Imagine a movement-educational network where things work.
A growing web of sustainable communities from all over the globe created by thousands of students that orbit and grow around a pulsating inner core of teachers that lead by unstained example, deep study, and hard work.
A multi-centered space that can integrate those interested to join in a life-long journey of self-development with care and love, but that also demands rigor and discipline.
This concept should be elevated at the top of the chain.
Too often I have seen people starting something with all the best intentions, losing themselves away into a self-alimenting Poe-like maelstrom of personal problems, shortly after. Draining academic careers, second jobs, family issues, and bureaucracy, just to mention a few.
The only way to ride a wave is being on top of it, not behind, nor beyond. Therefore, being there and training hard, with passion, the fullness of intention and respectful arrogance, it is all there is.
Everything else shall be second.
And here it comes the main topic of the day: the yearly Movement Camp is, to my senses, the tip of the iceberg of this contemporary phenomenon.
It is a moment to gather up with some of the most serious practitioners and leaders in the world and spend time together through intense guided fieldwork.
Cross-intricated principles on movement development are here delivered, and observational frameworks provided to all the participants. It serves to determine where the movement culture is currently going, but also as an engine sparkplug that ignites interest for the months to come.
Movement Camp 2019
After three years, Thailand keeps being a wild jungle with an imperfect architecture, but this time it all starts to feel a
The Kop Khun Khaa (thank you) recited as a mantra resonating in the streets; huge frogs making cow-like sounds when a storm hits the island; the clean and perfect stray dog whose fur is in better shape than my own hair, and the clear climate: 100% humidity or 100% air-conditioned – constantly attempting to inject flu and a sore neck into you from the very first step out of the plane.
Oh, and the helmets’ situation for motorcycle riders is improving. I think I saw one this time, which is an increase of 200%, everything considered. I can spot a clear positive trend here.
Traveling impressions aside, this year’s movement camp has been a deep dive.
It left me with a sensation of clear evolution and consolidation. The whole event is moving towards delivering a very balanced set of activities: sometimes placing a brick on top of another, sometimes letting go of
The energies were also well redistributed: mind challenging classes were followed by heavy physical sessions which were separated by more relaxing moments.
Now onto the event itself:
UNCLOUD / Dudi Malka
Dudi presented more insights and practical tools to deal with the demons reseeding within ourselves. Where commercialized ancient practices are going towards externalization of shapes and an aesthetics orientation, the material presented here is drinking nectar directly from the very deep unstained origins of Hatha Yoga. It is directed towards finding inner qualities for enhanced stability, clarity and calmness.
“Don’t come here for the
To do so, he pushes all students into hard and confronting postures, breathing constraints, immobilism
Only dealing with what is challenging and uncomfortable, would allow people to find calmness within a storm of thoughts and emotions.
Don’t get me wrong, these are not just philosophical alignments, they appear to be very practical advice also in a movement practice. If you only do what you like, you will ultimately hit a wall. Not realizing that it will happen, will ultimately lead towards dissatisfaction and deep delusion for not being able to align with the running of time and to the grasp of a bigger picture.
Recently, I saw a clip of a 75 years-old gymnast which was being praised by everyone for being able to do the same things that he was doing “when he was in his 20es”. Well, inside my mind I couldn’t help but think: “In 75 years he didn’t learn much apparently”.
He should pay a visit to Dudi and embrace his natural evolution. Moving on into different practices, rather than holding on to a phantom of his past.
Personally, this work has been the most transformational for my body and mind. I feel in a completely different place than before starting this process.
INTERFACE – Eran Bert
You are grasping for air with the skin on fire, all covered in sweat, the muscles start to get numb from high fatigue, the vision gets blurred and you need to pull out the best coordinative solutions for a task – a voice slithers into your brain from afar: “keep going!”.
Well, that’s the briefest summary I can pull out of my hat for you to grasp what Eran’s work felt like to me.
He has been sharing different discrimination’s systems for organized fighting under different rules: submission scenarios, partner drills to build a clever body and connection maneuvers to perceive the other person as an extension of yourself.
Despite me being in a pure abhorring place for fighting, the movement perspective shed a fascinating light into it and through the years I am starting to appreciate it more and more.
