Author Topic: Flow... let me get this straight...  (Read 9191 times)

Offline DaveS

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Re: Flow... let me get this straight...
« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2011, 02:52:09 PM »
Don't be worried, folks, it's just text. Don't be afraid of words!


Mark,
Every wall is different. The physical differences might only be very slight, but I guarantee you that if you look closely enough then no two are alike. If you add to that the rest of the factors that make up the complete obstacle you're facing at that moment, temperature, fatigue, recent practice, age, light levels, environmental distractions, personal worries, injuries etc. then I don't think it's even remotely a stretch to say that every challenge is unique. We all know that getting past a wall once doesn't mean you will be able to get past that wall every time you try, and it happens because it presents a different challenge each time.

Infinite variety? No. Biomechanically we do work in similar (if not identical) ways to each other, and the environment exists according to certain principles too. There is only a certain variety of obstacle that exists. However, even the limited variety that does exist is still far more than any of us could possibly hope to experience in a lifetime. There is enough variety even in our local areas to keep us challenged for our entirely lives. Not with just the physical element of moving past obstacles alone, perhaps, but certainly when you look beyond it.

Even if obstacles were generally the same (which they're not), it would still be a good idea to treat them as though they were not. Sometimes the differences are significant but hard to spot, for example you only know a wall is unstable after you interact with it. It's best to try not to make any assumptions.

I agree that names for certain areas of movement exist for a good reason. It's not because that's all we need to use though, it's because it enables us to more easily communicate with each other about how we move, and easily sharing ideas about possible solutions is sometimes very useful, for instance when you need to get past an obstacle and you don't know how. However it's not always useful. For example in training, to develop your own ability you have to get rid of the aid from other people and start to do it yourself. Names and labels exist, but the practice of Parkour is based on obstacles not labels. There's no reason to base your training on the labels unless you're just trying to increase your social standing by fitting into a popular category. To deal with obstacles, focus on the obstacles.

We can label as many types of movement as we like, but that doesn't mean that there is a big difference between movements that are labeled differently. For example there is no practical difference between a fast quad crawl over an uneven surface and a succession of vaults. However using different labels makes people think there is a difference, and approach them differently. Labels create boundaries and people are naturally wired to see boundaries as significant. People see the boundaries between different movement labels and use them in their practice, and over time this turns the arbitrary boundaries between words into more significant boundaries in their movements. They practice the named movements and no others, and so become able to do the named movements well but are unable to improvise. You also get crazy situations like people who wouldn't vault over a square railing that is wider and more textured than many walls simply because they thought of it as 'a rail' rather than 'a wall'.

I disagree that the common, 'named' movements will "do the job just fine". A popularized movement might get you past an obstacle but it won't get you past it as easily as a movement that's adapted to that situation will. The best technique to use to get past a 3 foot wall may be similar to the technique you use to get past a 3.1 foot wall but it won't be identical, nor will it be for any other slightly different obstacle. As the obstacle changes so does the best technique. You'll reach a point where you'll stop using one name and start using another name, but the difference between movements just to either side of that divide will be a lot less than the difference between two movements at opposite ends of the same category. For example, there's far less difference between crawling and vaulting than there is between some types of vaults.
More importantly for me, is the effect on a person's development. The "job" in Parkour is to learn to create your own solutions to obstacles, and copying movement from a list of tutorials somewhere will actively prevent you doing that. The whole point of Parkour is to learn from the process, and you can't do this by making other people do parts of the process for you.


Brett,
The aim with Parkour isn't to find a way to skip ahead to bigger jumps, the aim is to find the right jumps. You need to be challenged in order to develop, but bigger challenges do not result in bigger improvement, they result in injury. For a challenge to result in improvement it needs to be just one step on from what you've done before. Improvement comes from the correct challenge, not just any challenge. Not simple, not impossible, just 'challenging'.

