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Messages - Sparklefish

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The grip on the minimus is ok. I have the trail version which has a pebbled outsole which is dumb and messed up the grip for good month for me before it wore off. It grips real well on rails, and the wood in our gym and smoother concrete more porous concrete and rock is not very good, the suck in the wet. Overall I would probably give them a 3 out of 5 on grip maybe 3.5 when I really want grip I use my 5.10 daescents but I have adapted to the lower grip for the most part.

Thanks.  I'm the same way with my Daescents.  I pull them out for special occasions, but I almost feel like I'm cheating when I do.

I think I'm going to put together a comprehensive video shoe review of all the shoes I've ever worn for parkour. 

Long story short:
1) I conditionally recommend Vivos for running and ground feel, but they have horrible grip.
2) I conditionally recommend Daescents but their grip is horrible on metal, and too good on concrete/rock/brick for some things like cats.
3) The best all-around shoe I have found for parkour/freerunning are the Asics Tigers.  Their grip is good to above average and consistent across most surfaces.  They are not a minimalist shoe, but they do not have excessive heel drop or extraneous padding.  If you spend a lot of time wearing quality true minimalist shoes and some time barefoot, you won't be completely destroying your biomechanics by wearing these for some sessions.  While they are heavier than some shoes like Vivos, they are fairly light.  On top of all that there are even vegan versions if that matters to you.

I do not recommend any other shoe.  Feiyues are expensive because they fall apart too fast and they have an extremely narrow toe box which severely reduces their value as a "barefoot" shoe.  Ariakes, Nike Frees, KOs, the 3Run shoe, the PK Gens shoe, Kalenjis, and anything else with traditional thick heel pads are no bueno.  5.10 Freerunners are among the worst shoes I've used for parkour: huge heel pads, very heavy, poor breathability, and expensive.

Rafe, how do you like the grip on Minimus?  The grip on my Vivos is disappointing.  The increased flexibility and huge toe box allows me to use my toes to overcome the poor grip on rails and such, but wall-runs are incredibly difficult. I'm thinking about getting another pair of Tigers, those are the best compromise shoe I've found.

Training Journals / Re: Beretta's (Brett Robert) Log
« on: June 01, 2012, 03:28:48 AM »
Yeah, every now and then I fall super-in-love with tricking.  I've been playing with a lot of fun combos lately, it's been cool.  Then I did that workshop with Vellu and Riyanto so I've been working on what they talked about.  Hoping to spend a lot of time with the Loopkicks guys this summer.

Thanks man, I appreciate the tips.  Sometimes I use being a bit older as an excuse in that I say "well, at my age skills don't come as easily," so I hesitate, stall, and expect it to take a long time to master them.  I can get corks sooner.  I will get corks sooner.  I even threw a few warm-up cheat gainer timers tonight, as well as doing 45 back tucks on tramp.  If I work both of those consistently I should get the cheat gainer in a few weeks tops.  Thanks for the encouragement.

It's been a weird week.  New schedule at work, no more college, and some of my coworkers have been stressed.  I'm going to work about 35 hours from Monday to Thursday every week, then work birthday parties every other Saturday and Sunday.  So every other week I'll have a three day weekend.  Lots of hours.  Along with adjusting to that, there is a strange energy in the air that permeates everything at work. 

Putting that aside, I'm well.  My back handsprings are coming along and I'm very confident in them now.  Just need to get very confident with them on floor.  I pretty much forgot to work b-twists this week.  I'll throw some Saturday and Sunday at the gym.  In fact, it was a weird week skill-wise.  Today I suddenly could no longer land front half-twists, my side flips were low, my back-tuck regressed to its old poor form, and everything just felt off.  I didn't gain any new skills this week, or progress much on anything besides BHS, except maybe FHS.

I did level up on my iron cross progression.  I switched from the blue band to the red band, which means less assistance.  The first day with that switch was eye-opening, but it felt good tonight.  Also worked front lever, handstands, and tppu.

Training Journals / Re: Beretta's (Brett Robert) Log
« on: May 29, 2012, 11:06:54 PM »
Awhile back I wrote this:

Time for some goals for 2012:
1 - 400 pound deadlift
2 - Front Pike outside (off height)
3 - Cork
4 - Consistent flat ground b-twist
5 - 5s full-lay front lever
6 - 20s back lever (full)
7 - 2s Straddle planche
8 - Simple hs press
9 - hs on rings (using feet okay)
10 - Flyaway to mat on floor

Some of these I'm close to, some I'm not - yet.

