Archives For natural movement

The Moving Beings Jamboree will take place from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th September. This weekend of workshops is intended for ‘movement-curious’ Pilates teachers, and teachers of other movement disciplines – to enhance your teaching by broadening your horizons and developing your own movement practice.

Themes that will be explored include:

  • Traversing and weight bearing through all four limbs
  • Responding to external cues (vs. internal sensation)
  • Stability in motion
  • Play as a tool for enhanced mind-body connection
  • Flow

While it will be possible to sign up for specific days, the jamboree is intended to be a single event.

We will begin, on Friday, with movement in a natural environment and all the positive benefits to overall health that can bring (including some ‘vitamin uneven surface’ for the Katy Bowman fans amongst you). Expect to spend more time as a quadruped on Saturday, when we move indoors for more interaction with the ground, through feet, hands and whole bodies; and playful interaction with our fellow moving beings. On Sunday we’ll begin on our feet, with nature’s (spiral) movement; then playing with our orientation in space; concluding with movement in a more narrative social, or tribal context.

The emphasis of the weekend will be on playful, inquisitive self-exploration. The diverse offering of exercises, movement patterns, games and challenges will reveal many gems of insight pertaining to both your own relationship with your body, and in your teaching. I have found that learning from these teachers has had a significant influence on how I teach, and on the results that I’ve seen. I expect you to leave the weekend inspired, invigorated, enriched and elated.


8th September 1-4pm Ben Medder Hampstead Heath
9th September 10am-2pm Joseph Bartz Price Studios
3-6pm Mike Perry Price Studios
10th September 10am-12pm Adam Rae Price Studios
 12.45-14.45  Antoine Marc Price Studios
 15.15-17.15  Afonso Guerreiro Price Studios

Friday, 1-4pm, Ben Medder

Being outside is the best expression of our humanness, with contextual and playful movement giving us the best foundation of movement we can. What better way to explore natural movement than in context of habitat and actually being outside. Our skin grows strong only when exposed to diversity of surfaces, and that diversity of nature is nourishing.

Remember your ability to be joyful in nature, to run, jump, climb, swing, flow and roughhouse, to be swept along with the innate excitement of being outside. Thrill to the feel and smell of grass, leaves, trees, and the earth as you propel yourself forward, deep in the present with a full mind and body focus that a nutritious environment provides. Enjoy an afternoon of  natural movement, play and the Treehab approach, at the amazing Hampstead Heath, home of some of the best beach and oak trees you’ll ever play in. (Come rain or shine).

Ben has a mixed bag of movement experience, from dabbling in various martial arts, and team and individual sports. He has spent the last 7 years learning as much as he can from a wide variety of movement teachers and practitioners ranging from Parkour, dance partner interaction/games and natural movement, to gymnastic strength and mobility development. He has taught across the UK and Europe and is widely known as a natural movement influencer. He is a Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist and is Evolve Move Play’s first international coach. Ben’s love of natural movement, reconnection with nature, human connection and play drives everything he does, and he is constantly learning as much as he can from a wide variety of sources.

Saturday, 10am-2pm, Joseph Bartz

In this workshop we will explore how to move close to the floor in different scenarios. We will work with softness and hardness, with strictness and with playfulness. The three scenarios we will play with are sitting/squatting, crawling, and lying. This work can be used to improve health, mobility and strength and to release tension in the body, but also as a means in and of itself to enjoy movement and gain more freedom and intelligence in working close to the ground. The goal of this workshop is to provide tools and inspiration for your further exploration.

Joseph has studied under Ido Portal for several years, and has further been influenced by Martin Kilvady, Shai Faran and Jozef Frucek. His movement teaching is a melting pot of the work of his teachers, as well as his own research and thoughts about training and learning. Joseph teaches a diverse repertoire of exercises, skills, ideas and principles to help evolve people’s understanding of movement and to encourage and assist them in the further evolution of their training. The fundamental pillars of Josephs work are curiosity and a generalist approach to movement training.

Saturday, 3-6pm, Mike Perry

This portion of the day will be devoted to playing games – partner games that will be closely related to themes that Ben and Joseph will have introduced. There will be challenges to mobility, strength, co-ordination, sensitivity and ‘movement intelligence’ – the degree of challenge being self-regulated by each participant. There may be weeping with joy – it has happened before.

