Author Topic: Gymnastics for fun! helping parkour  (Read 6937 times)

Offline Scared Doggy

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Re: Gymnastics for fun! helping parkour
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2011, 10:05:28 AM »
@Rafe

Phil and Chase come from martial arts backgrounds. As for everyone else, I'm not sure. I think the point he was trying to make was that pulling from other sources doesn't hinder, but rather helps.

Dude, Phil didn't come from a martial arts background. He was a slightly chubby kid who only really played baseball until he started parkour. Yes I looked at his blog  ;D
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Offline Ryan Sannar

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Re: Gymnastics for fun! helping parkour
« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2011, 01:32:59 PM »
I thought him and Ryan did martial arts together? Eh well either way.
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Offline Conrad Moser

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Re: Gymnastics for fun! helping parkour
« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2011, 01:35:42 PM »
I would think that the best benefits of gymnastics and martial arts backgrounds would be that you're already in good shape physically with some level of awareness of your own body. But I'm sure there are many here that can tell you that, regardless of what shape you may start out in, regular exercise and practice can get almost anyone into top form.
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Offline max eisenberg

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Re: Gymnastics for fun! helping parkour
« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2011, 02:54:08 PM »
my take on things?

gymnastics strength training programs will increase your capacity for movement by 10 fold. that being said there is not much an actual coach will teach you that proper practice and dedication wont get you. you might learn it faster with a coach but, most of us are self taught and some of us are pretty damn good. they can help with diagnosing incorrect technique but, i find that after months of practice a poor technique shows itself.

air awareness will go up, core strength and understanding of body mechanics will probably go up, as for other things there arent many that a gymnastics class will help. instead of going for instruction on flips go for instruction on body weight strength training. gymnasts have some of the best weight to strength ratios of all athletes.

no negatives other than time spent and potentially an injury or two but, its just another side to movement. practice what makes you happy. flips bring me joy so i flip, so do vaults, running, climbing and balancing. i find joy in all forms of movement and thats what counts, if you just want to go to learn flips cool. might as well just go to an open gym once a week and teach yourself and ask for instruction from other people there for free.

if you want to get something out of it, it could be a good opportunity to train with a skilled gymnast whos into parkour. never know what he could give you a hint on.



my mind is constantly moving, one day my body will be strong enough to keep up.

Offline Mr. Curly

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Re: Gymnastics for fun! helping parkour
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2011, 09:12:09 PM »
Cool! I am curious as to why though... but hell, if he's willing to help you on all of it, go for it bro.


I'm not really sure why either but he is so I'm down with it

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Offline Ratchetrockon

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Re: Gymnastics for fun! helping parkour
« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2011, 09:21:28 PM »
Dude, Phil didn't come from a martial arts background. He was a slightly chubby kid who only really played baseball until he started parkour. Yes I looked at his blog  ;D

Actually he was a slightly overweight kid who played BASKETBALL!

I read his blog too  ;)
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 09:29:42 PM by Ratchetrockon »

Offline Scared Doggy

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Re: Gymnastics for fun! helping parkour
« Reply #26 on: July 06, 2011, 01:29:43 PM »
Actually he was a slightly overweight kid who played BASKETBALL!

I read his blog too  ;)

Haha I was hoping nobody would get me on that one  ;D and @ Ryan: Phil Doyle and Ryan Doyle aren't related if that's what your thinkin dawg
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Offline Ryan Sannar

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Re: Gymnastics for fun! helping parkour
« Reply #27 on: July 06, 2011, 03:28:19 PM »
Crap this is William Belle all over again. How do I not know this stuff. I don't know most names anyways.
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Offline DaveS

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Re: Gymnastics for fun! helping parkour
« Reply #28 on: July 07, 2011, 03:43:06 AM »
Well you've told me you coach parkour so I find your comments out of line with your practice. Secondarily, parkour doesn't teach you how to correct yourself if you get flipped upside down unexpectedly.
Lastly, taking lessons and competing are very different. If you are taking a rec course and your coach knows your goals you probably won't be scolded for not pointing your toes.
'Coaching Parkour' simply means helping people learn to face obstacles themselves. There's no contradiction there, only the paradox that people often need to be shown that they can do things for themselves.
Although gymnastics coaches may not always force you into strict form, the standardized equipment in gymnastics will still always encourage standard, unchanging technique. Conversely, the variety of obstacles in the real world requires fluid technique, and also allows you to develop control of your movement in any way needed, including how to rotate your body.

