Raising superheros or abuse?

24 Mar, 2017

Pushing your children to meet their physical limits, fear of drowning, falling from height, challenging their delicate articulations by using them as a juggling instrument.

Is this optimal parenting or plain abuse in search of raising 'superheros'? 

Scenes of crying kids begging to stop, terrified of another challenge and developing a fearful broken relationship with the one who needs to be their main protector and 'backbone' in life - this raises many questions.

I am a big believer in using challenges and facing fears but I think the true power is to apply these on YOURSELF in the quantities that allow you to grow and develop and not break one's spirit while developing a traumatic capsule in your child's being. 
This kind of approach allows you later to face the challenges that life throws at you while minimizing adverse side effects.
Like anything - we are all different and some can take more or less but systematized approaches will rarely hit the mark of the individual. 
Education on how your children should challenge themselves is a long term, more profound approach than challenging your kids in the short term, even in the face of the 'closing window of opportunity' of enhanced neuro-plactisity and physical adaptation in childhood.

The 'educator' in the clip gives an example: 'if your son doesn't want to brush his/her teeth and cries - would you still insist on him doing so?!', well, I believe this is a misleading analogy to making your kid face his fear of drowning, suffocation and death by throwing him/her into the water without any tools (mental nor physical) and relying on their instinctual response, inflicting pain and panic on a young being without providing the ability to understand and disarm the situation - reverting them to defence mechanisms that do exist inside of us but definitely have a price once activated, especially pre full cognitive development. 

Nature does not care about the delicate individual but is focused on the gene pool - lets not get confused here about romantic notions of the self in the big picture. 

My opinion is that such methods will definitely 'produce results' in terms of developing physical capacities, toughness, fear management but the real question is...


Many negative experiences can produce adaptation. Being raped, getting beat up by your parents, etc.
I've met some fighters for example who were abused in a young age - its a common thing among people who later devote their lives to fighting and can only feel self worth through fighting and yet this should not be confused with optimal development of a human being in our day and age.

Please provide your thoughts in the comment section and for a more in depth discussion - join in on the FB Movement Culture group at:


Conor McGregor and Gunnar Nelson learning with Ido

11 Nov, 2015
Recently i've had the pleasure and honor to work and teach UFC fighters Conor McGregor and Gunnar Nelson in preparation for their upcoming fights in Vegas on December 12th.

What a great experience...


These guys are into movement, I tell ya. It's a 24/7 obsession - it's the main subject in conversations, dinners, drives and of course on the mat. We were geeking out on it totally.

We hit it off right away- I took them through a few good hours of movement drills, body prep, tactical games, locomotion and some beginner corset protocols. Their bodies are quick to adapt, react and crave the challenge. Their mind is strong in development and desire.
Many who are only exposed to the UFC fighters from the media would be surprised to discover these men are honorable, respectful, filled with gratitude and walking the martial arts path and code. They are also showmen and confident but most confuse these different layers and cannot see beyond the entertainment.
Conor was repeatedly thanking me for sharing my knowledge, showered me with gifts, great meals and generosity. Very strong character, smart and powerful but also gentle, thoughtful and delicate.

Gunnar - obsessed with the animal kingdom, a passion we share and a very special mover and person. Gunnar does things 'his own way' and does them well.

I made it a point to expose these great fighters to a few subjects not often discussed within their field:
1. Softness

The importance of softening the body up again and again to combat the undesired side effects of their hard training.


What is allowed to harden will ultimately crack and break, the hardening nature of getting hit again and again will produce side effects such as slower reactions, movements and will make offensive action limited.
The Softening Protocols that I use are not 'stretching' or 'flexibility' mind you. They lead to incredible speed and effortless transmission of force inside your kinetic chains and body.

2. Playing ALSO outside of the technical box
Limiting one self to fighting and sparring other fighters with similar skill set and similar techniques will lead to stagnation in reaction ability ultimately.
It is of course the main practice and a required one to pass through and maintain but at a high level, there is a great potential in 'breaking the mold' and throwing one self into different environments.
I had Conor and Gunnar react to sticks, different scenarios and under different rules. They immediately assumed the 'Child Mind' and were able to re-pattern themselves to the new requirements.
This left them fresh and activated and I've received from them constantly comments on how sharp and loose they were feeling post practice.

