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Panos is a greek traceur from Athens and a dear friend. As myself he has quite an oldschool approach to parkour and never shys away from a good challenge. A recent monster of a challenge he describes in the following blogpost. – Enjoy the read. (the greek version of this article can be found below as well as a short video of the challenge!)

In May 2019 during the dinner following our annual two-day Athens Parkour Gathering and its physical challenge that included endless push ups and partner carries, I ended up committing to another challenge.

To do 3000 push ups in a period of 6 hours!

The story begins a lot earlier, when in 2010 and at a similar dinner between friends, someone asked Blane (aka Chris Rowat) if he would prefer to do 10,000 push ups or 1000 Muscle Up in 24 hours. Chris was pretty sure that only the Muscle Ups would be possible. One brought the other and a few weeks later a group of people (mostly members of Parkour Generations: Chris ‘Blane’ Rowat, Stephane Vigroux, Dan Edwardes, Chris Keighley, Joe Boyle, Jun Suto, Andy Pearson, Bruno Peixoto) began their effort to perform 1000 Muscle Up each in one day. The challenge has gone down in history as one of the most legendary challenges of our community (which was successfully completed by at 4 people, among them Blane and in fact much faster than 24 hours)

And so we arrive at 2019, at the 7th Athens International Parkour Gathering and its own epic challenge. (traditionally our gatherings end on the second day with one) So during the meal that followed to replenish our strength and discharge from the two days and in a discussion about our challenge, we ended up remembering the challenge of 1000 muscle ups and me insisting that 10,000 push ups would be easier. (how wrong I was I would find out much later)

My logic though, was based on 2 facts:

  1.  push ups are much easier than muscle ups overall – 10 times easier maybe? – and
  2.  if I can comfortably do 1000 push ups in 1 hour and 30 minutes (a workout I had completed a few months earlier) surely someone out there could do, 10 times more repetitions, but in over 15 times more time.

At the beginning, of course, the discussion was theoretical, I did not at all insist that I would necessarily be the one to carry it out, but that it was possible for strong people and easier than the muscle ups challenge. Then Blane asked me if I was willing to do the corresponding bends in the 6-hour period (2500 push ups) Hmm, I thought, if I know I can do 1000 in 90, it should be doable to do 3000 in 360 minutes, as that means another 2000 in over 4 hours.

“Of course” I answer and because the goal is to prove that 10000 is possible in 24 hours and since the performance in such an effort would decrease dramatically over the hours, I will add another 500 push ups in the 6 hours!

So we shook hands and I promised to try the challenge within the next year.

The truth is that when I started doing the “maths” and the plan of the challenge, I realized that it would not be as easy as I initially thought. Also, it is not very easy to find a day where for 8 consecutive hours (calculating the necessary warm up & recovery) you will do nothing but push ups and then know that for at least 2 days your hands will be damaged. So now, with the COVI-19 quarantine and with my good friend Bill (aka Vassilis Tsirakis) agreeing to be there with me and participate, it was the right opportunity …

… In order to make 3000 push ups in 360 minutes, one has to do an average of 8.4 push ups every minute.

So my plan was to start with a set of 9 reps, but with a break of 30” (about 1 set per 40”) for the first half hour and then a set of 9 reps per minute for the next 2.5 hours. That way I would have completed about 1750 push ups in 3 hours and there would be another 1250 left for the last 3 hours. (7 bends per minute) “Ok, maybe I have a chance in the end…”

In real life, things turned out to be a little different. All went according to plan for about 2.5 hours, when I decided to drop the repetitions to 8 per set. Theoretically, I was still in the game since in 3 hours I had made 1590 bends, but I had already dropped the repetitions even more, down to 7 per set. So I accepted the fact that the challenge of 3000 push ups would fail, however, I decided to keep trying for the best.

At the end of 6 hours and with a lot of pain I had completed 2528 push ups.

2528 push ups! That means that if I had kept my mouth shut and simply accepted to do the initial 2,500 push ups that were equivalent to 6 hours, I would have succeeded! Right?

Well, right, but still I wouldn’t have proven that 10000 can be done in 24 hours (by me or someone stronger than me)

Of course, all these are of little importance, since the numbers exist just for us to set limits and goals, possible ones or impossible. So what makes a challenge successful or not?

First we need to figure out the definition and value of such a challenge.

The most (reasonable) people will wonder why would one choose to put himself into such a painful process, which is anyway doomed to fail from the start?

The meaning of the challenge is to push us to discover our limits, mentally and physically and once we reach them, to keep working so we are likely to overcome them.

If when we start a challenge we know we will succeed, it is simply not a challenge.

The same goes for any form of training. At first a workout (eg 1 set of 20 abs) may seem very difficult to someone, but the more he repeats it, the better he will become through the effort and after a number of workouts the 20 abs will be easy. Then the 20 abs will not keep improving him, but maintain him at the level he reached. That’s why we need to change our training routines quite often and challenge ourselves.

Of course, challenges like the one I mentioned above are not to be done often or even to be repeated more than once. These challenges are about proving to ourselves what we are capable of accomplishing. If are we able of continue working while in physically and mentally hard situations. And of course if you’re that type of guy or girl, despite the pain, the sweat and most likely the tears, it’s always a special experience and maybe even fun.

If I think about all these, about the challenge I talked to you about, maybe I could add that in the end #challengecompleted though failed

And for the hashtag to be proven to be true here are some reasons that make the challenge successful to me.

