There are a lot of movement gurus out there who talk about movement “flow” the same way some people talk about enlightenment. Like it’s a higher state of being you can only reach by subscribing to their YouTube.
And they look really cool on Instagram so they most know what they’re talking about, right?
But if you break any flow down, it’s just a person who can smoothly transition through a series of movements. And that’s a skill you can learn.
In this episode we talk about the piece most people are missing that makes flow feel so elusive: transitional movements. These are the moves between the moves the people seem to think should just come naturally. But we’ll share why they’re actually an important skill, and some of our favorite strategies for getting better at them.
Andy: We are recording.
Ryan: All right.
Andy: Welcome to the Growing My Beard podcast. Well, not my beard because I can’t grow a beard, but…
Ryan: I’ve got you covered on that one.
Andy: Good. Thank you. You’ve got enough beard power for both of us.
Ryan: I sure do, man.
Andy: Awesome. So what are we going to be talking about today?
Ryan: Transitions, man. We’re talking about transitions. Why they be impotent or important, you know, it’s all the same, right?
Ryan: And, yeah, transitions. Something that not a whole lot of people might think about, but they’re super important. We’re going to tell you why and how it will help you to attain enlightenment.
Andy: Yeah, I think this is really interesting because we get actually lots of comments, lots of questions in emails with people asking us to do a flow program. To teach them how to string movements together into routines, into flows. How to make things work together. But then at the same time, when we ask people what they’re doing, how they’re training, what we hear from most people is that they’re working on specific individuals skills. They’re trying to get up to 30 seconds on this, 12 reps of that, and they’re focused on going to the next progression of something and getting this move and getting that move. And it’s really antithetical to the whole idea of what a lot of these same people are saying that they want us to teach them.
Ryan: Yeah. Yeah.
Andy: So today we’re going to talk about, well, first we’re going to talk about what transitional movement means and why it’s important.
Andy: But then we’re going to talk about really how you can start working on it and building it and working into your stuff, hopefully without losing your gains. Because we’re always really worried about your gains. For the people that are legitimately worried about losing their gains and think we’re making fun of them, thing is, you’ve done work. Doing more work is not going to make you weak.
Ryan: Right. Right.
Andy: Training does not make you weak. You may lose five pounds on your squat, but you know what? You can get it back.
Ryan: It’ll come back. Don’t worry about that. It’s come back.
Andy: All right. So let’s talk really briefly, some examples of some transitional moves that maybe people don’t really think of as necessarily flowy, and some that they do, and sort of to set the stage for what we’re going to be going into here.
Ryan: Yeah. So if you want to actually discuss a bit about what some of our clients are working on first we could do that. And so just to give an example with that, a big one would be the muscle up. And so if you’re looking at the muscle up, there’s a few movements involved in the muscle up. You’re going from below the rings to above the rings and then back below the rings. And so obviously in order to perform that movement, there is a transitional move. And so we just call it the transition, you know?
Andy: Nobody yet has been smart enough to come up with a good name for the muscle up transition. We all just call it the transition.
Ryan: Right. The muscle up transition, right? So it’s basically that point where you go from the lower part… Well, pardon me. You go from the top part of a chin up into the lower part of the dip. And so that’s that transition period. And this is where a lot of people have trouble with, you know, the way that I describe it is just putting on your tee shirts. So it’s one way that I like to teach it.
Ryan: Another example would just be looking at working on the transition into the handstand. So a lot of people are trying to like hold the handstand or whatever. It’s basically just looking at the whole. Instead of that, I like to look at the transition of actually getting up into the hand scene because the better you can do that with control, then it’s going to allow you to actually focus on handstand.
Ryan: Another thing, too, is simply getting our clients to just slow down when they’re performing locomotion. And so the transitional move is actually that in-between movement of any movement. We’ll talk a little bit about this later, but basically if you can slow things down and we like to tell everyone to do that. So we’re always saying just slow down, slow down, slow down. What this does is it brings better awareness for those in-between movements. And so that is the transition and really occurs in any movement.
Ryan: And we can even discuss about daily life. How in daily life we’ve got these transitions. And you might not even think about it, but there’s just so many different things that we have. Getting out of bed in the morning. Getting out of the car. If you have children, when your child was a baby and you’re putting them in a baby seat, you had to twist and turn and buckle them in or undo their buckle and pull them out and carry them into the house maybe when they were passed out. There’s just so many different things that we have in our life. They’re actual transitions. And the thing about this is, if you can pay more attention to those movements and how you’re doing them, it’s going to help you across the board for everything. So there’s a couple more other examples. What else? What else we got?
