American Parkour Forum

Parkour and Freerunning => Parkour And Freerunning => Topic started by: Gabe Arnold on January 14, 2010, 04:56:36 PM

Title: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Gabe Arnold on January 14, 2010, 04:56:36 PM
ADAPT UK Begins! January 18-21

Next week will see the first ADAPT (Art du Deplacement and Parkour Teaching) Level 1 Qualification Course being offered by the UK's National Governing Body - Parkour UK. 1st4Sports has now come on board as the awarding body for the qualification, with the UK version being valid across Europe. The 4-day course is for the Level 1 Assistant Instructor qualification, a necessary step on the way to the Level 2 Full Instructor qualification courses soon to follow. The UK ADAPT qualification is part of the ADAPT scheme created by the Yamakasi founders at Majestic Force and the Parkour Generations collective, including Chau Belle, Stephane Vigroux, Seb Goudot, Yann Hnautra, Thomas Couetdic, Forrest, Williams Belle, Dan Edwardes, Laurent Piemontesi and Johann Vigroux. This historic course marks the official launch of the recognised coaching qualification in Europe, and we will have a full report of how it went next week. For more information on ADAPT, click here.

> Parkour UK proudly confirms Sebastien Foucan will be attending the L1 1st4Sport Certificate in Coaching Parkour/Frerunning (ADAPT) next week.

> Parkour UK will launch open courses in the Level 1 Certificate in Coaching Parkour/Freerunning (ADAPT) from Feb 2010 e: info@parkouruk.org

> City of Westminster will host the first ever 1st4Sport Certificate in Coaching Parkour/Frerunning (ADAPT) next week 18th - 21st January 2010

> Parkour UK formally announces the 1st4Sport Certificate in Coaching Parkour/Freerunning (ADAPT) will launch on the 18th January 2010

http://www.parkourgenerations.com/news.php
http://www.parkouruk.org/#News
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Andy Keller on January 14, 2010, 05:28:31 PM
Topics merged.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Matthew Wang on January 14, 2010, 08:13:56 PM
This is pretty awesome to hear about. Just knowing that there's a pretty serious test that only the most experienced can pass is a good way to know who has really been practicing and become very knowledgeable in the art. But by no means is it a way to say "So-and-so is much better than So-and-so".

It sounds very tough. This could be a great way to measure progress for the experienced practitioners. In a way, it carries the same idea as Rafe's ideas on competition.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Corndogg on January 14, 2010, 08:59:24 PM
For those interested, we have a 3 page thread going on "Parkour Instructor Certification (http://www.sfparkour.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3417)" with a lot of good points raised for and against having a governing body that can "certify" parkour instructors.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: wlf on January 15, 2010, 10:10:20 AM
meh, why does Great britain get all the good stuff like early james bond movies, CHERUB series, and parkour classes...oh and Doctor who
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: NOS - from Parkour Mumbai on January 16, 2010, 06:01:21 AM
I sat and read through Corndogg's thread above, read all 3 pages seeing both sides of viewpoints (as well as both pages of Sean Hannah's related thread on the sfpk forums referenced in that thread) in order to form a more objective opinion on this whole thing.


I think my main gripe with this certification thingy is this:

I don't like the line where they state that "any level 3 instructor can come and supervise your class at any time he wishes to." I don't care if it is Yann Hnautra or Seb Foucan himself who comes down to my class, but I for one certainly do not like the idea of anyone coming and forcefully interfering in my proceedings, or imposing any 'rules and regulations' on me. Sure, if either of them ask me if they could come down to watch a class, I'd be more than happy and honored to have them visit, but if they decide to simply, forcefully make an entry on the grounds that 'we are the governing body and we want to inspect and ratify that you're doing exactly as you were taught in the certificate course', then I'd be one pissed off traceur. Some of the ideas listed in their qualifications section under expectations are beginning to sound more like a government institution's policies & interference and redundant red-tape to me more than a well meaning traceur body laying down guidelines for how people wishing to teach Parkour should proceed.

Parkour is after all, a free discipline devoid of rules. What we have instead is just some basic guidelines as to what Parkour is and isn't, and how should practitioners progress in Parkour while learning it from scratch. And I don't think we need a certification course to ensure that these guidelines are followed.

I know I follow safe practices and proper training progression in my classes even though I charge people for it. If I'm comfortable with my method of training, and my students are comfortable with it, I won't have someone come and tell me what to do or what not to do in my class just because they do not agree with my methods.
I'd rather have my teaching methods reviewed by the community rather than follow the dictats of some self-appointed 'governing body', ironically comprised of the same individuals who came up with the philosophy of 'no ranks, no rules and no competitions for parkour'.

(I'm not taking the introduction of certifications for parkour trainers personally, I'm just presenting my thoughts on the certification process from a personal point of view.)

What are we going to start with next? Certifications/belts for proficiency in Parkour training? Create levels of skill proficiency a guy can achieve in Parkour and Freerunning and start awarding ranks to them as and when they do? ("Hi, my name is Yann Hnautra, and I'm a black belt in Parkour." New guy at Rendezvous 5 - "Oh, that makes me a white belt then. How many years is your certification course to get me a black belt like yours?")
Because with certifications for instructing on the horizon now, that's where we seem to be headed in the future.


(Okay, and I mean no offence to either Yann or Seb, I have great respect for both the guys and their skills, I just used their names to demonstrate an example.)
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Mark Lewis on January 17, 2010, 07:19:31 PM
I just finished going over the sfpk forum above and the information about these new Parkour certs as well. There are a lot of good points raised and many many possibilities on the horizon for Parkour. As responsible practitioners, we should be very concerned with how our discipline is displayed to those currently ignorant of it.

I believe certifications developed by the Parkour community are necessary, if only because I believe the advent of certifications is inevitable. As this discipline becomes more popular (and more profitable), certifications will come in an effort to legitimize efforts to grind dollars out of Parkour. If we don't do it properly first, our image could be hijacked and bastardized. More importantly, many newcomers could be sold a pseudo-parkour that could easily cause them physical harm. If only for this reason, we have a responsibility.

Do you need a certification to teach Parkour? Of course not! A well thought out certification process would simply provide: a way for us to show a legitimate effort to disperse sound knowledge of Parkour, a way for us to guard our image and discipline by taking direct responsibility for it, a simple way to recognize quality coaches, and a means to foster and support quality coaching in our community. If the proper goals are in mind, developing certifications can be a very constructive action.

Does the community need certified teachers? I personally believe we do not. Does the community need good teachers? Yes! I think we need this one commodity more than anything else if we are to continue to grow well. A certifying body should strive to help train those with the desire to coach to be better coaches in all capacities, regardless of current skill level. This is easier said than done, but this goal will ensure that we are constantly trying to improve the quality of information that is being disseminated about Parkour. It will also help us make the most of a very valuable resource, our coaches!

That said; I believe that discussing whether Parkour certifications should be created is not constructive. It would be far more constructive to discuss as a community:

1.What qualities a good coach should have

2.Ways to help instill those qualities in potential coaches

3.Ways to support and continue to cultivate those that are already coaching in our community

4.The potential consequences of our actions in terms of usefulness to the community, protection of potential newcomers, and development of quality coaches.

We need to remember; we have a responsibility to those who could be potentially harmed by misrepresentations of our discipline. We need to tailor all our efforts to create certifications around this idea.

What do you think? How can we make this into a source of strength for our community? How can we help provide an excellent source of informed coaches and continue to support them (regardless of whether they have actually opted to certify or not)?
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: max eisenberg on January 17, 2010, 09:05:15 PM
to me, parkour is special. i dont like the idea of charging fees to be given the gift of parkour.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: turtlekarma on January 18, 2010, 03:43:51 AM
OFF TOPIC....Just curious, what other certifications do you guys know of that could be useful for people wanting to teach PK?

I know there's a MovNat certification, Erwan Le Corre's update and expansion on Hebert's Natural Method. 
Being USGA certified to teach gymnastics would also be helpful...safe falling classes included
AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association) certified for natural environment
Maybe a cross fit certification. 
For safety sake...First aid, CPR/AED certification, maybe throw in ALA (American lifeguard association) certification for natural training. 
I saw this post a while ago http://www.americanparkour.com/smf/index.php/topic,6112.0.html (http://www.americanparkour.com/smf/index.php/topic,6112.0.html), about a possible APK certification...couldn't figure out if it ever got implemented???

Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Chris [.5gibbon] Stevenson! on January 18, 2010, 07:40:16 AM
i have not read the other thread, but it seems stupid to me. its good be certified to teach parkour movements and techniques, but what about parkour conditioning?  i am willing to bet they pass that on as well and to say the least pkgen and majestic are not certified physical trainers.   i wouldn’t be surprised if part of their test was like 100 diving hindu twirly birds or whatever the gay exercises are that they are always endorsing.     Correct me if im wrong about conditioning techniques being a part of the certification, because if not then im all for it.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Jacob Siler on January 18, 2010, 08:28:32 PM
The USAG certification is a safety certification, it is meant to cover the basis of what to do if someone is injured and how to avoid a lawsuit. Something along this line should be essential to be a parkour/freerunning instructor. First aide/ CPR is required before you can take the safety certification. To be a gymnastics instructor, this is all you have to do....actually you don't really have to do this unless you are taking gymnasts to gymnastics meets.
I looked at the site and they are talking about offering up to a master of gymnastics(level 6). Their current website has course offering for level 1 certification.
directly from the site "Core pieces of education are currently available (i.e. Safety Certification, First Aid Basics, Preschool Fundamentals, various congresses, clinics and workshops), and the final course for Level 1 Certification is scheduled to be available by the end of 2008. Additional courses and other types of education will continue to be added in coming years, allowing for certification at higher levels." they haven't updated it since 2008.
They haven't updated it since then.
Basically I'm saying we should have a governing body, but it doesn't have to say that you are a good instructor or not it just should help to cover you if a student gets injured.
Not anyone should teach parkour, proper progressions should be done. And the most experience person should be instructing the class. I personally want to start a class but I don't feel that I am qualified enough to do it, I've been coaching for 6+ years, but I've been practicing parkour for only 9 months, if you look at the A.D.A.P.T certification, I'm not even qualified enough to be a level 1 instructor.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Rafe on January 18, 2010, 11:15:32 PM
I was breifly MovNat certified(more like grandfathered in). I am both crossfit and USAG certified. I would not recomend any of them. USAG a joke anyone with an IQ over a hundred should be able to ace the USAG safety cert with no prep in 15 minutes. Crossfit is more of joke the do try to teach you but the don't test you so whats the cert worth plus crossfit is dangerous fitness fad with no usefull application to parkour anyways. I can't actually say anything bad about the MovNat cert because when Erwan told me I was qualifed to teach MovNat that was ages ago and he still has not set down what exactly his certs will be like so maybe they will be rigorous, but I personally would not invest in learning from Erwan.

I do think Certs will be necessary someday I don't think that time is arrived. I think those of us who are coaching need to focus on learning as much as possible from other disciplines testing out our ideas day after day and when we have more of knowledge base then coming together and trying to put something meaningful together.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: BaptizedByFire on January 19, 2010, 07:40:20 AM
I am also against certifications. If we absolutely must have a system for distinguishing those of us who are not only the best in our area, but also possess the way with words to teach the less experienced, then let it be the APK Instructor Certification and leave it at that.

