I'm Dave. I’m quiet, reserved and don’t really like being in the spotlight. If you’ve come to this page, then you’re probably interested in who I am — here’s my story.
Outside of playing video games, drumming and some skateboarding through my adolescence, I was never really physically active, sporty or agile.
I got into physical training in my early 20s because of continuous setbacks with injuries and pain. My work as a tradesman caused spinal damage, aggravated by a developmental scoliosis. I hated being in pain and I wanted to feel better, so I began looking for an answer.
Before this point in my life, I wasn’t able to do a full push-up properly or touch my toes. I was about as flexible as a steel pipe. Strength and flexibility never came naturally for me, so I know what it feels like to be weak and immobile.
After a couple of years, I enjoyed the lifestyle of becoming stronger and fitter and wanted to help others who may have been in a similar situation. I studied and began working in the fitness industry.
Over time, I found that the types of training I was doing simply wasn’t serving me any more - it wasn’t enough. I may have been getting stronger and fitter, but I still felt stiff, restricted and in pain.
In 2013 I discovered the work of Ido Portal and his movement culture, and started to realise that there was something bigger than just lifting heavy weights or trying to get "fit".
I saw the importance of having a more holistic view on movement: a progressive approach where strength, mobility and play can coexist and complement each other. A system that invoked curiosity and challenged the body through more complex movement patterns, rather than just adding more weight to the barbell or doing more reps.
I wanted to create a toolbox of skills where I could take control of my body and I wanted to be able to move like a child again: things like balancing on my hands, playing on the Gymnastics rings and flowing on the floor like a monkey.
With a beginners mind, I began to seek further education.
I looked for teachers, coaches and mentors that had integrity and results with their methods, and learned from them. Ido Portal, Yuval Ayalon, Mikael Kristiansen, Kit Laughlin, Ryan Hurst; among others.
I dived into different areas of movement and wellness, such as — Gymnastics, handbalance, flexibility practices, inner practices, Olympic Weightlifting, CrossFit, sport-specific Strength & Conditioning, anatomy and physiology, physical therapy, recovery and nutrition.
Fast forward to now; 10 years of working in the industry of fitness, health and wellness.
I’ve come to reflect on the idea that the more knowledge and experience I gain, the more I realise how much more there is to know. This is a humbling experience, which keeps me willing to learn and stay innovative.
Through the mixture of education, application, trial and error, I've gained an understanding of the methods that are practical, effective and sustainable to improve people’s movement and quality of life.
The outcome became Shoshin Movement.
The brainchild of all the things I have learned and continue to learn as a student, teacher and practitioner.
A curriculum, system of methods and ideas that are always changing and evolving.
A like-minded community where I can help people from different walks of life to create bodies that are strong, resilient, flexible, capable and adaptable, while reducing pain and injury — just as I did.
Bio coming soon...
Bio coming soon...
Bio coming soon...
It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject or art, even when at an advanced level — just as a beginner would.
How we relate this to our training is to say that when you are learning a new skill, you will probably suck at the start — though you should embrace this.
Feel it, accept it, get comfortable with it, explore it, enjoy it, learn, play.
This is usually the first 80% of the learning curve when tackling a skill.
To use it in an example, your motor control and cognitive ability will not be so efficient when you begin to learn the handstand or a similar complex skill. You’ll try to kick up, but you’ll come straight back down. You won’t be able to balance properly, and your technique will be sub standard. No matter how hard you try at the start, it just won’t stick.
This is completely normal, and this is where the true growth is. It’s easy to just give up, but if you hold to the beginner’s mind and not be so worried about your current ability, with persistence, you’ll begin to achieve.
On a side note to the scientific side of things, a study done by the Oxford University shows how a complex skill such as juggling can enhance your connections in the brain. This shows a huge correlation between learning new skills and increasing the white matter in your brain, even as a complete beginner.
Overall — while it's fun for the ego to stick to the things you are good at, it's not where you will grow as a person. It should always be about living the journey, rather than only just embracing the destination.
If you look back at the life of our ancestors or even a few hundred years back, humans had much more movement involved with their daily tasks for food and survival than what we do nowadays...
Walking, running, jumping, crawling and swimming for locomotive travel.
Hanging, climbing and brachiating to reach heights and move through terrain.
Squatting in deep positions to eat, work, rest and use other bodily functions.
Pushing, pulling, lifting, dancing, inverting, fighting, playing and other varieties of movements that are organic to the human body.
With all of that in mind, physical training shouldn't only be about cardiovascular fitness, strength work or aesthetics - but joint integrity, range of motion, motor control and patterning... among many other factors that have an influence on our health and well being.
One example is, no amount of exercise will undo the issues caused by prolonged sitting and remaining sedentary. There needs to be a different approach to reverse such issues — we need more movement in our lives, as opposed to exercise alone to remain healthy.
It's very common that our members will have a friend that asks them "What do you do at your gym?"
This is usually where they are stuck for words — because what we do is usually quite far from what the average gym does and what the general public understands about physical training.
What is fitness, really?
The ability to run 10 kilometres, or the ability to balance on one foot?
The ability to perform 50 pushups, or the ability to hold your breath underwater for as long as possible?
The ability to squat your bodyweight on a barbell for X amount of reps, or being able to articulate each segment of your spine?
What this explains is that, fitness is the ability to adapt to a repeated stimulus, so this branches out to any physical endeavour and any attribute that follows it - strength, endurance, balance, coordination, contractability, elasticity; and so on.
Using the word fitness usually leaves people with the impression of "a lot of cardio", and while we do have cardiovascular conditioning as one of the areas within our training, it's only one piece to the puzzle.
Move: Regaining your child-like movement, having confidence and control with your body, all while learning new skills, strengths and flexibility.
Feel: Having movement freedom that's pain free, and not having a checklist of pain and injuries that haunt you in your daily life.
Perform: Being able to play with your kids at the park, or increasing your capacity in a hobby or sport that you might play or compete in.
Some people might boil down what we do to general Strength & Conditioning — though we like to use the word "movement" as an umbrella term because it gives us the opportunity to use many disciplines as an open source within the realm of physical training.
To give some examples:
We use gymnastics and bodyweight work for upper body strength because it builds both strength and stability that is progressive and highly transferable to other areas of training.
We use tools such as the barbell for lower body strength because it allows us to gain strength and power, while also utlising bodyweight lower body strength to increase endurance, mobility and complexity.
We use stretching methods based around Gymnastics, martial arts and Yoga to help us achieve a mixture of both active/loaded mobility and passive/relaxed flexibility.
We incorporate rehab/prehab and joint preparation tools to help create a strong and resilient body, as well as screening our members for potential injuries and movement dysfunctions.
We learn new skills, play games, locomote and use other organic movements because it's fun, it's where we originate from and we should never fall into the trap of growing up!
We also like change: the things that we are doing today will change in a months time. Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, we're just testing out different ways to move the wheel.
While some people might feel that this sort of training is advanced in comparison to a general gym program, it may be in technical complexity but it's really not regarding its execution. The process and preparation is what matters.
We're excited to help people from all walks of life to build a bigger movement toolbox, skill capacity and reduce or remove their previous injuries — and most of all having fun whilst doing it!