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,

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.

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 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,


Movement Research in China

10 Nov 2014

I've been training and researching in China for over a week now (out of a total month I will spend here at industrial/rural China) and wanted to share with you a few anecdotes:

1. The term 'Over-training' translates to Chinese as... 'training'. 8-10 hours a day of training is nothing here. A common thing is to repeat ONE action for 2 hours. I've spent here 8 hours a day pushing another guy. Another day was spent 8 hours in various footwork drills, etc. No rest days as well, just half a day of training on Sunday. 
2. Chinese table manners = ________. No such thing. Smelly burps in your face, spit out bones on the table.
3. Chinese movement culture is perhaps the richest in the world. Its the direct result of OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER TRAINING joined by INHUMAN WORK CAPACITY joined by MUTANT PAIN TOLERANCE joined by THOUSANDS OF YEARS OF MOVEMENT RESEARCH joined by THE BIGGEST POPULATION COUNTRY IN THE WORLD joined by COMMUNISM.
4. It just melts the heart when some guy declares to you: 'You are my good, good friend!' in an act of friendliness, love and connection and just after a week of knowing each other as well as a huge language barrier between us. Like a child and with no complex ways to express himself - I loved it.
Another golden moment: 'Would you like to eat some fruit tomorrow after lunch? I will buy you one!' ... Out of nowhere but so so cute.
5.  The Chinese most substantial health promoting medium is not Qi Kong, ancient herbalism or acupuncture, it is the result of a consistent and regular consumption/exposure to the following:
  A. Pollution. You can often hear someone say here: 'close the window I cannot breath'. 
  B. Consumption of shit quality, pesticide laden, heavy metaled, MSG filled basic products. Mind you - its BASIC products i'm talking about here- impossible to avoid! recent reports have shown dangerous levels of metals in potatoes, the beef that most people eat here is already MSG added in the factory, etc.
  C. EVERY man smokes. Now the women are also starting to catch up. 
So - what you get is very resistant, durable survivors that get to reproduce. If you can take that stuff regularly - you deserve to have children and live, riddled with diseases to a certain age, of course.




Me? I'm trying to survive a month here, while doing my research. 

Enjoying every moment. Almost. More to come....



24 Oct 2014


Some clips from my practices, research and movement this past summer.

Lots of movements, always with a certain concept in mind, an idea or an approach - virtual or vague or super tangible with some simple and short processes behind a few and some long and developed ones behind others, with stuff I learned to love and with stuff I enjoyed hating, some evident to an outside eye, others just visible to the practitioner.

Not too much attachment (trying) and always - movement, movement, movement. 

Loved this summer, spent it with good friends, exploring, in dynamic fashion and with transformation in mind, as always.

Enjoy, let me know what you think and then - go out and do some movement yourself. Because you can.



Just skill - no technique

24 Sep 2014

I'm becoming more and more intrigued by the approach of building a practice around an inspiring body of work without actually learning/practicing a single isolated technique in it.

How can this be done? There are other tools besides techniques. Some are: principles, self research, what I call 'imagination-amalgamation method' and more... 

Shall we call this approach "fantasizing on the girl next door"?
Just like in the girl next door situation, one might destroy an amazingly elaborate, dark-sweet, joyful and mysterious fantasy with five minutes of reality and no option of backtracking. Beware. (The incredible power of garlic breath for example...)

Questions (NOT to be answered, just to be asked...)

  • How far can one go without the luxury of collective knowledge?
  • Will this approach allow avoidance of common pitfalls and limitations forced by the technique/s? 
  • Can reality ever offer more than fantasy or is fantasy superior by definition? 
  • Can one circumvent the Isolation and Integration phases and go to Improvisation directly without losing complexity:variety:quality ratio and while gaining freedom from 'boxes' and jails equipped with 'bars of gold'?
  • How much do you lose of your own potential self by trusting in techniques developed through collective knowledge? (watch Michael Johnson running or Archie Moore boxing)
  • How much does the world lose for never having your true self in free-of-direction-research-survival mode?


As before - I realize the need of different tools for different tasks but also that sometimes - the whole toolbox  should be replaced with a... 

Don't get attached. Stay on the move,


Hanging Integration Work

01 Sep 2014

Its the last official week of the hanging challenge!

If you've started late, don't sweat it - simply continue in your own pace, look through the prior posts and videos and perhaps do some sniffing around the Movement Culture FB Group as there is a ton of information there. 



Lots and lots of testimonials are coming in from the 10K participants in the challenge. Here are a selected few:

Thank you Ido Portal. I've been suffering from chronic elbow flexor pain for the past 2 years; I've done many forms of treatment and therapy but achieved only temporary(1-2 days) relief. After implementing passive hangs for the past 4 weeks, my chronic elbow flexor pain has almost disappeared. I would never have thought something so simple could have such a dramatic effect. Thank you!