The idea of getting hurt, of not always being in control, of dealing with the high external pressure of another body that wants to strangle you (in the best-case scenario) slowly faded away, to make space for a deeper understanding of what there IS
As it always happens, we tend to move away from what we don’t understand.
One of the most captivating
I now thoroughly relish all the little moments of understanding that arise from the collaboration or resistance with another person, the puzzling decision making, the body storms, the glances of connection and the small punishments for a wrongly executed task.
So, thank you
I’ll let your iron words of encouragement be soft on my skin.
EX NIHILO / Shai Faran
You think you are able to coordinate your body, right? Well, you better think again.
If you were in the camp, I am sure you would have re-evaluated your belief. Before entering the door, you must be ready to question your basic capacity to move a limb, literally. For how long, in which way, with what orientation, in which direction, in relation to what and under which criteria.
Shai is the ruled barer, the awareness queen and it’s a constant reminder of how little we think of all the small things. It always reminds me of this zen story:
“Zen students stay with their teacher at least ten years before they would presume to teach.
Tenno finished his apprenticeship and started to teach.
One rainy day, he visited the great Nan-yin.
At the entrance to the temple, Tenno left his clogs and umbrella.
Nan-yin greeted him and asked in passing,
“You left your clogs in the vestibule.
Tell me, did you place your umbrella to the right or the left of your clogs?”
Tenno was stunned.
He was not attentive at the time and could not give a response now.
Tenno stayed on and became
…until he perfected Zen in every moment.”
Similarly, in the
You have to learn how to compute more info with the same brain and infuse quality in it while preparing for the next moment to unfold. You drop the attention a split of a second, you are out of this game.
Year after year, I feel like I am developing the tools to observe what people bodies do and how they do it, in a completely different manner, in terms of choices, shapes, complexity, disruption or harmonization.
The level of fine refinement that can be reached in this world is so subtle that only a highly trained eye can pick it up. If you are still in the realm of looking at a backflip and going wow, you are far off. In the future, if you’ll come down this path, what will make you wow will be the way a person walks.
ELECTRIC EEL / Odelia Goldschmidt
What I appreciate about Odelia’s presentations is that all the material is developed from the scratches of her own practices. If something touched her skin in a way or in another, it will come back out in the form of some deeply developed material.
This bottom-up grounding effect is extremely powerful: it means that the roots of the processes are not levitating in the fine air, but they reach down into the earth to keep the structure solid.
Tracking back with my eye behind the head to where all was coming from, it left me with a sense of excitement for the developmental potential power for everything – literally anything that touches a bright and creative person has no limits for evolving a system forward.
In my mind, it placed very interesting accents and enquiries on the specificity of training and the plasticity of our bodies. On how much we are able to sculpt ourselves, as an internal response to different stimuli over the course of our lives.
“The rivers sculpt the mountains as movement sculpts our body”. Look, I even gave you a sentence to write on your wall.
On a human level then, the care and attention of her teachings are second to none.
SEE/FEEL/PERCEIVE/EXPRESS / Rasmus Ölme
In his practical sessions, he was able to analyze everything with nothing. Minute after minute, he guided us through various layers of understanding of a motion: unveiling and unraveling every layer, detail, shade and sophistication.
To me, it pretty much felt like one of those moments in which you look at a shell, realize the homothety of the fractal in it, connect to the similarities between the biggest and the smallest systems of the universe.
Given that one can reach this level of depth within the physical realm, it’s not surprising that a lot of expert practitioners revert their interest more and more towards the inside – rather than the outside.
On top of this all, he managed to present a lecture on various mediums to observe the world of phenomena, relate to them in different contexts and perceive space as part of ourselves.
By the end of the presentation, I wasn’t really sure if I was a part of the room, the room itself or an external observer of it.
SURFACES / Ido Portal
To my heart, Ido’s workshops always feel like taking a chair on the side of the director of a movie and talking about what’s going on in the scene and why or chatting to a magician about the disentanglement of a trick, while the outside observers fall into attention diversion techniques.
The emphasis is always placed on what is “behind the scenes” in the body, on generating more options, applying better procedures, freeing space in the Homunculus and making the coordination of all body segments more refined.