Here's my progress as of now for each one:
1. New gym set up, we only have #275 of weights, so I can DL #275 12 times, dunno what my 1RM is.  Haven't DL'd in a couple weeks.
2. Have front pike on floor.  Need to work on flips from height, because I'm awful at those and I don't think my pike is high enough for running flat ground grass front pike.
3. Hmm... re-evaluated my plan on this one.  I decided I need to work on learning cheat gainers, on the advice of more experienced trickers.  Then I back-burnered that because I fear back tucks.  Recently I learned back handsprings and my back tucks have vastly improved.  So, time to drill my back tuck, learn cheat gainer, then resume cork work.  I figure cheat gainer by end of summer, cork by end of year, at least on floor.
4. Landed it on floor recently, but it's inconsistent.
5. No.  Just no.  Damn FL is hard.  I can do a bad closed-hip straddle FL for a second or two.
6. Haven't worked BL much.  Held one tonight for a few seconds.  I'm willing to discard this as a goal, I look at it mostly as an assistance exercise.
7. Planche is sooooo hard for me.  I still can't do anything better than tuck planche.  Currently I'm working on getting my TPPUs back, but haven't put much effort into the hold (I work either planche or tppu 1-3 times a week).  I get so frustrated because I've never been able to progress much at the static planche hold.
8. I've been more concerned with developing pancake flexibility and strength for a straight-arm press.  I'm a long way off from that, but I'd say I should discard simple press goal in favor of straddle press.
9. Can do shoulder stand.  Trying to develop press on floor, and improve hs pushup rom and strength which is currently very lacking and causing me to stagnate in rings HS.
10. Haven't worked on this at all in months.  Still can't do even in pit.  Going to discard this goal, because I'm not that interested in it.  May change my mind later, but I don't want to put any energy into it right now.

Updated goals, both for 2012 and EVER:
1 - 400 pound deadlift
2 - Front Pike outside
3 - Cork on floor
4 - Consistent b-twist on floor, eventually on grass
5 - 5s full-lay front lever
6 - 2s Iron-cross (can currently hold with band assistance, working down level of assistance)
7 - 2s Straddle planche
8 - Straight-arm hs press
9 - HS on rings - feet on straps
10 - Cheat 900 kick - can currently cheat 7 on some floors and with inconsistency
11 - Snapuswipe - because why not?
12 - Double kong outside
13 - Sideflip on concrete
14 - Ives wall run in Asics, not 5.10s
15 - Wall run at the Pub at SSU
16 - Kong-precision in front of SRHS

In addition to above progress, I've achieved several parkour goals I had in my head:
-Ives wallrun at SSU
-360 wallrun at SRHS
-precision at SSU pool
-catback at SSU pool
-vastly improved flow in small areas
-dive kong level ups
-double kongs consistently in the gym

Anyway, just wanted to check in with myself in order to re-assess and to hold myself accountable.  I've definitely achieved a lot of my goals for this year, even though I haven't knocked much off my ambitious list.  I'm very happy with the work I've done.

Pics & Vids / Re: Christopher Hollingsworth - Move ON
« on: May 29, 2012, 10:22:02 PM »
Yes.  The gloves.  Yes.

Freerunning / Re: Tucking Help
« on: May 28, 2012, 12:39:34 AM »
Lie on your back on the ground, then explode up into a tuck position with your hands in the place you wish them to be.  Repeat this exercise 10 times, then execute a flip with your new tuck position.  I suggest using a trampoline or mats at first as making a fundamental adjustment like this can throw you off big time.

Training Journals / Re: Beretta's (Brett Robert) Log
« on: May 25, 2012, 01:07:28 AM »
Did back handsprings and front pikes on floor tonight.  Training with Vellu and Riyanto tomorrow.  Life RULES.  I wish more of my friends would trick so I didn't have to drive 2+ hours alone tomorrow. :(

Training Journals / Re: Beretta's (Brett Robert) Log
« on: May 22, 2012, 01:36:28 AM »
I might start updating this again.

For the last few months, I just haven't felt the desire to write about my training.  Sometimes I over-think and over-intellectualize things, so it's good for me to let go of the future and enjoy training as it unfolds.  Sometimes I get too caught up in words and videos and such things interfere from my direct experience.  In times like that I find that instead of just moving and enjoying it, I'm worrying about camera angles, or how I'll describe it all to an imaginary audience later on.  It's been good to let go of the writing for awhile.

I have not let go of my training.  Every day.  Still.  It's probably been close to a year now that I've trained every day.  I never bothered remembering the date or anything like that.  I plan on keeping it up for a while.  If I tire of this and decide to stop training daily, I'll cut the braid.  Until then, onward.