Day 17 Arching. Feeling great mobility in the shoulders. Better then I ever had. Smelling my armpits has never been easier. Its so nice! I love this challenge is doing good things for my shoulders. Thanks Ido Portal and team.


Day 21. Ive noticed a few things during this challenge. Firstly my quite obvious difference in shoulder strength, stability and position is evening out. My posture has improved. Shoulder stability in my handstand, QDR positions and elbow levers have improved, and my pull/push strength has improved. This challenge has been great and hanging is definitely going to be an integral part of my training when its over.


Hanging since the beginning and last night happened that I was attempting one arm chinups and I did my first ever on the left arm! On the right I had it since about 10 months but on the left I had shoulder injury which was stopping the progress but the injury it's almost gone Thank you Ido Portal ! Keep hanging people 


I just came to a realization that my shoulders are feeling so damn good after hanging for a while. I have been doing progression work for the iron cross for the past year and I have obtained it. It felt good to accomplish it but not as good as how my shoulders feel after 14 mins of active and passive hanging. This is another humbling experience for me. Something so simple yet so many good things out of it.


18/30 First two minute passive hang today. Motivated by the prerequisites for the one arm hangs. I cannot believe how much my grip has improved with this challenge and what a huge difference using your thumbs makes.


A big and heart-full THANK YOU to Ido Portal and the community. 
I've been dealing with a stiff and painful neck + shoulders and back for a decade or so. After being in a variety of treatments the symptoms were less straining, but nothing was fixed. 
When I started moving, like doing 5 rhythms dance I found that things got better. Since playing with the hanging and squatting challenge things are really changing.. This is really so incredible!!! Because now it sometimes happens that my body including my back/shoulders neck just feel really nice and often just feel ok. So thank you! thank you! Not to speak about the effect I feel on the rest of my body. 

Since I've integrated the hanging month challenge to my climbing routines (usually 3 times per week, 1-2 hours at a time) yesterday I climbed my first 6B route here in Finland! Indoor bouldering, that is. The grading system for the problems is a bit different in, at least Scandinavia, than in the US, but lest to say it was a problem I'd been struggling with for a long time. But it just happened and I got to the top with the first try Many thanks, Ido - this challenge, though I've been lazy with it and usually doing only 5 mins per day on average for the past three weeks - has helped so much with climbing, and also with some shoulder issues I've had for about 10 years now. Everything seems so much loose now, and the general stiffness is almost gone. Gonna try the squat challenge next... Let's keep on hanging!


New Hanging Integration Sequences

For those who have good healthy shoulders and have built up to it, here are some new moves to put into your daily hanging. 

Note - the sequences rely on prior progressions and should only be attempted if your shoulders are pain free, stable and experienced enough in the isolated basics. Go here for more info on how to start.

Switch Grip Hanging Routine - Beginner

A nice small sequence built from two layers - the Side to Side Stationary Swing and a FIFO(First In - First Out) Grip Change order.


Switch Grip Hanging Routine - Advanced

This version is much more advanced and is comprised of One Arm Active HangOne Arm Passive Hang and the Shawarma movements. It should not be attempted before those movements have been mastered and perfected.


The Ape Swing (Figure '8')

A more advanced dynamic movement involving the use of the Eagle hang, an over-pronated, internally rotated hang. 

The Eagle Hang can be tricky and problematic. I do not recommend it to beginners. In order to built up to it - 
go here for more info on how to start.

I discovered the Ape Swing while searching for ways to challenge my students in hanging work but in limited space. For me - it is perhaps as close as you can get to Brachiation in limited space, as all you need is a bar with 1.5-2 meters of width.


Wrapping up

The Hanging Month Challenge was great. So much good feedback, so many bodies getting healthier through good and basic movement, such a great start to the Movement Culture community.

The bad news is that we are coming to the end of this month - but it doesn't mean you have to finish your hanging work in a week time, with us, if you started late. Simply - continue on your end pace and finish your 30 days of commitment. It is important not to miss days and do the work as prescribed as you are forming a new habit and killing old ones. The 7 min a day for 30 days are numbers that I've thought hard about as both attainable, not too much time consuming and realistic but also result producing and substantial. 

The good news is that much more is coming down your way through this blog, our YouTube channel, (please subscribe right now) the Movement Culture Group and Facebook Page

Liking the page and being registered in the group are good starting points but we are searching for an active, intelligent and involved community. If you've been keeping your silence so far - please don't! Comment, share, participate and take part. This will come back to you in the form of better movement, more commitment and more support.

