Wednesday, November 19, 2008

19th November '08 - Experience within Parkour

"Experience within Parkour" [or other movement areas]

[[ This was taken from one of my "journal" type books where I write down realisations within Training and life to them be written up and worked on for my blog/hopefully a book of sorts in the near future, I've reblogged this as it was added to the end of an old blog and difficult to find, so, for reference and easy viewing I've re-added it here.]] ENJOY


Experience is important and starts from birth, and is a process of life, learning from what is around us, and inside us, through conscious and subconscious thought, and through the natural process of the mind, remembering and creating memories of lived experiences.


Through conscious thought and effort we can understand these experiences, and use them to benefit us on many different levels; spiritually, morally, practically and on other aspects of training within ones' life.

Parkour and life adopts these principles as a part of everyday life, using these experiences within our lives as lessons, in which we can learn and grow from, bettering ourselves and moving onwards 'up the mountain path' (I love the mountain analogy if you didn't notice :-p).

In specific relation to Parkour, experience plays a large role on the conscious and subconscious actions we have, are, and may take while practicing and moving. For example, a new arm jump situation to you, roughly a 6ft gap, and standing at the edge of the wall take off, the landing ledge comes up to around chest height.--The Arm jump movement is within your ability. How do you know this? (Obviously, if at that ability currently).

Past experiences flash into our minds, thinking of Arm Jumps previously practiced or seen, many at first are in our mind from our (hopefully) vast experience practicing, then our minds eliminate those which do not match the criteria, of distance and height, or perhaps making the whole environment up in our minds.- Past experience allows us to make calculated decisions based on past decisions, choices, events, and their outcomes, whether they were productive or unproductive, or; of course, the shades of grey in between those two factors.

Again, using the example of the above described Arm Jump. This may have been practiced 2 minutes, 2 weeks or 2 years ago, in [insert location here]. When practicing the movement we take conscious and subconscious information about the movement, both small and large lessons being learnt singularly or at the same time, this could include, as an example, how the [landing] wall looked and felt, how the shoe type you are wearing (if any) reacted, did it slip, grip too much?, what kind of strain the size of the Arm Jump put on your arms and body.... The list goes on...

The important lesson to take from this is understanding and focusing your attention on certain areas of the movement in order to take in as much detailed information through the whole movement, feeling through all senses and taking in as much useful information as possible to make a more informed; safe, and effective decisions on future practices, and disregarding the information which, in all probability, will not make a difference to your movement. Of course, to be aware is a vital skill when practicing in the uncontrollable world around us. Yes, the bird sitting nearby could fly up and get in your way while executing a movement, so be aware and ready if that should happen, but the woman 50 meters away watching you, smoking a cigarette during her lunch break, with blonde hair and pink shoes etc; probably won't make that much difference in the movement which may happen in only a few moments.

Use selective attention to enable what you should be aware of and what can be put aside in your field of awareness (this is discussed in the Process of movement in an earlier blog [LINK HERE]).

As someone who aims to be useful, what we take in should enrich and benefit us, leading to future benefits and progression. Different amounts of focus and areas of attention should be employed for whatever areas you personally wish to improve and learn on, maybe landings, take offs, or any vast variables of the movement or within life.For beginners you should repeat many times and take in as much information as possible, with time and practice you can eliminate areas you find not to be useful in your individual training. All of this contributes to aid possible future situations and movements.A Warning: Please Bear in mind that although past experience CAN be a valuable tool in your training, do not solely rely on it. To do so is complacent and may lead to serious injury or a poor decision in life.

In Summary:

Use the movements in everyday life to learn from and grow from, whether it be walking up the stairs, or making a new precision jump. The information we can consciously take in, through selective attention, and subconsciously attain through the senses, and kineasthesis, can and will naturally be used to judge and react to future situations through practice and life. With conscious thought on these natural processes, we can make great leaps forward (no pun intended) in the areas or sensitivity, mental, physical and spatial awareness, posture and general understanding of who we are and what the important factors around us are, to incorporate and improve on to make us better people, Traceurs or whatever you call yourself.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

8th of November 2008 - The underlying practice.

Below is a post I posted on Parkour Generation's forums, however, I wanted to share it with my friend's and to all who are wanting to better themselves in life. Reading it I hope you realise it's simplicity but truth and can use it to open your eyes to knowing yourself, and lviing life more effectivly and fully. It touches on points raised before, but I feel this post was written more conssicely and has batter carry through to all, as oposed to those who practice sports and Parkour:

---


Movement is essential for life, our hearts move and pump by their nature in order to displace blood to our muscles and enable a larger movement.

My goals change with realisations I encounter in life and it's practice; so, this in an ongoing "statement" or whatever you'd like to call it.

I practice to be strong and useful in order to be able to act and help others when in need. I believe in practicing all aspects of life in order to gain a better understanding of self to better help and relate my experiences to others to benefit them within their lives should they desire my help.Without a good personal understanding of ability, knowledge and experience, I feel you can help people only on a minimal level.

"Time" - We will never get any time we 'spend' back, nor can we predict the future. Sure we can make realistic assumptions based on current situations and using the experience we have gathered to make an realistic guess. However, we do not know for sure and that fact should always be remembered. No matter how many times we practice that cat pass and climb up on that same wall, no matter how many times we ask a stranger for a time or go to sleep.

NEVER will these event/situations be the same.

Every moment is unique and so, we should be paying attention to all aspects of the moment in hand, if we open out awareness up to the NOW, understanding how you can be using that time constructivly and living it as safely, effectivly and efficiently as possible, then you are LIVING, in my opinion. Here and Now.