The founding fathers of this PK Governing body may have the best of intentions, and may set up a fool-proof system... but I can think of  a group of guys who are way smarter than any of us today who tried the same thing back in 1776, frankly did a much better job than we could do, and it only took corruption and special interest groups a few decades to infest and warp our entire country.

I don't like the idea of a rank system either. You shouldn't need certs to get respect. If you're a great traceur, and you show up in someones class- I'm willing to bet anything you say will be heard and will give pause while everyone takes it in and decides whether they agree or disagree.

However, i certainly DO like the idea of getting other certifications not related to parkour, that one mind find use for while doing parkour. Such as the USAG, Crossfit, CPR/First Responder etc. Some of these certs require you to actually learn something useful- and THAT is the key. The cert is nowhere near as important as the skill it represents.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: M1L3S on January 19, 2010, 06:07:58 PM
How about people just using common sense/instincts when training.   :-Sarcasm

Parkour philosophy is about learning, individually, not following another.

Those who know parkour, know parkour.

Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Mark Toorock on January 19, 2010, 09:45:40 PM
Wow Rafe, "CrossFit is a dangerous fitness fad"? That's a little broad don't you think? I think a lot of people use CF foundations very successfully to become very fit. Yes, you can call it "cross training" or metcon mixed with o-lifting - but saying that CF is dangerous? Like saying Parkour is a dangerous fitness fad. Can PK be dangerous? Sure, if not done correctly. What is "correctly"? Well, if nobody states that out loud, then I guess we're at an impasse. Can CrossFit be done correctly? I know a whole bunch of very fit people who would say yes.

APK is making a cert, now, because we feel there are a lot of people starting to teach and they don't have good guidelines, they don't have good understanding of conditioning and exercises and they don't necessarily know how to get this info to the student in a good effective manner. I won't say anything else about the cert right now because it's being made by a committee, so it's really not my place to say exactly how it will be - I don't know, the committee will take 8-12 weeks to work on that and see what they think and come up with the best that they can, and I'm sure as time goes on the cert will change as new information becomes available and as the results of the cert and it's instructors are observed.

On the subject of ADAPT I'll say only this: I don't agree with their "conditioning" methods. They may have changed since the seminar I went to, but from what I heard of Morazine they haven't, and it is closer to hazing than training.

I stick to my guns on this: Anyone can make a workout hard, but only a good instructor can make a workout effective. Yes, read that again.

Exercise is like medicine, it must be prescribed for the individual, if you give the same medicine blindly to 100 people, 20 will die from allergies, 40 will see no effect, and some will be cured (if they were sick to begin with!). The same goes for exercise, the same amount isn't the right amount for each person, and instructors need to take this into account.



Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Mark Lewis on January 20, 2010, 08:15:42 PM
I stick to my guns on this: Anyone can make a workout hard, but only a good instructor can make a workout effective. Yes, read that again.

Exercise is like medicine, it must be prescribed for the individual, if you give the same medicine blindly to 100 people, 20 will die from allergies, 40 will see no effect, and some will be cured (if they were sick to begin with!). The same goes for exercise, the same amount isn't the right amount for each person, and instructors need to take this into account.

I couldn't agree with you more on these points Mark.

I also don't like what I'm learning about ADAPT. It seems too strict and controlling to allow natural growth of the discipline. It says to me, "this is the one way and we own it." This might be harsh and it may not play out this way, but that is my impression.

I'm excited to see the APK cert at its completion. My post above was meant to spur useful conversation and I hope the certification committee sees it. I honestly believe a well thought certification process can be a way to help strengthen and support our community and I hope APK's cert proves to be just that.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: turtlekarma on January 21, 2010, 01:35:28 AM
Wow Rafe, "CrossFit is a dangerous fitness fad"? That's a little broad don't you think? I think a lot of people use CF foundations very successfully to become very fit. Yes, you can call it "cross training" or metcon mixed with o-lifting - but saying that CF is dangerous? Like saying Parkour is a dangerous fitness fad. Can PK be dangerous? Sure, if not done correctly. What is "correctly"? Well, if nobody states that out loud, then I guess we're at an impasse. Can CrossFit be done correctly? I know a whole bunch of very fit people who would say yes.

APK is making a cert, now, because we feel there are a lot of people starting to teach and they don't have good guidelines, they don't have good understanding of conditioning and exercises and they don't necessarily know how to get this info to the student in a good effective manner. I won't say anything else about the cert right now because it's being made by a committee, so it's really not my place to say exactly how it will be - I don't know, the committee will take 8-12 weeks to work on that and see what they think and come up with the best that they can, and I'm sure as time goes on the cert will change as new information becomes available and as the results of the cert and it's instructors are observed.

On the subject of ADAPT I'll say only this: I don't agree with their "conditioning" methods. They may have changed since the seminar I went to, but from what I heard of Morazine they haven't, and it is closer to hazing than training.

I stick to my guns on this: Anyone can make a workout hard, but only a good instructor can make a workout effective. Yes, read that again.

Exercise is like medicine, it must be prescribed for the individual, if you give the same medicine blindly to 100 people, 20 will die from allergies, 40 will see no effect, and some will be cured (if they were sick to begin with!). The same goes for exercise, the same amount isn't the right amount for each person, and instructors need to take this into account.


thanks for the update on the APK certifications, I was looking for more info on it.  I'd like to follow apk's certifications process as much as possible.  Could someone in the know post updates on it every once in a while?  I'd imagine that small community leaders without ready access to bigger pk scenes would love to have a fresh flow of ideas about how to approach teaching pk, various methods of getting info across, how to help beginners to build a solid foundation for training that works for them, suggestions on bodies of knowledge to draw from in designing a "class"....etc. 

I like your comment on exercise and how its an individual thing, gave me something to think about.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: DaveS on January 21, 2010, 05:25:54 PM
"CrossFit is a dangerous fitness fad"? ... I think a lot of people use CF foundations very successfully to become very fit.
I just wanted to make a quick point about this. I might have misunderstood Mark's meaning, but it's also relevant to the main topic.

Safety has got nothing to do with fitness. Safety is a mental skill. You can have all the physical attributes you like and you'll still get injured if you attempt something beyond your limit.

Safety is entirely down to your choice of action. That means having good decision making skills; a good idea of what you can do and a strong enough character to resist temptations to go too far beyond it.

This is why I have an objection to excessive physical conditioning. To improve your decision making skills you need to use them, to test them and push their limits, and while you do this you will make mistakes. You have to, in order to learn.
When you're physically strong your training becomes more dangerous (greater distances/forces/impacts etc.). Every bad decision you make has much more serious consequences, so you can afford to make fewer mistakes.
If you're physically weaker, then your training involves less danger and you are able to make more mistakes, making this a much better point in your training for developing those crucial mental skills.

Physical strength is useful, but for me it's the second phase of training, not the first. The first is the mental strength.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Mark Toorock on January 21, 2010, 05:37:13 PM
Dave, It wasn't me who said CrossFit was dangerous - my point was that how it is applied used or taught can be either safe or dangerous, just like parkour.

So that we have a frame of reference, can you please clarify "excessive"? How do you gauge what's not enough, enough, and excessive?

Thanks!
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: DaveS on January 22, 2010, 06:41:06 AM
Yes, I realise that it wasn't you that said Crossfit was dangerous. However I was actually responding to your words, which appeared to imply that 'Crossfit isn't inherently dangerous because it makes people fit', which doesn't follow.

By 'excessive physical conditioning' in this context I'm referring to any parkour training style that places more emphasis on physical development than on mental development, which leads to the situation I described above, people being stronger physically than mentally. Training that is disproportionately weighted towards the physical.
I think the ultimate guide to the effectiveness of training, and therefore what is the right amount, is how well it helps you improve or achieve your goals.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Rafe on January 22, 2010, 11:47:10 AM
I just wanted to make a quick point about this. I might have misunderstood Mark's meaning, but it's also relevant to the main topic.

Safety has got nothing to do with fitness. Safety is a mental skill. You can have all the physical attributes you like and you'll still get injured if you attempt something beyond your limit.

Safety is entirely down to your choice of action. That means having good decision making skills; a good idea of what you can do and a strong enough character to resist temptations to go too far beyond it.

This is why I have an objection to excessive physical conditioning. To improve your decision making skills you need to use them, to test them and push their limits, and while you do this you will make mistakes. You have to, in order to learn.
When you're physically strong your training becomes more dangerous (greater distances/forces/impacts etc.). Every bad decision you make has much more serious consequences, so you can afford to make fewer mistakes.
If you're physically weaker, then your training involves less danger and you are able to make more mistakes, making this a much better point in your training for developing those crucial mental skills.

Physical strength is useful, but for me it's the second phase of training, not the first. The first is the mental strength.

Dave I am sorry but that is most ridiculous thing I have ever read.

Safety is not a mindset, you can go around with great safety mindset and get hit by a car. Even if we narrow the context to parkour we never now all of the contexts so there's allways risk, the stonger, more mobile, and more reactive we are the better we will be able to deal with the inevitable crashes. Most traceurs develop chronic injuries percisely because their weak and badly conditioned, the idea that developing strength makes your training more dangerous is literally the dumbest thing I have ever read on a parkour forum and i have read some dumb stuff.




Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Rafe on January 22, 2010, 12:09:05 PM
Mark, take a look at these recent workouts appearing on .com and tell me crossfit isn't stupid and dangerous


Three rounds for time of:
Walk on hands, 100 feet
Hold handstand against wall for two minutes
15 Handstand push-ups

Just stupid
Three rounds for time of:
Walking lunge, 50 meters
Standing broad-jump, 100 meters
Run 200 meters

Stupid and Dangerous especially back to back
Deadlift 1-10-1-20-1-30 reps
Front Squat 1-10-1-20-1-30 reps crossfit,
and Bench Press 1-10-1-20-1-30 reps

and we can't forget

Complete as many rounds as you can in twenty minutes of:
Row 500 meters
25 Turkish Get-ups with a 60-pound dumbbell

Not to mention every GHD sit up for time wod, every overhead squat, or snatch for time wod.

Everyone I respect who has been involved in crossfit, Dan John, Mark Rippetoe, Robb Wolf, Greg Everett, etc has ended up having the same criticism and our conversations on subject tell you share it as well. Preparing for any random event is not the same as preparing randomly, Strength is the basis of GPP and if you don't have a progressive strength program your missing the point and doing everything for time is dumb. IMHO mainsite is crossfit and it doesn't prescribe intelligent strength work, it doesn't prescribe the skill development necessary to actually attempt the wods somewhat safely and 99 percent of the affiliates are just as bad or worse, and the ones that aren't like Crossfit NorCal, Catalyst athletics, Crossfit Greyskull, Wichita falls are one by one either quitting or getting ousted because the refuse to drink the kool-aid that random stuff that makes you tired for time is some how the most effective way to develop the human body.

