Sunday, 24 October 2010


Best. Dog. Ever.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Just another youtube link...

Just a quick post showing another video, this time of a Lithuanian traceur called Tomas, demonstrating a high level of flow and control that I aspire to reach. One thing I especially liked about the video is the quantity and quality of flips; throughout these movements the flips don't interrupt flow and he continues to move after them allowing them to act as I believe they should, an expression of movement but not at the expense of control and continued movement. I usually am very focused on pure parkour and have yet to really begin training flips (although I will be doing so in the future) and yet seeing this inspires me to train my parkour as well as still being open to more. I think I see similarities in this video with my own (perceived) motion and style so gives a good view of how I may progress as time goes on.

Love the video Tomas, I look forward to seeing more in the future!

The rain

Like many days in England, today was a day filled with rain. Rainfall throughout the night left walls and rails slippery and potentially dangerous when I set out this morning and almost stopped me even leaving the house this morning. Thankfully I decided against giving in to my lazy side and instead still met with a friend and decided to show the areas near me as well as doing a bit more exploring. As is usually the case, I saw new things including several potential new routes and movements in areas I already was somewhat familiar with, and it reaffirmed the importance of exploration as well as the great diversity between the parkour eyes of different people.

During the day the rain had cleared so I set off out to the Vauxhall walls and after a nice warm up and some good feelings of flow a friend arrived (amongst a big crowd of people, great to see) just in time for rain to stop play. I decided again to take this as an opportunity to explore, the aim to be to find an area under cover or potential new spots for dry days.

After limited success we made a few discoveries, I now at least have a place to practice on rainy days movements such as: sizable precisions, finger grip traversing, very odd angled cat landings, miniature (so currently perfect for me) 360 precisions / anything between tiny parallel walls, and of course anything else I hope to do with the obstacles around.

Next time it rains, I'll still head out, even if just to explore. I've found that it's been helpful to see new things when purely viewing areas, even if it's just because of never being on the ground at certain points to see things from that angle, always choosing the route atop a wall or rail.

Despite saying all this, I very much still hope it doesn't rain tomorrow...

Thursday, 14 October 2010

'parkour' added to Oxford English Dictionary

'parkour' now has a place in the Oxford English Dictionary as it was included in the 16th September 2010 additions to the dictionary, along with 'free runner' and 'free running'.

Monday, 11 October 2010


One of my abs is currently in extreme pain, today was a very painful training session indeed!

Tomorrow: balance work.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

My next aim: split footed kong / cat pass

As people that know me may realise, my strongest point is definitely the power in my legs; I have a large, especially given the amount of time I've been training, standing precision (broad jump) due to it being one of my main focuses over the months since beginning parkour. This has paid off very well with this distance translating into higher available power for other moves such as wall runs, running jumps, and anything involving distance using my legs, and another reason why I'll continue to train hard jumping distance at points close to my limit.

An area I'm lacking in the skill to exploit this power and maintain flow is when attempting kongs over obstacles. I feel I'm at the limit of the distance I can attain from a kong because of being very limited by still performing the move with a double footed technique. Though trying in the past to split my feet for takeoff this has always amounted to performing a two footed take off with my feet mere centimetres apart, so my aim now is to work on my technique and get two footed kongs as a comfortable move in my repertoire upon which I can work on building distance to link to other moves across larger distances.

Over the coming weeks I will be focusing on this, and started to do so today. This has been at low speed and I feel I'm slowly getting into the swing of the motion, beginning to successfully be able to stride slowly and launch from a stride over the wall through my hands as a normal kong, bringing my legs together.

Time and practice will undoubtedly improve my technique, and working on different height walls with different run up conditions will increase my confidence so I can remove the barrier created by fear and inability to commit to the move at any great speed. In time I hope to be able to perform this move well, and amongst other things should be improving on this as the weeks go on.

The main purpose of this post is to serve as a reminder to my future self that I was once very limited by just two footed kongs and should serve as good motivation to continue training when I read this in a few months time reminded of the progress I have made, for I am positive I will succeed in working this technique and this should open up a whole new world of motion as my distance is vastly increased from a vault, as any reading I do on the subject implies that a kong is the best way to precisely and safely get large distance from a vault.