I aim to practice everything I need to do in life, whether it be vault a rail to get to work, or spend my time "socialising", it is all practice.We each have to ask and answer, our own individual "Why?"-questions to gain a decent understaning of where we are, who we are, and what we wish to do.

In relation to Parkour and movement, I understand, the Potential importance of Parkours movements, to run, hunt chase, and help; but in essence.. how often will these skills be used and employed for a real need? True we do not know, but in my life, I feel it more important to practice the things, currently I am needing to be able to do to progress in everyday life; As a Youth Worker, it's important for me to recall my experiences and apply them to things Young people are going through to benefit them, through that I also need to make sure my body language is open and firendly, coupled with being able to talk concisely and efficiently.

Regarding sport specific practice, for an athlete who's JOB it is to be better at their practice they shoud, but for Traceurs, to LIVE effectivly, surely we should practice life, to get better at it?

Find what you need to do, and practice it, get better everyday.... to which I recall Martin Lauther King Jr's great quote,

"If a man is to be called a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry, He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, "Here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well."

I practice Parkour within my life, and I practice life with the morals of Parkour in mind, Safety, effectiveness, effeciency, to devote my time to others, as to me, that's the most amazing thing you can do with your life, and with the time you will never reclaim.Brad

Monday, October 13, 2008

24th October '08 - Changing Winds.

Well, I'm back home and back into my old job and old routines... well, some. :-)

Coming back home to an old lifestyle is dificult when you've been spending months adapting to a new one in a different country, with different people, different cultures, different locations. I was happy to be back and seeing people I missed but it was hard getting back into the swing of 'training', as free time was allocated to other things and getting settled. Only over the past week have I been getting out, but I've been questioning what I'm doing both 'out training' and training in life; and so, this blog is a little bit about that and how our mentalities and relationships to training differs.

I was out training with Oli on Friday, I'd been out a few times before hand with numerous people getting back to grips with my terrain and movement training within it. Friday however was a real conundrum, before I went out with Oli, I was training solo; I went out to regular spots, had a fun little play and gentle movement warm up, working on movements in some spaces that I'd not thought of or practiced before, but still unable to gain a decent level of awareness, noticing I'm more conscious of those around me and how they are perceiving what I'm doing, which was very unusual. I dis care in the past and had other in mind at all times, but now I was worried what they thought Even though I was doing nothing wrong. Maybe it was a matter of not training alone much recently, maybe it's being back in a country that is more opinionated and vocal about it... I'm unsure, however my feelings are an uncertainty in what I'm doing and the areas I'm training, but movements, ideals and locations.

I was planning to go back to Rochford from Southend in order to work there and get used to training 'at home' before venturing to Southend, but Oli called and we met up and started training down by the seafront.

(I'm aware there's a lot of "I"'s in this part, please bear with me, we're getting there!)

We were talking about our training and "Parkour" as a practice, Oli mentioned he feels he's learnt more beneficial things in Judo than Parkour, I disagreed on my training and the time I've spent in Parkour has been the most beneficial guide in my life and I truly believe I'd be in a dark place without it. My movements, and ideals for training has changed an awful lot this year, from setting challenges such as cold showers, no meat, no eating, and things, I was asking the question how have these things truly benefitted me? What have I learned? I HAVE indeed learnt things, but the process is in vain when I change my diet, but the rest of it is lacking.... lack of concentration or awareness to catch myself while doing it. However I feel that time has changed.

Further on, we were talking about books and nutrition, areas that we needed to discuss and figure out, so I'm going to list the key points and rules I've laid down for myself and my training that I feel are important to my well being and development in life, working with Parkour and practicing functional movement within my own personal practices.

1. Fixing the excuses.

I've noticed in life, we all make excuses for all sorts of things in life, not doing homework, not tidying up after ourselves, not training today, not going that extra yard, not putting in that extra little bit of training, having a break and eating that chocolate bar... But what good are they? If you really want to better yourself or do something, just do it, know the actions and consequences but do what you need to be doing. In (parkour) training I notice myself making up excuses, I'm too tired, not today, I want to act and become a master of action rather than words, and to do that, put your words and mind aside and do what needs to be done. Last night out training with Mike and Ant, I was working on the sitting bar, drop-back leg swing, hands to bar (the last thing on my new york video), first of all I didn't want to becuase it was scary, but I know I can, so I did, in the setting sun, made a few mistakes but got up and practiced what I needed to. Our excuses are no good and I finally see that lesson from my reading and now, own life experiences.

There's always the but it seems, I now aim to see why, see it, and then fix it.

2. Diet and Nutrition.

Okay, March this year I decided to stop eating meat, I realised I've never been through a period in my life where I've not eaten meat so I stopped, my diet around that definatly improved and all so from reading my body type is more acustomed to vegetenarianism, I still eat fish on occasion, not regularly though. Point being although diet had improved, it still wasn't good enough... If I can take meat away surely I can cut out the rest of the non beneficial foods and keep eating natural foods, and only that which will benefit me. Eat what I need, eat small amounts regulalry through the day, eat only that which will benefit my body, for growth, repair, and sustaining energy.

3. Areas of Training.

I am looking into 'simple' natural and practical ways of testing my body, mind and spirit, in the eonvironemnts, I've done this in the past with fasting, cold water, etc, but I'm going to continue this at a regular occurance with things like swimming in the sea regulalrly over winter,d ealing with cold water and practicing swimming, only my own means of transport (foot or bike) and as of 2009, I am beginning my "Year of Barefoot". I spent a fair bit of time being barefoot and I noticed a lack in knee/ankle problems, along with greater jumping, sensitivity (OBV). I've got a slackline on the way which I'll be exercising on and conditioning my legs and hopefully the balance training will generally lead to great sensitivity and balance. I'll also be continuing decent, varied and difficult exercises strengthening upper and lower body along with my will through cardio in both running and swimming (When I can get in the sea with all the tattoos I keep adding).

