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Topics - Gregg HIPK

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Hawaii / HIPK on Facebook
« on: March 29, 2013, 01:10:40 PM »
Looking for Hawaii Parkour? FACEBOOK GROUP
That's where the action is, now.

See you there!

Le Code de la Force [2nd Ed] G Hébert 1914 Vuibert
G. Hébert - Ship Lieutenant – Former director of Physical Exercises in the Navy – Director of the College of Athletes


The purpose of this book is to develop the question of physical strength, defining in a precise manner the constituent elements and providing a practical way to measure it.
  Without a work in which the concepts relating to strength are codified, errors and prejudices of all kinds have course in this area. So many people think that big biceps are the criterion of strength, others are not regarded as strong as subjects capable of lifting heavy weights, yet others usually apply the term of strapping fellow to any corpulent and tall individual. Now it happens many times that the subject with big biceps shows an obvious inferiority when it comes to running or just to climb quickly up a bit steep rise, that the weight lifter is unable to jump any obstacle and finally the strapping fellow can not even follow a subject of very ordinary ability in marching a bit long, an excursion, a hunting party, etc.. Ignorance of the relative value of performances in the various exercises is almost universal and gives rise to the most fanciful assessments. We can not distinguish the ordinary or average athletic effort; we do not know what you can habitually ask the body without damaging it.
  On the other hand, no method specifies in a concrete way the end that it proposes of physical education or training, that is to say the material results to be achieved. As a result, both students and teachers do not know where they are coming from. Not only do we work without ardor and without gusto when working without a specific goal, but again, we must waste time repeating some exercises without profit. That's why I thought I needed to determine exactly what should be the physical "baggage" of the educated or trained subject. Under the title: "Basic development - Requirements to be considered able to cope", I listed the performances to accomplish and utility movements it is essential to know and be able to execute at any time with ease. I also said, in materializing by the measurable tests with listed performances, the minimum level of general physical level to possess, depending on age, not be a physically helpless fellow. At such age, a subject of normal constitution must walk and run such a distance in so much time, jump such obstacle, lift such weight , etc....
  I finally created a standard sheet of twelve classic tests, listed according to a given scale, called scale of aptitude, which allows measure, in numeric value, of the strength or general physical value of any subject.
  Given the complexity of the elements that characterize physical strength, it is clear that the measure of the value of the strength of a subject is a difficult problem to solve, and I do not claim to have found an exact and definitive evaluation formula.
  As well, as the Code of Force is far from being a definitive work; experimentation helps constantly to complete, correct and modify it if needed (1). (1) I note in this regard that the second edition of the Code of Force (1914) contains - and it will be the same in later editions, following new research and observations - changes in rating scale of performances and of the rules for carrying out tests. These successive changes are only for the purpose of making the elements of evaluation of strength more precise. Original research it contains, as well as all data on the relative value of performance, skill rating, etc.., are the result of long and conscientious studies and experiments made on thousands of people of all ages (children, adults and grown men), of all professions, all origins and all social conditions. This is the main merit of this work and as such it can mark, I think, a new step in the path of progress in physical education.

Going Natural - Fitness the old school way. / Making a MN workout
« on: October 29, 2010, 02:13:21 PM »

Some points:
Hebert tailored workouts to the people training: age, health, what they were training for, time, place...
His meetings start from warm up, build intensity, build intensity, and then cool down.
There are almost no rests - instead, use low intensity exercise to catch your breath

Here's the basic framework:
Group 1: Walking, posture exercises & flexibility exercises
Group 2: Basic arm and leg exercises, lifting, throwing, defense [boxing & wrestling]
Group 3: Suspension [hanging] exercises, support [plank] exercises, QM, climbing, balancing
Group 4: Hopping, speed runs, short endurance runs
Group 5: Core exercises
Group 6: Jumping, vaulting, races, swimming, games
Group 7: Breathing exercises, walks

I tend to use walking, flex exercises, and static or moving balance as my recovery exercises, not group 5 core exercises.

SAMPLE 1: Easy fun at the beach with a friend.

Walk down the beach, doing finger, hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder mobility exercises. Play catch - alternating hands - try for accuracy, especially with your "off" hand. Punch slippahs your friend is holding. QM where you try to bump the other guy off balance. Jump in the water to cool off, wash off, catch your breath. Set up 4 slippahs in a large square - play tag where the guy has to do 3 jumping jacks if he's tagged, 5 push-ups if he goes out of bounds [or is pushed out of bounds] - and then he's "it". Swim down the beach a couple hundred meters. Walk back to your stuff. Deep breathing while doing big arm movements.

SAMPLE 2: Trying to fit in at the gym based on "Starting Strength" workout A
Arm, leg and trunk joint mobility [not flexibility] exercises. Barbell: 3-5 warm-up sets then 3x5 squat, 3x5 bench, 1x5 deadlift. Walk or deep breathing with big arm movements between sets. 2x5 [weighted dips]. 5 minute easy jog on treadmill. Trunk rotation and flexion exercises. Get on bike or elliptical machine - after a minute of warmup, try to get rpms up to some insane level and hold it there for 20 seconds then bring the pace down to really slow for 40 seconds to recover. Repeat, trying to increase your rpms. When you start to slow down/ can't hit insane levels do a minute or 2 slow to cool down. Walk around, do deep breathing exercises with big arm movements to cool down the rest of the way.

Note: I rarely go to the gym. If I DO go, the gym at work has no free weights, so I warm up, do the upper body machines, then hit the elliptical or bike because there's no fixed upper speed limit. Powered treadmills max out at 11 or 12 MPH, which isn't very fast. This workout will probably piss off MN purists, SS purists, Tabata purists, people who do speed training... maybe that's why I rarely go to the gym. ;D

Hope this helps a little.

