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Messages - Jan-Su

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Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Is it... still even worth it?... ...
« on: May 21, 2015, 11:29:28 AM »
Wow. Matthew, I thought Tim Cutts may have given the most insightful post here this spring, but now, yours could be of at least equal caliber. Now this is support.

I never realized I may have been onto something, but I think you nailed it right on the spot even further, and I agree with you. Training on your own time, and attending a jam, are two almost completely different things, and they serve equally different purposes. There could be a few overlaps, but they do remain distinct. Jams still have their uses, but there is no substitute for training yourself. I’ve heard that many athletes and musicians actually also train solo, so they too can really concentrate on their own goals, of which, every individual’s goals could be different from someone else’s. In these cases, training with such a large group might only be distracting.

And no, it’s okay, I didn’t see you as a conceited narcissist of some kind (although you did seem mellower and calmer this time around. ^^’). I really appreciated your second post, and I’m glad to have finally found someone who understands more exactly where I’m coming from. For some, it’s like it’s the “my way or the highway” kind of approach, and they try to turn you into a clone of themselves. I wonder if they remember/realize that everyone is just different, and that there’s so many variables that go into all of these. This goes back to Tim’s post as well.

… I never imagined this thread would become a plethora of information. Even some of the posts of last autumn still hold true today, and it’s been nothing short of surreal reading everything here up until now. Of course, I do have to admit that some posts were a little more helpful and relatable than others, but I think I may have already found a few diamonds in the rough. It’s ironic that some of the most helpful people turn out to living farthest away from you. I wish I could’ve gotten to meet/train with a few of you in person. I did say I briefly met Dick Stapleton on April 19th, but even then, we live on opposite corners of our state.

In regards to Beast Coast, maybe it’s not too big of a deal after all that I had to miss it this year. I think it’s better that I get some more training experience on my belt first and avoid any big jams for the time being. But on all of these notes, perhaps we also still do have to re-examine how we conduct some of our jams, or at least, parts of our jams. It can never be emphasized enough. If we as individual practitioners have room to improve, so do our jams. At this point, I’ve only been to two jams thus far, but I might already be beginning to recognize some of their flaws or shortcomings. When Tim gets back from BC2015, maybe I’ll ask him again how it went and see if there’s anything we can incorporate from their seminars and workshops into our other parkour gatherings.

National Jams / Re: BEAST COAST 2015
« on: May 11, 2015, 04:29:26 PM »
Oh man, Tim, I wanted to go so badly, but it looks like it’s more likely going to be a no, due to logistical reasons; no way to get there, and no place to stay.

Oh well. There are other things I want to save my money for during the summer anyway. And with a jam that big and having that many people, it’s almost as if lines would have to be formed  and you would have to wait for your own turn to try something on an obstacle, sort of like waiting for your turn to ride an attraction at an amusement park. Not to mention I also would still need much more training experience in general. I’m not even sure I have the stamina/endurance for jamming three days straight. But it’s a shame that something like Beast Coast can only be held once a year.

(By the way, Tim, I wanted to thank you for your post in one of my threads. While mrww2 gave the most innovative post there last fall, this time, I think that designation goes to you.)

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Is it... still even worth it?... ...
« on: May 11, 2015, 04:19:04 PM »
Anyway, I’m trying to see if I can make it to Beast Coast this year.

Well, that’s what I wanted to say, but due to other logistical reasons, that might no longer be possible. Although I’d have enough for either of the two lower ticket packages, I have no means of getting there, nor do I have a place to stay. I’m not thrilled with having to camp out (where will one shower or eat, how can you sleep, etc.), and I don’t have $100 a night for three nights to stay at the Hyatt Arlington. In fact, as I checked this morning, all options were already sold out. My family does have relatives in Virginia, not that far from the DC area, but they too are either still busy, or will be on vacation themselves somewhere else since it is Memorial Day weekend.

Too bad. I was really looking forward to attending their seminars and workshops. I think maybe that is what has been missing from the first two college jams I’ve been to thus far; more individualized attention. At least with these, they would break into smaller groups, sometimes even by appropriate skill levels, and focus on specific things to work on, whereas the jams I was at, it’s like everyone is just thrown into the mix with no clear direction.

