weights/springs, pull/push, rocking/rolling

Chat and questions regarding Pilates or the "Introduction to the work of Joseph H. Pilates"
Post Reply
AlainG
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:47 pm

weights/springs, pull/push, rocking/rolling

Post by AlainG »

I´ve read that the original patent for the Universal Reformer was designed with weights.
But, Joe actually seems to have preferred springs, as well for all the others machines, for resistance/assistance.
I wonder if Joe had explained why.
Was it mainly because of convenience (no need for a tower with stacked weights)?
Or, because of the feel of the springs themselves, better mimicking and eliciting the elastic energy inside the body?
Perhaps also, because of the "clean" direction of the force vector?
What do you think?

Javier, have you experimented a reformer connected with weights?
As an example, I can think of the Gyrotonic Tower that uses light weights.
[by the way, Juliu Horvath had made, long ago, a cheapier version with springs instead of weights (from Stamina), but it seems that he had not liked the feel of the springs, among other aspects]

Another question is about the push and pull actions.
It seems to me that there is more emphasis on the push action, particularly on the reformer.
Except when pulling the straps facing the pulleys.
[on the contrary, Lagree, a "fitness take" on a modified reformer emphasizes the alternation of the two modes, pulling being the most demanding one]
Do you consider that it is correct to state like that?
If so, the Pilates technique could it be said emphasizing the push of the arms and legs over pulling?
Push would facilitate the lengthening of the spine better than pull?
I feel that there is always lengthening even in the pulling action, but the motion of the arms/legs seems always in expansion in both as its destination.
Perhaps the push better manifests that dynamic?
If considered as kind of circular motion, even when apparently linear, the path never really shortens (in the spine).

Other questions.
In the "classical school" (that I´ve came to know a little), the theory of human psycho-motor developmental phases is the reference to explain the logic of the Mat, from flexion to extension, etc...
I know that Joe used to refer to babies and to animals, particularly cats.
So, it makes sense to correlate with science.
However, when practicing rolling and rocking motions (for example on rocker boards), I feel that these movements are not (only) there for retracing the human psycho-motor development.
They have their own merits that go beyond a prerequisite, a kind of re-patterning for more complex motions.
From the point of view of movement, they express a very special dynamic quality, coordination, and feeling from the doing.
They have the same "functionality" that can also be seen in yoga, gymnastics, martial arts... but precisely NOT in the more usual fitness methods.
Do you agree that rolling and rocking movements are particularly important in Pilates?
Something that departs from the rationale for most fitness and bodybuilding methods.

Javier
Site Admin
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:38 pm

Re: weights/springs, pull/push, rocking/rolling

Post by Javier »

I am sorry I took so long to answer. I was in Spain dealing with some family matters.
Wow, a lot to unpack here…
SO it is going to be long…

1st Original Reformer.
I will take that you haven’t looked at the patents thoroughly. While in a patent one must describe an invention without giving away unnecessary detail, Joseph does propose various designs, one of them with weights. He definitely talks about ‘springs’ right there on the patent, it’s not a later decision.
US patent: “… and the necessary resistance being afforded by springs or other elastic members…”
French Patent: “… par example le contrepoids ou de resorts sont respectivement souleves ou tendus.”
UK Patent(The most complete one): “The resistance may be obtained by any other means, for example by the use of springs, elastic cords, the compression of air in a cylinder, etc.”
He also includes a pic of the carriage as we know it with the ‘springs/bands’ attached. Even the ‘shark fin’ shoulder blocks are there. It is the strap that came later.
Here is a pic of his patent:
Reformer Patent
Reformer Patent
Patent-carriage-springs.jpg (78.58 KiB) Viewed 1917 times

And here is a reconstruction (mine) of the earliest reformer that I have found (measurements where Metric as opposed to later Reformers that where US Imperial) Note the lack of pulleys and straps and the fixed footbar with a curve exactly the same shape as the Foot Corrector.
Metric Reformer
Metric Reformer
metric_reformer.jpg (92.84 KiB) Viewed 1917 times