3. Shaking
I took the guys through a shaking session to show them the potential relaxation, recovery and regeneration potential in it.
Shaking is done by most animals to remove stagnation, trauma and injury.
From cultural reasons we've stopped and blocked this practice and treat shaking and tremor as indicative of disease and illness.
Seeing their bodies respond to it was amazing. Fighters on this caliber are walking scar-tissued traumatized bodies essentially. Multiple conditions can arise from the amount of stress and injury present and their bodies calcify, fill with adhesions and harden in response to their life styles.
Shaking the way I teach it is an invaluable resource for every person and twice for the modern fighter, warrior, soldier.

Supporting Conor and Gunnar and teaching them some fresh angles on movement was simply... a great time, an honor and a pleasure.

I hold my fingers crossed for them in their upcoming fights, I have full confidence they will do very well.

Keep moving!


Martial Artist - I am here to save your life

17 Oct, 2015
Dear traditional martial artist,
I am here to save your life.

Or at least - your ego and a lot of wasted time sunk down to your neck in delusions.

I myself love the traditional arts. I still practice them and devoted many years to practicing them. I've gained great insights.

You have a beautiful practice. An artistic practice. A tradition. Full of wisdom, movement qualities, skill sets and real unique abilities, many of which definitely have combat applicability.

Modern fighting is standing on the shoulders of giants - your traditional arts!

And yet - don't mistaken that world for a REAL laboratory of fighting. Your dogma is obviously different if you don't engage in chaotic, realistic sparring practice regularly to test your assumptions of a fighting scenario.

Sport's and limited sparring like boxing, Judo, Wrestling are definitely BETTER THAN NO SPARRING but it should not be mistaken as well for a more complete sparring practice where points of failure can be observed quicker and easier - out of the realm of isolated discipline sparring.

YES. We know.

Everybody knows...

Its not 'the street'.

Its not the same with protective gear, with rings and octagons around you, with padded floors and with regulations. And its still as fucking close as you can get while minimizing injuries and allowing regular exposure to 'Realistic Chaos'. Its as close as we can get and it produces.... REAL fighting ability while eliminating delusions.

Here are some early moments of realizations, broken delusions and a developing understanding of the so needed AMALGAMATION and EVOLUTION. Those traditional fighters and sport's people were 'jumping from the stratosphere without a parachute' and putting their lifetime practice in the test of fire.

None of them would probably last much with the current fighters we have now-  only 20+ years later.   

Don't get me wrong - it might be that your life's aspiration is not to develop a REAL fighting ability. That's understandable in our modern world.

Then - the traditional arts are a great fit, an excellent movement practice.

What is not working well is spreading delusions of 'deadliness', 'techniques so dangerous we cannot spar with', 'street effectiveness' and other LaLa lands.

If you continue on that road - you might not discover the truth so quickly as in our modern reality - 'talk is cheap' and one can spread wobbly assumptions as... conclusions and perhaps without paying an immediate price but it will ultimately lead to other problems - as the gap between your untested beliefs and reality grows and grows. Personal problems.

And all this is so unnecessary. You have so much to give to people.

You even have so much to give to modern fighters!

If only you align your true dogma and your talk - all will be once more in place. All will make sense again. 


Stay on the move,

Secret of Longevity

28 Sep, 2015

Choosing or being chosen?

26 Sep, 2015

Movement in MMA

25 Sep, 2015

I am really enjoying watching MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) once again lately.

I was very much in tune with the field in the early days of UFC - 1990's and even before but as most developing disciplines, my interest waned off as the field became more and more specialized and the wide laboratory of martial arts eliminated ruthlessly many many things. This was both MMA's great secret of success and progress but also a serious drawback.

These early days were exciting. The only issue was that in some cases the baby was thrown out with the bath water and things that *could work but DID NOT work from this reason or that - were dismissed prematurely. Its a rough game and conclusions must be made - that's the nature of the sport.