Mike qualified as a Pilates teacher in 2003 and after 8 or 9 years of teaching and attending ‘Pilates’ workshops, started to investigate a broader spectrum of movement, alongside wife and business partner Anoushka Boone. The last few years have seen them attending workshops, seminars and lectures with amongst others, Ido Portal, Tom Weksler, Adam Rae, Tomislav English, Rafe Kelly, Andreo Spina and Jaap van der Waal. All of this input has reinforced Mike’s belief in Pilates as a movement practice, such that he created Moving Beings as a means to share some of this input with the Pilates and movement teaching communities.

Sunday, 10am-12pm, Adam Rae

This session will draw primarily on Wushu/Kung Fu practice to deliver a series of enjoyable and, equally,  highly demanding co-ordination drills and protocols in standing and travelling fashion. Participants will learn short patterns that will embrace the body’s natural capacity to coil, twist, swing, wrap, collapse and wave in spirals and circles, and move in a fluid, connected way.

Adam has been working with movement, meditation and healing practices for 15 years, having spent several years studying Wushu/Kung Fu (for 2 of those years in China), Gymnastics, Tricking, Kickboxing, as well as learning Hip-Hop, Breakdance, Ballet, Street and Contemporary Dance styles. Parallel to this he has explored and trained in a wide range of so-called ‘internal’ or healing practices such as Qigong, Shamanic ritual, Systemic & Family Constellation work, Trauma therapy and various meditation techniques.

He formed a first-of-it’s-kind movement collective based in London called I.C.Movement, which brought together experts from different backgrounds to train, research, exchange, discuss and debate movement in the wider context for the purpose of deepening understanding, skill and awareness. Following a serious knee and spine injury, Adam’s primary focus has been on distilling his experiences into education, using the contexts of movement and stillness to facilitate personal expression, wellbeing and an enhanced connection of one’s body and sense of Self.

Sunday, 12.45-2.45pm, Antoine Marc

This workshop can be described as ‘progressive loaded mobility work’. The ability to move in a fluid, continuous fashion under load requires extraordinary stability. The test of good stability is whether it’s present in motion. Creative and challenging exercises will work to redistribute tone to its proper places to create strong, relaxed bodies that can revel in freely moving.

Antoine began studying ballet at 4 years old in Martinique. Growing up with capoeira and ballet, he eventually moved to Europe, travelling widely to discover different dance and acrobatic styles, while studying film-making. After graduating Lyon Lumiere University he moved to London to experiment further with movement and film.

He has directed, choreographed and performed award-winning material, and has appeared as a lead movement artist in Royal Opera House productions, and has an endless list of credits as a dancer, arial artist, choreographer, acrobat and motion capture artist. He performed with Dance Troupe ‘Diversity’, as the lead villain in their recent tour.

Sunday, 3.15-5.15pm, Afonso Guerreiro

This workshop will be delivered with the purpose of introducing you to the different aspects of Capoeira. It will be a 2-hour journey with the aim of preparing you for the Roda! (The Capoeira Circle). You will learn about the musical instruments used, and a series of basic movements that will not only challenge your coordination, flexibility and upper body strength, but will also enable you to play Capoeira and be able to interact with others through movement.

Afonso found his love for Capoeira 14 years ago and has been teaching it for 8 years. It was an easy connection due to his love of dancing and martial arts. During the past decade, he has travelled the world performing, learning and sharing knowledge in this discipline.

Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian Art that is rich in culture. It incorporates music, dance and acrobatic movements. It is a discipline that is great for the body, mind and soul and improves one’s overall fitness, strength, agility, spatial awareness, rhythm and mobility.

There will also be time at the end of the day for questions, sharing of insights and discussion.


Full price for the whole Jamboree is £280 

Early bird price for the whole Jamboree is £230, available to the first 20 people to sign up.

Prices for individual days will be made available at a later date, space permitting.

How to book

Payment by bank transfer to:

  • M R Perry
  • 20-74-63
  • 60659282

Payment reference to include ‘MBJ’, and your name.

Email to confirm the transfer, and to make sure that I know your full name, and once your payment has been received I will email a confirmation receipt.


Hampstead Heath (an exact location will be specified nearer the day)

Price Studios, Battersea (address and directions)

I hope to see you there!