Now a last word about the 'Specialists Addiction' as I call it: when you finish your 7min/30 days Hanging Challenge or if you did the 30/30 Squat Challenge before - don't continue with the same time frames for ever. Keep on hanging and squatting but change your central focus of movement and direct it somewhere else. 

Don't get addicted. To anything. Even a good thing. Because there are other good things out there. Because it will lead you down a path to illness, narrow focus, over-specialism and less MOVEMENT.

Anyone who takes on the Movement title for real must get used to this - take something you are bad at and practice until you are good at it. Not great, just good. Then maintain it and repeat the process with another skill, position, trait, discipline or focal point.

Thanks for being there, for moving and sharing and putting all that viral inspiration out there,




One Arm Hanging Work

23 Aug 2014

We are still hanging! 

With over 8000 members in the Movement Culture group (please join us) and hundreds of thousands of views of the various hanging drills posted on our YouTube channel, we continue pushing hard (or should I say 'pulling') into the Hanging Challenge.

 Its time to introduce some more advanced One Arm Hanging exercises for those who are ready for it. 

Word of advise: in general, in your movement practice, aim to REMOVE EGO from the equation or... pay the price. Even though I've issued countless warnings and highlighted the difficulty of certain drills and their potential danger for those who are not ready, people are people and there have been many attempts to try to 'jump over your own belly bottom' (as we say in Israel) and attempt things that are beyond your reach. The One Arm Hanging exercises are not for beginners who did not spend a good amount of time building the various two arm progressions - from Passive to Active to Dynamic drills. Review prior blog posts and the Movement Culture group for those.

Now for the new drills...


One Arm Passive Hang

A prerequisite for this drill is the 120 sec continuous two arm passive hang. One should not attempt this drill if unable to perform that first. A 2 min Passive Hang shows the you've spent enough time effecting various tissues involved in the hanging work and can now (relatively) safely overload the hang by X2. Note - that is a HUGE jump, so take care.


Holds in the One Arm Passive Hang should not be below 20 sec - anything below that indicates your best bet, at the moment, is to build the two arm progressions further.

Sets - 1-10 sets per session. 

The One Arm Passive Hang can enable you to start to build to longer overall holds with alternating one arm holds.

Observe Stas going for a 15 min On Bar Hang, showing some advanced hanging endurance work and using One Arm Passive Hangs mostly. 


One Arm Active Hang

A prerequisite for this drill is the 120 sec continuous two arm passive hang. One should not attempt this drill if unable to perform that first. A 2 min Passive Hang shows the you've spent enough time effecting various tissues involved in the hanging work and can now (relatively) safely overload the hang by X2. Note - that is a HUGE jump, so take care.


Holds in the One Arm Passive Hang should not be below 20 sec - anything below that indicates your best bet, at the moment, is to build the two arm progressions further.

Sets - 1-10 sets per session. 

The One Arm Passive Hang can enable you to start to build to longer overall holds with alternating one arm holds.

Observe Stas going for a 15 min On Bar Hang, showing some advanced hanging endurance work and using One Arm Passive Hangs mostly. 


One Arm Active Hang

An excellent exercise, a mainstay in my training and that of my students. I've been using this variation for many years now to develop Straight Arm Scapular Strength as well as support the uni-lateral Bent Arm Strength moves such as the One Arm Chin Up.

Note: under the Ido Portal Method flag we only perform full range of motion One Arm Chin Ups - every rep starts from a passive one arm hang, goes into an active hang and from there the pull commences. Anything else is your ego talking, not quality.

The One Arm Active Hang is also an excellent drill to develop scapular control and can be used to heal and protect the shoulder in preparation of more intense dynamic hanging, brachiation and climbing/pulling work.

The One Arm Active Hang is usually attempted with what I view as UN-satisfactory standards, take note. 

A prerequisite for this movement is a One Arm Passive Hang of at least 45 seconds as well as quality Arching Active Hang with proper retraction for sets of 5 with a 3 sec pause at the top of each rep.  

You need to be able to achieve FULL depression and pull the free side shoulder in line with the active side shoulder as a basic requirement.


Rep range should be around 5-15 reps with a static pause of 1-10 sec at the top contraction of the rep.

Another variation will be just one long static hold with 15-60 sec per set of time under tension.

Sets - 3-7 sets per session. 

The One Arm Active Hang is a relatively unknown and underrated exercise, I urge you to give it a try for a few weeks and see how it effects your shoulder health and strength development.


 The Shawarma 

The Shawarma drill is a more advanced movement - challenging but with large potential rewards. It also contains more inherent risk and should not be attempted by those who are unable to present the needed basics.

