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By VAHVA Fitness on January 7th. 2019
Here is our story so far and what is going to happen next. Big things happening in 2019. What are your 2019 goals?
We just released our 2019 manifesto which you can read and watch here. Let's be bolder than usual - bold like the Spartans and Samurais were before us.
If you haven't heard our journey so far, here is a recap. For the long version, check out this link here and enjoy the ride.
VAHVA Fitness was born in Finland in 2015 after we had been training and studying strength training, dance and martial arts since our early 20s and even earlier than that.
We started making videos on YouTube and after a couple of months our animal movement videos started becoming popular (our 10 Different Animal Walks video now has over 1.4M views).
We had learned the basics of animal movement training in various martial arts during our teenage years but later we started to really expand that side of developing the human body.
While movement training was becoming popular, we started receiving countless questions regarding the subject. As a result, we decided to create Movement 20XX Online Course.
Movement 20XX was the answer and the framework of all of our movement knowledge and expertise. We have updated the course many times since the release.
The course was loved and received a great reception but we where left with the question "now what?". At this point we decided to move abroad to gather new knowledge and widen our perspective.
Luckily, we were supported by our online clients and users of Movement 20XX (and later Athlete 20XX) to make this possible. We are very grateful for this - thank you for your trust and support.
First, we moved to Croatia in Southern Europe where we spent a year studying and developing our athletic training methods. This type of training really started taking our performance to the next level.
The year in Croatia was full of endless grind. Just nonstop training and studying with intense Southern Slavs in a gym called Sparta which was a fitting name for the place.
This year was also one of the most challenging years since adapting to a new culture while training hard, coaching clients, editing videos and doing everything else related to VAHVA Fitness was quite a task to accomplish.
Once the year in Croatia was over, we headed to Malaysia for a couple of months. After Malaysia, we moved to Australia where we immediately started developing our majestic training system Athlete 20XX.
Australia was also our immersion to the softer styles of training such as Tai Chi, Qigong, Ballroom dance, Ballet, Pilates and Yoga. We had experience in Yoga and mobility training before this but not at this level and magnitude.
We also had the opportunity to train with Georges St-Pierre and Michael Jai White in Australia. Both of these gentlemen are legends in the MMA & martial arts scene.
After Australia we traveled for 3 months around the globe. First stopping in Taiwan to visit Taiwan's Monkey Kung Fu master Jiang Yu Shan, then heading to Japan to show respect to the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi.
After Japan we traveled to Kazakhstan. We also visited Jerusalem and Bethlehem in Israel and Athens and Sparta in Greece.
Before heading back home, we spent time in Munich, Germany where we met with Steve Maxwell whose interview you can find here.
It was a long journey but the epiphanies we had were out of this world and something we would have never expected.
We were forced to face the reality of ourselves and pretty much the childish ego (and ego is always childish) was torn off revealing only the absolute truth beneath.
Here are some of the epiphanies we have had over the years.
Nowadays no one knows how to build high level performance, strength or muscles without destroying the body in the process. Even at the highest levels people don't know how to do it. It's a lost art but the old-timers knew how to do this.
Why? In ancient times, they didn't have gimmicks like steroids or special fixes like surgeries to enable people's unhealthy and unsustainable training styles and lifestyles.
Moreover, just over 100 years ago there were no pills to make you feel good about yourself either. You had to do that by yourself - you had to take responsibility for your mood and feelings.
Nowadays people wonder what is the purpose of softer training styles like Qigong. Well, it's exactly this. To strengthen your body and mind so you can win and be prosperous even when the going gets tough.
We see mostly weakness and dependence in modern methods. Methods like Qigong give you power over yourself. The modern pharma makes you dependent on their "magic".
In reality, you have the power to heal yourself and be prosperous without the help of external substances. You have the power to take charge of your health.
This comment from Melanie on one of your YouTube videos hit the nail. Most people are sacrificing themselves in order to please others who don't even give a damn.
There is nothing bad wanting to look your best but it needs to come from the place of love and self-acceptance. Otherwise the result is catastrophic.
This yin-yang division is present in Chinese Kung Fu, Qigong and Yoga but a lot of Western methods do not really have this.
Basically, the soft is the same as feminine or internal. The focus is on the body and mind. The hard is the same as masculine or external - the focus is on external tasks like lifting an X amount of weight.
The reason this is sometimes hard to see is that the lines are often blurry. Moreover, even the softer training styles like Yoga or Ballet have hard (yang) elements and sides in them.
However, in many cases the division is obvious: yoga is soft because it focuses directly on the body and mind while weightlifting is hard because the numbers matter the most.