For me the closest to the moment of creation we stand- the more exciting the field is, since I am examining it through the eyes of a generalist mover and not via specialist - sports performance and technical evolution points of view alone.

The same phenomenon reproduced itself a number of times in my head - breakdancing, Parkour, Capoeira, Crossfit. My attention always is highest during those early post-creation phases and/or the beginning of the high sophistication/complexity phase. (in Capoeira - the sophistication phase happened centuries after creation)

As the whole thing becomes super specialized and performance increase - my boredom sets in. (even though specific performance continues to increase!)

So, I was excited to be excited again from MMA and it is all thanks to a phenomenon that is happening under our noses and manifesting through some interesting new fighters that are also.... Not only great fighters but good Movers as well.

First - lets have a look at the very popular and outspoken Conor McGregor:

What more can be said about Conor?

An outspoken but very exciting fighter to watch. Conor has mentioned countless times now that his approach to the game of MMA is highly MOVEMENT related and not just fighting related.

He has been following my work and mentions often various concepts and ideas I've popularized in interviews and media work.

And Conor is above all.... Applying.

He is moving around and out of the box that is modern MMA. He is applying techniques, positions, postures, footwork and offensive/defensive movements that might be viewed as 'unorthodox' but that is exactly the reason he is rising above the orthodox fighters.

Conor is more than anything a fighter with a great grasp of principles - timing, distance, leverage, rhythm, etc. This goes beyond techniques.

I've always viewed principles as 'master keys' vs techniques which are simply A key. (a concept I borrowed from my martial artist friend and teacher Strider Clark) When you encounter a specific scenario, most fighters start to browse through their set of keys but the best of the best use these 'master keys' to resolve anything and immediately. No wasted effort, versatile and immediate solution. In essence - principles MANUFACTURE instant, scenario perfect and original techniques but techniques without principles are guns without ammunition.

Conor is also known as a 'big mouth', a 'cocky bastard', etc but I believe those offended/angered are those who either do not understand show-biz, the need to 'sell' yourself or get a serious 'ego response' to characters like Conor. He is an entertainer and understands the value of being your own brand.

On the subject of 'Loud Mouths' and 'Big Talkers' let me share with you a point of view that is not common but I enjoy playing with none the less: (instead of the same old same old fucking boredom)

Slick talkers who cant back their big mouth up have exponential decay when future unfolds.
Humble souls who don't talk much but then outperform the expectation even just by a little - benefit from exponential growth of their stocks.

For most - better talk small - you might still disappoint but at least you will be perceived as 'modest'. If you positively surprise - even by a bit - you will be perceived as 'great' with MINIMAL performance to back it up.

I suspect this is the source of much 'modesty' out there.

The real lions are the big talkers who outperform their big talk. (Ali, Churchill, Dali, Serge Gainsbourg, Jordan, etc)
That approach requires some serious backing up due to increased expectations and a pair of kahunas to deal with the risks. They can make their life much simpler and decrease risk by talking smaller but their nature does not support this.

Big talkers with big backs. Bigger than life. They make things interesting and colorful and they sometimes bounce their field in leaps and bounds forward using their belief, fire of passion, obsession and most importantly their BIG MOUTHS, following the strong rule of imagination-creation:

And Conor might have faked it but he is definitely MAKING IT.

Another exciting fighter but in a different point on the path I got to meet last week in my workshop in London - Michael 'Venom' Page.

Exciting fighter to say the least, check it out:

What a great display of movement and principles: the footwork, the sense of distance, the use of peripheral vision, (looking away but keeping the most movement sensitive part of the eye engaged in the opponent...) the stamina that can only come from looseness and relaxation and the great broken rhythm offensive work.
Michael is very successful with straight blast KO wins one after the other and a rising name in the field of MMA but above all - I appreciate his innovation, contribution, originality and courage. This guy is leaving his mark and changing dogmas often prematurely solidified in stone in the field. ('Keep your hands up!' comes to mind as his moto is 'fighting with hands down')

You'll have to catch him if you intend to put him away, no easy task!

