Your study guide for ATM lessons



  • From hands and knees with the knees crossed (Advancing on all fours (AY 528)), to lying on the side, and picking up the pelvis leaving the cheek on the floor (a strong twist reminiscent of Extending arms and knees (AY 527) but in a different orientation).
  • A challenging, 2 position lesson that starts lying on the back, reaching arms toward the ceiling, and then standing on hands & knees, legs crossed, and lowering pelvis left & right to the floor. By the end of the lesson, lying on back position and standing on hands & knees position are linked into one fluid rolling motion.

Lesson Outline

  1. [Reference Movement] Lie on back, legs wide and lift both arms in front toward the ceiling. Lengthen one arm at a time, alternating sides. Grow movement until pelvis rolls, one leg lengthens and the other knee bends.
  2. Lie on front and lift one knee at a time, alternating sides.
    1. Stand on hands and knees. Cross right knee behind left. Lower pelvis to the floor on the right side. Return by lifting head 1st, then pelvis.
    2. Return by lifting pelvis 1st, then head.
    3. Lower & lift just the pelvis, keeping head on floor.
  3. Same as #2 on other side.
  4. [Reference Movement]
    1. Notice arm rotating in socket & knees bending, one leg goes back (on the side that reaches).
    2. How are reference movement and hands & knees movement related?
  5. Lie on back & lengthen right arm and find how this position leads to the other.
  6. Stand on hands & knees, cross right knee behind left.
    1. Slide left hand between right arm & knee and lower head to floor.
    2. Lower pelvis to floor & roll to back with both arms toward ceiling.
    3. Reverse back to hands & knees
  7. [Reference Movement]
    1. Notice head goes back (as well as heel) as you lengthen arm.
  8. Same as #5 to other side [this time he talks you through movement].
    1. Lengthen left arm, left knee bends behind right knee, left heel goes back, head goes back & lifts off the floor as you roll.
    2. Stand left hand on floor, right hand slides under you also to standing.
    3. Continue roll by keeping knees bent close to torso, lift head and then pelvis to hands & knees position.
  9. [Reference Movement]
    1. Attend to shoulder blades.
    2. Allow legs to be completely passive and see how they move.
  10. Stand on hands and knees. Cross right knee behind left. Lower pelvis to the floor on the right side. Return, change crossing legs from behind & lower pelvis to left.
    1. Alternate sides, 1st slowly, then quickly.
    2. Find pace & timing.
    3. Change legs with a hop.
    4. Change legs from in front.
  11. [Reference Movement]

End of Lesson

Focus of Moshe’s Teaching

  • The theme here seems how to link lying on your back to rolling quickly to hands and knees, as if how to quickly recover from being knocked down by an attacker. He mentions how you must get up quickly if someone attacks you in a fight.
  • He talks about the “correct” way of doing something is the most useful or efficient way.
  • He also gives leeway to the students that already understand the movement and want to experiment with different ways of lowering and lifting the pelvis.

This is the source for his well-known quote:

“When you know what you are doing, you can do what you want. If you do not know what you are doing, you cannot do what you want.”

Related ATMs


Reaching like a skeleton:

Rolling with knees crossed:



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  • Differing viewpoints are welcome and desired!
  • Within the lesson itself, it does not explicitly say “cross” one knee behind the other. He says position one knee behind the other. The word cross only shows up in the title. This may be due to translation. However, how I understood it, I first did the entire lesson with parallel legs, just positioning one knee further back behind the other, and not crossing. The lesson was less challenging, yet still communicates the coordination and softness in the ribs nedded to move the pelvis left & right. So, this is a viable accommodation if crossing legs is not possible or comfortable. ~Anita Bueno

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