‘Skirmish’ is a new class within Physical Alchemy that encompasses a cluster of ideas around which a new syllabus of class grow. This class will centralize around motion, strength, the vestibular system (and possibly the aerobic system – to complement the extant stretching classes that have a predominance of sensation, tension pattern remapping and the neuromuscular and soft tissue systems.
This syllabus will also be more permeable to the influence of my peers and colleagues, many of whom are expert at skill-sets I wish to incorporate into the class but am only at rudimentary level with myself. Hopefully there will be a number of ‘guest teachers’ as I myself have many of the desired skills to polish.
The class locus situates primarily on motion, strength and agility – interfacing with specific skills and perceptual work. The skills situate around the use projectiles from our ancestry, strength that transfers and the training of agility. All of this from physical repatterning work perspective, of course. For me this is highly exciting: getting to blend my work and way of teaching with the material a lot of my friends have been working on for the last decade.
The basic ingredients in the class brew will be: physical culture and kettlebell strength and conditioning work from a repatterning perspective; vestibular repatterning and balance work; stick fighting; basic parkour with proper connective tissue and motor pattern preparation; entry-level climbing; physical games of all sorts; work on moving with stealth in the urban and natural environment; training in projectiles [archery [bows], throwing, slinging]; breathing exercises; some basic drilling from wrestling, wrestling games and the fighting arts basics – but not from a sport fighting intentional [this is better learned elsewhere] – finally, the development of observational and body awareness skill-sets both individually and inter-personally.
Recently, I saw a post about ‘World indigenous Games’ that mentioned ‘the big three’:
Wrestling, Archery and Stick-fighting*.
In many ways this is an auspicious triad to base this class around: the specific skills; the general and specific preparation of the body; and the training of awareness and the senses to facilitate safe and expedient learning and practicing of the ‘big three’.
The class shall be taught outdoors: in Great Nature, herself!
Initially it will focus more heavily upon the strength and motion work I am familiar and have experience with teaching but over time the [dynamic] plan is to have the class grow towards a more balanced expression of the ingredients mentioned above.
I drew a lot of inspiration for this class-idea from the old ‘laboratory class’ that was ‘Natural Movement Canberra’ that Craig Mallett and Simon Thakur used to run. Additional head nods and influence from Rafe Kelley’s ‘Evolve Move Play’; Simon’s current Ancestral Movement method; the work of Steve Maxwell; my first Teacher [martial arts] and one of my current Teachers – [M] – whose recent ‘way of the nomad’ talks crystallized the lattice upon which I am structuring the syllabus.
The class will take on a life of its own, as have my other classes. In fact, I am counting on it – hence the focus on training skills around ideas and principles to allow for the material to expand as it wants.
The are also some ‘later addition ideas’ that I want to add that I have seen other people working with: the crafting of equipment related to the class; foraging and uses of plants native to the area; possibly the addition of specific lines of crafting [metalwork, leatherwork, wood].
The class will have a have a ‘live-long health and longevity’ focus to it underlying the specific skill sets trained towards.
The classes will likely follow the long class format, with duration beginning at ~2hrs and likely going up from there when the working syllabus starts to evolve.
* This is also something my Teacher [M] is very familiar with, also