Andy: Well, I think the first thing is though, all right, so we’re dads. We’re fathers. The examples you gave so far seem pretty mundane. Probably anybody south of 35 listening to this is like what the fuck are you talking about? That is not exercise. You jackass.
Andy: I don’t give a shit about transitions out of the fucking car seat. Can you tell me how to be a badass? You moron. That’s what they’re thinking.
Ryan: Oh absolutely. All the time.
Andy: And so the thing is we live in a real world. We have kids. Ryan, you shop at Costco.
Ryan: You bet ya.
Andy: I don’t because I don’t drive. Not in Japan anyway. So you might be like 25 and think that none of this sounds challenging and you’d be right, because that’s actually the point.
Ryan: Right. Right. Right.
Andy: These transitional movements should not be challenging.
Andy: Doing things everyday should not be difficult. That’s exactly what we’re training for is so they aren’t difficult. Right? So what you really should be asking yourself is, if this is supposed to be easy, why do I move like a pregnant yak with two left feet when I’m trying to do all of this simple shit? Right? And that’s a quote from Remo Williams, which is the greatest movie of all time, by the way.
Andy: But that’s the thing. If you are young and strong or a little older and strong and you’re thinking, well, all of these moves, they’re not really exercise. They don’t make me more of a man or whatever. Well, I don’t know. Can you do them well? Do you look like an idiot when you do them? Like, you know, when you’re lifting something out of your trunk, do you almost drop it on yourself? This is transitional movement and this is important stuff. But setting that aside, there are sexier examples we could give.
Ryan: Definitely. There definitely are.
Andy: Here’s some more athletic things. Right?
Ryan: Do it.
Andy: All right. So in almost every sport you have running and you have changes of direction, right? If you’re playing soccer, if you’re playing basketball, you’re going to run. You have to cut to a side real quick to get around somebody, get around and obstacle, fake somebody out, go grab the ball. Something like that. These are transitional movements, right? To me, one of the most athletic movements you see in any sport, in my opinion, is what happens in basketball between the time that that an offensive player reaches up to grab a rebound lands, turns around the person blocking, and jumps up to shoot again. To me, that is one of the most athletic movement combinations on the planet. Every time I see somebody that’s amazingly skilled at this, I am just in awe because you can see the thousands and thousands and thousands of repetition of this movement that they have done to make that work.
Andy: It is not just a matter of catching the ball and spinning around and shooting it. You have to have spatial awareness. Awareness of where that other player is. Where everyone else on the court is. The timing, the rhythms of who’s jumping. When. How your feet are hitting the ground. All of this stuff. And this is what we’re talking about when we talk about athletic stuff and this is all transitional stuff. These are things that you cannot necessarily drill just by having their component parts. You have to do this with an opponent, a live situation, to really get great at it. And so when we’re talking about transitional movements, even if it’s outside of an athletic environment, still you have to go through the transition to get good at making these individual moves work together.
Ryan: And you brought up something that was really good there in terms of not just about the particular parts of the movement, there’s so much else going on around that. The spatial awareness is a huge one. And even if you don’t have a partner or anything going on there, when you are moving through space, you need to be aware of what’s going on, what’s around you, and what’s your body’s doing, and having that special awareness. So, that’s a huge one right there, too.
Andy: Right. And I will also say a lot of, you know, we talk about martial arts and partners and stuff and one of my favorite martial arts, parkour. Parkour is not a martial art in the sense that you’re defending yourself against a person, but many smart parkourists that I’ve spoken to see the environment in much the same way. You have to take the world as it comes at you and you don’t necessarily always know your course.
Andy: And so if you’re practicing locomotion movement at home or any kind of other movement at home, you might not have a human partner who’s an opponent working against you, but you have an environment that you’re working around when you’re doing rolls on the floor and handstands and stuff. Need to know how far you are from the wall. You need to be able to tell what angle you’re at. Move around when you come down. Like, are you going to hit the coffee table? It sounds really silly and really mundane again, but this shit is serious. This is the difference between somebody who is a master of their bodies and somebody who’s going
to wreck the fucking living room when they try to get a workout in.
Ryan: Or wreck themselves.
