Jozef Frucek: On Fighting Monkey Practice, Communication & Adaptation of Biological Systems

Host: PATRICK OANCIA

The Baseworks Method focuses on the cognitive and perceptual aspects of physical movement. It is also conscious of the deepening of introspection based on realizations that come up as a byproduct of the commitment to the practice. 

The Transmission conversations with people from different backgrounds look at both the concrete and abstract realizations that emerge from a commitment to any kind of practice or pursuit to achieve life goals. 

The ideas get unpacked from their subjectivity, and the outcome of each conversation sets out to uncover and exhibit common features of physical and introspective experiences.

The Baseworks Transmission Reflections act as retrospective companion episodes to the Transmission Conversations.

Baseworks Quest 4 is a “quest for” meaning, drawing analogies and finding similarities across different domains in an artistically informative way. Unconstrained free-form, abstract and adventurous, Quest 4 is a visual interpretative journey over a diffused network of correlations, constructed on the go as we warp and fuse the category boundaries.

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In this episode, Patrick Oancia chats with Jozef Fruček in a reflective dialogue exploring Jozef’s upbringing amidst nature and foraging trips with his dad in Slovakia, and the profound impact it had on shaping his insights into the dynamics of “communication” between living systems (including us, humans) and their environments. The discussion unpacks the philosophical and practical aspects of Jozef’s views reflected in the Fighting Monkey practice, touching on the themes of authenticity, adaptability, vitality, creativity, parenting, and the interplay of art and athletics, all of which underscore his journey towards cultivating versatile forms of expression and pedagogy.

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Jozef Frucek: On Fighting Monkey Practice, Communication  & Adaptation Of Biological Systems

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About Jozef

Jozef Frucek, a co-founder of RootlessRoot, completed his PhD at the Academy of Music and Theater of Bratislava in 2002. After his graduation, he was a member of Ultima Vez/Wim Vandekeybus from 2002 to 2005 and was part of the team that created the stage and film versions of Blush and Sonic Boom. From 2005 to 2006, he collaborated with the Royal Flemish Theater in Brussels (KVS).

In 2006, he co-founded RootlessRoot with Linda Kapetanea with the goal of producing their own works, conducting research, and providing teaching. This included developing the Fighting Monkey Practice research program, which applies martial arts methodologies to the training of dancers, actors, and movement practitioners. Frucek and Kapetanea also teach workshops at international festivals and vocational schools.

Frucek’s teaching career further includes a stint from 2006 to 2011 at the Athens State School for Dance and, since 2012, he has been part of the faculty at the University Ludwik Solski State Drama School of Krakow in Poland.

Show Notes:

00:47 – Introduction
04:00 – Jozef’s upbringing in nature
10:26 – Choosing life path
14:31 – The rules of biological systems
16:27 – Entering acting department
20:09 – Learning to sound as yourself
28:32 – Basic principles of existence
34:47 – Teaching without making students dependent on you
38:02 – Ultima Vez
40:04 – Working with “heavy” artistic mediums
51:27 – Playing: Choosing epistemic actions vs Pragmatic actions
56:58 – Adaptive systems, perception-action loops
57:37 – Zero forms
58:44 – Movement situations
1:01:09 – Creating a life-supporting practice
1:10:09 – Working (or not) with professional athletes
1:18:25 – Learning from kids and parenting
1:30:41 – Building Rootless Root / FM Headquarters
1:35:57 – Closing

Selected links from this transmission:

Fighting Monkey | Rootless Root

Theather, Performance

Philosophy, Science

Other

Coming soon!

Patrick Oancia [00:00:07]:
Hey. Hey. It’s Pat Oancia, and I’m the founder and co developer of the Baseworks Method. So the Baseworks method is an approach that focuses on the cognitive and perceptual aspects of physical movement. The Baseworks Transmission conversations explore both concrete and abstract realizations that emerge out of the commitment to any kind of practice or pursuit to achieve life goals. And our aim with these productions is to find a common vocabulary to help better describe these experiences. So our guest on today’s Transmission is Jozef Frucek. It took quite some time to be able to coordinate this talk, and we ended up filming this last year in the summer.

Patrick Oancia [00:00:47]:
So Jozef has a pretty interesting background. It started as an athlete, and then that transformed into a physical theater artist, a producer, director, and installation artist. Jozef graduated from the Academy of Music and Theater in Bratislava, Slovakia and completed his PhD thesis in 2002. And shortly thereafter, he was cast as a performing member of Ultima Vez, a renowned production by choreographer and director, Wim Vandekabas. So he’s since then collaborated with theaters, universities, and dance institutes among other notable stuff, both in production and as an educator. In 2006, he cofounded Rootless Root with his amazing partner, Linda Kapetanea. That was a platform for their own productions and research. And as a byproduct of that, together with Linda developed the Fighting Monkey practice, which inevitably weaves in their collective experience into a dynamic mix of educational formats.

Patrick Oancia [00:01:35]:
And this was initially intended for dancers, actors, and movement practitioners, but now has become a kind of movement education that really addresses various different types of learning trajectories. So originally was turned on to Fighting Monkey after watching a really amazingly produced video which was kind of a cornerstone video for Fighting Monkey, which outlined really not only how they were educating people but also the concept and philosophy behind the practice itself. And whenever something grabs my attention this much, I most often do not try to reach out to the people behind it, which led me to contacting Jozef. In late 2015, I had my first conversation with Jozef on Skype, and it was quite a long conversation. We talked about various different things. That kind of led to Jozef inviting Asia and I to come to attend a small group seminar in Athens at the end of 2016, which blew our minds. And that led us to invite Jozef to Japan. Jozef stayed with us for a week at that time and we organized an event for him to teach a group of movers and shakers in the education / moving community in Tokyo.

Patrick Oancia [00:02:40]:
And he also did a small group session with our core teachers. Over that week, we had a lot of very interesting conversations about education and perception, and art, and that inevitably led to where we are today in this episode. In this Transmission conversation, we get into Jozef’s upbringing in Slovakia, the ideas behind the FM practice, and the importance of family as a reflective reality of life, work, and personal development. References to everything we talk about over this episode can be found in the show notes. And on a last note before we get started, for most of these Transmissions we’ll have a companion episode or content that we refer to as Reflections that’ll go deeper into the topics discussed. You can find out where to access that in the show notes.

Patrick Oancia [00:03:29]:
So, Jozef, how are you doing?

Jozef Fruček [00:03:31]:
Thank you, Patrick. I’m doing super well. Thank you for an invitation.

Patrick Oancia [00:03:34]:
Yeah. Well, it’s, it took us some time to coordinate it, but, I’m glad we finally got it together, and we’re sitting here doing this. There’s obviously a million different ways that I could start this conversation. I think one of the things that I’d really like to focus on in the very beginning is a little bit of history on who Josef Frucek is. Now depending on who’s watching, what their background is, they’re gonna obviously know you from different perspectives. But I wanna take it way back. You’re from Slovakia.

Jozef’s upbringing in nature

Patrick Oancia [00:04:00]:
Who was the young Jozef?

Jozef Fruček [00:04:02]:
So I grew up in Slovakia having wonderful parents and wonderful grandparents, being surrounded by beautiful nature, by amazing native culture, great singing, very athletic folk dance. By great nature, I mean, a lot of mountains, a lot of lakes, and opportunity to discover them because my father was taking care of the woods, when he was younger, and his love for nature remained. And so he has had always a great knowledge about animals and plants and foraging and hunting. So, great part of my childhood was spent in nature. I could also say that this is so funny. I realize only having my own kids that we’ve spent all the afternoons in nature. We were not sitting at home, so I feel that I was greatly privileged, and I could not imagine better a childhood than I had.

Patrick Oancia [00:05:10]:
So I have a question about that upbringing with your dad and the foraging and being in nature and, and all the things that you just explained. For one, were you living in a rural area?

Jozef Fruček [00:05:21]:
Yeah. Well, we’ve been living both in the city and also in a in the mountains. We had, housing in a city where my parents were working, and then, most of the time when we had a free time, we went to the mountains. But from my city to the mountains was 20 minutes by bus, so not that far.

Patrick Oancia [00:05:39]:
Did you divide the time between the mountains and the city? Or is it was was there more one or the other?

Jozef Fruček [00:05:44]:
Oh, I would say more time in the city. Especially when I started to play more basketball or being more involved in any sport. I had to travel so much that that eventually kind of, the the mountain trips day were less and less over the time.

Patrick Oancia [00:06:02]:
And I’m just wondering what kind of an effect say, for example, your dad who was into the foraging, into nature, as he knew about the animals. From a young age, I mean, apart from that being a very natural backdrop, and obviously, nurturing, I’m I’m anticipating in many different ways. What was something that really stood out from that experience that that you could remember? Was it something about thinking, oh, like, the resilience that a human being could have in nature, you know, understanding what type of mushroom to eat if you get hungry? Or was it more just like, oh, wow, those animals live in this specific way? Was there anything that you can remember about your dad and what he imparted to you in that process that may have had an a long standing impact on on you as a person going forward?

Jozef Fruček [00:06:48]:
I guess there are many stories, that I could recall, but maybe some of them is you know, when we walk through the forest, then he would explain me how wild pigs would be finding a, shelter for themselves in a very harsh winter and how they would discover that they are naturally created shelters like there are branches. And these branches are being covered by heavy snow, and so they create some kind of natural caves. And they these animals are capable of discovering those affordances that are in the in the environment, and they, they harness that kind of opportunities in an environment in a very intelligent way. So something that is, for example, in science being articulated or have been articulated, for example, by J.J. Gibson – that affordances are created in a meeting between you and the environment, what you are capable of seeing in that environment. That kind of was incorporated in me through the experience, not through the books. Or, you know, when when we were on a hunt and I was asking him why he would be killing certain animal and why not killing some other, and I realized that he was capable of sharing with me very powerful stories. He would tell, like, look how the animal coordinates. Does that animal coordinate as a healthy animal or more like a sickly animal? And I said, wow.

Jozef Fruček [00:08:13]:
This is interesting. So he’s talking about the health of an animal. He says, look at the territory in which that animal operates. If it’s a small territory, if it’s always the habitual pathways that they’re using and that animal is not exploring as much. That also tells something about their physiology. It’s about their health, about their state of being. Or, you know, when he cut the animal and he showed me the the liver or the kidneys, and he asked me, can you feel the texture of those organs? Right? Or look at the look at the texture of their muscles. So I felt like this is all he’s a medicine man.

