What did I learn down in San Diego?
Last week, I got real tough. Have a go at that crook head. There's no smiles in the dojo here. But not because I wasn't having fun; 5 hours a day of Ginastica Natural for a couple days down at Gracie South Bay Jiu Jitsu Gym kinda just took the wind out of me! In a great way though. I learnt a lot, and I'm really excited to share what I learnt with you too.
If you haven't heard of it or don't know what Ginastica Natural is, I would describe it as a functional movement system, practiced on the ground in which you move your body in and out of various positions, with a strong focus on flow. Let me try that again... Using Ginastica Natural, you can work to improve your mobility, strength, power, reaction timing and cardiovascular fitness by flowing in and out of movements, some of which felt like yoga positions, others felt like I was being choreographed in some kind of boot camp dance class. In short, it's a really fun way to develop coordination and challenge your body in a way that I had not yet experienced in my 10+ years of exploring movement.
So what's so good about this stuff and why should anyone care? I realized after 20 minutes of rolling around on my first day, that I wasn't just there to learn how to teach people how to "switch base", "tiger crawl" or "monkey stretch", this was a whole different level of training where my trainer was always two steps ahead of me, forcing me to react, think and move all at the same time. Mentally, I needed to be really switched on, which unless playing a sport or surfing, I hadn't really been asked to focus in that kind of way in a long time. More than anything though, this stuff is really fun. Hours just blew by and it wasn't until I stopped moving for 5 or 10 minutes that I realized how flogged I actually was!
There's something really special about learning how your body works and I think this is another great tool to explore and improve on the way that you move and breathe through life. It's gotten the seal of approval from some of the best surfers in the world like John John Florence, Ian Walsh and Adriano Desouza, who have been using the method for a while now and are putting up some real good results. So if you are looking to spice up your training routine or to learn something new hit me up as it's just as fun to teach as it is practice!