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Old 07-17-2008, 05:44 PM   #21
Gittit Shwartz
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Coordination is a super interesting subject.

Thomas Kurz and Jozef Drabik describe 7 separate coordinative abilities:

1. Balance
2. Movement adequacy
3. Kinesthetic differentiation
4. Reactivity to cues
5. Sense of rhythm (every movement has an inherent optimal rhythm even if it is not related to music - think of a few technique you've learned and you'll see what I mean.)
6. Spatial orientation
7. Synchronization of movements

(I don't have the book with me at the moment, or I'd give their explanations of each item - "Children and Sports Training" by Drabik, highly recommended.)

Gymnastics covers all the abilities but #4 (reactivity). Ball games are strong on reactivity and several of the other abilities, weaker on others. Dance may be fun but also not strong all around.

I work with kids (3-8 year olds) with the lofty goal of "developing coordination and athletic ability". I've wracked my brains many times to construct a program that covers every item on the list, and always come to the same conclusion - Capoeira with some extra gymnastics thrown in is ideal for "coordination". Strong on every one of the points.
Good Capoeiristas quickly pick up and become good at any sport. That should speak for itself.

I agree, great suggestions on this thread!
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Old 07-17-2008, 08:59 PM   #22
Peter Dell'Orto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Oto View Post
Now Dave, don't you think picking up girls is about as functional as it gets?
It takes two to tango. And tango is fun to learn.

"Pull your hips closer together. Closer. Now, hold her tight and step."

Woohoo!

I figure if I can master tango and finally get my handstand down, I'm practically Gomez Addams.
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:56 AM   #23
Robert Pierce
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Gaelic football.

The real version is outdoors, but our group plays an indoor version. It is simple to learn. Accuracy, balance, and most, if not all of the aspects of coordination mentioned above.
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:49 PM   #24
Dave Van Skike
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Now Dave, don't you think picking up girls is about as functional as it gets?

I've never needed to train for that, dude.

further more...it's unlikely I'll ever have to pick up a woman other than my wife. As a gentleman I would never divulge her weight but it wouldn't rise to the level of challenging even if there were two of her...and I don't think she's into that...
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:34 AM   #25
Noel Welsh
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I've done a fair bit of breaking (aka breakdancing), ballroom dance, and gymnastics, and a bit of rock-climbing. My opinions are as follows:

Gymnastics will develop all around athleticism, coordination, and flexibility. There are well defined progressions to develop your skills. Coaches are usually qualified and experienced. Training facilities are usually very nice (foam cell floors are great) with lots of toys. A strong focus on form is good for getting skills fundamentally sound, but I find the emphasis on trivial details (like pointing toes) annoying.

Breaking will get you pretty much what floor gymnastics does; it is basically applied tumbling. The coaching is usually less qualified, and the floors (sprung wood in most dance studios) hurt more when you crash. Form is not so emphasised. However you get a lot more freedom to create your own moves and follow your own path, and there are aspects, liking reacting to the music, that gymnastics doesn't have.

Ballroom dancing, at least to the level I do it, is fun but nowhere near as demanding as breaking or gymnastics.

While rock-climbing can make good use of existing flexibility I don't see that it develops flexibility. Balance will certainly improve, as will finger strength. It is quite expensive, at least around here, which is the main reason I don't do it more often. I don't think it's as balanced, in terms of all over body development, as breaking or gymnastics.

If I had to pick one purely from the standpoint of athletic development I'd choose gymnastics, because of the coaching and range of ways it gives you to assault your body (rings, floor, pommel horse, etc.) However I always recommend doing what you find fun, and there are enough gymnastic sports (add at least freerunning and capoeira to the above) that there is something for everyone.
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