Pics & Vids / TempestTV Launched!
« on: June 02, 2010, 04:15:13 PM »
Just saw this at Levi's site:

We at Team Tempest have decided to share our adventures with the world in a new web series; TempestTV! This first episode follows team members Luci "Steel", Dan "Shooter", Ryan "McLovin", and Victor "Showtime" on their trip to Vienna to compete in the Red Bull, Art of Motion freerunning competition. It's great to spend some time and get to know the jumpers overseas, and see how far they've taken movement.!

Socialize / The war on childrens playgrounds - Salon article
« on: May 31, 2010, 01:49:37 PM »

It's best to read the whole article. The first part depressed me: turning playgrounds into places where there was no risk, no fun.

Then it got better:

Joe Frost is a professor emeritus at the University of Texas who has written 18 books on children's play. He has also spent the past 33 years observing children frolicking on the playgrounds he personally developed and keeps tinkering with at the Redeemer Lutheran School in Austin.

"There's a public school just a few blocks away and the principal told me they'd had two to three broken bones this school year already," says Frost. Meanwhile, over at Redeemer, "In three decades, we've averaged one per decade on our playground -- and our kids jump off 4- to 6-foot decks at a dead run. They play chase games all over the equipment, and all over the country you'll find schools that won't even allow it."

He's right. Schools have outlawed tag and other running games at recess. At my own sons' public grammar school, kids are allowed to run only around the perimeter of the yard, not anywhere in the middle. Too much chance for someone to get hurt! So how come Frost's 500 students aren't hurting themselves?

Frost says it's the same reason he and his buddies didn't hurt themselves too bad back when he was a kid playing in rural Arkansas: They developed a sense of how high and how fast it's safe to go. They learned how to protect themselves. They even learned how to fall safely. You can guess how a kid acquires that particular skill.

A playground that gets kids moving and grooving and growing and thinking requires a frisson of adventure. That's what Denmark realized during World War II: Kids actually preferred playing in the rubble of bombed-out buildings than on their regular playgrounds!

The Danes took that to heart and started erecting "adventure playgrounds," filled with "loose parts" -- aka junk. England adopted that model, too, and at one point London had 200 adventure playgrounds. It still has about 80, says Almon, and across Europe about 1,000 still flourish. Right outside of Zurich -- cleanest city ever -- she saw some three-story shanties looming in the distance: kid-built towers, on an adventure playground. "They look like they're going to blow over in the wind," says Almon. "But, of course, children use so many nails that when [playground workers] try to take down these structures so children can build more, they have to use chain saws."

Overseen but not overprotected by these workers, kids are encouraged to hammer, cut and climb. Not surprisingly, in America there are just two adventure playgrounds, one, in Huntington Beach, Calif., open only part-time. The other, predictably or not, is in Berkeley, and you have to sign a little guest book-qua-legal waiver when you go in.

And there's more... but this is the part that was most interesting to me.

Looked for pics of Redeemer's playground. Didn't find.

Parkour And Freerunning / Training in minimal clothing
« on: May 26, 2010, 12:12:09 PM »
There was a "Naked FreeRunning" thread in Socialize that got out of hand and was locked down.

This is not that thread.

Hebert had people in Methode Naturelle train in minimal clothing. Typical spring and summer wear was a pair of shorts. Winter wear wasn't much more. There are papers written that he was heavily influenced by the "Naturalism" movement in France [Nudists].

Running the SF "Bay to Breakers" naked happens. Nudity is accepted [encouraged?] at Burning Man. Other than those exceptions, and maybe the privacy of your back yard, it's not accepted.

Thoughts? Discussion? Ideas?

Socialize / CRAZY TALK
« on: May 25, 2010, 12:37:24 PM »
This is the CRAZY TALK thread. This is the place to
  • send people when the thread has gotten way off-topic
  • experiment with posting in haiku [5-7-5 syllables] or other poetry forms
  • type as much as you can in one breath
  • post a comment, when you don't want to start a whole thread about it

Respect each other. If you disagree with what someone's saying, challenge their ideas, but no personal attacks.

Hawaii Training Sessions / June Jams
« on: May 17, 2010, 03:00:29 PM »
Ok... Ryan's talking about coming to Maui June Sun 13 -Weds 16

A couple ideas:
Haleakala "crater" hike : from 10023' down to 6000' or so, & some lava cave exploration. Then hike back up.

Exploring beautiful downtown Pu'unene: ammo bunkers, parking, etc.:


This is Dave. He's a parkour coach and helps run and the British Parkour Coaching Association.
He lives in Dore, Sheffield, UK a village of 7000 on the edge of the Peak District.

He's got some interesting ideas I wanted to share. Link to full article... Here's my "summary":


Parkour is a method of achieving an aim, not the aim itself. The most basic objective is to learn to move efficiently.

Separate skills combine to move efficiently:
  • physical capability,
  • knowing efficient movement techniques,
  • deciding which technique to use,
  • judging which route to take and
  • being able to overcome any unforeseen obstacles.
The first two are partly physical, the rest are mental. These aspects are connected, but develop separately from each other.

  Physical capability governs how I move. It determines which techniques I can use, how large an obstacle I can overcome and how fast I can move. To improve I need to exercise often, and as effectively as I can. I cannot rely on advice from others. Nobody can judge how my body is feeling more precisely than I can. I have to learn the principles of exercise so I can adjust my exercise routine to suit my own needs. I need to learn about everything that affects my physical development, from nutrition to stretching. My body needs to be as healthy as possible. My mind needs to identify when the body has a problem.

My physical development has led me to develop a deeper understanding of exercise theory and recognise its importance. Through changing my eating and exercise habits I have discovered what a difference it makes to how I feel and my ability to cope with physical demands of all kinds, and it has given me more energy to devote to all areas of my life. Also, recognising the need to understand exercise theory has shown me the need for research and understanding in all areas of life in order to make correct decisions. I consider my physical training to have had the least impact, however.

