Author Topic: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins  (Read 14363 times)

Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
« Reply #60 on: January 27, 2010, 04:28:35 AM »
Crap, I might have confused ti for On combat - let me check !!! Nope, reading the description they are very similar.

Sharpening the warrior's Edge is actually going ot be required reading for all Primal Fitness instructors as it goes very systematically through how people learn effectively.

I have "On Combat" but really don't think I've read it yet.
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Offline DaveS

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Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
« Reply #61 on: January 27, 2010, 06:22:55 AM »
Mark, you can see the assumptions that fitness research makes simply by reading the reports they produce, looking at how the evidence is collected and how it's translated into conclusions. You've provided evidence yourself that other people have observed the problems, it's not just me that has noticed it, and clearly many people agree are problems somewhere with popular fitness thinking.
The main issue for me is that although all of the ideas I am referring to exist separately in the various communities there is no crossover of skills. For this specific issue, there is no one with detailed understanding of all the different aspects necessary to find the best solution. There is nobody who understands in detail the true necessities of life, the way human development works, and the approach of parkour.
It's not the fault of anyone in the fitness world that this crossover exists, because it is the parkour understanding that is the main piece missing for most people. Parkour spread too quickly, there just isn't much depth of parkour understanding anywhere. Unfortunately though, that deep understanding makes a big difference to people's views and goals.

NOS, I'm not advocating living a life of isolation, I'm suggesting that we need to be able to do so if put in a situation where we don't have anyone else to rely on. We are social creatures, we do function best when we're in a community and working together (which is part of the argument for cooperation rather than competition), but the world is not so crowded that there are always other people around us. Sometimes we are on our own, and we still need to be strong and effective in those situations.
I don't think that will lessen the excitement and enjoyment of living though. However strong and capable we become, the world does not entirely depend on our own actions. At the moment there are other people around us who are not capable, and there may always be, and even if the whole human race became strong and capable there are still the unpredictable natural forces operating in the world. We may be able to live a lot longer, and our challenges may be completely different and far above the things we currently find challenging, but I think life will still contain challenges. Even if it might not, it would be nice to find out for sure.
The film 'Equilibrium' highlights the problems when there is a huge disparity of ability in the human race. Great ability to act combined with little mental and character strength causes great problems. Films don't often contain good examples of the possibilities of human existence, because few film-makers can comprehend what it would be like to be truly strong.

Dan, I'm glad you've turned up too. It would be nice to have an opportunity to continue our previous conversations with a friendly discussion environment though, so it would be great if you didn't immediately bring the derogatory comments.
I think you'll have to appreciate that it's difficult to provide you with evidence to prove the benefits of strong thinking. Partly it's because it's new and there are few examples, and partly it's because it's using a different system of values than you're used to. The only crossover between values systems is the idea of happiness, and as our previous discussions proved it's difficult to convince someone else that you're happy :)

BaptizedByFire, I'm actually not talking about training for completely unpredictable situations. I'm talking about training for a training situation, elements of which can be predicted. I have stated numerous times that for real life situations being strong physically is important. My point is that parkour training has greater demands because of the constantly increasing difficulty of the challenges you face.
It's great to hear your experiences of the military and I agree with what you're saying about it being impossible to replicate intense situations on a day-to-day basis. Perhaps the solution isn't to replicate combat conditions in training though, but to try and replicate some of the calmer mind from training conditions in to combat?
~ Dave
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
« Reply #62 on: January 27, 2010, 02:45:41 PM »
Dave, you still haven't addressed something that I'd really like to hear from you, because I feel all your arguments are predicated on an impossible standpoint to argue against - some ideal that's in your head of what parkour is and where the boundaries between "parkour" and "everything else" lie.

You say that "nobody understands parkour because it hasn't been around long enough" - but please tell me an aspect of parkour that doesn't exist between gymnastics, martial arts, and the general study of fitness and kinesiology?

Didn't the Samurai train for a variety of skills across a broad modal range with a strong concentration on mental fortitude?

