Ron Wood, otherwise known as Zen One aka Monitor Pardal holds the rank of Monitor in ASCAB Capoeira lead by Mestre Doutor. Ron also holds a 3rd Degree Black Belt under a system that has evolved into mixed martial arts karate incorporating ju jitsu and the Joe Lewis Fighting System. Ron Wood is a unbelievable blend of soft grace and lethal power. Always a student, teaching allows him to share his journey while being challenged to identify the best path for each individual's growth.
Ron Wood’s class is a body weight class using drills from martial arts, Capoiera, Ju Jitsu, and kickboxing to develop overall fitness. Ron explains:
“It’s not just body weight drills, but movement drills. I want to get the brain working, get people outside of their normal routine. Get them upside down, get them moving on the floor. There’s something for everybody, I try to give at least three versions of every drills. If you’re scared of doing a handstand, there’s a version you can do with your leg closer to the floor until you get comfortable. The idea is to increase your range of motion, to learn control and trust in yourself. With each drill, you get a little more confident, like ‘Oh, I can trust myself to do this… Over time your body will take care of you because you’re taking care of your body.”
Ron has also worked professionally as a hip hop dancer and performer. Ron’s movement, in any discipline, is sensual, without lacking for power. Ron can be heard telling his students to make it “smooth, silky, and sexy.” For Ron, dance and martial arts are almost the same thing, “I feel like when I’m doing martial arts I’m expressing myself. I'm trying to be as fluid as possible. When I’m dancing, if I'm dancing in a battle, I’m fighting that person. They are interchangeable. They have different outcomes but for me they have the same thought process.”
We won't reveal how old he is, but Wood has been teaching since 1991. Ron will tell you “the aging body is NO JOKE. If you don’t move it, you lose it.” Teaching has changed for Ron as he gets older. When he was younger, teaching was a little more like showing off, showing what he could do. Now when he teaches, he is looking for how to get everybody in class to a specific goal. “If you have one person [in class] who is not as familiar with their body, how can I help them catch up? And how can everybody else be an example for that person? I think everybody in the class should feel responsible to everybody else in the class.”
Ron’s class is hard to classify. It’s got something for everybody eager to move in new ways. With his depth and range of experience, Ron's expertise is relevant to lots of genres: yoga, martial, dance studios, gymnastics, and the more recently popular #movementculture. But Ron is resistant to jumping on the latest movement trends. “I feel like we, has humans, have always moved. These new fangled branding systems? It’s the same thing in a different package. Parkour, martial arts, yoga, this stuff has always been around. My whole life, through dance, breaking, house, I had to use my body. I like to share that experience versus giving it a specific name for branding and marketing. When I’m at my best, I’m sharing things I’ve gone through, not something I read the book or saw the video. I don’t need a particular label for it, it’s my experience.”
Be sure to check out Ron's class "Capo-Flow" Tuesday and Friday nights at 8 pm. Our full schedule is available here.
"which classes should i try?"
Trying to decide which classes to take can be overwhelming. First of all, you don’t have to choose! Try everything: Our $40 Introductory Month is designed to give you chance to taste it all.
For some of us, it’s information overload; we don’t yet know what this stuff is! A common question is: What is Waacking? In Vince’s words, Waacking is a dance of joy, sensuality and sexuality. It presents the opportunity to be raw, graceful, playful, and fierce all at once. (Check out UMA founder Vince Johnson Waacking at Second Sundae!) There’s more info about all our adult dance classes on the class description page.
We also suggest you think about what kind of music you like. Here’s a general breakdown.
What kind of music do you like?
Disco: try Waacking
Funk: try Breaking or Hip Hop (a lot of our Hip Hop teachers incorporate Locking into their classes, which is super funky!)
Soul: try Breaking
House or Electronic Music: try House!
Pop & Hip Hop: Dance Fitness or Hip Hop
Jazz: try Solo Jazz or catch our next 6 week Swing Dance series.
Some of us may feel intimidated or unqualified. “You’re telling me that I, as an adult human, can learn to break dance?” Yes. Yes we are. It starts with coming to class and learning the foundations. Our friendly class atmosphere means you might even meet other adult beginners breakers you want to practice with! We know there are lots of video tutorials online where you can learn moves. While this can be valuable, it doesn’t compare to face time with a seasoned instructor, someone who is part of the hip hop community, who has earned their stripes in Battle but is also passionate about teaching the form to newcomers of all ages.
There’s a lot more styles out there: Lite Feet, Popping, Krumping, etc. Stay posted to our Instagram and Facebook to see what special events and workshops are happening!