Trybe is the first studio of its kind in Hong Kong, specializing in acrobatic, strength and movement training. Their diverse selection of classes ranging from gymnastics, circus, strength and dance is perfect for anyone looking for a new way to challenge their bodies. We spoke to John Chan, one of the co-founders of Trybe, on the growing movement that’s all about… well, movement!
What inspired Trybe to come about?
We saw a movement culture emerging in Hong Kong, but not enough places for people to explore this trend. Gymnastics, calisthenics, and other forms of movement training are still very niche in Hong Kong. It’s hard to find coaches with sufficient knowledge and passion for helping people explore and develop this interest.
For example, gymnastics: previously there were only two facilities specializing in gymnastics, but they didn’t actually provide coaching – people went in and did their own thing. So unless you already had a gymnastics background, there’d be no way to take this up or to progress as an adult.
Here at Trybe, we want to make movement culture accessible to everyone so that even complete beginners can take it up. We want to spread the word and bring like-minded people together by creating a space where people can explore movement.
So what is movement training?
As the name suggests, it’s all about movement! But there’s no definite answer as to what movement is. There’s a lot of athleticism involved – bodyweight, rings, jumping about… It’s very different to the kind of training that is typically done at the gym – there’s a lot of emphasis on balance, stability and coordination, things you can’t train with machines.
How important do you think movement and mobility are for fitness, and how does it compare to the usual cardio and strength training that we’re all used to?
Does fitness mean having more muscle, or being able to run for a long time? There is so much more to fitness than just physical strength or cardiovascular endurance. At the end of the day, fitness is an all encompassing concept. Someone who spends a lot of time weight-lifting may be strong, but they may lack in other areas such as mobility or flexibility. What’s great about movement training is that it involves everything – strength, balance, flexibility, agility, control and endurance.
You can put anyone in here and there will always be something to challenge them. No matter how strong you are, how heavy you can lift, how far you can run – movement training is bound to challenge you in some way. A lot of our clients with backgrounds in body-building are strong but they come in here and realize they can’t jump very high. In this sense, movement training can also be humbling- you realize there’s still so much to learn and to improve on in terms of fitness.
Movement is a whole new approach to fitness altogether. What we want to do is to introduce people to this new way of training, and a new way to define ‘fit.’
Classes such as gymnastics, rings, tumbling and handstands can sound quite intimidating for beginners. Do you have any tips or advice for people who have never tried anything like it before?
Give it a go. We all start off somewhere, and that’s what learning a new skill set is all about. We don’t expect anyone to be able to do everything right off the bat. These are skills that take time to learn. It really isn’t as intimidating as people may think – tumbling may sound quite scary, but most people who come to our tumbling classes still manage within their first class!
The biggest obstacle is usually the fear as opposed to physical capability. So really, movement is about overcoming both mental and physical obstacles. Everyone has a different level of accepting fear, but fear aside, most people can definitely manage it.
What are some important things to focus on when it comes to movement training?
We place a lot of emphasis on safety. Without proper spotting and proper equipment, the risk of injury is quite high. We ensure that everything is done under proper guidance and teach every movement step by step.
That’s actually another important element of movement training – a lot of it is about trust and human interaction.
Should everybody give movement training a go?
Movement training is for everyone, whatever your fitness goals. It’s great for anyone who wants to learn a new skill and to build a good physique. There is always something new to learn and always something to challenge yourself with, no matter what your fitness background.
Lastly, I’m sure a lot of people are wondering – how long does it usually take to master an unassisted handstand?
With consistent practice (say, practicing three times week), most people manage to master an unassisted handstand within 3 months!