If a newcomer is trying to do big jumps then the issue isn't technique, the issue is that they don't know how to find out which obstacles to start with. I've never met anyone unable to get past any obstacle, just lots of people who spend their time trying to get past obstacles that are still several steps ahead of where they are now. Everyone can create their own effective solutions to some obstacles on their own. If you can't do it for one obstacle, start with something easier. Even if you have to start with the easiest obstacle possible, a piece of flat ground or whatever, that's still an obstacle to try and get past.
If you start with these obstacles that you can solve yourself, and continue to progress on from there by facing the obstacles that are challenging for you rather than challenging for you* (*when you've had help from someone else telling you how to move), you never need to be told how to move. If you start at your starting point there is always a way for you to progress yourself.

The only difference between how experienced practitioners and new practitioners approach technique is that more of the process happens subconsciously in experienced practitioners. We all still evaluate our movements, we all make decisions about technique, it's just that the more you do it the more adapted to the process your internal systems become.

The path of least resistance IS the path without stopping. Stopping and starting is the part that takes effort, not just you as a whole but each part considered separately as well. Biomechanically that's the part that requires you to produce forces with your body. To avoid stopping and starting you need to ensure that your body moves in straight lines and smooth curves, where momentum is maintained and changes are spread out over a longer time. That's what the aim of technique is, to make your movement smooth, which is how you get the most out from the least put in.


NOS
I explained to Mark above why we treat each obstacle as a new obstacle. Self-preservation against hidden dangers.

I agree though, there are common elements between movements. I think all movement works in fundamentally the same way, which is part of why I think it is ill-advised to try and consider parts separately. I absolutely agree that we should start with the simple fundamental elements and build up from there. However I think drilling is a horrible idea for trying to teach people the fundamental principles of movement. What we definitely don't want to do is start drilling during this stage, because we'll just condition bad habits into ourselves and make them far harder to remove. We don't want any habits unless we're sure they are the right habits, and until we can produce good technique we'll always be moving inefficiently.

Instead, we practice as much variety of movement as we can, so much variety that we simply can't pick out individual techniques, so that the only things that are constant throughout the training are the fundamental principles of movement. That way we program ourselves with the the basic principles, but because we get used to changing how we move we don't program ourselves with bad technique at the same time. We keep our technique flexible by constantly adapting. That way, we have a clean slate for when we're able to start moving well.

You can drill movements later if you really want to, but really you don't need to drill a movement to get good technique, you just need the body awareness of how to use your body to move. I've known plenty of people who had good movement technique as soon as they started Parkour, and in fact I've known people whose technique has gotten worse by practicing just a few movements repeatedly, myself included. The thing with movement is that your ability is always changing, and so in the long-term committing yourself to specific patterns by drilling only creates problems.

Your goal might be to move seamlessly through your environment, but mine is to be better able to get past obstacles. Everyone can get past obstacles on their first day and, since the only way to get better at getting past obstacles is to keep trying to do it, it's something we need to keep doing. In Parkour we break the process of learning down so students can learn how the process of learning works in steps, but if we do it right all we need to do is help people see what step is next, not take that step for them.
That's the paradox in Parkour coaching, the fact that as practitioners we get used to doing everything ourselves but as coaches we have to get used to the students doing everything themselves.

I still say Music is a bad analogy for Parkour. Improvisation exists in Music, but there's also a huge element of simply acting out what other people have created and that's a pattern that I think doesn't exist in Parkour. The patterns in Parkour are simply those that are defined and exist in the world naturally, which we move through on our own path, whereas the dominant pattern in Music seems to be social acceptance in one form or another.
I'm not singling out music, I think most things are a bad analogy for Parkour. Parkour is fundamentally and significantly different from most other activities.
~ Dave
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Offline Grant (LOTRFreak993)

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Re: Flow... let me get this straight...
« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2011, 08:09:44 PM »
I feel too many people quote Danny as if he were some divinely-authorised leader in the parkour world. People often misunderstand him too, as in the "choose to fall" quote.

He's been training for more than a decade. And while he's the best, even he started out seeing a "move" and then imitating like most. Of course, now he moves intuitively and tells others to do so too, but they don't have the experience nor the "toolbag" of techniques to use.

