The following blog post is a republish from my experience in London where I did a 6 month intership for Parkour Generations. The experience shaped me, changed me and also changed my approach to parkour. It was written in german as at that time I was not aware I had international readers. This 5 part series of blog posts includes info on my everydaylife with PKGen, how I lost nearly 8kg in 4months, went from 0 muscle ups to 4 consecutive, how I did my frist ring muscle up, how I partcipated in the first ever Night Mission (which I took to Austria after), how I got ADAPT qualified (bringing ADAPT to Austria later on), how I spent hours and hours helping bringing the Chainstore (that became my office) to life with the team and many other great experiences. For the german (and original) version of this post – click HERE.

 

During my stay here in London some smaller and bigger things will happen and have already happened. Winterval 2014 definitely was one of the bigger happenings (the announcement of the Chainstore another one for example) and I was lucky to be a part of it. The following Blog post will be about my experiences and views on Winterval as well as some detailed descriptions of my A.D.A.P.T. lvl 1 hours and sessions during this event. As I was assisting one of 5 coaching teams at the seminar the Blog post will feature an inside view rather than a participants perspective.

 

First things first. I am writing in English because a friendly encounter at Winterval made me realise that the Blog is being read by a broader audience than I thought. So instead of letting people depend on Google translate I might as well write in English. Excuse my mistakes or any weird expressions though!

 

After waking up at 05:20 and a misjudged travel to the LEAP park I started Winterval at 08:30 by helping registering the ~100 participants that were expected to come this sunny but fresh Sunday morning. After that I headed to find Flynn and James as I was scheduled to be their assistant for the sessions.

 

A few words on the organisation of the event: I was impressed by how detailed everything was planned through. From dividing the area that is LEAP into several zones, to the rotation system, to dividing the participants into groups, to assigning student group leaders who would bring students to the right areas and coaching groups at the right time, to flexible people who would “float” around the areas and be ready when they were needed to every last detail. Weeks before the actual event the plan was already developed and the roles for each person that day clearly assigned. The picture above shows my notes for that day and if someone found me peeking at my sheet of paper at some point it was because I was keeping track of where to go next and what the time schedule was saying.  With 5 main coaching teams each including 2 (at least) A.D.A.P.T. level 2 certified coaches and sometimes an additional A.D.A.P.T. lvl 1 assistant (like me) Parkour Generations was drawing on a very skilled group of people executing an event like that.

 

There were 5 sessions planned overall, each 45 minutes long, 3 of which would be done before lunch and 2 after. Before that there would be a 45 minute warm up led by Dan and after the sessions would be a 45 minute cool down led by Kevin.

 

At session we took one of the (3) beginner groups through an underbar movement route. It was nice seeing the guys work their way through the course and I was glad being able to provide some advice. It was also great to see Flynn in coaching-action and the cues he was giving on technique.

 

The second session was spent in an area with 3 medium high poles and a set of walls stretching out for about 20 metres. This time we guided an intermediate group towards making their way through the set of walls in a fluent yet challenging way though starting the route with a climb on one of the 3 poles ending in the position of standing straight. Climbing down the pole was followed by a cat leap (Armsprung) which would make the entrance to the walls. One participant had a hard time standing straight on the walls because (and I could relate, because LEAP walls are tiny and quite high right on). I found him several times giving up the challenge and dropping down from the walls but was lucky to be able to guide him to the far end by suggesting different ways of moving. I tried to avoid queuing by challenging other participants to circle us thus finding alternate routes through the wall jungle.

 

The next session was done with advanced practicioners. The challenge consisted of a set of 45 repetitions of the same route in 45 minutes going up and down each obstacle in that specific training area. My job would be to keep the guys motivated and keep them moving but as I knew some of them personally as well as some of them having a higher level of Parkour than me I found it quite hard to approach them. Also the challenge as it was originally suggested was impossible to achieve. I basically just joined in and tried my best to do the route as fast as possible making it 1:21 min on my stopwatch for a single repetition. 45:45 was not possible. We downscaled the reps but introduced a 180 cat to cat, it was hard, and it was fun. LUNCH BREAK!

 

I met Flynn to make a plan for the last 2 sessions. We played around with the bar setup on one of the training areas and I introduced the idea of switching places on a rail as a matter of challenging the next (beginner) group. After a few minutes Flynn introduced me to HIS technique of switching places. Quite a challenge! Out of the 20-30 tries we gave it only 1 worked out as planned. The only proof we needed!

 

We found ourselves with the second intermediate group at the 5th training zone which consisted of a big scaffolding close to a wall. Ideally for lache to catleaps. Flynnwas giving spot on advice and I could take away alot myself during this session.

 

I want to thank Parkour Generations for including me. It was my first time coaching in such an event and I am very grateful for the opportunity I was given. Thank you as well to James and especially Flynn from my coaching team. I know you guys don´t really need assistants so thank you for including me. Oh and an honourable mention goes to Alex who coached Winterval in a Panda costume!

 

Der folgende Blogbeitrag ist eine Neuauflage aus meiner Erfahrung in London, wo ich ein 6-monatiges Praktikum für Parkour Generations absolvierte. Die Erfahrung hat mich geprägt und auch meine Herangehensweise an Parkour verändert. Diese 5-teilige Serie von Blog-Posts enthält Informationen über meinen Alltag mit PKGen, wie ich in 4 Monaten fast 8 kg abgenommen habe, von 0 Muscleups auf 4 aufeinanderfolgende gekommen bin, wie ich meinen ersten Ringmuscleup aufgebaut habe, wie ich an der ersten Night Mission teilgenommen habe (die ich danach nach Österreich gebracht habe), wie ich ADAPT qualifiziert wurde (um auch ADAPT später nach Österreich zu bringen), wie ich Stunden und Stunden damit verbracht habe, den Chainstore (der mein Büro wurde) mit dem Team zum Leben zu erwecken und viele andere großartige Erfahrungen. Für die englische Version dieses Beitrags – HIER klicken.

 

Während meines Aufenthalts in London werden einige kleinere und größere Dinge passieren und sind bereits geschehen. Das Winterval Event 2014 war definitiv eines der größeren Ereignisse für mich (Die Eröffnung des Chainstore ein weiteres) und ich hatte das Glück, daran teilzunehmen. Der folgende Blog-Post behandelt meine Erfahrungen in Winterval sowie einige detaillierte Beschreibungen meiner A.D.A.P.T. lvl 1 Sessions, die ich zum Teil am Winterval geleistet habe.