  Efficient movement techniques are essential. If you don’t know how to move efficiently then you can only do it by accident. Knowing techniques is not enough. I need to learn the principles and ideas behind the techniques so I can improvise when I come across new situations. I need to know the theory and then train my mind to put it into practice. My subconscious mind must see movement as purely functional to quickly make all the tiny decisions that would take my conscious mind an age to think through.

  In focussing on the functional parts of movement, my mind has come to focus on the functional aspects of life in general. I see the benefits of cutting out the things that don’t help me achieve my goals. My mind automatically evaluates every situation, every piece of information and sifts out the points that are important. I have less desire to do things that only provide enjoyment, preferring instead those things that I can enjoy while being beneficial. I’m not perfectly utilitarian and I am still tempted by things that serve no useful purpose but to a much lesser degree than I used to be and I am now convinced that they are by no means essential.

  Choosing the correct movement is the difference between getting over a wall or running straight into it. I need to know what will work. It's impossible to have experienced every situation. I need to understand the principles so I can work out the appropriate movement when I get to a situation.

  The same applies when judging which route to take. I need to understand the principles that govern what is a good route and what is a bad route. I also need to constantly re-evaluate my route as new information becomes available in case the best path changes. To do this I need to keep my destination in mind so that I am always focussed on the route.

I focus on my ultimate goal, rather than the small journeys I must make to get there. Everything I do should be done with that purpose in mind. Which choice will ultimately leave me closer to where I want to be? This affects every decision I make. Some choices may seem to help reach an immediate goal, but do not help me towards my higher goal.

  Overcoming unforeseen obstacles combines the other skills and the ability to stay focussed. If my thoughts when seeing an obstacle are, “Wow that’s going to be really hard, I’m not sure I can overcome that obstacle. Ok, how can I overcome it?”  it takes longer to overcome that obstacle than if I go straight to, “How do I overcome it?” The first parts don’t help. If I focus on the difficulty I may not even get to the part about overcoming it. I may decide it’s impossible before I’ve thought about it. To stay focussed, I need to stay positive. I need to train myself not to get disheartened when things are worse than I first thought or when things don’t go in my favour.

  If I want to be capable I need to train my mind to understand the principles unconsciously, just like my body needs to be able to perform the physical techniques without thinking. My mind affects every area of training and if I neglect it I will never improve as I would like.

  Only recently I've realised exactly where training my mind in the parkour skills was taking me. I have known all along that the ability to overcome obstacles could be applied outside of movement. David Belle talks about “the philosophy is of always going forwards…when I have a problem, in life, belief or physical obstacles.” I find I am more relaxed, less affected by difficulties, and am quicker to focus on finding a solution than I used to be. I’ve not reached the point of being relaxed and positive at all times, but I can see that I’m on the road towards that destination.

We need to learning to control both the body and mind. The two processes compliment each other. Mental control is needed to completely control of the body and bodily control is necessary for a disciplined mind. As each one is needed to progress in the other, they should be learned together.

By practicing physical control and mental discipline I have developed the means to begin to control my emotions. All three are essential to gain mastery over any one, but through parkour I am learning all three together.

The biggest influence in many decisions is my emotional state. When I am happy I am more confident and more likely to choose the path involving positive action. When I am sad I am less confident and tend to view everything negatively. This affects all of my parkour skills. If I want to reach the highest levels I need to find a way to combat the negatives and keep the positives. I need to make sure I am able to stay calm and positive as often as possible.

In Taekwon-Do a lot of time was spent learning how to relax. Only when you were relaxed could you  achieve total control of your movements. As I have been training I’ve been working on these relaxation skills all the time, trying to prepare myself before a complex technique. In order to evaluate situations and stay focussed, parkour has given me the mental discipline that I was lacking and that I need in order to be able to stay relaxed.

My ultimate goal is to be happy. When I am relaxed I am never unhappy. If you can eliminate the negative emotions only the positive ones are left. If you can remain in the state you are in while practicing parkour then you can remain free of negative emotions and be truly happy. The better I become at parkour the more practiced I become at controlling my emotions and the happier I am. Being happier and having fewer negative emotions also has side effects. I have lost the fixation on trivial things but I haven’t lost the ability to feel compassion. I feel fewer reasons not to help someone if I can now than I did before. Without directly seeking to help others I find I have become more helpful simply through my parkour training.

  This takes me back to the desire to improve oneself. Until recently I thought this was more like a pre-requisite to studying parkour and that the only way parkour helped achieve this goal was by acquiring a certain skill. Now I see that I am much closer to being the person I want to be as a result of parkour. I am better able to move, attach more importance to understanding, more concentrated on the things that matter, better able to cope with setbacks, more able to stay calm and focussed, more helpful to others and most importantly, happy. I may not a complete person but as improvements go it’s not a bad start.

Maui Hot Spots / MN: Ma'alaea to Lahaina
« on: February 17, 2010, 11:58:32 AM »
Lahaina Pali trail: 5 miles one way, 10 miles round trip. Access from either end:
Lahaina side from the small parking lot mauka of Papalaua/ Grandma's surf break. If you get to the pali/ tunnel you've gone too far.
Maalaea side: Head mauka on dirt road off Honoapiilani Hwy [30] between N Kihei Rd [310] and Kuihelani Hwy [380] junctions. It heads mauka, then turns to the left and runs along the edge of the farms for a mile or so. There's a small parking lot.

The trail itself is hot, dry, and rocky, with little or no shade. It climbs up to about 1600' and then back down. There's nothing really interesting on the trail itself, tho the views are good. Those windmills up on the ridge and the access road that runs up to service them kinda spoil the area. I liked this hike a lot more before they were put up there.