Andy: Or wreck themselves. Maybe both.
Ryan: Exactly. Right. Yeah. Just so much going on in there and the transition… Even going a little further into that, you’re talking about when you’re coming out of a movement, it’s also focusing on that landing. So transitioning into the landing, transitioning into, you know, not just going into another movement but simply ending the movement.
Ryan: And making sure that you can transition to that and do it in a way that’s, going to be good for you. So, it’s not going to break your toe or something like that if you’re coming out of it. So, yeah.
Andy: Yeah. Another thing is that just, you know, I think it should be obvious by now. We really believe that working these transitions will improve your progress.
Andy: It will also make you stronger and make you more flexible and make you faster and make you better at all of the other things, too, in indirect ways. Right? So let’s talk a little bit about some of some of the things you can focus on in some specific movements that will accelerate your progress in learning those movements. So like for a pushup.
Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That’s a really good one. And just to bring attention to it as well, we have an article on transitions and a shot of video on that. So go back and also look at that and read the article.
Ryan: But looking at the pushup, a lot of people are just so focused on doing as many pushups as they can that they kind of blow through the movement. But if you can focus on the lowering. When you’re lowering yourself towards the floor, focus on slowing that down. That’s a transition. So going from the top position to the bottom position, focus on getting really good at that in-between movement. Slowing it down. It’s going to force you to focus on form. It’s also going to help to strengthen you. So by focusing there on that transition, it’s actually strengthening you. It’s going to allow you to do more pushups if that’s your goal. So it’s not just a matter of just focusing on a transition. Yeah, there’s a lot of different parts going on there. But by focusing on that, it is going to help.
Ryan: I already mentioned the muscle up. The muscle up. If you’re having trouble with the muscle up, pretty much guarantee it’s probably your transition. And so that’s what you need to focus on. And so yeah, and this doesn’t need to be a difficult thing. A lot of people think that it might be a strength issue when, in fact, it might be a technique or form issue that’s going on. So by focusing on that transition, that’s going to help you to get it.
Ryan: Another thing, too, a jump. Everybody thinks they can jump. But the thing is if you can focus on a hip recruitment, so not just the beginning, like loading the legs and then jumping, and not just the landing, but in-between. When you’re in the air, what’s going on with your body? What kind of form are you using? What’s going on with your arms? Are you using them? Swinging them up towards the sky. Throwing your hips forward in order to improve that hip recruitment.
Ryan: Other thing, too, if we’re looking at throwing people. You mentioned the martial arts, we can talk about throws. A judo throw is a great example of that.
Ryan: You have a person that is resisting you and so in practice, you might have these beautiful movements, but when you’re under load in terms of having someone add resistance to that, that’s really going to let you know if you have that transition down or not. And so, judo throw, or even in taido, it could even be a punch or a kick or something, if someone blocks it, are you able to literally transition from that and move into the next movement smoothly?
Andy: Yeah. One of the things I think is super neat about judo is that when somebody watches a judo match, we look at the actual throws themselves as being the main component. But when you go and watch a judo practice, you’ll see that a lot of the time is spent on the setup of the throw, not the throws themselves.
Ryan: Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely.
Andy: Grabbing a person and moving into position for that, which I think is another great example of transitioning.
Ryan: Yeah, that’s transitioning. Yeah, that’s a great example because if you don’t have that set up right, then you’re not going to be able to throw that person. That’s just how it is. It’s physics, right?
Andy: Right. So how these things really improve your progress, how they improve your technique and make you stronger, there’s a lot of different things going on, but one of them is that you’re just focusing on slowing things down and you’re focusing on controlling your body. Being aware of yourself. Being in control. And what this does is this brings a lot more of your central nervous system kind of activity to this. You’re going to recruit more muscle fibers, You’re going to be grooving those neural pathways that are responsible for sort of the movement, mental blueprint, of the right way to move rather than the sloppy, accidental wrong way to do the move that might get you hurt. And these things make you more efficient at that movement.
Andy: And what that means is that you can do it with less energy. You can do it faster. You can do it in more situations. Right? And as you do this, you kind of de-clunkify these skills. Able to do them faster, stronger, better. You can do them with less preparation. You can do them under worse conditions. You can do them when you’re stressed. This is what comes from not just saying I can bang out 50 pushups.