The Past few days has opened up my awareness and I'm catching myself as my actions and movements and actions are becoming too routine and controlled by instinct rather than within my control, in the choices I make and how I relate to the changing world around me, I'm working on keeping this through fully immersing myself in continual progression in my behaviours and actions.

A reminder, again from the one book which has made the biggest difference in my life "WISDOM IS DOING"

So yeah really, again this blog took ages to write, been busy with the British Parkour Coaching Association had a meeting in Crawley and got some really excited stuff sorted with Jason Matten, Liv Rowlands and David Sedgley, including a real first in the community which will be on the way early 2009!

Having read Eliot's and jin's blog posts, found (HERE FOR JIN'S) and (HERE FOR ELIOT'S) and it seems to me that we are going through one and the same thing, it's really interesting, that although we keep in moderate contact, go our own ways, do our own training in our personal areas, we are all one and the same and generally united through beliefs and mentalities.

Next post, I'll try to include some more of my writings about Parkour and my takes on training, and hopefully I'll be able to get it written and posted in one day not a week or two!

Happy training, and yes Jin, we do need to meet up! Always welcome to stay down here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

August 26th 08': Flying Forward

Well it HAS been a while since I've posted anything, and I feel it's for a valid reason, practically no Internet access and working my ass off at camp! So yeah, gonna post up my thoughts, history and realisations over the past few months.


Island Lake Sports and Arts Camp 2008


So, the time came around after working hard in the UK, for just over a month, working every single day doing 3 different jobs in order to make sure I had enough money to pay for fees and travel America, June 12th 2008 came around and it was time to fly to JFK Airport in New York City and start almost 3 months of a new job, experience, and opportunity to learn. June 13th I arrived at camp to some who had been before, some newbies and some who arrived the same day as me.

Generally the whole story of camp is a long one, best explained within the pictures I've collected as the days have gone by, you can see these photos here:

Counselor Orientation


Island Lake 2008 Folder 1


Island Lake 2008 Folder 2


Island Lake 2008 Folder 3


I would like to say thanks to all of my friends from camp, as well a Doug, Kim, Nate and Darren from Circus for helping me learn so much and to the kids for making me laugh even when I was down on a rare occasion. The camp truly had an amazing atmosphere about it, it was said at the start of camp and I truly felt it at the end. Saying goodbye to the friends I had made and spent so many good times was very hard and I could not hold back my tears as we said goodbye. Thank you for everything! See you again next year!


Realisations at Camp; Parkour, Circus, Movement and Life.

Well, at camp I was fully immersed within the Circus environment. Parkour and the movements that contribute to the practice, were still practiced and used on occasion, but I felt it important to work on the areas of movement I needed to develop for work and to teach others while at camp. I worked with focus on Flying Trapeze, Catching, Russian swing, Teeter Board, Quartet and Mini Tramp as well as pulling safety lines for all those which need them.

Parkour as I practice it at home wasn't applicable to camp life due to the sheer amount of work with the department and campers. So I learnt many BRAND NEW things and I have no doubt in my mind that the Parkour and years of training I've put in have helped me learn these movements much quicker through understanding of my body and abilities.


While at camp I've been reading "Body Mind Mastery" by Dan Millman, which is a spiritual/sports psychology book, discussing life and sport, coupled with "Eat Right For Your Type" by Dr Peter J. D'Adamo. While practicing circus and movement, along with (since February) my non meat trainings, many of the realisations I was experiencing were being reiterated within the books.

In body and movement terms, lessons included:

  • Stages of practice and learning while learning new areas of movement;


  • Realisations of improvement and demanding higher performance from self


  • Confidence and faith within my individual abilities


  • The importance and beauty in increased flexibility


In diet:



  • Our body is it's own teacher, and Will naturally choose what it needs if you listen to the natural urges.


  • Taking what's natural and as much as possible, untouched by chemicals, additives etc.

  • Things that you'd think are good for you, may not be in relation to blood type and how your body reacts to parts within the foods.

(Regarding diet and blood type, it is something I will be trying out and I will post more about it in a few months once it has been followed strictly and update you on my process).


Camp also allowed me to develop the area of life I feel that needs the most of my attention, service to others. Camp is a difficult environment to work in, when you are at camp, generally you are always on duty, rest is minimal apart from on a day off, however the work I've been doing before camp has definatly helped me push through the tiredness, problems, difficulties faced when putting others before yourself. Yes there were times when I didn't want to do things, but that's the time you need to work harder through it. It's the same in our training within Parkour, should we feel tired and achy, train as much as you can, as the days you are feeling better and happier you're going to enjoy it more and have improved from the "off day".


Camp has helped me see many strengths, and many weaknesses to improve on, Traceurs and those who wish to gain a better understanding about themselves and what they can do to improve themselves and possibly work harder than they've ever worked before, check out doing a summer camp.


Also at camp I managed to get Parkour to be taught by myself. I had a good and large group of young people who enjoyed working hard for the 2nd Session, working on conditioning, and gradually a few vaults. 3rd Session was a smaller but generally older group, we worked on running first, and creating an understanding of the body through 'warming up' and fun challenges to test themselves, which involved a dodgeball game variation. I'm beginning to ask more questions on my methods for training the body in relation to Parkour, I mean the movements are important, but as has been said before, the 'being chased' scenario is, in fact, rare, and currently I'm creating the conclusion that learning more about yourself is paramount, learning in a fun, challenging, and active way, building things up VERY slowly and allowing the room for personal, albeit supervised and guided, development. Of course before, my thoughts being solely for Parkour, conditioning and understanding before movement but this is slightly different, the Parkour 'techniques' Incorporated within a broader range of skills.