That said, please tell me how the quote you used is relevant to the discussion, I didn't quite get it.
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Offline Brett Mitchell

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Re: Flow... let me get this straight...
« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2011, 08:30:34 PM »
Brett,
The aim with Parkour isn't to find a way to skip ahead to bigger jumps, the aim is to find the right jumps. You need to be challenged in order to develop, but bigger challenges do not result in bigger improvement, they result in injury. For a challenge to result in improvement it needs to be just one step on from what you've done before. Improvement comes from the correct challenge, not just any challenge. Not simple, not impossible, just 'challenging'.

If a newcomer is trying to do big jumps then the issue isn't technique, the issue is that they don't know how to find out which obstacles to start with. I've never met anyone unable to get past any obstacle, just lots of people who spend their time trying to get past obstacles that are still several steps ahead of where they are now. Everyone can create their own effective solutions to some obstacles on their own. If you can't do it for one obstacle, start with something easier. Even if you have to start with the easiest obstacle possible, a piece of flat ground or whatever, that's still an obstacle to try and get past.
If you start with these obstacles that you can solve yourself, and continue to progress on from there by facing the obstacles that are challenging for you rather than challenging for you* (*when you've had help from someone else telling you how to move), you never need to be told how to move. If you start at your starting point there is always a way for you to progress yourself.

The only difference between how experienced practitioners and new practitioners approach technique is that more of the process happens subconsciously in experienced practitioners. We all still evaluate our movements, we all make decisions about technique, it's just that the more you do it the more adapted to the process your internal systems become.

The path of least resistance IS the path without stopping. Stopping and starting is the part that takes effort, not just you as a whole but each part considered separately as well. Biomechanically that's the part that requires you to produce forces with your body. To avoid stopping and starting you need to ensure that your body moves in straight lines and smooth curves, where momentum is maintained and changes are spread out over a longer time. That's what the aim of technique is, to make your movement smooth, which is how you get the most out from the least put in.

I'll be honest that I only read the part addressed to me. Also, I think we're pretty much in agreement just with a little different wording (and also drifting very far off topic). I would just leave it at what you said, because you summed it up pretty nicely but since you took all that time for that huge reply I thought you'd appreciate a response. Anyway to bring it back on topic. What you said about "The only difference between how experienced practitioners and new practitioners approach technique is that more of the process happens subconsciously in experienced practitioners. We all still evaluate our movements, we all make decisions about technique, it's just that the more you do it the more adapted to the process your internal systems become." Is a big part of the idea I was trying to convey. That's why beginners often need to practice the 'moves' not flow.

Telling a beginner to start with flow is like telling somebody to start calligraphy with their non-dominant hand. There's no muscle memory, no fundamental movement skills to be able to carry on with very skillsful movements such as calligraphy or flow. Yes a beginner can attempt to flow, but for most it's just going to be sloppy and frustrating.
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Offline DaveS

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Re: Flow... let me get this straight...
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2011, 03:15:22 AM »
Yes, I agree with not telling beginners to concentrate on 'flow'. The points I've been making to NOS and Mark largely deal with the fact that I don't think beginners need to be encouraged to think about any component separately as simply trying to get past an obstacle is complicated enough for them.
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Offline Scared Doggy

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Re: Flow... let me get this straight...
« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2011, 02:59:53 PM »
I think you guys are putting too much thought into how to lead beginners down the right path. You can't make them think the same way about parkour as you do because they don't have the same experience as you. Just let beginners play around in a safe, respectful manner and they'll develop into good traceurs on their own gradually like we all did.
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Offline NOS - from Parkour Mumbai

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Re: Flow... let me get this straight...
« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2011, 07:50:36 AM »
Dave, I have noticed that unless you tell/show the beginners the different ways of moving available, and the different, more efficient/safe/effective tried, tested and proven methods of tackling certain types of common-denominator obstacles, they get into the tendency of learning just one or two types of moving, getting extremely comfortable with those movements, and then insisting on using them everywhere in every situation in a one-size-fits-all mentality whether that movement fits the situation or not. It then becomes a very hard task to get his mind to unlearn that pattern and make him aware of other types of movement patterns that would be better suited to utilizing in other situations.