The type of movement that we see by the likes of Connor Mcgregor and Michael Page stems from the GENERALIST MOVEMENT perspective that I've been promoting for years now. How far can they go against the highly specialized 'one technique 10,000 times' kind of fighters?
Hard to say but great strides are being made already. 
And still - even if the specialists will eventually prevail - who do you truly enjoy watching more? Who is contributing to the movement culture and the mma culture? who is adding to our collective knowledge? who is examining, taking risks, pushing the limits?

What is certain, the entertainment value is high. New crowds are being drawn to watch MMA - these FREE FIGHTERS are of great service to the industry and community of MMA.

Conor McGregor, Michael Page - you have my respect!


28 Jan, 2015

Text version:

Dear students and friends, its here!

Movement Camp 2015 is around the corner and you are now invited to send in your registration for this year's event.

The Movement Camp 2015
Dates: April 3rd (arrival), 4th-10th (camp), 11th- departure
Location: Phuket, Thailand

We will have this year an amazing combination of workshops and activities:

1. Elements
Our approach to dealing with gravity, obstacles, centrifugal and centripetal forces, heights and fear management, balance and environment aspects as well as 'death-bed artistic choices'. (the best kind of artistic choices)
Borrowing, digesting and offering our own unique approach, style and methods while utilizing research into parkour, military obstacle courses as well as natural and urban surroundings. Taught by the Ido Portal Team.

2. Flirting with A(le)XIS
Continuing development and latest research into the substantial body of work Ido created - the movement language of Locomotion, (with over 1200 patterns so far) this time - new elements, new linking ideas, research and use of a variety of modalities implementing improvisational work as well as the study of inverting and hand-balancing through out of axis flirting and error management application.
Taught by the Ido Portal Team

3. Re-Move­-Search
This workshop will focus on movement research through three main layers- movement vocabulary, movement quality and movement concept. Coming from the world of contemporary dance, Shai will be guiding the workshop through specific patterns, principles, restrictions and limitations and will expose the participants to a mobile, fluent and refined way of moving that will follow by different ways to combine the three layers mentioned above. The aim of this work is to open the participants minds to the ability to re-compose, re-discover, re-organize things in new constellations and re-search, through movement.
Taught by Shai Faran

4. Out There
Using directed martial play and guided improvisational work to develop our systems - joints, musculature, nervous system,connective tissue and minds in search of adaptation and expansion.
Participants will get a glimpse into a Ido's daily practice and latest research.
An examination of internal body architecture resetting, non-epithelial breaks, CNS reprogramming and wire, whip, spiral bio-mechanics will be presented and practiced.
Taught by the Ido Portal Team

5. Lectures, performances, round tables and discussions as well as other surprises!

6. Some of the best sports facilities in the world in the form of Thanyapura Phuket - a 23-hectare sports, health and educational complex on the island of Phuket in Thailand, featuring the best sports facilities and coaching expertise in Asia, two resort hotels and an award-winning organic restaurant, a unique mind training center, a specialized medical centre, and an international school.

7. The event will include full board with luxurious hotel rooms and full breakfast/lunch/dinner provided.ֿ

Cost: Single room- 3850 USD (full board with food, participation and accommodations included, but no flights and transfers)
Double Room - 3450 USD (full board with food, participation and accommodations included, but no flights and transfers)

For details and registration please email us at info@idoportal.com with subject line 'MC 2015' followed by your full name.

Make sure to include in the message body:
Full Name:
Country of residence:
Movement Background: (in 30 words or less)
Room Type: Single/Double
(If sharing) Required Room Mate:

Bonus: attach a youtube/vimeo link (no attachments will be accepted) of you moving. (optional)

Special Notes

* Make sure you are ready to perform immediate bank transfer for the sum required. You will receive in a reply from us details about transfer and finalizing your registration.

* Unfortunately we can only allow one payment in advance for this year's event.

* In case of Cancellation up to Feb 15th we will only refund 60% of the total cost of the camp. Any cancellation after Feb 15th is not possible.ֿ From ANY reason.

* The Iportal company and Ido Portal as the Movement Camp organizers maintain the right to change curriculum, teachers and outlined schedule at any time prior to event due to constraints that might arise

* The Iportal company and Ido Portal as the Movement Camp organizers maintain the right to refuse registration to any person that does not match our criteria for attendance.

