Circus Artists, Acrobats, Crossfitters, MovNat Alumni, Gymnasts, Dancers, Stuntmen… the list seemed never ending.
We had Sean Milligan teaching rock climbing techniques. We had Dr. Andreo Spina talking about Functional Anatomy, and of course Ido Portal and Odelia Goldschmidt presenting Floreio and hand balancing.
So what was the reason to incorporate in-water sessions in an otherwise dry, land-based Movement Camp? The simple fact that being in the water is a very important movement capacity that so many athletes don’t really master.
Many people grow up in cities, learn to swim in their childhood, and only dedicate some time to in-water activities when they go to the beach or a pool to have a bit of fun with their friends. They sometimes fine-tune their swimming techniques by watching the Olympic Games or other swimmers nearby, but never really learn to enjoy being in the water for an extended period of time. Most parents get their kids to learn to swim, more as a survival skill than an enjoyable and useful activity. In case they fall in the water, they should be able to stay at the surface and eventually swim back to the shore if the current or the waves are not too strong and if they are not dragged down by their clothes and shoes.
That’s not the only thing that the participants had to bring with them. I also asked them to come up with some imaginative solutions to make sure they could float for an extended period of time in fresh water, regardless of the fact that most of them were “sinkers,” people with very low body fat who have a tendency to sink, even with their lungs are fully filled with air. Imagination was indeed on the program when I saw a collection of inflatable rings, crocodiles, penguins, boards taped with empty water-bottles and other water mattresses that had nothing to do with a serious swimming class.
We had a whole morning dedicated to in-water perception drills and watermanship skills, where the participants could learn that their body was much more difficult to control in the water than on land, thanks to the combined action of gravity, buoyancy, current, and unstable bottom. Most of them weren’t as skilled at doing handstands and a back flip in the water as they were on solid ground.
The last morning was a very entertaining combo mixing all of these techniques in quite an intensive fashion. Even if the level of the participants was very varied, all were challenged in a lot of different ways, some of them overcoming their fears or apprehension, others pushing the limits of their body. The energy was great, the progresses obvious, and the level of exertion quickly noticeable.
Mixing fast swims with free diving, and rescue techniques with breath-holding quickly pushed everyone to dig in to their reserve to be able to complete the 30 minute long combo.
I was very glad to see some people who couldn’t even put their face in the water on day 1, already able to stay underwater for almost half a minute after only 3 days of practice. We’ve had some very positive feedback from these world-class athletes. Some of them managed to conquer their fears, others to toughen up their mental strength and deal with extensive periods of time in cold water.
A few are already talking about coming to a Thailand workshop to fine-tune their technique.
Warm waters, you are so appealing…
Movement Camp Photos: Julie Angel
Ido Portal‘s testimonial about this workshop:
“The MovNat Aquatics workshop was a unique experience to get some exposure into the world of water behavior – swimming, diving, apnea in static and dynamic conditions, rescue and more.
Nowhere else can you find these skills presented by an experienced and professional teacher. Vic spent most of his life exploring movement in water as part of his background in the French Navy, in addition to being a world record-holder and world renowned diver.
If enhancing your ability to survive and understand water better is on your list, I highly recommend the Aquatics workshop by MovNat led by Master Instructor Vic Verdier.”