Crossfit has gotten allot of people interested in fitness and its better in allot of ways then the machine based let not get people fit globo gym mainstream, however it offers nothing new in terms of atheletic development and is directly contrary in many ways to the most effective practices developed by people who actually train elite athletes. At this point the workout prescription is getting so bad, the dismissal of everyone worthwhile in the program and the refusal to put any kind of standard to affiliates are all combining in my opinion to make Crossfit far more a negative then a positive in the world of fitness.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Corndogg on January 22, 2010, 12:18:31 PM
Maybe Dave isn't describing it right so you understand, but I do agree that your "brain comes first."  This is the same as in a camping or survival situation.  Your brain controls the body, not the other way around.  It can be argued both ways, that you get injured because you aren't properly conditioned, but then again if you aren't properly conditioned then why did you choose to do something where you can get injured?  Sure accidents happen, but even then its your brain that most prepares you best for accidents eg being aware, being alert, making better decisions to mitigate risk.  You don't turn your body into something nearly indestructible and then just do whatever you like.  I definitely agree you should improve your body and that most people aren't conditioning enough (including myself), but ultimately its your brain that you use to evaluate where your body and skills are at, and make the right decisions accordingly.


I also think its a bit rude to say someone is ridiculous and dumb for expressing their opinion, regardless if they are a n00b or an experienced traceur.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Rafe on January 22, 2010, 12:25:43 PM
I think in open discourse it is neccesary to have the right to point out an idea that is simple untenable, its not a judgement of the person its judgement of the idea. If we are so obsessed with political correctness that this is not possible we get into the type of post modern discourse were nothing meaningful can every be stated.

Body and Brain are not separate , the strength you develop in the gym is in fact primarily mediated by changes in the nervous system IE not the body but how the brain recruits the body, decision making is important in deciding whether to try for a PR, whether to train through an injury or rest it etc. Your creating a dualism that is not founded in fact, Parkour trains body and mind, and so does intelligent strength training. Whether your strong or weak you can make bad descisions and push beyond your limits if your strong your going to catch yourself better and recover better and if you have taken the time to actually develop strength your going to have developed a better sense of your body and how to make decisions around training.

The Idea your purposing dave is not just wrong its dangerous, the most common injury among traceurs by far is chronic knee pain. This is literally directly due to improper physical preparation of the body. Good decision making or mental strength means nothing if like 90 percent of young traceurs you have weak inhibited glutes and hamstrings, shortenedd achilles tendons and therefore pronounced valgus knee stresses. It doesn't matter if you do lots of drops or not virtually anyone with that set of conditions will suffer knee problems if the do high impact activities and parkour is high impact even if you train smart.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Corndogg on January 22, 2010, 02:43:47 PM
I think we can all agree that nobody's saying that both aren't important.  Neither can be ignored, it sounds like people differ on the degree of importance.  Is it 90% mental and 10% physical?  51%/49% or 49%/51%?  1% mental and 99% physical?

Another way to frame it is - Do you first educate new traceurs to not jump off roofs (mental), or do you start conditioning them (physical) so that if they do jump off roofs they're less likely to be hurt?

To me the mental/judgement/decision making/education/philosophy aspect is paramount.  I guess this goes back to the "Is Parkour Still Parkour Without The Philosophies? (http://www.americanparkour.com/smf/index.php/topic,23393.0.html)" topic - I think anyone can move, but what differentiates traceurs from others is the mindset they have while moving.  To tie this back to the thread subject - you can get conditioning through a lot of disciplines, parkour included, but you can only get the specific mindset through training parkour.  While I'm not a big fan of certifications, I do think it'd be valuable to the community to establish a progression of mental skills to go along with the movements and conditioning.  Hopefully certified trainers will bring some structured subject matter expertise to the community, which can then be shared, dissected, tested and evaluated over time, with feedback from the community rolling back up to the certified trainers who would incorporate it into their program.  Ideally this would all happen free and without certified trainers, but I do see it as a valuable and worthwhile addition.  People just need to realize that you're not going to get everything from a class or course, there are many other experienced and good teachers out there who will share their knowledge for free, and you should learn from as many people as you can and evaluate the teachings for yourself.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Fletcher Hawke on January 22, 2010, 02:58:42 PM
There is a difference between being "politically correct" and being respectful, just as there is a difference between being frank and being rude.  In this particular case, Rafe, I don't personally think you crossed that line--except for the fact that you seem to have entirely misunderstood the point you are criticizing and made that jump prematurely (ironically appropriate).

Unless I'm missing something not in the text, Dave S is not advocating an absence of conditioning.  He's saying it, like everything else, has to be done at a reasonable pace and in balance with the mental awareness to use it responsibly.  Basically the very thing you yourself are arguing about CrossFit having a problem with. 

If you push conditioning too hard without the mental faculty to understand what you are doing and why, and the sense to moderate it; you are either going to injure yourself through taking the training too far or by not making reliable assessments about what you can or cannot do when you go to apply it.

Safety is entirely in the mindset.  The mindset isn't just visualizing being safe, it's taking the proper measures to ensure it, which includes appropriate conditioning. To use your example, Rafe, cars do not come out of nowhere.  They may be fast, but they are also quite large, generally noisy, and have a limited range of motion.  (They also tend to smell funny, but that's neither here nor there :p )  If you have a safe mindset, you know to look before crossing the street, or before running across the opening to a garage.  Odds are, if you get hit, you weren't paying attention.  By the same token, a safe mindset is how you know what to condition and how much--and acting on that--so that you don't torque your knee doing something you aren't ready for or pushing yourself to limits you aren't ready for. 
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: DaveS on January 22, 2010, 03:52:35 PM
Yeah, Rafe I think you're missing the point. If you choose something that doesn't need extra preparation then you can't be under-prepared. It's impossible. A weak person trying something that doesn't need much strength will be safe. The only way physical condition can be an issue is if your mindset is wrong, i.e. if you're choosing the wrong things to practise by trying to skip stages.

Parkour does not need extra physical preparation if you start at the beginning. The injuries you describe as being common are only common because most people think that you start with vaults and jumps, instead of with crawling, standing, walking and rolling.
If you strengthen before you start moving then you're missing the whole point of parkour. We're practising movement to become stronger, not the other way round. Movement is our way of exercising, and it helps us develop our abilities so we can use them to do other things.
The first stages of movement are the preparation for the later ones. Newborn babies do not need to do squats in order to learn to walk. Squirrels aren't sat at home in the evenings lifting weights, monkeys don't put on weight vests and do negative muscle-ups. Movement has a complete, natural progression from the most basic to the most advanced.

Adult humans, though, are almost unbelievably stupid. There are literally billions of examples of how to learn to move, and yet they still try and get better at moving by doing something else.

Corndogg, funnily enough the BPCA is currently putting together some info on mental progression (amongst other things). Not going to be done with it all until March though.

Fletcher, you took the words out of my mouth regarding cars. :)
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Rafe on January 22, 2010, 04:25:41 PM
I don't practice parkour to be stronger thats silly why choose an incredible ineffective method if your goal is strength, if you want to be strong I suggest powerlifting, olympic lifting, gymnastics hell even body building will be more effective then parkour not to mention safer. I practice parkour because it is enjoyable and I want to be agile athletic and able to move well all of those things depend on strength which is most effectively developed lifting weights.

Humans evolved to move in ways not limited to walking, running, jumping, rolling and climbing it also included lifting and carrying which are substantial physical demands in all traditional cultures. You can not develop optimal physical capacity without including those movements to you are not a monkey or a squirrel. We do not live lives that optimal develop our physical capacities we have to be time effective in how we train and nothing invented is more effectively developmental of strength then simple barbell training. Personally I would rather spend a 1 year developing optimal strength and biomechanics using efficient methods like barbell training and PNF stretching and still be able to pursue actually interesting jumping, vaulting, climbing training at the same time, as opposed to training walking and crawling for ages in the hopes I might someday get strong enough to do something fun.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: DaveS on January 22, 2010, 05:02:42 PM
Sorry, I didn't realise it wasn't obvious that I'm talking about 'strong' in the broad sense. Strength of body, strength of mind, strength of character. Strong in every way, not just in being able to exert a lot of power. After all, even physical conditioning involves more than just power training.

Lifting and carrying are clearly useful skills to develop. I think movement is a more direct analogy to the philosophy of always being able to reach your goals though, which maybe makes it a better way to develop mental strength and change attitudes. But maybe not, there's no real way to prove it either way.

You can do whatever you want, but if you try big jumps before small jumps you'll get big injuries regardless of physical condition, because you'll make mistakes same as everyone.

Quote
Personally I would rather spend a 1 year developing optimal strength and biomechanics using efficient methods like barbell training and PNF stretching and still be able to pursue actually interesting jumping, vaulting, climbing training at the same time, as opposed to training walking and crawling for ages in the hopes I might someday get strong enough to do something fun.
That just highlights the major problem with modern society. People hate the idea that they are responsible for their own actions. They want the good without the bad. They want the success without the challenge. They want the results without being willing to work to achieve them.
You can't do jumps and vaults safely without going through the all the earlier stages. You can't get results without doing the work first. You have to go through difficulty in order to improve. You have to put the effort in. That's how the human body works, that's how life works. You can't change it, you have to accept it and get on with things. Otherwise you'll always be frustrated because you expect things that can never happen.

Once you accept it then everything's fine, because it works both ways. If you do put the effort in, then you will get the results. There's no need for blind hope, it's guaranteed!
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Rafe on January 22, 2010, 05:57:59 PM
Dave I figured you meant strong in the broad sense but the problem is using terminology like that in way that is not lexical correct when we have discussions like this we should be very clear not taking a clearly defined biomechanical term and turning it into a vague philosophy. I agree that movement training should be the fundamental training for everyone and should be the largest portion of most peoples training.


You can do whatever you want, but if you try big jumps before small jumps you'll get big injuries regardless of physical condition, because you'll make mistakes same as everyone.
That just highlights the major problem with modern society. People hate the idea that they are responsible for their own actions. They want the good without the bad. They want the success without the challenge. They want the results without being willing to work to achieve them.
You can't do jumps and vaults safely without going through the all the earlier stages. You can't get results without doing the work first.
You have to go through difficulty in order to improve. You have to put the effort in. That's how the human body works, that's how life works. You can't change it, you have to accept it and get on with things. Otherwise you'll always be frustrated because you expect things that can never happen.

Once you accept it then everything's fine, because it works both ways. If you do put the effort in, then you will get the results. There's no need for blind hope, it's guaranteed!

Dave your projecting something total unrelated into my argument. Its not about getting out of work its about getting the most out of work, what is benefit of your training vs the cost.. We teach people the vaults from the ground level up, we develop technique piece by piece, but an athlete who is strong and fit learns the progressions quicker, and stays safer ignoring that and not focusing on helping everyone develop those physical capacities is simply irresponsible.

The fact I can take 90 percent of the students who walk in the door and teach them a kong vault in one lesson vs the 3 months it took me is a good thing thats because we have developed intelligent drills that safely progress people through the skill, the fact that even using the exact some progression a strong athlete will learn the skill faster makes it obvious we should be helping all our athletes get stronger. Its not mental vs. physical preparation or strength vs. skill its about the finding the most effectively way to develop everything at once.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: DaveS on January 23, 2010, 10:16:18 AM
The word 'strength' doesn't mean physical by default. It was perfectly appropriate to use that word in that context.
If both you and I understood what I meant then I don't see why you made an issue of it, never mind why you replied as though I had said something else. Oh well, maybe that's the beauty of communication by written message.