Das Wichtigste zuerst. Ich schreibe (im Original) auf Englisch, weil mir nach einer Begegnung bei Winterval klar wurde, dass der Blog von einem breiteren Publikum gelesen wird, als ich angenommen hatte. Anstatt die Leute von Google Translate abhängig zu machen, kann ich also genauso gut auf Englisch schreiben. Sry für Fehler oder weirde Ausdrücke!

Nachdem ich um 05:20 Uhr aufgestanden bin und eine falsch eingeschätzte Reise in den LEAP-Park unternommen hatte, begann ich Winterval um 08:30 Uhr, indem ich half, die ~100 Teilnehmer zu registrieren, die an diesem sonnigen, aber frischen Sonntagmorgen erwartet wurden. Danach machte ich mich auf den Weg, um Flynn und James zu unterstützen, da ich als ihr Assistent für die Sitzungen vorgesehen war.

Ein paar Worte zur Organisation: Ich war beeindruckt, wie detailliert alles geplant wurde. Von der Aufteilung der Spots im LEAP Park bis hin zum Rotationssystem, der Gruppeneinteilung nach Skilllevel, der Zuweisung von Gruppenleitern, die die Teilnehmer in die richtigen Zonen bringen, und Coaching-Gruppen zur richtigen Zeit an den richtigen Ort, uws.. Wochen vor der eigentlichen Veranstaltung war der Gesamtplan bereits entwickelt und die Rollen für jede Person an diesem Tag klar zugeordnet. Das Bild oben zeigt meine Notizen für diesen Tag und wenn mich jemand dabei erwischt hat, wie ich irgendwann auf mein Papier geschaut habe, dann deshalb, weil ich kurz gecheckt habe, wohin ich als nächstes gehen soll und was der Zeitplan sagt. Allerdings war die Organisation nur einer der Faktoren, die die Struktur der Veranstaltung so solide gemacht haben. Ein anderer war das Coaching-Team. 5 Haupt-Coaching-Teams, mit jeweils 2 (mindestens) A.D.A.P.T. Level 2 zertifizierten Coaches und manchmal einem zusätzlichen A.D.A.P.T. lvl 1 Assistenten (wie mich).

Es waren insgesamt 5 Sessions geplant, jede 45 Minuten lang, von denen 3 vor dem Mittagessen und 2 danach geplant waren. Davor gab es ein 45-minütiges Aufwärmen unter der Leitung von Dan und nach den Sessions ein 45-minütiges Cool-Down mit Kevin.

In Session 1 führten Flynn und ich eine der (3) Anfängergruppen durch eine Line von Underbarbewegungen. Ich war froh,einige Ratschläge zum Thema Underbar, aber auch zur Fußstellung für die Off-Ground-Challenges geben zu können und Flynn in Coaching-Aktion zu sehen.

Die zweite Session fand bei einer Reihe von Säulen (klassisch LEAP – siehe Bild) und dünnen Mauern statt. Ein Teilnehmer fiel mir auf, da es ihm aufgrund von Höhenangst schwer fiel, auf den Mauern zu stehen. Ich konnte ihm die Challenge glücklicherweise so anpassen dass sie zwar herausfordernd, aber möglich war für ihn. Die Zeit verging relativ schnell und als nächstes wartete die fortgeschrittenen Gruppe auf uns.

Für diese Session schlug James eine harte körperliche Challenge vor.  45 Wiederholungen der gleichen Route in 45 Minuten. Ursprünglich sollte ich für zusätzliche motivation sorgen, aber da ich einige von ihnen persönlich kannte und einige von ihnen mit ein weit höheres Parkourniveau als ich hatten, fiel es mir schwer auf sie zuzugehen. Also machte ich einfach mit und gab mein Bestes, wobei ich mitgestoppt hatte und gesehen hatte, dass eine meiner Reps ca 1:21 min dauerte, d.h. Challenge unmöglich. Die Zahl der Reps wurde reduziert, jedoch ein 180 Arm-zu-Arm-eingeführt. Schöne Herausforderung, sehr anstrengend, ich glaub ca 30 hab ich gemacht ^^. LUNCH BREAK!

Nach dem Essen traf ich Flynn, um einen Plan für die letzten 2 Sessions zu erstellen. Ich führte die Idee ein, die Plätze auf einer Stange zu wechseln wenn 2 Personen sich beim Balancieren entgegenkommen. Flynn zeigte mir SEINE Technik und nach 20-30 Versuchen gelang uns einer. Der einzige Beweis, den wir brauchten, und so war die Herausforderung gut genug, um sie an die Teilnehmer weiterzugeben!

In Session 5 ging es um Laches! Ich konnte aus der Session selbst sehr viel mitnehmen und es war lehrreich zu sehen, welche coaching Hinweise Flynn anbieten konnte.

Winterval wurde durch eine 45-minütige Cool-Down-Session unter der Leitung von Kevin beendet.

Ich mich bei Parkour Generations bedanken, dass Teil des Events sein durfte. Es war mein erstes Mal Coaching bei einer solchen Veranstaltung (edit 2019: viele weitere Male sollten in der Zeit folgen 🙂 ). Vielen Dank auch an James und Flynn von meinem Coaching-Team.  Oh und eine ehrenvolle Erwähnung geht an Alex, der Winterval in einem Panda-Kostüm gecoacht hat!

Übersetzt mit www.DeepL.com/Translator

reborned1Obwohl 2016 aus weltgeschichtlicher Perspektive pre-apokalyptische Szenarien aufgeworfen hat war es aus we-trace Sicht ein ereignisreiches und positives Jahr mit viel Motivation für 2017.

Im April ging es privat nach Bukarest (Rumänien). Wie bei allen Trips nutze ich die Gelegenheit die lokale Szene kennenzulernen, sich auszutauschen und gemeinsam zu trainieren. In Bukarest konnte ich Justin wiedertreffen, den ich zuletzt vor über 10Jahren gesehen hatte, der immernoch aktiv ist und der mittlerweile Bukarest´s 1. Parkour Halle eröffnet hat. Um genau zu sein, sie wurde 1 Woche nach meinem Aufenthalt eöffnet.

