Imagine five days of training in Mobility, Olympic Weightlifting, Indian Clubs, Aerial Strength, Dance, Fascial Stretch Therapy and Locomotion. It sounds like a fantasy summer camp but for 30 participants that attended the Toronto Agatsu Masters of Movement training week last August that’s exactly what they did. Five full days of training with world class coaches in a world class gym Academy of Lions.
We always start each event with the claim that everyone will “be exposed to more in five days than most people get to see in five years.” This event was no exception.
The first day kicked off with mobility and movement training that included light Indian Club work. Warming up with new locomotion drills challenged everyone right away. It was clear that this week would force people to get out of their comfort zones and open their minds up to new ways of moving and training. Sara-Clare (Agatsu) brought everyone back to movements they thought they “knew” and breathed new life and challenges into each one. Along with locomotion drills the first workshop included Indian Club basics. For many people it was their first exposure to Indian Clubs and they loved it. We moved from simple basic circles to more advanced movements that demanded control and co-ordination. Each day we layered more on top of the lessons from the previous day and by the end of the week we had some amazing progress from everyone. Masters of Movement isn’t about “elite training” or being a “Master.” In fact, at any of our events you won’t find one master or anyone calling themselves one. What you will find are groups of people passionate about developing and sharing a movement practice that is dedicated to self mastery. Mastery is a goal that can not and should not be reached. It is a way to shoot for the stars and although just out of reach they push us further toward our goals of not only improving our fitness but most importantly ourselves.
Day one continued with Olympic Weightlifting. Many of the participants were new to the Olympic Lifts and excited to finally have a chance to properly learn the basics. Light weight, technical practice was the order of the day and continued as skills were refined and the week progressed. On the final day everyone got to test their max, “THEIR” max. The lifting sessions were the perfect example of individual practice in a group setting. Thirty lifters ranging in ages as diverse as teens to people in their 60’s lifting for the first time. Everyone lifting at their own level and pushing to improve.
As day one continued we explored Aerial Strength training techniques taught by circus inspired fitness company Deflying Fitness. Circus artists are well known for their incredible feats of strength, flexibility and precision. Deflying Fitness gave everyone a peak into that world and how these artists achieve such incredible levels of conditioning. The theme for these workshops and for the entire week could easily be called “the power of little things.” Movements that people often take for granted such as toes to bar, skin the cat or a pullup were completely torn apart and rebuilt with such careful attention to detail that most participants found performing the new basic movements more challenging than the old “advanced” versions they used to do.
Its impossible to really re-cap a Masters of Movement event. As the old cliche goes, you had to be there. How can you describe what its like to watch yogi’s perform a Clean and Jerk or to watch a group of weight lifters hip hop dance.
It normally takes me months to unpack all of the information that I am exposed to at one of these events. It will take years to realize how valuable most of the lessons are and a lifetime to absorb them. In just one afternoon John Sutherland showed everyone more about Fascial Stretch Therapy than anyone could imagine. He packed his lecture with so many helpful exercises from Adaptive Bodywork that trainers who had been suffering with chronic pain were able to eliminate it that week and leave with a better understanding of what causes it and what they can do to change things so it won’t come back. Its too hard to put a week like that in writing. The best way to describe it is to share it and to give you a peak at what it looked like. You can see pictures you can watch the videos but to understand a Masters of Movement event you have to join the tribe and come to an event. I call it a tribe because that’s what this event has created. At ever Masters of Movement we get new participants but we also keep seeing previous participants again and again. This amazing group has become a community in love with movement, learning and sharing. I can’t want to see them again in November for Agatsu Iceland Masters of Movement. This once in a lifetime event is sure to be the best one yet and I can easily make my standard promise to anyone considering attending.