May 19, 2016 Vincent Vis

Movement: a prostituted word

A few years ago, “movement” did not mean much. It had the few definitions one can find in the dictionary. When you heard or read the word “movement”, you would generally think about the general concept of moving just as well as movement in a physic class context.

Then came the movement revolution, spearheaded by Ido I believe. And great things unfolded with it. More than anything, it raised awareness about movement as a concept in body-related practices, as a way to desegregate people from their very specialized training fields and as a human need by itself. To such an extent that today people can hardly not think about the whole movement culture when they read, or hear, about “movement”.

Unfortunately, bridging the different movement practices has its dark twin sister: blurring the scope of these very same practices. Because movement is climbing, is running, is walking, is capoeira, is dance, is gymnastic rings, is natural, is movement, everyone and their mother can be a movement specialist nowadays, and charge you a fair amount of money for it.

Movement. Natural movement. Tribal movement. Ancestral movement. Primal movement. Animal movement. True movement. Right vs wrong movement. Gymnastic movement. Dance movement. Expressive movement. Elite movement. Healing movement. The list goes on and on. Sometimes their creator substitute the term “movement” for “flow” or “body”. And here is the tricky part: some of these concepts are absolut gold. Other are marketing crap.

If you are an experienced mover, it won’t take you long to distinguish what makes sense from the rubbish. To distinguish the true and honest practitioner from the marketing expert. To separate the teacher from the opportunist.

But if you are new to it, or naive about it, chances are you are going to get lured in by some unscrupulous businessmen, or self-delusional movers.

Just bear in mind that movement today means everything and its contrary, because everyone is a mover, and everyone thinks they can teach.

Your first mission on your “movement path” is therefore to find what resonates with you in this wide world of movement. Don’t forget Facebook and Youtube. Watch videos. Try some of these movements at home. Even better, drop in at classes if you have the opportunity. I’d even dare to say, leave your ego aside, and see how your body feels during those classes. Movement will have the meaning you give to it. And from that point you will be able to make the most of the shared knowledge we can benefit from the movement culture & revolution.

Your second mission is to find someone who can teach it. A mover is not necessarily a movement teacher. And in some cases, some might say a good teacher is not necessarily a mover… My advice is to look at what their students (gifted or not) can achieve. And you will know if you are dealing with a mentor, a con artist, or a delusional person. Oh, and don’t discard the fact that you may actually never find someone that teaches exactly your definition of movement. Maybe there isn’t any in your region. Maybe there isn’t any, period.

Because the new definition of “movement” was a honest attempt at bridging gap and making us more generalist, mindful movers, open to the wisdom of other practices, and at gathering like-minded people around common interests, I initially embraced the whole thing, and called my very own classes “Move & Flow”. But because the frontiers have been blurred, I decided to slowly dissociate myself from it, or at least try to use the term more wisely. Move & Flow means nothing. Because both a yogi and a parkour fanatic can say they are moving and flowing. That’s why I decided to rename the concept for what it is: a system of “GATES”. And because “Movement teacher” can mean everything and its contrary, I try to refer to my job as a “movement facilitator”.

Small nuances, big meaning.

 

 

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