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.

The PPAC - Instructor Bio - Ms. Elle

Elle Beyer is Co-Founder of The PPAC.  She is also a Filmmaker & Choreographer, and Co-Creator of "Survival Science" an award winning self defense program.  She is an artist, athlete, entrepreneur, wife, and mother of 4.  She mainly teaches students ages 9-13 years old, and is the lead force in training women in self defense.

Elle's Bio (in her own words):

I believe strengthening the body, strengthens the mind. Training and Movement is a lifestyle. The principles you learn in your discipline, can translate to every other area of your life. 

The best thing an artist can have is a safe space to cultivate their growth and to be engaged in a supportive community.   

I want our students to take the opportunity to be celebrated for their work, by participating in showcases, tournaments, and demos.

I think the best way to foster self starter skills is to encourage open gym practice. Autonomy is an important workflow.

It is important to me that we provide value that is accessible to all.  This is why we have delivered affordable solutions for our specialized training. Such as our Unlimited Membership. And unlimited open gym to all members. That level of training will cost you more than your mortgage at a gymnastics gym. I don't think people should have to sacrifice a roof over their head. And I also believe it's important students understand that the skills they learn cannot be bought. They can only be earned through consistent dedication and practice.

I am a Traumatic Brain Injury survivor, that gave me a the life altering condition of epilepsy. My teaching methods are based around minimizing risk. All accidents are preventable. But we are never exempt from risk or human error. We will make mistakes, and learn from them. This is the process of training in a safe and controlled setting. My goal is to help others avoid the most unforgiving mistakes that will impede growth. And to rehabilitate those who want to get back to moving dynamically.

Okay what else?

Empowering women and children is a spiritual calling for me.  At 16 years old I escaped kidnapping in a Wal-Mart parking lot.  In my early 20's, I escaped kidnapping and gang rape.  Both of these incidents had a profound impact on me, and I want to use my knowledge and creativity to help those who feel fear and helplessness. I am devoted to helping people unlock their "Inner Warrior." Martial Arts is a way of life, a way to stay active, a way to learn important life lessons in a safe setting, while gaining life-protecting survival skills.

Who's idea was it to get all these shenanigans together?

My experiences in Hollywood gave me the the ideas needed to create the vision of what we now know as The Parkour & Performing Arts Center (previously known as "Free Flow Academy").  Having traveled the world as a working actress, stunt woman, model, and sports newscaster/journalist, I developed a strong sense of the types of platforms athletes and artists needed to grow in a safe and sustainable way. I believe in creating the holistic athlete/artist and growing specific industries that promote health, longevity, awareness, community, and safe space.  

Let's dig deeper... if you're up for the long rant ahead. 

I witnessed a lot things in Hollywood that troubled me to my core. I'll just call it out. Pedophiles actually do run a lot of things, and they like women to look like they are 12. That is not a conspiracy. And there are a lot of sophisticated forms of human trafficking. Did you know it was legal for studios to own actors? Hey I love studio films, but the ability for audiences to watch a 300 million dollar film for the price of $10 is because of a century long history of indentured servitude. Paid for on the backs of the dreams of starving artists. One of the main reasons I helped create The PPAC, is because it's an important platform for artists and athletes - and a way to cultivate "New Hollywood." What is my version of "New Hollywood"? Something that looks a lot like the first Academy of entertainment - the values it once comprised of (now known as "The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences" aka "The Academy Awards" aka "The Oscars). The Academy was first created by a group of artists/scholars who believed in the fair treatment of all on set. But as the industry grew, and competition grew - there was a need for increased bureaucracy to hold people accountable for their actions. Big Union (SAG/AFTRA) was formed, to help keep things from getting too exploitative. But this also created a great deal of classism, and "Catch 22" scenarios for artists. 

Because of this...

I am a huge proponent for independent film. Independent film is a catalyst for representation, and a way for new artists to gain a foothold.  So you'll see me with a camera often, and encouraging students to get involved with creating content.  Creating content for and behalf of our movement communities is how we preserve our authentic selves within the industry we have built.

Thanks for reading this far. I appreciate you. 

I also co-own my own film production company - SUN BLADE STUDIOS, we make cinematic narratives (movies), commercials, documentaries, and other media related content.  I am also currently on the board of ON NATIVE GROUND, an award winning media production company.  I love to garden, cook, craft, and donate time and talent to organizations that do good. I am also a professional shape shifter. I love being weird. 

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

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 - STUNT & FILM...MEDIA ACADEMY

The PPAC - Instructor Bio - Shi Fu Lon Beyer

Lon Beyer is Co-Founder of The PPAC, and Co-Creator of Survival Science Self Defense system.  Lon Beyer has been training in movement arts for 35+ years.  His interest in Kung Fu was first introduced when he was given lessons starting at the age of 7, by his Uncle, Zhou Ming Chun who was at the time a General and Kung Fu instructor for the Taiwanese military. His classes mainly consist of adults.

Lon speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, and served a 2 year mission in Taiwan. Aside from his Martial Arts accomplishments, he is also a filmmaker and musician, actor, stuntman, and fight choreographer. 

Lon's Bio (In his own words):

Hey there! I'm a Dad, Husband, and I am dedicated to yelling at my students and helping them understand that they are not worthy, pitiful, and lazy.  I enjoy teaching young adults. They tend to like "abuse." Especially since they have lived in a soft cushy world that has made them into sad fearful children (inside adult bodies). 

My ancestors fled Mao Zedong. And my Mom was one of the lucky ones, who was able to leave her home country behind, learn a language that was not her own, assimilate, and raise her 6 children in a foreign land.  I am the oldest of those 6 children, so you can imagine, there were some kinks to work out.  Luckily I was born with a strange amount of patience, and love for humanity when they aren't being totalitarian genocidal maniacs.  I have used the majority of my energy, to prepare for apocalyptic times. And I like training people to prepare for the upheaval that will eventually and inevitably happen in their lives. Training students in the Martial Arts teaches badly needed life skills - like focus and discipline, and coping strategies for dealing with tremendous amounts of stress.

I know what it's like to have real enemies. I know what it's like to have your family threatened. I know what it's like to take care of business when you need to. So if you are a young adult looking to be stronger than your sad, sad... self, if you are another Dad wanting to get back in touch with your badass self, or if you just need someone to listen to your problems... just kidding - I don't care about your problems. 

Then come to my class!  

Also, you will never get praise, or trophies, or any amount of recognition for training.  I will not issue you a belt, sash, or reward of any kind for your effort. You can do hard things!!! Like have skills and shut up about them.

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

2007 Training at Shaolin Monastery - Songshan, 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

The PPAC Class Description - Self Defense

Our award winning Self Defense curriculum "Survival Science" was developed by Elle Beyer, Lon Beyer, Colton Fuller, and Michael Poole.  Our weekly Self Defense classes are an intense fundamentals course based around essential combat skills, training in stand up and ground fighting.  Each class 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. 

It is imperative to build your body to be strong and resilient.  But more importantly, your MINDSET is everything.  Your life is worth protecting.  

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 The PPAC 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

The PPAC 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.

The PPAC 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 us 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.