 

http://www.felixalexander.photos/

http://www.felixalexander.photos/

Ebenfalls im April fand seit langer Zeit der Springjam wieder außerhalb Wiens statt, nämlich, auf meinen Vorschlag hin, in Linz! Das Gebäudemanagement des neuen Rathauses hat uns eine ausdrückliche Genehmigung ausgesprochen und mit ca. 50-60 TeilnehmerInnen war der Jam bei gutem Wetter ein voller Erfolg. Im Aufwärmen haben wir außerdem QM style die monströsen Ars Electronica Stiegen erklommen, eine Errungenschaft auf die alle stolz sein können (siehe Video). An dieser Stelle großer Dank an CtC-Verein zur Förderung von Bewegungskünsten für die tolle Organisation.

 

 

Im Juli fand erneut der sogenannte FMI – Forum Meeting Instruktor statt bei dem ich u.a. mithelfen konnte und meine bisherge Erfahrungen ein wenig teilen durfte. Der FMI ist eine CtC / PKVienna interne Kurzausbildung für alle interessierten Mitglieder, die in der Abhaltung des Forum Meetings unterstützend agieren möchten. Beispielsweise beim Leiten des gemeinsamen Aufwärmens oder bei der Abhaltung von kostenfreien Gratisworkshops für Anfänger. Ínhaltlich orientiert sich der FMI an ADAPT bzw. an den gängigen internationalen Coachingstandards.

 

Juli war zudem NIGHT MISSION time. Die 3. Night Mission ging nach monatelanger Vorbereitung mit insgesamt 7 TeilnehmerInnen erfolgreich über die Bühne. Es wurde geschwitzt, geblutet, der innere Schweinehund getreten und über ca. 9 Stunden durchgehend trainiert. Die Teilnehmerreviews sagen dabei mehr als ich hier unterbringen könnte. Ihr findet sie hier: http://www.we-trace.at/nightmissionreviews/

wetrace_Night Mission_Emblem.indd

 

Ein weiterer privater Trip führte mich nach Berlin im August, wobei auch hier die Gelegnheit genutzt wurde zu trainieren. Phil ein guter Freund und Trainingskollege verbrachte einige Monate in Berlin und neben dem Worlds best Döner gab es viel Gelegenheit sich zu bewegen.

 

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Da uns die outdoor Class an die verschiedensten Orte in Wien führt wurde Ende Juli / Anfang August am Schwendermarkt ein Team junger KünstlerInnen auf uns aufmerksam, die im Zuge des Grätzlevents “Schwenderkino” ein Kurzfilmprojekt mit uns drehten. Das Video zeigt abseits dem vielfach verbreiteten Bild von Parkour in den Medien ein sehr authentisches Bild eines Parkour Trainings, nicht zuletzt, eines Parkour Trainings mit we trace (Veröffentlichung war im August).

AkteurInnen der Stadt – Parkour am Schwendermarkt from Claudio Anderwald on Vimeo.

 

Ende August stieg ich mit Tom von Parkour Vienna in den Flieger nach London für eine Woche Training und Austausch mit Parkour Generations. In dieser einen Woche haben wir viel Schweiß und ein bisschen Blut in London gelassen und veiniges an Eindrücken und guten Gesprächen dafür bekommen. Trainiert wurde “all over London” und im sogenannten Chainstore, der 1. Parkourhalle UK-weit, die 2013 eröffnet hatte, als ich bei PKGen arbeiten durfte. Parkour Generations ist auch weiterhin Vorreiter auf internationaler Ebene und wir freuen uns, dass über die Jahre eine sehr freundschaftliche Beziehung gewachsen ist.

 

 

Direkt nach London ging es zur Erholung nach Griechenland, aber wie es mittlerweile offensichtlich sein sollte wurde auch hier trainiert. In Athen konnte ich Panos besuchen, der mit der Athens Parkour Academy Vorreiter in Griechenland ist. Nicht nur hat er mit seinem New World Gym (One Piece Anspielung) Griechenlands erste Parkour Halle eröffnet, er hat sich 2016 zudem vollständig professionalisiert und zeigt dabei eindrucksvoll, dass gerade in einem so ökonmisch krisengebeutelten Land wie Griechenland ein starker Wille etwas zu bewegen und zu verändern kleine Wunder wirken können. Die Trainingssessions mit Panos und Anma waren grandios. Das Zeitrennen gegen sich selbst (siehe Instagram) war genial.

 

Footplacement and speed route with Athens Parkour Academy. @panos_toge @aproswpaa

Ein von Alex (@we_trace_parkour) gepostetes Video am

 

Im Oktober ging es Schlag auf Schlag weiter. Für die Generalversammlung von Parkour One folgte ich einer Einladung nach Basel. Dort durfte ich we trace, aber generell Parkour in Österreich vorstellen, durfte all jene Leute treffen und kennenlernen, die in Deutschland und der Schweiz, aber auch international sehr gute Arbeit leisten.  Parkour One wird auch in Zukunft ein starker Partner sein und ich freue mich auf die Involvierung in Projekte wie z.B: der Parkour One Academy, eine Instanz zur Etablierung gemeinsamer Coaching und Wissensstandards, sowie zur Forschung und Entwicklung. Im Zuge der Generalversammlung konnte ich zudem das Interview mit jenen Coaches durchführen die 2016 nach Gaza gereist sind um dort zu unterrichten. (Das 1. Mal im für mich ungewohnten Format Face to Face via Kamera – Veröffentlichung wahrscheinlich Anfang 2017)

last10pushups

 

Im Oktober startete zudem ein innovatives von der Stadt Linz gefördertes Projekt mit einer neuen Mittelschule in Linz. Im Zuge der bis jetzt eher planlos gestalteten Freizeitstunden der 1. Klassen wurde ich eingeladen über einen Zeitrahmen eines gesamten Schuljahres diese Freizeitsunden mit Parkour zu beleben. Den SchülerInnen soll dabei Spaß an der Bewegung, ein gewisses Körperbewusstsein und vor allem die Förderung von Selbstbewusstsein etc. vermittelt werden, während den beteiligten LehrerInnen jenes Wissen vermittelt werden soll, das dazu notwendig ist Elemente dieser Stunde auch eigenständig mit den SchülerInnen abhalten zu können.