If you're controlling what the students do, i.e. making their decisions for them, then of course they can stay safe while they concentrate on physical development. You're doing half the work for them. That's not a long-term strategy for safety though, is it? It only works while they're in your sessions. Once they're outside on their own they have to make their own decisions and we're back to having people learning mental skills with actions that have serious consequences.
It's great if your aim is to force students to keep coming to your sessions and paying you forever, but it's utterly pointless as a way to help people learn how to train themselves and become complete and capable.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Chris Slater on January 23, 2010, 10:47:08 AM
So I when I graduate I plan on opening a group where I live with some friends, somthing like parkour gen and im wondering what certifications I should get could somone just make a list please I live in canada BC.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Rafe on January 23, 2010, 11:12:55 PM

If you're controlling what the students do, i.e. making their decisions for them, then of course they can stay safe while they concentrate on physical development. You're doing half the work for them. That's not a long-term strategy for safety though, is it? It only works while they're in your sessions. Once they're outside on their own they have to make their own decisions and we're back to having people learning mental skills with actions that have serious consequences.
It's great if your aim is to force students to keep coming to your sessions and paying you forever, but it's utterly pointless as a way to help people learn how to train themselves and become complete and capable.

You're assuming again. You have no idea about the content of our classes, how we approach helping people develop mental strength, decision making, or when or how much we encourage them to train on their own. You're also not addressing the important points; that there is no reason to believe being strong negatively impacts decision making or likelihood of accidents, but it greatly buffers you against the negative effects of bad decisions and accident, i.e., making you safer. Your original position that started this debate is untenable, and you're offering no defense of it, instead simply trying to create a straw man argument against our classes which you know nothing about.

Regarding your position about coaching and mental strength, I think it pretty ridiculous to believe that all the athletes who won championships while being coached -- that is damn near every successful athlete ever -- somehow lacked mental strength or decision making ability. I suggest you ask Lyoto Machida about that, or Usain Bolt.

If you're actually open to participating in a discussion in which we might find common ground or learn from, I suggest actually addressing the issues.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Rafe on January 23, 2010, 11:20:49 PM
Chris if your serious about becoming a parkour coach I would suggest meeting up learning from and training with the people currently coaching in your area, Rene Scavington and Jordan Davis. I would also suggest taking the trip down here to seattle if you have a chance. As far as certifications you should of course be First aid and CPR certified, beyond that there is nothing else that is truly neccesary not yet, Danno, Dim Monk, and Rene are last I heard working on national organization for parkour in Canada which you would want to be involved in.

I am not sure if this applies in Canada but in the states the best training cert to go through is the  NSCA CSCS certification. Pursuing, sports sceince or physical therapy in college would also provide a good background for a coach.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Zachary Cohn on January 24, 2010, 07:24:23 AM
Quote

Safety has got nothing to do with fitness. Safety is a mental skill. You can have all the physical attributes you like and you'll still get injured if you attempt something beyond your limit.

Safety is entirely down to your choice of action. That means having good decision making skills; a good idea of what you can do and a strong enough character to resist temptations to go too far beyond it.

This is why I have an objection to excessive physical conditioning. To improve your decision making skills you need to use them, to test them and push their limits, and while you do this you will make mistakes. You have to, in order to learn.
When you're physically strong your training becomes more dangerous (greater distances/forces/impacts etc.). Every bad decision you make has much more serious consequences, so you can afford to make fewer mistakes.
If you're physically weaker, then your training involves less danger and you are able to make more mistakes, making this a much better point in your training for developing those crucial mental skills.

Physical strength is useful, but for me it's the second phase of training, not the first. The first is the mental strength.

I want to address this, because I think this is where the misundestanding lies. I think you (DaveS) and Rafe are both correct about different things.

Safety is largely a skill/mental attitude. You can go about a difficult jump with safety in mind, using spotters, progression, and building up to it - or you can just go for it. Most of us choose to go the route of safety - but sometimes someone doesn't know how to be safe. It's an inherent skill to some extent, but must be actively developed or TAUGHT (which is something all three gyms (APEX, Primal, PKV) focus on. To address later points, these gyms don't just say "Do X and Y and never do A and B." They teach with safety in mind, and through that teaching style students learn how to be safe on their own.

However, I do think Rafe is right about "Safety has got nothing to do with fitness." being incorrect. On Saturday, I took either the worst, or the second worst, bail of my life (parkour, flipping, gymnastics, martial arts, slacklining, firespinning, waterskiiing, wakeboarding all included). The only reason I am probably not paralyzed right now is because of my strength, fitness, skill, and experience.

I wasn't doing anything dangerous, just a simple step up crane with my off leg. I stepped, leapt, my foot landed on the top, but I had a little bit too much forward momentum and I pitched forward, head first, feet in the air, toward the concrete on the other side. It was about a 4 foot drop, and all I remember is a snapshot of the concrete about 2 feet from my face, and my right arm outstretched toward the ground.

Based on the map of my (extremely minor) injuries and scrapes, I contacted the ground with the blade of my right hand and braced with the palm of my left, lowered myself down into a roll. I hit my thigh on the corner of the wall, and I must have hit my knee at some point - probably during the roll.

I ended on my back, eyes closed, on the concrete. My right leg was extended, and my left knee was bent about 45 degrees. The person I was training with came over, and I calmly asked her to extend my knee and help me unzip my jacket so I could breathe. I walked away about 2 minutes later, and now about 36 hours later the only remaining pain/tightness/soreness is in my thigh, which is greatly diminished.

I was doing something easy and simple. This was something a beginner could probably do. I am sure, however, that this was not something a beginner could have walked away from so easily. I consider myself somewhat strong, but I still do things that are largely not risky. I take great care not to put myself in any unnecessary or excessive danger. This was a technique that was not excessively dangerous. But just like any technique, if the right thing goes wrong at the perfect time...

Physical strength is JUST AS IMPORTANT as mental strength. You can not say that a beginner is exposed to less danger because it simply isn't true. You can not say that because I am stronger, I have to take more risks. Because I was stronger, I am able to move my fingers to type this right now.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Jordan Strybos on January 24, 2010, 10:02:11 AM
Well said, Zach.

Dave, if you think the first step in Parkour is doing simple movements to get into the mental mindset of the movement (alliteration?!?), then I would like you to look at this quote from APK's "How Do I Get Started?" FAQ:
"The most important thing is safety. Start slow and work on always being in control. Getting in better shape will be the most dramatic improvement for most people. Try the APK warm-up and assess how you do. For some people that's a full workout, and for some it's just too challenging (30 pull-ups isn't something most people are used to). If you can do the warm-up no problem in less than 20 minutes, then you can probably add the WOD to your routine as well. Be sure to check with your doctor, your mom, your lawyer, my lawyer and at least two politicians before starting any exercise program, who knows, you might get fit!!

After you’ve done the APK warm-up and worked up to the point where you can and do participate in the WOD regularly, you’re ready to take on some Parkour movements."

This is clearly stressing that anyone who wants to practice parkour should start with the APK warm-up and WOD.  As Zach pointed out, if you do not have the physical strength to protect yourself, any technique can seriously injure you, even the most simple.  Actually, it seems that especially the most simple techniques hurt us the most.  I believe that this is because we do them so much that we lose sight of the constant thoughts that we need to keep in our minds.  When attempting a new and challenging move, we are incredibly mindful of the dangers and potential risks.  However, after doing a million kongs, the movement is second-nature and basically muscle memory.  Sometimes we all need close encounters like Zach's to remind us of how alert we need to be, no matter what the circumstance.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Nick Kelly on January 24, 2010, 01:07:28 PM
i have not read the other thread, but it seems stupid to me. its good be certified to teach parkour movements and techniques, but what about parkour conditioning?  i am willing to bet they pass that on as well and to say the least pkgen and majestic are not certified physical trainers.   i wouldn’t be surprised if part of their test was like 100 diving hindu twirly birds or whatever the gay exercises are that they are always endorsing.     Correct me if im wrong about conditioning techniques being a part of the certification, because if not then im all for it.

Wow. That might be the dumbest thing I've ever read on APK. Not only is using "gay" like that offensive, I can't believe anyone could possibly claim that conditioning is not an integral part of parkour training.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Rafe on January 24, 2010, 02:33:30 PM
Nick You misunderstood what he said he is concerned about PK gen and Majestic force trying to teach people who to physical condition for parkour, not saying its not important to parkour, If you want to respond to that perspective read DaveS's posts. He may have worded it offensively but the fact is PK gen and Majestic force advocate conditioning methods that are contrary to those that have proven effective, their method shows a simple lack of understanding of how the body adapts to exercise, and just haven't been shown to be effective. PK gen brought attention to conditioning for many traceurs and thats good but their method is just archaic and bizarre.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Nick Kelly on January 24, 2010, 04:32:25 PM
Rafe, I hope you're right (although physical conditioning should definitely be part of any parkour certification). That said, PK Gen and Majestic Force are some of the most experienced and talented practitioners in the world. It is important to put everything in perspective and to always be questioning techniques, but I definitely support their method of training. One thing I have found in a lot of their training is that while you are doing physical conditioning, a lot of the time they want you to be focused on mental conditioning and being able to push through pain and mental barriers (which I think is ultimately more important).

Also it should be noted that their own training and small class training is very different from the huge group warm up many people in the US may be used to seeing. They don't advocate doing their big group warm up every day by any means, but instead (at least in my experience) encourage people to do what they need to become stronger. What I have taken away from my training with them is not necessarily specific exercises to perform, but a mindset and attitude about training.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Nick Kelly on January 24, 2010, 04:45:20 PM
I don't practice parkour to be stronger thats silly why choose an incredible ineffective method if your goal is strength, if you want to be strong I suggest powerlifting, olympic lifting, gymnastics hell even body building will be more effective then parkour not to mention safer.

Also, Rafe, just to throw this out there...  :P

Strength can be defined in a multitude of ways. Many people pursue strength through a variety of different disciplines and many disciplines/sports define strength differently. I love parkour because of its definition of strength. It is more holistic than any other discipline I've encountered. You need to seek increases in strength -- physical, mental and emotional -- to become better at parkour. I honestly don't value physical strength much, besides as a means to an end. However, I do value the gains in mental and emotional strength I have seen as a result of my parkour training. Those are the strength gains that matter the most and will have the farthest reaching effects in my life for years to come.

(Also, similarly, the physical strength one seeks in parkour is more holistic than in many disciplines or sports out there, which is why I prefer parkour's definition of physical strength to how other disciplines/sports define physical strength. You must be a well rounded athlete who has explosive upper and lower body strength, endurance, balance and touch. Honestly, if you know how to train right, you should be able to find a way to challenge yourself to be stronger in any way you can imagine. To me, that is the beauty of parkour -- it is wide open and you choose how you want to challenge yourself and how you wish to become stronger.)

You can, of course, train for whatever reason you wish. I just wanted to offer a counter point to your comment about parkour not efficiently building strength.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Chris [.5gibbon] Stevenson! on January 24, 2010, 08:27:09 PM
nick kelly, first im sorry for using the word gay as a negative. i assure you i meant no harm to anyone who might be homosexual. with that said i think you misunderstood my post.  i was trying to say that i think conditioning is an absolutely necessity, but not the way they teach it.   maybe we should insist that traceurs who want to become certified parkour teachers should first be certified as physical trainers. (i don't know any good pt certifications off the top of my head someone help me out if you know any good ones)
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: DaveS on January 24, 2010, 09:58:42 PM
Rafe, I was just going by what you said about giving your students drills. If you're choosing the exercises then you're the one in control and making the decisions.
If the athletes that are winning competitions had all the decision making ability and mental strengths then they wouldn't have coaches because there would be no use for them.

