Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Monkey Gym Workshop Canberra - Retrospective

Looking back at the Monkey Gym Workshop I attended and presented at last weekend, I am filled with excitement and hope.  Why?  Not (just) because the workshop was attended by a lot of interesting, open-minded and physically capable teachers and trainers of various systems (which is totally cool).  But, largely from the passion (and compassion) of the people present - and their seeking to use the training for helping various groups within society - and society in general. 

I was also pleasantly surprised that Canberra wasn't 'Brass-monkey' cold, for June. (my dad's favorite expression 'on cold', for people who haven't heard, is 'Cold enough to freeze the balls off a Brass Monkey').  It was actually more like Autumn, which is probably my favorite season in my home town. 

Another cool thing to come out of the weekend, which I have mentioned previously, is that the system of Stretch Therapy/Monkey Gym is, once again, going through a period of quickened evolution (as the system is always evolving, at some rate).

I sit here, right Now, on the floor of my living room, with a big golden piece of cardboard; and what I am doing on this brainstorm template is writing down the syllabus for a new class type - that incorporates Stretch Therapy/Stretching Mindfully based PNF stretching; Monkey Gym methods of Strengthening and neural re-patterning, and joint mobility and Natural Movement style methods.

Basically all the cool stuff I've been studying over the years, mixing in the latest stuff (Natural Movement and Joint Mobility - ala Craig and Simon's sections) - and creating a syllabus to test this hybrid style class with.

I currently train all of these methods myself, but what I want to find out is the most effective and efficient (and Safe - Kit's 3 parameters) way of getting these 3 broad streams to be embodied into a person who hasn't been exposed to such training.  This is going to be exciting!  I am going to be experimenting with different sequencing of these methods, to see if there are any trends that work better than others.

For instance, does a class that runs Joint mobility --> Strength --> Stretching --> Re-patterning work differently/better than one that goes Stretching --> Natural Movement --> Joint mobility?

Obviously it is way more complex than that (what with different exercise selection; individuals body-patterns; etc), but I have been playing around a bit using Janda's Upper and Lower Crossed Syndromes as a schemata for teaching a hybrid strength, re-patterning and stretching class - to good results (basically I loosen of the facilitated areas first; starting with the most powerful - the hip flexors. Then, targetting strength and re-awakening work of the inhibited structures.  Pretty simple, but effective!).

Anyone else out there who is running similar classes, please let me know what you find. It's all about getting as many people as possible, as quickly (but safely) as possible, able to move as humans should move.

Finally, thank you to all the people who I caught up with in Canberra! I had a great time during my 2.5 days down in the 'berra.  There are a lot of cool people still there.  Some other awesome things I saw whilst there was an ad for the movie 'Serenity' still partially up at Hawker shops!  [And an Abyss-fied ANU concrete ball - see top of post]

I also got a shot of that fabled t-shirt (below) I mentioned in my 'Resist Mediocrity' post (seen here from behind).  I've got Kit's soleem word that he will get me one, next time he's in Taos, New Mexico! [Nice lat spread for an old geezer! ;) ]

Finally, just before my bus back up to Sydney - I hit up the Asian Noodle House on Northbourne for a Laksa (of course!).  I'm going to make an Asian Noodle House Laksa part of any pilgrimage to the Nations Capital - they are fucking awesome.  I seriously suspect the secret herbs and spices have crack or opium in them..  I have never had a better laksa anywhere.  Mmmmm.

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