This used to be THE ROAD between Lahaina side and Wailuku side. On Lahaina side you can see remnants of the much better road that replaced it. Narrow and twisty - probably a lot like driving Hana side. Then you've got Honoapiilani cutting through that - much straighter, wider, still a bit twisty. Makes you appreciate good roads.

[These photos are from March. Typically there's not so much green.]

Going Natural - Fitness the old school way. / 4. Climbing - MN updated
« on: December 01, 2009, 12:42:05 PM »
Safety Disclaimer

Rock climbing is dangerous.

You must understand and practice safe climbing technique whenever you climb in order to reduce your risk of injury, paralysis, or death. You are responsible for your own safety and the safety of your climbing partners. Climbing at indoor gyms and outside on real rock both present serious risks to your safety, physical health, and life.

From Trevor at [Summarized]

Climbing is not all about strength. Climbing is about balance, knowing your body and being able to reposition it in space. It's about creativity, learning to adapt to what the rock has to offer. It's a whole-body exercise and though your upper body gets a fair share of grunt work, your legs and feet are your most important instrument for upward motion. It's about concentration and overcoming your fears for the void.

Probably the best way to start experiencing the thrills of moving over rock is to pick up bouldering. Boulderers climb short routes up to a height that is still safe to jump off from.

Some of the hardest moves are closest to the ground. You'll get all the fun of the climbing moves without the scary bits and the hassle of rope-handling and protection.

Bouldering can be practised both on real rock and indoor.

Even though bouldering can be practised alone you shouldn't underestimate the importance of an experienced climbing partner. You'll not only pick up a better climbing technique, you'll also progress in a lot safer environment. In bouldering ankles and spines are top casualties. Without a good spotter to catch your fall you will get hurt some day.

Good spotting is the art of guiding the climber's fall rather than trying to catch him/her. If you're asked to spot someone, you should aim to guide the fall by taking the hips so he / she lands on both feet. If it's your first time, ask another climber to assist you.

Until you're an expert climber it's not a good idea to climb on your own, especially not on higher problems. (highball problems)

If you ever get in trouble up a rock and you need to jump off, remember that downclimbing (de-climbing) is always the better option. Your ankles will thank you for it. And if you do have to jump, remember to bend your knees on impact.

GEAR: climbing shoes, a chalk bag, some chalk (Magnesium Carbonate) and a rug or doormat to clean your shoes. An old toothbrush can come in handy too.

If you plan to make bouldering your new way of life, you want to consider buying a good crash pad. These mattresses aren't exactly cheap but they're a lot softer to fall on than sharp rock.

Though you can use sneakers to start out, it's not a very good idea. You won't learn the subtleties of footwork and frequently repeated rocks will suffer erosion from dirty or unadapted shoes.

[Info about choosing shoes, chalk use etc.]

--- --- --- ---

Why is it a bad idea to trust Internet climbing advice on its own?
The short answer is, “Because you can’t possibly know the source, and whether or not he or she really understands the subject.” The long answer includes that and a few more things. Even if the source is unimpeachably knowledgeable about climbing, written communication has inherent flaws. Tone, body language – none of them are possible over the Internet. In most cases, you also don’t get visual aids, and then, there’s the fact that very few learning methods can substitute for hands-on experience. If you already have some experience, then you and the person with whom you’re conversing may share a common context that negates that principle, but then again, maybe not. You won’t go wrong by supplementing your Internet-gained knowledge with questions to experienced people in the real world, books, guided lessons, etc. But you may go wrong by NOT doing so.
--- --- --- ---

Footwork basics Submitted by overlord on 2006-03-16

1. Lets start with the basics: you need proper shoes to learn properly. Comfortable fit and sensitivity. Try to keep your shoes as clean as possible. Wipe them with a wet cloth and air dry them, maybe even brush them with a soft wire brush to get the oxidized rubber off and reveal the sticky stuff.

2. Another important aspect is flexibility. The more flexible you are the better efficiency you can achieve. So it won't hurt to take some time after a climbing session to perform a really good stretching routine.

3. You'll also need leg and foot strength. You can easily train the former and the latter will come with time.

4. Then you need to start LOOKING. I can't stress this enough. Look for footholds before climbing and while climbing. When you stand under a route and look for holds, look to where you can place your feet as well. Offcourse you cant see every little foothold from the ground, but those that you can see will come in handy and if you manage to remember them they may get you through a tight spot. You'll surprised at how much difference a good foothold makes. Also remember that you can use most handholds as footholds once you move past them.

5. LOOK at the foothold before you use it. Don't scrape around trying to find it without looking. Examine it, look for the sweet spot and then deliberately place your foot there. Sensitive shoes come into play here. Focus on the feel of the foothold and you'll see that you can actually feel the perfect spot to stand on. Once you've found it don't scratch around. Your shoes will be grateful, as will your technique and learning curve. Then put some pressure on it. If you don't step on a foothold it probably wont hold (especially if its polished) and youll just skid. You'll be surprised at how much difference a little pressure can make. Don't be afraid of stepping. That's what youre supposed to do. Imagine it's a normal step that's been washed in too hot water and it shrank.

6. Next step is learning to trust your shoes. This is a long process, but slowly you'll begin to realize how small a feature you need to securely step on.

Once you get the feel you can get those stiff edging shoes with super sticky rubber and use them the way they're intended to be used. The feeling for the foothold in step 6 is very important. It'll allow you to learn to use the footholds in the best possible way and tell you what you can actually do with the foothold you're standing on. Will it allow a drop knee to be performed on it or will you peel off while trying to achieve it???

For the grand finale I'll let you in on the IMHO best exercise for improving your footwork: go climb a slab with a tennis ball in each of your hands. That way you'll really focus on your feet. And it'll also improve your balance.

