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23rd October 2010
Cal Parkour's Females Workshop
Location:UC Berkeley Campus, California
On a stormy afternoon in October, a small group gathered in a brick-paved courtyard on the University of California Berkeley campus to participate in CalPK's Women's Workshop. The group included three instructors, about half a dozen students and several members of the CalPK and SFParkour communities coming out to lend moral support.
Despite the rainy weather, spirits were high and soon, even the novices were rearing to go. We began with introductions to get a feel of what kind of skill sets were being brought to the event. A lot of rock climbers, some martial artists, and as well as a few people with no real athletic background.
After a warm up consisting of dynamic stretching and an introduction to quadrupedal movement, we took a short jog to our next training spot. At this first station we went over some basic methods for scaling and descending from ledges. Drilling all the steps of the progressions was hard work, but everyone tackled the challenge admirably.
Taking a break from the heavy movements of the last station, we went over precision basics: arm swing, knees up, head over toes, etc. We did a quick team building exercise where, as a group, we would try to precision to a ledge and hold it for 5 seconds. If anyone stumbled, we would all do it together again. It was a simple drill, but ended up being pretty fun.
Then it was time to put some of our new found skills to use. We moved to a nearby area that had concrete benches and planters clustered together with a mix of heights ranging from shoulder to knee height. The instructors mapped out a route and demonstrated some possible ways to navigate the obstacles, then it was up to you to find your way.
As we went around the circuit, we would pause to give each lap a theme. The first lap was "getting to know the landscape," taking it slow and familiarizing ourselves. Next was "ease," finding the most comfortable way to move through the course. After that was "confidence," being masters of our environment. Finally came "exploration," playing with what was possible and taking time to have fun.
After a quick water break we headed over an area with a lot of rails. By this time it had begun raining heavily and we quickly scratched the rail-walking portion of the workshop. Instead we went over underbars and set up a flow exercise. The exercise consisted of a relay race where one team began at the bottom of the course and the other at the top. One person from one team would make their way up to the second team, navigating three rails sets along the way. They would then tag someone on the other team who would make their way back along the same course. When everyone in the teams ended up where they had started, the relay was done.
We retreated from the rain to do a final conditioning set. Then as we cooled down and stretched out, one of the instructors read two specially prepared letters from Luci Steel of Team Tempest and Brandee Laird of Parkour Visions. Their inspirational words were a perfect way to complete our workshop:
"I grew up wanting to be like Superwoman; what I've learned is that we can all be Superwomen, we just have to find our own unique path of flight!" - Luci
"It's kind of like an imaginary elixir for vision, taken with eighty ounces of sweat once a whenever for as long as you choose. Side effects may include irresistible urges to climb things, a heightened sense of alternative exits, and uncanny abilities to navigate anything." - Brandee
- Marissa Lee
Thank you to Albert Kong SFParkour http://sfparkour.com/ and
the Berkeley Parkour Collective http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2208600816&v=info
24th, 25th & 26th September 2010 Houston Texas Women's Beginner's Workshop Location:Houston, Texas Last month's women's beginner workshop in Houston, TX, USA was a great success! Our instructors came from all over the state to provide their diverse instructional talents. All the instructors met at the park an hour before the workshop to set up, scout out, and don fabulous pink shirts. Pretty soon, the participants started arriving, looking excited! I led a moderate warm-up while Mandy and I went over what to expect, safety and logistics-wise, with the participants. When everyone was warm, we split into 7 different groups, each instructor leading their group to their specific movement station: rolls, wall runs, basic vaults, QMs, balance, underbars, and precisions, respectively. For the next hour or so, we stayed at our stations while the participants rotated every 20 minutes. After making it halfway through the rotations, we called a 30 minute lunch/rehydration break, and munched on bananas and delicious tamales that one of Mandy's friend's business generously donated. Refueled and rehydrated, we took few pictures, and then it was back to the stations.
24th, 25th & 26th September 2010
Houston Texas Women's Beginner's Workshop
Last month's women's beginner workshop in Houston, TX, USA was a great success! Our instructors came from all over the state to provide their diverse instructional talents. All the instructors met at the park an hour before the workshop to set up, scout out, and don fabulous pink shirts.
Pretty soon, the participants started arriving, looking excited! I led a moderate warm-up while Mandy and I went over what to expect, safety and logistics-wise, with the participants. When everyone was warm, we split into 7 different groups, each instructor leading their group to their specific movement station: rolls, wall runs, basic vaults, QMs, balance, underbars, and precisions, respectively. For the next hour or so, we stayed at our stations while the participants rotated every 20 minutes.
After making it halfway through the rotations, we called a 30 minute lunch/rehydration break, and munched on bananas and delicious tamales that one of Mandy's friend's business generously donated. Refueled and rehydrated, we took few pictures, and then it was back to the stations.
By the time we were on our 6th and 7th rotation, the boys (who had been swinging swords across the street and jumping around other parts of downtown) began to skirt the edges of the park in anticipation of the co-ed afterjam. We regrouped after the final rotation to complete the workshop with a long and leisurely cool-down and conditioning session, then let everyone loose to join what was soon becoming a massive jam.
Our awesome participants! You ladies rock!
Wonderful instructors! Thank you all so much!
Top: Bethany, Crystal
Middle: Anne, Rachel, Tara, Jennifer, Autumn
Bottom: Timley, Patricia, Mandy, Becca
Photo Credits: Bethany Hodge, Tara Tschritter, Erika May.
24th, 25th & 26th September 2010
Jamming National Parkour Indonesia 2010
Event Review Puji
Pagi hari dimulai acara pertama yaitu registrasi para peserta jamnas yang dimulai dari pukul 8 pagi hingga pukul 11 siang sambil menunggu para peserta jamnas tiba di lokasi penginapan yang terletak di jalan RE Martadinata no. 119 Wisma Bina Marga, keadaan cuaca saat pagi hari menjelang berakhirnya sesi registrasi masih cerah dan dipenuhi rasa antusias tinggi dari para peserta jamnas ini, dan para peserta tampak bahagia ketika memasuki gerbang wisma, dipenuhi canda tawa pada saat menyambut para peserta dari berbagai kota di Indonesia hadir .
Setelah para peserta sudah lengkap dan semua sudah melapor kepada panitia, acara dilanjutkan ke lembang, tepatnya usai sholat jumat, pukul 11.30 semua peserta menuju Masjid dekat lokasi rintangan pertama untuk beristirahat dan makan siang . Bagi para laki-laki yang muslim dipersilahkan untuk melaksanakan ibadah sholat jumat, saat itu beberapa peserta yang tidak melaksanakan ibadah share beberapa kegiatan dengan peserta lainnya. Saat semua sudah menyantap makan siang yang diberikan panitia, acara dilanjutkan menuju sebuah bukit sambil menunggu kedatangan Thomas Couetdic dan Stephane Vigroux. Tak lama kemudian sesaat mereka datang di bukalah kegiatan Jamnas 2010 oleh ketua panitia dan juga sambutan dari kedua narasumber dari Parkour Generation, para peserta pun memulai pemanasan yang dipimpin langsung oleh Stephane dan Thomas, dan sewaktu itu juga dibagi beberapa team untuk menyelesaikan tantangan pendakian gunung Jayagiri, ini kali pertama saya berlatih di tempat yang benar-benar mendekat dengan alam, keadaan cuaca saat itu berubah menjadi gerimis hingga pada saat team pertama menuju gerbang masuk Jayagiri hujan mulai mengguyur deras, tapi tidak menyurutkan semangat peserta yang mengikuti kegiatan hari pertama ini.
Para peserta tidak hanya melakukan pendakian, saat itu diberi beberapa tantangan yang harus diselesaikan, seperti balance di pohon yang sudah tumbang, disini peserta diuji bagaimana cara menjaga kerjasama team, dan masih banyak lagi, saat itu keadaan benar-benar dingin karena hujan, dan lokasi penjelajahan licin tak sedikit dari peserta yang terjatuh karena terpeleset oleh lumpur dan jalan yang penuh bebatuan serta akar pohon, dihari pertama kita menyelesaikan rintangan hingga hari benar-benar gelap, dan pakaian para peserta benar-benar penuh lumpur, basah karena air hujan dan keringat, namun stamina para peserta saya akui benar-benar kuat karena walau begitu masih terlihat canda tawa pada saat perjalanan pulang menuju penginapan. Setelah itu acara dilanjutkan dipenginapan yaitu acara malam keakraban.
Lalu saat malam keakraban, semua peserta mengenalkan diri masing-masing dan darimana daerah mereka berasal, bagaimana perkembangan parkour mereka dan cara berlatih, yang paling berkesan adalah beberapa peserta dari berbagai daerah mengisi malam keakraban dengan penuh canda tawa dan sedikit melupakan rasa lelah setelah menempuh jarak yang cukup jauh. Dan usai malam keakraban para peserta meninggalkan ruangan dan menuju kamar masing-masing untuk beristirahat.