Jozef Fruček [00:08:50]:
Of course, he’s not doctor. He’s not a doctor. But I just feel like when when you step into traditional Chinese medicine or western medicine, everything started somewhere from there, from us being more in connection with nature and understanding the basics of observation.

Patrick Oancia [00:09:11]:
That’s that’s brilliant. What a brilliant analogy. And I can much see how that carried through into, you know, particularly a lot of the work that you do in imparting this idea of adaptability into, into living. And, I think we’ll we’ll we’ll hit on some of that later very, you know, respectfully. I mean, I’m sure that there could be a lot of people out there that could relate with that type of an upbringing. I personally didn’t have that type of an upbringing. My dad wasn’t taking me into the woods and cutting an animal open, asking me to check out the texture of its organs, but, I I resonate with it. I was a boy scout for a while.

Patrick Oancia [00:09:44]:
Not really comparable. But, but the the analogy that’s drawn from that and, look, we we you just explained about adaptability, how this animal learns to adapt in the environment, is an underlying theme right now in the predicament that we’re in right now. So the sociopolitically or socioculturally in society, we’re being forced to reassess our position in the world and also adapt at a fast pace with technology. Yeah. That’s very inspiring, Jozef. That was a great start. So I’d like to go from this sort of kid, you know, with your dad and nature. Like, what happened what happened immediately after that? Was it immediately sport?

Jozef Fruček [00:10:26]:
Well, my father, always wanted that I’m physically involved. Not only being able to work around the house and dig some holes or some foundations for, fence around our house or being able to work with the boot. He he wanted that I would be playing in some kind of sport being engaged with other kids and maybe be a little bit competitive and see how that goes. But also there was something else in me that was very powerful in my childhood. I always wanted to be an actor because I was fascinated that I could create a world that does not exist. Right? I understood that I can create a world that I like, and I do not have to just sit, be passive, and receive the world that someone dictates for me. I said, okay. I can create a costume.

Jozef Fruček [00:11:17]:
I can create new text. I can create new ideas that haven’t been there before. So there are these 2 parallel streams in my childhood, and that was like, I want to create my own world, not necessarily being an actor, but having this power over the environment, reducing the complexity of the environment by understanding the better the environment and constructing and modeling in in such a way that it would be useful for me. And on the other hand, having sports as another way of coping with the environment when someone sets the rules, I need to understand those rules and try to excel within that kind of boundary. So there are these 2 different not they are opposing world, but they can complement each other. And that’s what happened later on in my future that I nicely or or I, at least, I feel that I greatly benefit from my capacity to state it in the society that was creating a certain rules, but also me creating my own rules and creating the world that I like.

Patrick Oancia [00:12:16]:
So the rules. Let’s let’s talk about the rules. And I’m gonna just use basketball as an example. Because obviously, when you’re playing basketball, there are a set of rules. And depending on the position that you are, there’s also a set of internal rules on your team where, you know, you would have to cooperate with your teammates depending on what your position is in in the team to use the embedded rules and an element of creativity, to help you guys win the game. So that, obviously, if the goal was to win and the goal was technique. So within the rules that the rules in basketball and we will start with that. I mean, because I think it’s a good analogy.

Patrick Oancia [00:12:49]:
The basketball rules, there’s the rule of the game. And when it comes to what the referee determines is point or not, then there’s the actual rules within the team members and the team spirit. Now something that is interesting because team sports usually get lost in this obscurity sometimes, as fantastic and as exciting as they can be. The drive behind team sport that governs this desire to win sometimes throws a bit of a sour taste into the collective team spirit. So I’d like to start first by asking about team rules. When you were playing on your team, your teammates as a whole, in the experience that you had being on your team in basketball or teams or, you know, however for however many years you played, was there a common understanding of a reciprocation and collaboration and cooperation within the team player rule structure. Let’s talk about those rules first.

Jozef Fruček [00:13:47]:
Yes. I mean, of course, there was. You have to act as one organism, but I wasn’t a real asshole, you know, and started to play basketball really late. And I didn’t understand the game very much, but I was so strong and so aggressive that eventually they kind of selected me to a junior national basketball team where but I didn’t ever attend it because I just quit at that moment. I said I don’t need to do that. I just have to go to art and do whatever I want, and no one should be telling me what I should be doing. So in that period, you know, I was relatively okay in basketball because I didn’t intend to be amazing in it. I was just playing, and I really enjoyed, and I I was not very communicative.

Jozef Fruček [00:14:31]:
But I think we have to do, like, 2 or 3 steps backwards and say, you know, the basic rules that we need to obey is those rules that are common to all biological systems. And what is common to all biological system, all living creatures, is that we try to persist. Right? And we try to resist dissipation of the energy. We try to kind of create that autopoiesis as Francisco Varela would be saying, amazing scientist. This is we are autopoietic system. Autopoietry or autopoiesis is a self creating system or autopoietic system. And that autopoietic system had a certain autonomy from the external environment and tries to keep its function and its structure intact for at least a certain amount of time in order to persist in quite a fluctuating external environment. So that’s a kind of first dual.

Jozef Fruček [00:15:22]:
I try to maintain my stability. I try to maintain my boundaries. And then addition to that, we have a different learned cognitive goals as, for example, being a basketball player. But that underlying rule cannot be ignored. So there is this rule of us trying to maintain our homeostasis, our very narrow range of viability. And then within that very narrow range of viability, within this very kind of constrained phenotype, body type that we have or our phenotypical construct, We try to create a maximum of freedom. And one of the freedoms would be maybe to express it, let’s say, from basketball, but the same rules apply everywhere. We need to maintain the homeostasis.

Jozef Fruček [00:16:06]:
We need to stay alive. And then within the cultural life that we live, we try to excel in different type of rules that are imposed on us. And the question is, are you an animal that is capable of bringing more understanding into the principles and then being more flexible in your behavior or your behavior is more rigid and creates more conflict with the world that you are meeting in your life.

Patrick Oancia [00:16:27]:
Well, would it be correct to assume, like, your departure from basketball had something to do with the fact that being restricted by rules, whether that was socially or as a member of your team, and or by the rules of basketball? Did you hit the threshold by which you just explained? You could understand how to adapt to the point where you learned just as much as you could have, and then you needed to move out of that environment. And so the the original question was, like, the rules among team players. And let me rephrase that because, I mean, a team and I mean, I’m sure that you find this also in your in your creative projects, what you, Linda, have been doing and and the various different productions and choreographies that you do too. And you work with a team of performance artists and dancers and you and you communicate with those dancers, I’m anticipating in such a way that you have your choreography. And then there’s an element probably of of, malleability in that too. And as you start to create the choreography itself, maybe the dancer themselves has something interesting that just adaptively adds something to the to the mix. So back to the basketball. You as a team player in the game, strong, agile, powerful, did it become limiting because you just saw things in a certain way on how you could implement the technique to get the points and you got bored with it? Or was there adversity among the other team players? And what was it that made you depart?

Jozef Fruček [00:17:59]:
Well, I was quite pragmatic about it. I said, you know, I started basketball when I was 14 years old. 17 and a half, I finished. And then probably the reason was that I once sat and I said, wait a minute. Czechoslovakia was good at basketball, but at that time, I don’t think we were as good in a kind of European level. And I said, I don’t know what would be the future there. So, I have learned quite a lot here. Why not create a new endeavor and throw myself into art world and see what happens there? And, and it was an excellent solution, or excellent, excellent choice, which I could not know that it was excellent that particular time.

Jozef Fruček [00:18:43]:
It was just a feeling. You know? I I just want to go to art world. I just want to study what means acting, what means creating scripts, what means writing, what means design, what means cinematography. I was very much interested in that world because I said, oh, I can offer so much more maybe if I get an opportunity to be creative and not just being in part of maybe a game that someone has created somewhere. But that doesn’t mean that I diminish anyone for spending all their lives dedicated something, to basketball. I just felt at that moment, it was a good departure. I think I I’ve done what I should, and then I was interested in some other things. When I was accepted in art school, which was 17 and a half, let’s say, almost 18 years old, I I clearly knew that I’m I gonna leave, and I gonna put all my attention there.

A degree in Communication = A degree in being yourself

Jozef Fruček [00:19:32]:
So I went to acting department, but and, you know, I wanted to learn absolutely everything. I wanted to be a stuntman. I had with my whole my physique, I I said I can do anything, for, you know, like, a stunt things I wanted to know how to sing. I wanted to know how to act. I can how to beat anyone in the world. I wanted to be skilled how to pretend. But I met very inspiring figure in an art school, which was later on also my tutor in my PhD studies. And that was my teacher, Ludmila Machatsova, and she said to me, Josef, you do not have to learn all of those things.

Jozef Fruček [00:20:09]:
You really only let need to learn one thing. And then one thing that you need to learn is to how to sound as yourself. And looking at it backwards, I said, wow, she is so smart. She was so smart because she said something really, really important. You know, above Apollo’s cave it is written “know yourself”. Right? Then later on, Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am.” Then later on, after Immanuel Kant Husserl, then Ponty in France we say not “what I know”, but “if I can do”. Right? And I say, “what? That’s not enough!” Because can do a lot of things, but also destroy yourself.

Jozef Fruček [00:20:51]:
But if you say, how do I sound as me? Means, how am I how am I authentic to myself? How do I sound in movement? How do I sound in communication? How do I sound in relation to the world? And that was so beautiful. That was that was really a changing moment in my life.

Patrick Oancia [00:21:09]:
The teacher that you’re talking about, we had this conversation before, I think, when when you were in Tokyo. She was the communication teach she was the one that was helping you to take voice projection, communication, composure. That teacher?

Jozef Fruček [00:21:22]:
Yeah. So Ludmila Machatsova, the her role in the university was to teach voice for basically anyone, anyone who does public speaking. Right? So, she was her role was to teach voice. But voice, you cannot teach voice alone. You cannot teach breathing alone. That’s ridiculous. So if she was she’s let’s say, we can call her a communication trainer. Communication trainer is that you want to say something.

Jozef Fruček [00:21:47]:
Are you able to express it? Are you able to express it with clarity? Are you able to be heard? Are you able to express yourself with a richness of your tonality, with a voice that is that belongs to you, that you do not pretend or assume you have a certain role in life, but you are more you. You are more, yes, as I said, authentic to yourself. And and that was our main contribution to development also of the entire, what we now call, Fighting Monkey practice or research.

