- Fixes a known problem with balance
- Provides new coordination features
- Introduces support for haptic-stick interface.
After a day or a week of performing a task, it’s not too surprising to see some improvement in performance of the selfsame task. But that improvement isn’t the real deal – all that happened was familiarization. This is the same phenomenon as the “practice effect” that haunts researchers – the tests they use are often enough to produce improvements on the tests themselves, but without a change in the true trait of interest (the thing the test was supposed to point at – for example, using an IQ test to measure intelligence, or a computer test to quantify “memory”). You see a better score on the test not because you actually improved in some fundamental way, but because you are familiarized with the task. And if you simply wait a short period of time, maybe a few hours or days, the familiarization effect is dissipated.
This is important from two angles – one, the task is not the trait (a specialized application of Ido Portal’s “content/container”), and also, that there is a spectrum of adaptation. Let us deal with the latter.
A heuristic that might be useful for conceptualizing the spectrum of adaptations is the range of biological actions that organisms manifest in response to environmental changes from A) homeo-/allo- stasis through B) acclimatization to C) true adaptation (evolution).
Allostasis is the organism maintaining/returning to homeostasis – maintaining a normal range of fluctuation within a specific environment, by rapid and short-term responses. In the biological sphere that this most literally refers to, these effects are mediated by the nervous and endocrine systems. For example, when I run, the the body releases hormones that break apart stored glucose so as to maintain metabolism (which is driven regulated by pH levels, a major factor in homeostasis). But we can use allostasis to understand the practice effect: a psychological readiness for the task, because the task is anticipated. Sit me in front of a computer test, and my fingers prime to type. Tell me to expect a math question, and I shift, in an intuitive fashion, to a mental mode ready to calculate. It’s not that before and after the state of readiness, that I am different in a fundamental way.
Acclimatization points at reversible but more lasting changes in response to changes of environment (and not only typical changes WITHIN the environment). The changes revert when the environment reverts. In the most literal sense, we acclimate to temperature, light, pressure, etc, and for durations however long the environment is changed. But we can also be said to acclimate to psycho-social factors, for example, from the shift from a rural to an urban environment (or vice versa). This biological phenomenon allows us to explore new environments. For example, I move to the mountains where oxygen pressure is reduced, so my body increases red blood cell count allowing me to improve oxygen transport. In terms of the familiarization effect, if I perform a task sufficient times, something inside of me changes to be better prepared for subsequent exposures to the task. But remove me from the environment, and the effect is lost. In a way, I cannot be said to have truly changed.
The most long-lasting of changes are genetic in nature, in the form of evolution. If a group of organisms is placed in a new environment over generations, those that have acclimated the best will be naturally selected for, and through principles of inheritance and evolution, the next generation will have a greater proportion and magnitude of such traits. These traits in the newer generations will be much more hard-coded than any of the acclimatization-type effects.
We can further boil down the three coordinates in the seemingly linear spectrum of adaptation as follows
Allostasis – factors within the environment changed, but the environment is fundamentally the same.
Acclimatization – the environment itself changed, but not permanently, producing reversible effects.
Growth – the environment changed permanently, and created survival pressure that drove genetic change in the species, such that more long-term changes occurred.
There is a gray area between acclimatization and evolution… and the adaptation I want is THERE (let cultural evolution take responsibility for improving the practice of future generations!).
As I go into a practice, I want it to change me, so that I can move along to the next step in my evolution, but not lose what I gained. I neither intend to revert to my prior environment nor stay in the current. So what can I take with me? If I was looking ahead, hopefully I anticipated what traits I would wish to have further down the line, as my environment changed… and for the unpredictable changes, hopefully I found some traits that prepared me for chaos as well. So an intelligence is required as I chart my course.
But I must also consider – I shouldn’t want any overly-permanent change… again, looking down the line, I must expect that any adaptation now could hurt me eventually, in some other environment. Hence species go extinct… (and yet, neither should I toe the water too carefully, in fear)
So there is something beyond acclimatization that I want: put me in the new environment, let me transform, and let me take the transformation with me to the next environment. Thus I can continue to grow, to evolve.
It will soon be 10 years (October) since we fortuitously discovered Ido Portal‘s work through his “Self-Dominance” video. At the time, he had a blog from which he began to create an incredible resource (even in today’s over-saturated world, one of the best online resources you can turn to is simply an old blog).
We were immediately obsessed. When he began to use the blog to share carefully designed and multi-tiered workouts, we participated religiously. We joined his forum in which we would discuss progress and concepts related to movement (I’ll always prefer a good forum to social media…).
Around this time, Ido came to the U.S., so I (Sean) traveled to Boston to take a few classes. I still laugh in my head that people I knew wouldn’t walk down the street to take this workshop… what gold we were exposed to then, one decade ago, that goes unrivaled by any handbalance workshop you go to anywhere else today.