Sabtu, 25 September acara dimulai pagi hari. Para peserta dibangunkan oleh panitia untuk menyantap makan pagi bersama. Suasana pagi masih cerah di daerah wisma tempat peserta jamming nasional menginap. Setelah sarapan, peserta menyiapkan diri untuk ke ITB mengikuti kegiatan hari kedua jamming nasional. Hari itu para peserta berpenampilan kompak mengenakan baju simbolis acara jamming nasional. Dengan penuh semangat pagi itu semua siap untuk mengikuti workshop yang akan dibimbing oleh Stephane Vigroux dan juga Thomas Couetdic. Perjalanan masih sama mengenakan angkutan militer. Setibanya di ITB, peserta dibagi dalam beberapa grup yang masih sama seperti dihari yang pertama, dan sebelum memulai workshop semua melakukan pemanasan dan lari selama 20 menit. Lalu dimulailah tantangan-tantangan yang diberikan. Setiap grup memiliki kesempatan untuk mempelajari parkour sesuai spot yang telah ditentukan hingga pukul 12 siang. Saya pun mendapatkan banyak pengalaman selama mempelajari hal tersebut, namun sayang karena cuaca kembali tak bersahabat, setiap grup rata-rata hanya mendapatkan 3 spot saja. Harusnya semua peserta menyelesaikan 6 spot, saat menunggu hujan reda. Para peserta jamming nasional mengisinya dengan bercanda bersama. Tak lama kemudian Thomas dan juga Stephane mengajak lari keliling ITB pada saat masih hujan, karena takut sepatu yang dikenakan basah dan tidak memiliki sepatu cadangan lagi, saya dan beberapa peserta lainnya memutuskan untuk barefoot saja. Tantangan lari pada saat hujan semakin terasa, karena tidak mengenakan alas. Saya hanya mampu menyelesaikan separuh saja karena saat itu kedua betis saya kram. Tapi setidaknya saya mendapatkan pengalaman yang menantang.
Selepas itu sambil menunggu jemputan datang semua peserta saling berfoto, dan membuat suasana semakin akrab, ya karena momen inilah yang ditunggu untuk berkumpul bersama para praktisi parkour yang tersebar dari penjuru Indonesia, dan saya sangat senang karena bisa berbagi dengan praktisi perempuan lainnya yang sebelumnya saya hanya berlatih sendiri saja di kota asal saya.Malam kedua diisi oleh sesi tanya jawab dan banyak hal yang didapat dari sesi ini terutama tentang filosofi parkour, dan beberapa masalah yang biasanya timbul di dalam komunitas parkour. Dan setelah itu peserta memberikan beberapa persembahan dari daerah masing-masing untuk Stephane dan Thomas. Pada saat terakhir Thomas berpesan kepada saya, untuk tetap berlatih keras dan tidak takut untuk mencoba sesuatu, jika ingin mencoba jangan ragu, lakukan dengan percaya diri tetapi jangan sampai melukai diri kita sendiri. Keraguan merupakan sebuah bad habit menurut Thomas. Saya juga bertanya kepada Thomas bagaimana menurut dia perkembangan praktisi perempuan yang mengikuti jamming nasional ini, dan dia berkata bahwa praktisi perempuan yang mengikuti kegiatan ini pemberani dan dia berpesan untuk tetap latihan keras. Lalu berpamitan dan mengucapkan selamat malam untuk para peserta.
Memasuki hari terakhir jamming nasional, saya sebagai salah satu peserta merasa sangat beruntung karena bisa mengikuti kegiatan ini, karena banyak hal yang bermanfaat dan berguna untuk diri saya. Dan bisa menjadi bekal bagi saya untuk berbagi dengan praktisi di kota asal saya. Di saat hari ketiga dimulai, para peserta nampak cukup lelah ketika sarapan, namun sewaktu menuju ITENAS yang menjadi tujuan akhir, semangat para peserta timbul kembali, namun sayang beberapa peserta jamming ada yang kembali lebih awal dari jadwal yang sudah ditentukan karena urusan mereka masing-masing. Sesampainya di tempat tujuan, cuaca pada hari itu cukup terik. Panitia memulai dengan sambutan sekaligus menutup secara simbolik acara jamming nasional, keunikan dari jamming nasional 2010 adalah ketika Stephane dan Thomas memberi sambutan dan bertanya bagaimana keadaan para peserta, serentak menjawab "MBOISS" Kata "mbois" sendiri dipopulerkan oleh komunitas parkour dari Jawa Timur dan Jogjakarta yang sebenarnya berasal dari Bahasa Jawa yang berarti keren, bagus, baik. Dan kata-kata itu muncul pertama kali di Facebook dari teman-teman komunitas parkour yang berdomisili di Jawa Timur.
Setelah memberi sambutan kata-kata perpisahan, peserta memulai pemanasan sebelum berlari. Dan menurut saya acara ini benar-benar sukses, dari awalnya hanya sebuah mimpi ternyata berubah menjadi kenyataan, dan terwujudlah event besar seperti ini. Dan bisa menunjukan bahwa komunitas Parkour Indonesia memang sebuah keluarga besar. Acara dilanjutkan dengan jamming bebas, para peserta bebas untuk bergerak dengan sesuka hati saling berbagi ilmu dan mempelajari teknik bersama. Dan ada kesempatan yang sangat emas bagi praktisi perempuan karena Stephane dan juga Thomas secara langsung membantu kita untuk berani bergerak. Hasilnya para praktisi perempuan sangat senang karena mendapatkan pelajaran langsung dari mereka berdua dan sangat bermanfaat, yang saya suka dari kata-kata mereka adalah bergeraklah mengikuti ritme tubuh bayangkan jika kamu sedang menari. Disitulah letak keindahan parkour untuk perempuan. Semoga pengalaman menarik ini bisa menjadi sebuah memori untuk kita semua dan memacu semangat kita untuk berlatih dengan giat lagi seperti kata Thomas Couetdic "We start together, We finish together no man left behind. We do the same thing." Keep going for all of parkour practitioners
-Pujiati Sharani, Parkour Samarinda
Event Review Rifna
ini adalah pengalaman pertama saya mengikuti jamming nasional 2010. saya sudah genap 2 tahun mengikuti parkour dan baru kali ini saya hadir dalam perhelatan
kabar Stephane Vigroux dan Thomas Couetdic akan datang ke jamnas 2010 menguap ke permuakaan
dan mendapat feed backnya sangat luar biasa sekali. saya kira awalnya anak tangerang hanya ada beberapa yang datang, namun 11 orang anak tangerang termasuk saya yang akan menghadiri jamnas sudah merupakan angka yang luar biasa bagi saya. kabar terakhir yang saya dengar dari teman sekaligus panitia pelaksana jamnas 2010, willy, 150 peserta yang akan datang di perhelatan akbar ini!! wow, luar biasa.
saya agak sedikit was was, takut, tidak percaya diri. saya hanya seorang perempuan yang skill parkournya hanya 0.0001% dari KAT,sedangkan peserta jamnas yagn akan hadir adalah artis artis youtube indonesia. mendadak saya ingin sekali mundur mengingat kekurangan kekurangan disana sini yang amat sangat banyak, tapi di sisi lain, saya membawa nama tangerang, saya adalah salah satu perwakilan dari tangerang, saya harus hadir.
jumat, 24 september. the day
hari itu datang juga. setelah saya hampir tidak bisa tidur karena menahan rasa sakit di perut bercampur dengan perasaan yang meluap luap. saya seperti anak kecil yang mau di ajak jalan jalan ke dufan kepikiran sampai tidak bisa tidur. dilematik
jam 7 tepat bis membawa saya ke bandung beserta 10 peserta lainnya. saya tetap berdoa sepanjang perjalanan semoga sakitnya tidak kumat mendadak. dari twitter dan facebook saya mengetahui bahwa peserta peserta lainnya sudah mulai melakukan regristrasi ulang, dan benar saja tangerang menjadi peserta yang datang paling terakhir
hari pertama acara,sekitar jam 11.30 kami dibawa ke lembang. dari susunan acara kami akan melakukan pendakian. bukit di jalur daki jaya giri selama 2 jam, kemudian running down hill sekitar 2 jam juga. acara di lanjutkan kembali setelah para praktisi selesai shalat jumat, makan siang, dan pembagian kelompok. saya masuk ke kolompok enam, ada 16 orang dalam kelompok kami. 14 praktisi laki laki dan 2 praktisi perempuan. sebelum berangkat ke jayagiri kami di beri pengarahan pengarahan yang harus kami lakukan disana, ada beberapa game yang di persiapkan untuk menjajal kemampuan fisik. saya belum pernah mendaki gunung sebelumnya, saya hanya bisa berdoa lagi dalam hati.
di starting point akhirnya saya bertemu dengen stephane dan thomas. ternyata mereka berdua sangat sangat ramah :) dan acara pun di mulai. pembukaan jamnas 2010 di kaki bukit jaya giri yang di rapel dengan warming up oleh stephane. aksen bahasa inggrisnya yang agak agak prancis jelas terdengar ketika memberi instuksi namun mudah saya mengerti di telinga yang ndeso ini. dan pendakian pun di mulai ketika hukan deras mengguyur bandung. ketakutan saya bertambah lagi. saya alergi dingin. mari berdoa kembali dalam hati.
