DOCUMENTARY ON IDO PORTAL + Q&A

The “Movement” guy

photo by London Real

I don’t remember how I came about Ido’s first widely popular video, “self-dominance” on youtube, but when I saw it, I was amazed by what Ido was able to do. I think anyone who watched was also amazed. At the same time, the question was, “how do I get THAT?”. The muscles, the flexibility, the technique, etc. What does he do that allows his body to move in that way. The physicality was something that I was drawn to in the same way that I was drawn to Capoeira. You see people who do unimaginable things, and you think, I want to do that!

London Real is a group based out of London, whose founder is distinctly fascinated with Ido Portal. If you go on the London Real website, there are some pretty cool interviews with many interesting people, but the only person who has three different interviews is Ido Portal. For those who don’t know, Ido is a practitioner of movement and has recently become popular because of his work with MMA star Connor Mcgreggor. The work the two do together has garnered a lot of attention because it is different. The change in pace, practices, techniques, and approach has caused a lot of people to question Ido and see his methods as un-serious childsplay. I have been following Ido for many years now and my fascination has changed from one of simple awe to that of respect and inspiration for my own pursuits. I think there is a lot to be gathered from this individual and the documentary and Q&A that Ido did with London Real was a real treat for those interested in his work.(Links below)

THE DOCUMENTARY

The beginning of the documentary gives a great insight into the start of Ido’s journey, but the meat of the documentary is how our protagonist spends time with Ido in Israel and the training he does at Ido’s school in Tel Aviv. Some of the concepts may seem very alien. Spinal waves, arm whips, modern dance, balancing on rails, etc. All these exercises are usually associated with a specific practice, however with Ido, all these exercises are brought together for the purpose of movement. Something I believe Ido has done very well is use Bruce Lee’s ideas of taking all that is useful and throwing out what is not. Just like Bruce Lee created Jeet Kun Do, Ido is developing ideas about movement and how we can develop it.

One interesting concept that Ido touches on is the beginner mindset. The very beginning, when your mind and body are completely thrown off by whatever it is that you’re doing. This is a very powerful tool according to Ido, and the body’s struggle to understand and master a skill is what develops us, not just in the mind/body sense, but also as people. There is clearly a larger philosophical discussion that Ido continues from this concept, but that is something I’m not equipt to fully discuss here. I think the beginner’s mindset is something that we can all relate to and we can all appreciate as being valuable for our development, but at the same time, we can all admit it is a stage that is difficult to push through. I had many friends tell me that they were not interested in doing Capoeira because they were afraid to be a beginner. It’s unfortunate how fear can hold us back from doing great things. In my experience, the best parts of life has always been on the other side of fear.

THE Q & A

It was interesting hearing Ido talk about some of his ideas today and juxtapose them to his interviews 8 years ago. There is a very very old interview of Ido from 8 years ago on Youtube. This in addition to his blog, which I have looked through a great deal, show a very different person. The difference is immense and obviously one of someone who has grown a lot over the years. Ido from 8 years ago seemed like a pretty brash person, travelling a great deal, and seemingly grasping life by the throat.

In this Q&A however, Ido seemed very interested in reaching people with his message of “Movement” in a way that was much more serene and had many more years of experience behind it. Interestingly enough, Ido never defined what “Movement” is in any resources that I have read by him. I think the concept for him is something that he is always grasping towards, but realizes is not something that can be contained in a neat little box.

The philosophical words did not end there. Ido tells the story of someone was amazed how he lost a lot of muscle mass and his response was “yea, they got in my way”. The point was never the physique or the  perilous movements that make us go “WOW!”, rather his message seems more in tune with death and how we move towards it with grace. Some interesting words and although they make me think a great deal, I don’t believe that anyone could really unpack his meaning unless they spent some serious time with him or his team in Israel.

TAKEAWAY

Ido is an inspirational person, I don’t think many people would argue there. Something I want to leave with is something that Ido said during the Q & A. “If you are satisfied with your practice, you are a shitty practitioner”. There is no beating around the bush, the statement is as true as any statement can be. If you think you have nothing left to learn or you are satisfied with what you currently know, then you don’t deserve to continue with that pursuit as a leader for that community.

As for how that affects my work with Capoeira, I will try as best I can to improve my game, my music, my knowledge of history, my understanding of the body, of anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, games, teaching techniques, etc. There is much to learn, and learning from those who’ve already walked the path is a great start. If you’re interested, go on Ido’s old blog, check out his interviews, and seek out his mentorship through online classes or workshops. There are gold nuggets everyone waiting to be picked up.

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