We are very excited to have you moving and studying with us in what is going to be the best Movement Camp so far and a unique educational movement experience,
the Ido Portal Team

Johnny's Recovery - No Knife

18 Dec, 2014


The Ido Portal style of rehab: we don't rush into surgeries, we are not big believers in total and extended rest. (You read it right)

We replaced the letters in the R.I.C.E Protocol (Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation) with other essential four letter...

Movement- best therapist, biggest healer, most scientific (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand) and often successful where other methods fail.

I've rehabbed my students from car accidents, broken backs, knee and shoulder surgeries, spinal fusions as well as the common small stuff. I've always used common sense (not so common any more) and lots of movement while avoiding pain but using discomfort in controlled levels as a gauge. You can only truly do this with someone you can work with personally and closely.

Is this for everyone? MOST DEFINITELY NOT. And still - those who can trust their judgment, work with their bodies and are used to deciphering its signals can recover faster than ever, avoid big surgeries, (many of whom you never truly recover from) and continue to move in and around injuries.

I hope this inspires more movers out there to research, investigate and discover a path to recovery, please share with your friends and close ones,

China Movement Research Week 3

24 Nov, 2014

Week three in China. Still at it.
Here are some fresh insights:

* Nobody screams in China EVER. They just speak. The last time a scream was voiced here was during the Xia dynasty. Yeah.
* It's a common habit to present two or three prices in China: one for mainland Chinese, second for Hong Kong people. Third and most expensive - for foreigners. Makes you feel equal and most welcome.
* Driving in China - extreme sport. Statistically, there are less casualties in any war-hot-zone in the world than on Chinese roads daily. In my first two days here I witnessed five car accidents. 
* The number of improvised vehicles is immense. Anything between a bicycle and a semi-trailer is available - from a motorcycle to a motor tricycle to a 'tok tok', etc,etc in all kinds of mutated, home-garage made variations. They are big on the electric bikes now. These are super cheap here but very dangerous and mostly to save up on battery life they will drive them at night with lights off.
* I found a charming thing here (yeah!!) - the Chinese will point out shyly if someone is attractive in their eyes. It's somewhat charming. They will simply say: 'this woman is beautiful' or 'you are handsome' and giggle.
* Throwing cigarettes at each other and banging glasses filled with liqueur multiple times around the dinner table - common Chinese pass times and signs of honoring someone. Try to decline. Just try... One of my biggest accomplishments here during my visit was that I didn't smoke and never sipped any alcohol. Actually - I never do and didn't plan to start here but at times it was rough.
* The mysterious and misunderstood practice of Bagua Zhang - kind of reminds me of coffee - strong, awakening, filled with hidden tastes but also addictive, can be overdone and become central dogma in a practitioner's approach. I enjoyed the daily discoveries dipped in pain of circle walking and other Bagua drills. This was only a small part of the movement vocabulary I was exposed to here.
* Many approaches inside traditional practices have been severely distorted and are misunderstood. 
The use of various functional, physiological, historical and cultural prisms increase your chances of understanding what, when, if, how much and who. (that was, at least, my attempt at approaching this)
Many training exercises that were developed to enhance a certain attribute were mistaken for actual end goals, I suspect. Simple deductive work, really.
Other drills and practices took on their own culture, central dogma and stage where perhaps it was never intended to be so.
* We traveled to a Daoist monastery on Sunday. I was introduced to a 94 year old Daoist teacher and a Xing Yi master. I could not verify his age, of course, but the person who introduced me to him was my teacher - a man I trust and believe in. Mind you, in China, age is a big thing and is often exaggerated - taken out of proportion.
Still - this man was MOST impressive.
He was very sharp and moved well. He had a set of perfect teeth (a rarity in Industrial/rural China even for a  30+ year olds) and seemed to be very involved in all that is around him.
At a certain point one of the local Daoist students of this teacher asked me to 'bang arms' with the master - a common demonstration of martial aptitude. I must say - I was very hesitant.
After all - this is a 94 year old man....
I approached him carefully and as he offered his out reached arm went in to strike it very softly.
I met iron.
The student seeing my hesitation encouraged me: 'stronger!'.
I tried again stronger this time and again met iron. We repeated the hits 10-20 times each time increasing the force but in the end I was fearing my own arm will break. It was a most impressive demo. Not because of the iron forearms (common practice in China - various forms of conditioning for various body parts, using very simple stimulus to induce the adaptation) but because of his obvious bone density (a big thing with older population) in his advanced age, on a very limited protein diet, etc. But here it was again - Movement Practice COUNTS. Even in the face of age. Even in the face of restricted diets.
Right after us hitting arms together, the student suggested: 'feel the master's Dantien'. I put my hand on his lower abs and he projected the part below the belly button out. It was a somewhat abnormal manipulation of musculature but I've seen stuff like this before so I wasn't taken back by this demo.