smua game yang di buat dari pihak panitia satu persatu kami lakukan. gendong gendongan, balance, quadrapedall menanjak di tanah yang becek (seperi merangkak diatas treadhmill) sampai akhirnya kami mendapat gembelangan dari thomas. bersyukur sekali saya bisa di ajari oleh praktisi pakrour macam ini. namun ternyata thomas hanya mengganggap saya sebagai seorang perempuan yang suka buat masalah gara gara saya terperosok dan hampir jatuh di ketinggian.
dan cap trouble maker pun tercap di dahi saya. hah, what a day sepertinya doa doa saya tetap saja tidak membawa saya jauh dari masalah (-.-')
saya tidak pernah memakai jam tangan jadi saya tidak tau brapa lama kami mendaki di bawah guyuran hujan. mungkin sekitar jam 6 kami mulai menuruni bukit. ada beberapa masalah ketika mulai menuruni bukit. banyak dari anggota kami yang membuka sepatunya ketika mendaki sehingga masalah2 seperti terpeleset itu sering kali terjadi. ditambah dengan kurangnya cahaya karena mulai gelap. saya hanya bisa melihat siluet siluet orang yang berada di depan saya dan akar akar pohon yang merintangi jalan membuat saya sering tersandung. dalam keadaan seperti itu saya ingat satu kalimat
"never leave a man behind"
saya berusaha membantu teman teman saya yang susah jalan gara gara tidak pakai sepatu atau yang susah melihat dalam kegelapan. saya tidak kuat, saya hanya bisa menolong yang saya bisa. tapi yang terpenting, saya tidak akan meninggalkan kelompok saya.
jam 21.30. setelah semua tenaga terpakai dalam pendakian, setelah sepatu, baju, celana training basah semua. setelah mandi bersih dan makan malam, semua praktisi berkumpul di aula dalam malam keakraban. semua lelah terasa hilang sejenak, kami tertawa bersama, dan saya bisa berkata
" hai, saya ina, salah satu perwakilan dari parkour tangerang :) "
Sabtu, 25 september. hari ke dua
saya terbangun dalam kondisi seperti habis di pukulin warga gara gara ketauan mencuri. Badan saya saakiitt semua. Tapi tidak menyurutkan semangat saya dalam mengikuti acara hari ke dua. Saya baca rundown hari ini, kami ada 2 kali workshop bersama stephane dan Thomas di ITB. Tidak sabar!!
Kami di bagi dalam 6 grup dengan banyak anggota sekitar 19 - 20 orang dalam satu grup kemudian pemanasan pun dimulai di pimpin oleh Thomas. Banyak sekali variasi variasi gerakan pemanasan yang saya pelajari. Benar benar membuat panas sebelum melakukan gerakan parkour. Saya kira apa yang selama ini saya pelajari sudah cukup berat, ternyata itu masih belum ada apa apanya. Kami melakukan beberapa variasi gerakan quadrapedral, kamudian kami berlari mengelilingi ITB selama kurang lebih 20 menit dengan efek kata kata "never leave a man behind" masih bergelayut di pikiran saya.
Anyway, setiap kali Thomas bertemu dengan saya dia selalu bertanya
"did you make any problem today?"
Damn, ternyata label "troublemaker" masih ada di dahi.
Dan workshop pun dimulai. Panitia sudah menyiapkan 6 spot di dalam area ITB dan masing masing grup akan berkeliling di pimpin oleh para leadernya untuk mencoba stiap spot. 6 spot tersebut dibagi menjadi dua, 3 spot di pegang oleh stephane dan tiga spot di pegang oleh Thomas. Kami mendapat spot bagian Thomas terlebih dahulu. 3 spot kami coba, dan masing masing spot kami melakukan gerakan yang berbeda. Di spot pertama kami melakukan gerakan precision jump selama kurang lebih 10 menit, di spot kedua kami melakukan gerakan cat leap, dan kami bertemu dengan Thomas disana . Saya mendapat oleh oleh saat berada di spot kedua, pegangan bar untuk catleap terlalu tinggi dan lompatan saya yang tidak tinggi membuat saya hanya bisa menyentuh pegangan bar dan lutut kiri saya menghantam tembok dengan cukup keras. Saya mendapat memar dan langsung terkena mental block ketika ingin mencoba kedua kalinya.
Sedikit tips dari Thomas,
"When you want to jump, you jump, or you don't jump at all, but do not jump and was like 'no..no..no'. Because that's dangerous"
Di spot ke tiga, kami melakukan balance di bar selama masing masing kaki 2 menit di pimpin oleh le presidente of parkour bandung, opal. Selesai 3 spot pertama kami break makan siang, istirahat, dan mengerjai sesama praktisi untuk bersenang senang dan bersantai sejenak :) . Namun malang bagi kami, hujan mengguyur bandung kembali dengan derasnya, padahal masih ada 3 spot tersisa dan kelompok kami belum sama sekali di bimbing oleh stephane . Tapi, rasa sesal itu terbayar impas, saat hujan mulai rintik rintik, opal mengusulkan untuk bekeliling ITB sambil berlari bersama Thomas dan stephane. Saya mencoba untuk lari barefoot, auch,,sakit sekali. Di tambah dengan lutut saya yang masih nyut nyutan dan terpentok kembali saat melakukan flow flow kecil. Dobel nyut nyutan :D .
Malamnya, sebenarnya ada acara Ask and Question bersama Thomas dan Stephane di aula, tapi saking capeknya saya ketiduran dan terbangun saat jam 11 dimana smua orang yang berada di aula bertepuk tangan menutup acara tersebut. Hmmm..saya terlambat datang, ada rasa sedikit sesal di hati. But it's ok :)
Minggu, 26 september. The last day
Saya kira, hanya saya seorang yang bangun tidur dengan rasa encok dan linu yang amat sangat luar biasa. Ternyata, saat saya melihat smua praktisi berjalanan agak mengangkang, percaya diri saya naik. Ternyata mereka hanya manusia biasa juga seperti saya :)
Dan ini adalah hari terakhir dalam acara jamnas 2010. Kami melakukan upacara penutupan di ITENAS sekaligus jamming bebas bersama stephane dan Thomas. Moment ini kami abadikan dengan poto bareng mereka dan minta tanda tangan di baju saya agar saya tetap merasa semangat ketika latihan.
Jam 1, saya pamitan kepada seluruh praktisi. Agak sedih, saya pasti akan kangen sekali dengan suasana jamnas yang hiruk pikuk. Ketika berpamitan dengan Stephen saya ingin bernyanyi time to say goodbye nya Sarah Brightman, tapi mengingat saya ngomong aja fals, saya tidak jadi nyanyi. Dan ketika berpamitan dengan Thomas, dia memandang saya seakan akan berkata
"stay away from problem young lady"
- Rifna Nurrahmawati
Parkour Tangerang, 28 September 2010
Parkour Indonesia adalah wadah dan forum untuk seluruh komunitas parkour yang ada di Indonesia. Informasi seputar berita, artikel, filosofi, pemahaman, dan jadwal latihan komunitas bisa didapatkan lewat http://www.parkourindonesia.web.id.
Parkour Generations holds indoor and outdoor classes for men and women in London. For monthly girls' jams in London, please email girls (at) parkourgenerations (dot) com . For more information on their services, check out their website at http://www.parkourgenerations.com
All photos by Daniel Giovanni, thank you Daniel for organizing the event reviews
24th, 25th & 26th September 2010
Jamming National Parkour Indonesia 2010
Sunday, September 26 2010
The 3rd day of Parkour Indonesia National Jamming.
We trained at ITENAS (Institut Teknologi Nasional) - Bandung. This place has some interesting spots to train. Although that day was a free jamming session, as usual, before start to train we did warm-up and run session. Stephane lead the warm-up and Thomas lead run session.
After have a break and drink for a few minutes, we started to try some obstacles there. I saw some boys were installing the portable obstacle made of metal pipes. After the obstacle had been installed, the girls were invited to try it. Thomas and Stephane guided us there.
For a few minutes, I just look at it and I still remember what my mind told to myself "o my god, I don't know what to do with this obstacle" while one by one the girl tried to do whatever some vaults. They do safety vault, under-bar vault, lazy vault and emmm ...yeah... lazy vault! That's what I have been practising for about last 5 months.
"Ok girl, you know what you have to do now. Just simply imagine how to do that lazy vault on this obstacle" I heard my mind talk to me...
I still can remember I was too nervous to think...
"I know that I can do that" I shout to myself
Ok, I decided to do lazy vault whatever the result! Yup, whatever..
And that "whatever" thing brought me to a failure. O' God...lucky me that was not a horrible accident. I'm still ok.
I need to take a breath for a while. I almost gave up...but no, "don't give up. You know exactly how to do it! Come on...just imagine the movement, and try again"
"Ok then, I will"
Before the second time I tried my lazy vault, I stared to Thomas who were standing to keep us safe on my right and Stephane on left.
Stephane said "come on, you just need more power...more power"
I tried to focus on that about 1 meter height metal pipe on my left side.
Take a deep breath...and... yeah!! I did it!!
I was so happy. Yeah, I was happy just because I did it. That was probably a very simple vault for other girls, and boys (of course) but still, I was really proud of myself (I kept this proud for myself only). This is a big goal for me but maybe it is not special for the others.
This is why I love parkour.
I don't need to be like someone else. My progress is maybe too slow compared to others. Maybe I have too complicated worries-management (my own word) system inside my brain. But, again, this is me...
