Birth and Evolution of Mastermoves
a life-threatening bike accident in 1998, Oswaldo Koch developed
Mastermoves as a method of healing and gently strengthening his
body. In a conversation with writer Christopher Pollon in August
2003, Oswaldo described how the Mastermoves system evolved from
personal therapy to an international training phenomenon.
IN 1998, YOU HAD A SERIOUS
ACCIDENT THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE. WHAT HAPPENED?
I had gone mountain biking one afternoon near Victoria BC. At
one point I was barreling down a steep hill, high on adrenaline
and completely oblivious to danger. I hit a bump and was thrown
from the bike, landing right on my head. When I recovered consciousness
a minute or two later, I felt a blinding pain in my neck, as if
my spine had been pierced by a sharp piece of metal.
CLOSE DID YOU COME TO BEING PARALYZED?
Very close. The next day I was put into a very painful
head brace. The doctors decided against surgery because
they weren't sure what was damaged internally, so
it was left for time and nature to heal.
FORM DID YOUR REHABILITATION TAKE?
brace was removed after about six months, so it took
me about a year before I could really begin my training.
During that time, my body and muscles had atrophied
from inactivity. In addition to physiotherapy, the
doctors suggested I start some gradual weight training.
I decided not to follow their advice, because they
gave me all sorts of precautions and I really felt
like I was limiting myself and my recovery.
YOU CONSCIOUS THAT YOU WERE FORMULATING
YOUR OWN TRAINING SYSTEM RIGHT FROM THE
Not at first. But I realized how my previous
training regimen had been physically damaging,
so I was determined to come up with a better
method to enable my body to heal and become
on, I did a lot of reading, focusing on
many different types of training -- yoga,
tai chi, chi kung, Latin dancing and Aikido.
For example, I was interested in applying
the principles I had learned during my
four years studying the Japanese art Aikido
- such as the importance of being gentle
with your body, and of the importance
of being in physical, mental and spiritual
harmony with nature.
HAS MASTERMOVES EVOLVED INTO TODAY?
Mastermoves is a fitness practice that can
develop and strengthen the body in a completely
gentle way. It encompasses total health
- including mental and spiritual well-being
as well as physical fitness.
system eliminates the barriers to developing our bodies
to their full potential. It helps us change bad habits
involving our body posture, the quality and quantity
of food we eat, our mental well-being, and how we
move and walk.
train 15 minutes each morning and 15 later in the day,
gradually developing improved muscular symmetry, coordination
and speed - all the conditions required for your body
to perform optimally, no matter what kind of physical
activity you do. To get results, you do not have to
submit to a regime of tortuous forced reps or injury-inducing
high intensity workouts.
DOES A BEGINNER START MASTERMOVES?
begins with two weeks of general conditioning exercises, two times
a day. This will provide the foundation. All of these initial
exercises are done on the floor, focusing on improving the posture.
The only exception are the standing exercises needed to develop
and expand the range of motion in the hips. This type of movement
and flexibility is underdeveloped in most people who are starting
So, once the two weeks of conditioning are done, you can chose
a specific program based on your fitness goals. There are different
Mastermoves workouts for developing flexibility, strengthening,
and endurance. If you just want to have a total workout and stress
general fitness, you can do that without specializing.
your abs and back will protect you from injury, give you the strengthen
and stability for everyday activities. Core
Training corrects postural imbalances that can lead to
are sound and valid anatomical reasons for doing core strengthening,
which are easy to see, once you understand the relationship between
the stomach muscles and the spine