Random Friday Thoughts: Moving and Flexibility

Another Friday has rolled around, so here’s a few of the things that are front and centre in my mind this week.

1 – Moving

Nope, not handstands or “kinetic koans” whatever the fuck that means, actually relocating.

In 2 weeks I’ll be moving house which means I’ll have a fairly significant commute by car each day to and from WG-Fit.
This means there are a few changes to the schedule.

My operating hours will change to M/T/T/F from 0700 – 1500
Outside of those hours I will be working Online only barring the odd exception or workshop.
I’ll also figure out the video function on the phone and set it up in the car and start podcasting or Vlogging or something…..

Our resident Nutrition Guru Seba will be covering the evening sessions as well as taking nutrition consultations.
This will work out nicely as while I’ll still be doing all the program writing, Seb offers a contrasting teaching style and a different bank of knowledge for you to draw from.
You come to me for the biomechanics, you go to him for the nutrition. Both of us can help you get fitter, faster and stronger, but he’ll ensure you know how to fuel it better.

2 – Moving

Back to “Kinetic Koans” and other bits of bullshit word salad.
Ido Portal will be back in Dublin teaching this year, which is great, if you get chance and can pony up the fee, go to it.
I went to his Movement X workshop a few years ago in Blackrock.

Ido’s online persona is this gurulike character that is beautifully parodied by JP Sears and this video featuring the legendary Jujimufu (John Call) and our mutual friend Yuri Marmestein

 

In reality, from my experience, Ido is actually a decent bloke with a very well thought out methodology that if you’re smart enough, you’ll be able to see the principles he works from very quickly in his workshop.

The only issue is the online nonsense that comes out of the likes of him and many in that “Movement Culture”
Why does good information have to be presented in like a bad Pai Mei impression?

via GIPHY

Why can’t people just use simple, plain, terminology.

Old school martial arts was taught secretly, therefor the poetic and vague language was a deliberate rouse to cause confusion. But now, information is free and easy to access, why use wooly language?

We should all aim to communicate in manner that is simple and clear. Or in the words of Einstein, “As simple as possible, but no simpler”

 

3 – Flexibility

Not the splits…..
But thoughts and actions.

Fixed ideas shut down development. Never be afraid to explore a thought process.
In training this means trying out new movements and exercises to see if their viable, in the real world, well kinda the same thing.

You just never know, the movement you’re not doing might be the very movement you need to be doing, but if you’re boxed into thinking you’re doing everything right, how would you know.

The danger then becomes hopping from one idea to the next, that’s as bad as limited thinking. Give things time, 4 weeks minimum, before you swap them to really see how they affect you.

 

4 – Actual Flexibility

Why are you stretching?
I get asked regularly if being able to do the splits is a essential for kicking.

Short answer:

NO!

Why do we stretch.
To restore our resting muscle length, to allow residual or habitual tension to dissolve away or to achieve a position we need for our sport.

Habitual tension is the tension you hold as a habit, this can be as a result of a posture you hold or a sport you play or something you learned as a kid from your parents.
Residual tension is that tightness that follows a good training session. For example, between the cycling and the squatting, my quads hold a fair amount of residual tension, so I like to gently stretch them to ease them out.

But if your goal is to kick better, then you are better served by kicking more.

That said, targeted work can speed the process. Here’s how:
Break down the movement, ie a front kick.
Look at the areas that close: Front side of the hip, the knee
Look at the areas that open: rear of hip, back of knee

Now, strengthen the closing muscles in their shortened range, stretch the opening muscles to teach them to lengthen.
That’s not just for kicks, but any position you want to get more range in.

Simple.

Of course if you’ve questions, drop me a line.

I’ll chat soon.

Regards

Dave Hedges