/cyTi73__-vA
To learn more about MovNat check it out here: http://youtu.be/j7Hp196bTsA
Are you evolving?
Exercise and movement is evolving, and thus are we. Movement will set you free. A revolution in movement is upon us and over the course of the next 4 weeks, I will be offering an in-depth look at movement and exploration my own energy flow, showcasing some of the work of these disciplines. This will involve gruelling hours of play time, jumping, balancing, throwing my body weight around and a few kettlebells in the den, in the park and wherever Salinas takes me and I will be documenting it all.
- Part 1: Intu Flow and Prasara Yoga
- Part 2: Animal and Primal Movement
- Part 4: Evolve Your Groundwork with Circular Strength Training and EKG
- Part 3: Tactical Movement for Tactical Response
Look out VanCity because I could possible bring back John Wolf and his Pack and introduce TacFit CST and EKG to the Canadian masses. This is a revolution you will want to be a part of. It will change your life, are you ready to evolve? If you are then, the below leaders should be on your radar.
- RMAX International: http://www.rmaxinternational.com/om/home.php
- Wolf Fitness Systems: http://lead-the-pack-fitness.com/
- MovNat: http://www.movnat.com/
- Global Body Weight Training Systems and Animal Flow: http://www.globalbodyweighttraining.com/
- Ido Portal Video with RawBrahs: http://youtu.be/aLogFAbTlDI