Are you anti-tricking / one of those ' pure parkour ' people?
I find I don't get as much out of acro/tricking/gym as I do out of Parkour. I have no problem with people that practice acro/tricking/gym, but I know that those activities take people in a different direction than Parkour does, and those directions are not for me.

That's like trying to say you don't need to strength and condition because parkour is strength and conditioning. This is simply not true. All sports/athletics at high levels have significant amounts of strength and conditioning or technique driven practice that supplement performance.

Strength and conditioning, aerial awareness, proprioception/kinesthesia, etc. can all be developed from learning gymnastics and it will only help your parkour and/or freerunning
Parkour /= movement. Parkour is training through movement. Given that, it's self-evident that you don't need to condition separately in order to practice Parkour. Saying you need to condition separately in order to practice Parkour is like saying you need to practice Parkour in order to condition separately.

This might change the discussion a bit or it might not but, my couch is a tracure himself, and me doing gymnastics is just for fun, along with my couch says he would rather me be throwing dub b-twits and other non gymnastics moves
It doesn't really affect the points I've made, but it's good to know.
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Offline Joe Brock

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Re: Gymnastics for fun! helping parkour
« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2011, 05:34:14 AM »
Saying you need to condition separately in order to practice Parkour is like saying you need to practice Parkour in order to condition separately.

I took up parkour as a way to train differently.  So, uhh, this does apply.
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Offline Ryan Sannar

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Re: Gymnastics for fun! helping parkour
« Reply #30 on: July 07, 2011, 07:41:23 AM »
I'm stepping in now and calling a time out on the argument. Please continue it through personal messaging. Also my post was funny, try laughing, I've heard its good for your abs.
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Offline NOS - from Parkour Mumbai

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Re: Gymnastics for fun! helping parkour
« Reply #31 on: July 07, 2011, 11:19:46 AM »
Parkour /= movement. Parkour is training through movement.
or
Parkour /= movement. Parkour is the discipline of improvement.
or
Parkour /= movement. Parkour is life.
Dave, the thing is, you're pretty much the only one who believes in this. Most everyone in the world believe more or less that Parkour = Locomotion (or Movement, or whatever term you wish to call it by). That is why you fail to see the physical elements of Parkour practice for the intense physical activity that it is, and refuse to believe that a proper approach to supplemental physical training will help augment your physical elements of Parkour, make you perform those physical elements better, and keep you safe for longer.

Offline DaveS

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Re: Gymnastics for fun! helping parkour
« Reply #32 on: July 07, 2011, 01:53:39 PM »
I don't find it difficult to believe that a majority can be wrong. I especially don't find it difficult to believe that the majority can be wrong when that majority consists only of people who have only second or third hand experience, and when the differing minority includes all of the people who have had direct experience of it the longest, including all of the people who created it.

Nobody disputes that Parkour is, amongst other things, an intense physical activity, but it's only people that don't have access to good information that think that that is all there is to it.

If you look at the evidence it's not even an issue. Parkour is a training system, according to every reliable source.
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Offline Ryan Sannar

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Re: Gymnastics for fun! helping parkour
« Reply #33 on: July 07, 2011, 02:38:17 PM »
Did no one even take into consideration what I said? This is about gymnastics and if it will help parkour, NOS & Dave. Post your opinion (or state blatent fact I don't care) and either get out or offer words of encouragement. Seriously do all we ever do with Dave is argue and tell him he's rude?