 

Im November wurde ich vom Alpenverein nach Bruck an der Mur eingeladen, um dort einen Parkourworkshop für die GruppenleiterInnen der einzelnen Alpenvereinsgruppen abzuhalten. Dabei wollte ich neben einem ganzheitlichen Zugang zu Parkour vor allem die Fähigkeit betonen Parkour für jede Alters- und Skillgruppe gleichermaßen zu adaptieren, wobei die Differenzierung von Parkour in der “Realität” vs. Parkour in den Medien ebenso angeboten wurde, wie ein Mix aus den gängigen Unterrichtsformaten (Parkour Teambuilding, Einführung für Anfänger, Parkour als Tool zur Bildung von Selbstbewusstsein,…).

 

Im laufenden Betrieb fanden 2016 ca. 50 Outdoorclasses statt, bei jedem Wetter. Ausnahmen gab es lediglich aufgrund spontaner Ausfälle und /oder Reisen ohne Möglichkeit von Ersatz, was jedoch selten vorkam.

 

Julie in motion - pic by Andy Day (Kiell) - Link on bottom of interview

Julie in motion – pic by Andy Day (Kiell) – Link on bottom of interview

Auch dieses Jahr gab es wieder Interviews, wobei sich vor allem Samson und Phil von Parkour One angeboten haben bei den Interviews zu unterstützen. Daraus wuchs eine Kooperation mit Parkour One und einem breiteren Kreis der PKOne Mitglieder mit der Hoffnung die Interviews qualitativ besser zu machen und intensiver zu forcieren. Konkret konnte nach dem Erscheinen des neuen Buches Breaking the JumpJulie Angel für ein Interview gewonnen werden, nachdem sie 2013 ca. aus Zeitgründen bereits einmal absagen musste. Außerdem ließen uns die Betreiber der KRAP Halle, der damals größten Parkour Halle Europas einen Blick hinter ihre Kulissen werfen. Ein weiteres Interview befindet sich zudem gerade in der heißen Phase, denn Alex Pavlotski, australischer Anthropologe und Schöpfer der Parkour Panels Comic Serie beantwortet gerade unsere Fragen.

 

Ein paar der Eindrücke von 2016.

What follows is the first review of one of the original participants from Night Mission III that I hosted in July 2016 in Vienna. Enjoy the read!

Night Mission III

Let’s face an inconvenient truth: Regular life is boring, about 95 % of the time. Wake up, eat, work, eat, wash the dishes, sleep, repeat. Yes, there’s the time with our loved ones that no one will want to miss, but apart from that? Repetition. “Groundhog Day” all over again.

For me, sports in general and parkour in particular is a form of breaking out of this routine. As long as I am moving forward, I am out of the comfort zone – I have to interact with my surroundings, their form dictates my options. And sometimes, this urge for getting out of the day-to-day-habit sends me off to events that challenge me even further. I’ve done several OCRs like Spartan Race, Wildsau Dirtrun and others. The Night Mission III was a whole different kind of thing, and I’m still not entirely sure what I experienced – but it was awesome.

Starting things off with nine people (including Alex, our guide for the night) in Heiligenstadt, we were all a bit anxious. Nobody except Alex and Christian – who stood in as instructor for Alex at some of the challenges – had ever been on a Night Mission before, and we did not really know what to expect. Right off the bat, Alex told us that the Mission was going to last for nine hours in total. A little more than I had anticipated, since I thought it ended at sunrise, which would have been two hours earlier. But well, it was too late to change my mind (not that I wanted that) and we set off into the night.

What followed was a well planned series of tasks along a certain subway line that in my opinion seldom had really a lot in common with “classic” Parkour movement. Only one challenge asked for continuous, flowing movement for five minutes in a row, which of course looks best if done with panache and a few pres and kongs. Apart from that, there was climbing, daring, endurance and a whole lot of teamwork excercises. In a smart move, Alex made sure that we changed partners for almost every task he threw at us. This way we could not stick to people we already knew, but had to get acquainted with all of our team – and I am very grateful for that, since they were a lovely bunch. See, there is a sense of cameraderie (even though I do not really like this word) between people that have shared a whole night of continuous movement, mental and physical challenges as well as a lot of smiles. Smiles and seldom loud laughs, mind you – because we’re ninjas, dammit! And come morning, I did feel a bit ninja. A thoroughly beaten ninja, mind you; I would not recommend this whole shenanigans to ill-prepared people. Run a few training rounds, scrape your knees in basic Parkour movement practice, maybe climb around a little in your local bouldering facility – you will need those things. But anyway: After all Alex had thrown at us, we were still standing, still moving, still checking of the last tasks (doing continuous push-ups for fifteen minutes at 6 AM – yeah, about as much fun as it sounds). I am happy to report that the whole team has made it through the night, but might have undergone the slightest bit of a change. Because even though the regular life may be boring from time to time, I will always enjoy every part of it if it leads me to exciting events like the Night Mission III.

 

2015 war ein gutes Jahr obwohl mir erst klar wurde wieviel eigentlich passiert ist als ich alles niedergeschriebe hatte.

Zuerst wäre da einmal mein Umzug nach Wien Beginn 2015. Dicht gefolgt darauf war der Auftakt für We-Trace (inklusive Website). Die wöchentlichen Trainings laufen mittlerweile und finden jeden Donnerstag an einem monatlich wechselndem Spot statt (mehr Info auf: http://www.we-trace.at/trainingsangebot/termine/).
IMG_3100-crop
Im Juni 2015 besuchten wir mit Parkour Vienna den Parkour Park in St. Pölten, ein kleines Abenteuer, das aufgrund des Schlechtwetters fast ins Wasser gefallen wäre. Letztenendes zeigte sich jedoch noch die Sonne und rettete den Tag 🙂

 


Im Monat darauf zelebrierte Parkour Vienna sein 11 jähriges Bestehen und organiserte neben einem 2 tägigen Trainingsevent den ersten ADAPT Kurs in Österreich. Auf Einladung von Parkour Generations durfte ich Blane beim Kurs assistieren und konnte auch beim darauffolgenden Seminar, die Zeit ein wenig nutzen um wieder auf Stand gebracht zu werden, nachdem ich die Londoner seit etwa einem Jahr nicht mehr gesehen hatte. Etwa eine Woche wurde jeden Tag trainiert, eine Zeit auf die eine nötige Erholungsphase folgte.

