We'd like nothing more than to be able to train with everybody, but it's hard to hang with a group that encourages almost exclusively indoor "play." I understand you're trying to go outside more often, but in the movement arts, "parkour" is pretty much synonymous with being outside. It should be done, first and primarily, in an actual environment. Gyms are a handy teaching tool, but there's no way to capture the feeling or the spirit of the movement without having cement under your feet and dirt under your nails. No way to be creative without terrain to cross and a path to follow. In a gymnastics facility you're, at best, limited to freerunning or the extreme basics of parkour.
Not to say that that's a bad thing, of course, but it's simply not the same. Personally, and I think everyone at FLPK more or less agrees, the only problem I've seriously had with Zoic is that it preaches what it teaches as being Parkour, when that's a most only a part. Like I said before, teaching kids to do individual vaults and jump from one point to another won't show them how to really move effectively, and the "safety" of padding can become a crutch that inhibits more than it enables in the long run.
None of this has addressed what i believe is the real problem at hand. The real problem is the lack of experience and understanding of your "teachers." From what i've seen, almost all of your "teachers" at zoic have extremely flawed fundamentals. Most of them seem to be kids that came into the gym, you saw that they had an athletic back ground and decided, "hey you should be a teacher because you have slightly above average athleticism." And thats not the way it works. The last time i came to your gym, I was cringing the entire time i watched. Teachers and students were jumping off boxes with a complete misunderstanding of how physics and body mechanics work, and how to apply it to their movement. They had such a lack of understanding of technique and the physics behind it that things like their rolls were, in reality, completely useless. The majority of your teachers were at a beginner to intermediate level at best and in my opinion were not fit to be teaching other beginners. Many of them struggled with basic techniques including vaults themselves, and could not thoroughly teach newcomers proper technique.
ok so we fully believe that parkour should be done outside. The ONLY reason that we dont have regular outside meetups is because, I havent had enough personal time or a regular enough schedule to be able to commit to another regular outside meetup. I run the inside class. and what i mean by that is that i have been at the gym on open gym time every single week for almost 2 years. I havent had the schedule to be able to host, on top of everything i do, another outside meetup. You know from when you worked with us gram that i constantly begged you teachers to host outside meetups.
The problem is not that Zoic Nation is "a group that encourages almost exclusively indoor "play." The problem is that the teachers/volunteers that have worked with us so far find it hard to maintain regular scheduled outside meetups for different personal reasons. Some have a problem with rides, some have a chaotic schedule, some only have one night a week of free time, some feel that when they are hosting meetups all the time they spend to much time teaching and not enough time on their own training, etc etc.
It seems that there are 2 types of people in parkour.
One type is the guy that wants to do parkour all the time for him self. make him self better, faster, stronger, smarter, whatever. and this person doesnt shy away from helping others, he likes helping others, but helping others is not what his focus is. His focus is his personal development.
The second, very rare type, focuses on the community. He sees helping the scene as a way to create more opportunity in the scene for himself and others. The more opportunity's the more ways he can learn and the more places he has to train.
Seems like for every 1 person that we find that has the second mentality, we have to have spoken with 200 people with the first mentality. And if they are of the second mentality then normally they are already involved in something like rowing or something random. Now I am not looking down on anyone for the way that they do what they love. I'm just saying that we havent had enough people to run the outside meetups, and thats the only reason we havent had them.
Now as far as teachers go, we dont look for some one with some physical skill and call them a teacher. We look for some one that has the second mentality to some level. After we find this person we test them on a list of moves that orlandos original scene came together and made (this includes gram and grant, and we got input from justice). And we test them on how to teach these moves, making sure they can do it the way that orlandos original scene all agreed each one should be taught (this includes gram and grant, and we got input from justice. we also got help from the guys at crossfit evolution and from various gymnastic couches. Everything was gone over and tested with people before everyone agreed that we were teaching it the best way). Now this is the best possible thing we could have done at the time i think . But if you and others are not happy with the way it is being done then i think with all our resources, now woould be a great time to revise our system.