Author Topic: Non-Philosopher  (Read 31911 times)

Offline Sparklefish

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Re: Non-Philosopher
« Reply #240 on: December 20, 2010, 03:31:23 PM »
The answer is 'no' only because you put the word 'maximal' into the question. If you asked "Is Parkour limited only to difficult arm jumps?" then the answer would have been 'Yes'.

What?  That's ridiculous.  Due to the limits of the human body, any one obstacle's difficulty level is relative to what preceded it.  Try an eight foot wall run while keeping in stride during a mile (1.6km) run.  Even regular lazy vaults over waist-high rails are difficult when you're in the middle of a miles-long run.  Besides that, once one has developed oneself, many things which were difficult are easy, allowing one to concentrate on developing the intricacies of the move (footwork, timing, linking to other movements, etc.)

I'm all for people discussing philosophy, the definition of parkour, whether parkour and freerunning and l'add are all one or separate disciplines, and all of the other big, important topics.  I think every time the subject comes up new people have the opportunity to join the conversation and I personally see something new, even if it's just from a slightly different angle.  However, I don't see why every conversation on any of these topics has to turn into a conversation on all of them.  Usually by the time that happens, a lot gets lost as people start contending all the minutia, rather than exchanging ideas about the original topic. Seems like it might be a good time for people to step back from this conversation and let some of the ideas brought up sink in for a bit.

Offline Chris [.5gibbon] Stevenson!

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Re: Non-Philosopher
« Reply #241 on: December 20, 2010, 03:46:07 PM »
brett is that directed to me? i feel like im on to something and its the point i have been trying to make since like the 3rd page of this discussion.

Dave, so what your saying is an obstacle is only an obstacle if it is difficult?  and parkour is about overcoming difficult obstacles for the sake of development?   so with that logic perfoming a standard speed vault over a 3 foot wall is not parkour if it is not difficult for one to perform.  maybe a suitable alternative would be to flip over the 3 foot wall if it is more difficult to perform.  or to break dance around the wall because that may be more difficult to some than a vault.   
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Offline David Jones

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Re: Non-Philosopher
« Reply #242 on: December 20, 2010, 03:49:01 PM »
I was talking to someone about this earlier, and I think all of these topics can only be discussed so far until the productivity comes to a halt. In the end of it all, I think we have to figure out these questions for ourselves. After all, Parkour is a personal journey...

Offline Sam Zytka

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Re: Non-Philosopher
« Reply #243 on: December 20, 2010, 05:26:43 PM »
this is directed towards chris cause i think dave's point may be that the reason you train parkour, is to make something like a 3 foot wall that would be an obstacle into something that takes very little effort or consciousness to overcome, it was once an obstacle but now overcoming it is second nature and thus it is no longer an obstacle, and that his point is that only when you are pushing yourself (relative to your own limits) are you truly doing parkour, but if you aren't overcoming obstacles i.e breaking mental barriers, or broadening your limits, then you aren't doing parkour, therefore if a three foot wall isn't a challenge for you and is thus not an obstacle, then the act of overcoming it isnt parkour

Offline Sparklefish

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Re: Non-Philosopher
« Reply #244 on: December 20, 2010, 06:11:16 PM »
brett is that directed to me? i feel like im on to something and its the point i have been trying to make since like the 3rd page of this discussion.

No, more of a general comment for everyone.  Awhile back I felt I was no longer contributing to this conversation, so I stopped posting.  By all means, if you feel like you're on to something, keep posting.

I was talking to someone about this earlier, and I think all of these topics can only be discussed so far until the productivity comes to a halt. In the end of it all, I think we have to figure out these questions for ourselves. After all, Parkour is a personal journey...

^I think David put it much more eloquently than I.  I was trying to say something like the first part of what he said, but I agree with all of what he said.

Offline DaveS

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Re: Non-Philosopher
« Reply #245 on: December 21, 2010, 05:35:58 AM »
Due to the limits of the human body, any one obstacle's difficulty level is relative to what preceded it.  Try an eight foot wall run while keeping in stride during a mile (1.6km) run.  Even regular lazy vaults over waist-high rails are difficult when you're in the middle of a miles-long run.  Besides that, once one has developed oneself, many things which were difficult are easy, allowing one to concentrate on developing the intricacies of the move (footwork, timing, linking to other movements, etc.)
That is the point I made in the first paragraph of my last post! :)
When I say 'difficult' I'm not just referring to obstacles that are difficult in optimum conditions. The conditions are part of the difficulty. A difficult gap to arm jump across might be one that contains a big distance, or not might be one that is slippery, or at the end of a tiring run, or dark, or under pressure. There are lots of ways for a wall to be difficult to get past, but the overall obstacle it presents does need to be difficult to get past for it to be useful to us in Parkour.