 

 

rdvxtitle

Im August ging die Reise nach London zum 10. Rendezvous Event. Das Rendezvous ist ein 2-3 tägiges Trainingsevent geleitet von den besten Parkour Coaches der Welt. Beim diesjährigen Event unterrichteten neben den PKGen Legenden auch Urgesteine wie Yann Hnautra oder Thomas Couetdic. Mehr dazu im 3 teiligen Bericht den ihr hier findet: http://www.we-trace.at/2015/08/29/rdvx/

 

 

page1Nach London stand Urlaub in Griechenland am Plan und die wenigen Tage die ich in Athen verbringen konnte nutzte ich um Panos New World Gym zu besuchen. Athen´s erste und einzige indoor Parkour Akademie, die kurz vor meinem Besuch ihr Tore eröffnet hatte. Panos ist ein guter Freund und war unter anderem in Linz beim 10 Jahre Parkour Linz Seminar.

 

 

 

fbbannerNach monatelanger minutiöser Vorbereitung hieß es erneut Rucksack packen, Zähne zusammenbeißen und durchziehen, denn die Night Mission (Beta) ging im September in ihre zweite Runde. Das erste Mal in Wien, führte uns eine über 20km lange Route durch düstere Tunnel, auf Berge mit verlassenen Kirchen und über Abgründe im Stadtgebiet. Nicht nur die Muskeln waren am Ende der ca. 8 stündigen Traningssession erledigt. Mit neuem Blick auf die Stadt beendeten 6 tapfere Mitstreiter die Night Mission.

 

ctc_logoIm Oktober nahm ich die Einladung von CTC an. Mit dem offiziellen Beitritt werde ich auch weiterhin versuchen einen aktiven und konstruktiven Beitrag zur Förderung der Parkourcommunity zu leisten. Die Arbeit von CTC liefert einen wertvollen Beitrag zur stetigen Etablierung und Professionalisierung von Parkour in Österreich.

 

 

 

 

Außerdem wurde We-Trace die Ehre zu Teil ETRE FORT und Andy (Kiell) Day zu interviewen.

Ein ereignisreiches Jahr neigt sich dem Ende zu. Wir sehen uns 2016!

I´ll make day3 of RDVX less detailed and instead just highlight some of the things that remained vivid in my mind.

 

First off. I was dead tired and in pain in the morning of day 3. Putting on my socks was challenge nr. 1. but the weather was sunny  and we were motivated. We were heading for the Olympic Village where for the first time an official permission for a Parkour related group was given by the authorities to train there.

 

One of the sessions was with Blane. He teamed us up in pairs and gave us a distance to cover. We would plyo over our partner who would be in push up position, drop down to the push up position ourselves and do 1 push up more than our partner did just the moment before us. When we finish our push ups our partner plyos over and drops down to do his set of push ups (one more than I did before). So if I´d start, I´d do 1,3,5,7….and so on. In the end (after the time frame of 40 minutes) I was up to 27 push ups but we had just about covered half of the distance Blane had set. Good challenge!

After 2 other strength related sessions we headed to the Chainstore for our last 3 sessions of RDVX. I was particulary impressed with Ben Sheffler from PKOne (Germany). He had some great input in terms of reaction-time related training. Again we were teamed up in pairs of 2. There was a route with a certain goal set. For example a wall run and a starting point a few meters away facing the wall with the back. We then gave some queues to our partners and they had to quickly adapt. For example which foot they´d have to use for the wallrun, which side the vault should be done with if there was something in the way, in what way to turn when they´d start running or simply blinding them, taking them somewhere in the space and then letting them adapt to what´s around them.

The other 2 sessions opposed to the first one with Ben were indoors. Pownall had set up about 15 different stations with the aim of massaging (deep tissue) and stretching us. If you want to know how to use an elastic band and a wooden stick to massage your calves to total relaxation including a horrendous amount of pain (just kidding), Alex is the man for you! Hector and Adam led the other Chainstore session that consisted of a variety of rolling challenges in different situations. Dive rolls across gaps. Rolls on thin walls and different obstacles. Dive rolls on concrete through a gap of rails. Good fun!

 

Conclusions:

Again I got proven that just because I am tired, stiff from the day before or simply have the worst muscle ache ever, does not mean I can´t move. The right warm up and attitude can boost you!

The huge variety of movement in RDVX was great, so was the input from all the coaches that came from all over the world.

Just having experienced so many different Parkour styles and coaching methods is inspirational and showed me how limited my view was before and how important it is to get in exchange with other people. RDVX did just that for me.

And overall it was great to see all the guys again I got to know back in 2013/2014.

Oh and just before I forget it. Congratulations to Forrest for knowing/learning each and every name of ALL the participants and coaches of RDVX. At the end of day 3 Forrest went through a crowd of about 150 people calling every one by their name, an amazing skill he had demonstrated the year before as it was told me.

 

THANKS to everyone who was part of it. To Hector for hosting us. To the English weather for being so nice these days. To the scandinavians for a relaxed and funny evening at the Canary Wharf burger place. It was a great experience and who knows, maybe see you all again at RDVXI!

P.S. This is the so called Grant curve as we named it. We had a slight jogg with Chris Grant who then came up with it and I feel obliged to share the knowledge.
grantcurve
In the beginning of every traceurs life the motivation to run / jogg is growing. Up to a peak that is reached after a few years. From that point on it nears to zero again as the more experienced a traceur gets the more lazy he gets 😉

Check out the previous part for a quick overview of what happened on day 1 of RDVX!

The day to come would be quite a long and exhausting one. We would start 09:00 in the morning and, including the extra modules, would end at around 22:00. After an unpleseant situation in 2009 in Vauxhall and some light training sessions there in 2013/2014 I was anxious and looking forwardat the same time to train at the place again, as the Vauxhall walls are one of the worlds most famous Parkour spot ever.

