Author Topic: Kong Vault takeoff: split or combined?  (Read 4085 times)

Offline Jan-Su

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Kong Vault takeoff: split or combined?
« on: July 09, 2015, 08:13:43 AM »
So I've recently noticed some possible differences on whether one uses a single leg or both legs for the kong. Split takeoffs seem to flow into/from your run more, but combined takeoffs at least have more power behind them. However, with combined, when you bring both legs together to that one point just before you leap, it's like your momentum almost completely stops and you lose a bit of your forward motion.

I can't quite remember which way I was able to do my first ever kongs when I went to a gymnastics facility in October 2014, but I've preferred and have been doing the combined takeoff for the past few months, as they seem much safer. I just wanted to know what others have to chime in on these and which is the way one should probably be doing it.

Offline Alvendam

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Re: Kong Vault takeoff: split or combined?
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2015, 11:08:54 PM »
The different kong takeoffs are situational, so you better learn them all.
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Offline Dick Stapleton

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Re: Kong Vault takeoff: split or combined?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2015, 11:38:47 AM »
Split step/gather step for sure for pretty much every type of kong. It gives you the most power and control without a doubt. You don't need to learn it when you're just learning kongs. For that just use whatever takeoff you feel the most confident and safe with. Once you get comfortable with them learn to split step, though.

Offline Jan-Su

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Re: Kong Vault takeoff: split or combined?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2015, 01:43:01 PM »
So I think I may be starting to remember how I did my first ever kongs last fall when I went to that gymnastics facility. It was coming back to me in pieces when I visited that new parkour/rock climbing facility that recently opened near me, and when I reread my thread describing my first successful kongs. I probably did push off with one leg, but I quickly tucked in both legs close in front of me. I recall I looked similar to this image I found on Google as I was in midair, sailing right over the block mat.



I found a number of kong vault  tutorials on YouTube, with perhaps the Tapp Brothers’ video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzrhtoVIrRY) on it being the most comprehensive on how to progress with the split takeoff, although I couldn’t figure out at first why this version of the split takeoff still felt so awkward (the one where you swing your non-push off leg way backwards and up in an attempt to also help get your hips up). I’ve instead been trying to replicate how I did them last October now that I possibly remember it, but it still hasn’t been going that swimmingly.

If only I hadn’t gone so long between then and this mid/late spring without doing proper kongs, I wouldn’t have had to relearn the move almost altogether. I did at least retain a little bit, though, according to my club’s president (now instructor at our new facility); I didn’t have to start completely from square 1 as if I’d never done a kong before that. But my busy schedule, financial situation, the brutal winter, and still lack of that good outdoor spots near me certainly didn’t help either.

If all else fails, I might default back to using the combined takeoff for now for many of my kongs for a good portion of the foreseeable future. At least both legs can do what one leg alone sometimes cannot.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2015, 08:11:52 PM by Jan-Su »

Offline Jan-Su

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Re: Kong Vault takeoff: split or combined?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2015, 08:10:26 AM »
Gosh darn it!! Darn it to heck and back! No matter how many times I've attempted it, I just can't quite pull it off. It may have looked like from the beginning trajectory of my legs that they would sail right over, but at the very last instant, I abort the move and just come back down. Or if I do go over, I end up doing a different kind of vault than a split takeoff, fully forward facing kong.

It feels as if I might hit some part of my leg(s) on the edge of the low wall, or I would come down face/head first on to the ground on the other side. Maybe if I had someone spotting me, I might feel safer committing to the whole movement.

I think I may have found ways to minimize my speed/momentum loss when I use the combined takeoff, though. I figured if that's the main way I'll do it, I might as well get good/better at it.

I definitely know one thing I'll be working on if I ever revisit an indoor facility of some kind, should I ever decide to repursue the split takeoff. I just hope I won't get reprimanded by those in these forums who prefer/have mastered the split over the combined.

Offline Jan-Su

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Re: Kong Vault takeoff: split or combined?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2015, 09:02:58 AM »
Okay, so I found a few more videos that appear closer to what I've been meaning. Andy Taylor from Zoic Nation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwVl_uHWb0I), "Flip" Rodriguez from Jump City and American Ninja Warrior (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLD7x0_F37o), and Sam Parham from 3runTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHP6WDmLAiE).

So what I've been calling the combined takeoff, some are calling the punch take off. My kongs look much closer to Andy's and Flip's demonstrations, as well as perhaps Sam's first demonstration.

