Monday, September 18, 2017

Experimentation is the Mother of Creation. Repetition is the Mother of Skill.

Repeating a progression, skill, or conditioning exercise is how athletes and artists get better, more efficient, and eventually, with enough practice and repetition, orchestrate a skill with flawless precision, making it appear "easy" or "without effort."  If you are not willing to practice or repeat a skill, then you will eventually lose it, or it will become less efficient over time.  Which is why it's important to choose activities or skill sets that you really enjoy doing and learning about.  This is how you can stay active in a sustainable fashion.

On the other hand there is another side of developing skill, which is experimentation and exploration. This is the heart of Free Flow Academy.  Allowing an artist or athlete to "flow" is how new things and new ideas are born.  We wouldn't have Parkour, Dance, Martial Arts, Aerial Arts, or even all the movements in Tumbling and gymnastics if it wasn't for people experimenting with new kinds and ideas of movement.  We wouldn't have sports, or the Olympic Games if it wasn't for people willing to put their ideas and strategies to the test, and measure their progress over time.    

So next time you feel the urge to spend time "playing" and just moving around, do it!  "Re-child Yourself."  It's therapeutic, fun, and gives your body additional "movement nutrition."

Friday, September 15, 2017

Free Flow Academy - Instructor Bio - Bob Gagnon

Bob is a 26 year Army veteran with multiple deployments under his belt while serving with the esteemed 7th infantry division.  His passion for martial arts began with the hand to hand combat training he received as an infantryman early in his career.  Over time, the Army’s hand to hand combat fighting style progressed from a few Judo hip tosses into a complete fighting system designed to subdue enemy combatants in the absence of weapons.  This comprehensive fighting system is known as the Modern Army Combatives Program (MACP) and was developed with techniques derived from proven successful fighting styles such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, and Krav Maga.

Bob is a certified MACP Instructor who volunteers his time assisting local Army National Guard units with MACP training on a quarterly basis.  He was co-owner of the accomplished Nor Cal MMA Martial Arts School out of Roseville and is a licensed CAMO corner man who has trained local fighters for participation in MMA promotions such as Gladiator Challenge, Rebel Fights, Art of War, Clash of the Titans, Titans Cage, and Ultimate Reno Combat.  He is a family man, married with 3 children, 1 grandchild, and too many pets to list.  Bob enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience with everyone.  Stop by and take in one of his classes.  It’s a fun, safe, self-paced, no-gi grappling style guaranteed to work both the mind and body.

Free Flow Academy - Instructor Bio - Ms. Elle

Elle Beyer is Co-Founder of Free Flow Academy, and Co-Founder of Survival Science self defense program.  She is an artist, athlete, entrepreneur, choreographer, mother of 4, and has a physical fitness background of 15+ years Kung Fu and Martial Arts, 6 years Parkour, and 25+ years of movement arts experience.  She grew up a competitive athlete, and also danced from the age of 7 all the way through college.  She has an entertainment background (under the name Elle Bennett), having traveled the world as a working stunt woman, actress, model, and sports newscaster/journalist.  She believes in creating the holistic athlete/artist and growing specific industries that promote health, longevity, environmental awareness, community, and humanity.

Empowering women and children is her calling.  At 16 years old she escaped kidnapping and rape in a Wal-Mart parking lot.  In her early 20's, she escaped kidnapping and gang rape.  Both of these incidents had a profound impact on her, and she wants to use her knowledge and creativity to help those who feel fear and helplessness.  She is devoted to helping people unlock their "Inner Warrior" whenever they need, whether it be in parenting, business, or anti-bullying.  Martial Arts is a way of life, a way to stay in shape and to stay active for a lifetime, a way to learn important life lessons in a safe setting, while gaining life-protecting survival skills.

Aside from her own companies, she has also worked extensively in the non-profit sector, creating and orchestrating fitness, artistic, and leadership programs for youth, coordinating events, camps, and business models to promote cost effective, and affordable programming.  She has worked for some of the largest Non-Profit Corporations in the world (Girl Scouts of America), as well as one of the largest media corporations in the world (Clear Channel).  She is currently on the board of On Native Ground, an award winning media production company. Elle holds a Bachelor's Degree in Media Communications (Radio + TV + Film) from Cal State Fullerton.