While waiting for the lunch time, we had a question & answer session (thank you for Thomas for answering every single question-that seemed like it had been asked repeatly). There were so many topics we discussed that time. One thing I remember and will never forget is that he said something like "you have to adapt the obstacles, not the obstacles adapt you"...
Because every problem we face in our life is an obstacle and sometimes it's just unpredictable...
Go girl parkour!
- Ika Rahmawati,Parkour Jakarta
Day 1 Friday
The day of the National Parkour Indonesia Jam (JamNas) started with registration of the JamNas attendees which took place from 8am to 11am while waiting for the other participants to arrive at the accommodation at No. 119 RE Martadinata Road, Bina Marga Building. The weather in the morning during the registration session was still sunny and it was filled with a lot of enthusiasm from everyone gathered there. Practitioners from all over Indonesia came through the gates in high spirits and everyone was happily greeting and welcoming each other.
After everyone was ready and had registered with the organizers, the event proceeded to the valley. Exactly at 11:30am for Friday prayers, everyone headed to the mosque at the first waiting point to sit and have lunch. For the muslim men, they went to fulfil their sholat prayers and during this time, several participants who didn't attend trained with the others. After everyone had reassembled and taken their lunch organized by the committee, we continued onwards to a hill and waited for the arrival of Thomas Couetdic and Stephane Vigroux. Once they had arrived, JamNas 2010 was officially started by the committee head and the two Parkour Generations representatives. Stephane and Thomas led everyone assembled there in a warm up and divided us up into several teams for the challenge of climbing Mount Jayagiri. This was the first time I had trained in a place that was truly surrounded by nature. The weather up to that point had been drizzling but when the first team passed the gates into Jayagiri, the drizzle turned into a downpour but the rain didn't affect the enthusiasm of the participants.
The challenge for us was not just to climb the mountain but also additional challenges were provided such as balancing on fallen trees. Here, we were really tested on our team work and much more. Because of the continuous rain on the day, the weather was really cold and the trekking location was very slippery. Quite a few of us fell because of the slippery mud, the rocky terrain and protruding tree roots. On our first day, we continued training until the darkness of the night descended on us and each and every one of us were covered with mud and drenched from the rain and our sweat. However I swear that the stamina of the participants was really strong because laughter still filled the air on the way back to our lodging. Back at our lodging, the social session event continued.
During the social session, all participants introduced themselves and the district that they had come from, how they developed their parkour and their training methods. Most effectively, several participants from many places filled social night with jokes and laughter and for a while, we forgot our feeling of fatigue from covering those vast distances. As the social night drew to a close, we left the room and headed to our respective beds for the night.
Day 2 Saturday
On the morning of Saturday, 25th of September, the event started when the organizers woke us up for the communal breakfast. The morning was still sunny at the accommodation. After breakfast, the participants got ready to go to the ITB to carry out the second day of the national jam. In high sprits on that morning, everyone was ready for the workshop to be taught by Stephane Vigroux and Thomas Couetdic. As before, we travelled via military transport. When we arrived at ITB, everyone was divided into the same groups as during the first day and before starting the workhop everyone warmed up and ran for 20 minutes. Then the assigned challenges were given. Each group had the opportunity to learn parkour at a designated spot until 12 noon. I also gained a lot of experience learning about each spot but unfortunately the weather was not on our side and so each group only got 3 spots. Should all participants finish 6 spots, so while waiting for the rain to subside, so we filled the time by joking with each other. Not long afterwards, Thomas and Stephane invited us to run around the ITB in the rain. Because I was afraid to get my shoes wet and not having a spare pair, I and several others decided to just run barefoot. The challenge of running the rain was felt even more because I did not have any soles. I was only able to finish halfway because at that moment both of my calves cramped up. But at least I had a very memorable experience.
While waiting for the pickup back to our accommodation, everyone was taking group photos with each other and created a really friendly atmosphere. Yes, this is because at this moment, all the practitioners who are normally scattered all across Indonesia were gathered together and I am very happy to share this experience with other women because in my hometown I am the only female practitioner. On the second night was the question and answer session and many issues were discussed during this session especially the philosophy of parkour and common problems in the parkour community. Afterwards, the participants from every district carried out performances for Stephane and Thomas. Finally, Thomas advised me to continue training hard and to not be afraid to try something, if I were to try, not to doubt myself, to act and believe in myself but not to the point of injuring ourselves. According to Thomas, doubt is a bad habit. I also asked Thomas how, according to him, the female practitioners in this national jam could continue developing and he said that the female pracitioners who carry out this discipline are courageous and he advised to continuing training hard. Finally, we said our goodbyes and goodnights to each other.
Day 3 Sunday
Going into the last day of the national jam, as one of the participants, I felt very fortunate because I could take part because many things were beneficial and useful for me and could be a resource for me to share with the other practitioners in my home town. On the morning of the third day, the participants looked really tired during breakfast, it was a pity that some participants had to return earlier than the arranged schedule because of their personal arrangements. However while heading towards our final destination at the ITENAS, our spirits returned. When we arrived at our destination, the weather on the day was quite hot. The organizers commenced the symbolic closing ceremony of the national jam, the best part of the national jam 2010 was when Stephane and Thomas gave a speech and asked how everyone was? All of us in unison replied "MBOISS". The word "mbois" itself was made popular by the East Java and Jogjakarta parkour community, the word comes from the Javanese language that means cool, great, good. And these words first came to light on Facebook from our friends in the parkour communities in East Java.
After giving a closing speech and parting words, the participants started the warm up before running. I think that this event is really sucessful because at the beginning, it was only a dream but has now become a reality and now we have this big event which shows that the Parkour Indonesia community is truly a big family. The participants continued the day with the free jamming when everyone was allowed to move as they like, share knowledge and to learn techniques together. There was a golden opportunity for the female practitioners because Stephane and Thomas were personally helping us to gain some confidence in our movements. As a result, the female practitioners were able to learn directly from them both and this was very beneficial. What I liked was when they said, to move according to the rhythm of your body and to imagine that you are dancing. Therein lies the beauty of parkour for women. I hope that we will remember our interesting experiences and encourage our passion to train with even more diligence. As Thomas Couetdic said, "We start together, We finish together no man left behind. We do the same thing" Keep going, all parkour practitioners.
-Pujiati Sharani, Parkour Samarinda
This is my first experience attending the national jam (JamNas) 2010. I have been practising parkour for just 2 years and this is the first time I've participated in an event of this size.
The news had just surfaced that Stephane Vigroux and Thomas Couetdic would be coming to JamNas and I found that the feedback was extraordinary. At the start, I counted only a few attending from Tangerang but 11 people attending JamNas from Tangerang including myself , was an amazing number to me. The latest news that I heard from my friend and JamNas committee member Willy, was that 150 people would be attending this annual event!! Wow, awesome.
I had a few misgivings, was afraid and didn't believe in myself. I'm only a girl whose parkour skill is 0.0001% of KAT's (Kat de la Torre), while the participants who would attend JamNas were stars of Youtube Indonesia. Suddenly, I wanted to back out thinking of my various weaknesses, of which there were many, but with the others, I brought the name of Tangerang, I am one of the Tangerang representatives and I have to be there.
Friday, 24 September, the day.
The day finally arrived. After I almost could not sleep because of a painful stomach and feeling like I wanted to throw up, I felt like a weak child who had to be taken by the hand until I couldn't sleep. What a dilemma.
At 7 o'clock sharp, Bis brought me to Bandung with the other 10 participants. I was praying throughout the whole journey that the pain would not worsen. From Twitter and Facebook I found out that the other attendees had already completed their registration and that Parkour Tangerang were actually the last group to arrive.
The first day of the event, at around 11:30 we were brought to the valley and from the event schedule we would be doing a 2 hour climb of Mount Jayagiri, then running downhill for 2 hours. The event commenced after the practitioners had carried out friday sholat prayers, lunch and divided into groups. I was in group 6, there were 16 people in our group: 14 male practitioners and 2 female practitioners. Before leaving for Jayagiri, we were given directions about what we were going to do there, a few games had been prepared to judge our physical capabilities. I had never climbed a mountain before, I could only pray again in my heart.
At the starting point, finally I met Stephane and Thomas, it turns out that they are very very friendly :) And the event started. Stephane opened JamNas 2010 at the foothills of Jayagiri with a warming up session. His English had a very very obvious French accent when he gave us instructions but he was easy to understand. And then the climbing started while the heavy Bandung rain poured down. My fears only increased as I get the chills easily. I started praying again in my heart.
We then did all the each games made by the committee. Carrying each other, balance, quadrepedal movement uphill on the muddy ground (like crawling on a treadmill) until finally we finished Thomas's training. I was so thankful to be taught by a parkour practitioner of his calibre. Although obviously Thomas only considered me as a girl who likes to cause mischief with my actions for example when I almost fell from a high place and the stamp of "troublemaker" was placed on my forehead. Hah, what a day. It was as if my prayers did not help place me out of trouble's reach. (-.-")
I never wear a watch so I didn't know for how long we were climbing under the rain. Maybe at around 6 o'clock we started downhill. There were a few problems when we started descending, many of us took off our shoes when climbing, resulted in problems frequently occuring, such as slipping. In addition to the loss of daylight because night was approaching, I could only see the silhouettes of the people right in front of me and the roots of the trees crossing the path made me trip a lot. In these conditions, I remembered one sentence:
"Never leave a man behind"
I tried to help my friends who were having difficulty in walking because they were shoeless or those who were in the dark. I'm not strong, I can only help those that I can. But the most important thing was that I didn't leave my team.