maybe a suitable alternative would be to flip over the 3 foot wall if it is more difficult to perform.  or to break dance around the wall because that may be more difficult to some than a vault.
This is the problem with focusing on the movements, that Adam and I were discussing on the previous page. It's not that Parkour involves difficult movement, it's that Parkour involves getting past difficult obstacles. Difficult in relation to your whole ability, not just a part.
We don't find a movement and then look for an obstacle of suitable difficulty, we encounter an obstacle and then try and find a solution. We choose the obstacle before we choose the movement we use to get past it. Problems come before solutions. This is the way it works in life, and this is the way we need to structure our training. We find a challenge and then start working on a solution. If we start making the solution part of the challenge, restricting ourselves to one particular type of solution in order to create a challenge, we remove the part of the process that deals with assessing a problem and formulating a solution.
An object is an obstacle if it is difficult for us to get past. All we're concerned with is 'can we get past the obstacle', not 'can we get past the obstacle with this particular movement'. If the solution is easy, we find a harder obstacle. If a particular movement doesn't work we find a different movement, not a different obstacle. If we focus on the obstacles rather than the movements we become free to use all of our abilities and find the optimum solution for us as individuals, learning how to adapt our strengths to the challenges we face. First obstacle, and then solution. Not both at once.

I was talking to someone about this earlier, and I think all of these topics can only be discussed so far until the productivity comes to a halt. In the end of it all, I think we have to figure out these questions for ourselves. After all, Parkour is a personal journey...
We have to make the decisions ourselves, but the choices we make are much more likely to be good ones if we consider as much information as we can, including information from other people. That's what discussions are for, sharing ideas, not making decisions for other people.
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NorthernParkour and the British Parkour Coaching Association

Offline David Jones

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« Reply #246 on: December 21, 2010, 07:39:24 AM »
The intent for why we train is completely subjective at this point in the Parkour community. I honestly don't see how this thread going any further is going to help someone make a better decision as to why they do Parkour. Did the original french practitioners, or many of the top athletes of Parkour today use forums to figure out why they train? No, because they are content with themselves after figuring it out on their own. Certain ideas are great to discuss, but I don't think this is one of them. It's your own personal journey, and there is no reason that others should make a mark in it simply through opinion of what they think is right and wrong.

Offline BryanG

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Re: Non-Philosopher
« Reply #247 on: December 21, 2010, 07:54:33 AM »
We don't find a movement and then look for an obstacle of suitable difficulty, we encounter an obstacle and then try and find a solution.

Sorry Dave, but I have to disagree here. When I got my first ever vault, for example, I was constantly looking for higher and higher things to vault over. That's not me encountering different obstacles, that's me trying to apply my movement to things I go out to find. I look for obstacles in my training, rather than simply encountering them.

I also experiment with a ton of different technique on certain obstacles in order to improve my capabilities elsewhere, which is training in an equally constructive manner as going out to find hard obstacles you can't overcome. An example of this is when I had learnt the pop vault over this wall just above head height, and instead of moving on to a harder obstacle, I went on to train on that wall for another month, until I had been able to kong vault, rather than regular vault, over the top.

I see where you're going though. When you have an obstacle you can't overcome, you would obviously try and find a solution to get over, under or through it. But that's only one aspect of training for me, and probably for a lot of other people, too.

Offline Gareth EE Field

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Re: Non-Philosopher
« Reply #248 on: December 21, 2010, 09:55:32 AM »
OP: Your opinion isn't humble enough.

Threadlock would be merciful here.
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Offline DaveS

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Re: .
« Reply #249 on: December 21, 2010, 03:35:43 PM »
The intent for why we train is completely subjective at this point in the Parkour community. I honestly don't see how this thread going any further is going to help someone make a better decision as to why they do Parkour. Did the original french practitioners, or many of the top athletes of Parkour today use forums to figure out why they train? No, because they are content with themselves after figuring it out on their own. Certain ideas are great to discuss, but I don't think this is one of them. It's your own personal journey, and there is no reason that others should make a mark in it simply through opinion of what they think is right and wrong.
Ok, for you this discussion isn't useful. For me, it is useful. For the other people taking part in it, they think it's useful for them. The people that think it's useful (like me) can take part, the people who don't (like you) can go do something else. Everyone's happy. :)

The original French practitioners didn't use internet forums because there were no internet forums (there was no internet). What they did instead was to talk to each other, talk to their relatives, their friends, trying to understand what they did. You don't develop understanding of something without thinking about it, and discussion is a useful aid to thought. Discussion is not essential, perhaps, but it is useful as it forces you to put your thoughts in order.