Zachary, the reason your actions didn't result in you being paralysed was as a result of the qualities you mentioned. However, the reason you did those actions in the first place was because you made a poor decision that put you in that situation. The reason you messed up once you were in that situation? Misjudgrment. The reason you were practising on something your physical attributes would cope with failure on? Judgement.
You can't guarantee training safety with physical development, because you can always find yourself in a situation that is more than you can handle if judgement is off. However physically capable you are, the environment can damage you if you let your guard down. So keep your guard up, keep your mind strong.

Jordan, quotes from this website are not exactly infallible. You're right though that we do need to experience failures in order to appreciate the importance of staying alert, which is why I have been stressing the importance of making sure those failures happen in situations with less serious consequences.


Physical training is as important as mental training. You can have the strongest mind in the world but it's useless without a body that can act and influence its surroundings. Neither exists separately, it's not possible to have a strong mind without using physical actions as a means of training it, and it's not possible to train your own physical abilities without a strong mind.
It is just not the part of your training that keeps you safe.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Rafe on January 24, 2010, 10:31:33 PM

Zachary, the reason your actions didn't result in you being paralysed was as a result of the qualities you mentioned.

Physical training is as important as mental training.
It is just not the part of your training that keeps you safe.

Your directly contridicting yourself. I see no further use in discussing with you.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: DaveS on January 25, 2010, 09:00:24 AM
If you read it carefully it's not a contradiction. 

If a guy is firing bullets at you you're not safe just because none of them have hit you yet.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Bao on January 25, 2010, 09:38:45 AM
I love parkour because of its definition of strength. It is more holistic than any other discipline I've encountered. You need to seek increases in strength -- physical, mental and emotional -- to become better at parkour. I honestly don't value physical strength much, besides as a means to an end. However, I do value the gains in mental and emotional strength I have seen as a result of my parkour training. Those are the strength gains that matter the most and will have the farthest reaching effects in my life for years to come.
This.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Zachary Cohn on January 25, 2010, 11:41:18 AM
Rafe, I was just going by what you said about giving your students drills. If you're choosing the exercises then you're the one in control and making the decisions.
If the athletes that are winning competitions had all the decision making ability and mental strengths then they wouldn't have coaches because there would be no use for them.

Rafe is the one in control and making the decisions because he is the teacher, and they are the students. They do not know, and so Rafe is teaching them. By being good students, they can learn the content he is teaching, but also good programming, good practices, how to be safe. They won't always be students.

Quote
Zachary, the reason your actions didn't result in you being paralysed was as a result of the qualities you mentioned. However, the reason you did those actions in the first place was because you made a poor decision that put you in that situation. The reason you messed up once you were in that situation? Misjudgrment. The reason you were practising on something your physical attributes would cope with failure on? Judgement.
You can't guarantee training safety with physical development, because you can always find yourself in a situation that is more than you can handle if judgement is off. However physically capable you are, the environment can damage you if you let your guard down. So keep your guard up, keep your mind strong.

Incorrect. I thought I mentioned this, but I just checked and apparently I hadn't. I had done the exact jump several times, immediately prior to the incident. It wasn't an issue of misjudgement, it was an issue of "sometimes something happens."

Quote
Physical training is as important as mental training. You can have the strongest mind in the world but it's useless without a body that can act and influence its surroundings. Neither exists separately, it's not possible to have a strong mind without using physical actions as a means of training it, and it's not possible to train your own physical abilities without a strong mind.
It is just not the part of your training that keeps you safe.

No one is arguing that a strong mind isn't important. So I think you're actually, at this point, agreeing with what everyone else is saying.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: DaveS on January 25, 2010, 12:39:34 PM
Zachary, I wasn't arguing against coaches choosing the exercises in classes. You're right, that's the way it has to be with beginners.
I was just pointing out that it isn't the physical conditioning that is keeping the students safe while they are in the classes, but the ability of the coach to judge suitable exercises.

Having done the jump before is irrelevant, because if there's anything this situation proves it's that things can change between consecutive repetitions. You need to evaluate the situation every time you are about to act. With each repetition your muscles get a little more tired, your mind relaxes a little more, you become a little less motivated to do it again.
There is always a reason for an accident to occur. In this case, you made a mistake. Not in judging the physical obstacle but in judging your own ability. You thought you could do it safely that time and you were wrong.
Every action is preceded by an evaluation and a decision, and they are the the things that keep you safe or put you in danger.

I mentioned my views on the importance of both physical and mental training to prevent people getting confused and thinking that I favour one over another. I agree, it looks like we all think the same way on that part, I just wanted to make sure people were clear that we're not debating the overall usefulness of physical training, only it's application to safety,
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Zachary Cohn on January 25, 2010, 04:09:53 PM
Zachary, I wasn't arguing against coaches choosing the exercises in classes. You're right, that's the way it has to be with beginners.
I was just pointing out that it isn't the physical conditioning that is keeping the students safe while they are in the classes, but the ability of the coach to judge suitable exercises.

I don't really see how physical conditioning doesn't strengthen someone's ankles so they don't roll it, or give someone the hand strength to grab onto a bar after slipping and preventing a fall.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: DaveS on January 25, 2010, 06:47:29 PM
When we're talking about safety what we're really talking about is risk; the likelihood of injury. Flying in a modern plane is safer than flying in one of the first planes because, although you're still going to die if there is a serious problem, the likelihood of a serious problem occurring is much lower.

When we're talking about movement, if you're stronger then specific obstacles will become safer as the likelihood of something happening that you can't deal with decreases. You get more capable, the forces and other demands stay the same, so of course it gets safer. Dropping 3 feet onto stronger ankles is safer than dropping 3 feet onto weak ankles, we all know this.

However, we're talking about parkour, and parkour doesn't involve sticking to specific obstacles. To keep your training challenging (and therefore effective) your training needs to get harder at the same rate as your ability improves, and so you need more demanding obstacles. The more physically capable you are, the more physically demanding your obstacles need to be for you to keep improving. If you were dropping 3 feet before, now your ankles are stronger you will be dropping maybe 4 or 5 feet.
Unfortunately as the physical difficulty of the obstacle increases so does the danger, because the forces that provide the challenge are also the forces that cause the injuries. Although each specific obstacle will become safer, your training doesn't get safer because you use more dangerous obstacles. The danger of your training increases at the same time as your abilities.
Obstacles become safer as you get physically stronger, but practising parkour doesn't.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Jordan Strybos on January 25, 2010, 06:52:06 PM
Jordan, quotes from this website are not exactly infallible. You're right though that we do need to experience failures in order to appreciate the importance of staying alert, which is why I have been stressing the importance of making sure those failures happen in situations with less serious consequences.

All I'm saying is that if the best of the best in American Parkour are telling us directly to condition our bodies first, to me that means that we should condition...I'm not really sure why that makes the quote fallible?  And as for the second part, what I was saying was that there's no way of guaranteeing that failures happen in situations with less serious consequences; even the simplest moves can result in the most dangerous bails.  This is why conditioning is important.  If you're training a simple move and only ready to react to a small fall or spill, and something much more serious happens, you are completely screwed.

The more physically capable you are, the more physically demanding your obstacles need to be for you to keep improving. If you were dropping 3 feet before, now your ankles are stronger you will be dropping maybe 4 or 5 feet.

TERRIBLE EXAMPLE!  I know what you're getting at, but honestly, I'm pretty sure one of the fundamental truths in parkour is that you shouldn't take big drops.  The idea is that you can condition your ankles and body at a height that is much less threatening and damaging to your body.  There is nothing that says that as you improve, you need to take bigger risks.  As you improve, your obstacles needn't get more threatening, you just simply get a lot better and more capable of overcoming them.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: DaveS on January 25, 2010, 07:44:44 PM
If you keep doing the same repetitions of the same movement at the same speed in the same way as you always have done, you will not improve. You can't improve unless you keep challenging yourself. That's the way life works.

The 'best of the best in American Parkour' are still human, and therefore not without fault. Also, compared to how long it takes to fully understand a life-long method such as parkour, every parkour practitioner is a newcomer. Even the oldest information on this website is only a few years old, and a few years is nowhere near enough time to test the ideas properly. I've been part of the parkour community for a long time, and I've seen how all of these ideas have developed from nothing. Nobody understands it anywhere near fully, and all views need to be challenged.

Parkour exists to help people become strong and capable individuals, part of which is the ability to think for themselves and not to have to blindly take the word of other people. For reliable information you can't rely on the thoughts of others. To practise parkour in the long-term you need to challenge everything, experience things and make decisions for yourself.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Zachary Cohn on January 26, 2010, 07:48:26 AM
Dave Sedgley - The major difference here between what you're saying, specifically quote:

"Even the oldest information on this website is only a few years old, and a few years is nowhere near enough time to test the ideas properly."

"I've seen how all of these ideas have developed from nothing"

and

"Nobody understands it anywhere near fully, and all views need to be challenged."

The major difference is that we're not really talking about parkour here. We're talking about physical fitness and physical training. These are not specific to parkour. So these ideas have not developed from nothing in the past few years, they've been discussed and refined and revised and abandoned and recovered and restarted over the past thousands of years. What we are talking about is the cumulative sum of human fitness knowledge. People like Rafe have read and learned from Mark Rippetoe, Coach Sommer, Charles Poliquin - who are people at the top of their specific fields.

To your last quote, who am we to challenge people who have devoted their lives to research - in the library, in the laboratory, and in the gym, coached olympic athletes, and challenged popular fitness "truths" with facts, evidence, and science to back that up. I agree we should always keep a filter on and look out for bad information, and we should not take ANYTHING at face value. But to say that we're figuring all this out for ourselves is reinventing the wheel and spitting in the face of other people (who are much, much, much smarter than you and I)'s research and knowledge.

That's all I have to say on this subject.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: DaveS on January 26, 2010, 09:21:45 AM
Almost all of the fitness research that has been carried out has been done from the perspective of competition. The vast majority has been targeted at improving peak performance with respect to specific goals, because in the competitive world that is all that matters. There are standard measurements by which everyone in these activities measures success and people are driven to improve in those ways. To lift more weight, to run faster and longer, to jump further and higher. These are how most people think success should be measured, and these are the kinds of assumptions made by most training principles and coaches.
But what about teaching people how to be strong at the age of 90?

That is the problem with your argument, because parkour is simply not the same as any other activity.
It's not competitive, it doesn't have specific or finite goals. What it has is a single clear purpose, to get past any and every obstacle you encounter throughout your whole life, which is unique.
The limitations that other activities accept, such as being weak in old age, requiring external motivation, needing to rest for a day after effective training, injuries being part of life, don't exist in parkour.