In 2016 she completed a West Coast Tour in which she danced/sang, starred, and choreographed the Native American Rock Opera "Something Inside is Broken."   In 2017 she completed 1 feature film, 1 tv pilot, and over a dozen short films.  She is currently putting a great deal of vested focus in writing for tv and movies, as well as developing talent (Free Flow students) in the Free Flow Academy Stunt & Film Progam/Media Academy.  She enjoys social satire and uses comedy in her writing and teaching.

Connect with Ms. Elle on Facebook

Connect with Ms. Elle on Instagram

IMDB Profile

Check out Ms. Elle's Online Self Defense Program

2016 Photo Credit:  Michael Poole

2016 Photo Credit:  Michael Poole

Mono Lake, CA

Parkour Photo (Survival Science) Photo Credit:  Michael Poole

"Something Inside is Broken" Musical Rock Opera 2016 West Coast Tour - Photo Credit:  Gabe Polansky

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Free Flow Academy Class Description - KUNG FU

Media Academy - It's not about Fame or Glory, It's about Community

Free Flow Academy Class Description - STUNT & FILM...MEDIA ACADEMY

Free Flow Academy - Instructor Bio - Shi Fu Lon Beyer

Lon Beyer is Co-Founder of Free Flow Academy, and Co-Founder of Survival Science Self Defense system.  Lon Beyer has been training in movement arts for 30+ years.  His interest in Kung Fu was first introduced when he was given lessons starting at the age of 7, by his Uncle who was at the time a General and Kung Fu instructor for the Taiwanese military.  His energy for the martial arts expanded to the study of many styles, including Ninjitsu, in which he achieved black belt status, and TKD, in which he achieved a 1st Degree black belt status, in addition to his achievements in Kung Fu, which earned him instructor status.  He has also participated in numerous styles including Kickboxing, Grappling, Weapons, and more.  In his early years, he achieved an Eagle Scout Award, and served and completed a 2 year mission for his church.  He served in Taiwan, is also bilingual, speaking both English and Mandarin Chinese.  He also traveled the world extensively, all throughout Asia and worked as a professional stuntman and actor.  His experience in fitness and youth education started while he was working in Los Angeles, he implemented and orchestrated the physical education programs for dozens of K-8th grade schools in and around Los Angeles County.  He personally served and taught thousands of students in over a dozen school districts.

Photo Credit:  Argun Tekant - Action Photo Workshop 2017

Shifu Lon Beyer teaching the Little Ninjas class at Free Flow Academy
2017 Action On Film Festival - Lon Beyer directed Free Flow Media Production "Immortal Fist" and nominated for an award in best editing - Photo Credit:  Michael Poole

2007 Kung Fu Star Competition - Shengzen TV - Song Shan, China - Lon Beyer was selected to be one of 18 foreigners to train with the Shaolin Warrior Monks.  The requirements to be selected was to be an accomplished martial artist, professional performer in stunts and/or acting, and accomplished in at least 1 other discipline (music being his second discipline), and a college degree. 

2007 Training under Famed Shaolin Warrior Monk - Shi Fu  Wang - Shaolin Monastery, Song Shan, China

2007 Training at Shaolin Monastery - Song Shan, China

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Risk Assessment Question & Assessment

Are you wondering if Free Flow Academy is the right fit for YOU?  We feel the same way!  Our community is welcoming and warm to all who wish to train, learn and grow with integrity, in the spirit of friendship.  For the most part, we attract GREAT people, but once in awhile, through usually a painful process, there is a realization that there are some relationships that are not meant to be.

One of the traits of our ideal client is someone who can assess risk effectively.  The ideal client adds tremendous value to our community, and we want to be around great people, with great energy, a chill relaxed vibe, but also someone who is watchful, observant, and has a great sense of accountability.  Ultimately, we want Free Flow to be safe place where you can grow and progress with integrity.  But in order for that to happen, you have to have a good balance of common sense, a spirit of adventure (with a calculative approach on risk), and an attitude of gratitude.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Free Flow Academy Class Description - Kickboxing & Self Defense

Our weekly Self Defense classes (available with the Tribe Membership) is a cardio kickboxing and Jiu Jitsu class designed to get you into amazing shape, while teach you essential combat skills and training in stand up and ground fighting.  Each class is 2 hours long, and takes place in a supportive and positive environment.