Most importantly, the Reformer continues and improves on his 1st invention: the Foot Corrector since it “The apparatus is fitted with and abutment or pressure bar which maybe employed by those suffering from weakened arches. The apparatus may also be used by those having one sound leg only”
The foot corrector requires one to stand up. Those with only “one sound leg” can’t use it. Therefore, they can use the Reformer instead. The Footbar IS the foot corrector and to this day we do start with The Footwork since alignment of the feet is the 1st stop in Pilates. As an added note, this aspect of the reformer is what gives it its name: it can be used by “sufferers (those who need to exercise in recumbent position, with weak arches or flat feet, or those having only one leg or only one being capable of being normally used) as well as those in vigorous health” making it “Universal”

So the original Reformers had springs too.

2. Clean line of direction. A weight has a cleaner line of direction in use and feels more even (same resistance all the time) a spring feels heavier as you stretched and if it is attached to a limb directly (like on the Table or a Wall unit, not like the Reformer or Wunda)it is very susceptible to shaking if you do not stretch it in a straight line: it is harder to pull it out in a clean line of direction, therefore you work more on the muscles that direct the movement than with a weight not just on the ones that pull/push.

Joseph added springs so they will replace ‘him’. Basically he said he couldn’t train many people if he had to resist them all every session, so he replaced his resistance with springs. I think springs offered resistance and, unlike weights, they immediately make the client feel that they have to ‘control’ them which is the ultimate goal of ‘Contrology’ as we all know.

It makes sense that in Gyrotonics they avoid them since range and mobility are more important and springs are tricky in wide range of motion which we do not avoid in Pilates but it is not the 1st thing we go for.


3. Push/Pull. It does seem like there is more Push than pull in the Reformer because the springs resist the Push. The idea is that you bring the carriage back and eventually you remove the springs even on the way out. You extend and return with no resistance. The Wunda is quite different: the springs help. In the Table is all of the above: for example the springs hold your legs in the air, resist you and wobble… again, it is hard to say ‘springs do this or that’ because it depends how they are attached and whether they are lifting you or resisting you. The question is valid but if you practice enough of the method you “meet” the springs in every way so you do not feel them a particular way. Sometime you love them, sometimes you hate them, sometimes they are not enough!!

Again, let’s not compare methods. Especially when their goals are different. Lagree tries to train and exercise the body. Pilates to restore natural movement and fitness. Lagree is more physical. Pilates aims beyond the body: the freeing of the individual through attainment of control. That is why physical definitions of Pilates always fall short and why everyone trying to ‘get’ the exerices fails, especially when trying to define them or understand them from a simple motor or scientific way.

Don’t think in terms of pushing or pulling. Is like defining a music scale by which notes it has or hasn’t rather than the sound and using the time to play it so it is understood by the ear not the mind. We want to concentrate in moving, moving well, in every plane, in every way, always conscious and always in control: the movement performed are the ones desired and vice-versa.
You always try to lengthen whether pulling or pushing, twisting, rounding, arching but, again, the emphasis is on what are you doing as a whole. You do it without it becoming the main goal. Is just an approach. Like breathing, eventually is innate.

4. Joseph started from a science point of view to explain his method, eventually he stopped doing it and even later, hated it.
Pshcho-motor learning is a way to explain how Pilates is taught. It is not that it is consciously done that way. Both the modern schools, the contemporary and the ‘classical’ do not use that path: they verbal input is so bewildering and huge that it is impossible to consider it “psychomotor learning”, unless they do so to make themselves look more scientific.

Original Pilates is more like learning to play an instrument: the coordinated activity of your body get way more attention, practice. Execution is the road. You repeat until you refine the movement and no longer need to think about it: it is coded in. Now is ‘natural’. We believe that the individual has the movements already stored and can ‘restore’ them to use them to train.
We do not try to asses when the person is on the cognitive stage (learning an exercise for example) the associative stage (putting together the breathing, rhythm, movements, reps,…) and the autonomic stage (when you know it and just practice to keep the ability or refine it) since we all are managing different stages at the same time in different exercises according to our abilities and shortcomings. Hopefully, since we are not babies anymore, if we are on the right track, the 1st two stages are covered pretty quickly…

5. Most rocking motions in Pilates are for massage and balance. They involve choosing both ends of the rocking too. Not just motions with aleatory stops. Again, motion is king. Is not balance in the sense of standing on one leg -which we also practice- but a motion which ends on a perfect balance on a chosen place. Motion to balance rather than no movement balance as in other exercises or some of the poses in Yoga which are also very useful, just something else..
They are definitely not there for retracing the human psycho-motor development. Again, that is defining one thing through the conditioned knowledge of something else and wanting to draw parallels.