Patrick Oancia [00:22:16]:
From that point, had you already started to get into contemporary dance still while you were doing that? Or did you depart from that, go to contemporary dance? I mean, why where did contemporary dance come into the picture? I mean, I know there’s a lot to cover there, but it’s I I like to tie these things together. I’d like to see if there’s any kind of thread whatsoever.

Jozef Fruček [00:22:36]:
I don’t know how people, connect me to the contemporary dance or dancings in general. Right? There must be some I don’t know. I don’t know where that comes from. But, so, when, when I was finishing and then I finished my regular studies in university, then I was looking, for then, for a job that wouldn’t be linked only to words. Right? I didn’t like play drama theater necessarily. You know? I didn’t want to be linked again. I didn’t want to be limited by one nation. I didn’t want to be limited to my language only.

Jozef Fruček [00:23:07]:
I said, I need to travel the world. For me, at the time, it was really important that I discover the world. So I would do anything in the world to travel. I needed to see new cultures. I needed to see new people. I needed to hear how is the perspective from other points of view. So this is, like, main main interest. And so I was saying, is there any type of theater that I could participate in that would not be linked to only my language? And somehow through that kind of search, I started to do more physical theater.

Jozef Fruček [00:23:34]:
Mhmm. I could never dance, but because of my athletic background, because of my acting background, because of my interest in theater, I got job in many different companies. And some of them, basically, I got job in 3 companies. But they were world known companies so I could travel as an actor, mover in, let’s say, companies that are more engaged in contemporary art, not only contemporary dance. But I would not call myself dancer because then I would insult all the dancers.

Patrick Oancia [00:24:05]:
Yeah. That’s interesting. So I’ve I’ve a couple of questions for you. So I think so rewind it back to university. I’ll come back to the dance, thing in a second. I understood that totally. So I guess for one I could you’d be better described as a physical theater artist. So would that be correct? Or

Jozef Fruček [00:24:24]:
Yeah. Would be. Yes.

Patrick Oancia [00:24:26]:
So you went to the university to learn to do things, you know, everything specifically, but you learned that you need to learn to be yourself, you mentioned. So what what did that what does that mean exactly?

Jozef Fruček [00:24:38]:
Well, what does that mean? Looking at it from now, from my age, being almost 50 years old, I, being you is just yeah. Being you, it really I think that there is no better sentence than really sounding the best as you. When you when you coordinate, when you move, when you play basketball, when you do boxing, wrestling, if you do it if you do it rightly, it looks right, it sounds right. If you speak and you do not lie or do not treat it, it has all the variety. It has beautiful tonality. It has beautiful music. It has beautiful variations. As soon as you start to lie to yourself, there is some kind of rigidity that is being introduced.

Jozef Fruček [00:25:25]:
Or and that that applies not only to speaking, but it applies also to movement. It applies to cooking. That applies to anything. So, being authentic to yourself is, I guess, your capacity to sometimes very intelligently change the hypothesis about the world that you have or slightly change the action about the world in order to minimize the errors that you are creating. So I guess is it someone who doesn’t become loyal to one idea, doesn’t become loyal to one system, doesn’t become loyal to, oh, this is what I stand for and I’m never gonna change it, or this is how I gonna act in a world and this is the right way. I guess it is sounding well is being becoming a humble and understand that the world is fluctuating, you are fluctuating. And so you cannot have a one answer to the world. Whatever that would be, maybe yoga, Tai Chi, boxing, jujitsu, wrestling, it doesn’t matter.

Jozef Fruček [00:26:18]:
The those systems are maybe useful for a certain amount of time, maybe for your whole life, but we cannot assume that they will be useful for your whole life. You need to really interact with the world, and the world itself is our feedback. And from every single encounter in the world, we have opportunity to learn. World is for us and the greatest playground to learn and improve our hypothesis of the world or our actions in the world.

Patrick Oancia [00:26:44]:
So based on what you just said right now, I why is it that you could never dance?

Jozef Fruček [00:26:49]:
Well, I I didn’t say that I cannot dance. I could move in some way, but maybe in a listeners, they understand probably dance is ballet, or they understand it as a break dancing, or they understand it as some kind of style. I do not have any of those styles. What I have is that maybe I can represent with my body without speech. I can tell a story. Right? Or I can I can adapt? So if I work with someone who is a contemporary dancer, I can adjust my movement by being capable of learning to belong to a do that kind of expression, but never really being a perfect in any of those techniques. Right? This is more like I am capable of being on the stage and share story with you. That doesn’t matter if I’m a public speaker, if I have to present your scientific research, or if I have to present you a poem from some great author.

Jozef Fruček [00:27:41]:
If I have to tell you my own story or story of someone else, I am capable of doing that, or I was I that’s what I was interested in, being capable of telling the story in some way, being able to inspire you, to move you, to to move you. Yes. Maybe inspire you to do something else or look at the world in a different way.

Patrick Oancia [00:28:02]:
In relation to, being yourself and then everything you just explained about dance, the perspective that you have on, say, for example, the necessity of, trying different things and not to be rigidly held back by following one discipline or one way of training or one specific modality of performance. Were those things that you just said in being yourself somehow adapting to this idea of performance and creation?

Jozef Fruček [00:28:32]:
Yeah. Look. The the principle is simple. You can exist only if you find the information that is missing for you. If you cannot find the information that is missing, you cannot exist. We constantly, as a living creature, we try to reduce the uncertainty. Right? Your organism is missing something. Something broke in your organism.

Jozef Fruček [00:28:53]:
Whatever, a tissue broke, or a certain relation broke, or you got lost in a space for some reason. Are you able to find your way back? Are you able to find your resources? Are you able to find the relations that will help you to overcome the troubles you appear to be in? So this is what we are doing. This is our main motivation for living creatures – to maintain our existence, to self-evidence ourselves as, Karl Friston would say. So what my practice and my research are guided by: if information is missing, are you able to find that information that is missing? If you are capable of doing that, you will always be successful.

Patrick Oancia [00:29:31]:
I’d like to use coordination as an example because that’s something that is so, central to the Fighting Monkey practice, working with coordination. So I mean, that coordination Yeah. Requires if someone you know, in how I experienced Fighting Monkey and I’m sure how a lot of people will, There’s a certain fundamental approach that you have to building the structure and coordination, which is very linear. And that’s I’ve experienced that with you. But I also have experienced the idea of this and it gave me this could be metaphorically transferred into what you just said. Once you understand the basic rules of the coordination tactics or techniques, then you start to see all the different variable possibilities that expand beyond the structure of coordination. Would that be one example that defines this, what you’re saying? And would you have anything to comment about that? Because there’s a few things that you do. You drill in Fighting Monkey

Patrick Oancia [00:30:25]:
People come to your workshops. They work with you. And one of the things that is very, very seriously and in in-depthly worked on is coordinations and the variable different expanding possibilities.

Jozef Fruček [00:30:38]:
So I don’t know what you mean by linear structure, but we can let that on the side. So if you look at a good football player, if you look at a good basketball player, if you look at a good wrestler, a good boxer, if you look at someone who does weightlifting, if they do not have a perfect coordination or they are not well coordinated according to their constitution, there is no way they can produce such a beautifully, athletically inspiring performances. So if there’s no coordination, there is no performance. This is being kind of pushed on the side, you know, when the athlete has a problem and the athlete gets injured, where he’s going to be sent? To strength conditioning trainer or some kind of rehabilitation. But no one is really looking, and no one has a time to look on how do we coordinate in life. That does not necessarily only mean Mhmm. How do I coordinate my body? Idrees means how do I coordinate my energy with circadian rhythms? How do I coordinate my action in relation to other people? How do I coordinate my speech in dialogue? How do I coordinate my body when I run? Or how do I coordinate my body when I’m working with opponent on an athletic field?

Patrick Oancia [00:31:49]:
Would it be correct to assume that the things that you’re referring to here and I’m with you on that. What I meant by linear was obviously every athlete and, I mean, we tend to agree and disagree on this. We’ve had many conversations about it. Every athlete, some people you could say are more gifted than others. Some people maybe the upbringing. Again, maybe that has to do with the fact that you were in the woods, you know, with your dad forging, looking at the the variable different dynamic aspects of nature allowed for you to be more, like, resiliently adaptable than most people. But, obviously, you know, you trained in basketball, obviously, your departure from basketball, and maybe it had something to do with the fact that people wanted to put you in a box. I’m not sure if that’s what it was or not.

Patrick Oancia [00:32:31]:
When it comes to linear structure, and I just wanna iterate on that for a second, what I what I meant to say by that is that there are certain, and in the coordination’s in Fighting Monkey. For the people that know what I’m talking about and for the people that don’t know what I’m talking about, you’d have to go to a Fighting Monkey workshop where they’re working on coordination to understand. So the coordinations, there are various different moves with the arms and with the legs as a primary foundation, in the structure of the coordination. So what I mean by that is that you’re learning those things the same. You repeat those things you’re showing people. You slow it down. The so there’s a part of that which is like the first aspect of it is linear. So what I’m saying is what I mean by linear is that the actual dynamic of it is not linear, but what happens is that those patterns that everybody learns first are the same.

Patrick Oancia [00:33:16]:
Everybody follows the same thing. Yeah. I get it. So in the same thing

Jozef Fruček [00:33:19]:
for being

Patrick Oancia [00:33:19]:
an athlete. So like an athlete, a a musician, When people are learning how to play scales or when they’re learning how to sort of do specific techniques in Brazilian jiu jitsu when it comes to grappling wrestling, there’s certain names for things, how you approach the name, do those. All that’s linear. Then you could become like, you know, like, Rickson Gracie. At one point, he starts to innovate, you know, and then the innovation off the linear structure. And I understand that what you’re talking about. That’s what I meant by linear first and foremost. Yeah.

Patrick Oancia [00:33:44]:
Yeah. Yeah. So you wanna comment on that?

Jozef Fruček [00:33:47]:
This is nice. Well, basically, look, we need to obey the physics, and we need to obey the biological rules. And we have a certain phenotype, so we have a certain structure that we need to understand. Even within our phenotypes as human beings, there are quite nice interesting differences that we need to incorporate in our training, and they have to be understood and nourished in some way. Once we understand the basics, how we can harness what was given to us, the degrees of freedom that our body has, how we can harness energy, how we can transfer that energy through our bodies. It’s like understanding a grammar or understanding technique on piano. Once you get that, you can play whatever music in the world you like. So it’s basically like stepping to the valley from which you can explore any mountains around you.