Post Camp Travelling: NEW YORK CITY.


Wednesday 20th August, saw my arrival to New York City from camp. First night I was staying with Alec and his family in his apartment. BIG THANKS TO YOU ALL. Next day I was training with the local New York Parkour practitioners. It was a great day in both weather and training and thanks to everyone for coming. That evening I got all my bags taken down to Jamaica in queens where I would spend a week training and living with Mike (pyro). We had a great day in Long Island, training with more locals as well as numerous times in NYC and with varying people and numerous locations.


Personally, this week has been a chance to get used to 'civilization' and getting into a more regualr pattern in regards to training, as at camp it was haphazard and many outside factors affecting my training. I'm now beginning to get my head around what areas need real improvement, all of which are about balancing my body. Now it's just a matter of motivation and carrying through on this difficult and frankly, 'make or break' part of my training in life. Let's see how it goes. Last day of training in NY tomorrow and it's far too late! time to sleep!


Til next time! Safe journeys


Brad

Sunday, May 25, 2008

25th May '08: "Brad In a Box."

Had to write a statement for the www.tracehq.com overhaul which will be up and live VERY shortly, I've had many people asking where I;m from and how long I've been practicing so here's a very short version of my Parkour journey.

"The beginning on my journey through Parkour nd movement began in early 2005 where after watching Jump Britain, was convinced to work on Parkour a little more thoroughly, from a background of skateboarding. I loved skateboarding but found myself being very aggressive while practicing, Parkour gave me peace and a competition free 'arena' to move within. I thought Parkour was about jumping and doing big things, and for around a year and a half I continued in this way, training semi regularly and just doing things for the sake of doing them. After the beginning of meeting people who had been training for longer I realised the importance of physical training and acquiring and surpassing the strength for the movements I was working on, and so physical conditioning and new training methods were Incorporated.

I say I started and discovered Parkour Late 2006, Training around London on my own and movement took a hold of me, everything I was doing flowed and difficult and 'unconventional' movements felt normal and flowed through me. So from Around Nov 2006 I say I started practicing Parkour. Through this acquired albeit limited understanding of movement and training, I searched for methods and guidance for living more constructively through life. Through reading and training physically I developed a mentality of training through everything, be it walking, sitting or interacting with others. We can all learn so much from the adversity in our lives, and opening our awareness enables us to do this. So my thoughts are life and 'Parkour' are interchangeable, I live by learning, to better myself so I can better help other people. The time we have is precious and we will never get another second back, nor will we relive any moment exactly the same, so to spend our time on helping others is the most amazing thing we can do with our time and lives."

Anyways, only a short update as I;'ve been and still am pretty busy, working my ass off for America of which I leave to in about...... 18 days now! CANNOT WAIT! For those who do not know, heading to Island Lake Sports and Arts Camp to teach Parkour and learn/work on the circus program! I;ve been working 3 part time jobs in order to get cash for the trip and possible travelling and living afterwards for a month.

Anyways gonna leave it as that. Will try to write something up before I go away!

Happy training enjoy your summer!

Bradley

Monday, April 07, 2008

11th April: Another perspective.

After a few weeks break from intensive training, I got moving again and working hard around Rochford and Southend, going with the movement and concentrating on climbing, and alternative movements for given situations to learn more about moving through/in an environment.

On Wednesday 2nd April I headed off down to Maidstone in Kent to stay and train with John Bartlett ('Serious'). Just got back today. I spent the week learning more about diet and foods, along with basic yoga methods towards stretching.

Waking up at a good time in the morning and stretching for 30-60 minutes. Over the past days I've already seen a good improvement and areas that need improving so I shall continue to stretch with what I have learnt and practiced. Also, on the nutrition front, John seems to know his stuff, he had me drinking spinach, broccoli and carrot smoothies, as I and most people in general don;t eat enough vegetables. I really struggled the first time around but, by yesterday and today, it was getting a lot easier.


Polyjuice Potion :-p

Again, it's funny how we adapt through our practices.

The training: Well John lives on the edge of a VERY big park, Mote Park, which is full of Trees, an AWESOME kids park, and plenty of rails for balancing and moving on. One of the highlights however has to be, the affectionately named, "Awesome Tree". It's huge and with so many prospects. In general I have issues with working above ground so I used the opportunity to train in a more "off ground" scenario, working with large laches, swinging laches to precisions, along with balancing and movement in an unstable setting.

Once strength and a good technical ability are obtains through years worth of smaller training, I believe the mind is often neglected, fears hinder our progression and psychological processes slow down our progression through Parkour. However, with the correct attitude and applications of training we can overcome them as we overcome the walls, ledges and gaps around us physically. Having faith in our ability when you are ready to do so is a gift beyond all others, and allows greater freedom through movement and within life. So after a few solid hours, I was moving through the tree quite easily (in my opinion) and doing things I've not even tried before in my normal environments let alone in trees.

We also spent a fair amount of time at the play park where there was a disused swing set, and it was the most amount of fun I've had in a very long time on such a simple structure.



Working on gapped jumps to the "uprights", swinging, spinning, hanging, balancing, to set positions on both the floor and the set, there's SO much to do in such a basic area as this. Two killer days with John, Kevin, and Alex, made my shoulders and Delts Die!!

Myself and John discussed an awful lot about Parkour and training methods which I wont go into as you had to be there really, but I believe for our intellectual development, we should allocate time to discuss our beliefs and reasons for training and again asking the question. WHY?

