Day 6. The heat nearly finished me off today. We started off with a Parkour based session

with Johnny and Joseph outside under the blistering Thai sun. We practiced running

technique, a few different type of jumps, and cat hanging from a wall. We finished off

with a game called ‘Parkour de silence’, where we followed the leader over, under,

around, and across whatever was in front of us, as quietly as possible. This is the closest

that I have become to being a Ninja so far in my life. All I needed was a black uniform and

balaclava. Every session of the Movement Camp has brought something unique, or a

really clear revelation, and the revelation during this class was the precision and

effectiveness of the coaching. There are around 25 of us in the class, with a fairly wide

variation in ability, yet John and Joseph brought us through a precise stream of

progression, starting with the basic foundational requirement, and leading into slightly

more complex moves. This is a running theme with the Ido Portal method. Quality. But

where does it come from? Our teachers (Ido, Odelia, Shai, Joseph, and John) know their

stuff inside out. Not just by the book, but in practice. They research studiously, yet they

practice diligently…..for long periods of time.

 

Next up today was a a session with Ido. We covered some really cool partner games, and

teaching was the running theme again today. Ido discussed the important of being a

teacher, and having the right approach, at the right time. This was echoed by the talk we

got from the inspiring Martin Kilvady a couple of days ago. Sometimes getting through to

a student requires a soft touch, sometime humorous, and sometimes harsh. The highlight

of today for me came in this class with the ‘Chopstick game’. It brought together a few of

the elements we have been working on with Ido this week. Moving with a partner,

peripheral vision, avoiding ‘attack’, and mixing a fine touch with a more gross touch.

Challenging in every way, but most of all quite an intimate game that really introduced us

students to one another in a way that we would not have known otherwise. The chopstick

game revealed the soft touch and the rough touch, the smooth, and the jerky. It opened

us up to an awareness that really got the energy going in the room, and gave us a practice

that we could have kept going for hours on end without fatigue.

 

Next up, Shai’s class. As per our previous classes with Shai, we were exposed to types of

movements that I have not tried before. We continued the development of our ‘body

circles’, which, I am pretty sure contributed a lot to actually getting me through the week

in one piece so far. Mobilizing the spine and also moving in a more improvised way that

usual. The improvisation of movement raised its head a few times, with the general

consensus that ‘improvisation’ is not really ‘improvisation’ as we are using the movements

that we have stored in our systems by and large. What we do when an unexpected

stimulus presents itself is mostly a move created by our experiences so far. However, it

was Shai’s ability to build our movement vocabulary over the last few sessions that

allowed her to set some boundaries for our ‘freestyle’ movement, and pick and choose

where to put different moves and combinations. I think that this was a real breakthrough

for me (and others in the class as well) that gave us the freedom to move freely, while still

maintaining a focus of the movement and hold a sense of purpose to what we were doing

as opposed to letting it all go.

 

Today I got to spend a bit of time with John, who is coaching me through my online

program for the past few months. It was very nice to get some face-time with John and

run through the plan for the next few months. I got to introduce him to hurling, and set

the course for training to start when I return. We also talked about a few training

‘projects’ that I am going to do to deal with a few outstanding issues (such as the right

shoulder pain that has been happening).

 

As if that was not enough for the day, tonight we had the night time off from training and

lectures etc. A few of us decided to take off into Patong to see the sights. Just as we were

about to load into the taxi, Stephen Jepson decided to jump in with us. The 40 minute bus

ride out to Patong was just an avalanche of wisdom from Stephen, and we had a good

laugh too. As soon as we got off the bus, it was like we were given day release from a

mental institute. All we have done for the past 6 days was train, eat, and sleep, all within

the training compound. Now we were free! We walked up and down the bustling streets

of Patong having a laugh and wondering why they have such an affinity for Ping Pong in

this area. The bus journey home was just as fun, and after a quick dip in the pool back at

camp, I got to bed around 12.30, ready to get back to it in the morning!