Bay Area Parkour

Train Hard - Stay Humble

A couple thoughts I had at the training session yesterday:

1. I've noticed that a lot of people make a lot of small steps right before taking off into a vault to setup whatever kind of takeoff (split, two-footed, running, etc.) they're comfortable with. I think this takes away a lot of speed and a lot of flow to the vault movement and maybe is symptomatic of focusing too much on getting over an obstacle instead of getting beyond it. SafeNSure made a good point in that it's good to be able to not vault at the last second which I agree is a good thing to be able to do, especially when encountering new situations, but I think unnecessary when training on familiar ground.

I started thinking of a vault setup in terms of a basketball layup- the last two steps of doing a layup off a dribble are setup by the steps before them so a player can keep speed and mobility (to move around defenders and such). So instead of making small adjustments in the last few feet before the takeoff, adjustments are made in the steps occurring a few feet away from the takeoff point, the two or so steps before launching into a vault. Does that make any sense? Like high jumpers or place kickers, maybe it would make sense to practice sometimes by stepping off backwards so the forward movement is smoother.

2. I was confused by the new handrail and others confirmed that it was indeed lower which is a little less challenging for powerful vaults over but presents new challenges for underbar movements. If we are able to use that area again, I'm thinking of bringing some cord (bungee, webbing or normal string) that can be used to make those spaces even smaller. It's the same idea they used when training for the transom window in the opening chase scene in District B-13: they used bungees to define a the edges of the practice window and made it smaller and smaller until it was were actually much smaller than the window David Belle crashed through with ease in the movie. Since many handrails have two bars much closer together than the large opening of the GWHS handrail or most scaffoldings, it could be interesting to work up to underbars through the smaller space in a safer manner. Any other ideas of how to make relatively easy obstacles into useful training for tougher existing structures?

Anyway, good session yesterday. I was focusing on a few skills and I think that helped me improve. My arms are more sore today than normal because I was working on underbars and not relying on my legs so much (though they are sore, too).

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thanks for the heads up about the bungee cords. i'm new to this and will definately keep that in mind as I progress more on underbar moverments.
ya I have the same prob. I end up stopping and taking off with two feet losing speed. I also noticed that when I do this I end up landing the same way making it harder to go back in to a run. I gess I'll just have to go for it and take off running It just feels a bit off when I try it that way. Time will tell.
I didn't mean to say that it's better to commit to a vault recklessly with speed and take off from a stance you're not comfortable with, I meant that for many of us in the familiar terrain of GWHS and some other sites, we can make stronger moves to a vault in which each larger step contains a smaller adjustment thus keeping overall flow smooth instead of ending with a series of small steps which are primarily adjustments which counteract one's flow (aka momentum). Coming from a background in organized sports, I had a lot of emphasis on footwork in my training and I think it has more effect on being smooth and efficient than how we choose to plant our hands on an obstacle. I'm trying to think of what would be a good parkour-specific drill to work on footwork in addition to general movements like karaoke (the plyometric exercise, not the singing). Any suggestions?


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