Below is a little form some of my writings on Parkour.

What really matters...
Parkour as a discipline.

To those who try to live by Parkour. We devote the way we live to effective movement, helping other people, physical training, problem solving, mental training (in terms of state of mind and constant conscious thought of bettering ourselves through progressive conscious decisions), and to enjoy these principles as much as possible.

Parkour or the art I practice, seems to be a continually growing mountain, with areas you can rest or take shelter if you desire, but the individuals mentality should push us onwards and remind us not to rest and stay still for too long.

Taking the Way of Action is vital.

As far as I can tell from my training and life through parkour/movement so far, there is no summit or peak to reach, no final destination.

Does this matter? Do we need a final destination or goal? I feel my goal in life is to be happy. Happiness is all any of us should be aiming for, practicing what makes us happy. How great does it feel when you've created something new, tried something new, or succeeded in something you previously thought wasn't possible? I find amazement, bliss and happiness form progressing and learning through life, learning our way up the mountain path.

Have a direction and general heading, leading towards achieving your goals progressively, leading onwards to a higher please towards happiness, and fulfilling the challenges you set yourself to achieve.

To Feel complete, to feel that we have reached the best we can be is to stagnate, and spiritually to die, we can ALWAYS learn, and always create, and as Traceurs or people who strive on the challenges around us, we must continue to head upward and onwards within the mountain of life.

People are different, as mentioned in earlier posts, your goals may be different to mine and with respect, others who do not share mine, yours our our goals, may believe Money and material possessions are more important and may be the focus of their journey. We should try to teach and help others see our way, but some people will not see as you or I see, and so we must respect their decisions and choices and remain hopeful, that one day, they will say, "I understand what you were talking about now". As David Belle stated at the end of his request to Traceurs at the end of Duncans', Lisses and Parkour documentary "Pilgimage". (Thanks to Duncan for his reiteration of David's words and these remain property of him).

"Teach these people,

If you understand Parkour - then pass that knowledge on to others - to children, to friends, to those whose knowledge is twisted or incomplete. If you are uncertain then open your eyes and ears and learn.

There is only one Parkour and it is the method that was passed to David by his father - all other disciplines are to be respected, but they are OTHER disciplines, yet the true parkour is out there. It is known and the number of people who understand it is growing."

"If you Wish to help - if you are a true Traceur at heart - then you will not simply run forward alone, but you will reach back and help another forward with you."

For me, in this passage, the word Parkour can easily be interchanged with "life", and I believe if we all took this stance on life, a stance and outlook which is prevalent with the serious parkour community, our world will truly be a better place.

Brad

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

18th March 2008: Why control our movements?

This is continued from the posted version so still worth reading if you have on Jam!!

For those that have not seen the thread or read worldwidejam.tv Parkour Forums.

Link to the thread HERE

This was posted:

"well ive just been thinking about this and if parkour is used to escape then would be point in stopping still on a object you just jumped to? i always try and stick precisions/jumps lols but i just wonder whats point. Yes i no precision is jumping to a specific place before someone says ."

To which I replied....

"You are absolutely right.....

However it is completely dependant on YOUR personal situation and motivation for training.

If you are practicing Parkour purely to escape then don't practice them if you so wish. However, what if you had to cat pass to a point and then had to double back.... think of the IMAX Cat pass precision, you need to control and "stick" that precision or fall several metres onto stairs....

I practice Parkour to know myself so I can help others. I believe, because of how changing the world can be, and situations within it, that can occur, one should be incredibly able in all, or as many realistic situations as possible. For my training and passion for movement, I believe it is important to continue movement as well as CONTROL them. Why?

In the world around us, we are VERY regulated.... we are controlled in our diets as we can only eat what a shop stocks, we are told to walk and not run, we are regulated on the underground by escalators, dictating the speed in which we should move, we are regulated by our desires for money to clock in and out at work, and by our conditioning to buy things, we quite possibly and (probably) do not need;... and almost everyone abides.

In this world of control it is incredibly difficult to TRULY BE YOURSELF, there are things however, that I can control... my diet, how often I eat, how I shower, what I do with my time (for the most part), and of course, how I CHOOSE to move. I wish to have a great deal of control over my body, that is my passion and quest, and that is what I train for in life. Without OUR control we lose who we are, and who we could be."

The world is a very scary place in that respect, as TESCO globalises the UK, were' becoming even more so captivated to our options, yet nature still provides all we need to survive. Many people believe 'food' is only substances compacted into a burger or sausage, or bought from a shop....

I wander off to a place where there are pine trees locally, I take some pines and wash them lightly, boil them up for 10 minutes and drink the tea left behind. ( http://www.textfiles.com/survival/pinesoup.txt )

We truly don't need half of the things we own and I believe we can be an awful lot richer but losing some of our money and options in life, BY CHOICE. If we choose simpler ways, chose to avoid things, or what have you. Systematic under eating, regular fasting, training what YOU need to do to be fast and efficient in life. Yes we should be able, but to the extent of wrecking our bodies or practicing things we will never use?

There's a period of time, I believe those who search form something more form a practice, be it Parkour, Judo, cooking, birdwatching.... whatever, there is a period where you need to search inside yourself and find the why, and develop yourself fully as a true human being, as free as you can be, as powerful as you can by allowing yourself to truly make the choices you need to in life.

I've decided not to eat meat, which I have succeeded in for the past month plus, in the past I have had only cold water to wash and use... these simpler challenges we can create for ourselves allows us to search for who we are, who we want to be and what we need to do to get to where we want to be. I believe this at least...

Conditioning for example, many do not enjoy it because it is difficult, possibly painful, etc etc; but doing those things, will make them stronger and more able to move through increased strength. Compared to just moving and training through that, you, almost likely, will develop muscular imbalances which can lead to injuries.

