From A 2 B

The goal of a teacher is to take his student from point A to point B.

This journey in very underrate in its complexity and many teachers take it for granted with out planning a head, they’re convinced that the map with the right instructions is already in their pocket, which in fact it’s not and they end up confused and lost on their way to B.

Ido Portal is not one of those many. He will take you from point A and walk you safely to point B. He sure took me to point B on this one, and I can’t wait to get to point C.

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One arm press progression

Hey guys!

The next video is a result of the hard work I’ve been doing lately, I got myself one step closer towards the full one arm press! There is still a long way ahead of me, I just wanted you to be a part of the small achievements along the way (:

I want to hear what you think.

 

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Working towards the one arm press

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Air Baby

While working on balance skills you have to be active all the time. It can be really confusing, the movement is static and yet you stay active. That is why is very easy to cheat. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to work on different handstands and to be completely passive. Actually many people make that mistake mostly because lack of knowledge. The result of this kind of  work creates a weak link in the chain, and taking it to the next level is very hard and even impossible.

In the “Air Baby” unlike other balancing skills working it a none active way is simply impossible. It took me quite some time to figure this out.

Think about it for a second, you are supporting yourself on one hand  while your knee is on top of your elbow and you’re arching your body to the side. There is no way you can hold this position without staying active.

And yes, I can do the other side as well…

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My ring routine

Hey guys!

Remember I told you I have a thing for rings? So besides the muscle-ups I’ve been working on other different elements on the rings, all taken from gymnastics.

As I mention in one of my former posts, ring work is very hard and uncompromising. It wont “cut you some slack” if you’re too tired or too weak. That is why there is no greater feeling then the one you get once you understand that you have the ability to “control the beast” to some level (Never fully of course. Like all beasts, it can always do something unpredictable).

The next video is the result of very hard and uncompromising work…

Enjoy!

Odel.

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But what about the legs?

Those of you who followed along this far deserve to know this, and besides I made a promise, and promises must be kept.

***

You should never take your ability to move for granted. It is priceless.

But like everything in life, you can’t fully understand what it means to lose it until it happens to you.

Well, it happened to me and not just once. People say that the third time is a charm – not in my case…

2 knee surgeries.

1 shoulder dislocation.

1 major car accident  – 4 broken vertebras, minus 1 kidney, 1 serious concussion.

And all of that in less then 5 years!  Impressive?… I think so!

Why the long faces? I’m ok now, really. you saw those videos I posted. It was all taken after those unfortunate incidents.

The truth is that I had to rehab myself so many times, and every-time it just got harder and harder. It felt like one step forward and 100 steps backwards. I was tired and frustrated. For a while there I actually thought I was cursed.

The “restoring my elements” process was hard and long, lucky for me I wasn’t alone in this, I had good people that helped me all the way through. Especially Ido Portal, my teacher, who restructured me every time until I was good as new. I think he should make a living out of it…wait a minute, he already does.

On my rehab protocol I was working massively on my leg strength. After you go through 2 knee surgeries (on the same knee, by the way) you become a little skeptical about making full recovery and bringing your knee to the same condition that it was before. I was very skeptical, losing range of motion and having great pain didn’t help so much. All I knew was that I had to move myself, because nobody was going to do it for me. It was time to bring out the heavy artillery. I stopped whining, stopped feeling sorry for myself and started working.

Olympic lifting, front & back squats, jumping pistols, calves work and even acrobatics were a big part of my not so conventional physical therapy. It wasn’t a walk in the park, it was hard uncompromising work not just physically but mentally as well. Before I went through the surgery I had hyper extended knees; my flexibility was a given thing. Because of this the thing that made my feel like handicapped more then anything else was the fact that I couldn’t straighten my knee all the way through. I remember moments when my knee literally betrayed me, just refused to cooperate. There were times when I forced it and kept on going, and there were other times that I stopped altogether, because it’s important to know where this thin line between building yourself and destroying yourself passes. After a couple of months of intensive work I started seeing huge improvement in all aspects – I became stronger, regained almost the full range of motion and most important of all I had the freedom to move again.

I became a great believer in this kind of work, and I highly recommend it wherever I go. And you can trust me, I know it works. I’m a living kicking proof:

-95 kg back squat

-80 kg front squat

-40 kg full snatch

-55 kg full clean

-pistol work with 20 kg

I know I’ll have to keep on working my leg strength for the rest of my life, you know what? I don’t have a problem with that. It became a part of my daily routine, and I’m addicted…

 

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The handstand press

I don’t know why, but the straddle handstand press was a dream of mine for many years. Maybe because it covers a very large range of motion, which gives you the freedom to control almost the full handstand spectrum. Combined it with the control in the static handstand hold, you’ll have a pair of tools that complete each other.

When I was 8 years old I could do it pretty easily, without any special progress protocol. I just tried it a few times and that was it. I was a kid, I was small and flexible, it wasn’t anything to write home about.  And of course I lost it after a while simply because I stopped doing it ( I wouldn’t call it “practicing”).

Last year I thought about those times when I used to do it and I just knew I have to achieve that skill. Without it my tool box wouldn’t be complete.

And so, I started practicing it, and like everything that is worth writing home about, it was a journey, it still is actually.

You go up the same way come down, and if you can lower down under control, you will probably be able to press up. But when I say “under control” I really mean under control, not 5 sec of coming down, I’m talking about at least 30 sec.

After I achieved my first rep, it was all about chasing the next one. It’s a never ending race against yourself, and it’s up to you – how long can you keep it up.

So far I got to 5 reps, but the race is still going.

The pike press however is a different story. In the straddle press your split flexibility can help you a lot, and even if you are not particularly flexible, you’ll make it if you push your shoulders hard enough. In the pike you have to shift your legs straight between your arms, which requires a very good pike stretch; but that isn’t enough – you also have to push your shoulders through all the range of motion especially in the part where your legs are “passing through the gate”.

My pike stretch was good, but my shoulders just weren’t strong enough. After extensive work on my shoulders I was finally able to do it.

 

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