Jozef Fruček [00:34:33]:
And I what I’m interested in, what is really becoming my personal kind of motivation is that can I can I share knowledge with my students in such a way that they can become independent from me? That once they land those principles, that they will be able to create their own poetry because they do understand the grammar. If they understand the grammar, they can create their own writing. They do not have to rewrite the same book that I wrote. This would be the most horrible thing that could happen in my life. I don’t want anyone doing what I’m doing. I will never tell you do what I’m doing. Because the reason why I’m doing certain things in my life is because it is contextualized, it is because it belongs to my life and what I’m meeting in life. What I’m sharing with you is my creative thinking and my thought process in trying to understanding how I analyze science or how I apply certain information from science or how I apply creativity into life, etcetera, but not repeating what I’m doing.

Jozef Fruček [00:35:37]:
There would be that’s horrible. So it’s like when you see these systems that are being created and they said, this is the right system. This is the biggest lies we have created in our cultural lives.

Patrick Oancia [00:35:49]:
Yeah. It’s that’s interesting. And I mean, again, the perception of the rigidity in a system too, I think has a lot to be examined. Because, you know, as what you just explained right now, a system in itself almost becomes a parody or redundant in itself. So at a certain point in time we reach, proficiency or skill, then at that point, it’s either adapt and create or, you know, modify or move on to the next experience. And whatever that experience could be, it could be something that is very nonlinear, in its process. And I guess maybe I’d just like to jump a little bit back to your creative process. Like, so we move away now a bit for the time being from your being an educator.

Patrick Oancia [00:36:31]:
And I have to say that even though I understand everything that you say about not wanting your students to build the dependency on you, you have a lot of students out there that are very dependent on what you impart. And I I don’t see that as a negative thing. I see that as a positive. I mean, the overdependence is where there’s a problem. When students start to and this I’m not speaking about you specifically. I’m just speaking about myself from the position of education, and I teach a system which I’ve created. But there’s an underlying factor in that system identical to what you’re talking about here, whereas it comes to a point where if people cannot use what they’ve learned in my system and adapt it to something else that they’re doing in their life in a creative way, then there’s no point really for them to Control to, to do it. I mean, if there’s not, if there’s not something that allows for them to be able to use that as a tool to explore something, as you said, which would be more creative, that’d be great.

Patrick Oancia [00:37:23]:
But your students do depend on you, Jozef. I mean, they depend on you, for guidance because of everything that you represent in the dynamic aspects of your life. And I’d like to pull that a little bit of that in right now because, you know, one thing is that you have background in athletics. You have a you went on to do your art HD or your PhD, but you referred to it as an art HD in Slovakia where your teacher taught you about communication skills, and building that. Then you went off into, creation when it comes to if you wanna refer to it as physical theater. I don’t know. I don’t necessarily want to throw labels out there. Physical theater.

Patrick Oancia [00:38:02]:
You were performing in, Ultima Vez for for years. Now I I don’t wanna spend a lot of time talking about that particular performance, but that’s very well known in the contemporary art / physical theater world. Now in that particular so I want to know first, did the choreographer allow for there to be a certain amount of, dynamic stuff happening among the performers that were in that and touring in that, production?

Jozef Fruček [00:38:27]:
Yeah. He’s a great guy. The guy who’s leading Ultima Vez is Wim Vandekeybus. And Yes. He’s as wild and crazy as it gets. You know, I don’t know if he’s constantly on drugs. Of course, he’s not because he’s not true. But, like, he’s like he just collects the wild animals, and he let them free and then just arrange it a little bit.

Jozef Fruček [00:38:44]:
And he’s smart arranging and in such a way that he can become very popular and successful shows, but it’s it’s really, you know, you should be in our surrounding. You know, they go all the weird stories about, you know, what’s going on in that company or what was going on in that company at the time when we’ve been there. But, yes, it was, like, really powerful people from different backgrounds going crazy, and he crazy as well. He kind of can give a shape to that craziness in such a way that people in the theater as an audience could identify with that madness and kind of well, be taken on a journey with us. So I had a absolute freedom, and this man, I mean, anyone I met in my life. I my great teacher, and I cannot give more respect to him and to all other people like to you. I mean, you are appearing in a FM stories also, you know, of our our small journey in Tokyo. It’s it’s in now in the in the canonical stories of, you know.

Jozef Fruček [00:39:49]:
So, I have masters everywhere, and he, like you and many other people, are my masters that taught me something very valuable about life. So, he gave me a great opportunity to perform that I would otherwise never have.

Patrick Oancia [00:40:04]:
So, I mean, that transferred, Jozef, when you you left that, you went on to do a lot of very interesting stuff both in the world of, you know, performance art and, installation art. So the installation art thing is something that I’m quite interested in talking to you about because you’ve done very, visceral installation art projects with with materials. And then those materials themselves also found their way into the I’m not and I’m not sure to what extent you’re still using those materials in Fighting Monkey workshops because it’s not always so viable to bring, like, fucking, you know, like 30 kilograms of clay into a room and put it onto the floor and let everybody play with it for 2 days. And I mean, but those physical material, the installations that you went on to this, like, it was a form of expression through art in some of the installations that you did. Working with people in a dynamic environment to working with massive pieces of fucking wood and, like, you know, like, doing something with them structurally. And I mean, maybe this carries a little bit into the concept of earth earthquake architecture when it comes to the Fighting Monkey practice as well too, when it comes to stability, fragility. So can you give us an example of one thing that you did with big materials by yourself and became an installation?

Patrick Oancia [00:41:25]:
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Jozef Fruček [00:41:57]:
So, first of all, I need to tell all the listeners, yeah, okay, I am a little bit known in art but nothing spectacular, right? So I am not a number one world known artist that they know because my interest is everywhere. As much as I love art, I do also some other things. So just that you do not make me bigger than I am. This is very important for me. And what I kind of like very much is that the you know, our language, even our spoken language depends on our actual capacity to interact with the environment. And when we sculpt the environment, the environment sculpts us in return. So the materials you embrace, the materials you work with, there’s there’s kind of reciprocal, relations. And so I know when if I spend considerable amount with wrestlers, my body will be resculped in a certain way.

Jozef Fruček [00:42:39]:
My brain will be resculped in a certain way. If I work with the wood and I understand the quality of the wood, I will probably be capable understanding something about life. But, also, I will be able to understand something about my liver if you talk about the traditional Chinese medicine. I will probably be able to understand something about fascia. I’ll be also able to understand something about ecology. I’ll you know, like, one of the very, very powerful stories in my life is that I had woods where I spend and I would not pray, but that I would contemplate about life. Right? And those woods, they got sick, and I was ruined by seeing that those trees are dying. And, and, you know, that very strong connection to the world material, like a clay, like a wood, like a water, or whatever that I use in art, but also in our training, it’s because I am in absolute love with nature.

Jozef Fruček [00:43:38]:
And when, when we’re destroying it, I feel pain. Yeah. I feel very very clear pain. When when you cut the tree, I I feel, I feel something very powerful. Right? And and so I’m using this material. I’m using wood. I’m using, let’s say let’s stay with the wood, clay, and water so we do not overcomplicate this discussion. But I was working with logs, wooden logs that are 70 kilogram heavy and big.

Patrick Oancia [00:44:05]:
Big logs.

Jozef Fruček [00:44:06]:
Big logs. And I had, I cannot remember. I think I have 70 pieces of them, and I was for several hours creating a different composition with them. So I was just basically carrying, like a weight lifter, the wooden blocks, and I was just trying to create new and new compositions, compositional structures. So I can imagine you go to a museum, but you see one particular perfect composition that artist wants his audience to see. But I was interested in creating an endless amount of composition to prove that any composition is right, that there is no one privileged composition. And so that was one piece that I’ve done. So, you know, I I was happy about it because I also worked out quite well.

Jozef Fruček [00:44:50]:
So the people that are weightlifting, they say, oh, that was a good work that I could do as well. So on that side, you know, I felt really physical, and that physicality allowed me to change my state of mind. So after 3 hours of lifting 70 kilogram wooden beams all over and over again, you can imagine what happens to the body. So body’s exhausted. Your sugar is gone. Your your brain is gone. Your thoughts are gone, and something magical can happen in those moments. So these are a kind of compositional structures where you have something solid.

Jozef Fruček [00:45:22]:
But when you work with clay, what is beautiful about the clay is that every touch changes it, and that represents more like your mind. If you work with your brain, then the plasticity remain. If you stop to work, if you assume that you will keep that kind of idea about the world, then it then it ossifies, then the clay becomes like a rock, and eventually they’ll it will become like a powder. And so that’s so we use this material to kind of express a certain, let’s say, neuroplasticity or we try to explain something about life and communication. So we use these materials to have more quality materials to enhance our ability to communicate with the diversity of the world.

Patrick Oancia [00:46:03]:
That’s interesting. I’m just curious. I just recently came across this, what that what you’re explaining to me about working with the big logs. I I came across somebody shared something with me on YouTube recently about some Scandinavian kid that got fed up with, I think it was Scandinavian. Anyway, he got fed up with living in wherever he was live. Oh, yeah. Maybe he’s Swedish. Yeah.

Patrick Oancia [00:46:25]:
So he got fed up with living in, Stockholm. Young kid, 16, 17 years old. So he just fucking went to his grandparents’ land somewhere in the forest. He also filmed himself. He did everything and mostly with hand tools. So hand drills, hatchets, you know, to to to carve out the joints for the logs, wooden nails. I think he even forged his own steel nails at some point. I think I remember seeing that.

Patrick Oancia [00:46:52]:
And he talks about it, the experiences. For one, there’s no narrative in in the entire video. And if you haven’t seen it, I’ll share it with you and also share it in the show notes here. He talks in the, in the liner notes about there being so much adversity in the process of what he did, he knew nothing. So basically, he was working with this stuff, making mistakes all the time. And what drove him was he was fed up with material aspects of living in the world. And he went off into nature to do these things. It sounds almost altruistic or idealistic that there’s a part of it which rang very true to me anyway.