This is an incredibly personal subject for sure and I'm not saying everyone has to aggree with me, or agree with you, there ARE shades of grey, life isnt black and white.

I'm just trying to see your takes on working and training all aspects, in order to develop yourself as a person, as a human being, as a Traceur, or whatever you wisht o call yourself if it matters to you.

For example, eating is something I do a lot of, I think most traceur does, however, I've decided not to eat for at least one day, because it is difficult, because it is unknown territory, on top of detoxifying my body, testing my will and determaination.

Currently I will not be eating for at least one day. I have not gone without food by choice before, and frankly it's hard for me, however, my diet has been far from what it should be, so I shall not eat, to allow myself to understand going without food for a day or two is not that big a deal and hopefully afterwards, it allows me to understand I do not need to eat as much as I have been, and perhaps my body will seek out what it truly needs.

If we chose to purely do the simple, easy and comfortable things in life, we restrict our development and opportunities of learning new things.

I would not encourage anyone to fast without doing some necessary reading and research first!.

Sometimes, the simplest of things, require the biggest effort and truly tests our skill and courage.

Here's to an unknown place!!

Brad

Monday, March 03, 2008

3rd March 2008: Variance

Haha, I was going to post "A new start" or something but it seems there are so many "fresh starts" within people's training as one develops within Parkour, perhaps a change of direction is a better way of putting it.

I've had a week out of any movement training, been out skateboarding etc for a sort of break. Went out for a few hours today experimenting with some light movement and it felt great. To move in a play for again. The big old London gathering which happened not long ago was great to see and gave me an opportunity to help some others in thinking differently towards their movements and training.
[ Picture above, the Big London Gathering 17/2/2008 ]


Few weeks prior to that I'd been working for a on thinking and working on more practical movement. Lots of climbing and finger work a long with making movements more awkward, or rather working on movements/areas of the body which arent used much, the hips, ass back of knees, shins, sides etc. We will not always have the opportunity in life, or the luxury to be on our feet, facing forwards at an obstacle, have our eyes open, have our breathing slow and controlled.

Again as was said before, finding whats uncomfortable and making it comfortable. The movements I were playing with today weren't so much as difficult or uncomfortable, just neglected, and thats how it all feeling in general now, things are starting to come within my stride so to speak, just negelected or not tried before. Once you develop and FIND how to use and train movement in all/any forms, be it skateboarding, Juggling, Acrobatics, Parkour etc, the thought processes carry over deeply and influence all form of movement, by analysing the movements, understanding your body's requirements for the given movement, and using your training to then make the movement a reality. Below are some very small clips of a few movements, again these aren't about showing the extent of an ability merely using spaces practically for situational training.

As I've been saying to a few people recently, Parkour is not about perfection, we won't always have the luxury of being on our feet, vary you're training for what YOU (personally) train for, maybe concentrate on staying low, move effectively sitting, sliding, blind (Kie), all things we can do to benefit ourselves (within moderation) and benefit our relationship to the environment around us and how react to the obstacles in our daily life.

look up Luke Sims' Movement vid (sliding) and Kie's Blind Training Video, or any of my vids with movement tags.

Clips from today.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=cWLG-916PN8 - Rolling variations.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=S1Z5qsefCtQ - Keeping low.


happy training,

Brad

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

5th Febuary: My thoughts and my story.

Posted this on .net after Elliots awesome post found here

I'd urge you to read Elliots post, to anyone who takes what they do seriously and wishes to open themselves up to that in life/Parkour/(insert what you live by here).

I know it's a long post, sorry, but I feel it's the most important I've written in general and personally for my reflection also.
____

Hey Elliot, awesome vid man, great to see.

I agree with most of what you say. My story is fairly alike in views.

I've seen a lot of transformations due to what I call Parkour (again using life and parkour interchangably at times).

The first two years were me jumping around having fun, getting better at things I thought were important because I felt for some reason it was just important to get better, I practiced for fun soley.

A year and ten or so month later I was in London with a few people, when they had to go and I was alone in London, not feeling particularly great or 'up for' 'training'. I went ot the Play Park at Jubliee Gardens, working with a few movements playing, learning, moving, and without realising it, the movements were just happening, I was moving without thinking, feeling my way through the movement and moments. I stopped; breathing heavily and and feeling alive.

I say that from those moments I started practicing Parkour, a few months after, learning how others trained physically, and other's perspective's of training and movement, my physcial training increased in intensity and type, seeing the importance of being physcially strong to exist in life, and to continue to exist in longtivity in something I love. I felt Parkour was important to BE strong, to help others, to be able in any situation, working on movements to cope for hypothetical situations, what if I needed to double back, what if it's raining, the movements and bettering them were the be all and end all.

The almost a year ago (I feels like a lot closer, this year has gone SOOOO VERY QUICKLY!). I started reading, bit and pieces, and something clicked, my eyes were opened to more. It's hard to explina, but things started to be put into perspective, learning that LIFE is the true training ground, shifting perspectives for the better, recovering from an ankle injury it was opening my eyes up to the world, practicing "Parkour" was incredibly limiting and confining. I started to enjoy the world more, finding the happiness in everything around us. Months developed as did my view on things. Aiming to improve my diet, to live fully our world can provide what we need to survive in foods etc so why shouldnt we only or generally eating that which is given, that which we have survived and evolved on for thousands of years? Also analysing my movements and the reasons behind them, what's more effective, what good is this movement when my posture is poor afterwards. What good is me being able to run away in my hypothetical situation, or achieve that Cat pass precision , when I go home and argue etc.