Final thoughts for this week:

A very interesting week indeed. A week of hard work, a week of discoveries and insight. A week of discomfort but one that is manageable.

I started to feel my energy levels declining this week, mostly due to the almost unavoidable veg oils that I have removed from my diet for some time now. (with the exclusion of coconut oil)

Some plans for next week: wrapping up the knowledge base I acquired here, clearing up last questions that formed in my head, devoting more time to repeating certain basics in order to extract new question that might arise from them and resolve them. My plan for eating next week is to sneak into my pocket some New Zealand butter packs from breakfast in the hotel and incorporate them into my food, boosting up the saturated fat and taking in as little PUFA as possible. I am already sticking to the most hypo-toxic foods here as it is, relying on sheep meat soup, (MSG free) white rice, cooked veggies and thick skin fruits.

More on my Chinese adventure - later this week...

Stay on the move,


China Research Week 2

12 Nov, 2014

China research week 2, observations:

* So much hides in plain sight. So much, so much.

The fact it is somewhere in your plain sight does not mean it's easy to get, even once you can spot Waldo in the scenery.


Some of the good things hide as simple grayish concepts but require ridiculous amount of repetitions to unveil. But... In order to perform so many reps - one needs to have faith in a concept first.

Suggestions for self development:

1. Learn to be observant. Then, some more. The seemingly mundane is filled with diamonds in the rough but... A lot of misinformation is inside there as well...

Stay humble - you can always get better at observing and discerning.

2. When testing - give a concept a chance at enough exposure/repetition before you make up your mind.
How many reps exactly?
It's been my experience that the number of reps should be exactly: your age multiply by the skill neuro complexity level (from the Portalus chart of neuro complexity) minus the co efficient D in the power of 6.


No one can tell you how many. It depends on factors such as prior experience, neuro complexity of the skill, predisposition for generating new motor programs and erasing old ones, end goals, etc.
That's where the 10,000 hour rule is bullshit. We need a number, we WANT one but there is really... None to be generalized.

* I've been stripped down from many comforts I'm used to here. Most of my comforts revolve around health, optimal energy levels and are movement related, but still, practicing from the optimal point vs practicing PERIOD, unrelated to state, is very different.
This past year was a year of changes for me and this research visit allowed me to test new habits in the shitstorm that is China.
So far- so good...

I did not get sick here, yet, even though I'm forced to eat with the locals food that is far from 'clean' or up to my usual standards of hygiene, quality and purity.

I had the chance to feast here for example on...



Fresh Water Crabs... They are like an eating puzzle but are delicious.

When on prior visits to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing I felt almost immediately down, this time I was much better.

Also, energy levels are good and I'm able to stay on top of the demanding training, with no rest days and long intense practice hours.
I've made it a point to be more resistant to impurities vs just improving the quality of my fuels. This is an approach I've worked hard at - both from research stand point and application. It seems to work well, as long as a fine balance is maintained. (Heuristics)

* Chinese current obsession with money is a phase. The Chinese cannot currently see beyond making more money but they will. Some already start to. Some always did, of course.
What do you do when you have enough money to get anything money can buy that you wish for?
Your interest goes into where money cannot help you.

I just hope the planet survives this phase.

More on my Chinese connection - later on. Stay tuned,