Author Topic: Training Methods at Jams  (Read 2679 times)

Offline .Nico

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Training Methods at Jams
« on: June 08, 2006, 08:02:09 PM »
I had a discussion with a friend today about how we could make jams more productive, and I wanted to hear your opinions.

I don't know about you guys, but the main focus during Atlanta Jams is the teaching and learningi of new techniques. We train different "moves," using different obstacles to help us further our abilities. During a jam, we will progress from catjumping (konging) over a picnic table width-wise to length-wise, and then proceeding to a larger obstacle. At the end of the day, we come home with a sense of accomplishment, thinking "I learned how to do a kong to cat today" or "I learned how to turnvault on a wall." This is great, but I feel that there is a problem if this is how jams always are.

I don't remember who said it - for some reason I am thinking either Danno or Andi - that parkour is not about moves, it is about movement. The jams I attend are so focused on moves, without paying any attention to movement. At times, there are people left out standing around, because they dont feel comfortable attempting the "moves" that the other guys are doing.

What I am proposing is this: instead of practicing moves using different obstacles, I would like a jam where we practice overcoming obstacles with different moves. Instead of the random skateboarder-like atmosphere, I would like it if jams were a little more organized.

At the next Atlanta jam, I am going to experiment with a follow-the-leader type exercise. People will take turns choosing routes or problems. For example, "get over this wall." Or "get to the top of this staircase without touching the stairs." Or "traverse along this rail without using the ground." Such an exercise would give no one an excuse not to participate. The more advanced guys could caltwalk along the rail, while someone else could try simply putting two hands on the rail, dangling his feet, and traversing along it sideways. Some really tired guy could simply sit on the rail and inch his way along with his hands. But the idea is never to give up - there is always another way. A beginner would be able to make it from A to B in a very sloppy, inneficient way. But the more he practiced in this way, the better he would get.

In my mind, there are two types of training (at least).

1. Practicing moves over different obstacles
2. Practicing overcoming obstacles using different moves

Used in conjunction, these two could form a very powerful basis for training. Someone attending these "follow the leader" jams would need to also train different individual "moves" as well - otherwise his movements would always remain sloppy. Also, I know that in the future, I will be very conscious about what kind of training am doing at a certain time, and not confuse the two types of training.



Do you feel that your jams follow a similar pattern as the ones in Atlanta? And do you think this is a good solution?
Finally, what other types of training are there? I only recognized two.


Offline Argon

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Re: Training Methods at Jams
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2006, 08:15:36 PM »
I think you're dead on. Whenever I get together to train with other people, it frequently breaks down into working a single move or obstacle over and over again until everyone gets tired of it and we move on. When I train alone, I'm moving almost constantly, making my runs as long as I can. I was shocked to find out that the idea of a "run", wherein the "moves" of parkour were put into seemless action over a large distance with multiple obstacles was totally foriegn to a few of the younger traceurs.

I've found that drilling and trading tips with other traceurs is immensely helpful for my technique, but something is lost by not practicing real parkour in a group.
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Offline Nom

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Re: Training Methods at Jams
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2006, 11:57:24 AM »
What few of us there are in Springfield do is this: 2-3 days a week is practice, we drill basic things over and over and basically make it a psuedo-controlled environment that you can be creative with if you feel comfortable. But for the most part it tends to be us picking a spot, being creative until we feel like moving on.  Saturday mornings is jam time, where we take turns planning a short run say, from a bank through a nearby parking garage or whatever else someone decides would be fun.

I agree, the random skateboard time atmosphere isn't all it's cracked up to be when there's so many different ways to move over an obstacle. Sometimes doing a kong over a rail isn't as productive for everyone - maybe someone wants to do an 360 underbar or precision run the same rail. I guess to sum up what I'm getting at: Don't drill so much technique all the time, try drilling different obstacles.
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Training Methods at Jams
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2006, 12:38:31 PM »
Nico,
Fully agree with you, there's nothing worse than a PK "Jam" where there's three people doing stuff and 20 standing around with their hands in their pockets.

There's two issues I see though, one is that yeah, people are shy and don't want to look dumb in fron t of anyone, especially when "the good guys" in their area are at  "the big jam" ... jams get so hyped up, all it is is a bunch of people getting together ... TO DO PARKOUR!!!

So yeah, the first problem is this ... don't think that jams aren't for jamming ... EVERYONE should be involved and active .. if the newer people never try anything, they'll alwyas be the newer people .. no progress.

The second thing (for me anyway) is that Jams are a social thing. At the big jams I like to do (or try) some PK or practice a couple of things, but these are also times when I get to meet people form all over the place that I never get to talk to in person, so I'd much rather spend that time taslking to people, because I can train on my own, anywhere, anytime.


