"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.
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.