Prerequisite: One Arm Active Hang, shoulders level with the horizon, held for 30 sec. 

The Shawarma drill is a more advanced version of the One Arm Active Hang and contains a static pause at a SUPINATED One Arm Active Hang at the top of each rep. On the other side of the drill - there is a stretched, passive hang in a One Arm 'Eagle' Position - this position is internally rotated and pronated and without proper preparation can mean trouble. Take note.

There should not be any pain during the performance of the drill or after it whatsoever. 

The Shawarma Drill prepares the shoulder and develops rotational control and strength - which is essential for various dynamic movements later on as well as important for the development of one arm pulling strength. (most don't understand that when approaching the One Arm Chin Up - you must control the rotation first before the actual pull will become possible / safe / smart)

The Shawarma Drill promotes good range of motion in the shoulder, elbow and wrist, since the tissues are under tension, it warrants the development of strength along side flexibility.  It can be used as a tool for joint protection and is taught by us under the Corset - Total Body Protocols flag as one of many joint protecting movements. (For more information about the Corset - check out our event pages for workshops and internships)


3-10 reps per set, static pause of 3-5 sec at the active, supinated one arm hang, controlled unraveling and return back in the dynamic part, no bouncing, no pain, no 'serial killer face'.

Sets should be 3-7 per session.



Implementation and examplary sessions

Intermediate Level

A1 Alternating Passive One Arm Hang - 30/30,20/20,10/10 sec, without coming down X 2 sets

B1 One Arm Active Hang X 5 reps per arm with a 3 sec static pause at the top of each rep X 3 sets

C1 Side to Side Stationary Swing X 60 consecutive sec X 1 set

This represents your daily 7 min hang time, as recommended in the Hanging Challenge.

Advanced Level

A1 Alternating Passive One Arm Hang - 30/30,20/20,10/10 sec, without coming down X 1 sets

B1 One Arm Active Hang X 10 reps per arm with a 3 sec static pause at the top of each rep X 1 sets

C1 The Shawarma  X 5/5,4/4,3/3,2/2,1/1 reps with 3 sec static pause at the active part of each rep, alternating sides and with minimal rest X 1 set

This represents your daily 7 min hang time, as recommended in the Hanging Challenge.


Keep your efforts of hanging or join us if you haven't already and start to implement the various drills and exercises into your daily routine.

I want to thank all those who have been spreading the good word around them and getting their friends, loved ones and students involved in the challenge. 

I am very excited to see the size and quality of the response and how many are willing to get their movements and body back to where it should be - this makes me want to continue to share more and more of my perspective into how we should regain our physicality and with it our true nature of movers. Get involved in the community - there is a lot more to come!

Enjoy and let me know your thoughts,


More hanging materials

18 Aug 2014

We are entering the second week of the Hanging Challenge and it is going strong!

7000 active members have joined the Movement Culture group on Facebook and are posting photos, questions and tips, sharing information about their daily Movement Practice.

Many are reporting great benefits already - just after a few days of hanging. Here is one recent testimonial posted today:

"I'm on day 6 and I will say this; I've been having shoulder problems for a few years now. My shoulders have hurt a great deal. This is especially true when I sleep. Almost every morning, what wakes me up is shoulder pain. I can't find many positions where they don't hurt when lying down and rolling over in the night usually disturbs my sleep, just from the discomfort of my shoulders.  

I've done some ART when things get really bad and that was surprisingly helpful. However, since starting this challenge, my shoulders have improved DRAMATICALLY. I am not having morning shoulder pain at all. I've been able to actually sleep on my stomach, which was completely undoable due to shoulder issues before this challenge. These benefits were noticeable after day 3 or so. That's pretty impressive. Thank you Ido Portal."


New materials for your Hanging Practice

 Arching Active Hang

I've been using this Straight Arm Scapular Strength movement for many many years now. (over 10 years)

It is NOT a Front Lever Pull and should not be performed with straight legs and body but in an arched position while maximizing the RETRACTION. Any attempt to lift the body in a Front Lever will take away from the retraction and not prioritize it. 

The movement is not for beginners. Sufficient practice with the basic Active Hang is a must. Also - if you are worried by the arch and suspect back pain - you have no business attempting this movement, better take care of your spine first as a healthy back of a mover should be able to assume such a position without discomfort. (note: the spine is not loaded much during the Arching Active Hang)

Uses of the Arching Active Hang are many - it is a great plateau buster for both Straight Arm Pulling Strength AND Bent Arm Pulling Strength. It can be a great addition to the development of a Front Lever as well as advanced Pulling work such as a One Arm Chin Up.