Just what exactly is it about Parkour that you think is so different from everything else?

Please be concise, and I'm not being a dick, just that you move around a lot and use very long explanations and I feel the point gets lost.

challenge: Can you answer my questions in 50 words or less?



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Offline DaveS

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Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
« Reply #63 on: January 27, 2010, 03:53:47 PM »
"Focus on only the philosophy of always being able to progress; that you can get past any obstacle you encounter."

"The Samurai way also contained cultural limitations"

Those are the answers. It will be interesting to see if shorter answers prove more useful.
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Offline Jordan Strybos

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Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
« Reply #64 on: January 27, 2010, 03:58:45 PM »
I'm confused as to how that answers Mark's question...what is the parkour that you are talking about?

Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
« Reply #65 on: January 28, 2010, 03:57:57 AM »
Dave, the shorter answers definitely prove useful, and I genuinely thank you for "playing along".

What I will say at this point is simply that I disagree with you. I'm not trying to convince you otherwise, but I feel that both of those concepts are extremely well covered by a vast variety of other disciplines. They may not be your experience or exposure to those disciplines, however in my experience and opinion they exist.

Have you studied any martial arts? What style and for how long?

I ask because both of these principles exist as almost the word for word basis for Aikido.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aikido

I am not arguing the effectiveness of Aikido for any purpose, just that the foundations (please especially check the part about mental and physical fitness) are such a match for what you wrote above, and Aikido is meant to be practiced for ones' entire life is meant to teach one to overcome any "opponent" just as Parkour is mean to teach to learn to overcome any obstacle.

I will ask you to see if you can find 3 ways you DO agree with me before seeing how much you disagree with me :)
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Offline truls

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Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
« Reply #66 on: January 28, 2010, 06:28:20 AM »
This thread made me nostalgia so hard <3

Dave, I strongly feel that your definition of parkours purpose as "to get past any and every obstacle you encounter throughout your whole life" is something that you yourself created(changing the language of the definition, moving emphasis to mental obstacles and longevity instead of the ongoing bettering of your ability to escape and reach regardless of the conditions you face). Your interpretations of the mental and philosophical side of parkour is something I can't for the life of me remember seeing demonstrated, spoken or written anywhere in what I've seen related to the creation of the discipline and its purpose.

If these are the goals/principles you want leading your life, then fine, good for you, but unless you can point to a source clearly naming them as what parkour is supposed to be about I would prefer it if you did not label them as the "purpose of parkour"


This might be hard to read, I'm really out of practise when it comes to arguing in English.

Offline DaveS

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Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
« Reply #67 on: January 28, 2010, 08:24:45 AM »
I've spent a fair amount time researching martial arts, as I'm sure a lot of parkour practitioners have done, and I agree the idea of always being able to progress exists in many of them. I've practised a few martial arts but the one I've stuck with the longest has been the AMA Taekwon-do that I started back in 2001, simply because I've got a good instructor. It doesn't belong on any of the well-known TKD branches, and the training philosophy is quite similar to parkour in some ways.

My understanding of Aikido has always been that it is the principle of non-resistance and harmony which is at the core of that discipline, and it's a principle I think is very useful. I agree that many martial arts include the idea of always continuing forwards, it forms 40% of the tenets of TKD after all, but they all temper that idea with various additional principles, traditions and qualifying statements. You can always keep going and continue forwards... ...unless your instructor or another tenet says not to. You can never fully adopt the idea of getting past restrictions because you've never allowed to use it everywhere.
You could argue that parkour doesn't fully utilise the principle by involving only movement, but that's that's not a restriction. Although parkour itself only utilises movement, it actively encourages the principle to be applied everywhere in life. That's why we almost inevitably find ourselves studying martial arts, first aid, rescue techniques and other things after we've been training a while.

