Friday, 26 June 2015

Meet Jordan Rasta Monk Moody; Founder, CEO, Teacher and Tricker at CSE Stunts

What does CSE stand for?
CSE comes from a Jamaican patois term, catchy shubby which translates to ‘the best of the best’. It means ‘catch and push’ which I interpret as catching your talent and pushing it forward into the world. It also comes from a Jamaican game that my dad brought to the UK as I started out as a cricketer. CSE mixes all of these meanings together. The full name stands for ‘catchy shubby elite stunts.’

How did CSE get started?
I’ve always been involved in teaching at some level. I began in cricket competitions at the age of 15. A friend of mine and I started a cricket class in Kensington Park. We started teaching flips there for a pound which proved popular. A girl came to the classes, and I began teaching her brother and met her parents who suggested to me that I come to teach in an available room in Elephant and Castle. It ballooned from there.

 How did you get into tricking?
I’ve always been interested in martial arts. When I was 18, I wanted to learn to flip. I’d always wanted to but I didn’t know how to go about it. I could do a little flip here and there but I couldn’t do it properly. I did free running (parkour) for a year or two and then found tricking which suited what I wanted to do in terms of martial arts. I’ve always been inspired by Power Rangers, Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee and I wanted to take it to a professional level. I wanted to be a Power Ranger or Super Hero. It was my ultimate dream and I’m trying to live that now and to teach other people those techniques. I also go into schools on Fridays and teach 6 year olds what I call power ranger techniques and they find it so cool. They all want to be power rangers.

Who are your inspirations?
Power Rangers, Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Dragon Ball Z, various anime – I love anime, and of course Tekken. As the youngest, I was brought up with my brother and sisters influences. I took these influences on board and wanted them to become reality. With Tekken Eddy was my guy, but my main character now is Law as he is the closest thing to Bruce Lee. I was always more of a Tekken man than a Street Fighter guy.

 What is the hardest trick you’ve mastered?
The scariest and hardest trick is anything that involves doubles; double back flips, double front flips, double side flips and double twists. I can land them but they are scary.

What tricks have you yet to master?
I want to fully master everything to do with doubles and then work my way up to triples. There are not a lot of men of my size and height doing doubles. A lot of trickers are very light and lean. Many of my movements are quite extreme for my size and height. When teaching kids, their centre of gravity is completely different, so it’s easier for them to propel themselves through the air.

 How do you prepare for a show or performance?
Well we are planning to perform in the Notting Hill Carnival. We want to tumble and perform continuous flips on concrete. It’s important when performing on concrete to perform confidently.

 Who is your class suited for?
Really anybody can attend. My initial target audience was young people. For me it was about getting young people to do something constructive with their free time. I want them to use the streets and own it and to be confident in who they are and what they do. One of my students has taken tricking to his school and his self-esteem has really flourished. I call my younger group my all-stars team. The class is really for everyone; young, old, male, female – a mix is good. A lot of dancers also come through. They want to learn tricks and flips. I’ve worked with the Flawless guys and a few big dancers from the industry.

Do you need a certain level of fitness to become a tricker?
I’ve taught people from age 3 all the way up to age 60. Fitness doesn’t really matter; you just have to want to learn. I’ve taught 60 year olds to back flip from scratch and they can land them. The lesson is if you want it, you can do it. For me, this isn’t just about teaching tricking, it’s a movement and the purpose of the movement is to remove fear from people. One of the bravest things that you can do is to throw yourself backwards and land on your feet. It’s a metaphor for life. You’re taking away fear when you teach and showing people that there is no need to be fearful. It comes from faith; you jump by faith, not sight. That’s one of my fundamental ethics. I believe in God and I believe that this is my purpose just as everyone that comes to class is finding their own purpose. My aim is to help others catch and throw their talent so that they can go to the next level. My dad says that you move as fast as the slowest person so everyone has their own individual journey, path and work ethic which they bring to class.

Does your diet influence your tricking?
My diet was one of my weakest areas. I love food. I’ve realised that if I am going to get lighter and make tricking my profession as well as my passion, then diet needs to factor into the balance. Its okay to want junk now and again and a cheat day is alright. The key is not to make it your everyday thing. It’s all about balance.

What do you do to stay in shape outside of tricking?
I love sprinting and still play cricket. I have to represent Jamaica as its part of my heritage. I also keep up with parkour and tumbling.

What 3 things would you like students to take from your movement?
Creativity and peace, love and unity. Confidence is one of the biggest things a person can take from class. I’m hoping to show people to be individuals, not followers. When someone comes to class, I learn something from them as much as they learn something from me. I’m not a dictator. As a coach, my mindset is to learn, to show, to lead, not to dictate. I’m teaching a class of leaders.

What would you say to someone who wanted to attend a class but was frightened or anxious?
Most people would say, ‘just get up and come’ but I’ve learnt that people come in their own time so I’d say ‘come on down when you’re ready.’ It’s like the Matrix, there’s a red pill and a blue pill and you don’t force feed someone the pill. I know that feeling of fear and to be honest, it never goes away but the fear is good. If a person wants to come on this journey with me then let’s make this happen. If a person is comfortable where they are, then staying there is not a problem but if someone wants to take the journey and work through it with a supportive team to the promised land of consciousness then I’d advise them to come on board.

What is a typical class like?
I have a basic structure for each class but the basis of the class is movement. I get bored quickly so I keep it moving. Change is good and people need to adapt to change. Once our bodies get used to something, they get comfortable but the body loves change and it can adapt.

What does the future hold for you?
I want to continue to build my movement. For me, God is the paramount force in my life. I know that’s what I’m here to do: to build something for the future of our generation. Our generation needs to change and CSE promotes the freedom of expression. I believe in the ethic of King Solomon who asked for wisdom and understanding. Money and riches come to you once you have these faculties in your life. There’s so much to our bodies, minds and spirits that we don’t understand and when we begin to push those boundaries, that’s when our superhero mentality kicks in. I’d like to see the classes thrive and of course we have the Notting Hill Carnival coming up. I’m also looking into going into schools in September and branching off into the film industry. I’m working on joining the stunt register and teaching fight choreography.

CSE Stunts run weekly classes at the Miami Health Club on Old Kent Road in Elephant and Castle.

Tuesday classes run from 5-7.
Thursday classes run from 5-7.
Saturday classes run from 3-5.

All classes cost £5 admittance and last for 2 hours. 

Interviewed and written by Kayleigh Parker of Pocket Safari