As pointed out by the old teachers, rocking exercises quiet the mind and disperse worries and stress: the brain tends to drop unnecessary threads of thought when balancing and the rocking motions tease the vestibular system as an added bonus.
The logic of the Mat is simple and it is the usual pattern, like Reformer or Wunda: warm up – improve – test control.
Difficulty is spread so it can alternate: One Leg Circle – Corkscrew – Hip Circles : each a harder version of the one before.
Prowess and range is increase as you are warmer: Roll Up to Neck Pull to Teaser, Swan Dive to Swimming to Rocking to High Bridge…
And if fit you do so alternating between motions of rounding, arching, holding a line… with the most challenging of those 3 at the end. It is simple, therefore beautiful. To try to see something more sophisticated in it will ruin it because we would miss the point: one can’t appreciate what one doesn’t see and, in all honesty, if one doesn’t find the wonderful complexities and intricacies that we want to find in order to make it respectable and desirable one maybe tempted to changed so it does look more complex and advanced. Most of the time, those ‘dressing’ Pilates, or Yoga, or dance, make it unattainable, convoluted and boring. Just looks good on paper.

The reference to cats is a particularly useful one, though on a slightly different subject: a cat uses its strength to stretch, it digs the claws to pull, achieving both stretch and energizing itself at the same time.

Correlation with science should be made only after achieving the desired results. Otherwise you are describing and measuring something else. Most people who are doing that sort of comparison are not that good at Pilates. They may be able to talk a lot but their Pilates achievements are not very broad. Hence, probably, their need to talk…
Intellectual discussion is only useful if backed up by practice and results, otherwise is a bit of mental masturbation. It is perfectly ok to not understand something for a while until results ‘explain’ it later. Trying to grasp it too early only prevents you from getting there by creating a false sense of understanding and achievement. It is amazing what a little patience will do.

Greetings!!!

AlainG
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:47 pm

Re: weights/springs, pull/push, rocking/rolling

Post by AlainG »

Thank you Javier.
I understand that you had to deal with other priorities.
I knew you would answer from your deep understanding when appropriate.
So, it´s just the right time for me reading your insights.

Very straight to the point(s).
Clean directions, same as the control of the springs requires, in your explanations.
There is controlled tension in your articulation of ideas.

The scientific discourse is not particularly present in my own practice.
But logic is.
And you provide enough of it.

I realize from the drawings how practical the reformer was for home use with its compact design and carriage placed vertically when not in use.
Later, the pulleys seem to have determined the necessity for a bed.

Your reconstruction of the earliest reformer is surprising with its small dimensions.
It seems that the legs can´t fully extend when pressing the footbar.
I wonder if that small reformer allowed/allows much work with the hands on the footbar (into a quadrupedic position/standing?),
or if it was initially only designed for footwork.

I myself daily practice with no springs on the reformer.
Another feel. It is a very quiet focus.
In footwork, carefully gripping the footbar even when pushing out, for not losing toes´contact, and still being able to come back.
With springs, there´s more dynamism.
I like both.

I recognize what you say about movement being the focus in Pilates, and not muscles for themselves.
Lagree method aims muscle failure.
Antinomic with control.
And I think that push and pull can´t be dissociated, like dynamism of yin/yang.

"The cognitive stage /the associative stage /the autonomic stage".
Simply put.
Useful for not interfering in the process.
I appreciate very much your insights!
Again, thank you.

