I travelled down to Brighton, England last weekend to attend an Ido Portal workshop – his first ever in the UK. It was arranged thanks to Steve Cork of Sussex Boot Camp, who I met in April 2010 at an Exuberant Animal seminar in London. Prior to booking myself on the course I didn’t know that much about Ido or what the workshop would cover. However, I’d seen some of his amazing YouTube videos in which he demonstrates impressive agility & strength – such as one arm handstands, so I was sure he was a guy worth meeting and learning from. Thankfully that turned out to be the case.
Ido Portal is one of the world’s top movement & hand balancing coaches. Ido is not only an incredible athlete, with an impressive knowledge of fitness, but he is also hugely entertaining – with loads of stories and numerous hilarious jokes. He has huge fitness experience from military training, capoeira, gymnastics, martial arts, hand balancing and was a wealth of knowledge concerning nutrition (Ido follows the Paleo Diet) e.g. supplements, Biosignature, overcoming mobility issues, etc. He spoke about linear & non-linear (organic) training and stepping out of your comfort zones.
Over the two days Ido taught a variety of fitness drills, many of which were geared towards preparing you to be able to do a handstand – if not over the weekend, then hopefully after a period of time following his drills i.e. days, weeks or months depending on individual abilities:
- Warm up
- Mobility drills
- Locomotion drills
- Elbow leavers – prep for planches
- Wrist routines – strengthening & mobility
- Handstand preparation drills (Body Line Drills)
Ido did not provide any handouts, etc and he covered a lot over the two days. It was a really tough weekend, which left my muscles aching for the following few days. However, if I can remember & put into practice only a quarter of what he taught it will be a real boost to my fitness abilities. Ido mentioned that a book & DVD are in the pipeline. Also, he is planning to hold a week long seminar at his fitness centre in Haifa, Israel in August of this year.
As mentioned above, I arrived at the workshop with little info on what Ido would teach. His training drills were very challenging for me, often taking me right out of my comfort zone and I must admit I often struggled.
My shoulder mobility restrictions (which were highlighted in my Movnat Thailand workshop) resulted in my ability to progress towards hand balancing being an added challenge for me – but with Ido’s progression drills I should be capable of achieving a handstand e.g. hold for 10-30 seconds in the next few months.
I had a fantastic time training with Ido, so if you have the chance then get yourself along to one of his workshops. For those of you in the UK, I believe he has workshops planned for Wales & Scotland, possibly in July this year – keep an eye on his Facebook account for details. For more info on Ido and his fitness methods visit his website www.idoportal.com (soon to be updated), his forum in particular and his YouTube channel, from which I have included some videos below: