Physical Preparedness – Part 1/3 – Elastic Qualities

Physical Preparedness – Part 1/3 – Elastic Qualities

Physical Preparedness – Elastic Qualities – Part 1/3

A1. Kip – side fascia line x 10 reps
A2. Kip – backward fascia line x 10 reps
A3. Kip – frontal fascia line x 10 reps

Goal. Demonstrate proficiency in utilizing the serape like fascia line in an elastic rebound, optimal and soft landing with correct mechanics.

B1. Push ups – drops x 8 total singles / 15-25 sec rest
B2. Push ups – explosives x 4-6 reps x 5 sets / 90 sec rest
B3. Push ups – rebounding x 30-60 sec x 2 sets / 60 sec rest 

* Progression B1/B2: closed to open hips, knees to feet), rest up to 3 min between ex. 

Goal. Drops: increase the height of the drop by one progression; Explosives: 20 cm increase in height; Rebounding: maintain spring like quality all throughout the 60 sec of work.

C1. Pull ups – drops x 8 total singles / 15-25 sec rest
C2. Pull ups – explosives x 4-6 reps x 5 sets / 90 sec rest
C3. Pull ups – rebounding x 15-30 sec x 2 sets / 60 sec rest

* Progression: C1. start from a higher standing position C2. >inclination of the torso, rest up to 3 min between ex. 

Goal. Drops: working from above the bar; Explosives: working with the body parallel to the ground; Rebounding: maintain spring like quality all throughout the 30 sec of work. 

D1. Leg swings – front and back x 10 reps x 3 lines per leg / rest walking back
D2. Leg swings – side to side x 10 reps x 3 lines per leg / rest walking back 

* Progression: C1. start from a higher standing position C2. Increase the inclination of the torso, rest up to 3 min between ex.

Goal. Showing a clear improvement in ranges, top accent of the swing, posture and steps centralization.

E1. Rebounding – high to long x 6-10 of your feet x 6 jumps x 3 sets / rest walking back
E2. Rebounding – low x half feet of E1 x 12 jumps x 3 sets / rest walking back
E3. Rebounding – straight legs x half feet of E1 x 12 jumps x 3 sets / rest walking back
E4. Rebounding – one leg x 6-10 of your feet x 6 jumps x 2 sets per leg / rest walking back 

*Rest 3 mins between the exercises.

Goal. Display a 2 feet increase in distance with quick rebounds and short contact times, no slow SSC involved. 

F1. End range bounces – deep lunge x 15-30 bounces x 2 sets per leg / rest walking back
F2. End range bounces – sumo stance x 15-30 bounces x 2 sets per leg / rest walking back

*Rest 2 mins between the exercises.

Goal. Working with 30 bounces in all sets and visible lower positions overall.

Here’s the visual references to the exercises:

In hope this will serve bring you elasticity in what appears to be a static and restricted moment for most,

Physical Preparedness part 2: Strength and Balance is coming soon. 

Until next time,
Marcello.

Acrobatics – Intro Protocol 1

Acrobatics – Intro Protocol 1

Acrobatics – protocol 1

 

A. Sensory upgrade – eyes locking drill x 60” x 3 sets 

Lock your eyes on the fingers of your partner. Without visually losing your target draw different trajectories in space with your head as a brush. Use different inclination of the torso, plane tilts and challenge yourself.  

Goal. Improving eyes tracking, locking, softening or condensing the awareness in terms of velocity, processing and overall sharpness. 

B. Spinwheels x 10 reps each  

Perform a cartwheel spinning internally on the first hand that touches the ground. Do so while entering and exiting in four possible permutations:

B1. Same arm entry to same leg exit
B2. Same arm entry to opposite leg exit
B3. Opposite arm entry to same leg exit
B4. Opposite arm entry to opposite leg exit

Goal. Display a clear understanding of all the variations, well defined spins on the first hand and controlled landings.  

C. Goalkeeper game – stationary variation x 90-120” x 5 sets / alternating with the partner

In the game, the keeper must prevent the ball from entering the goal. If the ball is rolled it needs to be caught by hands, if the ball is thrown it needs to be deflected using the feet. Simultaneously with the release of the ball the thrower should also command the keeper to use the right or the left limb to perform the defensive action.

Note for the thrower. Use wits and ingenuity to beat the partner, don’t use power. 

Goal. Show adroitness and competence in sliding while catching the ball with your hands and high, quick, and precise swings of the legs when deflecting the ball with your feet.

D. Inverted walks x 2-5 cluster steps x 6 reps x 3 sets 

From a standing position, take a step forward. Place the same hand of the stepping foot on the ground. Kick with the back leg towards a handstand. Take 2-5 steps (depending on your level) then come back down with a scissoring action. Do this forward, sideways and backwards in lines first and then progress to doing all the directions consecutively.