Every quarter we offer a 4 hour seminar that covers covers Threat Analysis, Martial Combatives, Flight Response Optimization with Parkour Fundamentals, and Live Scenario Training.  This program is a comprehensive series developed by the Free Flow Academy Martial Arts and Parkour Departments.  

It is imperative to build your body to be strong and resilient.  Free Flow Academy teaches that you cannot simply learn techniques that will somehow allow you to defy the laws of physics.  You actually need to train, get in shape, and grow strong in mind and body in order to effectively protect yourself and others.  If you feel afraid for yourself or your loved ones, NOW is the time to train and get into shape, using self defense as your primary modality.  After a few months of training, that fear will dissipate.  You will feel confident, fierce, and know that you will NOT go down without a FIGHT.  And anyone that tries to attack you, will solemnly REGRET it.  

Every Quarter Free Flow Academy Hosts an IKF (International Kickboxing Federation) Tournament.  For details on competing contact Ms. Elle -

Build Myelin. Build Skill.

Myelin is a fatty white substance (also known as ‘white matter’) in our nervous system. Myelin insulates the nerves and permits the rapid and more efficient transmission of nerve impulses. When we build skills using repetition and mental practice, additional myelin is developed and wraps around these connections, increasing the accuracy and speed of our skills.

Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code, talks about three simple facts:

“Every human movement, thought, or feeling is a precisely timed electric signal traveling through a chain of neurons."

"Myelin is the insulation that wraps these nerve fibers and increases signal strength, speed, and accuracy."

"The more we fire a particular circuit, the more myelin optimizes that circuit, and the stronger, faster, and more fluent our movements and thoughts become.”

We generate myelin faster when we are younger, but we keep developing it through our lives. It is never too late to learn anything as long as you practice in the right way and with the necessary motivation.

Coyle traveled around the world studying the different schools and academies that produce the highest number of talented people in the world. From musicians to athletes, including mathematicians, he discovered practically the same patterns of learning in all of these centers. He claims that the best way of learning, of developing myelin, is through “Deep practice."

Coyle's work also brings to light the importance of physical AND mental practice.

Visualization is an often-taught mental rehearsal technique in sports. It is an extremely powerful tool and numerous studies have been done to test this. You may have heard of this basketball study or a different one with similar results.

A study conducted at the University of Chicago was done where people were split into three groups and tested on how many free throws they could make.

The three experimental groups received either mental practice (Group 1), physical practice (Group 2), or a combination of mental and physical practice (Group 3). The fourth group was the control group and they watched a video that was not related to free throw shooting.

Conclusion:  A combination of physical and mental practice produced the greatest amount of improvement with physical practice as second best and mental practice as third best.

Read the Study HERE

Free Flow Academy Class Description - TUMBLING

Tumbling is a form of gymnastics performed without props or equipment. Also referred to as floor gymnastics, common moves performed in tumbling include flips, somersaults, tucks, handstands and handsprings.

Free Flow Academy offers tumbling classes for kids, teens, and adults.  Our philosophy is that all ages are able to train and progress safely in tumbling if training properly - meaning you should have progressions for each movement, and build a strong mechanical and muscular foundation before moving on.  Strengthening the mind/body connection through repetition of movements using proper technique is how we can safely progress you.  It takes time and patience, but if you train in this way, you will be able to tumble for a lifetime, as well as start at ANY AGE.  The human body is designed to survive and adapt, and it will adapt and overcome any challenge as long as you are patient and persistent.  Students should never "push through an injury".  Injuries require rest and rehabilitation.  If you follow these guidelines, we can take an "Average Joe" to an elite athlete within a few years.

Don't think you can do it?  Check out Bryan - he came to Free Flow never having tumbled in his life. He's in his 60's and doing back flips.  So... no excuses.  Can't see the video?  Click HERE to be redirected to YouTube.  Bryan is of course, an amazing person, stays active, and has a great attitude, which is part of the reason he is so successful.  We challenge you to overcome your limiting beliefs and try out tumbling.  It's FUN, and AWESOME.