Three Is Better Than One
KUDAYO was founded on the experience that no single method of physical training is all-sufficient. Every method has its holes. In order to become the best you can be physically, you have to be exposed to as many different physical experiences as possible. What's more, being exposed to the differences back-to-back will drive home just how different those physical experiences can be and what it takes to make your body adapt quickly, safely, gracefully and powerfully.
KUDAYO was developed to do just that — bring various physical training methods into a tighly juxtaposed system to help you maximize your ability to become the best physical person you can be. The methods KUDAYO trains in are found in martial arts, dance and yoga — some of the most technically challenging yet accessible training methods out there. KUDAYO is still just one training method with its own holes, but it is probably the most complete single method available.
Origin of Kudayo
Where It All Began
I developed KUDAYO out of a personal observation. After over 16 years of serious training as a professional dancer, eight years of martial arts, and five of yoga, it became apparent how each movment training system (rather "art") helped in my success in training in the other two, and how much better I felt and moved in every-day life. I also noticed how each art was similar, yet still quite different even between different styles within a single art. It was in the differences that I relized the synergistic relationship between these arts. And when these arts were trained soon after the other the synergies were even stronger.
That's when I realized that by combining the training of the three movement arts into a single seamless system would it be possible for people to more thoroughly and rapidly experience their body as it moves in space over time and thus become better at anything they do, than would be possible training in the three arts separately. — KUDAYO began.
KUDAYO is taking its first steps to becoming a significant contributor to the health and well-being of people's lives in the New York City area. Classes wil be starting soon. Friend us on Facebook, join us on MeetUp, or follow us on Twitter to be kept abreast of upcoming classes and workshops.
The Philosophy of KUDAYO
KUDAYO has one core philosophy — mastering your own body in its capacity to move through space is the first step in achieving optimal health and mental well-being. Mastering your own body in movement forces your mind to command, and more importantly, to listen to your body. Through this communication between mind and body, you can hear when your body is approaching illness or injury sooner and thus sooner command your body to act appropriately to minimize it, if not prevent it entirely. Part of commanding your body requires that your body is optimally capable to obey your command. This requires extensive training in a variety of skills that challenge you to perform in the most varied and adaptable way. KUDAYO brings three of the most disciplined physical training arts into a single system to help you achieve mastery over your own body for better health and well-being.
This philosophy is based on several fundamental principles:
Five Aspects of Movement
All movement is comprised of five aspects. The deficiency of any one of these become the lowest common denominator impeding successful movement. Mastering these five aspects is the functional goal of KUDAYO. These five aspects are STRENGTH, FLEXIBILITY, COORDINATION, BREATH and BALANCE. Not one movement occurs without all five working in concert. Some movement may require more strength than flexibility, and vise versa, but never in the absence of either. Training these aspects to the height of your potential will afford you the greatest opportunity to move as the situation requires. Physical life will open up to you as never before.
Three Arts of Movement
There are three arts that people around the world train in that leads to the most efficient development of the five aspects of movement. Each art has innumerable styles that focus more narrowly on one aspect of movement over another and employ different modalities to achieve their goal as effectively as possible. KUDAYO collects this diversity into a single unified movement training system. The three arts are DANCE, KUNG FU, and YOGA, and each is quite unique in their approach and intention.
The ultimate goal of training in KUDAYO is to achieve a point where every skill and principle converge into harmoniously powerful and graceful movement. This point is the Singularity Principle. Just as in cosmology where a singularity is the point of ultimate concentration of all energy-matter, the Singularity Principle is just such a point of energy, intention and movement that occupy the same time and place — in you.
Central to all concepts of movement is that of duality — complementary opposites — Yin and Yang — polarity. Newton's first law, that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, is the physical manifestation of this principle, which KUDAYO addresses every step of the way — contraction and stretching of muscles; pushing down to go up, et cetera. The physical polarities happen constantly and simultaneously in all movement. However, there are other polarities found in movement spoken in terms of yin and yang where a choice is made favoring one over the other. Intentions of movement such as hardness or softness, linear or circular, rising or lowering are addressed in yin/yang terms. As well there are sequential polarities involving the gathering and release of energy — inhale then exhale, block then strike, jump then land. Duality is realized in every function of movement and KUDAYO treats this as the most fundamental principle.
Although KUDAYO concentrates its curriculum on the physical, there is a metaphysical reference to some of the physical principles. The concept of the body, mind and spirit, their relationship to one another and their inextricability from each other, conveys the meaning of how KUDAYO satisfies aspects of the whole person through movement. Each of the three arts — dance, kung fu, and yoga — cultivate their respective part of the whole person. Kung fu deals with internal and external forces engaging each other toward material effect, this being the domain of the BODY. Yoga trains in unity and peacefulness, these being functions of the MIND. And finally, dance trains expression of the intangible and beautiful, the domain of the SPIRIT.
Five Element Principle
The Five Element Principle is rooted in the Taoist philosophy of nature, where the sum of all that exists is made up of various combinations of five elements — EARTH, METAL, WATER, WOOD and FIRE. Each of these elements have their own distinct characteristics and relationship to one another. These elements and their characteristics constitute the core of the KUDAYO vocabulary. Mental intention, the quality of movement, the pattern of breath are all talked about in terms of these five elements, as well as the duality found within each element — their yin and yang qualities.