Dilution by Blane

This article by Blane is worth re-linking here: http://www.parkourgenerations.com/article/dilution

The entire thing is well worth the read, and although it is aimed at traceurs I believe much of what he says can be applied equally to other physical disciplines. Only going to directly post the summary at the end of the article here.

1) If you’re new to Parkour, research as much as possible and learn from the people who have walked the path before you, but do not lose your creativity and ability to think for yourself. Try new things, explore different methods and progress at your own pace. What you need to remember is that the people before you have more physical experience that has built what I refer to as ‘granddad strength’ and that cannot be taught or passed on. You can rush the theory but you cannot take shortcuts on the practical stage if you want to last in this discipline.

2) If you are more experienced in Parkour and feel like newer people are better than you, do not feel pressured in to pushing yourself too hard or doing things just because they are. Try to warn them of the dangers of trying things beyond their bodies’ conditioned state - even if they can do something, doesn’t mean they should. They are learning faster than you due to the wealth of information before them, due to your hard work.

Translations of Georges Hébert's Practical Guide of Physical Education (1912)

The MovNat 5-day workshops in West Virginia are going on right now and unfortunately I could not make it out there. The workshops reminded me about a translation of Georges Hébert’s Practical Guide of Physical Education, which he wrote in 1912, done a couple years ago by Pilou and Gregg from the American Parkour community. This is not a translation of Hébert’s books, L’éducation physique virile et morale par la méthode naturelle, which he began writing in 1941. As this translation is of a work done some thirty years prior to the books it naturally (no pun intended) reflects Hébert’s earlier understanding of the material and is also considerably less deep than his books. Now with that caveat out of the way: the guide is an interesting look at the reasoning and application of the natural method to training, though it certainly cannot be used as primary source to base one’s training around. Personally between reading the requirements for MovNat expansion workshop and the swimming section (a more recently translated section) of the guide that I badly need to improve in that area.

The translation was originally posted on the main APK blog, but with permission from Pilou I have rehosted the PDF translation on this site. There are some additional materials that Gregg translated which are in this APK forum post as well.

These last couple of posts have been rather short…I have a few upcoming ones on some motor learning topics which should hopefully be more meaty.

Parkour Video: Hana 2011

Just a quick post. Seems difficult to find good Parkour videos with women as the primary subjects. Saw this video from a traceuse in Japan on the Parkour Generations blog. Some rather impressive stuff:

Some inspiration to get things started

Earlier this week I found (via Daniel Ilabaca) a TED Talk by TahRiq Almawi that felt like the perfect way to start this blog out. Have a watch:

What did you think? There were several ideas that stood out to me. For one, the supreme value of practice (and lots of it) is something I seem to forget at times. It is so easy to get frustrated about not being good enough at some skill, say in my case dive rolls or rail to rail precisions, when the solution is right there in front of you: practice it more. Practice that skill enough and you will become good at it, although that may take weeks or months, not days to achieve.

Fear and doubt as inhibitors to our success seemed to be a continuous theme in TahRiq’s speech. Specifically about that “crowd” in our minds that tells us we cannot or should not do something. When we heed those thoughts we give them power, and that power actively inhibits our ability to perform our best. Often times all you need to do is “push harder” (best piece of training advice ever) to make that leap; to achieve your goal. If you get that crowd on your side, or at least get them out of the way, then it becomes easy to give it your all. To add on to this, Dan Edwards made a particularly relevant point: let the crowd in your head win often enough and you may find yourself unable to call up the drive necessary to succeed. It is important to ignore those thoughts and try, whether it ends up as a success or failure, more often than not. Consider it to be a form of mental practice; the more often you succeed in getting past that fear and hesitation the better you will be at doing it again the next time.

The topic of being “sucked in” to the system and pursuing a passion is something I may leave for another blog post (maybe). I know that I am dealing with some of those issues myself, though fortunately to a lesser degree than before. Coincidentally I can also thank Parkour for pushing me towards better direction as well.