Playing with Rafe

June 15, 2016 — Leave a comment

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I’d first enquired about this seminar in December 2015, so I’d been looking forward to it for a while. When the day came, and a group of us began to assemble on the edge of Hampstead Heath (like a minimalist footwear convention – Vivo Barefoot just edging Vibram Five Fingers in popularity) I realised that I had really no idea what we were in for. Rafe Kelly, the creator of Evolve Move Play, was quick to introduce himself but that was the only thing that set him apart from the rest of the group – no pedestal here.

We were a disparate group, from (I guess) mid-20s to mid-50s, and a mix of everything from complete novice to seasoned outdoor natural movers. The only parallel that I have for this seminar is Ido Portal’s ‘Movement X’ and already it was a very different experience. Part of that was the environment, for sure, but it was less businesslike – not chaotic at all, but less orderly. I love the structure of Ido’s seminars, and the authoritative delivery works well for me, so this is not a league table of seminars at all. Rafe (my computer is delightfully determined that his name should be corrected to ‘Safe’) certainly speaks and teaches with clarity and great conviction but there’s something else – I’m trying not to write “chilled”, or “laid-back” because they’re not the right words – perhaps it’s a lack of ego.

The weather determined the order of activities, so after a warm-up game of Zen Archer (my favourite, and especially fun on uneven terrain) we are quickly learning how to fall efficiently, and from there, how to roll. I should have been more sensible on my first real uneven ground outdoor training experience but exuberance got the better of me and I managed to mis-roll badly enough that my shoulder and arm were rendered fairly useless. Not good timing with the tree-climbing element about to begin. I do better than I used to, I think, but it’s still hard for me to hang on to a growth mindset and not feel that the world has effectively ended in these situations, so my thoughts on the remaining hours of our first day are a little clouded. I do know that Rafe and his team were great at enabling everyone there, from the high achievers to the injured novices, and great at reinforcing the underlying message that the activities we were engaged in were the things that we have evolved to do, thus our bodies instinctively respond to the environment. It’s easy to believe him when Rafe says that he’s seen people learn complex and challenging movements more readily in nature than in the gym. The philosophy of ‘moving like a human’ makes sense in my body, not just my head.

A sleepless night followed, unable to get comfortable for any length of time, and by the morning I’d decided that I couldn’t face being a wet and cold observer of everyone else’s fun. Happily for me my wife knows me very well, and forbids my self-pity. Our meeting point on day 2 is deeper into the Heath, and in a dark patch of woods. True to the forecast, it’s raining, and I understand why the higher tree climbing happened on day 1, it would be too risky in this wether. The tree branches are lower and we warm up moving through the trees at a low level, over and under branches (or just slowly along the low ones, in my case). I quickly realised that being barefoot was the best strategy and now wonder if that contact with the earth was a part of what lifted my mood.

We were split into groups to practice vaulting over branches, with Rafe, Ben and Rutger circulating and giving advice and encouragement. Lots of opportunities for practice and experimentation, and then the whole group being bought back together to add a new challenge, or to reinforce a coaching point or principle.

I’m loathe to get into describing everything that we did, so I’ll leave it at the rest of the day involved rough-housing (the British might call this ‘rough and tumble’) and edge of comfort zone testing play fighting; joint mobility; breath work; and meditation. Suffice it to say, if you’re contemplating joining an EMP seminar then go ahead and do it – I guarantee you’ll have fun. It was most fascinating for me to find how my mood changed, and the pain in my shoulder receded, as the day went on. I think was a product of the environment, the activity and also Rafe’s teaching style.

Rafe has clearly studied the art/skill of teaching in depth. He’s quick to acknowledge his own teachers, and especially quick to acknowledge his own flaws and vulnerabilities. I think this is the single thing that distinguished this from other workshops that I’ve attended – Rafe’s willingness to share his personal experience, and ability to acknowledge when his ego surfaced made for a liberated learning space. I’m used to discovering my lack of physical capacity, and having my (professional) world view challenged at Ido’s seminars, but this taught my something about myself at another level, and I’m very grateful for that.

At the end of day one, while feeling sorry for myself, I knew that I liked Rafe’s philosophy/idealogy, but didn’t think I wanted to embrace tree-climbing and outdoor training. At the end of day two both of us knew that we wanted to spend more time in nature, and to spend more time being playful. I’m sure now that we’ll be climbing trees in future.