 

Day 2 (Saturday) – Locations: Vauxhall (various areas) + The Chainstore (evening modules)

Session 1 – Forrest / Yann Hnautra

After a slight warm up led by Blane and a split into 4 groups our first session was with Forrest and Yann at a small spot right next to the Thames. The session was split into 2 parts, first part with Yann and then a switch over to Forrest. It was my first time ever getting into a session led by Yann so I was excited and given the high level of the advanced group I was a little anxious to deliver my best. Now, imagine Yann furiosly demonstrating a small route consisting of 4-5 (rather complex) moves, including rolls, palm spins, rolls on the backs on walls and so on, ending with a set of push ups and then expecting us to repeat. The group couldn´t go all at once due to limited space but as soon as the majority of the group was done, Yann would shoot off demonstrating the next round. No need to say I struggled. First off, I could not really remember / reproduce the routes Yann did, secondly by the time I did my push ups, Yann was in demonstration mode again. Surprisingly some of the guys could keep up. This went on for 20 minutes until Yann gathered the group around and explained what the purpose of his session was. So no matter if we got the route right or we would bump into each other, each repetition at any given time and situation should be done with 100% dedication and 100%willpower (if that makes sense). I guess he supposedly tried to put some stress on us and see how we react. Anyway, hearing Yann explaining was inspiring even though he labelled our group as average overall.

Forrest was already awaiting us with a nice challenge. We did rail precisions as a group at the same time, from a wall to a long rail and were given the task to stick all of them and  precision back to the starting wall. If one fell it was ok to catch oneself on the rail, come back up and continue as long as no one touches the floor. If that happened we would all be awarded 30 small jumps (burning out our quads) and would then continue. The core message of the exercise was a question: If we are 100% physically capable of sticking a rather easy rail precision, why shouldn´t we be able to stick all of them, every time and whenever? After the exercise we wer challenged with a variety of different rail precisions that we could choose of (see the picture that Thiago from Brazil drew). Aiming on sticking them again.

thames pres

Session 2 – Blake Evitt / Jiho Kim (PKGen U.S. / PKGen Korea)

After a quick spot change we rotated to Jiho and Blake for a fun partner throwing session. We were shown 3 techniques of throwing partners and by doing so giving them a higher potencial for overcoming distances than if they just jumped on their own. The most recogniseable one and in my opinion the one that worked best was the 2 person slingshot method. Imagine being in a squat position leaning back, reaching out with with your hands to 2 people roughly your weight and size. You lean forward – JUMP and receive a massive pull that carries you farther than you could have ever jumped alone. Combine that with armjumps and precisioning up walls and thats it. Ideally though you have a nicely light guy/girl jumping and 2 strong people throwing, thats basically how we levitated Hector over a small wall to a 12 foot precision jump!

 

Session 3 – Adam McClellan(*) / Andy Keller (PKGen U.S)

Taking place at the main Vauxhall walls spot and being the first session after lunch break we started with a nicely weird warm up game. Movement through the space with the limitation of using your hands and feet in certain combinations only. For example after using your hand next thing to be used has to be a foot and so forth. The game was spiced up when we were teamed up in pairs and groups of 3 moving like the Parkour version of the human centipede. 😉

The next part of the session was really innovative and something I would like to keep in memory for my own coaching.

We were split into groups of 3 and could choose anywhere at the spot. We should work out a set of 3 movements and repeat unti we got it nice and flowy. After that 2 people of the group rotated to an other station and the remaining one would show the 2 new people that formed a new group the route that was previously developed. Practice time a few minutes and another rotation. This time the person that showed the new people the route had to rotate to an other station and would be shown a new route and so on. The concept is brilliant. Develop a route, teach it someone else and be tought a new route with new movements you would not have thought of on your own. Simple yet effective, and great fun.

Session 4 – Mikkel Thiesen / Mirko Svabric (Streetmovement Denmark / Parkour Croatia)

So….What do a danish bearded guy and a croatian Parkour veteran have in common? Both of them are beasts and both of them made a nice exhausting session with some good challenges in there. What they did was conceptualise a route around the back part of the Vauxhall walls, including a sketchy 180 cat leap to precision, precisions with high drops right after and probably the only swininging movement to be found in Vauxhall (danish style). The goal was not breaking the jumps though but to repeat the route as fluid and quickly as possible, making the usually longer decisions of slightly trickier jumps come natural with the flow. Some of the movement (the 180 to the wall or the swining move for example) I couldn´t do but overall it was a tiring experience with a high need for focus every time the route was done.

Session 5 – Chris Grant (Glasgow parkour Coaching) / Johann Vigroux

BREAKING JUMPS TIME! Having some really advanced guys in the group Chris and Johann took up the challenge and presented us 5 gnarly jumps we should work on. A 9 “foot” precision over a high gap to a brick wall. Same gap, same brick wall,different spot of the wall, this time doing a cat pass to arm jump. An other one was a precision at height to a small rail of a staircase. The first precision I described came easy but after that the other jumps were all … scary…. I seriously eyed up the cat pass to arm jump. I knew the distance was far but with a clean and nice take of should not be any problem. Long story short, I already saw myself bailing ugly, gave me the chills, too many people around, excuse after excuse, did not do it in the end… The session achieved an anxiety though andmade me seriously consider a jump that clearly was in the upper third of my performance range. To loosen things up we played a quick few rounds of tag before heading off to the Chainstore for the evening modules!

 

Module 1 – Chris Mc Dougall featuring the Vivo Bearfoot Team (Author of “Born to Run” and “Natural Born Heroes”)

I did not know Mc Dougall before but after this presentation I bought “Born to Run” and loved it! Chris introduced himself as a previously unhappy and injury ridden hobby runner who after spending small fortunes on the latest running shoe technology, that did not help him, just could not believe that the doctors adviced him to quit running. Why does running shoe technology advance so much over the years but injury rates amongst runners stay the same if not went up over the last years? These and other questions led Chris on a journey described in “Natural Born Runners”. A key message from his presentation was that it is weird how EVERY sport has techniques how to do certain things but as far as it concerns running “everyone has it´s own style”. The Vivo Barefoot team was present too, and they did video analysis of volunteers and their running styles, analysing frame by frame for example how long the feet touch the ground and how long the full bodyweight was pushing on the joints when jogging. They also performed a set of basic tests, like one footed balance with closed eyes, checking the deep squat position and many more, showing that even amongst Parkour people basic body functionality is not a standard (yeah, yeah, I know about my squat,…no need to get mean about it). Chris did a demo of what he developed as a “correct” running style over the last years, showing a very upright position with a  centered body balance and lifting his feet quite high, all while making very short contact with the floor. Nevertheless, key messages of the presentation were:

  • Running shoe technology is 99% marketing
  • A lot of cushioning is useless and potentially dangerous. For example when people tend to strike their heels when running, something no one would do when there was no cushioning at the heels (see running bare)
  • Our feet are the perfect tools for absorbing impact and shock while running

Generally speaking the presentation and the book both were very entertaining and thought provoking but it has to be said that for every theory there are many counter theories, and I believe it is the same with some of Mc Dougalls statements. The Book for example, follows along something called the endurance running theory arguing that human´s main advantage over any other mammal species is the ability of long distance running and that we evolved into the perfect running machine.