Goal. Working with 5 cluster steps x 6 reps in all sets use unbroken repetitions with a correct coordination. 

Here’s the visual references to the exercises:

In hope this will serve bring awareness in what appears to be a difficult and distracting moment for most,

Until next time,

Marcello.

Lightness Skills – Intro Protocol 1

Lightness Skills – Intro Protocol 1

Lightness skills – protocol 1

 

A. Light touch x 10 reps each / rest as needed

Perform a jump. While in the air, lightly tap the tennis ball, making it roll out of its position. Land silently and accurately.

A1. Sideway Jump – sideway touch
A2. Split Jump – Inside touch
A3. Forward Jump – Forward touch
A4. Forward Jump – Backward touch

Goal. Reach the full 40 jumps without mistakes. 

B. Four staircase jumps x 6-12 reps each / 120” rest after each permutation

Jump up the staircase using four different permutations in the jumps and in the landings. 

B1. Two legs to two legs
B2. Two legs to one leg
B3. One leg to the same leg
B4. One leg to two legs

Goal. Build up capacity to max rep range. Working 90% success rate on the landings, good jumping mechanics, and soft accurate landings. Increase by 1 step your initial max jump. 

C. Acceleration drill – ball hunt x 4-6 cluster reps / 180” rest after each

Lie in a prone position facing your partner. When she throws a tennis ball behind you turn to the right or to the left splitting your starting stance on the right or on the left. Catch the ball before it bounces twice. 

C1. Right turn, left stance
C2. Right turn, right stance
C3. Left turn, left stance
C4. Left turn, right stance 

Goal. Working with sharpness, athletic coordination, and a clear understanding of all the given permutations. 

D. Cloud walking x 10 minutes of work

Silently walk on four tennis balls, without touching the ground with any part of your feet, and without moving them out of their spot. Draw circles around them to stay accountable – keep high standards of execution.

Goal. Performing the drill 5 lines in a row without making mistakes. Keep the balls 2 of your feet in distance from each other.

 

Here’s the visual references to the exercises:

In hope this will serve bring lightness in what appears to be a heavy moment for most, good people.

Until next time,

Marcello.

Evolving a movement practice

Evolving a movement practice

Knowing that it is in the nature of all things to transform and grow, how can one innovate without making grave mistakes or ending up practicing something worthless?

One of the fundamental topical issues of alive fields, lays in understanding where to go next. 

Let’s address this matter.

Just as we are learning from evolutionary biology, a practice cannot change in the blink of an eye. It needs time to mature, diversify, and develop. It requires strong roots and daily work to branch out into a strong tree.

I am choosing the paragon of plants not by chance, as they well reflect the need for a long-term strategy and the need for galactic patience. They don’t patch outside things to themselves, rather they unfold constantly in an expansive stream.

This means that pieces cannot be added at random but need to follow a certain logic (unless you wish to have an unstable and abominable Frankenstein at your disposal). It won’t serve you well and it will be rapidly forgotten.

A movement practice to be growing well needs continuity (in terms of practical progression, honest pruning, direct branching), comparison (with history, with other researchers, and with practitioners), integration (in terms of skills, attributes, and qualities).

Continuity

One should first learn how to stand, then how to take a step, then how to run, then how to display adroitness in a game and so on. Complex abilities build one on top of the next from exact yet infinite origins. Capabilities should continue to evolve in the direction of increasing complexity and into the development dexterity: making sure that the skills learned are linkable, accessible, and real. If a field doesn’t require skill acquisition, it won’t induce real change and it won’t be transformative.

If parts of one’s practice does not respond to these rules, it should be pruned away from the main direction, and transferred to corollary junctions.

On the other hand, when there is a potential part of the system that can evolve it should be expanded and nurtured.

Comparison

A constant observation in relationships between present and past should happen at any stage. Only once a tradition is absorbed completely then it can be evolved. Thinking of doing innovation when one is just repeating pieces that had already been discovered is often happening. This leads to three problems: wasting valuable time, a stall in innovation, and retroactive plagiarism. Nobody will believe you if you try to convince the world you were the first one to discover the theory of relativity in your room in 2022, and overall, it will not be in line with where research is edging right now, a complete waste of resources.

Aside from the past, this means that you also have to make sure you know where a field is being led, from thinkers and theoretical explorers but also in the undergrounds and in the web. Some phenomenal practitioners are shooting new ideas from the shadows, through direct experimentation. You should know about them.

 

Integration

When new material is created it should be amalgamated and cross tested in a variety of platforms for examination, in scenarios for growth, and at times even back to the original roots. This is one of the strongest controls one can install to make sure not to go off track. So, here’s a few questions to keep in mind.