Parkour is not competitive, reaching high peaks of physical fitness is pointless if it means neglecting other areas. Parkour measures success not by achievement, but by preparation and improvement, because it recognises that our lives are unique and unpredictable and any practical real-world task will require many strengths.
We can't guarantee on being able to rely on others to solve problems so we need to be capable ourselves. We don't know what will happen tomorrow so we need to be prepared for anything. We don't always have people around to motivate us so we need to motivate ourselves. We can't guarantee that an emergency will happen on our allocated exercise days so we need to moderate our training to still be effective between dedicated training sessions. We may not have strong people with us when we are old, so we still need to be strong then.
We all know that we can achieve these things, but because of how we are conditioned by other people we don't truly believe it. Everybody tells us that how things are now is as good as they can be, so we write-off the few good examples as being the exceptions rather than the rule.

Fitness experts are not experts on parkour, because parkour involves an entirely new purpose. It has a completely different direction, and the assumptions about people's goals that traditional fitness instructors make simply do not hold because of this.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Mark Toorock on January 26, 2010, 12:10:37 PM
"because it recognises that our lives are unique and unpredictable and any practical real-world task will require many strengths."

See this is where you lose me - personifying parkour and stating what Parkour wants for you as a unique individual ...

BTW, even what you have stated above is not new - see the CrossFit defnition of General Preparedness.

In addition, the points you make about biometrics measured for sport is notr a new concept either - please read this article before replying http://crossfitauckland.com/police-training/

“The difference between combat and sports is that in combat you bury the guy who comes in second.” - Unidentified Navy SEAL on the Discovery Channel’s “U.S. Navy SEALS II,” 1999

I'm afraid that in your last post you seem to have confused the definition for "Parkour" with the definition for "Life" - I agree with the vast majority of points you make in that post, but those are LIFE things that every person faces whether or not they practice parkour.

Unfortunately you talk in such broad generalities that there's no real point in having a discussion with you that is counter to your views - "Fitness experts are not experts on parkour, because parkour involves an entirely new purpose." --- arrogance for sure --- what part of parkour is not covered by things known by advanced martial artists, kinesiologists, chiropractors, physical therapists, advanced military operators, and philosophers?

Do you really believe that the idea of obstacle coursing for fitness and improved mental acumen is an entirely new concept?

And then you go on to say that others have assumptions about people's goals - how TF do you know what they assume? Have you asked fitness experts? Who are these fitness experts you are discussing this with to build all this angst against these poor people?

Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: NOS - from Parkour Mumbai on January 26, 2010, 12:30:44 PM
We can't guarantee on being able to rely on others to solve problems so we need to be capable ourselves. We don't know what will happen tomorrow so we need to be prepared for anything. We don't always have people around to motivate us so we need to motivate ourselves. We can't guarantee that an emergency will happen on our allocated exercise days so we need to moderate our training to still be effective between dedicated training sessions. We may not have strong people with us when we are old, so we still need to be strong then.
What you seem to be advocating here is to lead a life in isolation, and to train yourself to not be dependent on anyone else for anything at all, period! But I'd like to remind you that man is a social animal - you cannot completely be independent of other human beings or of society to train yourself to lead the sort of life that you are imagining.

Quote
Almost all of the fitness research that has been carried out has been done from the perspective of competition. The vast majority has been targeted at improving peak performance with respect to specific goals, because in the competitive world that is all that matters. There are standard measurements by which everyone in these activities measures success and people are driven to improve in those ways. To lift more weight, to run faster and longer, to jump further and higher. These are how most people think success should be measured, and these are the kinds of assumptions made by most training principles and coaches.
Whereas I wholeheartedly agree with what you said here, and I too feel that a lot of modern physical training seems too mechanical and robotic and specific-results-oriented and non-lasting to me, but what you describe in that paragraph above (the para I quoted first in my post) is also bordering on leading a mechanical life on the other end of the spectrum. By trying to become completely self-sufficient, and training to be at the top of all things at all times, are you not taking away from the unpredictability of human life by this? Because to me, that unpredictable nature of life is what life is all about, you take that away - if you are always prepared for every situation and every emergency every living moment of your life, then you won't ever get sick, you won't ever die - it isn't living, it is more like a mechanised existence. It takes away from the duality of nature.

Quote
The limitations that other activities accept, such as being weak in old age, requiring external motivation, needing to rest for a day after effective training, injuries being part of life, don't exist in parkour.
I'm afraid you're simply being unrealistic here, you're living in a fantasy world that the meaning of the word parkour seems to have conjured up for you. You simply do not understand how the human body or the mind works.

To break it up for you -
such as being weak in old age,
My friend always likes to say - "Everything comes with an expiry date". Old age is an inevitable part of nature, by trying to defy it or prevent its onset, you are only trying to fight the laws of nature.

requiring external motivation,
Again, this is not how the human mind works, not everyone in this world is capable of self-motivation. There are very few people in this world that are, everyone else needs someone else to help push them.

needing to rest for a day after effective training,
You need to read up a bit more on the subject of physical fitness that you seem to hate so much, and learn a bit more about how the body works to understand that what you state is physically impossible. If the body is deprived of its much-required rest and recuperation, you will only end up destroying it rather than train it to become stronger and more adaptive.

injuries being part of life,
This is again, a part of nature - you cannot completely stay injury-free all your life. Even Superman and Hercules get injured. Not trying to get into a religious discussion here, but only a theoretical all-powerful being would be capable of being completely injury-free his/her entire existence. All living beings are made of fragile materials - your skin and bones were not originally intended to be indestructible by design. You don't want to train to turn yourself into a T-1000 or worse (from the Terminator 2 movie).


Believe me, you do not want the world to be full of highly-performing, highly efficient robotic individuals who do not get sick, who do not get tired, who do not get bored, who do not get demotivated, who do not need to take a break, etc.
Watch this movie, some food for thought:
Equilibrium
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0238380/
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Dan Iaboni on January 26, 2010, 01:33:15 PM
DaveS... I haven't talked to you for a while but I see you are still living in Neverland...

Where is proof/examples/anything from your BPCA that this mindset you have has worked?
It's the only way to back what you say in my opinion, because otherwise, what you say has no real foundation or merit at all and people here will continue disproving you as you have nothing to back up anything you say.

Your optimism for humanity is great, but unfortunately it doesn't get us far in a topic like this.


......
This is also a great opportunity to say crossfit for parkour...., and ill quote mr gibbons up there, is [somewhat akin to a man falling in love with another man]! And so are diving elephant pushups and sliding monkeys and all the stuff pkgens makes you do too. Oh those knee cruncher things that are going to give everyone bad knees, and squatting at a wall for an hour... ya those are [much like when a beautiful woman becomes enamored by another beautiful woman] too. But hey im Canadian right? I can say [extraordinarily happy all of the time] all I want.

dan
www.themonkeyvault.com

[Canadians, while they may be our superiors in many respects, are not above our rules. Sorry Danno! :)]
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: David Jones on January 26, 2010, 03:25:02 PM
Now that was awesome. Props to Danno, surprised to see you on here!
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: BaptizedByFire on January 26, 2010, 08:14:17 PM
That is the problem with your argument, because parkour is simply not the same as any other activity.
It's not competitive, it doesn't have specific or finite goals. What it has is a single clear purpose, to get past any and every obstacle you encounter throughout your whole life, which is unique.
The limitations that other activities accept, such as being weak in old age, requiring external motivation, needing to rest for a day after effective training, injuries being part of life, don't exist in parkour...

Parkour is not competitive... because it recognises that our lives are unique and unpredictable and any practical real-world task will require many strengths...

Fitness experts are not experts on parkour, because parkour involves an entirely new purpose. It has a completely different direction, and the assumptions about people's goals that traditional fitness instructors make simply do not hold because of this.

Just look at military training. Marines are trained to withstand the rigors of combat on both the body and mind, and you'd be hard pressed to find any harsher environment. This is the type of situation you're training and living for, is it not? A completely unpredictable situation in which your wits must reach a happy medium with your flight instinct?

My chances of survival are directly proportional to my physical fitness. If my hands start to shake after I sprint for 50m, I can't be surgically accurate with my weapon. If I'm that out of shape, I'm breathing heavily and my vision is probably getting blurred or tunnel visioned from 2 things: bloodrush from the sudden desperate dash, and adrenaline.

When we work out, we are conditioning to maintain a clear mind while in the peak operating conditions of the human body, which is measured by a heart rate in the neighborhood of 150-170bpm. When your heartrate is in this yellow-zone, your heart is working efficiently= your muscles and brain are getting a healthy supply of blood/oxygen. In a very stressful situation, a well-conditioned frontline infantryman can sustain a heartrate of up to 210bpm... for a few minuets. This is a kind of organic overdrive where a dense burst of adrenaline is emptied into the blood stream- a sort of last ditch effort to either overcome or escape before the crash. Nobody can operate like this forever; you're chasing a state of mind that isn't necessary to be in all the time in your day to day life.

I had to realize this myself when i came home from my first deployment.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Mark Toorock on January 26, 2010, 09:00:30 PM
Baptized - have you read "Sharpening the Warriors Edge: The Psychology & Science of Training (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0964920506?ie=UTF8&tag=americanparko-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0964920506)<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=americanparko-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0964920506" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />"? It's got some very good info on exactly what you're talking about.

I think it would also be a great help for anyone interested as it scientifically approaches the importance of mental vs physical training.

Ha! Science :P
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: BaptizedByFire on January 26, 2010, 09:42:52 PM
Actually most of my philosophy on training and fighting comes from two books by Lt. Col Dave Grossman, On Killing and On Combat. Mostly the latter. I've seen him speak in person about a warrior's mindset and ethos- great stuff.

You've peaked my interest, though; always good to get another perspective.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Mark Toorock 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.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: DaveS 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?
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Mark Toorock 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?



Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: DaveS 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.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Jordan Strybos 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?
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Mark Toorock 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 :)
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: truls 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.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: DaveS 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.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Mark Toorock 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 :)

Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: DaveS 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 ;)
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Dan Iaboni on January 28, 2010, 12:35:41 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98LeLZ2crZE
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Mark Toorock 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.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Mark Toorock 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
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: DaveS 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.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Mark Toorock 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!
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: DaveS 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. :)
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Sam Slater 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.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: jp2ykz 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!!
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: DaveS 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.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: jp2ykz 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

         

Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Sam Slater on January 31, 2010, 05:51:22 PM
Some interesting points.  I am not sure that you completely grasped a few things that I was attempting to state though.

"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." "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."

I disagree with this statement.  As an example, I think it would be better for someone to be told that what they are doing is going to wear down their body and cause injury as opposed to them finding out that this is the case when it is too late.  Why let someone make a mistake that only results in them not being healthy in the end? Some mistakes can be good, but with such a possibly risk intensive activity there are so many crippling or potentially life threatening mistakes that I can't agree that establishing rules for ones safety is self-defeating.  If anything, that is taking responsibility for yourself in a large way because you are taking care of yourself.

"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."

I understand your point.  I agree that people are different, and some people can not do what others can.  I do feel though that this method is a good teaching model because in the end, we are all humans and you are learning a physical discipline that is based (hopefully) upon finding out what works.  It should teach the individual both a safe and effective method, and help them expand beyond what they feel they are capable of.

An example of what I am trying to express would be telling someone that they had to pass an obstacle by doing a muscle up, but that person has horrible upper body strength.  At their current conditioning and coordination level they can pass the obstacle other ways, or by taking alternate routes, but I am of the belief that a good discipline will make you to be better than you were the day before.  So the person keeps working on trying muscle ups and eventually is able to pass the obstacle that way.  Because they were told they had to do something one way, they are now stronger and more capable for it, and have opened up a plethora of other skills and paths to themselves, where if they only did what worked for them then they might have been stuck with a very narrow range of abilities.