The Arching Active Hang is also a great re/prehab movement and a postural tool. (as weird as it may sound for many who are obsessed with fixing the spine in a neutral position ALL the time)

The Arching Active Hang works hard scapular Depression and Retraction as well as cuing the upper arm into External Rotation - a good diet for most poor postures you see out there - taking you out of that protraction/elevation/internal rotation 'sitting all day on my ass syndrome'.

The Movement is usually held for time or practiced for reps with a static pause of 1-10 sec at the top contraction. Sets are 3-10 in most cases and it can be used anywhere from twice a week to everyday, depending on context of the program and the individual applying.

Important note: many THINK they achieve retraction in this movement, few actually DO. If you cannot retract - even somewhat you should not work on this variation yet, better to keep it real and make progress.

Front Stationary Swing

This movement have been made famous by the Crossfit industry but it is as old as apes. Nowadays it is performed mostly poorly with little attention to body positioning, quality of articulation and with too much aggression and lack of control while most of the practitioners applying it present poor shoulder/t-spine biomechanics. Many are overweight.

This explosive combination was the main reason it got a bad rep.

I will definitely not start people with this movement and will first require enough Passive and Active Hangs experience, good T-spine mobility, stable shoulders and understanding of the biomechanics and pathway.

If all those have been addressed, the Front Stationary Swing should be non problematic and actually important in the development of dynamic hanging/pulling work later on.

Application will usually be for time/reps and performed NEVER to failure.


Beginner (Healthy shoulders)

A1 Passive Hang (or Assisted Partial Weight Passive Hang with feet on the floor/box) X 3 min in as few sets as possible

B1 Active Hang X 6-12 reps with 3 sec pause at the top of each rep X 3 sets

C1 Side to Side Stationary Swing X 30 sec X 3 sets

D1 Front Stationary Swing X 30 sec X 3 sets

This represents over 7 min of total hanging time (the daily recommended dose for the Hanging Challenge) and can be spread throughout the day into 1-3 sessions. You can perform 1 set of each exercise according to the order or go at each drill and finish all the sets before moving on to the next drill. Rest periods should be 1:1 - 1:2 work:rest ratio, so if hanging for 60 sec, rest 60-120 sec.

Intermediate (Healthy shoulders)

A1 Passive Hang X 150 sec -> complete as quickly as possible, optimally without coming down! 

B1 Arching Active Hang X 5-8 reps with a 3 sec pause at the top of each rep X 4 sets 

C1 Side to Side Stationary Swing X 30 sec + Front Stationary Swing X 30 sec X 2 sets

This represents over 7 min of total hanging time (the daily recommended dose for the Hanging Challenge) and can be spread throughout the day into 1-3 sessions. You can perform 1 set of each exercise according to the order or go at each drill and finish all the sets before moving on to the next drill. Rest periods should be 1:1 - 1:1.5 work:rest ratio, so if hanging for 60 sec, rest 60-90 sec, in the Arching Active Hang use at least 90 sec between sets as it is higher intensity work. 


Now, go try those new drills and perhaps one of those programs, join us at the Movement Culture group and post your experiences and/or any questions you might have.


Share the Hanging Challenge with your friends, family and loved ones, 

stay on the move,


15 MIN CONTINOUS HANG and the Hanging FAQ

13 Aug 2014

A few questions that pop up again and again in the Movement Culture FB Group: (you should join it if you haven't already - lots of communication is going on through it)


1. Should I use Rings or a bar for my hanging? 

Rings are more accommodating for alignment but are less stable. They are a better fit for strong and inflexible pair of shoulders. They are also a better fit for anyone with wrist/elbow issues.

The bar is less accommodating but sturdier - it is a better fit for mobile but weaker shoulders. 
If you have both optimal range of motion and strength - vary the types of anchors you use as much as possible - bar, parallel bars, slanted bars, rings, ropes, towel, top of a wall, climbing grips, etc,etc....

2. Should I finish all my 7 min hanging in one session? 

Actually, no. The best would be to spread the hanging work throughout the day. Second best will be to finish it in two sessions - morning and afternoon for example and the least favorite choice,  in my eyes, is to finish it all in one session. 

We are NOT training. We are moving. Just integrate it into your life. Be the weirdo. Hang - anywhere.

3. What shall I do if I have X shoulder injury? 

Read the full blog post here, it covers some basic scenarios:

4. Elbow Pains and aches: 

Since hanging stretches the whole chain from fingertips to toes, you will expose any weak links/prior injuries along the way. If you have some elbow 'gunk' - you might 'open it up' and feel that with some hangs. 
My suggestions:

* Slight bend in the elbows might be a necessary evil if it allows for a no pain hanging work to continue. Work your way back into locked elbows as the condition improves.