Andy: Really slowing the pushup down. Really feeling every bit of that pushup and knowing what each component of it is supposed to be like. And push up, maybe not the best example for this, but if it’s a martial arts throw or if it’s a technical movement in bouldering or a mountain biking, rollerblading, or any activity, any technical movement that’s in a sport or in an environment where you are being challenged, well, being able to have mastery of those movements so that you can do them when things aren’t exactly right.
Ryan: Exactly. And that’s the important thing. When shit hits the fan, are you able to actually do it? And the other thing too is the injury component of this in that typically the transition is where people get injured. And so by really focusing on being able to perform that transition as smoothly as possible with confidence, it’s going to allow you to not only be able to just do the thing, but also do without that fear of the injury.
Andy: Right. And I just want to say on injuries, too… You know, you might be listening to this and saying, well, I don’t climb mountains or ride bikes on them or fight people. All I do is go to work, go to the gym, and work out. So I don’t really need to worry about injuries. Well son you are fooling yourself because we get about 50 emails a day from people that hurt themselves working out.
Andy: And that’s exactly what we’re talking about. Even if your sport is going to the gym and doing three sets of eight or whatever, it doesn’t really matter, you are not immune from injury just because you’re doing exercises and not sports. So this, still, these transitional parts of every exercise you do. If you’re dead lifting, what do you do at the bottom? How do you make that transition? What do you do at the top? How do you make that transition? How do you pick up the bar? These are all transitional movements, too. So-
Ryan: How do you put the weights away?
Andy: Yeah, it’s not… Yeah, putting the weights away, right? Racking your weights. It’s not just limited to movement or whatever. All of these things are important. It’s also like one of those platitudes that I think everybody that calls themselves a mover on Instagram now has a photo quote of themselves saying, but it’s kind of true. This idea that how you do anything is how you do everything. There’s exceptions. I don’t completely agree with that all the time. But the thing is that you do live in a body that happens to be positioned in a physical environment. So mastering the way your body moves in that environment and the way it moves from one part of the environment to another, it transitions from one thing to another, is going to materially increase your quality of life.
Andy: And that’s what we’re talking about here. That’s why we harp on this. And that’s why we teach these things. And that’s why we talk about moving with quality and learning to slow things down and to build control and to build more range of motion than you need, absolutely, so that you had extra. So that you know you can be better at stuff that you don’t anticipate. And also just have more margin around the things you can comfortably and safely do.
Andy: So let’s move on and talk about how to find these transitions. How to build efficient transitions between different kinds of movements. How to practice this.
Ryan: Yeah. One major thing is to look at the movement for what’s going on rather than thinking how it should be or what you think it should be. And so we all know what a pushup is. But again, keep coming back to the pushup. Maybe I should find a different example. But basically, we all know what a pushup is, but when you’re doing it, are you really paying attention to what’s going on? And so that’s the main thing is paying attention and bringing awareness into those in between movements. And again, like you said, it’s looking at being able to apply this to everything in life. And sometimes we’re just on autopilot so much that we’re not aware of what’s going on. And so the first thing then is stop looking at things and assuming things. So really become aware of what’s going on when you’re doing this and bringing mindfulness into it. And you’ve said this before, I probably heard you say it, what is it? If you bring your mindfulness into the mix, it will make it 543% more enlightened.
Ryan: So that’s the scientific grade.
Andy: Yeah. And so maybe let’s talk about the squat, too. Because the squat is like super primal. So like we all know that squad is important. But this is another thing where people assume that the right squat has to look like someone else’s right squat.
Ryan: Right. Right.
Andy: And they spend a lot more time looking at the squat and then if anybody dares posts a picture or a video of their squat on the internet, you’re going to get 500 people telling you you’re doing it wrong.
Ryan: Yeah, absolutely.
Andy: Four of them have bio mechanist in their Twitter handle.
Ryan: Yeah. The squat is great. Squat’s great. And the thing is, too, and I bring this up in seminars and always ask… I like to bring people in front of the room and I have three people and they show us the squat and I say which one is correct? And the answer is all of them because it’s all where we are. But the other thing about the squat is I’m looking at not just being able to do a squat while loaded, but I want to be able to get in and out of this squat from any position. And so the squat to me is not simply just dropping your butt between your feet. There’s these different variations of the squat. And you talked about this earlier, but it’s for those oh, oh shit, okay, this moment occurred. Am I able to be comfortable in that? And have I worked on those transitions getting in and out of the squat or moving around in my squat so that I’m able to use that for the other other stuff that I want to do.