– Is the skill you trained reappearing in your continual practice?
(i.e. of skills: jumping, sliding, swinging…)

– What are the attributes that comprise the field you are studying?
(i.e. of attributes: lightness, control, repeatability…)

– Which qualities are at the base of what you are training?
(i.e. of qualities: memory, strength, sensitivity…)

If these questions are not asked, it is likely that one will end up training without a coherent sense.

Logical innovation

Here’s a diagram that exemplifies the approach I have when creating new material in the movement practice of my school (and takes into consideration the three laws I talked about up here): I explore and absorb a practice well rooted in history, I break it down in vast scenarios, in them I identify platforms for study, and inside them I develop attributes, skills, qualities, and movement principles which communicate with one another. Not the other way round. In this way I can make sure things are evolving without detrimental sophistications.

In hope this will serve innovators to continue develop this field and practitioners to discern a good direction from a confusing or damaging one.

Bring it on 2022!

Until next time,
Marcello.

Movement codes: the art of hiding

Movement codes: the art of hiding

Have you ever seen a person, that looked like nothing but was a phenomenal performer when it came to facts? 

Think back and gather a memory of that.

Maybe this happened during a dance class, a bike ride, while climbing, during a run, in the gym, in a park… That person that looked like nothing “special” on the surface, completely obliterated everyone else that looked much stronger, more athletic, and fitter.

This is because what you can see from the outside of a shape, rarely reflects what is inside of it.

Just to make an example: Courtney Dauwalter. Could you have a look at her physical features and attire, and guess what she is capable of? Most likely not. She looks like a normal person going to play basketball at the nearest playground, instead she’s most likely going to jog for hundreds of kilometers without stop, outrunning all creatures on earth.

Personally, I love these surprises.

It’s not the shell, that makes the turtle

The reason why we can’t guess the overall abilities of a person by the looks is that they lay in substance [1] and not in form [2].

From this, a simple line of logic can be derived: your practice should aim at improving all the qualities that pertain movement, not in achieving a certain shape: as the outside shape should only be an indirect result of your work.

[1] Substance
The invisible components of the human organism: from the energy systems to the deep intention and mind, to the internal composition of the structures.

[2] Form
The outer material and visible part of the shape. The width of a muscle, the length of a limb, the overall outline of a body.

One layer below: hiding the form

Form is the hammer of the blacksmith. It is fundamental to generate, yet inadequate in knowing how good of a craftsman his owner is.

Showing off a tool to describe proficiency is senseless. The same goes with trying to create the best tool to achieve knowhow.

It is wise to hide form in many contexts as it reflects this understanding.

 

Two layers below: hiding substance

Once skills, a series of patterns, or special states are achieved there will be a tendency for them to come to an actualization in any context, setting and time. This is immature and can be harmful.

There is a moment for everything: a moment for them to express and a moment for them to stay behind the curtains.

For example, suddenly in a fighting class you feel the urge to do a handstand: Is it yourself that wants to do a handstand or is it the handstand that it is using you to come out? That is not the moment for it, hide it.

 

Three layers below: hide your qualities

Gain power, strength, ranges and …keep them in the bank. Use them when you need them, don’t put them in display all the time.

A barking dog doesn’t bite, and the opposite stands true. 

All the real and best practitioners that I have met in my life, didn’t need to show off. They knew what they were worth, what they were after and what was needed to get there.

Take a Tibetan lama for example. He won’t come to meditate close to you to show you how good he is in those matters, won’t he? Then why shouldn’t you do the same?

Four layers below: hiding the unnecessary

Hide all that can be hidden and strive for efficiencies.

Preludes to an action, stylized accessory coordination, longings once an action is finished, parasite tensions, corollaries to a movement strategy, coupling motions, useless synergies, inefficient movement trajectories…

From the outside, no one should be able to read you, and all should look flawless and instantaneously crafted and cancelled. Like a feline sleeping under a tree and few moments later with a prey in his mouth already.

To conclude – hide all that you have but show all that you are:

  1. Hide your tools
  2. Hide your skills and states
  3. Hide your qualities
  4. Hide the unnecessary

    Until next time,

    Marcello.

A practitioner’s choices flowchart

A practitioner’s choices flowchart

We’re practicing a willingness to simply return to the present moment. Without judgement, without disappointment, without contraction. With a mind that is standing truly free of the past. If you lose yourself, simply begin again. -Sam Harris

Here’s a map you can use to navigate your days. If you follow it, procrastination will be out of the door, your priorities will be crystal clear and you’ll have a direct highway to living a full existence. And remember, whatever happens during your day, something goes out of your plans or you lose yourself, just go back to the green start.

Enjoy the ride and leave space for the unexpected – it’s not an if, it’s a when.

Until next time,
Marcello.