Patrick Oancia [00:47:33]:
What he explained about adversity was I’m a big proponent of “without adversity, you’re not going to get anything in life”. And we have to have some sort of a challenge. The adversity of making mistakes, the adversity of working, like he’s showing pictures of himself, like, tying ropes, like, when he’s hoisting the logs up to, to the higher levels of of the wall in in building the the structure of the cabin. He’s got the these pulleys that he’s made of, rope and wood, and he’s he’s sort of churning the thing up this this these other two pieces of wood so that they roll up. And it’s just himself, a skinny kid, pulling these things up to to allow them to fit into the joint of the thing. And Mhmm. Imagine how many times he let that drop because it’s such a fine tuned process of get making sure that the the the balance of weight within the position of gravity rolling up the 2 pieces of thing to sit into those joints. And actually, that experience reminded me very much of watching that, you know, or seeing photographs of what you did with those big pieces of wood.

Patrick Oancia [00:48:34]:
And that adverse, adverse but comparably somehow primal, you know, experience of working with big pieces of, of wood like that. I can understand from what we’ve spoken about in the past and from what this kid was able to do, how that would affect somebody. And now I wanna take this back a little bit to the, you know, the fighting when I first was turned on to fighting monkey, it was through that video that the the myth of Fighting Monkey video that went viral. I suppose it was a 2015

Jozef Fruček [00:49:09]:
or 2017. Shahla. Did an amazing job. Yeah.

Patrick Oancia [00:49:12]:
She did an amazing job. So that in in that video but there was no clay in that video. And when I was watching that video, it was just all you guys hanging out in some the mountainside in in Greece. And, you know, you were talking a lot about the, you know, Linda’s great grandmother or something. She was 90 years old and she still had to, you know, in order to live her life, you know, there was no tools or workers or people she could hire. Basically, she’s just pulling branches off the trees. She could feed the goats so they can they could churn the butter and they eat the dairy. And so it’s all, like, very it’s very practical and practical aspects of living your life.

Patrick Oancia [00:49:45]:
And but that explanation that you gave about, working with what you have in order to be able to survive and having that stimulate, you know, the brain and the body in such a way that it’s still 93 years old. You’re still pulling the branches of fucking trees. Right? That then I saw. Like, I got inspired, and then that’s when we first started our communication. I think it first time I reached out to you maybe was in 2015 at some point. And and then I watched the next video, and then I forgot when the next one was when you’re all working with clay and picking up big pieces of clay too. Like so there’s all this, you know, these elements of, like, this fitness community and kettlebells and functional fitness and blah blah blah. And you guys are picking up big pieces of clay, which I’m anticipating there were probably about maybe 20, 30 kilograms.

Patrick Oancia [00:50:30]:
And and, fucking throwing them down onto the floor. And just like, man, everybody’s covered in clay, like, and it’s just, like, dirty clay all over everybody. They’re just slipping, sliding, And that this real experience of what you’re just explaining, I mean, that that doesn’t happen currently too often, does it, in Fighting Monkey workshops? Is it is it hard to coordinate that stuff?

Jozef Fruček [00:50:52]:
No. It’s happening. It’s happening. You just haven’t been in our intensives because this is always happening more in intensives than in other workshops. Yes. We used to have it in our annual meetings where we can experiment, do crazy stuff, and then see how people respond. And is it basically Vabank, you know, like, even we introduce these things, is it are we gonna lose all our followers or you know? So it’s always on the it’s always on the edge. Like, do people really think that we are absolutely crazy, or we are we are just joking with them? Or is this for real? You know? No.

Jozef Fruček [00:51:27]:
Look, in me, there is no conflict between weightlifting kettlebell and clay and wood. It doesn’t really matter. I I love kettlebells. I love weightlifting. I I love all of that. I we should these are tools that we can be using freely the way we like. You know? This is what I learned in art.

Jozef Fruček [00:51:45]:
I I don’t I will never say, like, this is bad and this is good and I limit myself. I say, whatever is useful to just use it. But be smart so you do not become overly loyal to one idea because you might run-in trouble over a longer period of time. Just look at the evolution. You will see if you overly fit to one domain or one environment when the rapid changes happens, you will not be ready to respond. So I kind of probably I am more interested in not committing to one thing so much and as much. I basically play more, and I don’t care too much about how much this will have any practical application or how they’ll how that will turn out into be a being a great business or whatever. I like we have a, like, a 2 classes of actions.

Jozef Fruček [00:52:31]:
One is pragmatic actions and the epistemic actions. And the pragmatics are those that try to get us somewhere. We will we want and we want to get from it. I don’t know money or fame or whatever. But I’m very much tuned into epistemic valued action, which is just exploration for the sake of exploration. You know, when even when you look at the research and you have rats in a maze searching for food, they know it and they discover where that food constantly is, but they also get bored. They also want to explore the rest of the maze just for the sake of exploration because that allows you to probably find something maybe greater. So I’m looking at okay I have a good solution in life, can I find better? And so this is more what I do.

Jozef Fruček [00:53:16]:
When people sometimes ask me, you know, can you can you enhance this performance or can you enhance this this other thing? You know? I can say, yes, we can play together and try to find out if there would be any value in what we are doing to your life. And if not, then it’s fine. I just do I I am too tired of promising anything to anyone. It’s it’s just I can’t do that. I I don’t want to I don’t want to say to people that I’m doing this or that and, then do not deliver. So I would say that what we do mainly is to play and explore the opportunities in life. Because one thing that that we focus on in a modern culture is resilience, you know, adaptability, resilience, etcetera.

Jozef Fruček [00:53:56]:
But, you know, your energy is declining day by day. There is always increasing entropy. There is always the second law of thermodynamics that eventually makes you evaporate. It will disappear. But creativity or your capacity to find opportunities in your dynamic environment, that’s an art that will allow you even with less energy resources or even with the older age, you can still explore the world and enjoy the quality of the world. I see so many men. I hear so many podcasts. How people try to stay young, how people try to maintain their muscular whatever volume.

Jozef Fruček [00:54:31]:
Their unfulfilled lives are pushing them there. What’s the problem with the wrinkles? What’s the problem with aging? What’s the problem with disappearance? Give place to other people, please. And yeah. Yeah. Okay. But maybe I’m I’m drifting into another area.

Patrick Oancia [00:54:47]:
That’s I mean, that that’s a whole other discussion. I mean, I and that’s something that I think is very interesting because, that that in part is is driven predominantly by information technology and social media and, you know, the, you know, the the fact that we’re missing out on what we should be, what we feel we should be doing in life. But, the, you know, an underlying theme in in what you do in Fighting Monkey, and this is, you know, the archetypal thing that, you know, one would always hear you say in a workshop or that has been said in some of the media that you guys release is what what kind of games can you play to stay young? And so this is like and that concept of staying young, I’m anticipating this ties into the this concept of the malleability of the working with clay like neuroplasticity. So that is I I’m guessing that that’s the reference point. In relation to to games and adversity, okay, so what I see is that there’s there’s a certain level of, and again, this is something I just like to pick apart because, again, some people will know what you do, some people won’t know what you do. So I this is part part of, like, trying to help people understand the, you’re obviously not putting anybody into some kind of dangerous adverse situation. But on the other hand, you’re giving them a series of different tasks to be able to experiment with. I was gonna say accomplished, but it’s not really about accomplishment really.

Patrick Oancia [00:56:15]:
It’s is it? It’s just about the ability to to put yourself in that situation, whether it’s working with little pieces of wood and trying to find an agile set of moves enough to be able to sort of work around these little pieces of wood, which are so fragile and because fall over, or whether it’s working with the dragon pearl, which is like an 8 or 10 kilogram, you know, carved wooden ball, and fucking throwing it across the room to somebody else and hoping that they can catch it with with one hand, which is another great Fighting Monkey video by, you know, that came not too far along from the clay the clay mess video. I mean, well, so these are games that not only help you stay young, but they they’re also games that that would help you to stay sharp and resilient.

The Principles behind the Fighting Monkey Practice

Jozef Fruček [00:56:58]:
Yeah. Look. For the audience, just that they understand what what is it that we are doing. So if you say that the adaptive systems, they try to maintain their viability to stay within the range of certain homeostasis, what they are doing basically, they try to engage with the world through some kind of perception-action loop. Right? That’s how we control the environment. Better you control the environment, better you are able to reduce the complexity of the environment, higher the chances of your survival are. Better you can play with what surrounds you, basically. But what I have added to this perception action loop, I have added 2 elements.

Jozef Fruček [00:57:37]:
One element is what I call Zero forms. Zero (0) represents Zero entropy, so you would become immortal, which is impossible. Right? But, anyway, 0 forms, which is a set of physical questions, a set of questions where we studying the effect of your communication on your physiology. Right? So we wait. We keep your hypothesis of the world, and we testing through interoception, proprioception. We try to test, what’s the effect of your everyday life on your joints, on your organs, on your mind? How do you coordinate? What is your autobiography? What is your, what is your coordination? What is your voice, etcetera? Which makes you to understand what information is missing. So why you’re aging the way you are aging. Once you know what the information is missing missing, once you understand better you have better understanding it because you’re sampling through 0 forms your internal states, you better understand then what the world is and what is the quality of your communication. Once you know what information is missing then, you change your perception. And by changing your perception, you are moving in the world in a different way.

Jozef Fruček [00:58:44]:
And what we added between perception and action, we have added another element which we call movement situation, which means, in other words, simulation of life. Situation, which means, in other words, simulation of life, which can be what? Which is basically your capacity to model the world before you meet the world. What does that mean? It means that a basketball player does training before he goes to play basketball match. When you go to do a new shoe, you want to design a new shoe, you are going somewhere, you take the leather, you get the experts on design, you get the experts on marketing. You’re basically able to model what you would like to do in tge future, And you are able to model various futures so you can create different hypotheses from which you can choose what would be the best strategies. And that’s in these two domains, I’ve spent considerable amount of time. So what you would be learning with us in a movement situation is your capacity to model the world in a different way. So then you can have a more repertoire to act in the world that is dynamic.

Jozef Fruček [00:59:44]:
So you do not have only one strategy. But on the go, you can also create another alternative strategy so we can possibly create alternative futures for you, which is extremely important because usually world doesn’t go as we predicted it. There is never a plan. There is always b or c or d, and there is always something that would be a trouble. So in FM research what we are doing we are very actively searching for what information we are missing, how we can gain back that information, and how we can improve our communication with the world. And this can be done from many different forms of modeling the world.