Heres a nice little update from Daniel (a.k.a tisar)

- Follow gravity. If your body tends to 'fall' into a certain direction, place a foot right there. Don't mind if there's a good foothold, a bad one or even none, just place your foot there.
- Move your hip actively over your feet. The hip is the center of gravity. Placing it conciously over one foot relieves both your other foot and your hands for the next move.
- Place your toe tips only. Beginners often place too much of their feet, or worst, their instep flat to the wall. This turns out your leg and blocks the hip joint. 'Tips only' gives your hip a broader moving range to allocate your gravity center as needed.
- Look at your feet! Watch them until placed properly. Easy said, but often you'll find yourself looking elsewhere while doing the last couple of inches to the foothold. It takes some time and attention to get used to it but is worth it.

Advanced footwork
--- --- --- ---

Rock Climbing Basics, Technique -
This section contains the basics of hand and foot technique.

First let's talk about a common problem with beginning rock climbers.

When people start to climb they think rock climbing is all about upper body strength and for some reason they forget to use their legs. Your legs are much stronger than your arms so be sure to use them accordingly.

When you climb you should focus twice the amount of energy on using your feet and legs than as you do on your hands and arms. Your fingers and hands should hold you close to the rock, while you use your legs to push you up the rock.

You do not have to have mutant strength to climb well - it is much more important to have a solid foundation in good technique.

Rock Climbing 101 Foot Techniques

Edging: using the inside of the foot to stand on a foothold.

Backstepping: is outside edging on a foothold that is behind you while climbing a move with your side to the wall.

Smearing: when you place your foot directly on the rock or wall.

Heel hook: the use of the heel on a hold, usually near chest level, to aid in pulling and balance.

Toe hook: hooking your toe on the rock. Toe hooks are most common on arêtes and with underclings.

Flagging: a climbing technique in which one foot is crossed behind the other to avoid barn-dooring and to improve balance.

Rock Climbing 101 Hand Techniques

Crimp: the most natural and stressful way to grip a rock hold; characterized by hyperextension of the first joint in the fingers and nearly full contraction of the second joint.

Open Hand Grip: gripping the rock with the first joint in the fingers and keeping the hand open. This is the safest hand position for your joints.

Gaston: best described as a handhold that is only good from the side; you must hold it with your elbows pointing out and palm facing away from you.

Jug: a massive, easy to hold onto hold.

Pinch: a hold where you must pinch using your thumb and fingers to hold on (they vary in size).

Side pull: crimping or using an open hand grip on a vertical or near vertical hold.

Sloper: sloping hold with very little positive surface like palming a basketball.

Undercling: grabbing a hold with the palm facing up.

I'm trying to update the info on walking in Hebert's "Practical Guide to Physical Education". This is the first of 8 or 10 or 12 threads I plan to start. I'd like to focus on how to IMPROVE.

How can I walk more efficiently, faster, on any surface, in any conditions?

Barefoot conditioning start with walking. Most of the stuff I'm finding is blogs, forums, fluff articles etc.
Here's some stuff from FAQ: [summarized]:

HOW SHOULD I WALK? Place most of your weight on the balls of your feet (the pads in the front behind your toes) rather than your heels.

Heels are rigid and many people slam them into the ground, shocking the legs and knees. Instead, while you should still make your heels touch the ground first, you should shift most of your weight forward onto the balls of your feet. The balls are flexible and will mold to the contour of the surface; they also have a wider surface area to better distribute your body's weight. Once you get used to walking this way, it will become natural for you.

Always step down and never slide or shuffle your feet. If you step on something uncomfortable or sharp, you will notice before you place your full weight down. Sliding your feet puts them at risk of being gashed, getting splinters, etc. Slide or shuffle your feet only when you know the surface you're dealing with.

SPECIAL TECHNIQUE: When walking through prickly, dried grasses, you can put your feet down, but, within the last couple of inches, sweep them sideways in a semicircular fashion. This will knock over the grass and you'll step on the sides rather than the pointy ends. Take extra care when you can't see the ground surface.

HOW CAN I GET MY FEET IN SHAPE? Walk barefoot. Walk barefoot some more. Go barefoot everywhere you can. Your soles, foot muscles, ligaments, and tendons are like any other parts of your body: you have to use them to develop them, otherwise they will atrophy.

Walking on gravel is an excellent way to develop the soles of your feet quickly. A few jaunts daily will thicken and toughen your soles in a few weeks. (It is within the realm of human capability to run barefoot on even the most punishing gravel with little discomfort.) Gregg note: I started with sand/ grass/ pavement, moved to coarse sand, small gravel. I'm a wuss. ;D

PAIN? Watch where you're going! But, despite watching where you're going, you will still step on something uncomfortable eventually. That's life and you just have to accept it.

GLASS? Broken glass exists, but it is not "all over the place". Watch where you're going! But, for the seasoned barefooter with tough, thick soles, most broken glass is not a problem even if you step directly on it.

HOT SURFACES? It depends on how it holds radiation, not just color. Prolonged exposure to hot surfaces can cause burns and blistering; pain is an indicator that tissue damage is not far behind. Through gradual acclimation, one can greatly increase one's resistance to hot surfaces.
- Tip: When you cross at intersections, the white stop-lines are cooler; you can walk on those.
- Tip: Go from shade patch to shade patch, and hang out until the burning subsides before continuing.
- Tip: If you walk briskly, then the time your foot is in the air is enough to dissipate a lot of the heat absorbed during the previous step. Also, if you concentrate on the foot that's in the air, you will be focusing on where the heat is dissipating, not where it is accumulating. This gives you a psychological edge.

BLISTERS? Blisters are caused by continual rubbing in the same spot over and over; while walking barefoot, your soles get rubbed all over and no one "hot-spot" develops. But, should you "over-do" your barefoot training and get a blister, you can follow the procedure below.

[Note: The following does not constitute medical advice. It is only the personal experience of some barefooters and no claims are made that these techniques will work for anybody else. Use them at your own risk.]