I developed a wrist probelm around August last year, after a period of my handbalancing being the best it ever had been, I was doing work in Portugal came home and it got worse, couldn't put any pressure on it, no press ups, dips or handstands. You could get angry at this, upset, scared, whatever, the key is to allow our perspectives and our reactions to the given situations we are presented with, to change, to adapt, to overcome, to see the humour in the seemingly serious, to allow the changes to happen like the weather changes around us, and to trust in the process of life, somethings don't need explaining, I have faith the answers may or may not come on my journey or after death, but I have faith that whatever happens is a part of what is supposed to happen for my development. My wrist injury allowed me to take a step back, there may well come a time when I cannot practice 'Parkour', when I cannot physcially move as I wish, I hope I can til the day I die, but it could happen. My training shifted to a new ground, "finding whats comfortable and making it uncomfortable". Only cold baths and showers, saying yes to things I would usually say no to, finding the challenges, lessons and teachings in life around me.

If you look through my blog, certain changes and lessons I've learnt are described in more detail, in particular my posts in January.
http://parkourbrad.blogspot.com/2008/01/4th-january-2008-3-years-of-practice.html ----4th Jan - 3 Years of 'Practice'
http://parkourbrad.blogspot.com/2008/01/7th-january-2008-mountain-path-of.html ----7th Jan - The Mountain Path of parkour
http://parkourbrad.blogspot.com/2008/01/26th-jan-small-step-can-make-big.html ----27th Jan - A Small step can make a big difference

Just something I've myself realised, I thought I wrote these three pieces AGES ago. Our time is precious, and as Elliot said you could stop 'Parkour' and do volunteer work and it would still be training, and help more people. The moments we live can never be replicated exaclty, every moment is unique, to lend our time to another is one of the highest thing you can do with your life, to serve and help others. There's a few developments possibly coming up that may allow me to write more on this subject, but life is your training ground.

Just talking to Luke on MSN,

Luke: "Reading won't help me"
Me: "Why"
Luke "Because reading and doing something scare, are different things"
Me: "Do you read much?"
Luke: "honestly. not really"
Me: "haha! heres my point and your FIRST lesson
'Does the scary thing' need to be Parkour? does it need to be a 'movement'? Reading books that can benefit you IS YOUR PRACTICE, it IS your scary thing....
we reject change and scary things because they are hard, why? because a period of discomfort is found when changing from one train of thought to another,
have the courage and faith to fight through that practice steadilty, and the change is there and a new part of you.
same in parkour, in life, in cooking, in talking...
Parkour is what you are currently using to make those changes with a set outcome and result....
it hit me and i wrote it one of my blogs
i made that cat pass precision ive been building up to for YEARS
once i did it, it didnt mean anything...
ive learnt HOW to overcome the fears in parkour, now i need to do so in life.
because my lifes muscles are weak.
what good is my cat pass when I eat poorly,
[b]what good am i being open to TRYING new movement, when I will not try to talk to a new person...[/b]

I'm going to leave it there, I know I've written much but those are my thoughts, I'm happy to try to help anyone who asks. Thanks for those who've taken the time to read it.

Take care all.

Brad
____

What we can do to help other people is a gift beyond all others.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

26th Jan - A small step can make a big difference.

Hello all,

Was in London today doing some BBC thing, anyways, I invited a few people down for it and more showed up which was great, travelled around the Capital with friends and people who love their chosen practice in movement.

When we hit the Southbank there were loads of people in an area so I moved off to a quieter space to train. It was fantastic pretty much everyone greating each other, respecting everyones movments and choices in practice, giving advice where needed or asked for.

I spent a fair amount of time working ona tree, precisions and landings, as well as movements to observe my current level and fears on areas of movment. Was rewatching the Yamakasi Q+A video on the train to London as well and the question of why I'm doing this specific movment did run over in my head, is this really benefitting me? is it helping?

I think asking why is important and we should keep asking ourselves why we make the choices or do the things that we do. Why is the universal question, as we develop and our mentality changes through practice, our reasons can and do change in many ways and areas, so reminding ourself of why aids us to continue moving forward on our path.


Wrote this on the Worldwide Jam Parkour forum about todays training after Tim made an awesome little post about the atmosphere.

Today had such an amazing vibe to it, everyone was there FOR Parkour and movement, everyone loved what they were doing and loved everyone else.

Was hard to explain exactly but it was just a great atmosphere, not hundreds of people, but everyone out was moving and living movement and the energy was felt by myself and I'm sure many others. Yeah really, pretty indescribable.

Point being though, lets all BE THERE for each other, our brothers and sisters in the community, 'To Be and to Last', 'Be strong, be useful', be useful to each other and be there for one another when we need it.

None of us know how long we'll be here for, I may not be blessed with the gift of my next breath. I'd rather live my life doing what I can to enrich my life, and those around me.

As people who aim to live by the energy of life, in the form of movement, let us use our skills, experience, knowledge, passion and energy to help all around us in whichever ways we can.

--- I had a chance to speak with so many people, some who I've never really spoken to or moved with and everything just worked, united by movement, compassion, care and the spirit of Parkour, life, and it's practices.

Thats the point of all of this really, one person and one choice can impact so greatly on one person's life, that one act of kindness could easily be shown onto others, possibilities are endless from you chosing to help, a friend or a stranger. Our time is precisious and to give your time to another when they need it is a great thing you can do for another.

Same in your Parkour training, we shouldn't treat one moment different from another, each moment and movement is completely unique, and will never happen again exactly the same. What good is that huge Cat Pass to Arm Jump if when we finish our walking and posture is poor. Pay attention to that around us and better yourself in all aspects of life.