Truls,

First line of this David Belle interview:
http://parkour-videos.com/france-2-tv-report-1997 and http://parkour.net/David-Belle-t30.html&view=findpost&p=57#entry57
Quote
Everything that is an obstacle is part of our art (Parkour). All that is an obstacle. When someone takes a step and encounters an difficulty, it is that. It's the crux of completing a task.

The third line of this concise parkour explanation, also David Belle:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ii5jp50veR811
Quote
The philosophy is of always going forwards, never stopping. When I have a problem, when I can't progress, like in life, those problems, there is always a way.

"Etre et durer" "To be and to last" / "To be and to continue"

http://parkour.net/Origin-Foundations-Parkour-Spirit-t29.html

The idea's there in every parkour explanation that I've seen from David, and from a good many others as well. The idea of 'escape and reach' was mentioned once, as a quick example to get people to understand what effective movement was. I'm surprised by how much some people seem to have forgotten. Maybe for a few hours you should just forget about all the stuff that's been written recently and read and listen to the things that have been with us from almost the beginning.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2010, 08:26:18 AM by DaveS »
~ Dave
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
« Reply #68 on: January 28, 2010, 10:54:22 AM »
Interesting - when I did martial arts I took my katas outside, did them where there was a stone wall in my way and I had to do the movements over it, practiced my staff forms (and freeform) in the woods with trees in the way, on the beach in 1' of water - trained at 2 in the afternoon and 2 in the morning.

I guess what I'm sensing from you Dave is that you ALLOW those restrictions to be enforced in other disciplines but you feel that nobody enforces them in parkour.

I think this applies to your "societal boundaries" (not exact quote) on the samurai - does Parkour not also get affected by societal boundaries?

I can tell you doing staff form on a jetty on a beach raises some eyebrows, as does me doing muscle-ups on a playground swingset or practicing vaults over a rail at a university :)

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Offline DaveS

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Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
« Reply #69 on: January 28, 2010, 11:39:33 AM »
I'm not sure I understand what point you're trying to make by describing those aspects of your training. I'm not saying there is a great lack of variety in training with other activities because great variety exists (I've trained in ways that are similar to those you describe), but I'm pointing out that other disciplines all require you to stay within some form of limits. Mainly, in accepting certain rules and behavioural restrictions. The uniforms, the etiquette, the grading systems, the use of language, the set techniques and exercises etc.

With other activities, culture and tradition has become part of the practice. Those disciplines have all tried to work within the cultural boundaries of the society they were created in, which is no bad thing in itself, but the simple fact is that by attaching themselves so firmly to their culture they have become impractical within different cultures.

Parkour gets affected by social customs, but as a discipline it doesn't try to perpetuate or enforce anything other than its own simple philosophy. We recommend good footwear to beginners but we don't force them to wear Kalenjis or Darts. We say jogging bottoms are useful, but it's not a uniform. We recommend techniques but encourage people to find the ways past the obstacles that work for them. We're friendly with each other but we don't need to call experienced practitioners 'Master'. There are experienced people with good understanding but we don't accept anything that is said without a 14-page forum discussion about it.

The simple fact is that parkour contradicts existing social values. Everyone recognised it years ago before it got diluted, that's why you have descriptions like, "parkour, the anarchic new sport of freerunning," at the start of the Jump London documentary. It's also part of the reason why practically every practitioner experiences an entirely new perspective when they first start. After practising for many years it's easy to forget that change we underwent, but it happened and it shows that the parkour mindset is different to the one we had before.

If you try and force parkour into existing structures then it will have to lose part of itself. There are many people who think that the parts that will be lost are the most important parts, myself included.

Sorry if that's too much explanation ;)
~ Dave
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Offline Dan Iaboni

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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
« Reply #71 on: January 28, 2010, 12:52:43 PM »
"I'm pointing out that other disciplines all require you to stay within some form of limits. Mainly, in accepting certain rules and behavioural restrictions. The uniforms, the etiquette, the grading systems, the use of language, the set techniques and exercises etc. "

Right, and what I'm saying is that those things only limit you if you allow them to.