Place a hand on your heart and honestly tell me how many new people have you seen get into the habit of doing nothing but 'precisions and vaults, more precisions and more vaults, and then move on to learning flips' in the name of Parkour training? This is what happens most of the time when you just let them explore on their own, they don't learn the things they need to learn. Probably this is not an epidemic in your country as much as it is in the US or in mine, and that's because, as is being discussed in the U.S. vs. Them thread, you've been blessed with natural surroundings that make them totally conducive to learn and excel at a variety of locomotive capabilities, but we're not. Our environments force the newer practitioners into that set way of thinking. It's the rare practitioner that ends up breaking out of that mold, and that too, only after a few years of fooling around and not really progressing, and later realizing he wasn't training right but now wishes to rectify things.

Offline Brett Mitchell

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Re: Flow... let me get this straight...
« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2011, 09:33:24 AM »
I think you guys are putting too much thought into how to lead beginners down the right path. You can't make them think the same way about parkour as you do because they don't have the same experience as you. Just let beginners play around in a safe, respectful manner and they'll develop into good traceurs on their own gradually like we all did.

I'm going to say that it really depends on the person. Both the traceurs teaching ability, and the newbies learning style/what they want to get out of parkour. If somebody is really eager to learn, teaching them moves may just discourage them and make them lose their motivation when they really just want to play around. Not showing somebody specifically what to do (at first) may be harmful to someone who is unsure where to start and needs a little guidance. Furthermore, somebody who is not the best teacher (in that they can't teach very well, not that they teach wrong ideas/dangerous movements) may just want to provide only guidance at the most.
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Offline DaveS

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Re: Flow... let me get this straight...
« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2011, 12:10:57 PM »
Place a hand on your heart and honestly tell me how many new people have you seen get into the habit of doing nothing but 'precisions and vaults, more precisions and more vaults, and then move on to learning flips' in the name of Parkour training? This is what happens most of the time when you just let them explore on their own, they don't learn the things they need to learn.
Actually, I think the opposite is true. Yes I've seen many people do nothing but a few named movements, but to me that's because virtually no one these days is actually learning on their own. Practically every Parkour website has tutorials for the same few movements, and when beginners start the first thing they're told is to watch the tutorial videos. Then they're told to watch videos on YouTube which are just more of the same movements. There's so many people telling you that what you should do is to practice the same list of movements.
When people did actually have to learn on their own this problem didn't exist at all. In the time before tutorials and YouTube people just went out and explored. The fact that basic safety advice and exercise principles also didn't exist in the community mean that a lot of people got injured that way, but every single one of the people that I know that stuck with Parkour at that time learned to create their movement themselves. It's not even remotely a rare ability in people who are truly self-taught. I think there's a noticeable difference between people who learned in that time and people who learn now.
People naturally learn the ways of moving that they need to. To get past an obstacle, people always use the way that is easiest for them. To learn other ways of getting past obstacles without just conditioning themselves to make it harder than necessary for themselves, they need to be faced with different obstacles, whether the difference is physical or just situational. People learn a speed vault when they need to go faster, a turn vault when they need to stop on the other side, and vaults themselves when they need to save energy. Find or create obstacles where these things are necessary and people will develop the techniques themselves. That's how the techniques arrived in the first place, after all.
By doing it that way, people use and therefore develop the skills that are involved in all parts of the process, not just the physical aspect from doing.

