martedì 20 febbraio 2018

The one arm handstand Journey: A valuable tool or a worthless toy?

Anything that we do in our practices can have completely different meanings and impacts on our lives. We can choose to use different tools to produce countless outcomes.

For example, training a handstand can be oriented towards aesthetics, general body development or just because it’s cool.

I think this approach is limited because it doesn’t add up to create any bigger picture.

The reasons why I find a one arm handstand a valuable tool is that it’s hard to reach.

-       It develops a phenomenal work ethics
-       It makes the practitioner see a transformation in the body by sticking to a goal for YEARS.
-       It will give a meaning to the phrase: trusting a process.
-       It will allow to develop correct feedback loops to progress
-       It teaches to control frustration.
-       From a physical stand point it teaches you balance on your hands (non-transferrable to other activities) and works on your arms’ support capacity.

Those who are playing with it, here and there, will gain absolutely nothing from it, besides some enjoyable hours of life which could be better spent off walking on the mountains, swimming in the open sea, drinking a good tea while chatting with friends.

A project has a beginning but most importantly has AN END. Then, everything will start to make sense…

On a last note: Can I switch it for something else? Of COURSE, you can or rather, you should. Always move on, change it up, but don’t lose the core.

Until next time,

domenica 4 febbraio 2018

The talentless army

I am not the first to notice the forced young-specialization phenomena (I will be watching through the lens of a sporting context today, but this is visible in many other fields).

In a nutshell this consists of choosing the most gifted people that can produce the best results in the quickest time possible and have a particularly sharp ability in getting better, faster.

The problem I have with this crazy talent hunt is that it retraces the cruelty of genetics, but it is sold as our system’s panacea. We already have enough wars running, we don’t need more. Or at least we need alternatives.

In the world, an ever-increasing number of people start living their lives in a hurricane of sports specialization from almost as soon as they begin their schooling.

Where many view the sun shining on these athletes’ lives I can only see the big shadows it projects on the floor. Those people are usually left on their own after it is realized they are not good enough to get to an Olympics level and lose all support and life purposes. 

No choices are made from those kids as they remain stuck in a direction of practice that is embedded in the evolution of their existence …by society conditioning, family choices and homologation.

So, what happens when being “the best” is no more on the menu?

Some just keep riding their waves until they systematically vanish in a spiral of nothingness. Others, recycle themselves into coaching trying to desperately grasp new notions as an opportunity arises.

They end up improvising themselves in a place of power assigned by big federations with a holy handshake.

Those lives empty of choices make those people weaker, more emotional fragile, less aware.

Wanna know the funny thing in all this?

These folks, end up with powerful tools in their hands: they reach their adolescence EXTREMELY strong, agile and resilient.

Due to the levels of the skills and capacity that they have, they become models to aspire to and motivational characters. On my side who developed their skills at that young age, as victims of the events don’t inspire me at all. Actually, I feel sorry for them.

The phenomena are even worsened by two aspects:

1. the media, boosting out a new talent show every day showing that THAT it is the only way to progress in any activity.

2. The uninformed and ritualistic coaching that is being reiterated year after year that lead people absolutely nowhere. Especially if you are not a kid anymore. Or you do not have a “career” as an athlete. Teaching done in this way confirms that unless you are gifted you cannot learn and progress.

All these information will converge into a single thought: if you don’t have talent, you go NOWHERE.

I view this as a not a sustainable system brought on by old ignorant business people who would not know if Dostoevskij was a Russian porn actor or a writer.

With good methodologies, processes and coaching everybody can achieve incredible results. In full understanding of what they are doing and why they are doing it. Regardless of the age, sex, previous experiences, fitness level and TALENT.

The good news is: there is an army of people that believe in this.

Before Antonio1 started training in ADD/Parkour, many years ago, was completely out of shape. Could not even dream of what he is doing today. Brick after brick, he built the body he has today.

When he came to me, he already had developed a good baseline capacity, but none of the skills that you will see in the video were there. Also, a golfer's elbow was giving him some problems. At first, we walked the main problems out of the door through protocols from my teachers at the Ido Portal Method and then we were able to progress fast and steady.

He did not skip a single one of the double daily sessions.

I was able to channel his trainings just for the last year providing smart programming, support and discussions.

I am proud of everything we have accomplished, and greatly inspired by somebody that was able to GROW with intent, integrity and honesty.

Here you can see the results merely from a strength training perspective, but much much more has to come and much was behind this. The strength will serve more, it will not be strength by itself. 

On a last note: I appreciate talent, as it is wonderful to see when it manifests itself. I just do not think it is sustainable to base a system onto this.

Join the talentless army – those that have nothing but have everything.


1. Follow Antonio Gallizzo here on facebook, on Instagram as @antonio_gallizzo_ethicalcoach, here is his association. If you are around Florence, Italy, don't miss him!