Movement Ecology, Part V
Movement Ecology: The A to Z study of human locomotion.
Continuing from last week, today, we're going to continue to ask (and, hopefully, begin to answer) the following questions: How can one assess one's current movement capacities, create a plan for improving those capacities, and then implement such a plan?
Assessing Your Current Capacities
There are multiple ways to assess your capacities. I'm going to continue to focus on just three:
Using your own felt sense about your movement competence (as it relates to one particular movement or to an entire movement genre)
Enlisting help from a guide of sorts, be it a book, video, or person (class, one-on-one, etc.), to help you assess your movement competence.
Comparing your specific movement competence with that of someone you wish to emulate.
Last week, we looked at "Way 1" and began to look at "Way 2." Today, we'll continue to look at "Way 2."
If I recall, we ended last week with assessing the skill of descending steps by watching a video produced by Katy Bowman. This (meaning, watching free Youtube videos) is one among many of the ways I enlist other people (even experts in their fields) to help me assess where I'm at with respect to executing a particular skill. Another route is purchasing videos for sale. Depending, of course, on the quality of the videos (by "quality" I mean the instructional quality and not necessarily the visual or auditory quality of the video [unless, of course, the quality of the videography is hindering your learning]), it's amazing how much you can glean from videos of others performing the kinds of skills and stunts you want to perform. I've learned A LOT from video programs. Not just in terms of how to perform a particular skill, but also how not to perform one!
Books are also a good resource. Another, and perhaps one that's a significant cut above videos and books, is taking a class taught by someone who possesses the skills you wish to posses. At the zenith of available resources is one-on-one instruction. Many have asked me before, "How can I find a good martial arts instructor of movement coach?" My first response is, "Look for someone who's far more interested in helping you discover what you can do and what works for you than demonstrating (read, "showing off") what he (or she) knows." In all honestly, (and this is the very thing I say within my own soul to a coach while I'm interviewing him or her), I don't really care what YOU can do. I want to know what you can help ME learn to do.
So there you have it: Free videos, paid-for videos, books, classes, and one-on-one instruction. If you search hard enough and work at it smart enough, I can almost gaurantee, you'll be able to create a collection of resources that could potentially serve you well the rest of your life. I have just such a collection myself, and I'm so very grateful to have it.
I think we'll stop there for now and just pick things back up next week.
Until then, happy moving!
My new book, Experiments in Prayer: Monastic Practice in Ordinary Life, is now available on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle/eBook formats.
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A Note to All My Blog and Social Media Friends and Followers:
I've made it a point, over the last decade, to accept friend and follower requests from any who ask. I think I've "defriended" only three or four people in the last ten years and did so only because they posted inappropriate material to one of my walls or timelines. Thankfully, it's been several years since anyone committed such a breech of etiquette.
I write all this to indicate I have many "friends" and "followers," whom I do not know personally (yet!). Lately, I've been getting countless (sometimes more than 200 a day) messages from people I don't know. Please know this: I speak a brief word of blessing over each person who sends me a message, but I can respond directly to only a few each day. If I did not discipline my activities in this way, I could, conceivably, spend my entire day every day responding to such messages.
By disciplining myself to the above social media activity-limitation plan, I in no way want to belittle or disrespect anyone or hurt anyone's feelings. My hope and prayer is that, even if I don’t respond to your message directly, you will know I cherish you and pray you'll experience God's love and grace personally and deeply. Experiencing God is the highest Good anyone could ever experience. May each of you experience such Good through your pursuits of Divine Union with Jesus Christ, the Eternal Living God.
As always, may the Lord bless you and keep you…
IKIGAI Weekly Blog Schedule (per The Training Trinity):
Mondays: Meditative Prayer
Wednesdays: Holistic Discipline
Fridays: Martial Arts Practice