9:30p.m. After all the strength had been used up in the climb, after shoes, shirts, wet training trousers were completely soaked, after taking a shower and dinner, all the practitioners assembled for the social meeting. All the tiredness disappeared momentarily, we laughed together and I could say:
"Hi, I'm Ina, one of the representatives from Parkour Tangerang :)"
Saturday, 25 September, Day 2.
I woke up feeling as if I'd just been beaten up by some thieves who had crept in during the night. My body huuuuuuurt everywhere. But it didn't dampen my excitement for the second day. I read the day's rundown, we had 2 workshops with Stephane and Thomas at ITB. Can't wait!
We were divided into 6 groups of around 19 or 20 people in each group, then Thomas started to lead the warm up. I learnt many variations of warm up movements. Really intensive warm up before doing parkour. I thought that what I learnt before was tough, but obviously that was only average. We carried out several variations of quadrepedal movements, then we ran around the ITB for about 20 minutes, while in my mind, the words of "never leave a man behind" were still in my mind.
Anyway, every time Thomas met me he always asked,
"Did you make any problem today?"
Dang, obviously the label of "troublemaker" is still stamped on my forehead.
And the workshop started. The committee had prepared 6 spots in the ITB area and each group led by their leader would rotate between each spot to try them. 6 spots were divided to become 2, 3 spots were held by Stephane and 3 spots were held by Thomas. We got Thomas's spot first. We tried 3 spots and at each spot we did different movements. At the first spot we did precision jumps for about 10 minutes, at the second spot, we did cat leap (saut du chat) and we met with Thomas there. I found that when I was at the second spot, the grip of the bar for the catleap (SDC) was too high and because my jump was not high enough, I could only just touch the grip and my left knee slammed hard into the wall. I got a bruise and was seriously affected by a mental block when I wanted to try a second time.
A few tips from Thomas,
"When you want to jump, you jump, or you don't jump at all, but do not jump and was like "no..no..no". Because that's dangerous"
At the third spot, Opal, the president of Parkour Bandung led us on some balancework on a bar, alternating each foot for 2 minutes. After the first 3 spots, we took a break for lunch, rest and chatting and laughing with the other practitioners. :) Unfortunately for us, Bandung's heavy rains returned full force. There were still 3 spots left and our group had not yet been taught by Stephane :( But our spirits picked up, because when the rain had reduced, Opal proposed to run around the ITB with Thomas and Stephane. I tried to run barefoot, ouch, it hurt a lot. Also my knee that was still throbbing and bruised came back the moment I did small movements. Double throbbing :D
At night, there was a Question and Answer session with Thomas and Stephane in the hall, but from exhaustion I dozed off and woke up at 11pm when everyone in the hall was clapping and finishing the event. Hmm.. I arrived late and really regretted it. But it's ok :)
Sunday, 26 September, the last day
I think, I'm the only one who gets up with feeling really stiff and immobile. So, when I saw that everyone else was walking rather akwardly, my self confidence increased. Evidently, they are human too just like me :)
And this was the last day of JamNas 2010. We did the closing ceremony in ITENAS and then free jamming with Stephane and Thomas. We took photos with them to remember this moment and asked them to autograph my shirt so that I would feel motivated during training.
At 1 o'clock, I bid farewell to all the practitioners. Quite sad, I will definitely miss the hustle and bustle of JamNas. When saying goodbye to Stephane I wanted to sing "Time to Say Goodbye" by Sarah Brightman but then I remembered that I was only daydreaming, so I didn't sing. And when saying goodbye to Thomas, he looked at me as if saying:
"Stay away from problems young lady"
- Rifna Nurrahmawati
Parkour Tangerang, 28 September 2010
Parkour Indonesia is the place and forum for the entire Indonesian parkour community. Information about news, articles, philosophies, understanding and community training schedules can be found at http://www.parkourindonesia.web.id.
Parkour Generations holds indoor and outdoor classes for men and women in London. For Imonthly girls' jams in London, please email girls (at) parkourgenerations (dot) com . For more information on their services, check out their website at http://www.parkourgenerations.com
All photos by Daniel Giovanni, thank you Daniel for organizing the event reviews
18th & 19th September 2010
Uppsala Girls Gathering 2010
Day 1 Saturday
On Saturday morning parkour family Stockholm squashed into the little white car, and once the transition between togs and undies had officially been established, we arrived to our ominously wet destination. Uppsala Sweden. Uppsala is slightly north of Stockholm and is home to many students and a very positive and enthusiastic training group known as Uppsala Parkour (the organizers of the gathering). The growing numbers of female practitioners in Uppsala inspired the idea to hold a gathering in 2010. Girls came from many different cities from all over Sweden, there were also some international participants including myself of course and a girl from Czech Republic.
As soon as we hit Uppsala the windscreen wipers were turned on, we found a car park and us girls went off to find a toilet (because we all know that there is nothing worse that training when you need to pee). We headed over to the train station to meet the girls and start the day. Everyone was really enthusiastic and energetic, it was also nice catching up with people I hadn't seen in a long time, the other girls from Stockholm were shocked to see so many girls, it was weird because it has always just been us three. We were divided into three groups; fortunately us three from Stockholm ended up working together.
All 42 of us participating girls (and of course the inevitable gaggle of tag-along boys) headed over to some undercover stairs to begin the day, Therese (Uppsala Parkour) welcomed us to the event and introduced the instructors for the weekend. We also learnt the phrase 'start together' 'finish together' (Börja tillsammans, Svensk tillsammans…just because we aren't in Finland) must be completed in unison.
We were fortunate enough to have Dan Edwardes from Parkour Generations lead the warm up. The warm up involved first working through the major muscles and joints and then we worked on basic quad movements. It was great to have such an experienced instructor and I was immediately taken by the energy of his movement, even when demonstrating quad movement variations. It reminded me of the energy I feel sometimes when I jump with no shoes. We worked on our techniques while simultaneously trying not to get hit by a bicycle, which proved to be no easy task considering that the cycle path had not been painted in a straight line.
After warm up we split into groups to work on some movement techniques involving rails. It was great to get the chance to work with Naomi of PKG, she had a lot of technique knowledge which was great and she had a lot of encouragement for us girls, whether we were new to parkour or more experienced I think we gained a lot. Of course by this point we were all rather wet (especially after the suspicious first butterfly'esk ' vaulting maneuver, where one's stomach greeted the wet rail). We did our best to keep warm, which of course in Sweden involves, a lot of jumping, singing, shouting and dancing (all simultaneously of course). The rain continued to get heaver and heaver and a decision was made to move the remainder of the day's activities inside. Of course by the time we made it to the gym we were as wet as humanly possible without actually being submerged in water. (Of course most people took the bus, but we were just too hardcore), it was also a good chance to get to know some of the other participants…there's nothing like bonding over extreme weather conditions.
In the gym we first worked on different vaults, Dan encouraged us not to get hung up on specific techniques and rather focus on moving efficiently over the obstacle. Some of the obstacles were quite high for us shorties and our vaults ended up getting rather extreme, (including a wonderful variation of a vault by one of us from Stockholm that involved dangling from one leg and an elbow with one's head directly above the ground. ) Needless to say she was slightly traumatized and happy to be alive. After the vaults we split into groups to work on some techniques, Cat leaps, running precision, rolls, and other vaults and movements. After another hour or so, we did a warm down with Annty from PKG, which was very comprehensive and I definitely learnt a couple of new stretches. After warm down training was over for the first day. We found that we missed training with our boys more than we thought, and were happy when we were finally reunited.
After a short break we listened to a talk about injuries which by this stage we were all extremely tired and wanting to catch up with the rest of our group, so we were all a bit agitated and found it difficult to concentrate, (especially for me since I had pretty much done the same lesson with all my fifth grade classes 2 weeks earlier.) Soon after this the boys burst into the gym in their usual 'full-on' fashion (not that we couldn't hear them coming from 2 blocks away) and began tearing around. Some of us went down to get some food and ended meeting some other girls at the restaurant and had a great time just hanging out and meeting new people. I think the 'ParKul' (parkour tag) and general energetic randomness probably continued until about 11pm after which a sensible Stockholm Parkour Academy representative encouraged sleep. So we all settled into our makeshift gym mat beds for the night. In the morning we headed back to the train station for day 2.
Day 2 Sunday
Day two involved both the boys and the girls and we were a group of around 100. Dan led the warm up and some brutal conditioning involving a lot of quads up and down the stairs, which was exactly what I needed. After the warm up, I was approached by a woman for an interview (who was stoked by the fact that us girls were just as strong as the boys.) which ended up being quite amusing when the rest of the Stockholm family got involved, and tried to explain the concept of the 'cork press'. We were divided into mixed groups and went to a spot to train. We must have been about 20-30 people. Annty showed us a great parkour game which was really fun (but we had to cheat with rubbish bins). We had to get in a line and follow the leader, the leader had to create a path for the rest of us, by passing obstacles without touching the ground, if they fell they had to go to the back of the line, and there was a new leader.