Probably this is not an epidemic in your country as much as it is in the US or in mine, and that's because, as is being discussed in the U.S. vs. Them thread, you've been blessed with natural surroundings that make them totally conducive to learn and excel at a variety of locomotive capabilities, but we're not. Our environments force the newer practitioners into that set way of thinking. It's the rare practitioner that ends up breaking out of that mold, and that too, only after a few years of fooling around and not really progressing, and later realizing he wasn't training right but now wishes to rectify things.
There may well be a difference in that respect. In the UK there are essentially no legal consequences to trying to move over everything, so people are free to explore. Trespass law exists only when some specifically objects, so people can climb on stuff until someone actively tells them not to, with no problems. From what people have said I'm reasonably certain that in the US it's a lot harder to find places to train, and I think it's quite possible people are forced into practicing in a much more restricted way there without the same opportunity to explore all possibilities. Finding the right obstacles might well be harder in that sort of situation.
I don't think that stops people being able to explore individual obstacles themselves, though, once they have an obstacle in front of them. Also, if the options for physical locations are reduced, you can get round it by adjusting the other situational parameters. If you can't find a wall of the right height use a lower one but go over it faster. If you can't find the right gap use a smaller one but do it more times. If the step directly forward doesn't exist then you just have to adjust your path and go round the gap.

I think you guys are putting too much thought into how to lead beginners down the right path. You can't make them think the same way about parkour as you do because they don't have the same experience as you. Just let beginners play around in a safe, respectful manner and they'll develop into good traceurs on their own gradually like we all did.
Except that not all of us did. I'd say that for every practitioner practicing today, at least 10 have tried and given up because they simply didn't know what to do. Those of us here are the lucky few who managed it by accident rather than design, and I think it's important for the future of the discipline that anyone that wants to practice Parkour is able to.

Also, although we might abstract it by referring to 'beginners' all the time, it's the same discipline for all of us and what we're essentially discussing is how we should practice ourselves. Therefore I think it's something that is very important to all of us.
~ Dave
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Offline Josh Boggs

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Re: Flow... let me get this straight...
« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2011, 06:35:46 PM »
This thread reminds me, i hate when people stick precisions in videos, keep moving people! Stopping is the opposite of flow.
Why do you hate when people stick precisions? Its a goal for people. What if you're in a situation when you can't keep moving, hm? Gotta train all different types of situations. Personally, I like sticking precisions rather than not sticking them and keep moving. Maybe if theres another obstacle AFTER the precision I'm doing, then I wouldn't JUST stick it...I would continue moving.
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Offline Adam McC

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Re: Flow... let me get this straight...
« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2011, 08:01:28 AM »
Why are we so concerned with "situations" to justify our movements? "He has to keep running, so why stick it." "He has to stop himself, so he has to stick it." "He has to carry a banana, so he does a monkey". Please.

We set goals and train to accomplish them. We all have our own goals. Focus on your own, and get over it! Simplify your minds, for god's sake.

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Offline Conrad Moser

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Re: Flow... let me get this straight...
« Reply #30 on: June 25, 2011, 08:49:12 AM »
I feel that flow is something that develops out of of good technique, building on a strong base of repetition. Sure, not every obstacle is exactly the same but you need to know how to move in order to adjust it to certain situations. Muscle memory borne from repetition and practice is what makes movement instinctive or unconscious.

I'm a golfer so I'll make a golf analogy. There are many different 'obstacles' to overcome on a course (water, trees, hills, curves, even distance is an obstacle) and several tools used (the clubs in your bag). You have to know how to swing a club and make contact with the ball, but different clubs require different swings, and you can affect the ball's trajectory and movement by altering your swing. Golfers will spent many, many hours on a driving range or paying practice rounds to develop the feel for what club to use in any given situation and how to manipulate certain shots, but it will not always be the same for different players. Knowing how to do it ahead of time is what makes it natural - it's often said that the worst thing you can do in golf is to over-think a shot. With the right foundation of practice and repetition, you can just go up and hit the ball with a certain amount of assurance that it will work out.
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Offline max eisenberg

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Re: Flow... let me get this straight...
« Reply #31 on: July 05, 2011, 02:58:49 PM »
flow comes from so much practice that your adapt to every situation from the way your feet are positioned to the way your weight is going.

until you are so comfortable moving at a moments notice that it doesnt phase you, you will never "flow".


my mind is constantly moving, one day my body will be strong enough to keep up.