Ryan: So if you are, of course, loading up a bar with weight, there is a particular form of your squat that you should focus on. It’s going to allow you to be safe in that. Get good at that. But also get good at the other ways of doing squats. It’s going to allow you to be able to do it in any way, any direction. Twisting, turning.
Andy: Yeah, man. Back flip is just a fancy squat.
Ryan: Hell yeah.
Andy: All right, so let’s look at them and we can take squatting or we can take anything else as an example here, but let’s look at maybe the first way that really helps you to sort of find these transitions and smooth them out is to take a movement and to take it piece by piece. And what that means is you have to break it into like maybe beginning, middle and end or whatever. And to take those pieces and then isolate them. Isolate the beginning of how you drop into a squat.
Andy: What do you do? Do you start by sticking your butt out? By loosening your knees, do you lift your heels up? Do you drop your head? Do you do something with your shoulders? Bend your back? Because I’ve seen people start squats all those ways and more.
Ryan: Absolutely. Yeah. And that’s the thing, I think. Now the other thing, too, that you need to think about is the goal we’re after. And so that’s a huge thing. And that also comes back to awareness, right? Because are you really aware of why and how you want to use this squat? And so again, this is where we have these keyboard coaches coming on and everybody having their opinion about how something should look. Focus on what you need. Okay? So in the beginning of the squad, if you are doing the squat for a particular sport or something, well then work on the kind of squat that’s going to help you for that particular squat and position.
Ryan: And so that’s the very beginning of that. So the middle portion would be actually going from standing to dropping or it could be literally in the middle and having to pause. And maybe for this particular squat, let’s say that you need to actually turn a little bit in that squat. So you have a twist in there. And so that could be a middle component and you could just focus on that middle component.
Ryan: The end component could be the bottom of the squat or it could actually be standing back up. So let’s say that you squat down straight, not twisting. That is the first part of it. In the bottom position you have to twist. So that’s a middle component that you can work on. And as you go back to the top, you’re twisting out of it. So that’s the end. That’s the finished part of it. So again, many different ways that you can look at performing it, but it all comes down to what you need and why are you doing this?
Andy: Yeah, absolutely. And knowing that lets you sort of choose what you need to focus on. And even with any movement, there’s all kinds of different ways to think about it. Like a push up, you know, you go down and you go back up. It seems really, really simple. But there’s a lot of ways that you can think about that. You could emphasize the pushing part as you raise up, or you could think of even lowering down as pushing less, or you can think about as almost pulling the floor towards you-
Ryan: Yes. Yes. Re-frame.
Andy: … to activate different muscles. You’re going to have an emphasis in your body lifting versus sinking your body. Shifting your weight versus sort of falling into a squat.
Ryan: That’s good.
Andy: There’s all kinds of different ways and I-
Ryan: Re-frame. Re-frame for what you need. Pull ups another good thing too. And like if a person is going to pull up, I don’t like to say pull up. I say pull your elbows down. And so that re-frame changes the whole thing.
Andy: Yeah. I think good coaches and teachers in different sort of movement disciplines, martial arts, dance or whatever, all have their own ways of picking out the right way to tell a student at the right time what they need to focus on. And this is the benefit of working with a coach is they can look at you and say, yeah, I want you to think of this instead of what you’re doing. And you’ll be like, oh my God, that’s amazing. You might think that the answer to life, universe, and everything is that one particular cue and you’ll go through your life parroting that. And that’s actually not the gift of the coach is to know that you should pull your elbows down. The gift of the coach is to know to tell you that versus something else.
Ryan: Yeah. At that particular time. Right. Yeah.
Andy: And so you might not have the benefit of working with a coach like this, but this is why we try to tell you to experiment with different things. This is why we have play in the GMB method as one of our central things is to play with different ways to do it. And this is part of most of our programs, is being able to do this and we’ve written a lot about it. Just go to our website and search for it. Learning to play with things is how you find all of this stuff. When you don’t have the benefit of a coach telling you the next thing to do, the next thing to think about. You play with these things and you find one and you feel something and you’re like, oh, that was a little different. That was interesting. I’m going to start maybe emphasizing this the next few times I practice this.
Ryan: And a lot of people, too, though, they don’t even… You know, I hear some people say, well, I don’t know how to play. Okay, well great. Well, you know…
Andy: We just told you.
