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JKD UnderGround >> Parkour


7/17/09 9:27 AM
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twinkletoesCT
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Hi All,

We're in the process of adding Parkour training to the plethora of things going on at my gym, and I wondered if any of you have experience with it.

I only learned of its distinct identity (as opposed to, say Freerunning, which I'd seen much more of) fairly recently. Upon much research, review, reflection, and discussion with some friends who are experienced at it, I find it awesome.

My own personal interest is for fun, and a way of developing some great physical and mental attributes, BUT I wonder about the following:

Is Parkour (or training along those lines) a necessary component of self-defense training?

It seems to me that it might play a role.

Discuss. :)

~Chris
7/17/09 9:30 AM
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twinkletoesCT
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This video wasn't available for embedding, but I think it's a good, quick summary of Parkour, for the unfamiliar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxxo7gbVrxc
7/17/09 11:01 AM
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Joe Maffei
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Chris U R right on with regards to

"Is Parkour (or training along those lines) a necessary component of self-defense training"

Most folks on this forum or the other forums are so hung up on the fighting ( technique) etc. And have no regard or appreciation for concealment or evasion concepts.

Self-defense means protecting oneself from, predators, starvation, dehydration, the elements and so fourth.

IMHO adding Parkour to your program is EXCELLENT. Having combative skills is very important as a last resort, but there are many other aspects to self-defense that precede combat. In a self reliant situation you must avoid any risk of injury at all costs and the skills of Parkour will add to escape and evasion.

Just my 2 cents.
Good luck with the program.

J.M.
7/18/09 12:19 AM
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John Frankl
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 I think it's a great addition. Running, gymnsastics, and obstacle courses are 3 great ways to train the body and mind. Combining them is even better and more fun.
 
J
7/21/09 11:20 PM
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BEEF & CHEESE
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Great training for SD and general fitness imo. Not necessary, but a great addition.
7/30/09 10:28 PM
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twinkletoesCT
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JiujitsuForeva - Parkour sounds awesome, but only if you are young and hardy. I am amazed at what some parkourists (?) can do!


I bet somewhere, there are Parkour people saying this about BJJ :)
8/1/09 6:20 AM
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laqueus
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I've been thinking this for a while. I'm working on marathons right now, once I start handling those well I'm going to look into Parkour. If I were seriously concerned about having to defend myself I'd do the order the other way around, but I don't train MA for self defense purposes since avoiding places where people get drunk seems to have me covered.
8/1/09 9:45 PM
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John Frankl
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 Parkour, like all types of training, can and should be scaled to the individual.

We don't begin lifting weights with the pounds that Olympic athletes are using. Sometimes we can barely handle an empty bar.  Same goes for stepping into a boxing gym, etc.

As for running marathons, laqueus, just wondering what your motivations are? It seems an event that is incredibly hard on the body, takes up a lot of time/energy, and gives very minimal returns in terms of fitness.

J
8/4/09 6:40 PM
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laqueus
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A friend of mine was training for it. She's got a shorter left leg and ended up getting a bad case of shin splints that affected her ability to train for it. I decided to run it with her to support her. It was incredibly painful and it royally kicked my ass, so I want to come back and finish a marathon with a good time and be able to walk normally afterward.
8/4/09 8:06 PM
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Stephan Kesting
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I think it's great, so long as you also teach all the martial arts applications of the parkour moves (as seen in the documentary "District 13," for example)

;-)
8/4/09 10:53 PM
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twinkletoesCT
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One of my students is experienced in Parkour, and he'll be running the program.

I told him we'll work it into JKD class, using combos like "eye jab, groin kick, run away, speed vault, wall run" He popped a huge grin and told me he hadn't even considered its integration with our other stuff.

We're already integrating it a little with out Kettlebell and Crossfit training. Last night my wife learned to (successfully and consistently) Monkey Vault. She's very excited.
8/5/09 12:40 AM
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Stephan Kesting
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 Yes, but have you seen District 13 (or 'District B13' depending on the release)?

One of the best martial arts movies I've seen in years, tons of parkour and it's french!  Took me totally by surprise...
9/16/09 10:12 AM
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twinkletoesCT
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I saw it, and the Parkour scenes were AWESOME.


Five of us went down to Washington DC this past weekend to train Parkour with "The Tribe", the premier Parkour group in North America. WOW. I have lots of work to do!

I totally see a role for this training, both from a "self-defense perspective", and also as a source of conditioning. The emphasis on running, jumping, and climbing is fantastic, as well as the crossover in specific movements between this and BJJ. AWESOMENESS.

Makes me happy I just built that rock climbing wall at the gym :)
1/5/10 12:02 PM
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MasterDebater
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how did you start? I see where people are at and I am intimidated and overwhelmed. Where does a guy start?

What did you do to get yourself started? what would you recommend for basic movements to someone just getting started?
1/5/10 2:13 PM
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twinkletoesCT
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I got started with my day of training in DC with The Tribe, and then I've been training with my guy (who is now running a full-out 4-day-a-week Parkour program at my gym). We've built a few dozen precision jump trainers of all different sizes, some balance beams, some pullups bars, three vaults (30", 36", 48"), and three large boxes to climb up and onto (4', 6', 8').

There is a core of fundamental techniques, just like most martial arts. They revolve around running, jumping, and climbing skills.

First, learn to land. Learn to land safely in a way that is healthy for your knees and ankles. Practice this in massive amounts just by jumping and landing. Then move to landing on something narrow. Practice jumping onto it from all kinds of angles.