* Use a Dowel held in one hand at its edge and work with elbow bent at 90 degrees on pronation and supination full range of motion for a total of 50 light reps as a warm up. Repeat with the elbow straight for the same amount of reps. Do these before hanging and check for a difference.

* Go see a soft tissue specialist (I recommend Active Release Techniques for elbows) to help you with the issue


5. Lower Back Issues - herniated disks, etc:

Very simple - if your shoulders are open and mobile, you will need to do little as the neutral spine will be maintained during the hang effortlessly. If you are closed in the shoulders and ribs 'pop out' - it will put your lower back into an arch - you can use your abs to brace and bring it into neutral if you find it painful or problematic to be arched for the duration of the hang.

Having said all of this - I would expect hanging to have benefits for spinal issues if you hang in good alignment and relaxed.

6. Shall I push it or not? 

Use sets of minimum 30 sec - that is your safest bet. If you cannot hold even a Passive Hang with two hands for that long - use your feet on the floor/box to take some weight off the hang. 

7. Blisters, rips, etc: 

First, make sure when you finish your hang not just to drop down but to pull slightly into active hang, release dynamically and drop down - many people rip on the way down SLIDING from the bar.
Second, some need more hand care than others. I don't do anything for my hands and I've had little problems over the years even with very extensive hanging, swinging, heavy lifting and more. But, if you require it - make sure to shave off/cut out your calluses, preferably after a hot shower/bath.  

I've heard there is such a thing called 'hand cream' that you might want to apply, but I don't know jack shit about that stuff, really.


I've met few manual laborers who actually treat their hands, but I know many gymnasts do. If you need it - do it. If not - don't worry about it. Ripping occurs once in a while if you play hard and play seriously, its part of the reality of anyone who touches stuff around them, swings, hangs and lift. Not a big deal - if the five year old gymnasts can deal with it and return to the practice after being 'glued up' by the coach - I think we can deal with it as well.


Now for a nice video from the Ido Portal Method Israel branch - Stas performing a nice long hang of 15 MINUTES. Check it out:

More videos and new drills to practice coming up in the next few days, make sure to stay with your daily hanging (soon to be habit) and share with your loved ones, friends and family, and follow us here, on YouTube and Facebook.




07 Jul 2014

I've been silent for a while now on the blogosphere. In recent years I've made the choice of devoting my time to my movement research and practice, teaching my students and developing my company. It has left me little time for anything else but that is finally changing as I receive more and more help from the tribe.

Lets talk today about Hanging Work.

I've been using hanging in my own training and that of my students for over a decade now. It is a center piece in the basic movement approach we are implementing with beginners as well as relevant in the training of more advanced movers.

Hanging is almost non-existent in the fitness realm. You can see hanging work done in Gymnastics, Rock Climbing and Parkour but little elsewhere. It is no coincidence that those disciplines showcase some of the best pullers in all sports since hanging provides an important building block for pulling.

What is hanging, actually? We define hanging as a form of suspension that includes straight arms. (that has exceptions of course) 

Hanging can be divided into:

1. Passive Hanging - relaxed, deactivated, targets more of the passive structural integrity components than the more 'muscular heavy' hangs. It is where more often than not we will start with a beginner. (certain issues with shoulder health and integrity might require we start with active hangs for example)

2. Active Hanging - selective activation of the pattern, engaging musculature and minimizing the demands on passive structural integrity while maximizing the active-component demand and adaptation. Active hangs are a type of strength work. More specifically - Straight Arm Scapular Strength.

3. Dynamic Hanging - the use of a combination of passive/active hangs AND momentum to initiate a variety of dynamic actions such as Brachiation, Swinging, dynamic release and catch (Lache for example) and more. 


Often times one type of hanging is regarded as superior to another, this represents a limited and partially biased point of view. Movement is a big universe and it requires a variety of tools. Different structures, needs and demands makes the situation even more complex - that is why, as my close students know, I see the need of contextual approach vs general prescriptions.

The various types of hangs are actually very different and complementary in the type of adaptations they induce. One should engage in all three main types of hangs in order to develop optimally, context allowing.