"I don't think it does anyone any good to be forced into following someone else's way"

I have to agree with you 100% on this.  The only problem is that you as the individual have the choice not to follow someone else's way.  You choose to be a student (hopefully) and as such it is the student's responsibility to choose a teacher or coach that works for them ... to a degree.  I am always a proponent of learning what doesn't work for you too.

Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Mark Toorock on February 01, 2010, 06:23:16 AM
Well said Sam. I boil down what you said about the instructor-student relationship in my "Piano Lesson (http://www.americanparkour.com/content/view/4816/378/)" example.

If the student goes "freeform" on the first day, this is not helpful, it is not useful, and it is not the most direct path to progress.

There will always be "constraints" based on the experience of others, and ignoring these is usually foolhardy. Of course, it sometimes leads to the greatest inspirations in leaps and bounds. If you are the next Jimi Hendrix, then the standard lesson may inhibit you, but even so probably not, you will probably learn "the set way" and still go off and do something different and creative.

I remember a guy in London, before the term Freerunning existed (imagine that!) - He wore really tall high top sneakers (unlaced), and he did spins and grabs off everything. He had a crazy style that was all his own, yet he knew the vaults, precisions, etc. He was so fun to jam with! Dim Monk comes to mind as well. He didn't seem to follow what everyone said you "had to do" - and he is amazing. So of course there will be examples, but we must keep in mind that there is one Jimi Hendrix and that the people who do better "outside the known set of safest / fastest progression" will be by far the exception.


Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Mark Toorock on February 01, 2010, 06:30:20 AM
I should add to that that I agree that with more teaching will come more constraints - you can't teach guitar as if your student is Jimi just like you can't teach martial arts as if your student is Bruce Lee. You have to tech students for who they are!
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: jp2ykz on February 01, 2010, 09:55:44 AM
I agree to an extent but for the sake of complete accuracy. Bruce lee was trained fully in one of the true/unpolluted forms of wing chun (there are allot of sloppy weird versions out there). I actually have a friend trained in Thailand by a master and he explained the style to me. It is based on gates having a reaction and preemptive action for each move your opponent has. It is one of the most well thought martial arts that I have ever been exposed to.

Regardless, Bruce lee was in fact trained in a specific method. It is this method that he learned from and grew beyond.

I don't know about Jimmy Hendrix but I do agree with the general concept. Some people can self teach them selves better than they could learn from someone else (for certain things), especially this day in age because one can look up how to properly do anything on the internet for them self.   
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Mark Toorock on February 01, 2010, 12:43:12 PM
jp2 - you're a UMD Gymkata guy? very cool!!
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: jp2ykz on February 01, 2010, 02:23:16 PM
UMD?

Afraid I'm not up on the acronyms.  :-\

I saw Gymkata movie from like 1985 awhile back so I had a T-shirt made at one of those corner shops. lol

Pretty sweet huh???

At least I think so.  ;D   

It's a totally rad movie I made a post on it in here under In The Media:

http://www.americanparkour.com/smf/index.php/topic,22716.0.html
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: DaveS on February 01, 2010, 06:57:17 PM
JP, feel free to read one of my posts sometime. I appreciate you feel you understand everything already, but it would be easier to have a discussion with you if you responded to my points rather than the points you've imagined. You still need to work on that 'respecting others' thing ;)

I've clearly stated that I'm not arguing against rules. I'm arguing against pointless and impractical rules, of which there are many.

I'm also not arguing against instructors passing knowledge on to students. I'm saying that it is more useful to pass on only the parts that are useful to the student. Since every student is different, and since you are the only person that can understand your own goals properly, that means it is the student that needs to determine what is taught.

The 'unofficial rules' about responsible actions and staying off rooftops follow directly from the parkour philosophy. Being able to get past obstacles means we don't need to accept the idea that our desires conflict with those of others. We believe that everyone can get what they want, and acting responsibly is almost always the best way to do that.

You do have to make mistakes to learn. Learning means fixing holes in your understanding. If you don't know there's a hole there, you don't know to try and fix it.
Everyone places more importance on their own experiences than those of others. If someone tells you that you have a fault, you don't believe them until you experience it for yourself. People require evidence, and experience is the most reliable source. Words are much less precise than experiences, and we place less importance on them because we understand that, consciously or otherwise.

However fortunately we are also very good at spotting patterns. We don't need to have fallen off a cliff, nor seen someone else do it, to be able to work out that doing so results in likely death. We work it out from the basic principles that impact hurts, and greater impact hurts more.
We can learn these principles from any experiences of impacts and injuries, but it's surely obvious that it's better to learn them with minor injuries than with major ones. We can learn the patterns of the causes of injury with mild and minor injuries that have little or no affect on us, and apply those patterns to help us stay clear of major injuries that would affect us.

To get minor injuries instead of major ones you need to make sure the forces involved are not too great for you to physically handle.
I think the key point is that there are parts of your body that don't increase their resistance to force at the same rate as your muscles increase their ability to generate it (tendons are a common example in the parkour community), and some parts that no amount of physical exercise can strengthen significantly (such as bone strength, skin tear resistance, internal organs).
If you could guarantee that your physical training could increase resistance to all injuries equally then you would be equally safe at all points in your training. But because physical training only improves certain aspects of your injury resistance, in the training environment you are safest when you are the least physically developed.

I've seen the APK parkour definition and while I think it is close to the truth, I'm not sure that calling parkour 'a physical discipline' is all that accurate. Sure, it involves physical actions, but then by that method of categorising reading is a physical discipline because it involves turning pages. Parkour is a human discipline, involving all human capabilities, not just the physical ones.

Edit: Also, although people that are capable of learning on their own have been rare in the past, all people have the potential to think that way. It's just a fault with traditional learning methods that most people are discouraged from forming their own ideas.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Andy Keller on February 01, 2010, 08:07:39 PM
Dave, I like the way you put a lot of that. I personally agree with the majority of your post. Thanks. :)
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: NOS - from Parkour Mumbai on February 01, 2010, 08:36:38 PM
and some parts that no amount of physical exercise can strengthen significantly (such as bone strength, skin tear resistance, internal organs).
I'm glad you agree with this now, because up till a few posts earlier you seemed to be stating the contrary.

I do understand your point of letting a student explore and learn from his own mistakes, it is an important part of the learning process - spoonfeeding everything to a learner will not make him learn anything, if at all, he will only memorise.
I also know that these mistakes should be smaller in magnitude than larger because of the potentially crippling or life threatening nature of this art. For both of the above to match, I accept your point that a weaker, less conditioned individual will be limited to producing smaller mistakes because his musculature isn't strong enough to produce the larger forces that enable him to make larger mistakes. I agree with this - it does have its own place in training.

But you also have to see our point of view that a stronger muscle and a well conditioned body makes one more capable of avoiding injury and 'bouncing back up' from an injury than a weaker body. Also, a stronger and more conditioned body is also more capable of handling itself when the inevitable bail happens on even the most simplest techniques where you're putting in the least amount of force (this can happen for various reasons including but not limited to being tired, not paying attention, mind simply blanking out at the moment of execution, etc). Zac has already given you an example of this above. I was about to post a similar experience of mine where I was saved just because of my strength on a very simple jump gone wrong, which I had performed perfectly a few times before, but not to the point of fatigue, neither did my mind blank out, nor was I not paying attention, but simply because my foot accidently got hooked in the railing I was doing a monkey over. But by the time I got here the thread had already taken a different turn so I decided not to. Everyone else training with me at that time (who would fit your bill of being less conditioned corresponding to their level of experience in parkour) who witnessed the bail, saw how it could have crushed my face or my chest, and how I saved myself because of good chest strength, and mentioned to me that if it would have been any of them in my place, even if after the bail they would have done the same as me to save themselves, they could not have, simply because their bodies lacked the strength to hold them in place and would have given way, still ending up crushing themselves by the fall on the block of stone we were supposed to be precisioning over.

Bottom line - both points of view are valid and have their own place in training and safety - you just have to learn where to balance between the two.



Also, although people that are capable of learning on their own have been rare in the past, all people have the potential to think that way. It's just a fault with traditional learning methods that most people are discouraged from forming their own ideas.
I have seen people that even when encouraged to learn on their own from early on, simply lack the self-discipline or the inclination/will to learn or to teach things to themselves, and are still dependent on others to push them.
Maybe only a thorough study conducted on this phenomenon will solve this debate. Since we have never actually fostered an environment where learning by your own and discovering things for yourself is encouraged, whether in a controlled situation or out in the real world, we cannot really be sure if this is possible.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Mark Toorock on February 01, 2010, 08:50:10 PM
"that means it is the student that needs to determine what is taught."

Tell me if you are saying this, because I think I am taking this really the wrong way:

The teacher is only good if the student learns - so yes, each student is different and you can't just "say the same thing" to each student.

Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: NOS - from Parkour Mumbai on February 01, 2010, 09:58:14 PM
Sorry to hijack your nightly argument with Dave for a while Mark, but I just wanted to state some of my updated views on the original subject of this post. ;D


I sat and read through Corndogg's thread above, read all 3 pages seeing both sides of viewpoints (as well as both pages of Sean Hannah's related thread on the sfpk forums referenced in that thread) in order to form a more objective opinion on this whole thing.


I think my main gripe with this certification thingy is this:

I don't like the line where they state that "any level 3 instructor can come and supervise your class at any time he wishes to." I don't care if it is Yann Hnautra or Seb Foucan himself who comes down to my class, but I for one certainly do not like the idea of anyone coming and forcefully interfering in my proceedings, or imposing any 'rules and regulations' on me. Sure, if either of them ask me if they could come down to watch a class, I'd be more than happy and honored to have them visit, but if they decide to simply, forcefully make an entry on the grounds that 'we are the governing body and we want to inspect and ratify that you're doing exactly as you were taught in the certificate course', then I'd be one pissed off traceur. Some of the ideas listed in their qualifications section under expectations are beginning to sound more like a government institution's policies & interference and redundant red-tape to me more than a well meaning traceur body laying down guidelines for how people wishing to teach Parkour should proceed.

Parkour is after all, a free discipline devoid of rules. What we have instead is just some basic guidelines as to what Parkour is and isn't, and how should practitioners progress in Parkour while learning it from scratch. And I don't think we need a certification course to ensure that these guidelines are followed.

I know I follow safe practices and proper training progression in my classes even though I charge people for it. If I'm comfortable with my method of training, and my students are comfortable with it, I won't have someone come and tell me what to do or what not to do in my class just because they do not agree with my methods.
I'd rather have my teaching methods reviewed by the community rather than follow the dictats of some self-appointed 'governing body', ironically comprised of the same individuals who came up with the philosophy of 'no ranks, no rules and no competitions for parkour'.

(I'm not taking the introduction of certifications for parkour trainers personally, I'm just presenting my thoughts on the certification process from a personal point of view.)

What are we going to start with next? Certifications/belts for proficiency in Parkour training? Create levels of skill proficiency a guy can achieve in Parkour and Freerunning and start awarding ranks to them as and when they do? ("Hi, my name is Yann Hnautra, and I'm a black belt in Parkour." New guy at Rendezvous 5 - "Oh, that makes me a white belt then. How many years is your certification course to get me a black belt like yours?")
Because with certifications for instructing on the horizon now, that's where we seem to be headed in the future.