Ryan: Yeah, exactly. We just told you that. Just slow it down. Just take long movements, slow it down, and see what happens while you’re doing it.
Ryan: That’s really what it comes down to.
Andy: Yeah. And so, one of them is to take it piece by piece of the movement like we just talked about. Slow it down and take it piece by piece of the movement. There are ways you can take it part by part of your body.
Ryan: Yes. Yes.
Andy: It’s something that is really obvious when you’re talking about like a bear crawl or monkey walk or crab walk or something like that. You can take each limb’s movement one at a time. Really think about lifting the right hand and placing it down. How does it move? Do you pick it up high? Do you slide along the floor? What’s the trajectory? Do you go in the most efficient path? Do you go in a long path just to give yourself a bit of a challenge. Do you shift your weight while you do it? Do you move only that part of your body or do you move the rest of your body with it? So many things. And then you do the next one. So you can go part by part and work on things that way and then put the movement back together. That’s another way to do it. Aside from just piece by piece of the movement itself.
Ryan: Right. Right. Yeah, there’s just so many different things you can do here. And you can look at direction. You can look at tempo. You can look at everything that’s going on.
Andy: Yep. Add speed. Remove speed. Add power. Remove power. Add distance. Remove power. Add an angle. Remove an angle. Twists. Amplitude of all kinds of different sorts, right? All of these things you can manipulate and change and play with it, change it up. And these are all things that are going to be ways that you can play with the movements. And this is the thing. Play with the movement. Slow it down. Pick it apart. Put it back together. And this is how you find those transitions and work on them and make them smooth so that you can master these, build a more efficient sort of mental map, neural map of this movement, so that you can access it more times, more ways with less energy and less time. It makes you better at everything in life.
Andy: This is why I am better than you. I don’t actually believe that, but this is the thing. It makes you good at things. I don’t look like a fitness model because I don’t really work out very much.
Ryan: You don’t… Fitness? C’mon.
Andy: The thing is I have not tripped in recent memory. I have not fallen in, well, the last time I falled was in a marshal… Fell. Falled. I have a six year old daughter. I’ve been listening to her. Last time I fell was in a martial arts tournament in 2009. I think I’m doing pretty good in terms of like, not being clumsy or getting hurt.
Andy: So this is what this means. When you are able to move, have transitional movements, be in control of your body, have good balance, have good agility, then it allows you to move through life with confidence safely, and to be pretty relaxed about things because you don’t have to worry about bracing your body against the environment and against the activities you want to be involved in. You can relax and enjoy them and just breeze.
Ryan: Go with the flow.
Andy: Breathe in the universe and breathe out your anger.
Ryan: All right, next.
Andy: All right, so let’s talk a little bit about, very briefly, about some of the ways we’ve built this into some of our programs and why we focus on this so much. Because this really comes down to… The reason this is so big in, say, like P90X or the calisthenics community, nothing against it, because some of those guys are freaking ridiculous athletes.
Ryan: Oh, yeah.
Andy: So we’re not saying anything that’s bad, but how is this different in the why we emphasize transitions so much more than almost anyone out there.
Ryan: Yeah. And it comes back to everything that we’ve been talking about. Looking at life. And so we’re not training to be able to fitness more. We’re training to be able to do the stuff in our life more efficiently, have fun with it, being able to do it, looking at the long term in terms of longevity and being able to do this. And so that’s really what we’re focused on. Yeah. Getting really strong and everything is important. It’s good. But the thing is, is how do you move? That’s the most important thing that we’re after. And do you have that confidence for it? So that’s why in our programs it was our main concern. So we’re looking to strength or looking at flexibility. We’re looking at that motor control. So when we’re talking about that motor control. It’s really focusing on that movement. And so, looking at our backgrounds and where this kind of comes from. My gymnastic background. You, myself, our martial arts background. as well as learning and exploring and really being interested in knowing more about how things work.
Andy: Yeah. And so much more stuff. Like you and Jarlo both did lots of yoga practice.
Andy: Among other things. And also like music.
Ryan: Yes. Music is a great one.
