Last weekend I got certified as a MovNat Level I trainer. I spent a whole weekend with folks just like me who sought to learn, and many of them teach later, how to move more efficiently and safely. I had the pleasure to learn from Vic Verdier – the Master Instructor of MovNat and from Erwan Le Corre – the founder of MovNat.
MovNat is about practical movement – movement that has direct application to normal every-day life. For Leve I of MovNat this includes: balancing running, crawling, jumping, landing, climbing, throwing, catching, squatting, lifting, carrying. And, it starts from the basics – proper abdominal breading and posture.
The core philosophy of MovNat is that practical movement creates better fitness (I know “fitness” can be defined in many different ways, but let’s say fitness just means general preparedness of the body and mind to deal in effective and efficient manner with physically demanding situations) trough movement skill, which provides for better conditioning. Whereas, in the traditionally practiced fitness (like in a traditional gym) the emphasis is on conditioning without much attention to movement skill. The result of this is simply diminished or even lack of practical skill.
By the way the biggest reason why I gave up on using traditional gym settings more than two years ago – after 23 years of such training – was exactly the realization that my traditional gym training did not prepare my for real-life situations. That’s when I naturally switched to calisthenics/bodyweight training.
My problem after switching to calisthenics then was that my movement was very inefficient – I was relying a lot on raw muscle power but not on technique and I had no regard at all for stuff like preserving energy. In the words of MovNat I was effective but rarely efficient.
This is where I want to paraphrase the definition of “effective” vs. “efficient”: Effective is getting the job done. Efficient is getting the job done better (faster, safer, etc.). For example, starting from a dead hang position on a tree branch some people (not many) could struggle for long enough and eventually get on top of that branch – where their feet are stepping on the branch. But, what’s the use of it if it takes you 5 minutes to achieve and by the time you are on top you are so spent that you barely exist?! In a real-life situation (well, may be in a dangerous real-life situation in the wild) if a wild animal was chasing you if you didn’t get the branch topping job efficiently where you could hop on the next branch higher up, you could have ended up being killed (and eaten?).
Any way, there are many, many reasons why one would want to acquire proper, effective and efficient movement skills, but these were mine: practical movement in the most efficient way. And, I enjoined all of it there.
A big part of my enjoyment was the fact that for a full two and a half days I was totally immersed in the company of other people of all walks of life which whom we had so much in common. Yes, we all were different in many ways but we also were alike in a few, but very important ways: health trough proper living the way our ancestors lived. This included diet and movement, and for some the whole lifestyle in general. It was all quite interesting indeed..
Bottom line is I now have new appreciation for fitness conditioning through practical movement and skill development, and I made good friends from here in the US and Europe, too. What is a bit surprising is the fact that for just one day of practicing my natural movement moves in a local obstacle course gym I had at least two people approach me who asked if I teach “this kind of fitness” and one of them even learned and practiced with me that day.
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