Benefits of Hanging work:

1. Shoulder/elbow/wrist health and the recovery of the lost 'overhead reach' range - promoting optimal range and making use of the upper body as it was designed to be used. By simply allowing gravity to 'do its thing' in the passive work or "fighting it" in the active work - one can send a very intense adaptation producing signal into one's structure. I wonder if we implement hanging work throughout our lives, from young age and into old age and without taking too large of a break what would be the results over the now lost 'overhead reach' range and shoulder injury rates.I suspect we would have little need to 'stretch our shoulders' any further. Of course shoulder integrity, elbow and wrist/hand/finger health can benefit tremendously from daily hanging as well. (See added section below on the subject)

2. Lead up to pulling work, climbing and more advanced patterns. Hanging sits at the base of those patterns, just like standing does for walking. A deficiency in hanging work will become evident at a certain stage - some get stuck early unable to develop even a single chin up. (very common female problem)

3. Active hang work is especially important tool in certain advanced phases and scenarios - as a plateau breaker for advanced pullers approaching the One Arm Chin Up for example.

 4. Grip Strength and Grip Endurance. If you cant grip it - you cant manipulate it/yourself. We have grown weaker all over due to the lack in physical demands in our daily lives. Grip is no different.

5. Creating 'Terminology' for future complexity. Hanging work creates awareness and a language of positions that can be later used to put together sophisticated pieces of movement in a variety of scenarios from gymnastics to parkour to tree climbing to rock climbing and more. It is a tool for improvisation and play. 


So, as you can see, hanging should be brought back to fashion. Its time to educate people on the need to hang more and to implement it into our daily lives.

As always, I am not a fan of the pure fitness approach of 'training it'. I prefer the 'move it' approach any day of the week. 

What does it mean? 

Instead of engaging in hanging work as a 'strength session', a 'WOD' or whatnot, I would rather see hanging appear in our daily lives - spread out and practiced shortly but often. If it is done in that manner, the stimulus will be more potent but more than that it is about a philosophical paradigm shift - "I am not training" but "I am moving - all the time". 

In order to do so efficiently I recommend setting up anchor points that will be accessible to you. From buying a cheap and easy to install doorway pull up bar (have a look at a sport's shop next to you or online) to putting anchors in your ceiling for a pair of gymnastics rings, etc. Many of my students working in offices have done the same in their office. You read it right.

The basic logic is: if you have anchor points - you might hang from them. If not - of course you left yourself no option. I find people who have installed anchor points and made them readily available for themselves, their children, loved ones or office fellow workers tend to DO THE HANGING much more than those who need to 'go to the gym' to do so. First things first - install some anchor points. Do it now.


The Hanging Challenge


In order to help you and promote hanging we have decided to initiate another challenge. Our last '30/30 Squat Challenge' went viral and with over 13,000 active members and hundred of thousands of views has put more people back in the squat than anything else before.

The Hanging Challenge is simple - spend 7 min of accumulative time (not in one go but spread throughout the day) performing various types of hangs - passive/active/dynamic for a period of consecutive 30 days.

Every week we will add more material for beginners, intermediate level and advanced hanging to add to your arsenal. Each one of those drills will be used to continue to knock off seconds of your daily task.

In order to participate, post results, pictures, videos, comments and questions please join the new 'Movement Culture' Facebook group we have created for this challenge and others in the future, make sure to share it with your friends as well: Movement Culture FB Group

Second, make sure to "Join the Movement" at the main page to receive updates from us on future blog and video posts.

Third, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive updates about new clips here:  Ido Portal YouTube Channel

Last, 'like' us on our professional FB page if you hadn't already, it will be used as another tool to communicate with you: Ido Portal Official FB Page


How to start?

Without further adieu, lets get started.

Here are a few patterns to play with, while accumulating your daily 7 min total hanging time:

* Passive Hang

* Active Hang / Scap Pull Ins

* Side to Side Stationary Swing

Approach and Scenerios

Shoulder Pain - No Dislocations

I suggest you implement partial weight passive hangs (feet supporting some weight) and/or full hangs in the pronated and neutral grips for the total 7 min a day in the first week or two at least. 

The reason to eliminate swings and active hangs is to provide maximum adaptation to reshape the shoulder and effect the soft tissues. Avoid pain but aim to strain the tissues - no strain, no adaptation. Proceed with caution - better underdo than overdo.

* Note: Shoulder injuries might require more tools than just hanging such as scapular stabilization work. For a complete approach contact us at for a consult or Online Coaching. 

Shoulder Pain - Dislocations / Partial Dislocations

I suggest you start with partial weight and/or full active hangs.

The reason to eliminate passive hangs and dynamic swinging is to allow the shoulder to regroup, tighten up and educate the musculature, capsule and ligaments to hold and stabilize better.

This should be done for the full month and beyond - passive hanging can be examined after that - gradually and carefully to see if one can proceed into more relaxed and dynamic hangs. Always perform without ANY pain.

* Note: Shoulder injuries might require more tools than just hanging such as scapular stabilization work. For a complete approach contact us at for a consult or Online Coaching.  

