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December 14, 2014

Movie Motivations to MOVE Part 2

by alive

It’s been more than a year since I wrote Part 1 of Movie Motivations to Move. I realized that I never got around to Part 2, so it’s time to make up for that!


The premise behind these articles is this:


Jet LiVery often, we start certain activities not because they are good for our health. If so, there would be a lot fewer diseases out there. Exercise is great for our heart, builds cardio fitness, muscle, bone strength, and coordination. It also reduces the risk of many diseases, but few people will really be motivated to do it for those reasons unless they are already having health problems.


But people usually get motivated to try something because it looks fun, interesting, or badass. That’s when they get some exercise because they’re not actually thinking of it as exercise. The more passionate they get about the activity, the more health benefits they derive as a side effect. Hence, my suggestion of activities inspired by watching a movie or even a clip on Youtube.


For part 2, I have more cool ideas for activities They are a little more intense and than what we saw in Part 1, so you should probably try them only if you are already quite fit. And since you’ve been exercising since Part 1 came out more than a year ago, I’m sure you’ve gotten fitter and leaner in that time… right?


So here’s the first idea.


Self Defence


Kickboxing classes are nothing new nowadays. They are energetic, exciting, and give you fitness in a fun way. Anything physical that gets you excited with anticipation rather than dread of boredom is a great thing! If you have a really good instructor, you will acquire some basics for punching and kicking. This foundation is important for an activity that is one of the most useful you could take up: self defence.


I always recommend physical activity that has carry-over benefits to real Life. That way you maximize your learning, time and investment. For example, running and strength training have obvious real world applications. When it comes to self defence, there’s no doubt that – now more than ever – it is an important skill to have.



It’s an unpredictable world today, and even though we’re relatively safe in Singapore, violence still abounds. The recent Raffles Place stabbing proves that. It behooves us, especially ladies, to develop some knowledge, power, and aggression in order to react properly if necessary.


A martial art gives you some foundational skills but it is not self defence. Its practical utility as a self-defence tool is limited, since many of the strikes utilize high kicks, shadow sparring, and no bagwork which is necessary to develop striking power and accuracy.


It is definitely great exercise and will help you develop areas like speed, endurance, balance, coordination, discipline, dedication and spirituality and you should continue to do it if you’re already enjoying. But what I’m suggesting taking up is a more practical styles of self defense like , Krav Maga, boxing and thai kickboxing.


Here’s a clip from Ong Bak. This fight is stylized and obviously choreographied for show, but notice the shin kicks and knee strikes, which are very devastating and effective in real situations, where two people struggling often end up at close quarters.


Jiujitsu is an interesting self defence method that utilizes grappling and joint locks. By using speed, leverage and technique it is possible to defend against common attacks from bigger and stronger opponents, and is therefore an ideal self defence skill to learn for women.


Here’s a clip that gives you an idea of a rape defence utilizing grappling principles.



Please keep in mind that you can never learn real effectiveness just watching a video. You must take a lesson with a live instructor and working with a real opponent.


Here’s a clip from Blood and Bone I thought I’d throw in for fun. It’s not very realistic for real defense because of the high kicks, but I love the way Michael Jai White moves. And his physique’s an inspiration too!



Boxing is in my opinion one of the most effective self defence skills anyone can learn. It’s quick, instinctive (using the hands) and very importantly, teaches you how it feels to get hit. That is going to happen in a fight and if you’ve never experienced the pain of it you can go into paralysis mode and that’s the end of you. The body conditioning that goes with the training is also one of the toughest you can do, so you’re going to be a very fit individual after just a few months.


Here’s a clip to give you an idea of what boxing training looks like.




Skydiving is one of those things we’ve all seen on TV, yet few people will want to give a try. The most common reason? A fear of heights.

Yet, taught by a competent instructor, skydiving is safe, fun, and once the initial jump out of the plane (the hardest part) is over, you’ll eventually relax and start to enjoy the view. It’s truly a transcendental experience that you will never forget.


What I love about skydiving is the sense of freedom. The rush and noise of wind is deafening. Yet the silence of everything else, even your own shouting, gives you the unreal feeling of a world drowned out. It’s a surreal experience. 


All around you is one expanse of sky… there is a sense of peace and your mind just lets go of any worries or material thoughts. Skydiving gives me a very different perspective of things, and reminds me that I am but a tiny part of this planet and all its systems, natural and human.


You do burn calories from sky diving, whether you do it for real or in a wind tunnel. A 70kg person can burn about 123 calories every half hour.


Here’s an example of wind tunnel skydiving:



Here’s Keanu Reeves from Point Break way before his Matrix days doing a different kind of skydive.







I love horses. They are some of the most magnificent creatures on this green earth.


You’ve seen them in art. You’ve probably read Black Beauty as a kid. You may have watched them at the races. You’ve certainly seen them enough in movies like Hidalgo, Gladiator and Lord of the Rings to understand their tremendous power.

 Horse 2



Fitness-wise, there is a lot you will develop: balance, coordination, core strength. You will also develop an incredible sense of body awareness. You will definitely know what gets worked the morning after your very first horseriding lesson.


Observe the rider in this clip and imagine the hard work that is happening as she is taking her horse through her paces. You can certainly observe lots of activity through the body… it’s not simply sitting down and going along for the ride!




There’s an incredible mix of feelings being astride a live powerhouse of an animal.


There is fear and awe. You are after all getting up an animal with a mind of its own, one of power who could just throw you off.


There is excitement and tension. You can feel the breathing of the animal as it paws the ground beneath you.


There is disconnect from the real world. You cannot feel the ground any more. You have no connection to terra firma.


You are literally transported into a different world.


You also learn to respect other living things. It is humbling, especially if your interactiosn have been with smaller animals like cats and dogs, to now be in a situation with an animal that is much bigger, heavier, and more powerful than you.


As you take your horse through the walk, the canter, and the gallop, there is something therapeutic about giving part of the work over to another being, while maintaining the guidance necessary. You learn that in all relationships, you should only coax, suggest, seek cooperation. Not bully, force and exert control.


You will see things from another perspective, literally. Astride a horse, your vantage point is higher. For a brief moment, you almost live through the eyes of another animal, and with that comes greater understanding that the animals you share this Earth with have their own minds, lives, and perhaps, their own souls.



Here’s a scene from Lord of the Rings.


Charge of the Rohirrim:



Today we’ve looked at some more ideas for physical activity, from movies and videos. Done with or without some modification, they are all interesting, unusual, and doable. The best thing is, you will be so busy with excitement, awe, satisfaction and adrenaline rush, you won’t even think of it as exercising.


If you’re bored of mindless exercise, want an activity that gives you more bang for the buck than just pure movement and physical activity, any of these have numerous benefits out of fitness and physical health. Isn’t it worth your while to give some a shot?


Me, I’m planning my next skydiving trip!

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