Patrick Oancia [01:00:20]:
Can you give me an example of, how one would adopt that curriculum or that experience and take it back out into something practical. And when I mean practical, a lot of what you just said, it’s very interesting. So how can we give somebody out there the perspective, like if somebody comes from an a type of life, they get into the FM material, 0 forms, practical application. What how can they take that and apply it back to A life to make the B scenario? If that makes any sense. I mean, so can you give me can you give the listeners or the viewers out there some sort of really practical, easy to understand example of what’s gonna what they’re gonna take from Fighting Monkey from a Fighting Monkey experience back out into the world into what they do in their lives.

Jozef Fruček [01:01:09]:
So, I’m interested in creating a life supporting practice. That’s my main interest. So the life supporting practice is a practice that allows you to communicate better in the world and in a context which you operate. So the so the main theme is quest for better communication. Can you communicate better? Can you exchange better the information with the environment that surrounds you on which your autonomy depends. Okay? So that’s that’s like an, that’s an umbrella for it. Now any system that supports life needs to be capable to give you a feedback on where you are. If it cannot give you a feedback, it’s not a good system.

Jozef Fruček [01:01:46]:
Now the question would be not yoga, not Tai Chi, not Pilates, not Feldenkrais, not Alexander Technique, not stretching this or that. But do you have the grammar? Do you have the understanding how to sample your internal states? Means, can you understand in which state you are, which kind of physiological state you are? Are you capable to understand what kind of autobiography you create? So what is your, what is your territory? Okay, back – so I can explain better. But I do not want to go too much in-depth.

Jozef Fruček [01:02:22]:
Yeah. Any system that tries to support life and needs to help you to understand what’s the effect of your communication in the world. How we can do it? We can do it through questioning of in which territory you operate, so which kind of world you have constructed for you. Without locating you, without knowing where you are, I cannot help you. So first thing is a questioning of what is the environment you are part of? What are the demands of that environment? How you respond to that demands? And what kind of consequences that kind of, response will create in the long run. Number 1. That’s a number one questioning. So I locate you.

Jozef Fruček [01:02:58]:
I locate who Patrick is or who you are. Where do you operate? Without knowing that I cannot offer to you anything. Secondary, we need to question what are your internal states? What is your physiological state? What is your level of, viability? What does that mean? When we talk about homeostasis, we talk about attractive states within which we can stay slive, but we have to be careful here. Homeostasis is an active state, not passive state. So it is like holding a ball on top of the mountain. And more energy you spend holding your physiology on top of that mountain, more easily your age, more easily you will get into trouble. So I’m asking how much energy it costs you to stay within your viable range of homeostasis, which means that there is no system in the world that will bring you more imbalance. Because if you’re alive, you are in balance.

Jozef Fruček [01:03:48]:
If you’re out of balance, you’re dead. So the question is, how much energy do you spend to stay alive? That means I need to understand what is the state of your joints, what is the state of your organs, what is your state of your nervous system. We have a different forms of physical questionings where we can have quite nice interesting assessment where you probably are. Then we have a questioning about your coordinations. Coordina tions… Philosophically, we say, coordinations – your sleeping patterns, your coordination to the environment, but also how do you coordinate as a human being. Right? As a living structure. Then if you’re asking question about improvisation, which means what? Within the territory in which you operate, are you able to see things from different angles, situations from different angle? And if this doesn’t bring enough of solutions, are you capable of exploring new territories? Go beyond of what you already know. And the last question in 0 forms is how can you communicate your experience, your ideas, how you basically share your experience, how you express yourself towards the others because this is extremely important.

Jozef Fruček [01:04:58]:
You depend through you depend on other people. You are you are through other people. So your capacity to communicate is very, very important. So 0 forms is questioning who you are. So what is your autobiography? What is the state, of your viability? How do you coordinate? How do you move and improvise? And how do you express yourself? So these are 5 questions. I I try to be clear, but in a very short time. On the other hand, we are also questioning how you are capable to model the world. I give you an example.

Jozef Fruček [01:05:35]:
You are going to meet someone for a very important business meeting. I don’t know if this is a good example, but let’s say this is a good example. And you say, okay, where I gonna meet that person? I don’t know I do not know that person so I’m not really sure it should be long meeting. My door should be open. It can be shorter. It can be long. Okay. I meet that person for a coffee.

Jozef Fruček [01:05:56]:
Okay. Okay. Coffee place is good because it can be for short time or it can be for longer time. Because if I invite that person for a dinner, you know, until we order, until we get a food, it can be too long, it can be too awkward. So it’s a, okay. Coffee is good place. Now which coffee place I will choose? So which means which set I will, choose? Where I will position myself in that coffee place? What I will be wearing? What will be the nature of our communication? So you model the world And as you are modeling it, maybe in your head, you are better prepared for that actual action. But you can also not do it only in your head.

Jozef Fruček [01:06:29]:
You can actually do it in some kind of matrix space, which can do it in a white space or a black space, like in a matrix movie. So I basically have a space, empty space, what I own is empty space in which you can simulate anything. You want to be a better boxer? We can create a simulation. We can first understand we need to locate you. We can we have to understand what information you are missing as a boxer, as an athlete, or whatever you are. What we think is missing in your performance, and then we model the world in such a way that we can find that information. And with that information, you can then more successfully communicate with the demanding environment that you meet in actual life.

Patrick Oancia [01:07:05]:
That’s a fantastic ex example of the metaphorical transformation of what you’re doing. I think we’re we’re on very similar trajectories in that way with the work that we’re doing because a practice and and the the multitude of different experiences that help you to understand that. I like what you said about the state of internal organs and, you know, this would fall into the interoceptive properties of learning where we start to become aware of, you know, the the fine tunings of the body, you know, sensation in relation to the environment that we’re in. And I think that that’s something that’s that’s quite interesting. And that may seem a little bit obscure and abstract for some people, but it’s quite important when you’re and this is something also that’s borrowed from martial arts, also borrowed from yoga. I say, when we did these practices, these eastern practices, we’re already starting to explore these ideas about, okay, so what do these subtle moves that we, that we’re working towards, how are they affecting the the body on the on the subtle structure of the body Activation? And back then, I don’t think it was so much we think about, oh, there’s gonna be a yin deficiency and this is what we’re gonna be doing in our Tai Chi practice to sort of balance that yin deficiency and this type of move. And we’re gonna bring strength to the legs and that’ll bring a little bit more of a yang energy up into the spleen and liver and that’s gonna sort everything out. Look, I’m saying…

Patrick Oancia [01:08:22]:
But you understand from the from the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine, there’s a lot of reference to this. I have a great teacher in Japan. I I think I never got a chance to introduce you to him when you were in Tokyo. His name’s Edward Obaidy. Shout out to him. He’s a fantastic he’s I could consider he was an acupuncturist, and I was going to him for many years. Whenever I get stuck, he would work on me, give me some needles and moxibustion. I mean, it was got to a certain point that the conversations that we had during the session were fueling the the outcome of of the session.

Patrick Oancia [01:08:50]:
So it wasn’t so much that he’s giving me a needle that was going to help with some imbalance that I was having that point in time. He’s giving me a needle, and he was we were talking about a perception of an experience. I would share with him things I was experiencing. He’d be talking about perception of the experience. Well, how you perceive the experience, to what extent you can still be resilient if you’re on top of the mountain, as you said, without stagnating and be able to transfer that level of resiliency to other stuff. This is what’s gonna determine for 1, your your vitality, and 2, your your ability to adapt to different situations. I think that that’s a fantastic example and very practical. So for people out there who entrepreneurs, maybe you wanna join a Fighting Monkey workshop.

Patrick Oancia [01:09:29]:
On the level of, say for somebody like and correct me if I’m wrong with this. On the level of somebody that I would say, like, an athlete. Like, if somebody comes in there, professional, just give me an example, Figure skater. Okay. So and they wanna come into a fight into the Fighting Monkey practice. How’s the figure skater gonna understand from how it’s gonna help from an introspective… let let’s use inter interception for, an example here. When they become aware of their internal organ structure, what that actually means to the the the their body and perception, how’s the figure skater gonna go back to their figure skating game and improve it?

Jozef Fruček [01:10:09]:
It’s a very interesting question, Patrick. You know? Why would be working with professional athletes? The only reason for you to work with professional athletes is fame and money. Otherwise, you would never engage because, you know, they are just being exploited for a very short time, and then they are being kicked out because they cannot perform for very long time. So they’re really, really someone you know, I I was working for, like, in a hockey team or whatever, development for basketball coaches, etcetera. But if really why you are going there, because you’re in some way, there is money and because there is a fame. But I don’t know how I would help the skater. If everything works well, I don’t have to be there. And, if in in case that there would be an athlete that would feel that would need that kind of help, then in any case, we need to collaborate always with an experts from their field because you cannot assume no matter how kind of master you are, you cannot understand what the the subtleties of boxing, subtleties of wrestling, subtleties of, skating, subtleties of whatever.

Jozef Fruček [01:11:12]:
You cannot understand it. Even if this is my profession, even if I spend 30 years or studying human communication, coordination, their performance, etcetera, I cannot understand the beauty and the details of those particular sports. But in collaboration with those experts, their trainers, their choreographers, their strength conditioning trainers, you can add a certain quality insight. What can happen? If a skater or a boxer or anyone feels better their body, they have better control over their body. They can more contribute to the process of development. But why I would not suggest people coming to FM when they are professional athletes is not because I do not want to have them there, but they do not have the time to sense themselves. They are young enough to overcome whatever obstacles. They will be dealing with the troubles when they finish their careers, and that’s the time to come to us.

Jozef Fruček [01:12:05]:
That’s it. Because when you are in a top of when you are in top of your athletics, there is there are drugs, there are supplements, there are people that give them constantly. So they do not have to feel themselves because physios will feel them better or whatever. But you have, of course, you have those intelligent athletes and there are many of them that they can even without having that education, they feel themselves well. That’s why they’re excellent in their sports. Right? I think the pace is so high that this type of education that I offer is I cannot teach it to you in 1 week or 12 weeks. So if you would be expecting fast results, I’m not sure I could deliver. Maybe I could, but I would never promise them to you.

Jozef Fruček [01:12:45]:
So those that they can promise a good results are those people that are with them, and there is a good reason that every athlete, they have their teams. So I would never mess with them. But if they would find anything valuable in what we do, I would be more than happy to help. And that’s why I was invited in certain occasions to work with certain athletes or certain teams to help with something. But I would maybe not do it on a regular basis. That’s not where my interest is.