It sounds to me to be a little different when you talk about a "City Jam" because there it's going to be the same people more or less each tiome, and then I fully agree that it could be used more as a practice session with some organization so that everyone progresses, the more experienced people can help the less experienced, and everyone comes away with something.

Follow the leader
Tag
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of course you can say that "Parkour is not competitive" .. but GAMES (by nature competitive) drive us to try harder while sometimes taking our minds off the immediate task ... for example there are jumps that peole can do that they KNOW they can do but then they sit and stare at them until they freak out (myself included) ... but if you're playing tag, and someone is chasing you, that's when your gut instinct makes the decision for you, you either freeze and get nailed, or you jump and you make it. Comptetitive? Yes. Bad? No.

Horse too, just trying moves and like you said, anyone can accomplish it their own way, I'll never jump as far as Leon, but I'll find another way around. so even though it's based around a game (competition) it's done so that everyone can improve.

Anyway, that's my 2 1/2 cents.

 
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Offline The Manilla Gorilla

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Re: Training Methods at Jams
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2006, 12:58:42 PM »
I heard in San fransico, all they do is running jams, while in NY pretty much all we do is static jams. These are two very different things, but in some sense they are each nesscary to each other.

I think one of the good things for  satic jam, is that you can perfect the technique of indivdual moves. Sure the actual run is more important, but that is why this is a training session. We are training indivual move so that in a run, we are comfortable with using them. A jam is never a good gauge of parkour, just like a Basketball teams practice is not a good gauge of A basketball game. This is also why vidoes never really show parkour, they show training, or at least the majority of them do. In a static jam, you Practice moves over different obstacles and Practice overcoming obstacles using different moves

A running jam is more where you apllie your skills. Or at least to me it is.

If you dont practice your techniques in an ideal (static) enviroment it will be alot harder to apllie while you are running, or in un ideal conditions.

"At the next Atlanta jam, I am going to experiment with a follow-the-leader type exercise. People will take turns choosing routes or problems. For example, "get over this wall." Or "get to the top of this staircase without touching the stairs." Or "traverse along this rail without using the ground." Such an exercise would give no one an excuse not to participate. The more advanced guys could caltwalk along the rail, while someone else could try simply putting two hands on the rail, dangling his feet, and traversing along it sideways. Some really tired guy could simply sit on the rail and inch his way along with his hands. But the idea is never to give up - there is always another way. A beginner would be able to make it from A to B in a very sloppy, inneficient way. But the more he practiced in this way, the better he would get."

This ties back to the "training efficency through ineficency"

Hmmm... looking back at this post i don't think i answered any questions, hopefully someone disagrees ;D

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Re: Training Methods at Jams
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2006, 01:19:34 PM »
I am reserved to think that jams are for meeting people and hanging out (as there are so many people there) while smaller training sessions should be the "meat and potatoes" of productive training. Not to say that large groups can't get anything done, but it rarely happens.

Offline .Nico

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Re: Training Methods at Jams
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2006, 02:37:50 PM »
I agree with M2 and gear about larger jams where there are people to meet and conversation to be had. But what I am talking about are small jams (3-10 people) where there are people of all skill levels. When I am alone or with a friend of mine who is at my level, training is incredibly productive. But my ideas were to be used at a slightly larger training session, so that nobody will be standing around.

I like Manilla's terminology of running and static jams. I was simply saying that static jams are bad when there are people who are uncomfortable, or simply cannot do what everyone else is doing. I will try the running jam tomorrow, and tell you guys how it goes.

Offline Andy Animus Tran

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Re: Training Methods at Jams
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2006, 04:44:30 PM »
When I trained with Danno, he emphasized a great deal about movement.  When we were doing nothing more than drilling moves, he said to me, "Make sure that when you finish a movement, be ready to keep on moving.  Kong that rail and be ready to keep moving.  Lazy vault this and train to keep running to the left, forward, to the right...  ALWAYS train for movement.  Too many people at jams will just do a kong vault and start cheering and saying how great that was.  But where does that leave you?  Where can you go after that?  You always have to think of where you're going."  (That isn't word for word.)  So my suggestiont o you...  is to always, after training a movement, be ready to run after you're done the movement.  Just take a few steps... three to five.  In every direction.  Just train to move.
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Training Methods at Jams
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2006, 07:37:07 PM »
Exactly! nobody should ever stop after a move, the idea is to learn to preserve moemntum and use it to carry you forward, otherwise you're only training yourself to stop!
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