Remember what they say: "When you point a finger at someone, that means that your hand is not currently being used to vault something."
« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 02:53:09 PM by Ryan Sannar »
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Offline Steve Low

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Re: Gymnastics for fun! helping parkour
« Reply #34 on: July 07, 2011, 03:14:19 PM »
Quote
Parkour /= movement. Parkour is training through movement. Given that, it's self-evident that you don't need to condition separately in order to practice Parkour. Saying you need to condition separately in order to practice Parkour is like saying you need to practice Parkour in order to condition separately.

I don't find it difficult to believe that a majority can be wrong. I especially don't find it difficult to believe that the majority can be wrong when that majority consists only of people who have only second or third hand experience, and when the differing minority includes all of the people who have had direct experience of it the longest, including all of the people who created it.

Nobody disputes that Parkour is, amongst other things, an intense physical activity, but it's only people that don't have access to good information that think that that is all there is to it.

If you look at the evidence it's not even an issue. Parkour is a training system, according to every reliable source.

Sorry man, I think you're wrong with this approach.

http://parkourpedia.com/about/interviews-and-articles-of-interest/david-belle-interview

David Belle, for example, approaches Parkour (as his father did) as movement and overcoming obstacles.

Indeed, training movement and overcoming obstacles IS a way to get better at that. But improving movement power/strength/etc. is also achieved by supplementing with strength and conditioning which every major athletic endeavor or sport has in their program. The same is true with martial arts which Belle often associates Parkour with.

We have discussed this extensively here and here:

http://www.americanparkour.com/smf/index.php?topic=11730.0
http://www.americanparkour.com/smf/index.php?topic=33174.0

And you may note that Blaine has since recanted his stances that you should train for Parkour by doing Parkour. I like many from general fitness believe that singular article has set parkour back at least 5 years training-wise.

However, if you want to continue to train and believe what you do then more power to you. I certainly can't stop you.

I do think there is more utility in training movement (e.g. parkour and/or freerunning) supplementing with proper strength and conditioning from a performance, longevity, and safety perspective. This is my main point. And although Rafe and I like to butt heads sometimes I think he agreeds with me on this. :p


Did no one even take into consideration what I said? This is about gymnastics and if it will help parkour, NOS & Dave. Post your opinion (or state blatent fact I don't care) and either get out or offer words of encouragement. Seriously do all we ever do with Dave is argue and tell him he's rude?

Remember what they say: "When you point a finger at someone, that means that your hand is not currently being used to vault something."

Forums are for discussing opinions.

If you feel different you can just stop participating.


Alright, I'm going back to my little cave of gen fitness and injuries. See ya guys.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 03:20:44 PM by Steven Low »
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Offline Ryan Sannar

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Re: Gymnastics for fun! helping parkour
« Reply #35 on: July 07, 2011, 03:52:03 PM »
Steven.

I want to apologize if my post came across as insulting or that I disagree with anyone per say. I just feel like whenever someone comes in stating a philosophical (by that I mean defining parkour in one way or another) point, 37 pages later we haven't really done anything that associates with the original question/statement, that or feelings erupt/we state the same thing again and again/ineffective arguing occurs (IE: The Jump Seattle thread).

Don't feed the fire is what I meant to say in what didn't come across as humorous as it did to me when I was typing it. I do want it known that I respect the opinions shared on this forum and the people who share them. I just feel that the direction this discussion is headed goes in one place, not every single thread (which I keep seeing, maybe its something wrong with my eyes).

Of course by posting this I'm not following my own advice and am prolonging the problem.

So to make this post semi-worthwhile and add to the actual discussion.