Lance the blister with a sterilized needle and squeeze the fluid out. Leave the flabby skin on! If the blister is small, it may "reattach"; if not, it will protect the soft, "virgin" skin under it until it becomes harder. Then, after a few days if it does not reattach, carefully trim it off with a small pair of scissors or a nail-cutter in a chopping manner.

After treating a blister, the the best thing to do, believe it or not, is to walk barefoot more! (You did leave the skin on, right?) Your body will recognize the "need" for thicker skin and this will help prompt the skin to reattach.

A blister, if you followed the above procedure, will get to the point where you don't notice it in under a week. You will still see a "crater" for up to 3 weeks, though.

[Note: The following does not constitute medical advice. It is only the personal experience of some barefooters and no claims are made that these techniques will work for anybody else. Use them at your own risk.]

Sterilize a really good pair of finely tipped, needle-nosed tweezers. Sterilize the area of the foot where the object is embedded. Under really good light, try to locate and grab hold of the object. Pull it out.

Old South African remedy: Warm an empty bottle by filling it with hot water. Press the opening tightly over the skin where the object is. As the bottle cools, the air contracts creating a vacuum and, if you're lucky, the object will be sucked out.

CRACKED SOLES? To prevent cracks, file some of the callus with pumice from the edges only and use skin lotion or Bag Balm* to keep the edges supple. Do it just after you trim your toenails; this is a good frequency. That's all the maintenance bare feet need! * Bag Balm is a veterinary product for cow udders. You can find it in some drug stores?

Going Natural - Fitness the old school way. / 10. QM - MN updated
« on: November 30, 2009, 10:29:58 AM »
Ah! I finally found my notes and some free time, so here's my take on Georges Hébert's Quadrupédie.

First, QM encompasses anything that has to do with using all four limbs together. Think QM walk, yes, but also plank, push-ups, crouching, falling on your hands, crawling, handstands, rolling, etc, etc. Lots of different sub-topics, and as always Hébert goes through every different skill and lays down every possible way to do it. Example: the basic push-up can be done forward (the usual way), backward (facing up, kind of like arm dips), or sideways (starting on side plank and lowering yourself, bringing the extra hand down as a support at the end of the way). Very systematic variations, some probably better than others, but always trying to do everything in all the possible ways.

Second, he insists through the book that circus clowns are probably the most accomplished type of athletes, as tumbling in apparent randomness requires acrobatic strength, agility, and adaptability. He sees hand springs (jumping from your feet to your hands and then to your feet again while progressing forward or backward) as the dividing line between simple QM and acrobatic QM, which he regards as the highest discipline of physical athleticism.

Then there's billions of exercises and progressions on the theme; I'll list here in random order the ones I noted. As a warning, a lot of the stuff here can be very advanced, be very careful when you try them and follow a slow progression.

- static positions (planks, crouching, standing): how to go from one to the other, moving the hands or the feet, facing forward, backward or sideways.

- QM walking and running: forward, backward and sideways. Changing pace from slow to fast to slow, switching styles, making long paces, turning around, adding sudden stops in plank. Note there is a slightly different variant of our QMs: keeping the hips higher, back leg almost straight. This is supposed to be easier for long walks.

- QM jumps: start with a progression from crouching and back, then add a jump to it. Jump in all directions, adding spins,etc. Pretty hard...

- crawling: there's an entire piece on crawling or snaking, using your hands and feet or just your core and back muscles (yes, like a snake)

- falling: again, progress slowly. Start bending down to get into a plank, then slowly increase the distance. Going backward or sideways, it is recommended to spin in order to land on both hands facing forward. There is only so much strength we can build on our arms.

- "piqué": anything where the feet leave the ground before the hands touch. "Piqué" cartwheel, handstand, etc

That's pretty much it. There's a lot of work to be done in these few exercises, though! I have barely scratched the surface for most of these, and it already changed a lot of my conditioning. Enjoy!

Told you it would get copied here, Pilou ;D

Going Natural - Fitness the old school way. / 2. RUNNING [MN Updated]
« on: November 26, 2009, 01:23:25 PM »
Disclaimer: I used to run distance. We used to sneer at the sprinters, because they would complain if they had to run anything over 1/2 mile. I hate running on a track. I don't especially like intervals, either.

  In MN, running was the most important of the exercises. The tests were 100m, 500m, and 1500m which are all fairly short distance.

  CrossFit seeks to develop people who are "equal parts gymnast, Olympic weightlifter, and multi-modal sprinter or "sprintathlete"." Most of their running work is 100m or 400m, some 800m, occasional 5km and very infrequent 10km runs. They note that athletes who train mostly aerobic lose muscle mass, strength, speed and power. Aerobic activity also tends to decrease anaerobic capacity.

Mark Sisson started off as an elite distance runner. He found that high level aerobic activity wasn't healthy. "It requires huge amounts carbohydrate (sugar) to sustain, it promotes hyperinsulinemia (overproduction of insulin), increases oxidative damage (the production of free radicals) by a factor of 10 or 20 times normal, and generates high levels of the stress hormone cortisol in many people, leaving them susceptible to infection, injury, loss of bone density and depletion of lean muscle tissue – while encouraging their bodies to deposit fat."
  He now advocates mixing low level aerobic work [easy walking, hiking, cycling, swimming] a few days a week, and sprinting all out one or two days a week.
  His "sprints" are running, cycling, etc. at maximum effort for 20-40 seconds. "Start with maybe three or four the first time, resting two minutes in between and, after a few weeks of doing this, work your way up to a workout that includes six or eight all-out sprints after a brief warm-up."

Maui Hot Spots / TRAIN MAUI
« on: September 19, 2009, 04:34:13 PM »
This is the place for people on Maui to coordinate training.