I feel like you are using two sets of standards, one for parkour and one for all other activities.
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
« Reply #72 on: January 29, 2010, 07:19:51 AM »
Can someone please go check on Dave, we have an internet argument going on here and no response from him in over 12 hours, I'm a little worried :P
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Offline DaveS

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Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
« Reply #73 on: January 29, 2010, 03:28:44 PM »
Sorry for missing my nightly response :P

It's certainly possible for practitioners of those activities to stay free within their own minds even while they are forced to accept arbitrary limits, and there are a few people who have managed to do so. I think it's a lot harder though. Your training is supposed to be the part of your life that helps you develop your skills and expands your limits, and when it is your training environment that is limited you just don't have the opportunity to apply the lessons to the wider context at the time they are made most obvious.
I think the internal stress it creates when you are starting to develop your ability beyond the limits imposed by the activity also makes it harder. When you aren't allowed to be yourself your rational mind is forever fighting your instincts.

To learn how to be free and live and act naturally you need to practise it, which means you need the opportunity to practise it. The Parkour training environment doesn't have arbitrary and pointless limitations imposed on it, and without those arbitrary and pointless limits it lets you be yourself while you're training and gives you the opportunity to practise. To me, there is a clear difference between parkour and almost every other activity in this respect. There are no pointless or unrealistic rules.
~ Dave
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
« Reply #74 on: January 29, 2010, 04:07:15 PM »
Well, I still disagree with the first part - that is to say that those limits are only imposed if you allow them to be but I do undestand your point.

For the second part - well said!
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Offline DaveS

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Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
« Reply #75 on: January 29, 2010, 04:55:11 PM »
That's cool, we've each got our own experiences of other activities, and I don't know that an objective comparison is possible. Still, must be some reason that a whole bunch of people with experience of other activities practise parkour. :)
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Offline Sam Slater

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Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
« Reply #76 on: January 30, 2010, 03:21:06 PM »
I realize that this thread is not anywhere near what it started out as, but I am going to perpetuate the discussion and throw in my 2 cents.

I find that part of the "boundaries" issue at least in martial arts in due to two things; the instructor and time.  Let me start by saying that I advocate an instructor strictly teaching a specific method or way to a student until the student is very proficient in that set way.  A good instructor should however allow the student to begin to branch off and develop their own way once that student is both proficient in the instructor's way and understands why that way works for the instructor. This way the student has a foundation and if more aware of themselves before they try to create on their own.  The time comes into play simply because the student needs to understand that it will take vast amounts of time to get to the point that they can be "uninhibited".

I also do not feel that many of the "rules" in other activities are "pointless."  I would argue that because many activities involve possibly dangerous circumstances, or involve training in groups, or involve work with partners, rules need to be in place.  Rules help keep people safe by creating order, establishing criteria known criteria that limit injury, and they help allow an instructor to work with a multitude of students at one time.

I will agree that with parkour, there are far fewer "rules", however I feel that this is because it is a naturally solitary activity that has very few individuals that are at a very high level actively teaching it at the moment.   I do think that as more classes become available, you will see more rules, simply because instructors will insist that people do things in a safe and constructive manner. 

I have to agree though that many people in these "rule" bound systems are naturally attracted to parkour, and for many I am sure it is because they never got to the point in their old system that they could be more free.  I also feel that it attracts a lot of people that were in existing systems such as martial arts, gymnastics, etc.  because it is a natural compliment and extension of what they were doing and because is has a similar philosophy or mindset at its core.

I know Mark ... that was too much text.  But when I do happen to give my 2 cents, I try to make sure you get your money's worth.

Offline jp2ykz

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Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
« Reply #77 on: January 30, 2010, 06:24:41 PM »
Well said Disciple.  :)

You saved me from a post!!

Hello Dave,

I didn't realize this thread was so hoppin. haha

Anyhow your posts and arguments are getting allot better. Much more pointed. Good job!!
Konging low stuff is stupid. Just jump over it. Or just do a cool flip over it.