Mr Curly have you come to a decision? (I feel like I should be wearing a suit or something when I say that) If so I'm curious as to your opinion on this as well as how you've incorporated what everyone said into your decision. I don't see a lot of posts about what someone decides to do after we all post and I'm wondering what you have decided and why?
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Offline DaveS

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Re: Gymnastics for fun! helping parkour
« Reply #36 on: July 07, 2011, 04:50:51 PM »
Steven, Raymond Belle used the method of training through creating obstacle courses to get strong enough to survive when he was cut off from his family and placed in a military school in war-torn Vietnam, at the age of 7. David learned the same need to be strong from his father and applied the same method to his own situation. Even in the badly translated interview you linked to, David Belle treats Parkour as a training method. Yes, it's a training method for movement and getting past obstacles, but David is quite clear that it is for all obstacles, not just movement ones. There's really no basis for any other view.

I agree completely that if all you care about is physical strength and power then supplemental conditioning will be most useful. However, getting past any obstacle requires far more than just physical strength and power. To be able to get past all the obstacles you face in your life (the stated purpose of Parkour) you need to balance your physical abilities with mental ones, have strength in all areas so that each one supports and is supported by the others. You're always limited by the part you're weakest in, not the one you're strongest in. It's pointless being stronger with power than you are with balance, stronger with jumping than you are with recovering, or stronger physically than you are mentally. Parkour is about developing you as a complete person, which makes it fundamentally different from all of the activities where supplementary conditioning is used to better achieve a set success based on limited and artificial goals.
The only way to create such an internal balance is to ensure your training is balanced overall, and the only way to do that is to practice complete complex tasks rather than simplified and specialized training of any kind. That way, you always challenge (and therefore improve) the area you're weakest in.

I'm not basing this on Blane's articles. I trust my own experience and understanding more than I trust his interpretation of his own. To me, the best way to achieve something is to head straight for it, not to go in a different direction.

I also don't think discussion is a problem, and in fact these topics are only being discussed here because they are very relevant to the original topic. The nature of Parkour is something that is relevant and very important to any discussion on this website.
~ Dave
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Offline Gabe Arnold

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Re: Gymnastics for fun! helping parkour
« Reply #37 on: July 07, 2011, 07:42:20 PM »
I believe practicing gymnastics has great carry over to Parkour. Gymnastics is a more rigid system but it teaches body awareness, control, and strength that few other non-PK activities can. After you've done some gymnastics training you can see what has the most potential of helping your PK training and then go from there. If given the chance I say go for it, you're more likely to regret not doing it.


Warning, text wall! But it's good, I spent a long time refining it, so please read!

As for the discussion going on between DaveS, Steven, NOS, and others, here's my insight. It seems to me like the disagreement is boiling down to this. Either you believe Parkour is mainly a physical pursuit and the spiritual/mental/etc improvement is a by-product of this (a la many sports in which character, respect, and other qualities are expected of great champions). OR you believe Parkour aims for all of the above from the outset, the physical/mental/spiritual improvements being one and the same and thus inextricably linked.

I can see the pros and cons in both views. Seeing Parkour as largely physical allows for greater enhancement of the skills and movements used in typical training, this being achieved through the wealth of knowledge about exercise science. At the same time, this physical focus does not guarantee that the practitioner will adopt the other qualities we seek, such as a football star becoming arrogant in his abilities. An integrated approach can better counteract this human tendency by making it essential to training from the outset. At the same time, failing to focus harder on certain areas leads to dogma and weaker training overall, such as martial artists performing strict forms that have little use in a fight. The practitioner is more likely to stay balanced at the cost of peak ability.

It appears to be a catch-22. Reach for the highest levels of movement and you risk losing sight of the other qualities Parkour seeks. Focus too greatly on general improvement and you may plateau, never moving any further in one direction or the other.

I have no contact with the founders and early practitioners and thus can't speak for them. But I'll bet they never dreamed of the movement possibilities that are practically common place these days. And I feel the only way we hit these great heights was by viewing Parkour in a narrower light. They saw Parkour as a more balanced system, whereas quite a few practitioners now see Parkour as the movement itself.