Javier
Site Admin
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:38 pm

Re: weights/springs, pull/push, rocking/rolling

Post by Javier »

Hello Alain,
Just a quick return on a couple of things:
Later, the pulleys seem to have determined the necessity for a bed.
As you can see the bed came 1st, the pulleys later.
The bed becomes quickly a necessity since most clients can't go that low for a while and as a means to 'tracking' the carriage, that is, keeping it translation/travel on a straight path.
It seems that the legs can't fully extend when pressing the footbar.
Yes you can since the carriage can travel more than the frame (the whole head piece "flies" over the end.
With springs, there’s more dynamism.
Yes, totally. And very important for many clients: it introduces some gravity (the very reason NASA was interested in the Reformer and came up with the jumping board) In fact that is probably why the original had so many springs.
The springs build the clients and, like the splits, it allows them to stretch while supporting them. Unlike Yoga, most dance (unless you do Pas de Deux often) and even those who just do the Pilates mat, the added tensions in Pilates help the client face daily like, which involves carrying, pulling, pushing, turning other things from the shopping to moving heavy furniture... Very useful indeed.

Learning different methods is like languages. You can translate but it is better to speak each alone while using it. They will all make some concepts very clear within themselves. Trying to understand them and define them using another language, or comparing it to it, is bound to fail in some levels. We must have the patience to learn enough of a language to know when to use something because we understand the meaning, the application and we know the result that what we say is going to have on the listener. It is very hard, for example, to define in Spanish what "enjoy" is and when do you use it. If you spend enough time in a English-speaking country you will eventually learn when and why. It is not hard at all, but it requires time and enough repetitions of enough situations to 'get' it.

Greetings,
Javier

AlainG
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:47 pm

Re: weights/springs, pull/push, rocking/rolling

Post by AlainG »

Thanks for the precision of all of your answers, Javier.
I appreciate very much!
So many interesting details.
As for example the NASA interest in the reformer, or the smaller footprint of the initial bed´s reformer still allowing full leg extension...
What it appears to be and what it is, not the same.
I stand corrected.

I can realize (only somewhat!) thanks to the accurate information on your site and forum that I don´t practice Pilates method.
As an autodidact, I already knew.
But since reading this site and forum, your work, I can better measure, in negative, that my practice is certainly neither "original", nor "classical" Pilates. Even if I regularly exercise on "Pilates machines/apparatuses".
As so, still recognizing there is a deeper knowledge out there.
That´s why I come to read what you share here!
Knowledge and experience.

As you´ve said, how could someone appreciate what he ignores.
I can´t but stand from my background, as it is, and as it goes.
And even more because choosing to be an autodidact.
My way, but searching outside as well!

The analogy with learning and translating languages is so appropriate.
As a metaphor, it applies at many levels.
I teach french for Brazilians, and I translate too.
With experience, the comparisons become more accurate and useful for certain students.

Like crossing a floating bridge very unstable... its careful crossing offers a unique view of each side.
But still one direction, or the other, to go.
Nonetheless, a comparison between languages can elicit an understanding that translates in better acceptance of the "bizarre rules" of the other language. It´s crossing the bridge.

For many Brazilians, even if living in France for a while (years perhaps), it can be rather difficult to accept, and use, the "partitive article", as for example in:
- "Je veux du café",

whereas in portuguese, they say:
- "Quero café." (no partitive article there).

Then, when I explain to them:
- " In french, it´s a very explicit formulation:
- "Je veux du café".

whereas in portuguese, it´s a much more implicit, and so, a direct formulation (more "intuitive"):
- "Veux .. café"

... still, the same logic of indeterminacy is operating in both languages, but through different forms.
In french, the formulation of indeterminacy is by the use of the partitive article "du"
whereas in portuguese, the same idea is expressed by the absence of an article.
Absence of an article is the expression of indeterminacy itself.
Then, it starts to sound much less bizarre to express indeterminacy one way or the other...

It can open the door that appears to be closed to a not so flexible mind.
Of course, it´s still the practice that is relevant for skills acquisition.
Explanation by comparison is just for a better disposition for learning "the same different", but in new forms.
As for translating, skills have levels that require comparisons.
Comparisons can deepen and re-signify the meanings of each language, as well as the forms, and even the logic(s).

I often experience the same with body languages.
The same different, but new forms.
Nonetheless, impossible to reduce or confuse to only one term (same/different/new) the whole comparison.
I completely agree that there is, or should have, one direction to go.
Greetings Javier
Year of the ox.

