theoretical basics

primal movesPosted by Mark Fri, September 19, 2008 00:21:03

I now will write a little about the theoretical backround of "primal moves".

That will lead us way back in history to our ancestors which lived a life that can only be called natural. 60.000 Years B.C. the world appeared quite different from now: No buildings, streets, farmlands, cars, cable wires, straightend rivers, but lots of woods, plains, rocks, and only a few human beings roaming this landscape as nomads, collecting plants, fruits, nuts and berries, hunting and fishing. They wander with the change of seasons and food offers.

Here are the first two things to remember: 1.Those people weren´t apes, they were humans as you and me, homo sapiens. So they were moving like us, straight up on two legs. 2. They were moving barefoot.

Walking barefooted or in shoes is a big difference, try it and you´ll see. It has a great impact on how the body moves, how it reacts to the ground and the whole environment. Later on more about this topic.

And of course they didn´t travel on straight, flat asphalt roads, but cross country, over rocks and fallen trees, sharp edges in great heights, through rivers, all that in all kinds of weather. So to the normal kind of walking straight up we can add a wide range of motions, which required very good coordination, flexibility, strength and duration. And this in everyday life. I´m sure they were as happy as we are to lay their bodies down at the end of the day, but I think it´s obvious that those primal people were in much better shape than we are today. Simply because they had to be. It was their life.

Let us hear Georges Hébert, the founder of the méthode naturelle, about his observations in native tribes while his travels in the early 20th century: "Their bodies were splendid, flexible, nimble, skilful, enduring, resistant and yet they had no other tutor in gymnastics but their lives in nature."

Blog Image

This photography was taken at the end of the 19th century showing an australian hunter. It´s one of my favourites because it shows a human being scarcely touched by modern civilisation, living in a culture which was at least for 60.000 unchanged. Note the way he is standing straight upwards, how he holds his head. And of course his muscles.

Switching to today, we observe a quite different environment and also a different way of moving. We may be happy these days to live in houses with heating, air-conditioning and electric light, to move comfortable with elevators, cars and planes, to get food at the supermarket. But what has this kind of living done to our bodies?

I am not saying, that we should return to some "good old times" (which is not possible, even if we want to), but thinking about the above, I asked myself: What kept those people in shape?

I think they adapt their bodies to the environment, that was given, as we do today, but without all this technical supplements, that lighten up our lives, but weaken our bodies. They had to walk and run, while we drive by car, they had to climb, while we use stairs, they had to throw a spear, while we simply pull a trigger. Their life was more demanding than ours, but at the same time more simple. They spent their time moving instead of sitting in front of and using technical devices.

So, is it possible for us to get this "primal" fitness? In terms of body capacity, it is. The biggest obstacle is in our way of thinking. Once we had captured the idea of the primal moves, we know what to do, how to train.

I hope, I´m able to sketch this idea on these pages.

I quit for now, but I´ll continue...



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