Friday, February 5, 2010

Ideas, the Driving Force of Development

Do you get ideas? What happens to them? I get ideas constantly. Some of them pop out from unconsciousness but most of them are triggered by some external source eg. people, discussions, writings, events or just plain image or sound.

For the last 5 years I've been trying to get myself exposed to as many things as possible. New things give usually give me new ideas. Of course, I expose myself mainly in the areas that I already feel very comfortable with. In my case I have always enjoyed sports. Since childhood, in a chronological order, I have exposed myself to the following sports:

- Football
- Athletics
- Karate
- Floorball
- Breakdance
- Ultimate
- Acrobatics
- Parkour
- Motorcycling
- Skydiving
- Golf
- Rock'n'Swing dances: Boogie Woogie & Lindy Hop
- Cuban dances: Salsa, Bachata, Rumba, Merenque
- Ballroom dances: Walz, Quickstep, Jive, Chachacha, Samba
- Paintball

As a Stuntman my philosophy for being able to do good quality job is to be able to learn new movements quickly. With this in mind I consider all the sports as a combination of specific movement techniques. This allows me to do almost any sport without me feeling embarrassed (eg. tried out ballet and it's DIFFICULT!). After all, I am there to learn to use my body to for versatile movement - not to become the best of the best in one sport discipline.

With my versatile background in movement, I use it again for my stuntwork for example when I design Fight Choreographies. I want my fight choreographies to be fairly realistic in effectiveness but I also want them to be visually good looking. In more common terms I try to combine power and grace which is usually more easily said than done. And the doing part usually requires lots and lots of training in order for the movement to sink in to my body.

One of my first short-film productions Yakuza Diaries depicts a little bit of this philosophy of power and grace in fight choreography. The film was made in 2004, so my philosophy hadn't really come out yet in it's fullness (though, it still hasn't) :D

A new Thai film Raging Phoenix is a good example of innovative fight choreography. They've managed to use breakdancing in it's pure form for a fight scene. To my eyes it's a lot about beautiful movement but I'm not convinced about the power in the techniques. Nevertheless, I loved the idea that they didn't want to make a hybrid breakdance fight style but instead go nearly 100% with original breakdancing. a great IDEA in my opinion!

To conclude, for me creating ideas, looking for ideas and understanding other people's ideas is a key essential tool for my line of work and in my life in general. Every day I feel like starting my life from Day 1. My eyes and mind are wide open to devour new and interesting things! And some day an idea might pop out. Then it's another story what comes out of the idea :D

Below is a picture that portrays 8 ways that can kill and idea. Knowing your enemies is half the battle ;D I got the picture from my friend's blog at


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  2. Nice bit, I think people should be more open to accepting new influences and actively integrate them to their existing knowledge and capabilities. In your case, I see especially the dance aspect a major source for body awareness in other sports as well. Many athletes can be somewhat fixated to their sport-specific training, and looking outside that box may improve overall performance through versatility. Naturally, if you compete at the top 1% level in something, the technical aspects become dominant in determining success. For the 99% of us, an open approach to training methodologies and ideas can open doors to new forms of personal (and team) development. Last spring I wrote a piece on our paintball team's introduction to physical exercise sessions as part of our training - we found it profoundly affecting the mental landscape as well. You can find it here: Beyond Sweat

    e: fixed link

  3. Jii, thanks for your comment. I agree with you that being more open and less prejudiced gives one more options to choose from. Yet, sometimes I can even recognize from myself that I'm scared of the NEW... Today I went swimming which I haven't done for over a year, and it scared me. Still, I felt that my body, mind and soul union wanted to experience swimming again. Finally, I got myself to fulfill their combined desires and it felt good! I'm still scared, though :D

    Yes, dancing has given me a lot; Even so much that I've begun to think that if I could travel back to the past I would choose dancing instead of karate. On the other hand, in this life-line I'm very happy that I DID train karate back then as it is now the basis for nearly every physical discipline (sport) that I've done. In many ways I also use it for dancing, especially in social dances (not the self-defense part, though).

    I read your Beyond Sweat blog posting. Very well written, thus it was easy and fun to read! Great to hear that you guys started to enjoy more and more of the physical trainings, and that you realized how much more fun it was to share the experience with the others who were also committed to the training program.

    I believe that with 100% physical skills you can get only so far. To become even greater than that requires more mental discipline. As the mind is programmed through our 5 senses, it is usually understandable that the best way to program our mind is to use an external source eg. a coach, a book or even a group of people.

    As acrobatics is challenging also for the mind I think it is better for the person if he gets external help. Therefore, I've given it the 80/20 mind/body relation.

    'Perfection with Passion'

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