In the end it becomes a personal choice, of seeking the highest limits or the greatest balance.

EDIT: And make no mistake, the idea of Parkour is evolving and changing daily. As David Belle said while being interviewed by Foucan, "Yes, I think young people found what they wanted, anyway, young folks always adapt to anything." He agrees they made a mistake in putting out the first demos that helped create the physical focus of PK we see today, but admits he hadn't finalized what Parkour was, what his father had taught him, when he first released tapes.

"And you think, well, if they get their kicks out of that, you can't really say 'No, you can't do this!' You have to let them express themselves. But we should also be entitled to finish what we started, even if people don't adhere, it doesn't matter, since we never did things to please or bring crowds, so we just stay ourselves." David and others let the cat out of the bag too soon, and now Parkour has evolved according to the masses. If you watch the whole interview you can see that Parkour evolved within David's mind as well. This seems key to the idea that Parkour's purpose or reason can morph with the personality of the practitioner.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 08:00:48 PM by Gabe Arnold »

Offline DaveS

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Re: Gymnastics for fun! helping parkour
« Reply #38 on: July 08, 2011, 02:33:52 AM »
Gabe, I disagree with a few of your conclusions. For starters, that's not a text wall!

For me, you've got the effects of the two different approaches confused. The plateau exists for people that concentrate only on the physical aspects, not the people who develop an overall balance, as they will remain limited by the abilities they don't develop. No plateau exists for people who develop in a balanced way, as even when age brings physical limits their existing strength in non-physical areas allows them to adjust their path gradually and seamlessly.

Also, dogma exists only when training focus is limited, because the whole point of broad training is that you end up being able to do everything for yourself and with no need to rely on the views of others. Dogma exists in martial arts precisely because the traditional martial arts model discourages practitioners from questioning the big high-up grandmaster, discouraging practitioners from thinking for themselves. The whole basis of Parkour is that people should be free to choose their own way.

That interview highlights the dilemma that exists as a result of this philosophy. The original practitioners are clear in their own minds what Parkour is and how it should be practiced. They firmly believe that most people nowadays have lost it's original meaning and practice something different as a result, and they still want to pass on the original discipline to others because they think that it contains ideas that will make a big difference to people. However, they're not going to tell anyone else that they are wrong to do what they do because they want people to find their own way and do what they feel is best. They pass on their methods not by handing out laws and guidelines, but by encouraging people to make their own.
In that interview they're basically saying the same thing that many practitioners have been saying online for a long time. They have no objection to people who approach things differently, they just want their original way to continue. They want to finish their task of passing that way on to others.

Yes, they have found it difficult to do that. I think you're right, I think part of the initial problem was that they didn't fully understand Parkour themselves when they were starting to pass it on to others. However I think the main problem was that they didn't understand how modern media works. They didn't understand that people would see the short video clips and think that that was all there was to it. The problem they have now is that as well as the problem of modern communication there are now many other examples. On a video it is difficult to see the different purposes people have when moving, and so it is difficult to make people aware that the purpose you have makes a difference.
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Offline Mr. Curly

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Re: Gymnastics for fun! helping parkour
« Reply #39 on: July 08, 2011, 03:59:27 AM »

Mr Curly have you come to a decision? (I feel like I should be wearing a suit or something when I say that) If so I'm curious as to your opinion on this as well as how you've incorporated what everyone said into your decision. I don't see a lot of posts about what someone decides to do after we all post and I'm wondering what you have decided and why?


well I'm glad you have decided to bring the conversation back to the main point, I took the first class last night and I enjoyed it, i think it will boost my conference helping my forum on tumbling and flips and help with my conditioning witch I have been lacking in that department ever since I started parkour.   

Goals for Training:
-Land a Frontflip Outside again √
-Kong a table over seats √
-Kong a Picnic Table Longways
-Make a decent sampler/video
-Find new places to train
-Land a Sideflip Outside √