We went back to the train station and concluded the official part of the gathering with epic conditioning and stretching once again led by Dan of PKG. After warm down we went to get some lunch before the free jam, at this point it started to once again bucket down, and after many tribulations the stockholmians being all out of rain enthusiasm decided to pack it in, and return home, tired and satisfied after an amazing weekend of parkour and friends.
A big thanks to Therese the organizers of the event and the rest of Uppsala Parkour for hosting the great event. Thanks to the Parkour Generations instructors, Dan Edwardes, Annty Marais and Naomi Honey, thank you for inspiring us with your skill and passion for parkour And of course a big thank you to my parkour family who I would truly be lost without. I love you all so much.
- Hayley Brice-Nicolson
Photo credit: Therese Gunnarsson
You can find Uppsala Parkour at their Facebook page or email them at info(dot)upk(at)gmail(dot)com .
Parkour Academy is located in Stockholm, Sweden and holds regular classes. Find them at their website http://parkouracademy.se/
Parkour Generations holds indoor and outdoor classes for men and women in London. For more information on their next women's class or jam, check out their website http://www.parkourgenerations.com
Friday 4th June 2010
I wake with the aid of my alarm for the second day in a row. I had packed everything the night before, ready to grab and go. Outside, it's wet, fresh rain falling for most of the night. I slip my toes into the holes of my fivefingers and make my way to the free hotel breakfast. It isn't much, just some slices of bread and bagels in individual ziplock bags, pitchers of milk and orange juice, and spreads: fake butter, cream cheese, peanut butter and jelly. I settle for two toasted slices of bread smeared thickly with cream cheese, and a glass of milk. Other traceurs begin to trickle in. Some I met last night, others I've never seen before. At roughly 6:30, we move outside, waiting for the pickup. The Horizons guys show soon after, and everyone gets in a car. We reconvene at Tuttle Rec Center, near OSU campus, and begin the long business of signing in.
After everyone signs in, and we have all mingled and milled around, exchanging pleasantries in anticipation, the call goes out - find a ride. Back to the parking lot, and we're off, for an hour or so's drive through the heart of Ohio, gradually getting farther and farther from civilization. When we do pull in to the parking lot at Hocking Hills, everyone is eager. Anticipation under runs the chatter, because "That's Châu, look, he's standing right there!"
Credit: Kaisen Necho
As I head in search of a bathroom, I pass Laurent heading the opposite way. He catches my eye, smiles, and nods his head in greeting. I smile back, waiting till he's past to let the crazy grin show on my face.
When I return, we're gathering. Everyone's attention is on Dan, who can talk the loudest in English.
He introduces all the people from Majestic Force and Parkour Generations, divides us up into four groups. "I want all the girls in group one!" He calls. "That way you can work with Annty!" decision made for me, I struggle through the already-forming lines to the far side of the parking lot.
Our group gathers up on a hill, crouched. Yann talks, Annty translates. "The most important things are listen, and look." He tells us. "You have obligation to know your limits, don't get hurt, but train hard. Be safe, I don't want you to get hurt."
And we're off, running, running, across the street, down the hill, past the bathrooms which now have bus-loads of elementary school kids milling about near them. Suddenly we descend into a dark tunnel with stairs. It's okay, until people in front start to block the only light coming up from below. The stairs are slippery from yesterday's rain, uneven and steep. I descend carefully, slowly, one hand on the handrail. No good getting injured before training even begins.
Then I'm out and wow! Sandstone walls rise to the right and behind us, while to the front and left, the earth drops away into mist, green treetops, waterfalls and river hundreds of feet below. We want to pause and take in the sight, but there's no time - Yann and Alli yelling "Come on, guys, come on, come on!"
Credit: Andy Keller
Around the curve of sandstone wall, down a steep wooden staircase, along a path, over a bridge, before finally coming to a stop. A moment to breathe. Yann gathers us.
"You have obligation to your friends. To keep them safe. That is why, we say 'We start together, we finish together.' Try. We start together -"
"We finish together!"
"Good! Keep the energy. Good energy. Smile. Now I say, 'One Earth', you say 'One Core'." He presses a fist to his chest. "Our heart is like the core. One Earth -"
"One Core!" Some say core, some say crew. The accent makes it hard to distinguish the actual word, but it doesn't really matter. Only the energy and the spirit matter.
Then we split into three groups for warmup. First I'm with Yann. He leads very physically, very nonverbally.
"Hmm." he declares, outlining his posture with his hands, telling us to use our eyes. Slowly he shifts position. "Hmm." Slowly, we copy him. Crouching to standing, then stepping side to side, his "Hmm"s take on a humming quality and the movements are almost like a dance. Side, back. Other side, back, up, down. When we start doing butt spins in the mud, I'm glad I wore my water-resistant clothes.
Credit: Kaisen Necho
It seems like much longer than five minutes, because I can feel my heartbeat and sweat is pouring down my face in no time.
"Annty, Alli, switch!" He calls.
"Hold on!" Alli calls back, watching his group carry each other piggyback up some stairs.
"While we wait, we jump!" commands Yann. "Not so fast, not pph pph pph-" he makes out of breath noises - "Then you are tired. Don't tired. Just jump." It makes sense.
Alli's group is finished, so we switch.
"What did he have you do?"
"Lots of QM, very leg and thigh heavy." We reply.
"Okay, lets do some upper body stuff." Alli demonstrates walking along the wall in the plank position, hands on the ground, feet on the wall. "when you get to the end, five press ups. And while you're waiting, squat, like this, like you're sitting in an invisible chair. It should suck." It does.
"When you're done, go the other way, and ten press-ups."
On the last person's last press ups, we all jump in and do them together.
Credit: Kaisen Necho
"We start together, we finish together!"
Than it's Annty's turn. She kicks our butts with fifty lunges. "Take a big enough step so that when you go down, your knee is still behind your toe. That'll keep your joints safe."
Then we do all kinds of pushup variations. Fingertips, wide, tight, one hand, one foot. Sweat falls from my face to the forest floor. Then, the warmup is over.
Credit: Kaisen Necho
Yann gathers us all in a line facing a wall by the flight of stairs. The exercise is to climb up, run or QM along, then drop and get back in line. We do one, two, three sections of the wall. Then over to the bridge, and putting our hands on one side and our feet on the other, traverse. When you get to the end, QM back underneath everyone. Then we run up over the bridge again, coming down near some low stone walls on either side of the path. We are to precision up then down. I jump across, up, and catch myself in support, climb up, turn around. The other wall taunts me. I know I have the distance, but the drop throws me. Everyone else in my group has done it, is back in line. At a signal from Yann, they all start to clap and cheer me. I feel like rolling my eyes. Now I have to. Alli is standing near the wall. "You've got to decide that you'll land there. Will you land there?" I nod. He's spotting me, everyone's watching, it'll be okay. I jump, land. More cheers, high fives on the way back to line. Adrenaline. I get up again, turn around again. "Jump farther than you did last time." Alli urges. My landing isn't the most graceful, almost bottoming out, but I did go farther.
Lunchtime. Fifteen or twenty minutes to rest. I have an energy bar, peanuts covered in peanut butter. This is not really conducive to paleo. Oh well.
After lunch we move on. Climb along the huge set of stairs, follow the trail- or near the trail. We reach a rock overhang near another bridge, eventually, and divide up again. This time I'm with Alli, playing on some giant rocks. We jump and climb, playing different games. Add on, least number of steps, quickest time, most creative. I collect a few bruises on my shins, and a whole bunch of mud, nicely distributed in a diagonal line down my back.
Credit: Kaisen Necho
Then it's switch to follow Yann, and somehow I end up right behind him. We crawl up hills, jump off rocks and across streams before reaching the destination. A sandstone structure, sticking out over the water. A ledge over part of a hill. A boulder to palmspin. He sets us up in a circuit. Palmspin, crawl around, precision down, crawl up, parallel walk over two rocks, and start again. I rapidly lose fear of the jump. For one, there's a whole bunch of places to land, even if I don't hit the square foot of mud that's the target - but I do, every time. Yann is standing near, spotting. "Get down," he says, "Look at it. Breathe. Smile. Calm. Jump." It works like a charm, and I realize even more, the underlying psychology. I can hit the target. There's nothing really to be afraid of. But if I act like there is, then there is. Breathe. Smile. Calm. Jump.
"You have obligation to smile." He tells us."Everything better if you smile. Good energy." Also, I'm jumping from my feet, a good five feet below my eyes, so it's not as tall as my brain thinks. And my body knows what to do. After maybe ten times around, Yann stops us.
"Now just the girls. If I clap once, slow. Twice, fast." either way, we're going faster - less people, less wait time. Five or six times later, he stops us again, comes over, takes a firm grip on the waistband of my pants and my shirt, near the small of my back.
"Backflip." Wha..? I waste time trying to decide if he's serious. He is. I get up and halfway back, but my jumping muscles are fried and he has to pull me through the last part of the rotation. Then it's everyone else's turn, and the boy's turn to jump, fast. When they're done, we all move back to the rocks where we left our stuff. We're told very firmly to sit down, drink water, and rest for a few minutes.