Offline DaveS

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Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
« Reply #78 on: January 31, 2010, 04:21:35 PM »
Haha, I think it's just taken you some time to adjust to the existence a new perspective. :)

Disciple, there are some rules that are designed to control in order to help safety, but there are also rules that are there simply to control.
Since safety in parkour is ultimately about self-control and taking responsibility for your own actions, any rules designed for safety are effectively self-defeating in parkour in the long run. You need to think for yourself rather than simply do what you're told.
I think other activities (especially team activities) have more need for safety rules than parkour does because in those activities the practitioner has far less control and relies on others (other practitioners, coaches, referees) acting predictably and responsibly in order to stay safe.

Of course, people who are learning need to take things a stage at a time and until they can keep themselves safe they will need help on the safety side from coaches and/or peers. However, to learn how to stay safe you need to make mistakes, and it's better for those mistakes to be made sooner rather than later.

The teaching model you describe, where an instructor teaches a student the instructor's way first, is a model based on tradition. It's a good way of passing on a particular way. It ensures that priority is given to the instructor's thoughts, and justifies it with the assumption that the instructor knows more.
However, putting the instructor's views first is not good for the student. The student isn't the same person as instructor, and what worked for the instructor may not work for the student. The student only finds that out at the end, when they've spent years training in a way that may end up being useless to them. Only then can they start thinking for themselves, the most important skill in parkour.

The better teaching model for students is the student-based one. The teacher helps the student learn what the student wants to know. The student gets to practise responsibility and self-control almost immediately and so is much safer in the long run.

Each person has their own unique way through life. I don't think it does anyone any good to be forced into following someone else's way, and it would contradict the philosophy of parkour to teach parkour in that way.
~ Dave
NorthernParkour and the British Parkour Coaching Association

Offline jp2ykz

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Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
« Reply #79 on: January 31, 2010, 05:49:54 PM »
Quote
Haha, I think it's just taken you some time to adjust to the existence a new perspective. Smiley

I know and am well educated about the perspective. It's existence was never my problem. Just the delivery.  ;)

Just a couple points on the above.

As for safety, one mustn't make mistakes in order to learn. At least not as many as an environment of no instruction would imply. There is an old saying that I like. I think it was Socrates?? "A smart man will learn from his mistakes and a wise man will learn from the mistakes of others"   

As for the ideas of the instructor getting greater preference. This is how knowledge in the world grows. The instructor is the instructor for a reason. He has experience and knows many of the things the student will inevitably face. This student teacher model allows the student to benefit from that experience. As a result the student progresses faster than the instructor did (if the instructor is good). From there the student has the potential if he continues to push himself to move beyond the instructor.

Yes the instructor will tend toward what worked for him. But if he is a good instructor, and especially if he has taught many different people, he will be able to adapt his instruction to the student. Dose this happen all the time? No. It is not always a perfect system, but for most of the people most of the time it is the best way. I mean just think if we didn't learn from our fore fathers... We would be eating bugs out of the dirt.  :o

Just a quick observation on the nature of rules that you described. Yes, rules can be used both for safety and simply for control. I would however venture to say many rules are to help foster an environment of growth and proper development. There are already some unofficial ones in PK like no roofs (ever seen the roof police haha) and to be a good citizen ect. These are mostly cultural rules specific to this sight and people break them every day but they're purpose is to foster safe growth and help ensure that PK is not banned from places etc. The one applies to an individuals safety even while training alone. And the other to fostering an optimal environment in which to continue to train. Neither one is pure control.       

Think about what you are arguing for. No rules or restrictions in Parkour. Couldn't the the restriction of not adhering to any rules other than your own that your definition of Parkour implies, be considered rules?? Couldn't some people be limited as to how far they could get if they assumed the training philosophy that you have adopted? Just a fun logic puzzle. haha  :P

         

Konging low stuff is stupid. Just jump over it. Or just do a cool flip over it.