Down to the nitty gritty details.  Over the last few months I've taken on more gymnastics classes and therefore learned a lot about that sport, teaching its skills, and also learned several of them myself.  I have paid particular attention to developing my shoulder flexibility, maintaining my splits, using isos to develop strength, improving my handstands, trying to develop a front-full, trying to improve my back-tuck, and acquiring more basic tumbling skills.  I put a lot of time into my front handspring, strength work on rings, planche, and lately my back handspring.  All of these have paid off.

Last week I learned back handsprings.  Having taught them for months, they came pretty naturally, though my coaches advised to not rush to doing them on floor.  I also landed b-twists and sideswipes for the first time last week.  Weeks like that are rare, so it's nice to enjoy them when they come.  The b-twist night was a lot of fun.

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I've been working them almost everyday since then.

Yesterday I went to Mt. Diablo and jumped around on giant rocks, before taking in the solar eclipse.  It was a long and epic day full of adventure. 

Next weekend Vellu and Riyanto, two fantastically talented European trickers, will be in San Jose, so I'm going to journey down for workshops with them.  I can't wait.  For the last month or two I have been drilling my basic tricks, transitions, and working on developing long combos that integrate both my more challenging tricks and the simpler basic tricks I know.  Focusing on the fundamentals always pays dividends.  By summer's end I'd like to have my cheat 720 super consistent, and start working on a cheat 9, as well as backside 9.  I'd also like to combo my b-twist and sideswipe. 

Anyway, that's the ramble for now.

I also graduated from Sonoma State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History.  No emphasis, though I studied both early modern East Asia and early modern/Imperial Spain in-depth in my upper-division coursework.  My 25 page senior seminar paper was on the Satsuma Rebellion in Japan in 1878.  Developing the mind is as important as developing the body in developing the spirit. 

Love you all.

Tricking / Re: POST YOUR BTWIST PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« on: May 16, 2012, 11:48:02 PM »
what would help your btwists is going supersayin BEFORE you btwist, instead of AFTER you btwist.

Oh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Next will try: first supersaiyan, then btwist!

Tricking / Re: POST YOUR BTWIST PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« on: May 15, 2012, 01:34:11 PM »
Now that I can b-twist, I can finally join this thread... and RESURRECT IT FROM THE DEAD!!!

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Now that I landed it, I'll work on perfecting it and trying to get fully horizontal.

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Hand Stand Balance?
« on: May 15, 2012, 01:31:38 PM »
Check out this tutorial from Beastskills:

Also, what Daniel said.  Do at least 10 handstands a day if you want to make progress.

Training Journals / Re: Beretta's (Brett Robert) Log
« on: May 08, 2012, 09:26:37 PM »
Another big level-up, and my best video yet.  Can't wait to graduate from uni so I can train more.

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Pics & Vids / Patience - Spring 2012
« on: May 07, 2012, 11:38:12 PM »
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Movement from Spring 2012.  Enjoy.

I work two jobs 25-35 hours a week, go to school full-time, and train everyday.  If it matters to you, you make the time even when you're tired, or it's raining, or no one's around, or you have a project due, or a cold, or whatever else.  No excuses.  Be awesome.

Pics & Vids / Tutorial - The Friendship Kong
« on: May 02, 2012, 10:26:55 PM »
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Enjoy.  Send me a video response showing you pulling off this challenging new move.

Welcome! / Re: Parkour in Denver
« on: April 26, 2012, 11:40:47 AM »
There's a huge community in Denver.  There are hundreds of people near you, if you start getting out there you'll meet 'em.

Check out Apex Movement they have gyms in Englewood and Boulder and are great guys:

You should also try the Colorado board to find people to train with:,31.0.html

Training Journals / Re: Beretta's (Brett Robert) Log
« on: April 22, 2012, 05:23:29 PM »
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Big level up for me, but most of this is a few months old, so I'm already better. 

Pics & Vids / 32 8 4
« on: April 20, 2012, 11:33:39 PM »
In January I turned 32 and celebrated eight years of recovery. February marked four years of training parkour and freerunning. Most of the shots in this video are from November 2011-February 2012, but it took me until April to get that wallrun. Finally got that monkey off my back, and glad to put this out to the world, even though I know I've already improved a lot over much of this footage. Love you all. Be nice to people.

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Pics & Vids / Re: Training Vid from this past week
« on: April 20, 2012, 11:16:38 PM »
Love the music!

Training Journals / Re: Zach Sergeant- Parkour and Freerunning 365 Log
« on: April 20, 2012, 01:03:36 AM »
Let's drill carts a bunch.  I need to work my bad side cartwheel a lot so that I can do cart-side.  Frankly my bad side cart is alright though.  Compared to most of the acro we do, cart is so basic that it's easy to learn on both sides.  Now that we've introduced everyone to front & back handsprings, I'd like to keep reviewing those and work on roundoffs, carts, and cart->front, cart->side, r/o->bhs, and cart->full.

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