So yeah, great presentation paired with some nice practical examples and me resulting in having an amazing read after my London trip and enjoying running a little more. Thanks a lot Chris!!

 

Module 2 – Andy Pearson / Thomas – Infiltration/Exfiltration (TBW Docks)

I´ll make this a short one. The guys presented us with 3 challenges of getting into certain areas that were not directly accessible. Some were fenced with barbed wire, others were secured by a bridge over water or both. Our job was to scout the situation, evalute access points, assess any risks just by looking and then react to anything ad hog. Additionally Andy threw som curve balls at us in the form of hidden security measures like chalk behind certain bars where we used to grab representing, for example preassure triggers of alarm systems or whatever sensors are out there. It was a fun topic with a serious background. Anyone willing to put himself in the line of risk when entering sealed off areas like construction sites, cranes or private property might overlook many of the dangers that these places hide. Alarm systems being the harmless ones, other ones would be being able to enter a place but not being able to exit it again. After the challenges Thomas gave us a crash course in tactical group movement that he was tought in this time in the french military. Interesting stuff.

 

Module 3 – Kristian Mc Fee – Powerlifting for Parkour

Kristian is a traceur / professional weight lifter and allaround awesome guy. He is currently training in the british talent suqad if I got that right. For an interview about his training experiences check: http://www.powering-through.com/2014/02/interview-kristian-mcphee-talks-gb.html

In his session Kristian introduced us to some weight lifting basics, showed us basic technique and explained us the benefits of each exercise for our Parkour performance all while letting us test the stuff we were talking about with unloaded bars.

 

Module 4 – Blane – Offground Challenges in the Chainstore

Blane showed us 3 stations with a variety of offground challenges. One of the challenges was like a mini Ninja Warrior course AND we had Teige Palmers (Teghead), who actually competed in Ninja Warrior to demo the route for us. It was quite hard consisting of small pieces of wood on ropes to be used as grips, swings on bars and a lot of traversing. It was fun but I was already really really tired.

I was happy when the sessions came to an end and knew the next day would be physical. I got “home” as quick as I could, took a shower, ate something and dropped dead just to get up a few hours later with a worse than ever SERIOUS muscle ache that now had me tortured for a few days already. LET´S DO THIS! -> Check part 3 (and last) for what happened on the final day of RDVX!

About 10 years ago the first so called Rendezvous (an annual Parkour workshop event featuring some of THE best coaches in the discipline) was held in a tiny gym somewhere in London. Amongst the 30 participants were legends like Yann Hnautra, Forrest Mahop, Dan Edwardes, Daniel Illabaca, Stephane Vigroux, Kazuma, Owen Covill, and so many more that I can’t recognise on that video.

 

August 2015: After having spent some days training in London already, muscles slightly aching, I was finding myself in the Chainstore waiting for the official opening of RDVX. It was great catching up with a lot of people again that I got to know back in 2013/2014. In fact there were too many to have a serious conversation with as every minute new people came droppping into the Chainstore. Amongst them were so many great characters that at some point I just sat there breathing in the awesomeness that gathered for what would become an intense 3 days. All the international PKGen branches were present and some additional international coaches from Brazil, Korea, the U.S., Germany, Scottland, etc. as well. Special guests included Yann Hnautra, Stephane Vigroux, Johann Vigroux, Thomas Couetdic and Christopher Mc Dougall (author of Born to Run, and Natural Born Heroes).

 

It was my first time seeing Yann and Stephane and I was excited to hear they were coaching. The procedure so thoroughly planned by Blane would be similar for the 3 days to come. The ~150 participants would be split into smaller groups depending on their experience and/or energy level. The groups get a session of coaching (usually 1 hour) and the rotate to the next coaching team. For day 1 (as it was an optional day, main seminar would be the next 2 days) people were split into beginners, intermediates and advanced. I did not feel too sure of where I belong as many of the PKGen core team members + some really good guys from abroad were actually participating themselves, thus making quite the hell of an advanced group. But I chose this one and was more comfortable with the idea of downgrading than not having tried to get along with the level. Physically I felt comfortable, but technically these guys were a few dimensions away from me.

 

Day 1 (Friday) – Location: Chainstore and areas around

Session 1 – Adam McClellan (PKGen U.S.)

After a short warm up by Dan Edwardes Adam´s session was my first RDVX session. And it can be briefly described as “jump/sprint/jump/sprint jump somer more and sprint some(correction: a lot) more”. Followed by some jumps and QM movement instead of sprinting. The thing was, everyone could push themselves as hard as they chose to. After sticking a certain precision one was awarded by a (roughly) 60metre sprint and then came back to the same precision (basically). Stickig precisions after sprints is a good one, though we had some rest period as we waited in line for our turn. Overall it was a solid session that tired us out and gave me an idea of how smooth Yann was in moving QM style. (he was participating)

 

Session 2 – Ben Scheffler (Parkour One)

After a session packed with short term power outbursts over a long periode of time Ben had another kind of endurance challenge for us. He showed us a route that mostly consisted of jogging and included around 15 Parkour movements (a wallrun wth climb up, a demi tour, a cat pass next to a drop, an underbar, a palm spin, rolls etc etc.). We would repeat the route steadily without stopping running for 30 minutes, choosing our own speed. 1 lap took me around 4 minutes I think. The challenge was great and I found my pace. Doing these challenges makes one realise how energy consumptive certain types of movement are and teaches one how to be more energy efficient overall. I really liked the session, and it was my first time talking with Ben whom I had scarcely met at a badly organised Parkour workshop in Germany in 2007 (I think).

