« on: November 21, 2007, 01:54:48 AM »
I get this question a lot from beginners asking what they should focus on first, speed vaults? kongs? lazies? cats? gap jumps? I say, none of the above.
There are two things I generally tell people who are starting out. First, that you need to learn how to land before you learn to fly. And second, that the most important aspect of parkour you can learn early on is the ability to break movements down into their simplest components. A speed vault can simplify to a two handed vault, which can simplify to what I call a safety vault (where you use a foot to help you over), which can simplify to many other things. These different vaults are useful in different circumstances of course, but the most important thing about them is they make the learning process into a safe and effective progression rather than jumping straight to what you have already probably seen in videos.
Videos rarely show how people get to that point, and it's important to think about the different steps and progressions that go into learning things for the first time. So my advice is to develop your landing and rolling technique, strengthen your body (building your armor), and simply experiment with getting over obstacles in ways that work for you (and are safe). Then increase the speed, or change the angle of approach, or the type of obstacle, etc... Work from the simplest you can think of slowly up to the more complex. In this way you'll both have a more complete picture of parkour and won't injure yourself by skipping to the hard stuff.