SUN 9/20 - starting about noon [waiting for confirmation from Brian, JC, Duke, Levi or Shiloh]

Iao Valley - about 2 miles west of Wailuku - road ends in parking lot.

This is a nice muddy hike. The guava are probably still ripe. Maybe gingers in bloom? We'll hike into Iao [upstream] for a while on the paths, then rock-hop downstream.

Expect to get wet and muddy. Expect to fall in the water at least once.
We can scale this hike down if you've got friends/ family who want to come along but aren't into parkour.

Going Natural - Fitness the old school way. / MN Games, Sport, etc
« on: September 17, 2009, 03:07:16 PM »
This is PART 4 of Georges Hebert's "Practical Guide to Physical Education". The problem is - 100 years have passed, and kids in the USA don't play the games. Pilou and I decided that it would be best to put this as its own thread. I'll try to find out how these old games are played, so you can enjoy them at jams, etc.


657. Physical education is completed by games, sports and manual labor.
These different sorts of exercises are used:
1 – To augment the general physical value and that which is called physical knowledge;
2 – To maintain the gusto for activity by breaking the monotony of methodical exercises;
3 – To improve skill, develop the practical sense, give rise to ingenuity and give all liberty to the individual action;
4 – To satisfy the need for variety, of pleasure by getting a rest from the methodical work;
5 – To increase usefulness and bring to light the advantages of good physical preparation. One succeeds the best in the different branches of physical activity when one is well prepared by the work of methodical exercises.

658. Games, sport and manual labor can be considered, according to their type, from three different perspectives:
In view of their hygienic effects; in terms of their utility; in terms of their moral effect. From the hygienic point of view, the best exercises are always derived from walking, running and jumping; for example: the large open air games, hunting, hikes, etc.

659. It would not be possible in the frame of this work to give a short description of games, sports and manual labor. The number of these exercises is far too many. On the other hand, certain may be omitted that have a special category of subjects (fencing, for example, is not useful to workmen and peasants); others are impractical which have a determined time or certain region (like skating or rowing) or which do not interest a certain age (like the games). Finally, for the others, extreme cold can be engaged, which prevents them to be taken by all.

  Therefore, we cite and classify them in a category as part of games, sports and manual labor to well mark their place and ind icate their special role in physical education.

  In spite of their usefulness and the excellence of their effects, it is evident that one should never sacrifice the methodical exercises. They serve to complement the regular sessions of daily work, but may not replace them.*

* For these diverse sorts of exercises, it is suggested to add songs. Songs have, in effect, a large importance in the education of scholarly or military groups. Not only do they develop the voice and augment the respiratory capacity, but they also have a very powerful moral effect. There is an interest to use them as often as possible. Preferably choose songs which exalt the domestic virtues, the warrior virtues, or celebrate the acts of devotion and heroism, famous exploits, etc.

660. Games are made up, in a general fashion, all the exercises where they manifest in an intense fashion of the sentiments of pleasure, happiness, or passionate interest, without mixing the desire to defeat opponents or win at all costs. Some of them are simply recreation, others have a real value from an educational or application point of view. One may divide them into two large sorts: simple little games and large games.

661. Simple little games may be practical in a restrained space, such as the inside of a room. Their rules are extremely simple and their duration short. The number of players may, for each one, be reduced to two.

Left group: Pull wrestling with two hands, the wrists crossed. Right group: Pull wrestling with a single hand.

The place of these games is already shown in the course of the lessons or gymnastic sessions.
1.   The jumping sheep
2.   The cat and the mouse
3.   The fox and the chicken
4.   The four corners
5.   The perched cat
6.   The crossing chase
7.   Mother Garuche
8.   Jumping the rope
9.   Bull in the arena or the prisoners in the circle
10.   Racing on one foot
11.   Racing on two feet at the same time (successive jumps)
12.   Racing backward; racing to the side
13.   Racing on four hands [QM]; Indian racing
14.   Racing with a burden or with a comrade on the back.
15.   Rooster fighting (in crouched position)
16.   The ball in the pot
17.   The ball to the wall
18.   The ball at the hunter
19.   Cavalier ball
20.   Bear
21.   The soaked keel
22.   Pull wrestling in pairs, with two hands. (Fig 354)
23.   Pull wrestling in pairs, with one hand. (Fig 354)
24.   Push wrestling in pairs, the arms extended, hands on the shoulders of the opponent (Fig 355)
25.   Push wrestling in pairs, the arms extended, the hands and wrists engaged.
26.   Pull wrestling in pairs, with a device such as: baton, rope, etc (Fig 355)
27.   Push wrestling in pairs, with a buttress, a bar, etc (Fig 356)
28.   General pull wrestling with a rope or a pole (Fig 357)
29.   General push wrestling with a pole, a bar, etc. (Fig 358)
30.   All of the above sorts, etc

Left: Push wrestling, the arms extended, hands on the shoulders of the opponent. – Right: Pull wrestling, using a baton

The different pull and push wrestling, classified here with the simple games, are excellent exercises of muscular development. They may be done in two ways:

1 – As reasoned wrestling. Each subject exerts on his opponent a pull or push force proportionate to the vigor of the latter. The opponent opposes this force with a sufficient resistance.

FIG 356 – EXAMPLE OF PUSH WRESTLING WITH A BUTTRESS, done as as exercise of muscular oppositions.
The subject on the left pushes the subject on the right who opposes with a light resistance, less than the push, in this fashion it allows his opponent to make a lunge with all the possible range of motion.

This type of wrestling is called muscular opposition exercises. (Fig 356)
One of the subjects takes the role of the active opponent, and his opponent takes the passive role.
All the basic educational movements of the arms and trunk, and lunges to the front, back and side may be done by both in these muscular opposition exercises.
2 – As real wrestling. Each subject tries to prove his superiority, to carry his opponent away or make him lose his footing.