Then we start the climb back to the top of the ridge. Every so often, Yann will see a possibility and call out "Four people!" or "Eight people!" and show them what to do. I try to keep my balance hopping between the stones that border the trail. We reach the top of the ridge and it's soon time for stretch-out. Annty, Alli and Yann each take turns giving us stretches as our heart rates return to normal.
Credit: Kaisen Necho
Yann closes the stretch out, then has us lie on our backs with our eyes closed and do breathing exercises. in through the nose, out through the mouth, In through the mouth, out through the nose. Then we lie with our eyes closed some more, under strict orders.
"Keep your eyes closed, don't move." Time stretches on, I feel the sun beating down. I hear footsteps. Time keeps going. At one point, I forget where I am, what I'm doing. I wonder how long we'll lie here. Yann steps near me. "Keep your eyes closed!" He claps his hands sharply above me. A drop of water falls on my face. I twitch, but keep my eyes closed. Minutes later, Annty picks up my arm.
"Relax, close your eyes." She says. She pulls my arm, then my other arm, then both, in what feels almost like kiatsu. Then she grabs my ankles and pulls on my legs, shakes them back and forth. I continue lying there. Minutes later, Yann speaks again.
"Sit up slowly, keep your eyes closed. Then open them. Stand up, slowly." Not too fast, you might get a head rush. He gathers us into the center, then says
"Go back, find exactly where you were lying, then lie down again." We do so. He looks at us, eyes twinkling mischievously.
"Are you sure?"
Training is over.
We drive back the hour to OSU campus for a video presentation and Q&A. Surprisingly, we're the first ones there. I buy a banana and chocolate milk in the cafeteria, then make conversation as others arrive. The Generaions/Yamakasi guys are sill going at it; handstands, push ups, playing with the rail by the wall. Julie Angel gives us an insightful talk about her work and her relationship with Parkour Generations and Majestic Force, and shows us some of her work. Then we have a Q&A with the guys, and Dan explains the ADAPT certifications.
Our gracious driver then takes us back to our hotel. I catch a shuttle to the airport in hopes of food, but soon discover I'm more tired than hungry. I shuttle back, take a shower and attempt to wash my clothes at the same time, then fall into bed ridiculously early, thinking only Another two days? Well, I survived the first...
Saturday 5th June 2010 Day 2
I wake normally. I'm not as sore as I thought I'd be, except for my quads. Those, somehow, are tight bundles of shredded pain, making sitting down and getting back up again an endurance exercise. And what with the two-plus liters of water I've been drinking… I get a lot of practice in pain tolerance. I walk somewhat stiltedly to the kitchenette. Traceurs are gathering again and availing themselves of the scant breakfast. I go outside to wait for rides. Two cars pull up, leaving only Dan and I. The drivers assure us someone else is on their way. After just a bit, Mike pulls up in his pickup truck. We pile in and we're off! After an adventure with the highways of Ohio and the "dizzle-tizzle" district (?) we arrive at Battelle Riverfront Park. We're still early - some newcomers and some people I recognize from yesterday are already milling about, but mostly it's just waiting. Then it's sign-in again. They mark my wristband with red sharpie. When everyone's signed in, Dan sends us over to warm-up with Blane.
Saturday 5th June 2010
Credit: Nick Kelly
We spread out wide enough that we can hold our arms out without bumping into anyone. Blane starts with some squats, and then a set of exercises that build on each other; squatting, pushups, dives. We stand back up again and run in place. "Faster, guys, come on, faster!" The sounds of feet hitting the concrete in rapid succession. "Okay, now, slowly." Then fast again, bending to touch the ground when Blane yells "Down!", jumping and tucking when he says "Up!" and all in between pounding my legs like pistons as fast as they'll go. I feel a bit like a football player - I have a slight urge to growl and throw my shoulder into someone's waist for a tackle.
"I don't want to hear your landings, guys!" Blane yells before having us jump again.
More sweat. This is just silly. I'm from Texas, it's a good ten degrees hotter there than it is here - but of course, I've never worked this hard there.
Credit: Nic Moore
When the warm up is over, we separate into groups again. Then we head to our first station. Yann and Annty, on some low walls on the far end of the park. Yann leads us in a shorter version of his warm up from yesterday, then on a leisurely path around the area, exploring all the obstacles there, getting familiar with them, checking the surfaces. Then he has us line up in four lines. We are to vault the first rail -he demonstrates the difference between smoothly and naturally overcoming it, and approaching it like it's something in the way that takes a lot of thought -stomping, breathing hard. We land without sound - ideally - and continue to the concrete wall, performing a butt-spin on it thrice before dismounting and returning to the line. Again, Yann uses his clapping - once is slow, twice is fast. I have to be careful not to get kicked or kick anyone as I go over the rail. After this, he pulls us all over to the concrete wall to work on palm spins. "Two lines!" he says. "If you're confident, here, if you're not, here." He makes the confident line go through while he's watching them. "No - go to the other line." Annty translates: "You hit your feet - he wants you in the other line. If you do it three times in that line without hitting your feet, you can come back here." I watch Yann teach the mechanics to those in front of me in line. One hand is a pivot point, and the other is there to provide rotation. I haven't studied the mechanics of the palmspin too closely before - it's not what I would call an efficient movement - but suddenly it makes beautiful sense. All too soon, though, it's time to switch stations. The students move counterclockwise, meaning we have a jog to the other end of the park, and the instructors move clockwise. It's an ingenious system, assuring no one gets bored teaching, and every group has a different experience.
At the other end of the park, we're with Stephane and Alli. We subdivide again. Alli explains the course. Climb up, precision across, run along, over two walls, up a hill, up a wall and a rail, over the rail, back down, over a wall, down, across, and dive roll up the stairs. It's a brilliantly fun course, but just one pass leaves me breathing heavy. And of course, we don't just do one pass.
"On the next one, guys, try to catch the person in front of you!" Oh boy.
After that, it's up to the top rail to try some turn vaults.
"One hand on the rail facing out, the other facing in. Pull your left leg up and put it on the rail. Thread your right leg through and grab the rail with your other hand." I get on top and teeter.
"Thread your leg through!" Alli says. "You're holding on.you're strong up here."
I thread through and drop my feet onto the ledge below. Then it's scale down the wall, back up, on top of the rail, balance, then drop down. The next group goes and we wait in our suck-ish squat position.
Next we form a line at one end of the wall adjacent to the rail. The challenge is to cat-hang shuffle across the wall, get on top of the rail, and balance across. In front of me is Lilly, an eight year old girl there with her father and older sister, who is doing spectacularly. We do a few more balance exercises, then it's time for lunch. I go out in the city in search of sustenance. I know my water isn't going to last me the rest of the day. I purchase another liter, a 20 oz powerade, and a bag of potato chips mainly for the salt and electrolyte content. I down these and a cliff bar. Definitely not paleo, but oh well. The trend continues, and I think I can make an exception for this weekend. Extraordinary circumstances. I need calories.
After lunch we're with Chau and Dom. They warm us back up again by following a path - jumping, cat shimmying, and ending with timed hugs on giant pillars. Then we form two lines facing a wall.
"I don't know what the English is, but we call this a tic-tak, or a tak-tic. Just run at it for now, and go up, forget about your hands."
Step by step he adds something new to each pass of the wall. Eventually we are tacking up, butt spinning across, jumping down, dive rolling up stairs, climbing up another wall, sprinting up a hill, swinging ourselves over a wall, precisioning, dropping down, going down the hill, and rolling on the concrete at the bottom.
Then it's Dan and Blane. Dan immediately has us warm up for our movements with high knees.
We're at an area of grass with widely spaced concrete steps. "We're going to be doing some striding movements." Dan says. The idea is to hit each concrete block with one foot and power up the hillside, without stopping or losing momentum. One foot, then the other, then both.
Credit: Nick Kelly
Then we split into two teams and move to some steps down near the river. The game is a relay: Start at the bottom of the steps, get up, across, up a hill, touch the wall, back down and touch the next person's hand without falling in the questionable water. We race, then switch sides to race again. "This time, the losing team gets twenty pressups!" When it's my turn, I race up the steps, then up the hill, cursing in my mind my flat homeland. Blane is running next to me to motivate. I slap the wall, turn around, start to go back down, lose my footing, and slide most of the way down the hill. That's okay, I didn't lose momentum. Blane yells something like "Good stuff!" and slaps my shoulder as I vault the wall to the ground and clear the space to the stairs. Our team is slowest, again, but "Okay, everyone's got twenty press ups, let's go!" Am I surprised? Not really. I have some idea of how these guys operate.
"We start together! We finish together!"
Back to the grass, we practice rolls in between the concrete, trying not to hit it. I start to get a headache and take a break to down some water. "They're looking pretty fried, Dan." calls Blane. For some reason, I find that pretty funny, but it's almost time to switch anyway.
Next and last is Chris and Laurent.They take us on a follow-the leader, over and under picnic tables, and out onto a rocky pier,with the idea being to keep moving, keep balanced, and only stay on the balls of your feet.
After that it's cool down time. We all gather up on some grass, and Dan proceeds to make our abs hurt with his idea of a cool down. Then Chau leads us in some stretching. "Hold your knees at ninety-five Celsius degree." He tells us, making a silly face. "And remember, breathe, pph, pph, like the baby come."