Healthy Strong Shoulders but Inflexible

I would concentrate on passive hangs for the full duration of 7 min a day X 30 consecutive days. As you progress beyond week 1 - we will post more advanced passive hangs that might be useful as well for you.

* Note: Increasing shoulder mobility safely in adults is a complex issue that might require more than just hanging. 

Healthy Flexible Shoulders but Weak (cannot pull/chin up or can only perform few reps)

I would recommend 1 total minutes a day of passive hang - usually implemented as a mini-warm up and then the rest of the daily hanging time spent on active hangs and a few dynamic hangs thrown as cool down.

This approach will enable to maintain mobility, increase strength and shoulder blade stability and prepare for more advanced stuff.

* Note: Getting stronger in pulling/pushing will require more than just hanging. A complete approach should include hanging work, though.


Hanging and curing your shoulder injuries 

A few weeks after finishing this post I received a message from one of my students - Justin G notifying me about an interesting book that has been released by an Orthopedic Surgeon using hanging to cure his patients from shoulder injuries. 

I immediately ordered the book on Kindle and read it.

Indeed the book shows in great detail the shoulder anatomy and the effects of hanging on it as documented by Dr. Kirsch with a few decades of experience.

Dr. Kirsch describes a very basic but successful approach for most shoulder injuries and goes to offer daily hanging for most shoulder issues. He believes many can avoid surgery, increase range of motion and cure themselves from shoulder disability.

I found the book refreshing on the description of the actual adaptation that occurs - the reshaping of the Coraco-Acromial-Ligament and the change in Acromion shape and position.

The old thinking that you are born with a certain type of Acromion and then doomed for life might be outdated. We might have had a tool for reshaping our shoulder's anatomy lying in front of our nose for the last 2 million years.

I believe the book is a great read for those interested in the anatomy and physiology behind the process.

As for the movement part of the book - there Dr. Kirsch is obviously not an expert and presents somewhat of an outdated and poorly described approach. The dumbbell exercises added to the hanging work are especially non-optimal and a better shoulder blade stabilization work can be prescribed. Also, the hanging is simply left for you to figure out - there is no description beyond the recommended Pronated Grip. 

Another point to mention is that Dr. Kirsch goes on (in a very non-North American and refreshing way) to push his clients with frozen shoulders, torn Rotator Cuffs and other conditions to go beyond a certain pain barrier that is required while reshaping the Ligaments but goes to warn those with unstable/dislocated shoulders to avoid hanging completely. 

I agree about the need to strain the tissues, but believe avoiding pain is important as much as possible. Inflaming the CAL is not smart in my eyes and will limit progress. Further - I do believe unstable shoulders can benefit from hanging just that the type of hanging should be strictly ACTIVE in the beginning.

You can find Dr. Kirsch's book here


Last words of advice

  • No pain. Just a strain. 
  • If you can use your thumb - do it. Thats why you have a thumb.
  • Vary your anchors - rings, bar, tree branch, rope, towel, climbing grips, etc - all are good and all - different.
  • Do less but more often. We are meant to receive such frequent movement signals.
  • Be consistent with the work. No rest days in the first 30 days. Don't break the habit - form it! 


Enjoy your hanging, share this post with your friends, loved ones, with anyone who has shoulders!

More to come in the upcoming weeks - follow the blog, the FB page and group as well as our email updates that should start soon,

Hang in there,


12 months in the making… is now LIVE!

20 May 2013

Hello, good people.

This here is the first blog entry I've written in a few years now...

I hope you like what you see... We went through great efforts to provide you this Portal (Ido's Portal) for all things Movement.

Our intention is to give you here more tools for learning from us, offering you services and help and supporting you as part of the growing world wide community which is interested in Moving better and educating others to Move better. 

Stay tuned for more and feel free to explore the website - there is quite a lot to see...

Some well deserved thanks and acknowledgements to all those involved in making this amazing website a reality:

Amanda Loke - for being the person who saw something in me (God knows what) and surrounded me with love, friendship, help, generosity and challenge to take me and my work to another level. Thanks to you, we are about to disconnect off earth and into space and words are just not enough. Still - THANK YOU, Amanda. You are special to me.
Luke Norris - for the great web and corporate design.
Juli Balla - for overall awesomeness, good laughs and the amazing photography.
Charmaine and Duncan Jepson and Tiberius Production - for your support, logistics and friendship.
Marisa Yiu and Eric Schuldenfrei - for the inspiring set design - our 'beast'.
My right hand - Odelia Goldschmidt for being there - always. 
Victor Gathing & John Sapinoso - for your friendship, for believing in it and supporting in your humble and solid rock way.

Without you all this would not have been possible. Thank you!

And for the rest of you, stay on the move!
Ido Portal.