Creation is a gradual progression. It has a base from where all things come from. Creative Calisthenics is no different. The fundamental moves are the most important and should be practiced for strength purposes, yet the joy of the sport lies in the discovery of the unknown.
The Tree of Knowledge
There is a tree of calisthenics moves, and it’s something I reference when teaching move progressions. But the tree is old. The tree is the known, and the known is always in the past. I can chart and document all the known moves in calisthenics, but the second it is published it will be outdated.
Once this tree of all moves has been mastered, the fun stops. Where will you go now? How will you grow? You’ll have to wait until the new version of the book. An external dependence for growth has developed. Doing what others have done can put us in a trap. Without a creative mind we become dependent on another being to create. It’s a consensual outsourcing of creativity. Yet creating is the joyful practice we’re after.
Branching is one method all athletes in creative calisthenics use to come up with new moves. It’s not a scientific method with steps, you don’t need pen and paper. Just awareness. After this paragraph close your eyes and think about doing a pull-up. Let your mind wander and not worry about what you are physically capable of doing. Let it wander to different variations of a pull-up.
Do this now.
I can’t tell what you came up with but we can use what is already known as an example. If the pull-up is the the trunk of our tree, every variation on it is a branch. What’s a variation that is real close to the regular pullup? Grip width. There’s the close grip, regular grip, and wide grip. These are subjective terms that only mean anything in relation to each other, but they’re small variations. They are branches from the single trunk.
No one ever creates by jumping forward into a complete unknown. There is always a tiny connection, a bridge between the new and the old. If there wasn’t a connection, the new thing would be unlike anything you had ever seen. That’s the supernatural. The unknown does not exist in the supernatural because nature is infinite on its own.
All moves are progressions, and so if we’re aware of this creation process we can let our mind wander freely to create new moves. Performing the imagined moves is another topic, but the important thing to note is that we don’t need to know all the moves already done. A tree doesn’t work that way. There is such a thing as the highest branch, but the new can always bud from the side.
Linking is the other fundamental method, and I’ll cover it next.