Old Dog New Tricks

I remember when I first saw Erik Mukhametshins “Big Tricks Time”  Vid several years ago and getting very pumped up to go train that very day on harder skills. Watching a bigger guy like Erik pull those types of moves is always inspiring.

Erik M “Hard Tricks Time”

After I turned 30 I had begun to see my movement a little differently. I would mainly practice skills I already knew and I thought that there was no point to working on harder skills since as I would age it would be harder and harder to learn and maintain them. I have a hard enough time keeping the skills I put years into teaching myself, why would I put more time into skills that I may never even be able to do?

To an extent thinking that way is not horribly wrong, but it is also not right either,  at least not for me.  Yes I cannot throw my body around like I use to because it takes longer to heal from mistakes and injuries and I just have more responsibilities now then I did 5 years ago. I can’t train for 3-5 hours a day of high impact work and quite frankly I don’t need to. However, I am more intellectual movement wise than I have ever been. I can easily pull apart a move just by watching someone do them and create a safe way of progressing into the move myself.  That is not an easily built skill set. I thought I was good at it 8 years ago and I am even better at it now.

I am very happy with the skills I will be able to do forever. I can pull a handstand out of no where. A flash gainer is easy as cake to me and so are aerials.  I have an arsenal of movements at my disposal to constantly work on making better.  It took me a long time to develop them and I am not going to forget them.  The new age skills we see a lot today in PK/FR are complex, but not necessarily difficult. For example a “double back flip” is a lot harder to do than a “push gainer full.”

Now of course this is only in context to those that have a wide skill base.  I know many people that would think the opposite.  I am speaking of course in the case of those that have trained in a manner where they understand twisting and flipping of all types and take offs all types such as casting, swing gainers, aerial, and rolling just to name a few.  I am delighted enough to say I have a wide enough skill base and have been teaching long enough to know what is actually difficult for humans to do and what is just difficult because of training bias.

A “Double Back Flip” requires a lot more strength to do than a “Push Gainer Full” but a “Push Gainer Full” requires several skill sets (backward rotation, twisting mechanics, casting ability) and more timing than a “Double Back Flip.” Now if you have learned in a linear fashion such as first learned front, side, and back flips, and then followed that up with arabians, baranis, and fulls, than Push gainers and Push Gainer Fulls should not be that difficult. Because you already have the necessary skill sets to complete the move.  A double back flip also has two rotations making it a more dangerous skill.  The only thing that is easy about the double back flip is that you only hold one shape for a long time and then have to time the landing.  It’s tricky (<<Ha! Pun!) deciding which deserves the award of which is harder.  Is it the risk and strength requirements, or the complexity and timing requirements?

In my book that’s how I see it.

Now where were we…oh yes the old dog thingy.

I am not old, I am seasoned.  I have a lot of fight left in me and I plan on doing my arts for as long as I can. I will take each injury and learn from them and just become smarter in the process. Everything is a learning situation, that is how you do these types of arts for life.  You make them both a physical and mental endeavour.

Needless to say I am still progressing and the only reason I never attempted a Push Gainer Full before tonight is because I never thought I would be able to do them.  Why?  I have all the skill sets required.  I can pick apart the skill easily I should be okay with attempting them. For some reason I thought I was just to old to attempt them. I let that slip into my head.  The thing is that it is important to still push yourself to try new skills even if you don’t think you will be that great at them sometimes you surprise yourself.  Age is just a number and until you are in a box 6 feet under ground you can progress in so many ways. I don’t in any way believe I am great at these, but I only attempted them a total of 5 times this night and they made a lot of sense. And to those of you concerned for my injury please know when I land in a foam pit it doesn’t hurt me.  The rest of this video was taken last year before the injury and is full of skills I was afraid to try and felt were outside my learning curve, but that somehow I just looked at them one day and said I can still do these and I will do them well.  Be Smart, Be the Movement Scholar and Move For Life.


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