(Okay, and I mean no offence to either Yann or Seb, I have great respect for both the guys and their skills, I just used their names to demonstrate an example.)
I would like to take back some of what I said before, and after seeing some things happen over here in Mumbai/India, I do think certifications for teaching parkour would actually do the community some good and ensure better instruction.

Because now that I look back at my previous post, I think I did take the introduction of certifications personally, as an intrusion in my own classes, assuming certifications ever became mandatory at a later date.

I still feel that all a 'certification' does is point out to the prospective trainee/client that they can be assured they are in good hands, that the person teaching them knows his subject matter thoroughly and is capable of teaching it well.
If existing parkour classes/trainers around the world have built up that reputation through word of mouth and hard-work, they don't really need to get themselves certified even when certifications do get introduced to the mainstream. Because their reputation built over the years serves as their 'certification'.
But these certifications will greatly help those who come in later, and will help separate the grain from the chaff as far as sub-standard instructors are concerned, especially people who think that with 3-6 months of parkour skill training and some research about skill training and conditioning on the internet (but who have absolutely no clue about the actual philosophies of parkour or about proper physical training), they will become qualified enough to teach it to others for money. I am beginning to see what I just described above at an alarming frequency in India, and no amount of 'educating' these newcomer traceurs-who-want-to-start-teaching about the proper way to approach instruction of others is helping change the minds of even the well-meaning of these individuals, and I think enforcing a teaching standard will be the only way out of the dilemna of sub-standard instruction diluting and ruining our art and its reputation.

And I would prefer the ADAPT certification over APK's certification for teaching Parkour (for all the aspects of parkour, not just the physical ones) (based on whatever I know about each certification at the moment, my views might change since the full specifics of APK's certification are not yet known), because (as of now) ADAPT also stresses on a few important points like the trainer's ability to 'teach', his grasp of the concepts and philosophies of parkour, and how well he is able to impart that knowledge to his trainees. Because without these important points, a trainer will simply impart physical training to his trainees, and simply teach them to 'jump around'. Parkour isn't parkour without the philosophies now, is it?
From what little I know about it right now, I feel APK's certificate is nothing more than a more comprehensive physical trainer's certificate that focusses on the physical aspects of teaching parkour only, and doesn't ensure that the trainer can effectively pass on the 'art'.

I do not have to agree with PKGen's/Majestic Force's methods of strength training and conditioning, and the introduction of 'levels' in teaching (which I believe might lead to levels in parkour itself at a future date), but I think I do agree with everything else about their certificate, including, I suppose, the point over which I raised the most hue and cry in my previous post - arbitrary interference of a higher up trainer who might show up to inspect how you conduct your class at any point.

I guess someone should take the best of both ADAPT's (the mental) and APK's (the physical) certifications and come up with an even better certification, leaving behind what is lacking in both.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: jp2ykz on February 01, 2010, 10:02:05 PM
There looks like there was a post or two while I was writing this so sorry for any redundancies.

Dave,

I did thoroughly read your post. ;)

You never clearly stated that you "weren't arguing against rules". If I am wrong please show me the quote. I also did not say that you were. I just said "that your definition of Parkour implies" no rules.

Quote
any rules designed for safety are effectively self-defeating in parkour in the long run.

And in fairness you also said that you could see the use of them in the short term when people were first learning.

You never said that you were against rules specifically, but that was what I got from it. It seemed like all of the examples you used you were basically against, with regard to PK. To be fair I will rephrase and say that your definition excludes "pointless rules" of which many of which you seem to think the majority are with regard to PK.  

Please give some examples of what you feel are pointless rules and good rules so I can have a better idea of where you are coming from.

Quote
I appreciate you feel you understand everything already

specifically I said that I was "well educated about the perspective." Not that I knew everything. just to clear that up.

I won't respond crassly to you in the future for the sake a smoother discussion.

With our mega marathon tiff, I was just angry at some of your tone and I responded to that mainly.

For the sake of getting down to the meat of stuff and finding the point where we can agree to disagree I think it would be a good idea to stick with one or two topics at a time so that we can boil stuff all the way down before moving on.

What do ya say truce.  :)

Now for a couple points in your post.

Quote
I'm also not arguing against instructors passing knowledge on to students. I'm saying that it is more useful to pass on only the parts that are useful to the student. Since every student is different, and since you are the only person that can understand your own goals properly, that means it is the student that needs to determine what is taught.

Quote
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.

It dose basically look like you were arguing against the instructor model that Disciple spoke of because that model is as you said based in tradition and as such wouldn't possibly change to the selective version that you explained.

Is what you would hope for a teacher student relationship where the student is able to dictate what is taught? Or like a peer to peer learning environment?

If this is so I can see where you are coming from and would agree with some parts of that being good.

Quote
You do have to make mistakes to learn. Learning means fixing holes in your understanding. If you don't know there's a hole there, you don't know to try and fix it.

My opinion on this is that an experienced instructor could know where those holes are and would be and could teach you about them and how to avoid them. I mean we are talking about climbing and jumping on stuff. I think the vast majority of PK have specific known ways of doing things.

Quote
Everyone places more importance on their own experiences than those of others.

I honestly don't... I look to those with more experience than I have to learn, daily. I think there is a ton of things in PK that you can learn without making mistakes.

I agree that you do learn well from mistakes. They are inevitable to a certain point. I just don't think they are the only way to learn and that many mistakes are avoidable either through self study or a teacher showing you. This speaks in part about what you said about spotting patterns. Good point on that one.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: DaveS on February 02, 2010, 06:20:27 AM
NOS, with any luck the longer this discussion goes on the more clearly the views of all sides will be presented. :)

I agree that in any specific situation, being stronger will keep you safer.
However, my point is that as you get stronger the situations change. The stronger you get the more dangerous your training becomes, because the strength needed to resist injury in case of a mistake increases, but some aspects of strength don't.
Mistakes don't happen spontaneously. Everything happens for a reason, and people make mistakes because of misjudgements. We can get better at judging things.
Improvements in our judgement can help us avoid all serious injuries, but physical improvement can't.

Self-discipline and willpower are not genetic traits, they can be developed. They are very difficult things to teach, because the whole idea of someone else teaching them contradicts what they are trying to teach, but if a person is put in the right situations with the right level of challenge they can be developed.
I have seen people that have gone through this. Not many, true, but some. More importantly for me though, I've experienced it myself. Ten years ago I was mentally weak to the point of not even understanding what it was like to have goals and desires of my own, because every decision I made, from choosing subjects to study, to choosing which university to go to, to choosing which chocolate bar to buy, was made solely on the basis of what I thought other people would think of my choice. Fortunately, things changed :) .
You experience something, or a collection of things, that proves to you that you need to change and then you start changing. You spot a fault or a problem and act to correct or solve it. That basic principle applies whether it is physical strength you lack or mental strength.
In the BPCA at the moment, we refer to this as the need for a 'Memorable Example'.

I agree, a coaching qualification is absolutely just a way of trying to demonstrate who can coach to people who understand nothing about parkour, but the act of creating a qualification means also that coaches become more consciously aware of some of the aspects of coaching.
As you might expect, I happen to think that the BPCA coaching qualification contains a good balance of requirements. There's still room for improvement as with everything (version 2 is being typed up), but I think we've got a good basis in place.
I think the best way to improve coaching methods from here would be for all coaches and practitioners to work together and pool our knowledge, because as you say each existing group has their own strengths and every extra perspective is useful. If it is simply finding the best way to help people learn parkour that we're interested in then I see no reason for people not to work together.


Mark, I mean both that each student is different and so needs different help, and also that the student should decide what help the coach gives. I think coaching only works when both the coach wants to teach the lesson, and the student wants to learn it. If either of those are missing, I think the lesson is worthless.


JP, that's fine, as long as you understand now that I make distinctions between good and bad rules.
Quote
...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.
Those are the examples of impractical rules I listed before.

As I said to Mark above, I think learning has to be a cooperative process between coaches and students. So that the student understands the importance of the learning, I think the coach should demonstrate the holes/flaws rather than simply explain them. That way the student can integrally feel the need to learn, as well as be aware of it consciously. For me, that is the difference between a good coach and a bad coach, using experiences rather than words.
The coach gives the student an experience that shows the student the problem, and then both student and coach can work together to find the best solution for the student.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Zachary Cohn on February 02, 2010, 08:04:09 AM
NOS, with any luck the longer this discussion goes on the more clearly the views of all sides will be presented. :)

Based on my decade+ of experience with "debates" on the internet, the above statement is not true.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: jp2ykz on February 02, 2010, 09:29:13 AM
Holly crap,

I pretty much agree with your whole post!!

My only slight and rarely even relevant point would be in response to this paragraph.

Quote
Self-discipline and willpower are not genetic traits, they can be developed. They are very difficult things to teach, because the whole idea of someone else teaching them contradicts what they are trying to teach, but if a person is put in the right situations with the right level of challenge they can be developed.

I would say that just like your last paragraph says a good teacher could show a student a situation wherein he/she could learn self discipline as long as it was something the student wanted. And a really great teacher could show the student why that might be something that he/she wanted as long as the student would show up or be there for some (any other reason) on their own accord. Even then this is a very rare circumstance.

Also your last paragraph I agree with largely (especially for PK learning) but depending on the learning style of the individual (visual, kinesthetic, auditory, auditory-digital) words can be useful.

Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: ThePeacefulDragon on February 10, 2010, 03:07:23 PM
Hey everybody.

I just wanted to touch base to let the State of Indiana know that we now have a certified and recognised Parkour Instructor available to us.

Ayren Steuerwald has recently returned from the UK after taking the long awaited A.D.A.P.T. certification Training brought forward by Parkour UK, Parkour Generations and Majestic Force.

Along with Ayren Steuerwald in the course graduates were Sebastian Foucan,  Joseph Boyle, as well as several other students whose names will be recognized in the next post.
Ayren is currently trying to follow the Parkour standard set by the governing bodies that created the certification and wanting to develop a strong Parkour presence in Indiana and the surrounding States.
Hard work, dedication and a strong sense of positive forward direction are the goals that we want to maintain, as well as freedom of creative thought and the mastery of movement.
The A.D.A.P.T. Training was a huge success and will help put Parkour in venues of practice and participation that would not have normally been reached without proper certification and reputable backing. Congratulations to all who made the effort to get to the training and congratulations to all who passed this monumental task.
Ayren currently teaches at A Plus Gymnastics in Noblesville Indiana and has become the first instructor to assist the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department in there Physical Training with the implementation of Parkour.
B.A.S.E. Fitness will be the new entity to be focused on the primary attributes of Parkour and will strive to provide a common ground for traceurs of all levels in the future.
B.A.S.E. stands for Balance Agility Strength  Endurance.
Hopefully we can all train safe, hard and dilligently to help the Art Du Deplacement grow and become a movement that is both recognised and respected by all who encounter it practitioners.
Title: Re: PKGen's ADAPT Certification Officially Begins
Post by: Mark Lewis on February 10, 2010, 09:44:57 PM
Well that's one American who took the ADAPT cert. I wonder if there are any others thus far. What I would really like to see is a review from some of the participants. It would be nice to know how they felt about the process.