Rafa spent his childhood and part of his youth in the north of Spain between forests and mountains. He spent a lot of time exploring and learning to move around and integrate with nature, understanding it as his true home. He later studied in chemical sciences, always alternating his schoolwork with a multitude of sports such as climbing, basketball, mountaineering, mountain biking, hunting, kickboxing, Aikido, and natural wilderness skills like bow hunting, bushcraft and tracking.
After a few years in Madrid, tired of the ‘zombie lifestyle’, numbed by the stress, routine and sedentary lifestyle of a computer job, Rafa decided to pursue another career and life. This change was accelerated rapidly when he was in a near-death motorcycle accident that left him in the intensive care unit for nine days, pinned to a bed. His future was uncertain when he then was tied to a wheelchair.
After several operations, 15 broken ribs, 2 lung perforations, a broken clavicle and scapula, and three vertebrae with 6 screws and 2 plates in the spine, it would take Rafa almost four months to learn to walk again and one year to recover. This moment in his life was a point of no return that made him realize his endless hours of rehabilitation, the futility of his life, and his “training” with traditional sports. He felt as if something had gone wrong and was still failing because recovery was slow and painful. And with an uncertain future, he began extensive exploring, learning, meeting, and getting certified with some of the best movers from all over the world (which included meeting Mike Fitch, Erwan Le Corre, Ido Portal, Hunter Cook, Joe De Sena, Joseph Bartz, Fran Forecich, Gray Cook, Tom Wreskler, Lee Saxby, and Kelly Starrett.
After his recovery, he founded Entrenamiento Natural, “Real and Pure Movement Specialists”, a movement laboratory where R10Method is offered as a non-conventional training from real movement experts to real humans. Amongst the company’s many educational offerings, they manage the Animal Flow program throughout Spain. They implement advanced mobility coaching with Functional Range Conditioning (FRC) and Kinstretch, using them as key to unlock real capabilities to move free and efficient. Rafa is also president of the Barefoot Running Society and offers coaching for barefoot runners as a BTR and Vivobarefoot coach. Rafa made it his purpose to apply the hard work to his own life so he could best demonstrate and train his students.
“I learned how to rehabilitate myself and focus on my ability to move from scratch. That is why I understand anyone who suffers an injury, who does not know how or why some part of their body does not work. I know first hand that feeling and I also know which resource and strategy to use in order to begin the healing process.” His experience in the world of movement, especially from an evolutionary and adaptive point of view, and his practical approach to training, is the fruit of his personal path since childhood.
He is passionate about teaching others what they can achieve with the movement of their body and the proper training and how to be happy and healthy in their body. He wants everyone to know how to be real humans, move and behave like such – to win races, climb mountains, swim in rivers, cut down trees, or protect your loved ones.
As Master Instructor since 2015, Rafa promotes Animal Flow as the “movement revolution” and believes that functional movement is an incredibly valuable component of individual physical fitness. He believes that you must win and regain control of movement, before lifting weight or running far. It is the basis of a much more complex and demanding exercise than people think.
“Animal Flow gives you the tools and the context to use your body with intention, with skill, to offer you a fun, sensory, and challenging workout. It is about control, mastery of your body, balance, dynamism, and the use of power and mobility in its purest form. Animal Flow is different. The brain loves the challenge, reconnection and the opportunity to use your body with intention and detail.
Rafa expects that all of his students should be able to evolve in their movement project, based on health, mobility, strength, and skills. “It is a privilege to be able to teach health professionals such as physiotherapists and doctors; of art, such as dance, theater, personal trainers, Olympians, yoga teachers, Pilates, circus, and skills training in Special Operations Groups and special forces in tactical environments.”
He extends his teaching beyond movement– the goal is to not only improve and mobilize their body but to also enhance their confidence and to change their lifestyle. Rafa’s wish is to inspire his students to be fully alive in their bodies and in their life.
“You are not going to be in this world forever, so don’t waste your time. Train for real life, but you have to live the real life, not just train for it. Change your lifestyle: feel, move, explore. take risks and get dirty. Feel free and flow. Do not hesitate to be strong, to be useful, to be smarter, to be able to move more, move well, move real“.
Today, you can find Rafa Diez throughout Spain, and traveling continuously as an instructor, examiner, and disseminator in courses, events, and conferences around the world. When he is not giving courses or teaching how to run barefoot, climb, jump, fall, track, fight, balance, lift strange objects, climb ropes and branches, modify the hormonal response or stress management, … you can try to find him in the forest re-inventing, testing itself, feeling, chopping wood, going up a river, hunting, running and climbing… as every real human being should.
Qualifications & Certifications
- Movnat Spain Founder
- Movnat Entrenamiento Natural Master Instructor
- Spartan Race X Coach
- Movnat Certificate Trainer
- Barefoot Runners Society Spain President
- Vivobarefoot barefoot running Coach
- Born to Run Coach
- Chemistry degree
- Nutritionist Master
- CPR & AED Certified
- Animal Flow Master Instructor 2015