Bay Area Parkour

Train Hard - Stay Humble

Parkour consists of leaping, jumping, climbing, vaulting, and basically maneuvering over obstacles in an environment. Many tracuers (practitioners of parkour) tend to focus more on the obstacle, which is fun, but causes you to forget about another thing. Space. The philosophy behind parkour is to get to one point from another as quick as possible. If you are faced with an environment of open space, you must be a master of that too. You must be capable of running in vast open fields in all terrain. The space around an obstacle is just as important as the obstacle itself. To be able to move quickly in open space should be a priority to many tracuers.

To be able to run vast distances consistently is a priority in parkour. In many examples of parkour you will see people leap over gaps, and climb buildings. But what is most important is becoming aware of the space between, around, inside, and outside of these obstacles. Spatial awareness is the key to getting in touch with your environment. In order to run, leap, jump, vault or climb over things efficiently, you must be able to run, leap, and jump efficiently without an obstacle, before you actually attempt to do so over, around, under, or through an obstacle. When you attain efficiency in an environment without obstacles, becoming proficient in an obstacle-based environment will be much easier.

Running has many benefits that compliment parkour. It improves your cardiovascular system, coordination, endurance, it reduces the risk of bone and muscle loss. Runners are typically happier, less stressed out, and more confident. So start with jogging, on different terrain, sand, cement, dirt. Just as a good warm up, it reduces the chance of injury and stretches your muscles. I have yet to start myself.

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...this is an interesting post, and its topic has been extensively analyzed in TK's video segment "obstacles and opportunities", with people expressing different opinions on the matter.

I -personally- agree a lot and disagree some: the advantages of a proper running practice, form and condition are undeniable.

If someone would think of approaching PK w/o ever having decently trained jogging/sprinting/running at some level, I believe he/she would have a very hard time doing anything significantly PK related (even if, in theory, all the climbing/descending techniques would benefit maybe more from, i.e., years of climbing, swimming, weight lifting, aside of course the increase in body mass, which could complicate things...).

But we have also to recognize that, being bipeds, jogging is probably the most basic athletic skill (after maybe balancing on one foot?...), thus almost everybody comes with a certain ability at it.
My daughter at 3 was an excellent jogger (not runner), and she's starting to sprint very nicely now at 4, while my mom at 73 can still jog (while I doubt she ever was a "runner"...); when it comes to jumping, grabbing, lifting, climbing, crawling, rolling, instead, things get more complicated...

So, my point is: if you are training for PK, at a beginner/intermediate level, warm up and exercise with jogging/running: yes!
Specifically heavy training to improve your running form, speed and endurance: maybe (if your training schedule, your age/body allows for it)...
I personally think that, once having the basic jog down, coordinating it to (i.e.) running jumps, throwing your upper body (aka "diving"), foot placement, taking off and efficiently pacing oneself, etc. is PK-relatively more important.

To the philosophical point of running being the most utilitarian ability in an emergency, I agree, but disagree that training it will significantly improve your ability to save yourself, get away, help somebody... instead training your physical and mental skills to overcome that one seemingly impossible obstacle may make a significant difference.

Or its just what appeals to me about PK...
;)
I agree; running is a large part of pk. While we're at jams or practicing on our own, usually we focus on specific obstacles, since that's what appeals most. Realistically, though, parkour is made as an escape method, and it's often more efficient to run around an object than vault over it. When you're running from something, a large part of it is, indeed, running. Although you may be extremely fast at climbing the walls that may put a huge distance between you and your pursuer, there's not much of a point if you can't make it to the wall in the first place.

Also, from my observations, people with running experience tend to have an easier time with the footing leading up to an obstacle.

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