Javier
Site Admin
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:38 pm

Re: weights/springs, pull/push, rocking/rolling

Post by Javier »

Hello Alain,
Everything we deal with has always layers and more information behind that lives in a non-graphical, non-visual world. We are very 'image' driven so a lot of our 'instant' decisions and opinions are formed by the 'fastest' sense: vision. And for some reason we need to get to an answer fast. We hate voids and our lack of knowledge must be satisfied with some information that fills the void.
AlainG wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:17 am
As for example the NASA interest in the reformer, or the smaller footprint of the initial bed´s reformer still allowing full leg extension...
What it appears to be and what it is, not the same.
I stand corrected.
I wasn't correcting you, really, I was just answering the question about how far it can travel. But yes, if you think that the carriage stops at the end of the frame, like modern reformers do because they are 'inside' the frame, then you would guess right. If you think that the back wheel can get to the end of the track and the head piece goes over the end -nothing to stop it- then you can visualize the carriage moving further out. In fact, it is a dangerous machine!!!

Being an autodidact is not only ok, it is commendable. And obviously you make the point that you can only stand on your background, though in all honesty, that applies to absolutely everyone: we can't forget what we know. We should all restrain ourselves in our quests, and keep doing something in order to learn how to do that very thing we are trying to learn. We want to 'get' it mentally way too fast and the mind runs circles trying to answer how an exercise will feel or what it will do before the exercise has time to change the very things is designed to change in order to get to the physical state where we learned it, practised it, improved our body and our ability to do it, and then we got to the stage where we experienced how does the exercise feel when you are doing it freely without constrictions and with, at least, relative ease. After all that we also look at what does a body that can do that feel like, regardless of where we are exercising or not. Then we get to say we 'got' it. Until then, we are only 'on the way' and we should happily be there. Nothing wrong with it.

The more people know the harder is to do it that way. I have clients, especially US trainers, who keep saying, after each correction: "got it!" and nothing is further from the truth... we are kind of programmed to get to the finish line too fast.

Autodidacts should be even more graceful with themselves since they are flying solo and that can mean blindfolded sometimes. They should accept their predicament with a dose of patience and not get too attached to their findings as being more than that: their findings. Very valuable but not necessarily everyone else's truth. I still recommend taking some sessions now and then, even if it is to 'point North again' from time to time but especially, to soothe the questioning mind that can break havoc during physical practice.

EVERYONE IS ALLOWED TO EXPERIENCE AND APPRECIATE -or not- SOMETHING HE OR SHE IGNORES. We mustn't be snobs. Even the most uneducated person in the world should be allowed to walk into a contemporary museum and have an opinion, a feeling and a reaction about the 'art' that is shown there. Knowing about it is not a licence to talk. We must, though, not go too far with it and convert such an opinion into a 'theory' or a 'description' of the thing being observed. To repeat myself: observing, most of the time means viewing, watching rather than doing.
That makes the most educated art critic equal to our 'mountain dweller: they both are only seeing a finished work and did not form part of the making of it, nor were present when it was being made, nor, most probably, can do it themselves.

Your answer about language comparisons is pretty much what I said: comparison doesn't define anything by itself, it shows how a thing is or is not like another, but it does not show you its essence. And as you perfectly demonstrated with your very precise explanation about the partitive article, you can only begin to compare two languages when you are pretty good at both of them, or at languages in general.

My point was more one of, going beyond the grammatical understanding and the knowledge of the 'usage' of something but the internalization of that knowledge: you use it well naturally. Like the Spanish subjunctive (in French is mostly used for writing but in Spanish its colloquial use is very common -and in my Canary Islands almost abusive) they need to be felt to be used naturally because even when you understand its use it is very hard to see how and when to use it.

