efficiency of movement

A few years ago, I wrote an article on the efficiency of movement. It was based upon seeing an old Morcombe & Wise sketch on TV, showing them both fully synchronised to the movement of a song whilst making breakfast in the kitchen. The clip will strike a chord with many activities today, even tho the show is close to 30yrs old. All sport disciplines seek perfection in training & this includes efficient & effective movements. The casual tricker is also searching for efficiency in what they do, but might not be so aware without someone telling them formally (taa-daa! hello me! *waves)

When you see people linking a series of movements together, the technique, momentum, power & speed combined has all connected to fuse separate tricks into one new larger move. If everything is balanced & accurate then efficiency is achieved & several parts become one. Its the (often overlooked) holy grail imo. This will all be nothing new to those with a formal background, but many others may only become aware of this (or never) after years of training.

Pro skateboarder Rodney Mullen is a technical genius. When explaining his mindset for stringing several complex moves together, he says how he no longer sees separate movements that require specific dedicated thought to complete, as those moves are already programmed into his memory. He only needs to focus on the sequence of moves as a whole. eg: Each individual move: ‘a’+’b’+’c’, becomes ‘abc’. Thought is transfered from concentrating on each 3 elements to 1 new complete move. And likewise, further complexity is added by combining more moves together: ‘abc’ + ‘def’ +’ghi’ = ‘abcdefghi’.

Now whether you’re at this stage of linking moves yet or not, being aware of this process is very important for you to advance. It proves how landing a move ‘the right way’ is just as important (if not more) than landing the move in the first place. If you can’t land something setup ready for the next move, then all you have is pieces of a puzzle without an over all picture. Not good. Fine for flipping in the pub beer garden, but not much use otherwise.

Now this is something I’m definitely guilty of. And even tho I’m aware of it, I only care about it once I feel comfortable with a new move. I’ve already explained in a previous post about my approach to just landing something anyway I can initially and working on the details later. But hey that’s me.

I’ll shut up now. But yeah. If we spend years learning ‘pieces’… they will come together naturally, easier than you think. I have a story about that, but will save for another time.

done – bye – mark



Filed under technique, training, Tricking

3 responses to “efficiency of movement

  1. Ian

    This is something I’ve been working on in my capoeira training. Its easy to get focussed on training/perfecting individual movements but being able to integrate them into a flowing game while at the same time avoiding being kicked by your opponent takes some doing :)

  2. Pete Cracknell

    As someone who defines himself as an ex-gymnast turned trampolinist (/tramp-geek), it’s interesting to hear that Rodney Mullen’s methodology is so similar.

    In trampolining every move you ever compete should have a near identical take-off and exit. It’s amazing to see somebody who has mastered this technique… A guy I train with followed one of his first ever double front somis (half out) immediately with a double back somi. When coming out of the double front, he had the same feeling/control as exitting a single somersault and hence followed with a double (which he could already do) with ease. Somebody without such strong linking and principle skills could not comprehend linking 2 advanced moves so quickly (including myself!) and hence highlighting the importance of practising basic linking.

    If the same theory can be applied to tricking, I would recommend practising sighting your exits to every much such that you know exactly where you are so that the next move takes off cleanly. With linking (or swing-time as we call it in tramp), you should be able to link any 2 proficient moves with ease.
    I have to learn the cork before I start trying successive corks :p

  3. yeah the capoeira stuff is very flow orientated, its easy to see the requirement for effective movements there. With free-running, trampolining and martial arts based tricks it may not be so obvious to casual enthusiast. I guess people are oblivious to it initially, due to the sense of urgency to learn something / anything and to see and show progress. Figuring out how to combine movements, is what separates the good from bad I suppose, its like an invisible essential requirement that only the dedicated realise. Personally i’m just on newb move #9 of 4000 so I’m not stressing too much yet! But hey, at least I’m aware of its importance.

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