I’m glad to say, though, that I’ve since found some spots at my other school that might provide decent ways to train. They’re not as good as my second school, or the campus(es) I went to on 4/19, but they’re better than nothing. Honestly, I’ll take almost anything at this point, and for now, they serve my needs, and this location is much closer and accessible to me than other areas. I had been looking for new places to train at anyway, since the place(s) I started at last summer were quickly getting very stale. The gymnastics/parkour facility option was/will only be a very last resort, since money is still a tight situation anyway, and I certainly can’t afford to go to an open gym every Friday night.

My solo sessions have been going surprisingly decent, actually. They’re a stark difference from how I was feeling at the end of those two jams. It’s like night and day. I could finally really focus on what I personally want(ed) to improve on without getting sidetracked or feel forced to do the same exact thing the veteran practitioners are doing. It was like, “You know what? Forget about those two jams. I’ll make my own jam(s). Just by me, just for me. No one else. If anyone has a problem with that, they can go you-know-what themselves.” And it didn’t always have to be that long either. Sometimes I would do a little something on a potential obstacle for like 10-20 minutes while waiting for the bus.

(By the way, Inari, what did you mean by “It doesn’t matter what the weather is.” ? I hope that wasn’t completely literal. Are you saying some people would go out training in the middle of a thunderstorm? Or tornado? Well, if they get struck by lightning, or hit with a piece of flying debris, then they shouldn’t come to us.)

So it’ll be about two months from now since I first ever tried taking up parkour. July 19th, 2015 will mark exactly one year since I began. I thought I said somewhere on these forums that if I wasn’t satisfied with where I am at that point, that I would leave parkour. But now, I’m thinking of perhaps lifting away that seal and continue training anyway, regardless of where I’d really be,  even by then. It would feel wrong to just give it all up completely, especially after all that I’ve already been through. All I’ve done up until now/then would be completely lost, and the more I can’t improve if I’ll never train it again. Furthermore, I don’t want to let my parkour club’s president down, after all that he’s helped me with and believed in me. I don’t want to let any of my responders in this thread down (yes, even you, Alvendam), for all of you believed in me even though we live far from each other and most of us have never met personally. And most of all, I don’t want to let myself down... ...

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Biomechanics in Parkour
« on: April 27, 2015, 08:15:13 AM »
My friend/former parkour club president that I recently went to a jam with on 4/19 referred me to a channel on YouTube titled ParkourScience. There are only a handful of videos there right now as of this post, but I think the channel’s host, Robert McFarlane, does a good job of putting some of these into perspective.

To me, parkour is still much more science, skill, and athleticism, than it is art, creativity or expression. I know that can be open to individual interpretation, but let’s face it. With parkour being such a physical discipline, there’s no doubt that science and physics are definitely involved.

I particularly found his #8 video, the one where he goes over the Kong Vault variations, to be insightful, since the basic Kong is what I hope to reconfirm next if I can still do.

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Is it... still even worth it?... ...
« on: April 27, 2015, 08:13:34 AM »
I just realized I forgot to mention that it’s not only the fear of judgement/embarrassment, but really also the fear of injury. (I may have hinted that in the fall, but I have to re-emphasize it here.) In an area you are unfamiliar with, this can be prevalent. And especially that I had not trained in a while, and being as rusty as I am/was, if I had tried to do anything bold at the jam, the move would likely have failed and I would have crash landed. That would then have been a serious injury right there.

Despite what some here might believe, I have also still been researching if there are any gymnastics facilities in my area who offer open gym sessions, maybe even parkour classes, if they ever come to fruition near me. It’s just too dangerous to try to attempt a new vault outside right now after this long of a parkour hiatus. There are still no good parks/training spots right near me that have the right shape/sizes/dimensions of obstacles that I’m looking for anyway.

And at least classes are for the specific purpose of teaching you techniques and troubleshooting problems. With jams, it’s still as if everyone just expects you to be able to do a certain something. And if you cannot do that move, you might as well not have even come to the jam at all.

