Moving from drill to skill

Geplaatst op 04-08-2023

Moving from drill to skill.

The primary way and focus within the Soulful Fitness Roller Skate Training system, is the diligent practice and development of riffs and routines.

Over the course of 35 years, the various drilling exercises have proven to be highly effective , when it comes to building and upgrading physical strength and cardiovascular stamina.

Before any further elaboration, it’s good to get our definitions clear and straight.

  • Form.

Locomotive positioning of the body or body parts, preferably in the safest and most efficient way. Main objective of proper form is safety of the body and controlling stress levels of the brain.

  • A drill.

An exercise, or preparation sequence, simulating real life movements and or situations, where the outcome is aimed at safe and effective results in skill development, preferably measurable and repeatable. The situational transitions that emerge from drilling sessions, eventually manifest in free flow locomotion. Repetition is key to enjoy and maximize all the benefits, so that means `drill it till you kill it`.

  • Skill.

The ability to bring about some end result, with maximum certainty and minimum outlaw of energy, or of time and energy.

  • Riff.

Very short sequence of movements, to work on specific techniques, or build strength and endurance and reach a comfortable level of fluency (flow motion).

  • Routine.

A combination of two or more riffs, or parts of various riffs placed in different orders, to emphasize and enhance transitions and flow motion. Combos can become part of complete choreographies.

  • Choreography.

A complete set, usually to a particular song or piece of music. Main focus is to emphasize the music and/or the lyrics and to connect with fellow performers and/or an audience.

  • Bilateral training.

Addressing both the left side and the right side of the body, is an integral part of practicing all riffs & routines, to maximize potential and develop a high level of ambidexterity.


So, riffs and routines are NOT primarily designed for dance choreographies, but should be seen as explicitly short training drills, comparable with forms, katas and striking combos in martial arts. The results of these training drills are phenomenal and everyone can gain great benefits, regardless level, experience or talent.

Repetition is key to mastering techniques and building a state of comfort. Short sequences are excellent tools to strengthen the body, align total body posture and polish up transitions.

Proper training makes it possible to build a solid foundation for new moves, stances and patterns in a relatively short period of time.


Bilateral Training.

Everyone experiences a stronger –more natural – side and a weaker –less developed- side on which we base our preferences to perform physical tasks.

This `natural side preference` is stimulated and largely manifested by our daily reoccurring habits and routines: brushing teeth with the same hand every day, getting in and out of the car on the same side, sitting and standing up behind the desk on the same side multiple times a day, getting on and off a bike in the same manner, handling devices with always the same side and so on.

Bilateral drilling is an integral part of training all riffs and maximizes potential in every regard. The adaptation mode of the brain is kicked into high gear and it literally opens, expands and eventually frees the mind.

A soulful Fitness rule of thumb:

Analyze the strong (easily adapting) side meticulously and utilize that info – piece by piece, from count to count - to train the weaker side, 3 times more than the stronger side.

The First Form of the Soulful Fitness Roller Skate Training system (also known or translated as  `An inspirational start or thought`) is a 16 count riff (8 on each side), designed as a starting point for beginners, a reminder for advanced trainees and an inspirational stepping stone for skilled rhythm skaters. In that regard, the First Form is an excellent and highly effective introduction into bilateral training.


Constructional riffing.

A basic riff is usually a short 3 to 8 count sequence, to drill a certain technique or pattern of movement. Short riffs are easy to memorize, easy to analyze for bilateral application and excellent for focusing on technique and smoothing out trouble points.

Each riff can be considered as a new neural pathway in the brain. Even when you construct a new riff with techniques that you already know and are able to execute very well, your brain still needs to hardwire a new path.

The interesting part comes, when two or three riffs –or elements of different riffs - are combined or hustled up in no particular order and merged into a new string. Execution follows by varying in pace and speed. There are no rules and there is no such thing as good or wrong. The initial techniques stay intact and kept in proper form. Building new random strings – constructional riffing – comes with a very interesting key factor: consequential transitions. The strings as such aren’t necessarily built to last, but the transitions that emerge are meant to be integrated into overall skill development and a comfortable level of flow motion. Herein lies the difference with constructed routines: they are usually built to last and can be used as a solid building block for choreographies.

Constructional riffs are short, personal and made up on the spot. They can change within one training session or change overtime. They can be exchanged with other trainees, but always adaptable to personal flow and preference. Again, the constructed riffs as such are not meant to stick (no problem of course if they do), but the transitions that emerge will sink in, due to diligent training.

Once a trainee reaches an acceptable level of comfort, constructional riffing becomes the core element of the Soulful Fitness Roller Skate Training system. This phase can best be described as `practicing forms to eventually become formless`.

After all, free flow motion should ALWAYS be the ultimate goal.


Once you go you grow.

The reasons to engage into roller skate (training) activities and ultimate goals vary per person:

  • Just enjoying a good workout; working the body, mind and soul in a sophisticated, yet playful manner.
  • Interaction with like-minded souls, incorporating different elements that bring people together, such as exchanging thoughts and ideas, sharing musical joy and creating positive energy and great memories.
  • A stepping stone to choreographically constructed dance and performance, built from scratch and thus eliminating every possible glitch of sloppiness.


And last but certainly not least:

Being able to move freely without any restrictions or precalculated fixed patterns, totally  relying on overall skill up to that magical point, where free flow (flow motion) equals flying or floating.

Whatever the reason, goal or motivation maybe, there is always something in it for anyone who opens up their heart and soul to this beautiful art of celebrating life.

Brian B. Kanhai, Soulful fitness Roller Skate Training. Version 2023.

Check the full logo-free infosheet below as a free download in A3-format!



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