The comments section on all of these have been a little mixed, though. Some say the combined/punch takeoff is better for higher, vertically-oriented kongs and the split takeoff is better for more speed and distance. I think they're right and I've noticed that myself. And others go so far as to say that the punch should be avoided completely, for reasons that still escape me.

My main concern is getting over the vault box/obstacle in the first place. Just about all the kongs I've ever done were always more vertically-oriented anyway. I'm not so worried about speed or distance (yet) as I don't think would consider attempting any kind of vault while moving faster than a jogging pace. I've tried konging on some picnic tables from the bench side, but as expected, could only get to the back edge of the table. I can't completely vault over the entire table and its benches (at least not with this kind of kong and with only a moderate speed).

I mean, I can touch the ceiling of my room if I jump with both of my legs, but cannot if I jump with only one leg.

Anyone else's thoughts? I'm wondering if it's too little, too late/dangerous to reorient my kong takeoffs.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2015, 01:35:29 PM by Jan-Su »

Offline Dick Stapleton

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Re: Kong Vault takeoff: split or combined?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2015, 05:06:02 PM »
Punching is almost definitely easier to use for high kongs but it's also very high impact. I used to prefer them but now I just jump harder out of the split step because I'm too heavy to be punching all the time.

It definitely isn't too late to adjust something. It's never too late. Your main problem is probably not diving enough because of fear. Try spending some time working on dive rolls, handstands, and handstands into forward rolls. If you're competent at those skills then even if you clip your feet and don't make it all the way on your kong you'll be able to bail safely. With that knowledge you'll be more able to fully commit which will prevent you from messing up.


Offline Scott Palangi

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Re: Kong Vault takeoff: split or combined?
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2015, 12:25:59 PM »
I had the same issue with kongs. I finally got the picnic table thing from finding a "handicapped" table, first. (ya gotta look for em though; i found one in my town; it was invisible to me until I started training lol, I'm sure you know what I mean), which means, the "bench" part, at one end of the table is missing (so as to accommodate a someone in a wheelchair, to join others at the table, etc). For me, I didn't realize that it was the bench on the OTHER side of the table that was a mental block, again, for me, more so than the strength, speed, and extra fingertip-launch, and so on (not to mention, needing the distance to first, clear, the front side bench, right?). I've only seen a few of these style picnic tables since this one in Bergen & Rockland. The one I am referring to specifically, is at "Nicks Park" in Rockleigh, NJ, which is 4 towns from Bergenfeild, maybe 5 towns. (there's not much there at all, but it's special to me cuz I got my second Kong, EVER, split-step too, lol, RIGHT, there.... first one was in Florida, at beach, with nice soft sand for my wimpy brain lol). The handicapped modified picnic table is a normal table, 31" wide, etc. (yup, I measure stuff still) just it doesn't have the unpredictably spaced out 18" high benches on either side to deal with, which, unwittingly causes (me) uncommitted take-off. Hope this helps. Peace. :)
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Offline Jan-Su

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Re: Kong Vault takeoff: split or combined?
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2015, 05:44:19 PM »
Nice to meet you, Scott. Always good to hear from someone in my area.

I wasn't sure what you meant at first actually, but thanks for explaining. Unfortunately, I don't think my town has handicapped picnic tables. Even if there are a few, they're likely used for indoor purposes only in certain businesses, and they surely won't allow someone to be jumping around on them.

But yeah, having a bench on both sides of the table makes it that much harder to clear. That's a lot of horizontal distance to cover, and you'd already have to be moving quite fast. My fears are that my feet would clip either the bench on the other side, or the edge of the table. Then my knees would hit either the ground, or the top of the other bench, both of which would hurt A LOT.

I can definitely attest to your other point, though. Bergen county is just not very obstacle dense. I think even my club's former president might agree. According to him, there are a few good spots in Bergen county, but they're far between. It's not like you could just walk/bike a few minutes from one spot to the next. You'd have to drive quite a few miles in between these spots. Chances are, maybe one lives closer to one of these spots, but too far to practically train at any of the others.

Everyone's scattered about, too. I've noticed there are a handful of individuals in Bergen county interested in parkour, but we all live way out in different towns. And with everyone having such different crazy and busy schedules, trying to organize a steady group that dedicatedly meets and trains regularly would be a near impossibility. Tragic. Maybe parkour is really only a pipe dream for an area like this.

I'm still considering building my own vault box in the future. I'm basing it from that PDF diagram of a vault box example from sfparkour.com. I'll have to wait until next spring to buy the materials, however, since I'm trying to save most of my money for school. It's high time I have something more proper to vault over. These picnic tables just won't do it for me anymore.