I’m sure the guys at these last few jams thought they were being helpful, but I couldn’t help but still feel forced by them. Some people just give off that kind of image, even if they do not intend to. I don’t know if it’s something we can ever get around. I mostly found myself training alongside some of the girls that joined us that day, since I was still a beginner just like them. And at least girls never make you feel (insert any negative term here) like the guys do.

(Oh, and Alvendam *big sigh with his face down, buried in his hands*… … if you’re reading this… while it’s relieving to learn that you did not mean your first post to be offensive, it did seem… different and not quite as constructive as other people’s posts here may have been, at least back then. I/we did ask for how to overcome one’s parkour fears, not necessarily one’s opinion of starting in a gym. I may have mentioned this before, but sometimes you have to be careful of what you say, because it could be taken the wrong way. Once said, words can only be forgiven, not forgotten. I hope you can understand what I mean by all of these. I want to put this behind us as well, but that's all I can say about all of these for now  :-\ ... ...)

Anyway, I’m trying to see if I can make it to Beast Coast this year. I have a feeling that only they will be able to provide something that our normal intercollegiate jams never could… Only they at Beast Coast will be able to help me find the power I so desperately seek… If the “greatest jam in the United States” cannot do it, then no jam, or any parkour gathering for that matter, ever will… … …

Interesting that you'd want to meet with Belle that personally. In one of the conversations I happened to hear while at my last jam this past Sunday, 4/19, it's like Belle had gone MIA (missing-in-action) for a few/handful of years now, and so it might be very difficult to reach/find him. I don't know if he recently became a new father, or something else, but that sounds like it's getting a little too much into his personal life, so that's none of my business.

They also did say that Belle may have since turned to some acting as well, and has even appeared in a few parkour-related films.

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Is it... still even worth it?... ...
« on: April 21, 2015, 04:34:01 AM »
That wasn't my point. Remember this first post of yours in this thread from many months ago?

And that's why, you shouldn't start parkour in a gym. You start outside, learn (at least) the basics on grass and concrete and then move to a gym for more advanced stuff, or just for fun. I still haven't gone to a gym and I can do all the basic vaults (speed, reverse, dash, kong, lazy/thief) and started training sideflip on grass. I was always sure that starting in a gym is harmful and your post just proved my opinion.

In any online forum, it would seem like everyone to each other are pretty much just words on a screen. Unless you have actually met any of them yourself face-to-face, you would know just about nothing of them or their past. It might be dangerous to assume something about someone you know nothing about and have never spoken to before. Let this serve as a reminder to you.

I really didn't want this thread to have come down to this, or to have to put you on the spot again, but I'm afraid you've left me with no choice...

Socialize / Re: Parkour super powers
« on: April 20, 2015, 07:39:53 PM »
I'm not sure immortality or something similar to it would always necessarily be a good thing, because you might start to lose your sense of value. It's like trying to imagine you have an unlimited amount of money.

I was thinking more along the lines of abilities that would be more directly related to parkour, such as the wall jump or double jump, which are common moves now in fictional media. Particularly, among the first that came to my mind were Sora's abilities from the Kingdom Hearts series, like High Jump, Aerial Dodge, Dash (I think that's what it's called), Air Slide, and Glide/Super Glide.

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Is it... still even worth it?... ...
« on: April 20, 2015, 07:30:23 PM »
Nah, nobody is going to think that. I can promise you. :)

If you think I'm still going to buy your "I'm sorry" act now, you're sadly mistaken. Maybe you should've thought twice before making an assumption of someone/people you don't even know/have never met.

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Is it... still even worth it?... ...
« on: April 19, 2015, 10:22:47 PM »
Okay, okay, I know this thread is several months old, but in light of my second jam on Sunday, April 19th, I decided to post another response in regards to it.

Let me start with the good news. The weather was much better than my first jam in the fall, where it was drizzling and near freezing. The university we went to this time had many better spots than even our school, and it was interesting to experiment in new areas. I also even got to see/meet Dick Stapleton, one of our most knowledgeable contributors on these forums.

My negative feedback is a little similar to before, however. I couldn't do much while most of everyone was around, and I was just standing at the sidelines again, mostly due to possible judgement and embarassment, and lack of new repertoire. I know I haven't done anything more specifically parkour-related since December, when we went to an indoor park in the city, mostly due to having been so busy with school and that we had another brutally cold and snowy winter, so I expected I would be a little rusty. It was fun getting to watch everyone else, but it still sucks that I had nothing new to show.