I'll try and keep posted on my progress in my kong, and my other general progress, including posts regarding moves and techniques that I am still UNABLE to do, to serve as a reminder to myself as an aim for my future self, as well as improving my sense of creativity around by still attempting to visualise that which I still am unable to do as well as those moves within my grasp.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Training without an amazing area (continued)

In the spirit of my last post, here is a video of Minh, a German freerunner, showing what can be done with just one rail demonstrating that even at a higher level things can be practiced in locations such as this:

How to train in areas without amazing spots

It's a common problem: the known and best training spots are miles away from your house or you're in a new area and don't have time to travel, and you're left in an area without a great place to train. Often on videos you see people commenting that they wish they "had places that good where they could train" but it doesn't have to be a problem.

When I was first starting out, I looked for areas near me and the place I ended up spending most time training was actually a lone low short wall which looked to have very little potential but still allowed me to work on controlling my landing to be as soft and quiet as possible on simple jumps as well as it being a good spot to test out my jump distance from a wall, aiming for random spots on the ground (my thought process usually along the lines of wanting to land as if balancing on 'that tiny black piece of dirt by that piece of rubbish lying on the floor') and although it wasn't as exciting as the amazing walls of vauxhall to practice these things, it still allowed me to practice and improve my control and overall intuition about the distance i can control my body with jumps and was definitely worthwhile.

What I now appreciate and would encourage others to do is to see the potential from any obstacle around them, even just flat ground gives the ability to practice rolls, aiming for set distance and landing, working distance in strides and single/plyometric two footed jumps, aiming for 180/360 precisions and a horde of other movements which all improve through practice. A single rail can open up practice for every type of vault, balance work, various spins, landings, take off, the list goes on. By practicing attempted to make use of every obstacle, not just practicing the movements themselves, one can improve their parkour vision, helping every other element of the traceur's ability.

There really is no such thing as a bad area to train, although admittedly many places lend themselves naturally to a series of movements with obstacles located at suitable distances apart to help train close to the limit and link a wide variety of moves.

What there definitely ISN'T is a place where it is impossible to train. Conditioning with the body alone can take place anywhere so even somewhere confined should never stop progress.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Injury and the return.

A few weeks ago I managed to land short on a landing and mess up my ankle (the "ankle thing") which meant I was out of training for weeks, during which time I found myself so busy with other things I avoided all training at all, including upper body strength, a particular weakness of mine. After these weeks away healing I was still unable to get back in to training due to commitments to studying outside my job and the weeks away were becoming more miserable without training, but now I'm finally back!

This week and my return to training has been beautiful and it's just been a brilliant feeling. On Monday, exams finished allowing me to have a 7 hour session (lots of aches and pains followed due to my forgetting to stretch), Tuesday involved training near me including new areas found in my eternal search for new spots within short distance from my house. Despite illness and lack of sleep last night I still managed some Parkour around various spots in the city and near my house, and this evening was the return of Thursday night training at South Bank, a regular fixture with some friends of mine. However, after the usual IMAX training and getting back into the swing of things and remembering the capabilities of my body... the ankle thing struck again.

A landing onto my toes onto a rail as it was getting dark led to a lot of pressure brought back the pain I was feared would return. I do worry that my ankle is in a damaged state and will take some months to heal but this time I won't let it get me down if it turns it out that tomorrow that the pain persists; my training will resume avoiding anything of high impact and still containing on my journey towards natural flow. The second day of Rendezvous this year for me was a similar situation to today and so I spent the afternoon hopping any exercise I could and focusing on improved control or single footed landings, because every situation is still potential training and it ended up being a fantastic session!

A quick reminder to myself that most of these injuries are minor setbacks in the grand scheme of things brings back my focus to the journey instead if the goal, and there will always be things to improve.

If I don't heal soon enough, look out for me working my balance or generally hopping around!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

I'm here / I'm back!

After a few weeks away due to injury and general life, I'm back to training! I hope to be starting some more serious training now and to be updating this blog with comments on my progress and general thoughts as I become more experienced and try new things!

I leave you with this: