"My life's work is to understand, apply and teach."

My life's work is to understand, apply and teach.  I endeavour to devour knowledge and put it into context.  There is so much information out there and I try to distill it to what is applicable for my population (Strength, Fitness and Crossfit).  First I have to understand a concept or principle with my head.  Apply it by feeling it with my body.  Understand it more by teaching it to others.

 My Movement Practice

My Movement Practice

"I feel therefore I understand"

To understand a concept I need to visualize it in my head but I don't know it until I feel it.  I try to implement these principles first in my own movement practice and then in my strength practice.  My movement practice is slow bodyweight or lightly loaded movements (i.e. Squat, hinge, lunge, press, pull, deadbug, birddog, bridges).  I do these exercises daily to understand what is going on with my body.  You can call it my strength Tai Chi.  

 Focus on the nuances

Focus on the nuances

"Learning the small to understand the large "

The nuances help me understand what are the key aspects of a movement.  I love to dive deep.  The details are where the magic happens.   Discovering the micro leads to the macro understanding (see "making smaller circles by Josh Waitzkin").  Josh eloquently describes this point that is foundational to my learning practice.  In my practice I pretend that I am looking through the lens of a camera.  I try to focus in on the small things and then pan out to understand how the small relates to large.  Discovery, feeling and connecting the dots are the keys to my movement practice.

 My Strength Practice

My Strength Practice

"My strength practice is my weighted movement meditation"

Strength is how I express myself and understanding of movement.   I am fascinated by how a barbell or kettlebell effect my body.  When I get weight on my back or in my hands I try to feel it.  The way my muscles activate differently when I hold different positions is a fascinating experience.  During the Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) course I took, The founder Pavel Kolar said "Position governs activation".  This was a powerful statement that has been burned into my brain.  I try to find better positions to get automatic activation of the system to move weight or my body.

 Pavel Kolar the Founder of DNS (Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization)

Pavel Kolar the Founder of DNS (Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization)

"I want to create new standards for quality.  It's not just about getting the weight up"

In my movement and strength practice I'm always searching for better definitions of quality.  Movement and strength can be so ambiguous.  What is it?  A lot of times we define it by being able to get the weight up.  It should be about more.  What is the movement teaching me?  How does this build on something that I already I know?  These are some of the questions I ask my self to advance my training practice.  I take this principle from Tony Robbins who once said "the quality of life is based on the questions you ask".

How you organize your body while moving is key principle of quality.   My training has become a journey of understanding and feeling movement and strength.   My personal strength lab.   I am always trying to figure better positions under load so I can better convey a principle or position to help someone move without pain or perform better.

 My teaching practice

My teaching practice

"I teach to increase my understanding"

I challenge myself to be the best educator I can.  The way Tony Robbins views teaching as the ability to communicate and said... "you are only as smart as what the other person understands".  I have been to so many talks and interacted with people who spit out knowledge but can't simplify to the level of the person they are talking to.  I look up to someone like Pavel Tsatsouline (Founder of Strongfirst) who is all about simplicity.  He tries to distill knowledge to the simplest idea but he can dive deep into the science if needed.

"Creating context for the individual leads to understanding"

My teaching method is all about creating context.  In my practice with my patients I try to get to know a person so I can understand where they come from.   Here is another quote from my guy Tony Robbins "understanding is about linking knowledge".  If you understand where a person comes from you can frame any knowledge to their experience so they can understand.  If I have a Crossfitter I can explain a concept through a squat, snatch or muscle up.   To me knowledge is about seeing the connections between ideas.  Teaching is about revealing the links for others to see.

"With feeling comes understanding"

You can see a theme here.  I heard in a podcast that if you don't feel a movement you don't understand it.  This statement is crucial for me.  I work to create an environment to get people to feel and discover a principle of movement or strength.  After my student/patient/client understands how to feel the principle, I teach them how to put it into context.   I try to reveal how the principle is applied to their everyday movements and in their own strength practice.  This way the can learn to fish for themselves.  From there they can reinforce good movement patterns everyday.

"Principles govern my life and practice"

My practice is all about discovering principles.  In 7 habits of highly effective people by Steven Covey the message is to use principles to guide your life.  Through my 8 years education and 6 humble years in practice, I have learned so many principles about the science of movement and strength.  In the second half of my practice career I strive to develop the art of what I do.   I am on a journey to innovate and discover how we can advance the conversation about how we all experience movement and strength.  

"Change the world"

I hope that you can be on this journey with me to change the world of strength and training as we know it.  

by Dr. Paul Oh

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