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.