Patrick Oancia [01:13:13]:
Would you you just have a there’s a lot of athletes that have given great testimonials to the work that they’ve done with you and Linda and other FM teachers. I mean, so the one of the reasons why I brought that out is because those athletes are saying things in their in their in their testimonials that where they can carry back into the experience. So obviously, it’s like you said, because the format that that you currently have right now is is not one of which people can easily work with you for long periods of time. Although it’s gotten better. Right? Since you started to do stuff online, people can carry through. We talked about it a few years ago when you were very apprehensive to going online, and I was actually pushing you on. I was like, go go online, Jozef. Go online.

Patrick Oancia [01:13:54]:
I’m glad it was an influence because, you know, this idea and, again, this comes back to adaptability. The idea is that that we can’t actually learn online is bullshit. I mean, I I think it’s we’ve seen since 2017 and and the work that we’ve done with with many students that the learning comprehension, aspects of learning comprehension for me being able to do follow-up and / or the base structure of of any, study with us carries through in a way which is exponentially more ingrained than if we had to be with those people that don’t have time in their schedules to come and, you know, work with us all day long and every day. I did that for years. And we had a group of dedicated teachers in Tokyo for about 8 years that that were on an apprenticeship with us. And and they came to the studio every day. They worked every day. And but that was like they sacrificed so much in their life.

Patrick Oancia [01:14:41]:
Like, so they basically and and it it really wore down on people after a while. It’s like it it’s it’s the old school idea of, like, apprentice teacher, but it’s gone. Right? So now we’re going to a different paradigm. And I think that this is where you’ve made it very clear many times that you don’t want people to become dependent on what you share with them. Those people that did give you testimonials, the athletes that, you know, obviously, that were able to just to to experience something with you once or 3 times or 5 times, they were able to take that informed, you know, experience back into their paid professions. I’d like I see it more as a kind of an evolutionary experience. The more maybe they would work people work with you, whether regardless of the medium, whether they take something that away back home with them after a workshop that they’ve done with you and they continue to practice that, even a simple thing like the coordination or any element of the 0 forms practice that you do and take it back and they can diligently practice that every day, Or whether somebody’s able to go just once, take one piece of information back into their life. That’s that’s great.

Patrick Oancia [01:15:42]:
But the these athletes have benefited. So but would you say would you still say that Fighting Monkey is not a practice or not an experience for athletes? Or is it? Or like you say, the more intelligent athletes out there, the ones that aren’t trying to dope, the ones that aren’t, you know, like, obviously, they and there’s more of them now from what I can you know, what from what I feel in the world.

Jozef Fruček [01:16:02]:
I guess what I was trying to say is that I do not like to overpromise or overestimate my capacities. That’s what I try to communicate to everyone. I just probably try to stay humble. I help anyone who pass through the door with all my heart and on my full dedication. If you pass through the door and you are seeking to solve some challenges you have in your life, you have my all creative power with you. Once I agree to work with you have my heart.

Patrick Oancia [01:16:31]:
That is very humble. And I always got that impression from you. And whenever I see something that you that you published that’s on a more of a narrative perspective online. Or or when we spend time together, when I’ve worked with you, initially in Athens, and then later in Japan, when you came, You do have a, a protocol which you’ll work exclusively with people. Is that still something that you do? Do you work 1 on 1 with people over an extended period of time to, you know, for for specific targeted results?

Jozef Fruček [01:16:59]:
Yeah. I continue to do that. What we found out, not as powerful. 1 on 1 is not as interesting as if you have 2 or 3 people. They can exchange the information between them, and it can come vaguely and more beautiful. You don’t feel so lonely. So I now pair people into smaller groups, and we are getting, very interesting results, even clinical, results on working people with dementia, Alzheimer, and they had really good results on their well-being. We had some people that physios gave up on some clients, and then they tried something with a family.

Jozef Fruček [01:17:33]:
It was beneficial. The they are here and there. There are some episodic, kind of feeling that the what we do can be helpful, but we didn’t do some, long term studies or we did we were not collecting scientific data, on that. Of course, I collaborate with really, really good scientists now lately with people from haptics. Mhmm. Robotics and artificial intelligence. So people that engineer prosthetics and people that are their main interest in science is haptics. Video haptics is basically touch.

Jozef Fruček [01:18:07]:
The without touch, we do not know the word. Right? This is very, very, one of the basic, Distributed to our capacity to stay and exist and be alive. So we are now exploring, how our training would be beneficial for people to rediscover the world if they would be in a trouble, let’s say.

Learning from Kids and Parenting

Patrick Oancia [01:18:25]:
I’d like to turn this a little bit to to family because there’s one thing I can remember about our first experience with with Fighting Monkey in Greece. Was the reference that you had to, you know, learning from your kids? I believe it was within the context of adapting to circumstance. Obviously, when you have kids, there’s this unpredictable element that enters your life which requires your full attention. I mean, I would anticipate it. I don’t have any kids yet, but we’re trying. But we were we’re gonna eventually have one when we could find the, you know, the the the practical space to do it. No time like the present that people say, but, we’re we’re trying to be we’re probably, you know, you know, adversely trying to be more practical about it than not. But what you explained from, from being around your kids was how much you can learn from the unpredictability of their gesture, their moods, their dependence on you.

Patrick Oancia [01:19:27]:
And, again, this is something I think that could maybe overlap back into the FM practice is that it can’t just be you know, I’m I’m anticipating it’s not just a hyperindependent experience where everybody that comes in is independent. You’re, you know, you’re gonna give everything to them, obviously, but then they leave and then that’s it. I mean, there’s a certain I’m anticipating, just as you would experience with your kids that there’s a certain level of consideration and attention required on your part, which was not part of the plan that would help you to learn something equally valuable from the experience. I don’t want this to be about FM. I’m just more curious. Can you say something about the experience of raising kids? Because raising kids is something that’s very interesting. I see so many different peoples talking about it in different ways. And from how I’ve heard you you talk about it, how you and Linda raise your kids, It’s been it’s very inspiring.

Patrick Oancia [01:20:21]:
I mean, this is definitely the approach, you know, inspiring me more to, you know, take that same approach to raising my kids along with some of the stuff that I’ve experienced. But what about the kids, Jozef? Like, your kids, what are your kids teaching you?

Jozef Fruček [01:20:35]:
Everyone needs to know I’m a horrible parent. You know? As much as I try, like, everything goes wrong. You know, I go with it. I try to train my son in in in basketball and think like I’m a superb coach, but we are fighting all the time. And then I try to say to my daughter, like, don’t be so much on the mobile and that we end up screaming on each other. So just you understand, it’s as human as it gets. Right? But, what, something there’s something beautiful about kids. They make you mortal.

Jozef Fruček [01:21:06]:
You are immortal without kids. But with kids, you become mortal. You see how that life grows and how they are how they are depending on you, but also independent and how they form start to form their own view on the world and how beautifully structured their world. And, and you’re learning how you could be potentially supported in supported in the development with all your incapacities. That’s I need to remind, especially to myself, that as much as I wish to be the ideal parent, I probably do more mistakes than good stuff. So is it like a trial and error constantly?

Patrick Oancia [01:21:47]:
Are the mistakes I mean, do you do you see them as mistakes, or do you see them as a part of your learning?

Jozef Fruček [01:21:52]:
No. No. I don’t. Well, no. I don’t see them as mistakes. It’s a very beautiful dynamic relation. And I’m so happy that they offer so much of insight about life, to me. They bounce so much energy back on me.

Jozef Fruček [01:22:15]:
You know? I, sometimes I felt like I heard sometimes, you know, that their kids can be demanding or they take a lot of time from you. But as I said at the beginning, my as I as I was doing my PhD in communication and as the Fighting Monkey is basically about how we can communicate better, the the kids are teaching you how to communicate better. And and so they give the most valuable, information for your development, and they are wonderful creatures. And I’m I’m not talking about my kids only. I’m talking about kids in general. Of course, now it is not being very much allowed to go and observe kids. But if you want to learn something about comedy, if you want to learn something about life, go to playground and observe kids. This is just such a wonderful material to observe.

Jozef Fruček [01:23:08]:
So, they are they are everything to me, of course. But kids in general of course, my kids, they are mine. But I, when I see kids that suffer or they’ve been abused or abandoned, I I I feel I feel very touched by that. Right? So I wish for all the kids to have opportunities to explore the world in a safe way so they can express themselves in the most sound way they they can.

Patrick Oancia [01:23:36]:
The, you know, I’ll be obviously, that having a supportive family dynamic is, I think, crucial or central in in development. But the less fortunate kids out there that don’t have that, you know, obviously, this is another example of how adversity could either shape or break somebody’s, you know, trajectory in life. That’s I guess maybe the thing to say with, like, the the less fortunate people out there, they still they still they’ll still have a chance. And, parenting, and when you talk about making mistakes

Jozef Fruček [01:24:15]:
Absolutely.

Patrick Oancia [01:24:15]:
Like what you say about making mistakes as a parent, I could be better. I’m I’m sure that you’re a fantastic dad. But the mistakes that you think you’ve made when there’s demands on you that the kids have, I mean, I don’t I think that these are all just this interaction with your kids. They get to know your character. I mean, I can only anticipate, you know, what some of those things might be that, you know, even though we haven’t spent a lot of time together, I feel like we’re brothers from another mother or something like that or from another world. We’ve talked a lot about different things that I think make me understand that the type of, challenges that you may have in in being a being a dad. And I think because we share those same qualities in terms of, like, wanting to experience a lot of different stuff and, with the time, I guess, to to be able to allocate towards those different projects. I guess that’s what another one of the things that bit of an aversion right now.

Patrick Oancia [01:25:08]:
You started earlier than me with the kids from from my perspective is, like, at which timing I mean, I’m 55 years old, and I think I’m gonna be pretty healthy. I I hope I’ll live to be about 85 or 90. And I’m just thinking, well, I do wanna be young with my kids too. So I I the the time at which I have my kids. But I mean, I’m also just thinking about parenting now as opposed to parenting 10 years ago would be very different. It’s not one situation or the other situation would be better or not. But, obviously, you work with what you have and and the situation as it’s dealt Exactly. Dealt with you, and then you make the best out of the situation.