In Boston, I got a chance to talk more with Ido, discover he loves dirty jokes (“feels good, looks bad”…), and to realize I needed to go much further. So I continued with coaching, and began attending his bigger seminars and events – Upper Body Strength, a week-long Movement Camp in Berlin…
And the snowball continued. For our wedding honeymoon, we melted down all our gifts and used them to travel to Singapore for another Movement Camp. We hosted the first Movement-X in the United States here in Miami.
Eventually, the reality of the situation had to be confronted – we’re clearly not going away, so we might as well get as cozy as possible. We joined Ido’s mentorship program.
Now I get a chance to travel to assist in workshops, we’re meeting with Ido throughout the year, he’s guided us in the opening of our space, and he provides critical feedback for our classes. He’s sharing a vision with us; we’re humbled to work alongside the vanguard.
Every step of the way, he reveals a little more of the big picture – there’s always a slight discomfort, some growing pains, and as we move past them, we see the logical progression. There’s an incredible element of design in Ido’s work, but also in his philosophy – nothing is patched together, there are no seams. Intense, prolonged, and persistent thought was clearly invested in the evolution of a philosophy that continues to grow, swallowing everything in its path.
We don’t trust people easily, especially when it comes to absorbing massive philosophies – but when you meet somebody like Ido who has a track record of 100% success rate guiding you in the right direction… you start to acquire a sense of trust. It might sound monomaniacal, one-sided – we don’t go to other workshops, we don’t spread our attention thin, we don’t take on side projects, we’re not interested in other approaches. Because working inside of this one produced all the results – and all the results in our students as well. Yes, we’re obsessed – for the past decade, and for many more.
Friends were in town, so we woke up early to get some practice done at the marina. A nice morning session, but by some time the unforgiving sun broke through and we decided to come home. Anyways, I had to pack for the trip to the Ido Portal mentorship…
At the airport, a bit of coordination work – an hour of patterns with very small differences between them. That gets some weird looks…
We have the unique opportunity to be mentorship students of Ido Portal (inside of the Ido Portal mentorship program). We travel throughout the year to meet, and in a few days, we’ll be a week with our teacher, osmosing furiously.
Ido has been the vehicle for the paradigm shift that has taken root inside of us and that we aspire to reverberate into our own community. We have seen the message spread into our students and subsequently proliferate even further. There’s no greater pleasure than in being a carrier for this virus. To be a catalyst or facilitator in someone’s personal development is always a special experience, but the joy is doubled when it’s around something so profound as a movement practice.
From this mentorship, we’ve received firsthand instruction not only on how to practice, but also how to share. This practice is something we take seriously and we want to share it in the best way possible. Anybody who knows us well knows that we devote countless hours into thinking about our classes, projects, themes, that we are persistently evaluating student progress, individualizing and recalibrating ruthlessly. So when we are presented with a master pedagogue, we absorb everything possible – both the implicit and explicit guidance regarding the infinite parameters of the learning experience.
It’s a true blessing to have been along this journey with Ido for so long. For nearly a full decade now we’ve been following Ido’s work obsessively. And for the last several years, we’ve been following from within the Ido Portal mentorship program – joining a select few other schools and teachers around the world who share the same obsession. The program has fundamentally driven why, how, and what we teach.
Wondering what our classes actually look like? Take a look at our schedule and join us.
We now accept Bitcoin. Not as a matter of convenience, but as a matter of principle, of ideology, of commitment to human evolution.
Many people put bitcoin/blockchain currencies as opposed to cash. But… I don’t see blockchain currencies as representing a divergence from cash. Rather, blockchain currencies are an evolution (by leaps and bounds) of the infrastructure underlying our digital economy. But blockchain doesn’t need to replace cash. Cash and crypto, side by side. The best of both worlds. Crypto representing the natural evolution of digital currency, which we already use now anyways.
Blockchain currency is scary. Besides the threat of physical disconnect that may result from an internet of things, the potential to naively rely excessively on a technology.
I have fears, strong fears, around blockchain. Two main concerns – one is that I hate to empower an internet of things. An internet of things is a… a serious existential threat: we don’t need to disconnect ourselves even further from the physical world. Secondly, and more immediate – I fear any technology that we rely excessively on, that we put excessive trust in, and that empowers a small technocratic minority. But in a way, that’s always been the system. Maybe blockchain has the potential to take us beyond that.
Despite the fears, we have to move forward. There’s no bigger way of embracing jumps in complexity. I’m a firm believer that complexity is the best direction to move in. At the same time, don’t forget who’s on the boat on that journey… A kernel of the past, of our primal nature, should always be pulled along with us. Not just philosophically, but also to sustain our existence. Because we ARE that kernel. If we lose it, WE will become the AI of the future.
Learn more about Bitcoin over at Khan Academy.
Want to sign up for your membership in bitcoin/cryptocurrency? Check out our schedule.
Phone: 786-470-7509 (Sean)
2021 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL, 33127