Just a breif thhough, hopefully it's reliterated previous thoughts.

Peace.

Brad

Monday, January 07, 2008

7th January 2008 - 'The Mountain Path of Parkour'

I thought I'd share this on here, the original discussion can be found here.

Rebellion1222 posted.

"I can go walk around..
At shopping strips, parks, in the city, in the woods..
And I see where I could do all these things...
I imagine what I could do. I can see myself doing a saut de chat over that rail and hanging on that adjacent concrete wall and muscling up.

but the problem is..
I cant actually do it. I can only envision..

A sad realization today..
I now see how very inexperienced I am, the only thing I can tell myself though is to condition and practice right?
and one day I'll be able to pull off what I see in my mind..."


--- My reply:

"but the problem is..
I cant actually do it. I can only envision.."


There are countless things we can see but not do, as humans we have the inteligence to be able to imagine things, imagine the possibilities of our possible further development as individuals and humanity as a collective, although, of course there are other countless braches within our world.


"A sad realization today..
I now see how very inexperienced I am, the only thing I can tell myself though is to condition and practice right?
and one day I'll be able to pull off what I see in my mind..."


Why is it a sad realisation? If your happiness depends purely on what you achieve and produce then I feel you have a great need for understanding WHO you are in relation to the world around us, we are conditioned to believe that what we achieve and produce determines our worth, a rule of consumerism.

Our view of things within life determines our reactions to the situations. Why be sad about not being able to do those things, the destination is not the goal or should not be in Parkour, as our goals should be unatainable.

I'll explain, we devote ourselves to a way of life, aiming to be better than we were yesterday, always improving and learning and bettering ourselves and humans, traceurs or whatever you wish to call yourself. Our goal should be nothing less than perfection in anything we do, always improving, and always learning from our experiences within practice. Perfection is unatainable unless you speak of mathematical equations, of which our life is not. The happiness should come from the journey through life, everyday, for being alive, and being ABLE to practice and get better at whatever we chose to do. Be happy because you CAN be, happiness is a state of mind.

With time and practice, you can achieve whatever goals you set out to do, use your imagination to work our exercises that will develop the areas of technical movement of which you require, and which exercises with strengthen and develop the body areas needed.

If you seek 'performance' and an end result, then I'd have a serious rethink about why you practice and whether or not Parkour is really for you. Parkour is a difficult mountain to climb, and we will NEVER reach the top, but we CAN continue moving upwards and onwards with determination, discipline, hard work, practice and focus.

All the best on your journey.

Brad

----

I felt it an important question to ask, and we should be doing this continually, having things straight in our heads, noticing our changes in mentality in regards to our practices in parkour, football, chimneysweeping, whatever we practice. To evelop our own understanding, we need to seek the answers from inside ourselves, and begin the path of self discovery and self awareness in relation to the world around us.

---

On a seperate note, travelled down to redhill for an early B-day event for Jason, was great seeing epople I hadnt for a little while like Chris and Danny along with the awesome Next Gen guys, Liv, David, and everyone else! had a great time, I'm still aching! Awesome night mission guys!

Friday, January 04, 2008

4th January 2008 - 3 years of 'practice'.

Hello all, 'happy new year' to all.

Past month or so has been quite good and a real learning experience, my wrist is on the mend; or at least it seems, so Parkour movement training has been upped and I'm glad for it.

As a part of my progressing training in life and Parkour, I will be clearing my room extensivly, trying remove attachments on personal posessions, and allow my mind to be a little calmer and peaceful.

It's only going to be a short post as I've been on the computer for far too long this evening, but hopefully many of you have realised I've not been on MSN as much etc. Trying to use my time more constructively.

For people who care about thier lives and what they do with them, remember, your sport or discipline is not the be all and end all, life is the training ground, dealing with the situations we are put in and obstacles that are presented to us, in the forms of distractions, loss, gains, illness etc. We need to use our training and skills to overcome that which is keeping us from bettering ourselves on a daily basis.

Try to keep in your mind, how is this, right now, benefiting you??

Ask yourself questions:

Is this making me more than I was yesterday, am I learning a useful lesson? Could me time be used more contructivly right now?

If not (answering yes), then shift your attention and focus to that which is more beneficial to your life training and development. It's simple, but important; in the world around us, we are conditioned to worry about things which really do not matter, have obsessions with things that mean nothing to us. Be it as simple as being on the computer, are you sitting up straight? is your breathing controlled and effective?

Keep your attention and focus on the lessons around you, and keep bettering yourselves.

I have so far to go but I hope along my way in life I can help you understand a few things faster than it's taken myself to grasp.

New years eve' eve' (sunday 30th), I was practicing with Kai, Oli, Mike and Aaron to name a few. While out drilling and experiementing with movements and the obstacles around, I managed to make a Precision Jump and a Cat Pass Precision, both of which I had been looking at for around one and a half years.

After One and a Half years of practice, my training and development finally gave me the skills, ability and competence to succeed in the goals I had set out to do.

The night of that day made me think, just at the sheer amount of time I've worked to get those set movements done (obviously my training hasnt been specifically for those situations but it has been in the back of my mind of things 'to do).

A Year is an awfully long time in our lives, yet a laughable factor compared to the history of the world. We need to be using our time constructivly. Perhaps my training could have been better and that those movements could have been accomplished faster with more effective use of time? It is the past so it should not be worried about, but it's great to see the produce of your training from time to time to keep you on track and know, that in parkour and life, theat you are moving forwards, onwards and able to do anything you set your mind on, and that I should work harder and better with the time I DO have to practice in life and Parkour.


Off to Redhill this weekend so see the trace lot, many of whom it has been a while so yeay!



Peace.