In the past, we have called our training methods "enlightened training" because we integrate soft and hard training into one. Basically, you are doing hard training in a soft (controlled) way and soft training with a purpose outside of your health (performance).
For example, for a lot of men many parts of Movement 20XX will be softer training than they are used to which will be amazing for their physiques. For a lot of women Movement 20XX may be "harder" than what they are used to.
Athlete 20XX takes it a step further. Athlete 20XX is hard training because it's about performance, yet it's soft because we use principles such as mind-muscle connection, control and slow tempo to keep the training sustainable and healthy.
If you only do hard training, you will destroy your health and body in the process. If you only focus on soft training like yoga, you will get limber but not very powerful.
We have been on a long journey to discover what actually works for functional strength and athleticism.
This is by far one of the most confusing topics for nearly everyone which is why we intend to make an actual lecture or a webinar on this topic in the future.
Somehow, a lot of trainees think their training style is the optimal style for athleticism and functional strength when in reality none of their claims are grounded in reality. We are not blaming them: we fell into ALL of these same traps ourselves.
For example, powerlifters think you should only do deadlifts and squats when in reality you will mostly get stiff and imbalanced training like that. The numbers will go up in these lifts but that's the primary benefit.
Street workout practitioners think the ability to do a planche or another advanced bodyweight stunt on a bar is how you become athletic but these stunts have barely any transferability to anything outside this specific sport.
Likewise, a lot of people overprioritize handstands and bar exercises thinking that if you get amazing at balancing on your hands and manipulating your bodyweight while hanging on a bar, it's somehow functional and athletic.
In reality, extremism is the enemy of athleticism and functionality.
All of these mentioned forms of training are boxes that trap you inside that box - you will get good at the skills of the art form but the transferability is poor to anything outside of that box.
Since the beginning, we have been seeking what actually works and as a result we've managed to eliminate all the unnecessary filler to find the essence of athleticism and functionality.
This takes us to our big announcement:
Personally, MMA will be our goal of 2019. In terms of our content and videos, probably nothing is going to change but we will be allocating more of own training time to mixed martial arts.
We will approach MMA like complete novices. Despite having martial arts and training background, we understand that MMA needs to be taken seriously as a new sport.
We will join local MMA classes and have already purchased several MMA online courses and programs from the legends of the fight game. Once we learn the basics (grappling ,wrestling etc.) we will travel and meet the best coaches out there (and film everything).
MMA is a unique sport with unique rules and you have to get good at the sport of MMA in order to succeed. Our martial arts background and our way of strength and conditioning will transfer very nicely to MMA though.
That is our goal: to showcase that VAHVA Method actually works in practice at a high level in a sport which requires the most versatile physical attributes known today: strength, flexibility, mobility, agility, coordination, creativity, endurance and GRIT.
We also want to prove that a lot of the methods of traditional martial arts are not useless but they have been just misunderstood and poorly executed in the modern setting.
We believe our way of strength and conditioning is the best way to excel in sports like MMA, martial arts, dance, football, hockey, basketball etc.
If an athlete were to supplement his training with street calisthenics, bodybuilding or powerlifting, he or she would only get marginally better and might even get worse in his or her chosen sport.
Moreover, for the best strongman or a bodybuilder to succeed in MMA, football, hockey, cricket or any other sport, they would have to change their entire strength and conditioning. Luckily for us, we barely need to adapt at all.
MMA is a brutal sport and we may fail miserably but at this point it's all fun and games for us.
An old monkey kung fu master used to say: "What is pain? Pain is pain is nothing". Similarly, we would say: "What is failure? Failure is failure is nothing".
We learned a lot during our journey and we have had time to share only a tiny bit of what we learned.
We have amazing things coming out in 2019 and it will be something special. In 2019 we plan to unleash the information and expertise for you to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
We haven't set dates for our new programs yet since it will take months to develop them but to get ready for them, you have plenty of time to master Athlete 20XX & Movement 20XX.
Our plan is to focus on you and building the community in 2019. Although it may seem like we have a lot of things going on this year, we will actually have more time this year to accomplish these goals.
Traveling is great but it's very time consuming especially when you live the nomadic lifestyle where you need to be constantly flying, booking new hotels/Airbnbs and trying to figure out the next country's public transport system.
At this moment, we are building our headquarters in Helsinki, Finland which is an exciting project. We will be traveling for sure to meet interesting people but won't be doing it full time.
This is our mission statement for 2019. Now is your turn to start dreaming, get serious and start accomplishing your goals.
When you take care of your health and fitness, you will suddenly notice that all areas of your life will improve. You will feel better and have more energy. Goals outside of your fitness will come to fruition with ease.
Let's be bold and make 2019 an exciting year.
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