I'm not sure if I should still even continue coming to jams. Everyone will just be thinking, "Janus is no fun. He's just a bummer to have to bring to every jam. He would go off on his own trying to train by himself and doesn't participate alongside everyone else."

I tried to promise myself I would get better at parkour this year, even if it's just a miniscule amount, but if this will be how all/many of my jams turn out feeling like, I think I'm close to the end of my rope.

Maybe I'll just go back to my lifting regimen in my weight room at my school for now. At least that's something I know I can control, unlike too many other things in life. It's also a great stress-reliever, whereas parkour thus far has only mostly been a stress-bringer...

Pics & Vids / Re: Month 1
« on: February 03, 2015, 08:12:45 AM »
I don't think you can really be "bad" at parkour. As long as the movement makes you happy then thats all that matters.

Well, in my case, I *cough, cough* beg to differ, but to each their own, I guess.

As for the "happy movement" part, I think I'll be happy once I can do them correctly and consistently.

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: I am still here
« on: January 28, 2015, 03:17:46 PM »
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Tim. You too, Sebastian. I am sure we cannot be the only ones out there who are still struggling to train. I really do not mean it lightly whenever I say that I just cannot train what I want, how I want, whenever I want. If only there are more out there who understand where I am coming from.

But this site and its forum are a wealth of information. You can just about never go wrong with what you can find here. But parkour is still within my radar for much of this year, and I plan to keep it that way, even no matter how small. And as for this very moment, that's enough for me...

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Do you train, play or ...?
« on: January 09, 2015, 11:42:46 AM »
Interesting. I'd say I'm the opposite of some of you here. I train more than I play, but with good reason, I hope. For me, the fun comes after the work has been put in, and has gotten done. I'm still at the point where I still have to get more training experience and specific movements nailed/perfected under my belt before I really could just cut loose and enjoy everything. My biggest obstacle remains trying to find the time, places, and conditions to train consistently. <: \

Now don't get me wrong, I guess I still have a just a little "fun", even when I'm training/drilling. Parkour is something where if you're not having fun anymore at all, then something is definitely not quite right. I wouldn't have gotten into it if I didn't find that it was fun in some way, trying this new, interesting physical discipline. But it's a different kind of fun, though. It's not the same as, say, if you were hanging out with some friends at a party/gathering, at a concert of one of your favorite artists, or at a sports game cheering on one of your favorite teams.

New APK forum user, mrww2, gave a very, very innovative post near the end of one of my threads just this past autumn,,43230.0.html, about something possibly similarly related to some of our posts here. It challenged my very idea of what parkour probably is, can be, and/or should be. I don't think we've had a post quite like his (or another one of my friends' posts in the same thread) that was that provocative in quite some time in recent memory, and such a post/posts would be very difficult to match/come close to again in the future.

Socialize / Re: Happy New Year and New Year's resolutions
« on: January 01, 2015, 03:56:45 PM »
(... I was a little hesitant at first to respond to a thread by someone I might have gotten to a rough start with a few months back, but I'm willing to put that aside for now and not let that ruin the New Year festivities.)

I have quite a few goals for 2015 myself, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable stating them in plain public, especially in such an open forum where everyone can see everyone else's posts. I've actually heard that it is suggested that maybe one keeps their goals to themselves first. If you "come out of the closet" with your goals too soon, your peers might already start congratulating you for it, even though you have not done anything just yet. And that might begin to demotivate you, and you might end up not working at it quite as hard as you would have otherwise. Check out this TEDx talk from Derek Sivers about keeping your goals to yourself.

But this site being what it is, it must be obvious what one of my goals are. ^^'

Happy New 2015 to all, and good luck in achieving all of your goals!

Dick, if I learn anything else about this semester's upcoming spring jam, I'll see if I can personal message you here.

Movement / Re: A more powerfull kong?
« on: December 22, 2014, 06:55:33 PM »
I see little point in using the kong vault for smaller obstacles, though. If the object really is that small/low, why not just step on/over it? Or jump over it completely? Or use a simpler/more basic vault?

