About

[Frederik Beck]

The Harmonious Body is the result of my ongoing tinkering. It is the outlet for what I consider good training to be. On one hand the aim is to develop in a physically balanced way. On the other taking into consideration the totality of the human being under going the training.

I also happen to be the “European branch” of Physical Alchemy.

The short of it

My first real foray into training came after I as a young man had a series of injuries. First, the fall-out of a serious traffic accident and later an old knee injury required surgery. Thus my high school years was spent being injured and consequently doing rehab. In retrospect I realize that it was this series of events that ended up setting the stage for what followed. It was actually the best thing that could have happened to that young man. A case of necessary suffering.

The ongoing training en-kindled something. One thing lead to another and down a “rabbit hole” I went. So far I have spent more than a decade exploring and experimenting in the realm of Physical Culture: gymnastics, handstands, martial arts, lifting weights and stretching.

While training was going well and fueled me in some ways, other aspects of my life was at a stand still. After spending much time treading water I eventually decided to pursue my interest in the most formal way. Off to Medical School I went. Curiously I always “did well” in my studies but found – to my great disappointment – Medicine to be a thoroughly disenchanted discipline. The changes I want to effect did not fit with the model. Surely I thought there is more to the human conundrum than what my textbooks and lectures indicated. On the flip side I did gain a very thorough theoretical introduction into anatomy and physiology. Perhaps overly so.

Once I graduated. I was thoroughly disappointed with the prospects of working in Medicine. Instead I had contrived to go to Australia. In search of something (and of course to learn about stretching and other training methods). This voyage ended up being my apprenticeship in Physical Alchemy. A longer exposition about this can read here.

Physical Alchemy is chiefly concerned with the removal of patterns. Postural, gestural and habitual patterns. Whatever inhibits the full expression of the human being. To this end stretching can be a very potent tool. Essentially it is a transmutation of the individual. Aliveness is the aim.

The apprenticeship under Dave filled gaps that I had not known about, let alone worked on. Chiefly this apprenticeship-style learning allowed for an integration of previous theoretical and practical education. Knowing is only useful in-so-far as the capacity to do is developed concurrently. Only then did I begin to understand my subject matter.

It is not feasible or in any way desirable to only train a human on a physical level. The whole of the human has to be considered for the training to have a desirable effect. The Harmonious Body is the outlet for my teachings: Bringing together my years of training and wide ranging studies in the pursuit of helping other human beings express themselves more fully.