New Movements

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Today we are going to continue adding more 'words' into our new languege. Our goal is to build control in singular movements and then move them into use - flow work, specificly in our Closed System Flow that will be developing on and on with time, until it will become a monster octopus with many tanticles. Such a flow will enable improvisation on the floor to happen in a beautiful demonstration of freedome of movement, mobility, strength, balance and control over one's body and mind. You can look at it as an advanced form of Yoga, Dance, mobility work, Improvisation, joint preparation, metcon - metabolic conditioning and of course - movement.

Corta Capim Spin

The corta capim spin requires some dynamic (rotational) balance and will be challanging at first.
Start in the squat. Shift the weight towards one foot, transferring into the ball of the foot and letting the knee come lower simultaniously. The other leg, which will become free to move due to the weight shift, will be straightened sideways.
Put your hands on the ground in front of you, between your legs. Start pushing the floor with your hands, rotating your body in its fixed position around the axis foot until you complete a full turn. Shift into the squat again and change sides. Repeat for reps.

The harder variation will be to initiate the push with the hands, and use your hands only to 'save you' in case of loss of balance. Try to do it as late as you can into the movement, until you feel you can complete the full turn with no hands assistance at all.

The hardest variation will be to initiate the movement from the hands and then complete a full turn with no hands touching the floor. Transform into the squat when you finish the full turn and start again to the opposite side. Make sure you do not shortcut here! Complete a full turn and land with the foot on its original spot on the floor.

QDR Circles

The QDR Circles are an advanced movement requiring the control of the Advanced QDR Rotational Push Up.
If you are unable to do it yet, go back to practice the intermidiate and advanced variations of the QDR Rotational Push Ups and come back to this movement once you have done so.

Basicly, from a squat, place you hands in front of you and lower towards the QDR, kick into the low one leg bridge QDR rotational push up position, trying to land as deep as you can into the rotation - almost in the line that originates in between your hands.
From the low one leg bridge position, take the straight leg, bend it and place it behind the bent leg in a cross-step and while making sure the body is lifted a bit higher than the original low bridge position. A side turning of the body needs to happen at the same time.
After cross-step (Look at the side and rear view to better understand that) slide your body from above towards the opposite elbow into a QDR position, while straightening the lower leg and kicking with it out of the position. Come out into a low 4 point stance on hands and feet and enter another QDR to repeat the circle.
Complete the desired number of reps before changing sides.

Take notice of these details:
1. Do not let the body sag into the ground in the low bridge positions - lift your pelvis up and arch your back - to provide room for the cross step to happen.
2. Land softly on the balls of the foot each time before you come to your heels. (if necessary at all)
3. Strong elbow and wrist position should be maintained. No playing around here - keep tension or injury will occur. If you are not able to do so, go work easier variations.
4. The hands do not move during the whole circle exercise - this restriction will create a lot of good adaptations in your body - mobility, stability and strength, because you will have to move your whole body around those two points of contact, in a closed kinetic chain fashion. Moving the hands from their original position will degrade this exercise substantialy.

Closed Systems

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lets talk about flow.
Being aproached countless times after giving a demonstration of Floreio flow and asked 'teach me flow', I started to develop a systematic aproach and methodolegy to flow work.

As I have discussed before, the various stages of true improvisational flow development are:
A. Singular movement practice
B. Sequecing singular movements into small flow pieces
C. Improvised sequencing of known movements
D. Improvised movements and improvised sequencing

Today I am going to describe another important piece of the puzzle, explaining how to create and choose movements that will combine together into an intelligent system that one will be able to work with in stage C - improvised sequencing of known movements. This is the principle of 'Closed System Flow' - a term I coined to describe this principle. (I will use CSF from now on)

Closed System Flow
CSF is a model that describes how to construct a smart flowing system integrating its various parts in such a way that continuous, neverending flow is the result.
The main problem with attempting to flow usualy is getting to a 'corner' or a bump in the flow, a place from where at that particular moment you cannot continue from.
The CSF's main concern is to create a rounded, circular system with no corners or bumps, that the practitioner will be able to continue flowing in, moving infinitly from movement to movement.
In order to accomplish that and for one to maximize his artistic choices I understood very quickly that interaction between all the various components-movements of the flow needs to happen.
Lets use an example of a 4 movement CSF - Role, Au Cortado, Low Bridge, QDR.
When choosing those 4 movements I need to ask myself: can all of the movements flow from one to another in a seamless manner?
Now, lets see - we have explored quite a few sequencing of those movements, so we know we have accomplished that goal.
The reason all those 4 movements interact in such a way is that I made sure they connect in a 'joint connection' or 'transitional movement' - the Squat.

Take notice - each one of the 4 movements are starting in a squat and ending in a squat.

This enables me to flow endlessly from movement to movement, passing through the Squat (but not only - on that later on) and continuing on to the next movement, creating.... infinite flow.

Take a look at the diagram I created below to describe this 4 movement CSF model:

And now, due to the design of the various skill levels I provided over the last couple weeks, I will give three examples of CSF - beginner, intermidiate and advanced:




Notice the way the various elements connect to one another - from one movement into another movement, passing directly or through the tranistional movement (Squat) and on with the flow.

This kind of practice offers great benefits.
It is a compact training piece incorporating mobility work, strength endurance, balance and control, creativity, mental work and more and more, and all in one chaotic segment.
Adaptation to such a practice is a lot more challanging than to the traditional set/rep scheme of linear exercise systems.
It is a great manifestation of the physical abilities you have aquired already, and will further help to develop those abilities.
Down the road this kind of practice will be widened to include more and more movements, fusion movements (a whole other very interesting subject), transitional movements and as the end goal - a true improvisational flow.