662. The large games or open air games require a rather extended space, last a rather long time, and require a rather considerable number of players to participate. They are always given special sessions, outside of the hours dedicated to methodical exercises.

FIG 357 – General pull wrestling with a rope
Correct posture of the body during the pulling effort.
The feet are slightly spread and over the same line, the arms are elongated. All the weight of the body is carried backwards in line with the feet.

The principals are:
1. The bars
2. Sparrowhawk or the pass
3. The flag
4. The large “theque” or camp ball
5. The stick with goal
6. The mallet or ball at the stick
7. Tambourine ball
8. The long palm
9. The Canadian lacrosse
10. The French balloon
11. The “barette” or foot-ball
12. The palm with net or tennis
13. The Basque ball
14. The “gouret” or hockey, or sow, or stick-at-the-pot
15. Steeplechase
16. The rally paper or the hare and the greyhounds
17. Running in open fields or cross-country,

The nautical games of all sorts are equally part of the large games in open air.

The body is lunged as forward as possible.

663. One habitually includes under the denomination of sports all the types of physical exercises possible without distinction of any sort.
It is very logical to reserve this name for all the other exercises which the natural or utility exercises qualify for us as essential.
It should be distinguished: Utilitarian sports, and the sports of fantasy, charm or luxury.

664. The utilitarian sports are those which, without being as essential as the natural and utilitarian exercises described in the IIIrd part, yet come, in order of importance, immediately after the latter. The principals are:
1. Horse riding and harness conduct.
2. Rowing and maneuvering boats
3. Firing and the management of firearms
4. Fencing with epee and saber
5. Defense with baton and cane.
6. Maneuvering the mechanical means of locomotion: bicycles, automobile

665. The main sports of fantasy, charm or luxury are:
1. Hunting
2. Fishing
3. Excursions of all sorts
4. Mountain climbing
5. Skating (except in the very cold place where it becomes a utility exercise)
6. The runs or hikes in open country.
7. Dances of all sorts

666. The manual works are made up of the operation of the most common tools, and doing the most every-day jobs.
The principals are:
1. Gardening and excavating using the following tools: shovel, pickax, spade, fork, etc.
2. Carpentry using the following tools: saw, hammer, plane, adze, etc
3. Iron and metalwork using these tools or mechanical instruments: vise, file, forge, etc.

Hawaii / Njam HI - MN lunch [or supper?]
« on: August 27, 2009, 04:09:58 PM »
Here's the thread so far from emails...

Does anyone know any pig hunters?
Would be cool to go pig hunting with a bunch of traceus and then have a big roast....

actually i know of a couple dudes who go out in the forest with bows to hunt pigs...(serious)

pig hunting = bad idea, I've gone before and it's not really safe at all.  I mean as in someone could get gored and get seriously injured or even die... so yeah I would definitely not recommend this activity to people who have first aren't familiar with the area second have little experience with hunting big game (they aren't small animals).  Last time I went one of my friends dogs got killed, I didn't exactly enjoy myself... there's tons of other stuff we could do that don't involve such big risks.

Word, thanks bro.

Thanks. I'd never gone, just flushed deer and goats when I was running cross-country in hellish rocky places. That was very cool for me, probably stressful and annoying for the deer and goats. You could always load a pack of huli chicken on someone's back, and give them a minute headstart. You'd still get the thrill of the hunt, and eating after the kill. It's not the same, though...
  I nominate Ian. ;D I don't know if anyone would be able to catch him though... probably just a good way to get people hurt and lost. Never mind.

Lol, that sounds like a good idea. Ian better be fast, I know hes stamina will help, but he better be fast ;-)

Well, depends how many people you have - I don't think he'll be too fast if he's got to carry lunch for 50 people ;D. Maybe give the fastest guys meat, and some slower guys the mac and potato salad, bags of ice, etc.
  In a light forest, a 60 second head start is HUGE. In an open area, it's nothing. And then Ozzi can be the predator - he starts 60 seconds after everyone else. Anyone he catches becomes "undead", and part of the clean-up crew. Just some ideas ;D
  Shall we keep working on this thread by email, or take it to the forums?

Take this ideas to the forum, itll entice people.

That actually sounds really fun.  I'm up for it.  Especially if it's in the woods, 60 seconds is plenty

Yo Ian, you should be posting on that APK thread, Being he HIpk team, you should be repping brother.

Amoros was before Hebert. According to Erwan, parkour and French firefighter training is based on HIS stuff, not on Hebert's.

Google Scan of Amoros' 1848 "New Complete Manual of Physical, Gymnastic & Moral Education"

Go to the right, and get the .pdf download. Since this book is mostly line drawings, and little text, the Google Scan is incomprehensible garbage. There may be something that inspires you.

Hawaii / XTERRA Trail Running World Championship - Oahu Dec 6
« on: July 31, 2009, 02:09:25 PM »

Date: December 6, 2009
Location: Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii
Distance: 21km
Registration: Online Registration is Now Open

The "big" race is an Xduro = 13.1 miles of off-road "fun" in Kaaawa and Hakipu`u Valley area.
They also have shorter 10k and 5k runs.

Ozzi - this is right in your backyard - only 14 miles north of Kaneohe. }:D> Hakipu'u is closer - only about 8 miles. The Xduro race GOES OVER THE RIDGELINE!!! That's like 1200' of nearly vertical rock! Well, at least that's how it looks on Google maps.

Hawaii / XTERRA Maui Oct 24 - 25
« on: July 27, 2009, 12:35:13 PM »

People who aren't agro enough to compete in the XTERRA World can still run the same course on Saturday Oct 24. I'm scheduled to work, but if I can get my 5k or 10k competitive again...

Cost = $25 for the 5k, $30 for the 10k. You can also bike the practice course for $10. The real bike course is kept mostly secret, and changed each year so no one has advantage.

Here's a fantastic vid - gives you an idea of some of the conditions.

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