Offline Dan Elric

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Re: Flow... let me get this straight...
« Reply #32 on: July 06, 2011, 05:08:27 PM »
Flow: (noun) The action or fact of moving along in a steady, continuous stream.

heeeeeey case solved

Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Flow... let me get this straight...
« Reply #33 on: July 09, 2011, 12:58:15 PM »
Quote
I disagree that the common, 'named' movements will "do the job just fine". A popularized movement might get you past an obstacle but it won't get you past it as easily as a movement that's adapted to that situation will. The best technique to use to get past a 3 foot wall may be similar to the technique you use to get past a 3.1 foot wall but it won't be identical, nor will it be for any other slightly different obstacle. As the obstacle changes so does the best technique. You'll reach a point where you'll stop using one name and start using another name, but the difference between movements just to either side of that divide will be a lot less than the difference between two movements at opposite ends of the same category. For example, there's far less difference between crawling and vaulting than there is between some types of vaults.
More importantly for me, is the effect on a person's development. The "job" in Parkour is to learn to create your own solutions to obstacles, and copying movement from a list of tutorials somewhere will actively prevent you doing that. The whole point of Parkour is to learn from the process, and you can't do this by making other people do parts of the process for you.

Again, show me the video - go over a 3 foot wall one way and then go over a 3.1 foot wall another way because it works better. Make a video where a person comes up with "their own" way to go over a 3 foot wall with a balanced priority of speed and safety and they do something different than you or I would - in the real world this just won't happen.

I feel your argument may be logical, but that doesn't make it practical or true in the real world.

Show me 4 different people who go over an obstacle naturally and comfortably in notably different ways and I'll still tell you that one way is the fastest and safest. Show me 4 ways to go over a 3 foot wall and then tell me why you feel each one is unique, not in terms of grit, texture and whether you're tired (which are true but usually insignificant compared to locomotion and kinesiology), but in terms of bio-mechanics, how you actually pick a different move based on this.

Further, if you bog down your beginners by telling them that every single situation is unique and that they need to reinvent the wheel every time, then I respectfully disagree with your teaching method.

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Offline max eisenberg

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Re: Flow... let me get this straight...
« Reply #34 on: July 09, 2011, 08:27:08 PM »

Further, if you bog down your beginners by telling them that every single situation is unique and that they need to reinvent the wheel every time, then I respectfully disagree with your teaching method.



there are too many variables to not include this very vital piece of information. you are free to teach as you will but, whenever i take someone under my wing i make it very clear that history does not actually repeat itself.

its not about reinventing the wheel and doing something different. its about realizing that there are options which could better help you navigate your world. if im tired im going to shoot for a roll or a lazy vault over a ledge, if im at full power ill kong to the end of the earth. if my toe hurts im going to balance mostly one the other foot and so on and so forth.

dont pretend that i dont understand your point but, please dont shrug my point off. i assume you already know this so this post is directed at those who take what you and other "leaders" say at face value. its an important aspect of living and doing parkour, in fact i think its one of the more important aspects IMHO.

anyone can learn to kong a ledge in a few days, it takes much more time and dedication to understand that not every vault will go the same way. you may think adaptation and go "different movement". i think adapt and think of vaults where i lean forward too much or clip my toes and have to shift my balance.

so yes, every situation is different and yes, i do bog down my newcomers with this because without it they wont respect each movement the way they should.


my mind is constantly moving, one day my body will be strong enough to keep up.

Offline DaveS

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Re: Flow... let me get this straight...
« Reply #35 on: July 10, 2011, 02:04:55 PM »
Again, show me the video - go over a 3 foot wall one way and then go over a 3.1 foot wall another way because it works better. Make a video where a person comes up with "their own" way to go over a 3 foot wall with a balanced priority of speed and safety and they do something different than you or I would - in the real world this just won't happen.
Mark, I've already explained that I believe that we all work in similar ways, and that we will find that similar solutions work in similar ways for us. What I'm trying to get you to understand though is that 'similar' is not the same as 'identical'. Conceptually, there is a big difference in how people treat the two. The idea of 'similar' allows for variety, but the idea of 'identical' does not. If you don't already appreciate the difference between the two then I don't think yet more videos of people moving in similar ways will make much of a difference here.