Me evading from the hug of death by my friend Summer O’Black
It’s like practicing something quite general, but that will then translate into more overall proficiency because it’s ubiquitous in its essence for skill acquisition. It serves as a base layer for the production of movement solution of various sort.
The final sensation is of leaving the session with a more intelligent body, rather than a body that has learned something. I guess one can go for the analogy to the classic “giving a person a fish” vs “teaching how to fish”. The latter is the most valuable we agree, but the first is what you usually get when learning something, here is a leap into the second option.
On top of this, it felt good to be thrown again into the realm of the hard floor with many riddles to solve and opportunities to investigate.
All in all, it’s true, there are no secrets nor shortcuts to the understanding of your own body: you have to do the work. However, there are facilitators and those who can deliver real treasures to deal with this self-writing personal manual, and Ido is one of them – you won’t find a better teacher on earth.
How much will he speed up all your processes? More or less 524%.
R & R / Martin Kilvady
Expect nothing from Martin and be ready to leave all option available, all doors wide open.
You might think you know what he is going to do, present, propose, suggest but you are most likely standing in the wrong place. Why? Well, first of all, he is ready to surprise himself as well, second of all his body knowledge in terms of subtle understanding, the precision in gestures, the amount of parameters he has access to, the awareness in every motion, the expression and revolution of the norm is on another level.
He is the one who is able to “make the strange familiar and the familiar strange”.
You think you know why you are making certain choices in producing action and where you are placing your attention in your physicality but eventually, he will shake it off you.
In the past, I used to think certain activities were weird, but the reality is that something tastes strange only if it’s unknown or away from the norm imposed by some form of social and cultural conditioning.
Martin himself was placing this example (answering to an observation I raised on the topic): “people were looking at me weird as I was doing my things in the sand, moving around thinking of what the hell is that guy doing, but then they were going back into surfing some waves.
I mean moving in the sand versus riding a piece of plastic in the middle of the ocean. Who is doing weird things here?”.
It puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?
If something is not coded under the eyes of the norm it suddenly seems odd, something to think about.
From a very practical aspect, he has been guiding everyone through some methodologies for personal therapy which I found brilliant. The idea is that there is no one better than ourselves that knows how to deal with ourselves in terms of recovery and self-care
He offered a wide array of factors to manipulate to tune the body into the state we want it to be.
Oh, and one thing I didn’t mention. If you are attending anything that Martin is presenting be ready to start laughing with your mouth wide open.
Martin, you have added a really special flavor into this camp. Same as kamaboko (the pink and white cured sashimi) does to the ramen. Everybody wonders what is that thing is, but the soup wouldn’t just be the same without it.
Conclusion and words for all
When you hear someone say: this year was special, probably, what I wrote up here is a fraction of what they meant.
Overall every year the event looks more refined, balanced and to the point. The feedbacks and the minor issues from the previous years are elegantly redirected to drive the new camp in the best flawless way.
A feeling of interconnection between this year event, the classes and the
And this is essential as this is not an event to join into for a one-time experience, but for a long-term education that can potentially last a lifetime.
To all the observers, the one looking from afar, the tasters. If interested, my suggestion is to start a process now and understand if this world is for you. If so, my invitation is not to follow the bread crumbs, but to go ahead and take a bite to the sandwich, you might find out it has a different taste.
Personally, it has been a powerful choice that is reshaping and remodeling my being until today.
See if being part of this network can be for you – write at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are planning to join in, however, be advised, it’s not going to be an easy task – be ready to flip your certainties upside down.
And to all those who saw a Movement Camp five years ago and never joined back again, or you haven’t been in one of the schools around the world, remember – you are not updated if you are not coming. You are late.
This movement culture is a dynamic creature.
I have always been the one looking to develop myself as a renaissance man and using my physical development as a medium for it – and this group of special people is a rare macroorganism striving towards that same goal.
In an era that is going towards fragmentation and overspecialization, we stand behind the fullness of being.
Now a few last words to you Ido. Thank you for being the catalyst, for always seeing one step ahead of the present and for taking care when this was no more a necessity. Deep gratitude for all these years.
Until next time – with love to all the teachers and to my companions in this journey,