Andy: Music, like getting into improvisational music when I was young really, really shaped me. It’s like that Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen, right? It goes like this, a fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, the major lift. Like that’s what makes it. That’s what makes it. Any musicians out there, if you’re into jazz, like Giant Steps, the Coltrane changes, the reason that they’re landmark in the history of music is that those transitions through the entire cycle of fifths are what makes that work. Listen to music. If you don’t know a whole lot about music, it’s fine. You don’t need to. But you can hear Adele has some wonderful songs where there’s right at that point of the highest like emotional pitch there will be a key change. Right? You think you’re right at the edge, right at the peak, and then it takes you further.
Ryan: Yeah, right? Damn.
Andy: You’re like, oh. You feel it in your body, right? Transitions. Changes are what makes life, man.
Ryan: Yeah, language too. I want to jump in here and also mention language. Both you and I, we speak Japanese and you can understand particular words, but it’s being able to transition throughout the… Being able to communicate basically, which I’m not doing a good job of right now. Being able to transition from what that person is saying and communicate what you want to say. I love that as well. And that’s another thing about language that I absolutely love. It’s also why I like dialects. In Japan there’s so many different dialects and I’ve always loved learning and why it’s said that particular way and where it comes from. And so that’s another example of transitions and how they’re important in life.
Andy: Definitely. And so these are the things that sort of led us to focus on this in GMBs because this is our background and we just really notice that these in-between things just made a whole hell of a lot of difference. So we wanted, when we started making programs and when we started really nailing down what the GMB method is, we wanted to make transitional movement really, really central to it. So even even when we haven’t called it out necessarily as such, it’s been a big part of everything we’ve done.
Andy: So let’s kind of wrap up a little bit.
Andy: A lot of the movements that we do, sometimes, it might be really easy to look at them and say, oh, it looks a lot like my BJJ warm up or yoga. And that’s absolutely true because there’s reasons that these same movements are used for BJJ warmups and yoga. It’s because they’re good and they work. But the difference is that a warm up is for getting your ready. When you do your BJJ warmup, you’re not actually focusing on how you shift from one movement to another, are you? You’re not focusing on getting better and more efficient at those movements. You’re focusing on getting ready for the training ahead. And yoga includes a lot of things, but not all yoga includes all things all the time.
Andy: So it’s not always about transitions. And so what we’re doing is we’re building something that is almost always about this control aspect. Almost always about building… You know, physical autonomy to us is about having this relationship with knowing what your body is capable of and being able to be in control of that. So that’s the real difference. And spending time focusing on these things, it’s kind of like your post grad studies. It’s not necessary to get through life. You don’t need to go to graduate school to be able to have a good career. But investing in that depth of practice and awareness, it’s going to take you further with a lot of things. And it’s going to make you better than somebody who dropped out after a handful of survey classes at doing this stuff.
Andy: And this is just my elitist side, but you know, it’s not about going to college. You know, in any trade… My father was a master plumber for 50 years and he didn’t have any advanced education, but he could do all kinds of advanced math in his head. That like blew my mind and it’s because he knew all of these things and was able to make things work that people without that experience had. And focusing on this stuff, these transitions, is what makes you better at whatever field of study, whatever interests you have.
Ryan: Yeah. Continue on that. Yeah, go ahead. What were we going to say?
Andy: I was just going to say, so, slow shit down.
Ryan: Yeah, that’s what I was just going to say. That’s where it is. It’s slowing it down and being aware of what’s going on. Really, that’s all it comes down to. The thing of it is I always like to say make it pretty. Make it beautiful. And the way to do that is to have that awareness. And here’s something we can finish up with. This is a little bonus. I don’t want to say tip, but something that you can focus on and that is simply during the day, you don’t need to do this with everything because it’ll pretty much like take forever if you were to do this, but throughout the day, just pick one thing that you do on a daily basis that you don’t usually bring a whole lot of awareness to. It could be how you get up out of your chair after you’re done working on the computer. Okay. Do it. First just do it. And then do it again but do it with awareness and really feel what’s going on. And so hopefully by just doing that once, it’ll bring awareness the next time that you do it as well.
Ryan: And so just choose that one thing. See what’s going on. Try it. Bring awareness in there. Slow it down and see what’s really… Where do you feel it? You might feel it more in your legs or your lower back or something. Or whatever. I don’t even know. But the thing is, it’s bringing that awareness is going to help you to be able to make it better the next time that you do it.
Andy: Yes, absolutely. Just awareness. Awareness is really it. That’s everything.
Ryan: It’s everything. All right. Hey, we’ll finish it up there. Thanks for listening and laters.
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