It causes a problem when you base your learning around words, because you are forced to use identical words to describe movements that are not identical, only similar. You could use 20 different ways to get over a wall and yet may still use the same name for all of them. You could have 20 different situations and yet use the same name to describe the solutions. The identical language says they're the same, but in reality they are different. The use of language cannot accurately reflect reality in this case, and if you're basing your understanding on the words then your understanding will be fundamentally flawed.

The issue's not whether or not you can name movements. The issue is whether or not you should base your training on those names, and I think the nature of language means that you can't. Getting past obstacles is fundamentally based on adaptation. Adaptation is not a concept that language can accurately convey, because the whole concept of language is based on standardization. Therefore you can't base the practice of getting past obstacles on language, on names and labels.

Further, if you bog down your beginners by telling them that every single situation is unique and that they need to reinvent the wheel every time, then I respectfully disagree with your teaching method.
I think it's already well established that we don't currently agree on how to teach Parkour.

I think it's hard to argue against the fact that the ability to adapt is the key to getting past obstacles, but I'd welcome you to try.
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Flow... let me get this straight...
« Reply #36 on: July 11, 2011, 09:17:29 AM »
Well, it is hard to hold a sensible discussion with someone when "words don't cut it" :)

I am moving my conclusion sentence to the front for clarity.

What I don't feel would be helpful would be to have someone vault one wall once, take them to a new one, then a new one, and a new one, instead of vaulting one wall 10, 50, or even a 100 times, then taking them to the next wall.

DaveS - It seems as though you are arguing that the movements would be fundamentally different, and when I mention that you say no they are similar, and when I say they are similar you say they are all unique. I'm not sure that this is a productive conversation anymore.


I'll leave my mediocre attempt to use "words" to describe my feelings on the matter and leave it at that:

If you try to teach people by opening up all of the possibilities in the universe at the first step, then the information that they will try to work from is not finite enough for a foundation to be built. If instead you build a foundation with the idea that the movement is open, they will go through and find their own way, and through their own work they will find the differences which Max is discussing, landing on "the other foot" or what happens when you are tired. However I don't feel that from the first step these things should be taught, I feel that there is a fairly standard set of movements which works well in a broad spectrum of applications, and that if someone starts to work on these they will discover what works for them and how and they will form their own "infinite" variety of moves which suits every different situation. What I don't feel would be helpful would be to have someone vault one wall once, take them to a new one, then a new one, and a new one, instead of vaulting one wall 10, 50, or even a 100 times, then taking them to the next wall. - I feel this past sentence is most indicative of the point I am trying to raise.



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Offline Joe Brock

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Re: Flow... let me get this straight...
« Reply #37 on: July 11, 2011, 11:01:27 AM »
I can say that when beginning a martial art...the last thing anyone would do for a new student is stick them in a cage with a seasoned fighter and say, "Now just do whatever..."

Repetition of motion should apply to similar situations.  We actually learn biomechanics better when actively trained in a situation where it is identical, and then can apply these principals wherever they appear in similar circumstances.  It's "parkour Kung Fu" so to speak.

By repeating what has been shown to work, and then altering it slightly, we should already have a basic answer to a myriad of obstacles.
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Offline Adam McC

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Re: Flow... let me get this straight...
« Reply #38 on: July 11, 2011, 04:01:51 PM »
Things need roots to grow. If technique is what you want to grow, then you need technical roots, so Mark/Joe, you're right. If lifestyle and quality of character is what you want to grow, then you need virtue-based roots, so Dave, you're right.

Pick your poison, pick your priority. It's all correct. Jesus.

