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Zen Acrobatics with Matt Mulligan



The “Zen Acrobatics” approach to acrobatics training has developed from the urge to look for freedom in movement. The main goal is to find a movement quality that supports simple actions like walking and running, as well as acrobatic feats without a difference in effort or muscular usage. In order to do this, there is a search for high levels of awareness and precision so the body can react quickly to the changes in skeletal stress, and to maintain flow without unnecessary tension.

Matt Mulligan has been studying and collaborating with Tom Weksler on Tom’s Zen Acrobatics research for a number of years. Matt’s approach to acrobatics shares Tom’s interest in dissolving the ‘classical’ acrobatics approach of seeing Preparation, Climax and Landing as completely different aspects. Instead in "Zen Acrobatics" the practitioner aspires to transform all 3 stages into one motion that can ultimately connect to any other type of movement.

Sounds of take-offs and landings, Placement of Eye-Focus and Optimal breath for each element are all being covered aside from the Anatomical Instructions and Basic Conditioning.

The acrobatic training allows the mover to tune into a "mind-quality" which is usually present only in Extreme Sports or Full – Contact Sports.

The mover becomes animalistic and functional, and while attempting complicated feats he turns on "survival instincts" which allows him to reflect on his movement from an entirely different point of view.


Participants in Zen Acrobatics workshops can expect to:

• Focus on the particular physical aptitudes required for acrobatics: including head-tail-heel connection, awareness and comfort within the back-space of the body, familiarity with weightshifting, contact with the floor and foot/hand placement, and reverse spirals.

• Experience an approach proposing questions about how acrobatic movement can be ‘minimised’ and understood as an extension of other human movements, not characterised only by maximum effort.

• Explore soft acrobatics and finding the line between ‘effort’ and ‘effortlessness’. Finding when effort is necessary - as often it is in acrobatics - and learning qualities and techniques to use this effort only when necessary.

• Experience acrobatics as a meditative discipline. Begin to see acrobatics as a lens to experience the body and ourselves in a particular way. Not merely about performing a ‘trick’ as an end goal - but seeing acrobatics as an alive inquiry into how repetition, instinct and effort can best serve us.



About Matt Mulligan

Matt’s acrobatic practice is founded in fifteen years spent working with the moving body in the worlds of professional circus, dance and physical performance. Matt trained at Circomedia Contemporary Circus School (UK) later taking further training at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance (UK). As a dance-acrobat Matt has worked with a host of companies, choreographers and directors including Sally Cookson, Javier de Frutos, and Bim Mason. Matt’s ongoing primary collaboration is dance-acrobatics research with Tom Weksler through Movement Archery & Zen Acrobatics. Matt’s workshops have been hosted in Tanshaus Zurich (Switzerland), Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance (Israel), Yizong Bagua Deustchland Cologne (Germany), Tripspace London (UK) He continues to teach internationally and is currently a guest teacher at Circomedia Contemporary Circus School. Matt’s physical practice is based in a deep enthusiasm for the contrast of soft and dynamic qualities required by the body for dance-acrobatics. Matt also holds a 1st class honours degree in Philosophy from the University of Durham, where his research included eastern and western conceptions of the mind-body connection.

The price for the weekend event is €150

Saturday 23rd Feb 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Sunday 24th Feb 11:00 am -4:00 pm

We understand that weekends are busy times and as a result, most are unable to commit to a whole weekend workshop. 
Due to numerous requests, we are delighted to offer the option of attending individual days. 
This way everyone who desires gets to experience what Matt has to offer. 

The price of a day workshop will be €75.

Saturday 23rd Feb 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Sunday 24th Feb 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

To book your place or for more information, you can contact us at or simply DM us here.

It's not about perfect. It's about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that's where transformation happens. That's how change occurs.

Please email for reservations and with any questions you may have.

Earlier Event: September 29
Taiji Qigong Workshop