Master Ong’s Flow Retreat also known as the MOPS Retreat was the first retreat put together by Marvin Ong and his family including his brother Elvin Ong, his mom, and his wife Jennifer Ong. It took place the weekend after LA Decompression, October 11th to October 13th, on a beautiful property called the Emerald Village located in Vista, CA.
This event was focused on improving your flow art skills with a bunch of different types of workshops offered from some of the best instructors from around the world. Even though I do a few props and tools, I intentionally wanted to focus on leveling up on my hoop skills. I really liked the hoop workshops I took from Gail O’Brien, Tiana Zoumer, and Caterina Suttin.
Just before departing to the event, I made anonymous positive flow related little letters to pass out to people, and on the back of each I encouraged the receiver to pass it on but mean it when they do. I hope this got around to many people even if it was after the end of the retreat. I hope this catches on and other people will want to do something like this. It just feels so great to put a smile on someone’s face.
This is what they looked like:
In the daytime, on a break in between workshops, I was having some fun with a friend. Keane Carlson and I did acro balancing for the first time! It was not his first time. He does this for a living. It was my first time. Honestly, I was a little scared at first, but I trusted my friend, and everything went smoothly.
Here are some fun photos:
There was fire spin jam at night, and here is a rare fire photo of me at the event taken by Omar Nazif:
After the fire spin jam was done at 2am Sunday, there was the renegade show. It was something I’ve never seen before. It was a bunch of known talented flow artists being called up to perform something but they will most likely add something silly and it won’t be a serious display of their skills. Heckling from the audience was encouraged, and it was such a hilarious show! I was laughing almost the whole time. It was worth staying up late for.
When it was Sunday afternoon, after all the workshops were done, something cool naturally happened. People are friendly and were just socializing, and some impromptu workshops and mini trick trading was going on.
Ryan Mellors had done an amazing mind boggling performance at the Gala Show the night before, and so he had an impromptu mini workshop on the rings he used in his performance.
I ended my day with learning and trading some hoop/double hoops tricks with my friend, Glen Paul, who was also the official videographer of the event.
I thought the event was a great success, and it was just what I needed to balance out the other festivals or events that I’ve been going to this year. I can’t wait for the next retreat hosted by Master Ong.