Credit: Nick Kelly
Standing, we do some movements that are almost like tai chi or qigong. It's very relaxing after the long day. Then, training is over. Mike takes Dan and myself to an ice cream shop with a line out the door,and delicious flavors like salty caramel. After he drops us a our hotel, I forage for food and crawl into bed at my hotel, thinking of what someone said earlier in the day: "Yeah, I think today's going to be pretty hard, but tomorrow will be a kind of chill day..." After two days, I'm pretty sure of one thing - I don't know what's planned, but tomorrow's not going to be chill. Clearly, when it comes to training, these people don't know the meaning of the word.
Sunday 6th June 2010
I get up early to pack my luggage. It wasn't difficult, since I'd only taken a carry on backpack, and most of the food has long since been consumed. With that done, I go to meet the other traceurs in the lobby. The atmosphere is much more relaxed now than it was the first day - we're all broken in, used to each other, more comfortable. An incredibly cheesy action movie is playing on the TV. We sit around and watch it for a while, watching the actresses perform superhuman feats, each silently measuring how possible the feats actually are.
Then it's time to go again, for our last day's training. I check out of the hotel, get in the car with Dan and some others, and we go off to the park again. We're there early. While everyone's signing in, Dan herds us over to the hill with concrete ledges. We wait again for everyone to finish signing in, then form up into the familiar lines. My group is with Alli and Chris Keighley. We stand in a circle to warm up and do joint rotations, having to part ranks every so often for a bewildered biker to get by. We hold all kinds of isometrics, "Point nine eight, point nine nine, point nine nine one, point nine nine two…" We move into lunges, both forwards and to the side, with a hip rotation similar to that of a crescent kick. I'm sweating again - it looks like this might be the hottest day, and we're all tired from previous days. We line up at the bottom of the stairs, and begin to jog up them. We circle around a lightpole near the top of the stairs, then go back down. Then up the stairs again, and back down. I begin to lose count of how many times we've done this, and at the same time I'm losing my breath. I try to keep the same distance behind the person in front of me, try not to get behind. Alli and Chris urge us to gain speed on the landings in between the steps so we don't fall behind. We hop up the stairs with one foot, then the other. It's getting harder and harder to jump, let alone breathe. I trip on a step and step out of line to catch my breath. "You okay? Are you asthmatic?" Alli asks. I shake my head, my throat too dry to answer properly. He coaches me in developing a breathing pattern - controlling your breath is controlling yourself, something I've heard all weekend. I'm dimly aware of Julie standing near us, with her camera, as is usual. I hope I don't show up in any videos looking as ridiculous as I feel, but I have much bigger concerns right now. I jog to my water, and drink running in place, not wanting to stop muscle contraction for fear I'll lose momentum. The water is almost burning - I've left it sitting in the sun. No matter. I run to get back in the line. It goes on and on, two footed jumps, up two steps at a time, up three, over and over. I just put one fit in front of the other and try to keep a pattern to my breathing. Everyone running with me is very supportive, though, and it's wonderful. Finally, amazingly, it's over, and I am not dead. I've gotten my butt kicked by those stairs, true, but that's kind of what I signed up for, and now I know something else to train. Our shout of "We start together, we finish together!" is considerably quieter than at the beginning of the day, but it's still strong. I grab my water, lie down on the concrete to bring my breathing under control. I have a feeling about what's coming next, and I need to be ready.
Just as I suspected, the line forming by the stairs was now getting into QM position. From the first landing down five or so steps -the first pass. "Don't stick your knees out to the side," is a useful piece of advice I receive on my way down. Then up to the second landing and down, and so on. When we reach the top, and get to rest for a moment, I'm not the only one to lie down. Mike leaves a print of the Parkour Horizons logo on the concrete with his shirt sweat. Then we start from the bottom and go up, backwards, adding one set of steps each time. Then back down. At some point we start singing - Bon Jovi, Aladdin, Mulan. "Smile!" we're urged. "It's very important to smile!" Then some more QM - jumping from the hands, every other step, more and more. We break for the second time to get water, then form a circle again. Everyone's in plank position for push ups and diving monkeys. We do elements of the monkeys, then whole ones. Sweat is literally streaming down my face, mixing with sunscreen and running into my eyes. I try to clear them by blinking, but the sun is so bright I'm reduced to squinting through slits at the best of times. My clothes are soaked through and sticking to my skin.
"One more, now, but we're going to do it slowly and all together. Anyone misses, and we're going to start all over." We go slowly, slowly. Forearms, palms, forearms, up. Then Chris wants to do one more thing. "Everybody put your hands on a stair where you can put your hands one up and one down." We do. Then it's: Push up. Left hand down. Push up. Left hand up, right hand up. Push up. So on. By the last few, we all groan collectively with exertion.
Chris leads us over to some grass to cool down and stretch. "Get in push up position," he says, and we eye him warily.He laughs. "Don't be scared." Oh, it's just a stretch, that's all.
Then it's lunchtime.
I eat two candy bars that I got from the vending machine at the hotel. Normally this would leave me reeling in a sugar coma, but I don't feel any ill effects. The two liters of water probably helped. Then the news that after lunch we'll have free play time until two, then stretch out. I take the time to rehydrate, take a few pictures, and talk to Julie, Chau, and Yann. I take some video of people jumping and flipping, and then it's time to go stretch out.
Credit: Ozzi G.
Blane leads the stretch out this time, and then Stephane guides us in some meditation. After that, there's a Q&A, and several attendees get things signed. By the time that's over, it's already 3:30 - the time assigned for the BBQ to start. My flight leaves at 6:30, so I decide to go to the airport instead of the party, so that I don't miss my flight.
Credit: Andy Keller
On the plane home, I reflect. The weekend was amazing. I learned so much, met so many people. I'll be back next time, and I'll be stronger. But next time, I want to go to dinner with the guests! =D
- Anne Opalko
Credit: Kaisen Necho
Parkour Horizons (PKHZ) is comprised of a group of individuals located in Columbus, Ohio. The members of Parkour Horizons seek to spread and institutionalize parkour through collaboration and engagement with interested communities, organizations, and individuals.
Parkour Generations holds indoor and outdoor classes for men and women in London. For monthly girls' jams in London, please email girls (at) parkourgenerations (dot) com . For more information on their next women's class or jam, check out their website
Monday 22nd March 2010
2nd Girls' Jam in Colombia
Location: Planetario Distrital, Bogota Colombia
The escence of being strong, being constant, disciplinate, happy, energic, inspiring, agile, the escence of controlling your body, of developing your mind, of evolving everyday as stronger people, as stronger women.
The training started with a warm greeting for all the girls, and with myself being thankful for them to be people who want to be strong, and to go on with enjoying the process of evolving themselves through l'Art Du Deplacement (ADD).
After that we started to warm up the joints, then ran a little bit to increase the cardio level and right away we did some stretching.
Then we went through the strength excercises starting with calf raises, then squats mixed with jumping, QM down stairs, push ups shoulder wide, Diamonds (yeahh women love diamonds XD), and Planche (we made 5 of each one by holding the position for 5 seconds at each repetition), and then finished the strength part with abs by doing 5 series of 10 repetitions for lower, middle and upper abs, then 20 repetitions for transverse abdominals and 3 series of 10 repetitions for the lumbar area. At this point it was really inspirational because even some of the girls could not complete all the series, all of us put the best of each other and got the main objective for the strength excersises, the fact of having a starting point for the physical evolution process that they are going to enjoy from now on.
Later we did a QM circuit for coordination, going forward, backward, lateral quadrupedal movement and diving monkeys which took us already to the end of the physical conditioning phase and started the vaults training. At this spot we started with the lazy and the speed vault doing it on the left and on the right to coordinate both sides. At this point all the girls did their best, it was amazing the fact that for the first time their bodies and minds were making this movement and they could do it on the left side and on the right side. Then, we started to make sequences of movements at different points. The first one was the planetario, where we started the training from the very beginning, then at the " plaza de toros" .The Plaza has awesome walls and a series of railings that helped us a lot to understand the idea of fluidity and to make a movement right after the one that we have just made. The basic movements for this part were the rail balance, turn, lazy, underbars and QM .
Then we went to the Independencia park where we training our wallclimb and planche, precision vault, kong vault and speed vault.
For myself, I had to end the training earlier that the girls because i had to go to work. However as a conclusion about this journey that starts for the most of the girls that were at the training, for the ones that have trained before, and for the ones who could not be there i must say that the fact of being women training Parkour / ADD is the presence of supporting others and to feel more supported by the people around you than if you were by yourself,. That is really nice to see new people training, not for the sense of being famous and amazing, but even better than that, that is for the discipline, constance, inspiration, energy, strength and above all, seeing people finding their own spirit through ADD and working hard for it.
To all the girls Thanks a lot!! For your patience, your energy, your commitment and your presence at the training.
PKGirlz is is a group to exchange, share and to tell traceuses' experiences and a project of the FamiliaAire organization, the concept of it, is to work in cause of the women's physical education about parkour and free running. The traceuses are young women of many ages, basing their training and philosophy in parkour and local groups as Legion Del Mandril, Monkey's School and Familiare.