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Offline DaveS

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Re: Flow... let me get this straight...
« Reply #39 on: July 11, 2011, 04:13:19 PM »
DaveS - It seems as though you are arguing that the movements would be fundamentally different, and when I mention that you say no they are similar, and when I say they are similar you say they are all unique. I'm not sure that this is a productive conversation anymore.
The fundamental principles (transferring forces, momentum, elasticity etc.) are the same for all movement. In that way, all movement is alike.

The fundamental principle of obstacles remains the same for all obstacles too, namely that they require effort to get past.

However despite having things in common they are still all unique. Two obstacles might be similar, but they are not identical. Something will be different. They each pose a slightly different problem.

That means each obstacle has a slightly different solution. You might get past two obstacles in similar ways, but they won't be identical ways.

Where's the problem? Which part isn't clear?

If you try to teach people by opening up all of the possibilities in the universe at the first step, then the information that they will try to work from is not finite enough for a foundation to be built. If instead you build a foundation with the idea that the movement is open, they will go through and find their own way, and through their own work they will find the differences which Max is discussing, landing on "the other foot" or what happens when you are tired. However I don't feel that from the first step these things should be taught, I feel that there is a fairly standard set of movements which works well in a broad spectrum of applications, and that if someone starts to work on these they will discover what works for them and how and they will form their own "infinite" variety of moves which suits every different situation. What I don't feel would be helpful would be to have someone vault one wall once, take them to a new one, then a new one, and a new one, instead of vaulting one wall 10, 50, or even a 100 times, then taking them to the next wall. - I feel this past sentence is most indicative of the point I am trying to raise.
Repetition creates habits. If you repeat something good you create a good habit, if you repeat something bad you create a bad habit.
The only thing beginners can do well is learn. They can face an obstacle, try and get past it, and learn from the experience. This, therefore, is the only thing that beginners should repeat. Everything else they do badly. Every solution they create or use will be a bad one. Repeating them will just create bad habits.

Repetition also creates misery. The enjoyment in Parkour comes from progressing, from getting past an obstacle and moving on to the next one. If you think of yourself as repeating an obstacle then in your mind you're not progressing.
Yes, every obstacle is different, so you couldn't repeat yourself if you tried, but beginners don't appreciate subtle changes. They see just the obvious physical obstacle and as far as they're concerned they're facing the same obstacle the second time that they did the first time. We've all seen beginners get frustrated when they can't do something at the start of a session that they did at the end of the previous session. It's important that people perceive that they are progressing.

Repetition only works for very simple things you've already mastered, and it only works when you understand that you're not really repeating. There is no reason for beginners to include repetition of anything other than the basic cycle of facing an obstacle, trying to get past it, getting past it and facing another one.

Practicality dictates that we will most likely have to return to physical locations we've been to before, but, as I've explained, there's no reason to treat it as the same obstacle when there are so many other factors that are constantly changing.

I can say that when beginning a martial art...the last thing anyone would do for a new student is stick them in a cage with a seasoned fighter and say, "Now just do whatever..."

Repetition of motion should apply to similar situations.  We actually learn biomechanics better when actively trained in a situation where it is identical, and then can apply these principals wherever they appear in similar circumstances.  It's "parkour Kung Fu" so to speak.

By repeating what has been shown to work, and then altering it slightly, we should already have a basic answer to a myriad of obstacles.
I'm not arguing against the idea of providing examples for beginners to learn form, I'm arguing against the concept of 'set techniques' where movements are considered and practiced as separate entities, and where the focus is on techniques rather than obstacles.

The principles of biomechanics are identical in all situations, so I'm not sure what you're trying to say in the middle. You only learn that they are actually principles (and not just a one-off) by experiencing them in a variety of situations.

You only learn how to alter things by practicing altering them, i.e. by facing a variety of situations.

Things need roots to grow. If technique is what you want to grow, then you need technical roots, so Mark/Joe, you're right. If lifestyle and quality of character is what you want to grow, then you need virtue-based roots, so Dave, you're right.

Pick your poison, pick your priority. It's all correct. Jesus.
I'm pretty sure that we're discussing how to develop good technique, not whether or not good technique is something worthwhile.
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