Also certain things have no equal in another language because they contain almost like a philosophical view. Take the Hebrew 'to be': you can say "I was here" and "I will be here" but you don't say "I am here" you would say "I here". Existence in the present is a given. So, I Javier, I Spanish. The lack of verb is more telling and beautiful than its appearance.
Nonetheless, a comparison between languages can elicit an understanding that translates in better acceptance of the "bizarre rules" of the other language. It is crossing the bridge.
So sometimes "bizarre" it actually delightful in the other language: it only looks bizarre when you introduce 'comparison'.
Same as when you move between languages and you 'miss' a feature. Like Spanish or French "se dice/on dit" which has no direct translation in many languages and must be rendered with 'one says...' which never quite gets the job done. In short: like the saying goes: "something is always lost in translation" and sometime is just a habit that we have: somehow we insist in defining what we do.
We can cross the bridge and get many views but we don't have to accept it as final. Our own feeling about it, later, will be more poignant and accurate.
It can open the door that appears to be closed to a not so flexible mind.
I would say that it does open 'a' door. Not necessarily the right one... ;) though that pacifies many people.
Of course, it´s still the practice that is relevant for skills acquisition.
Practice is the only way for skills acquisition that can be used exclusively. Even mindless practice will deliver more results than thinking.
Explanation by comparison is just for a better disposition for learning "the same different", but in new forms.
As for translating, skills have levels that require comparisons.
Comparisons can deepen and re-signify the meanings of each language, as well as the forms, and even the logic(s).
Again, comparing takes you away from what you are looking at. It makes it loose essence. Its value is overblown. It involves too much mind and takes away feeling, time, effort and feedback from what is/should be happening. It is addictive and crippling. And its results are clumsy and slow. They can be helpful when clarifying a point, now and then, or to direct something one way or another but never to define something.

The essence of something can never be understood by comparison. That is why I encourage everyone to use them, but let them go and return to just 'getting it' by doing what they are trying to understand, because to 'get it' is the only way. Even if it means feeling a little lost.

Everyone is doing it today with everything: the wine they drink, the music they listen to, the films they see: everyone is comparing everyone's work, product, ideas with another's. We are losing the ability to see the value of something by itself. We all must know everything about everything. We drive ourselves crazy.

I mean all this in the most positive way. We don't have time to waste. We must stop explaining orgasms to virgins for ever when one time sex will do.

Greetings,
Javier

AlainG
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:47 pm

Re: weights/springs, pull/push, rocking/rolling

Post by AlainG »

Two quotes of yours that resonate in my mind:
EVERYONE IS ALLOWED TO EXPERIENCE AND APPRECIATE -or not- SOMETHING HE OR SHE IGNORES. We mustn't be snobs. Even the most uneducated person in the world should be allowed to walk into a contemporary museum and have an opinion, a feeling and a reaction about the 'art' that is shown there. Knowing about it is not a licence to talk. We must, though, not go too far with it and convert such an opinion into a 'theory' or a 'description' of the thing being observed.
The essence of something can never be understood by comparison. That is why I encourage everyone to use them, but let them go and return to just 'getting it' by doing what they are trying to understand, because to 'get it' is the only way. Even if it means feeling a little lost.

Everyone is doing it today with everything: the wine they drink, the music they listen to, the films they see: everyone is comparing everyone's work, product, ideas with another's. We are losing the ability to see the value of something by itself. We all must know everything about everything. We drive ourselves crazy.

I mean all this in the most positive way. We don't have time to waste. We must stop explaining orgasms to virgins for ever when one time sex will do.
I not only agree with all of your points, but they also remind me to be ever more congruent with the doing, so as to "get it".
And then perhaps, let it go for better starting again from where we are.

I´ve liked to know about the linguistic example of the hebrew language...

On a side note, and because you ´ve mentioned the Canary Islands, I admire so much the Palo Canario´style of Pedro Morales Martín...

I have no plan to go to Rotterdam, nor I plan the future. But if so, I would definitely ask for taking some lessons under your guidance.
Greetings,
Alain

Javier
Site Admin
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:38 pm

Re: weights/springs, pull/push, rocking/rolling

Post by Javier »

Hello Alain,
"Doing" makes Pilates -or anythings else- universal. Execution is the basis for experience: both, experiencing whatever it is you are trying and gaining experience with it. Funny how the same word can have such a distant meaning: encountering something and gaining control over it.