Patrick Oancia [01:25:41]:
Whatever the part of the parenting, we don’t think we’re able to successfully fulfill according to whatever the stereotypical best scenario for parenting, I think, offers the children and offers the parent the ability to analyze that even more profoundly than what one might, you know, sort of undervalue. You know? So I think it’s that’s a really interesting thing. But when I heard you speak about your kids and, I mean, I think about you. I think about the genetics, Linda and you and those kids. I and I never met your kids, but, I mean, like, I’m thinking about fuck. Like, what the fuck kind of kids are those kids gonna be? Because, I mean, obviously, you guys are both super driven, very unique, creative, dynamic, couple, and from genetically different backgrounds merged into this, you know, work life projects where the kids are there kind of being exposed to it. I can’t imagine any more

Jozef Fruček [01:26:43]:
Yeah.

Patrick Oancia [01:26:44]:
Positive the situation to be raised in, really. I mean, like, it’s a it’s kind of a yeah. And I know, obviously, it’s not all gonna be perfect.

Jozef Fruček [01:26:50]:
But You know, there is this there’s these jokes that we play between each other between Linda and me. We used to say, like, who is gonna die first? So Linda says that she will bury me first, and she knows exactly why. Right? So we are making these jokes. And I said, no. No. I I will outlive you. Because Linda’s grandmother, she died when she was 108 years old, and not because she was sick, because she choked. So imagine just what is her background.

Jozef Fruček [01:27:13]:
So she has very, very strong roots, and she’s also another part of her family. She is, from Sparta. You know? Like, so she’s that kind of typical warrior like, heritage. Now in my family, there’s also some kind of joking. You know? My sister called me, and it was some a long time ago. And she said, “Our parents, they will be 70 years. We have to buy them something.

Jozef Fruček [01:27:35]:
And I said to her on the phone, well, we buy them a coffin. And she said, no. How you can be talking like that? This is not okay, and we close the phone blah blah blah. And my father called me, and he says, so I I heard that you were talking with with your sister. And I say, yes. You said you want to buy him buy us a coffin. And he says, yes. Yes.

Jozef Fruček [01:27:50]:
I said that. I said, but we have already coffin. And I said, oh, shit. So okay. You have it already, the coffin. So we buy the clothes, and he says, no, don’t buy the clothes, and my mom screams from the back – No…

Jozef Fruček [01:27:59]:
Don’t buy us clothes because we might get more fat and then we will not fit in. And then my father said, don’t worry. We’ll cut them on the back and we will tape them so we it will be still okay. I joke about how long we will live and how what is gonna be the great quality of life or not. Our kids, they experience our craziness. They experience they’re exposed to our diversity. So they see us in a great artistic projects. We work with very famous artists.

Jozef Fruček [01:28:25]:
And if they we work with the really amazing musicians. They see us working with costumes designers. They see us working with athletes. They see us traveling for different workshops. They see us studying all the time. So I guess that’s also tough for the children. Right? Because they see, like, how I how I can do what my parents are doing. How is it possible that they do so many things, and it seems so much floating, and they can they are never exhausted, and they are always smiling or just so it’s also a burden on them.

Jozef Fruček [01:28:55]:
That’s not easy for the for the children. I remember my daughter saying she was in a theater. We had, like, a I don’t know. Maybe 2,000 audience was there, and they were clapping after our show, and she was crying. And we said, why do you cry? And she said, look what you have, and I have nothing. Wow. Right? So, you know, like, if from their perspective, perspective, that’s also a challenge. Like, I know, our daughter, she I don’t know how she looks, but they hope she she will not be listening to that podcast.

Jozef Fruček [01:29:21]:
But, you know how she’s looking at the model of her mom. You know, her her mom, even if she’s in, like, almost 50, but she’s still in a kind of, like a fashion magazine being photographed as kind of cultural celebrity or whatever. And she says, like, what am I going to do in my life? And that’s a very important question that she has. This is I don’t know what I’m going to do. So there is also this type of pressure that they that they have from us. But I I believe they what they will take from us is that vitality and interest in life. That’s what I believe will happen.

Patrick Oancia [01:29:53]:
That’s inspiring. I mean, that is I guess that what your daughter said. I mean, but I’m so this is, also something obviously that she has something to work with on her own. I mean, to understand whether it’s really that important to have what you have or to, you know, to follow her own trajectory in life. And and there’s no doubt in my mind that that you and Linda’s parents are gonna be offering that the the right and supportive environment to sort of, guide her along to her own independent choices in in her life. I’d like to get close to wrapping this up, but I’d I’d like to because I I there’s more that I wanted to talk about, but I think if you go down there, we’ll probably end up talking for another hour and a half. Before we move off this, there’s a couple of things. What project apart from Fighting Monkey are you or Linda currently working on right now? You did mention something about building a center for kids.

Patrick Oancia [01:30:41]:
I mean, what is something that you would like to share with us that maybe wouldn’t be so much in the in the forefront of what you’re doing as a as the FM founders?

Jozef Fruček [01:30:50]:
Okay. You know that we are a little bit secretive. We do not like to talk about things until they happen. So we have we have few projects that are going on. So as I told you, I’m currently working with on haptic research, which is really, really important and can be beneficial to really, a lot of people that are in need. But not only people in need. I mean, anyone can, greatly benefit from that kind of contribution. So there’s this haptic research.

The Fighting Monkey headquarters

Jozef Fruček [01:31:15]:
Then, as you mentioned, we after long many years, we decided that we will find a space where we can do what we like and not to be in monad. So we will create kind of head quarters for Rootless Root for our artistic research, but also for Fighting Monkey, but also create a platform, means a physical center where we can be doing together sculpting, fighting, writing, painting, where we can work with kids or elderly people or professional athletes. It doesn’t really matter, but it’s a platform on which we can take up the topics that interest us and not worry about any rent. Or people that work with us, they do not have to worry about anything. I would like to take that financial responsibility and give that offering to people that are amazing. Right? So so we are building up currently a center, and we are doing it all from our own money. We didn’t ask any tax payers money. We we together with help, I mean, everyone who ever been in our workshops and in any way supported us allow this amazing project to happen.

Jozef Fruček [01:32:31]:
And and a lot of magic will happen there. I hope we we are alive and we are healthy and everything goes well. And so we will have a great center where we can meet and discuss discuss not only my and Linda’s ideas, but ideas of many other great thinkers and philosophers and scientists, and where we can create in a good exchange place where people can hear each other and inform each other better. Because, eventually, health is not absence of illness. The health is capacity to have a network of people and the resources that will allow you to overcome the trouble. And this is what I’m interested in, creating a healthy self arranging, network that is capable of creating creative solutions in a time of trouble. And so we spend a lot of our most of our resources there, and, and it’s very risky business, but I’m totally for it and with whatever consequences that would happen. But everything seems to be okay starting from the any single worker that is there until the architect, until the constructors.

Jozef Fruček [01:33:35]:
These are all people that know our work. They want to participate. They they understand what could be a positive consequences of building on something like that. So this is our next project, and hopefully, it goes it goes well.

Patrick Oancia [01:33:48]:
Where is that space gonna be?

Jozef Fruček [01:33:50]:
It’s it’s gonna be in Athens in kind of central area. It’s in a beautiful area. And we decided that building the old factory that we found, that we found, we will reconstruct to a level that when you come there, you will feel comfortable. So it’s not like I just have a old building, and I just put you close to the mushrooms and, how we call it, bad air, but it’s really we try to create something where you can feel beautiful and feel happy to explore.

Patrick Oancia [01:34:21]:
Are you planning on traveling less and having people come to you because of this space?

Jozef Fruček [01:34:25]:
No. I I like to travel. I love to meet people. I can I I I just I just love to do it? So as much as I have energy and as much as people are interested, I will be traveling. This would be more like, let’s spend more time together and go more in-depth. So my traveling would be more like, get a taste of what we are doing. And if you feel in any way this would be helpful to your life, then that’s the place to return and spend more time with us.

Patrick Oancia [01:34:52]:
That’s interest I’m looking forward to visiting there. I mean, we eventually, as you know, we’re in we’re in Canada for a few years now, but our next stop in our trajectory of of living will be in Europe in the near future. So I’m I’m hoping that we’re gonna see more of each other then. But apart from this fantastic new space that you’re putting together, are there any, performances per se or choreographies in the works?

Jozef Fruček [01:35:22]:
We are preparing a new show. Show. I’m writing a script with Linda. So we will be, in one month, we will have a premiere in a biggest, theater and art festival, which is called Athens and Epidaurus Festival in the beginning of July, where we prepare a work for 6 performers. So this we are now in the process of creation. That’s why I’m a little bit more busy than usual. And, but, you know, we always every year, we create some kind of artwork. So, it’s it’s always in our radar.

Patrick Oancia [01:35:57]:
Well, listen, Jozef. I mean, I think that, we can wrap up on this today, but there’s a I I wanted to go down a few different directions of in the in the narrative with you. But I mean, we could do that, like I say, at a different time in the future. I’m going to be outlining some of the things that we talked about today here in the show notes as a follow-up with people and where people can if you don’t know who Jozef is, and if you don’t know what Fighting Monkey is or Rootless Root, all that will be in the show notes where you can check that out as well. I think this is a good place for us to stop right now. Look, I I know you’re super busy. And having tried to coordinate this thing has taken, you know, a couple of years. But I’m I’m glad we finally made it happen.

Patrick Oancia [01:36:37]:
I know it’s late night for you in in Athens. We’re looking forward to the next opportunity. We actually get to physically see you, Jozef. I I I, you know, very fond memories of our our time with you in in Athens in in 2016 and shortly thereafter in Tokyo, for the couple of weeks that you came and stayed with us, and we collaborated and did some great stuff. It was fun. Fantastic work that you’re doing. I’ve seen such an evolution from that time with Fighting Monkey to now. It’s inspiring to see how it’s developed.

Patrick Oancia [01:37:08]:
Thank you very much for for being a part of the Transmission conversations.

Jozef Fruček [01:37:11]:
Yeah. I’m so happy. Thank you very much.

Patrick Oancia [01:37:14]:
Thank you very much for tuning in today. And again, please consider liking and sharing the with others if it resonated with you. You can also subscribe and set up notifications anywhere you listen to or watch this to get real time updates about all future uploads. And please email us a brief voice memo letting us know what inspired you or pushed your buttons to ideas at Baseworks. To benefit from exclusive content delivered right into your inbox, consider signing up for our newsletter from the footer on any page of our website. To know more about Baseworks specifically and everything we’re doing visit our website at baseworks.com.

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