Here's the progression I've been following. I don't care about the tricking and craziness, I just want the practical skills. I've been trying to "master" the following basics:
  • Proper Landing
  • Proper Landing with roll
  • Precision Jump
  • Safety vault (both sides)
  • Speed vault (both sides)
  • Lazy vault (both sides)
  • Wall Run
  • Cat Leap
  • Quadripedal movement (QM) forwards/backwards
  • QM - ape step
  • QM variations
  • Underbar
  • Spiral Underbar
The only basic I'm holding off on is Monkey vault, and that's only because I worked through some progressions and found that I'm not jumping high enough to hit the MV consistently.  So I'm putting that on the back burner until I feel solid with all the other basic skills. 

As soon as possible, put the basics into combinations.  This will help you to develop "flow".  Sound familiar? :)

I also recommend checking out this DVD:
http://www.americanparkour.com/component/page,shop.product_details/flypage,shop.flypage/product_id,12/category_id,6/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,154/
1/8/10 4:15 PM
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alvo69
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 Me+Parkour= just dial 911 now please, as I don't think it (insert any/all body part) is supposed to bend that way.....  It looks like a blast though. The crash and burns are epic.
1/8/10 6:12 PM
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SidRon
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I love what you are doing integrating parkour into a self defense program. Escaping and evading are even more valuable than fighting in my opinion as it is probably the only valid option against multiple attackers.

P.S. Don't forget Jacky Chan's work in his breakout USA hit "Rumble in the Bronx" I think this was the first movie I saw with alot of parkour skills in it.
1/8/10 6:54 PM
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MasterDebater
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twinkletoesCT - I got started with my day of training in DC with The Tribe, and then I've been training with my guy (who is now running a full-out 4-day-a-week Parkour program at my gym). We've built a few dozen precision jump trainers of all different sizes, some balance beams, some pullups bars, three vaults (30", 36", 48"), and three large boxes to climb up and onto (4', 6', 8').

There is a core of fundamental techniques, just like most martial arts. They revolve around running, jumping, and climbing skills.

First, learn to land. Learn to land safely in a way that is healthy for your knees and ankles. Practice this in massive amounts just by jumping and landing. Then move to landing on something narrow. Practice jumping onto it from all kinds of angles.

Here's the progression I've been following. I don't care about the tricking and craziness, I just want the practical skills. I've been trying to "master" the following basics: Proper Landing Proper Landing with roll Precision Jump Safety vault (both sides) Speed vault (both sides) Lazy vault (both sides) Wall Run Cat Leap Quadripedal movement (QM) forwards/backwards QM - ape step QM variations Underbar Spiral UnderbarThe only basic I'm holding off on is Monkey vault, and that's only because I worked through some progressions and found that I'm not jumping high enough to hit the MV consistently.  So I'm putting that on the back burner until I feel solid with all the other basic skills. 

As soon as possible, put the basics into combinations.  This will help you to develop "flow".  Sound familiar? :)

I also recommend checking out this DVD:
http://www.americanparkour.com/component/page,shop.product_details/flypage,shop.flypage/product_id,12/category_id,6/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,154/


That's exactly what I am after- the practical skills. I am hoping that once I get good at that the other stuff will follow.
Thanks for the pointers! Any further specifics would be greatly appreciated. Like what is a safety vault? speed vault?
1/9/10 10:01 AM
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twinkletoesCT
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You can find a lot of tutorials on americanparkour.com (Menu: Learn: Tutorials) or on Youtube, actually. The link I posted in the second post here is a good place for general info (it won't let me embed), and there is a ton on americanparkour's site.

After that, find yourself a good coach! I know most people would say "go try it", but I too wanted a safe, dependable progression. I'm not 18 anymore, and I don't want any injuries.
1/9/10 4:43 PM
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MasterDebater
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I am in Northern Canada(Edmonton, Alberta-gateway to the Canadian North).
Parkour hasn't caught on here yet. thanks for the hook-up on the website-much appreciated.
1/16/10 8:13 AM
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RobbieH
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Edited: 01/16/10 8:16 AM
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 It's very cool.. but it's not something everyone can do IMO, unlike BJJ or other Martial Arts which can be tailored to fit anyone. But it should be fun for the younger in shape crowd and kids, and would be a useful skill for those who can do it.
1/16/10 9:08 PM
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laqueus
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Why can't it be tailored to fit anyone? Sure, Kyle Maynard couldn't do parkour and can do BJJ, but anyone with two arms, two legs and some mobility can do parkour. Maybe not the insane stuff, but parkour can be as simple as running and jumping over railings. You go the fastest route possible that you can handle, so given that philosophy, an 80 year old who can jog can do parkour, it just wouldn't look all that different from regular jogging.
1/16/10 9:21 PM
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twinkletoesCT
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I agree with Laques. One of the recent discussions around my place is "what is the minimum fitness level to do parkour?" I think it's less restrictive than, say, BJJ...which is saying a lot, because I agree that pretty much everyone can train BJJ.

Our standard for parkour has been this: if you can run 50 feet (not sprint, just run), you can do parkour. (I'm excluding the tricking--just talking about strict Parkour). It also helps if you can jump (on 1 foot or on 2 feet), and if you can climb. A pullup or two is nice, but not required.

From there, a good coach can do the rest. :)
1/17/10 8:24 PM
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laqueus
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It might just help to call it free running. You can choose whether to jog or sprint. Whether to stay on the path or off. Whether to climb something or run around it. Parkour does have this notion with basically maintaining a sprint no matter what the obstacle.
1/17/10 8:41 PM
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twinkletoesCT
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Free-running implies tricking--it's more about "expression" than the original parkour, which was about efficient, adaptive movement. But yeah, Parkour still follows the "run like someone's chasing you" mentality of moving through your environment.

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