Ironically, I may have found it easier/safer to kong over obstacles that were about my chest height/just below my chest height. The more vertically oriented the obstacle is, at least the more vertically oriented your vault and your body position would be when you land, which is supposed to be flat on the soles of your two feet at the very end of the whole thing.

A few members of my parkour club and I went to an indoor park in the city on Friday evening, the 12th, and I was trying to kong over a lower mat (since it had been a while since I trained), but I likely landed incorrectly/crash landed. I suspect I didn't have enough time and space to fully orient my whole body vertically again since I was already lower and closer to the ground. My left foot came down on its instep and I nearly sprained my left ankle. It hurted like HECK when it happened, and it slightly impaired my capacity to train for the rest of that evening. It took at least 24 hours for much of the pain to subside. I'm mostly fine now, although there is still evidence that it happened. I have to be careful to not agitate it as it still hurts just a tad if my left foot is in an awkward position. I'm glad it's not something I'd need a cast for, but I don't know if it'll ever be quite the same as from before it happened.

Do you mean doing what you can in the time that you have, or trying new exercises that you've never done before that can still relate to parkour?

I only know a handful of exercises I can do/try at home, though, and I could never structure an effective-enough routine at home due to limited equipment. All I have is a pull-up bar, my dad's small dumbbells, and what little free floor space our house can allow. Better than nothing, I suppose. Body-weight and floor exercises are in, but if I want to review my vaults, I'm out of luck.

With school, little money, the weather, and lack of appropriate gear, I would've been very lucky to get to train even once a whole month. And with such big gaps between my more specifically parkour-related sessions, whenever I do attend a parkour-related event, it's almost as if I have to relearn what I've already done/tried in the past. I can never build on my repertoire since I always have to brush up on what I did the last times.

This still isn't looking good. After my first jam turned out to be a huge disappointment, I made it a point to be better prepared for our next one in the spring, which, last I heard from my club's president, is poised to be in late April so it won't interfere with spring finals in May. It might seem like still a little while from now, but it's going to be upon us sooner than we might think. And I have a feeling I'll be even busier this spring than I was this past autumn.

Oh well. It's a good thing parkour is only a hobby to me. Much thankfully, I've never been in a situation where I had to use parkour in real life, and hopefully, I'd never have to, because I know it will always fail. Besides, parkour has no bearing on the economy at all; it does not create jobs or opportunities, and neither is it a high-demand field. And who knows? I might be into parkour now, but a few or handful of years down the line, I might become interested in something else.

Title of the thread pretty much says it all. I’m looking for other ways to make this holiday/winter break more productive despite these and other similar setbacks. My finals are over, so I could get back to my other projects/goals in the meantime before the spring semester starts in late January.

We may have touched on this a little in a previous thread, but I thought it’d be good to have a more specific thread for it now. This might also be beneficial to any others who find/found themselves time-crunched.

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Winter Parkour Blues
« on: December 18, 2014, 09:07:51 AM »
… Hmmm. That's odd. I could have sworn that I made a post in this thread not too long ago where I included a link to APK’s article on winter training. I was about to go read it again to get some ideas on how to possibly train this holiday break, and I remembered this thread, but somehow my post has since just disappeared. Strange…

I wonder if this has anything to do with our recent maintenance of the forums, where we had that whole issue with many spam posts by those bots. Maybe a few other posts were also removed by accident, not just those spam ones?

Well anyway, those should matter little now. I think I still know where to find that article on the site, and I still have the e-mail my club’s president sent to us regarding that article.

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Winter Apparel
« on: November 25, 2014, 05:51:37 PM »
Bricks and Sebastian, those are good lists. I just realized I am very unprepared if it comes to trying to train parkour out in the winter. I've got other clothes for winter, of course, but they're not suited for PK-like movements. At best, my current training attire is suitable for autumn-like temperatures, maybe, but certainly not winter. I guess I know what to keep an eye out for the next time I go clothes shopping for this time of year.

PK Wallrun! (Icouldn'tresist, what if you could use the psycho-kinetic powers to make yourself have extreme parkour abilities.. like control the wind to make you jump farther or run faster..)

Oh, I wish, man. I wish.

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