 

Session 3 (and last for day 1) – Stephane Vigroux

This was the only session that day that was in the Chainstore and I was looking forward to finally getting coached by Stephane. I was not disappointed. We were offered to choose a rail precision somewhere in the Chainstore that was well in our comfort zone. The goal was to do at least 50 repetitions and try to stick as many of them as possible. Something awesome happened. After having a success rate of <10% with my first 30 tries I got so comfortable and close with the jump that in the end I nearly sticked every one of them, no bad landings, no mid foot. Stephane´s goal was to get us into the zone and get us to a state of mind where the jump just became natural, something I think he achieved (at least with me). After these precisions we did a 15 minute balancing session on the rails. Similar feeling, similar goal. Keep balancing on a rail without falling for 15 minutes (or 30, or 60).

 

In part 2 I´ll cover the second day of RDVX, including 5 really creative sessions and 4 amazing (optional) modules in the evening. Day 2 went from 9:00 to 22:00 making it about 10 hours of pure training.

Below you will find an unpublished record of my experiences from the first PKGen Night Mission in London in 2014. After this experience and my return to Austria I had the pleasure of adapting the concept that eversince has positively changed my training approach.

 

Parkour Generations Night Mission Challenge

 

In March 2014 I had the pleasure of attending the first official Parkour Generations Night Mission Challenge. The Night Mission derives from a way of training where practicioners train through the whole night, taking advantage of an empty city to explore and to challenge themselves all through a longer period of time. Especially the parkour founders used to regularly train like that where as my personal encounters with this sort of experience were very limited. I was told stories by PKGen members of some of the adventures they set out to so I was a bit worried of what would await me.

 

At the time I decided to go for the first Night Mission all I knew was that it will be hard, it will start at 21:00 and we will end by sunrise (6:00). I did not know of how it will be exactly or what I should be aware of.

 

The session was led by Dan and we were told to pack light. I needed to estimate how much water I would take and how much food, what clothing and so on and in the end I carried 2 litres of water, a cut up Mango, 2 sandwiches, some fruit and muesli bars, dried fruit and 3 sausages. (More than I needed but I was thinking that I would need a lot of energy) I had my rain suit with me as well just in case. After all it’s London and you never know. The day of the Night Mission I slept as much as I could and next thing I know is I am at the Chainstore being briefed on what’s going to happen this night.

 

The group for the night was consisting of Dan Edwardes who would lead the session. Then there was James from the PKG Team, Deepak, Thomas Couetdic and myself. When I found out Thomas will be attending I was quite happy as I wanted to meet him for a long time. As one of the first practitioners and well known amongst names like Stephane Vigroux and David Belle I also knew he was quite experienced in what was about to go down.

 

Every Night Mission has a theme or a topic. This first night mission, as Dan told us would be an endurance one. The second and the third one would be movie / series themed and would be totally different.

 

After the short briefing in the Chainstore we started. I will not go into detail that much as I think that a) you have to live the Night Mission yourself to understand it and to value it and b) because given the skill level, the experience of the group and depending who is leading it the Night Mission is totally different every time! Instead I would like to share a handful of my experiences that night and how it all affected me and my training.

 

At one point we were at an abandoned bridge. The bridge was closed but we found our way in. I was not too comfortable with height to be honest but for personal reasons and because I knew I could trust Dan and Thomas and after all my skills I was doing the challenges related to the bridge. First off was an easy climb to the top followed by crossing the bridge on the top steel made part. Although it was at height and it was dark it felt quite safe as we moved on a really wide section of the bridge. The other challenge was to get under the bridge and touch the pillars that the bridge was built on with our hands. We were doing that by climbing down to some wooden support structure and following it along to the pillars. The descending to the wooden structure was awful but Thomas was helping a lot by going first and guiding me through the grabs and steps I should make. At one point we were balancing on the wood, it was dark and all of a sudden a pigeon bursts off directly next to Thomas. Holy moly… Now I can understand Batman´s batphobia. Imagine being at height, under you the river. Silence…you are concentrated on every step you make and BAAAM, pigeon.

nm1

These are just some of the impressions we had. Lower left picture is the bridge I described. Pictures by Deepak. Thx for carrying the camera around that night. I know how any additional weight must have felt that night.

 

An other challenge was just beautiful. It was about 4 or 5 hours into the night (I think) and Dan lead us to this amazing spot right in the middle of London. Imagine trees everywhere, decorated with small blue LED lights. Like a light Forrest. In the middle was a small square where we decided to do the 15 minute push up challenge. Choose a number between 8 and 12 and rep out that many push ups every minute.

 

In between the various spots we were running (in the beginning) then walking mixed with running and then walking as James upset his ankle when he unwillingly dropped down from a hanging position at one of the strength challenges. He could have given up and maybe this would have been a wiser choice in terms of health but he was a true inspiration that night and he fought his way through! A great deal of our mission was urban navigation with input by Thomas who shared his experiences he gained in the military (map reading, compass reading and that stuff)

 

An other challenge that scared me in the beginning was balancing related. Even when the obstacle you balance on is thick and wide a height drop on both sides just gives me the chills. I originally thought of crawling along it on all fours but after repeating to myself that I indeed have a good balance and that the obstacle was way wider than my feet and that it should be childs play to walk over that I pulled myself together and went for it. And of course it went well. A few steps into it I realised how my fear had gotten the better of me and that battling it was the right thing to do. Generally this night, I battled a lot with my fear although I tried to not let the others in the group take any notice of that.

 

Throughout the night we covered a HUGE distance by foot. For all non-Londoners let me just give you some numbers later. We started in East London (East India) and went to Vauxhall and further. We then went to Cutty Sark via Elephant and Castle and then headed back to the Chainstore via Canary Wharf. About 15 kilometres I think?

 

The night was coming to an end and I have to say I was glad that we were walking a lot of the time and not doing any challenges in the end as I was exhausted and tired. My bag got quite light, that was something. We made it back to the HQ just right to see an amazing sunrise.

 

The whole night will stay in my memory for (probably) ever as it was an AMAZING experience that I can recommend to everyone. It might not be height that scares you, it might not be work at height at all that you will do during your night mission but if you are keen on working with what troubles you and what gives you a hard time then there is nothing better than the night mission to explore the ends of ones comfort zone.

 

I want to thank Dan and Thomas for the guidance, James for his unbreakable spirit and the pain he endured and Deepak for his friendliness, helpfulness and his positive mind. It was my pleasure being there with you guys!