ActionTypes Principles

At this present time I am the only ActionTypes Practioner in the provence of Limburg. Worldwide there are about 600 licensed practioners among us. Only a few work outside Europe.

The text here below is from my teachers and mentors in Switzerland.

Paul Smit


Natural Movement forms the background behind the evolution of the ActionTypes Approach (ATA), the global story follows.

What we now witness around the globe is a global warning message composed of lots of acts of intolerance because people basically don’t understand each other. And we allow us to think this danger is potentially much more destructive than the global warming message we are also witnessing…

Diversity is part of the natural wealth at our disposal if we are educated to respect and nurture it.

Human beings are diverse because establishing differences is one of the most powerful motors of our evolution. If you wish to study diversity, one of the first steps to be done is to understand what we do share in common. Universally speaking, we share the same origin and we live on the same “Ship”: our Planet Earth. We must all grow using the natural constraints linked to our context: gravity. Interestingly enough, we live in a world where constraints rub their shoulders with freedoms. Everytime something is possible despite the constraints, nature is using it in order to gain more diversity.

ActionTypes Approach in high level sports
ActionTypes is studying this peaceful war between constraints and freedoms that human beings are composed of. Based on our experiences in the fields of high level sport and coaching, we developed this approach thanks to a basic assumption: respect what is in order to achieve any performance. “What is” is the reality from which one should start.

Natural Movement Approach (NMA)
We call that a Natural Movement Approach (NMA). Physically we do share a lot of things based on our inborn and genetically transmitted anatomy. When it comes to coordinating all the elements we are made of, things start to diverge because of the possibilities embedded in our body. Our nervous system has got tremendous abilities to communicate internally: 95% of the total number of connections between our neurons is not directly linked to the external world we live in! The 5% left, composed of sensitive cells, will do their jobs monitoring every single change in our environment but the rest has to finally be able to interpret the incoming information with one major goal: to survive.

The founders
What Ralph Hippolyte and Bertrand Théraulaz (MSC Biology) discovered in the 1990s is that the way our body organizes itself against gravity, simply said, the way we grow up, reciprocally determines how we construct our thoughts and how we anticipate every gesture we are going to do. Taking Sandra and Matthew Blakeslee best selling book The Body Has a Mind of Its Own we could say that The Mind Has a Body of Its Own. Body and Mind are the two different entry points of the same tunnel: look from either side and you will be able to feel and see the other one. Your brain is not on top of your body, it is inside, it is a part of it! The inner and perpetual physiological dialog we all do internally creates enough differences, yet also coherencies, for us to all be unique.

Nevertheless, we may group and study the needs of the people that share a similar inner dialog structure. Most of the time, these people will appear very diverse from one another despite some common needs because they are genuinely different: raised in another context, with different values and beliefs, with a variety of different external influences that may have a profound impact on how they behave and think.

One of the needs we particularly observe and study is the way with which these persons move. Movement is the main reason for our brain.

NB: look into the work of Rodolfo Llinás - I of the Vortex: From neurons to self by Rodolfo Llinás

NB: find Daniel Wolperts TED Talk ; the real reason for having a brain!I'm a neuroscientist. And in neuroscience, we have to deal with many difficult questions about the brain. But I want to start with the easiest question and the question you really should have all asked yourselves at some point in your life, because it's a fundamental question if we want to understand brain function. And that is, why do we and other animals have brains? Not all species on our planet have brains, so if we want to know what the brain is for, let's think about why we evolved one. Now you may reason that we have one to perceive the world or to think, and that's completely wrong. If you think about this question for any length of time, it's blindingly obvious why we have a brain. We have a brain for one reason and one reason only, and that's to produce adaptable and complex movements. There is no other reason to have a brain. Think about it. Movement is the only way you have of affecting the world around you. Now that's not quite true. There's one other way, and that's through sweating. But apart from that, everything else goes through contractions of muscles.

 NB: many scientists made great contributions to the ActionTypes Approach.
Important research was done by Professor Dr. Alain Berthoz

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor Professor Dr. Alain Berthoz

In this book a noted physiologist and neuroscientist introduces the concept of simplexity, the set of solutions living organisms find that enable them to deal with information and situations, while taking into account past experiences and anticipating future ones. Such solutions are new ways of addressing problems so that actions may be taken more quickly, more elegantly, and more efficiently.

In a sense, the history of living organisms may be summed up by their remarkable ability to find solutions that avoid the world’s complexity by imposing on it their own rules and functions. Evolution has resolved the problem of complexity not by simplifying but by finding solutions whose processes—though they can sometimes be complex—allow us to act in the midst of complexity and of uncertainty. Nature can inspire us by making us realize that simplification is never simple and requires instead that we choose, refuse, connect, and imagine, in order to act in the best possible manner. Such solutions are already being applied in design and engineering and are significant in biology, medicine, economics, and the behavioral sciences.

Movement is fundamental and plays a key role because it is one of the major sources of self-confidence in our life. It is based on inherited patterns from millions of years of evolution that allow us to move without necessarily thinking how we are actually doing it. If motor skills have the abilities to free our mind, reversely our mind has the ability to corrupt our talents in the field of Natural Movement. That happens when you don’t let your body intelligence do the job for which it was originally meant.

What we found is if we respect and nurture those individual basic needs in the domain of motor skills, everything will be accomplished with more ease and joy. Therefore the person will be more open and free to create their unique style. The sense of self will be more and more accomplished over time.

Over almost the last two decades, we developed the ActionTypes Approach (ATA) searching for a global effect when we were interacting with people: generating more self-confidence and self-respect with more will to express constructively and uniquely. With such a mission it is, according to us, possible for more people to share the same “Ship” without necessarily stepping onto others.

The challenge will be that you have to be recognized and acknowledged for who you genuinely are, before judging as well as being judged as to how you do things. Despite all the surrounding conformity that will create pressure on you, be conscious that you will ALWAYS do things your own way and that means differently from others. Even if the outcome is basically comparable, the way you are achieving it is yours and nobody else’s.

After many years of development, we are proud to offer through the opportunity to learn and apply the ActionTypes Approach in your field of endeavour whether it be in the corporate or sporting arenas.