The method belongs to those who practise, not those who teach it or pay for it. Even Joseph stated that you can't buy health.
For us, the ones who like to go a little deeper, it is the door to knowledge and the best way to calm doubts and dispel insecurities. Is simple but avoided by many who are lazy but have an agenda: they will trade it with facts that either they collected, or made up, and replace the basis of the method, the provider of its results and the whole point of it -execution- with monologues about core, c-curve, natural curves, imagination, integration and a myriad other 'good on paper' ideas.

Execution not only IS the way of Pilates, is it the only approach that doesn't need anything else. You can always enhance 'practice' with 'knowledge' but practice alone will do a hell of a lot. Knowing something won't stretch you, strengthen you, improve you and elate you. Volition must be cultivated. Without it, it is very hard to train the will.

So cool that you know about 'Juego del palo' !!!! Did't think it was much known outside the Islands (actually in Venezuela they do play it and I think in Northen Portugal/Galicia they do something similar) Yes, el 'chicha' has a nice style for the medium/short palo. I used to like Don Cristin Feo, the kind of old-ish guy that use to take down younger and faster opponents in the coolest simplest way...

Greetings
Javier

Javier
Site Admin
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:38 pm

Re: weights/springs, pull/push, rocking/rolling

Post by Javier »

Hello Alain,
It is one of my 'fights'... showing others that practice is more important than anything else.

"Doing" makes Pilates -or anythings else- universal. Execution is the basis for experience: both, experiencing whatever it is you are trying and gaining experience with it. Funny how the same word can have such a distant meaning: encountering something and gaining control over it.

The method belongs to those who practise, not those who teach it or pay for it. Even Joseph stated that you can't buy health.
For us, the ones who like to go a little deeper, it is the door to knowledge and the best way to calm doubts and dispel insecurities. Is simple but avoided by many who are lazy but have an agenda: they will trade it with facts that either they collected, or made up, and replace the basis of the method, the provider of its results and the whole point of it -execution- with monologues about core, c-curve, natural curves, imagination, integration and a myriad other 'good on paper' ideas.

Execution not only IS the way of Pilates, is it the only approach that doesn't need anything else. You can always enhance 'practice' with 'knowledge' but practice alone will do a hell of a lot. Knowing something won't stretch you, strengthen you, improve you and elate you. Volition must be cultivated. Without it, it is very hard to train the will.

So cool that you know about 'Juego del palo' !!!! Did't think it was much known outside the Islands (actually in Venezuela they do play it and I think in Northen Portugal/Galicia they do something similar) Yes, el 'chicha' has a nice style for the medium/short palo. I used to like Don Cristin Feo, the kind of old-ish guy that use to take down younger and faster opponents in the coolest simplest way...

Greetings
Javier

AlainG
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:47 pm

Re: weights/springs, pull/push, rocking/rolling

Post by AlainG »

Yes. So many teachers hardly practice themselves. Others still do.
By the way, I´ve read in an interview of Joseph Pilates for a newspaper that he didn´t practice himself!
Because, as he had declared, "he didn´t believe in training".

Of course, I realize that this provocative declaration should be read in regard to his whole lifestyle.
Teaching movement, sometimes demonstrating a new exercise for a client (systematically?), walking or running, stretching in his bed as well briefly during the course of the day, testing new ideas, moving...
So, all of the ordinary movements being a kind of "training" as well.

Regarding "el juego del palo", indeed not much known outside of the Canary islands.
It´s truly a cultural treasure.
My first contact was when translating, many years ago, a short presentation of the Acosta family´style at the occasion of the launching of a DVd (by a spanish editor: "Budo international").
From there, I had started reading and seeing videos of different family´styles, until discovering the one you´ve called "El Chicha".

Truly amazed by his elegance, economy of motion (almost "minimalist", however in high dynamism), speed, intent...
I´ve never seen, even in this particular style, anyone presenting these same qualities.
Almost, but not quite there.
His head positioning being always "quiet", even when his whole body "contorting", spinning, changing directions...
Each time I see his display, I´m amazed. it feels beautiful and good.
Of course, it is a style for that medium stick.

The state of flow, one characteristic also searched in Pilates.
Two ways of "playing".
What a wonderful combination it would be, Pilates and Juego del Palo!

Post Reply