Sorry Dave, but I have to disagree here. When I got my first ever vault, for example, I was constantly looking for higher and higher things to vault over. That's not me encountering different obstacles, that's me trying to apply my movement to things I go out to find. I look for obstacles in my training, rather than simply encountering them.
Yes, we do have to look for obstacles, but I think it's a major mistake to look for obstacles with already the intention of performing a specific movement to get past them. Doing that teaches you to use that technique in different situations, when instead you could be learning how to find the best way to get past those new obstacles. What it does is teach people to rely on certain set techniques, because they never try anything different. You get good at cat passes, but you don't get better at getting past new obstacles. I've seen many people that are very good at certain techniques, but that are simply incapable of finding a solution to a new obstacle. To me, this is useless.

I also experiment with a ton of different technique on certain obstacles in order to improve my capabilities elsewhere, which is training in an equally constructive manner as going out to find hard obstacles you can't overcome. An example of this is when I had learnt the pop vault over this wall just above head height, and instead of moving on to a harder obstacle, I went on to train on that wall for another month, until I had been able to kong vault, rather than regular vault, over the top.
Experimentation is good, it helps you learn, but there's no point conditioning yourself to use poor solutions by continually repeating a movement once you know it's not the best way for you then. Sure, in the future once you've become stronger, you will need to experiment again, because you've changed and the solution will change also, but I think it's absurd to practice ineffectiveness.
The art of getting past obstacles is in trying to make it as easy as possible for yourself, being as efficient as you can in the situation. That's the skill that enables you to do the most, because that's how to learn to function to the limit of your ability.

I see where you're going though. When you have an obstacle you can't overcome, you would obviously try and find a solution to get over, under or through it. But that's only one aspect of training for me, and probably for a lot of other people, too.
Without wishing to cause offense, we've made the point already that there are a lot of people that aren't training effectively. Lots of people spend a lot of time practicing movements on obstacles where they aren't useful solutions, but to me that's simply one indicator out of many that we have a long way to go before the practice of Parkour is properly understood.

It's worth reminding ourselves, though, that there are aspects of obstacles that aren't determined solely by it's physical qualities. The complete obstacle might involve an element of repetition, for instance, or speed, or silence, or safety, or any number of other requirements. If that sort of thing forms part of the challenge then you may well need to use a different way of moving to successfully solve the problem. However you still need to set the challenge before you find the solution to it, if you want to be good at getting past obstacles instead of simply good at cat passes.
~ Dave
NorthernParkour and the British Parkour Coaching Association

Offline Luke MC

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Re: Non-Philosopher
« Reply #250 on: December 21, 2010, 06:27:06 PM »
I love these conversations. Parkour is such a broad subject that it simply cannot be discussed properly without digressing into various avenues of thought and nuances of the practice. Every time people engage in a conversation about a fundamental aspect of Parkour, about the essence of Parkour, it grows into something far bigger than the original point. You never know where the road will lead. For me, at least, the road is an enjoyable one. I pick up ideas all the way through and it provides a lot of food for thought. The idea of locking or abstaining from threads like this is absurd to me. It's interesting and contributes a great deal of (often original) thought. And this is how conversations work. They develop and mature and digress and come full-circle. Why get in the way of a decent conversation? All of my traceur friends moved away or stopped practising, so this is one of my only outlets for connection with the Parkour world. Long live debates :)

To chip in on the current debate, all I really want to say is that people should be careful when resorting to popular opinion or their own training methods as justification for their arguments. For example, I've seen people bring up the APK definition of Parkour in a manner that suggests that the case is already closed, and I've seen people say "well I do Parkour and I include X in my training, therefore I disagree with your definition" as if they can redefine a discipline based solely on what they choose to practice. Neither of these are the case. Come on people, you can do better than this.

Offline J. Gabriel Alvarez Manilla

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Re: Non-Philosopher
« Reply #251 on: December 21, 2010, 06:46:20 PM »
I've seen it a couple of times that we have found the philosophy part of parkour to be the applying the principle that we can analyse and deal with an obstacle in life just like we do with an obstacle in our path, no?
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Offline John "Cras" Morrow

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Re: Non-Philosopher
« Reply #252 on: December 22, 2010, 04:34:02 PM »
I've seen it a couple of times that we have found the philosophy part of parkour to be the applying the principle that we can analyse and deal with an obstacle in life just like we do with an obstacle in our path, no?

yeah i totally agree. as many people say, its a mindset and a lifestyle not just some cool thing to do.
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Offline Luke MC

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Re: Non-Philosopher
« Reply #253 on: December 22, 2010, 04:55:23 PM »
I've seen it a couple of times that we have found the philosophy part of parkour to be the applying the principle that we can analyse and deal with an obstacle in life just like we do with an obstacle in our path, no?

Pretty much, lol.