  1. In 6 hours I did not pause at all and at least 1 set per minute was performed. In fact, in 360 minutes, 366 sets were made
  2. I wanted and I am sure I succeeded in keeping the quality of my push ups from the 1st to the 2528th repetition. Quality over Quantity (even in such a challenge with an absurd number of repetitions)
  3. With a difference of maybe a few repetitions I really did as many push ups as I could do in the time limit.
  4. I persuaded my mind and body to continue until the end, despite the pain, the endless hours and while I knew after a while that I would not reach the original goal.
  5. I did 2528 push ups:D

Parkour is a sport – a way of life – an art, that contains the concept of challenge at its core like nothing else.

But whether a Traceur (Parkour Athlete) or not, the only way to improve in any area of life is to challenge ourselves.

And if sometimes these challenges seem impossible or unreasonable even better!

“If you want to be the best, you have to do things that other people aren’t willing to do.” Michael Phelps

Blog: http://togethoughts.blogspot.com/
Website: https://athpkclasses.wixsite.com/athensparkour
Instagram: panos_toge
Facebook: Panos Toge Almanlis

Greek version of the article

Τον Μάιο του 2019 σε ένα τραπέζι με φίλους, και ενώ είχε προηγηθεί το ετήσιο διήμερο Parkour Gathering μας και κατ’ επέκταση ένα physical challenge το οποίο περιελάμβανε ατελείωτες κάμψεις και κουβάλημα του ζευγαριού μας, κατέληξα να δεσμεύομαι σε μία άλλη πρόκληση.

Nα κάνω 3000 κάμψεις σε χρονικό διάστημα 6 ωρών!

Η ιστορία ξεκινάει πιο παλιά, όταν το 2010 και σε ένα αντίστοιχο τραπέζι μεταξύ φίλων, κάποιος ρώτησε τον Blane (aka Chris Rowat) αν προτιμούσε σε διάστημα 24 ωρών να κάνει 10000 κάμψεις ή 1000 Muscle Up. O Chris ήταν απόλυτος, ότι εφικτά θα ήταν μόνο τα Muscle Ups. Tο ένα έφερε το άλλο και μερικές εβδομάδες αργότερα μια ομάδα ατόμων (κυρίως μέλη της ομάδας Parkour Generations: Chris ‘Blane’ Rowat, Stephane Vigroux, Dan Edwardes, Chris Keighley, Joe Boyle, Jun Suto, Andy Pearson, Bruno Peixoto) ξεκινούσε την προσπάθεια της να κάνει 1000 Muscle Up o καθένας σε μια μέρα. Το challenge έχει μείνει στην ιστορία σαν ένα από τα θρυλικότερα challenges της κοινότητας μας, (το οποίο μάλιστα έφεραν σε πέρας 4 άτομα ανάμεσα τους και ο Βlane και μάλιστα πολύ γρηγορότερα των 24 ωρών)

Και φτάνουμε λοιπόν στο 2019, στο 7ο Athens International Parkour Gathering και το δικό του επικό challenge. (παραδοσιακά τα gathering μας τελειώνουν τη δεύτερη μέρα με ένα τέτοιο) Κατά τη διάρκεια λοιπόν του φαγητού που ακολούθησε προς αναπλήρωση δυνάμεων και αποφόρτισης από το διήμερο και σε μια συζήτηση σχετικά με το challenge μας, καταλήξαμε να θυμόμαστε και το challenge των 1000 muscle ups και εμένα να επιμένω ότι οι 10000 κάμψεις θα ήταν ευκολότερες. (πόσο λάθος ήμουν θα το μάθαινα πολύ αργότερα)

Η λογική μου βασιζόταν σε 2 δεδομένα: 1) οι κάμψεις είναι πολύ ευκολότερες από τα muscle up – 10 φορές πιο εύκολες? – και 2) εφόσον εγώ μπορώ άνετα να κάνω 1000 κάμψεις σε 1ωρα και 30 λεπτά (προπόνηση την οποία είχα ολοκληρώσει μερικούς μήνες νωρίτερα) σίγουρα κάποιοι εκεί έξω θα μπορούσαν να κάνουν, ναι μεν 10 φορές περισσότερες επαναλήψεις, αλλά σε πάνω από 15 φορές περισσότερο χρόνο.

Στην αρχή βέβαια η συζήτηση ήταν θεωρητική, δεν επέμενα δηλαδή ότι εγώ απαραίτητα θα μπορούσα να το φέρω σε πέρας, αλλά ότι ήταν εφικτό και ευκολότερο του αντίστοιχου με τα muscle ups. Τότε ο Βlane με ρώτησε αν ήμουν διατεθειμένος να κάνω τις αντίστοιχες κάμψεις που αναλογούν στο διάστημα των 6 ωρών (2500 κάμψεις) Χμμμμ, σκέφτηκα, αν ξέρω ότι μπορώ τις 1000 σε 90, αποκλείεται να μην μπορώ 3000 σε 6 ώρες, δηλαδή 2000 ακόμα με >4 ώρες παραπάνω.

‘’Φυσικά’’ απαντάω και επειδή στόχος είναι να αποδείξω ότι είναι δυνατές οι 10000 σε 24 ώρες και δεδομένου ότι η απόδοση σε μια τέτοια προσπάθεια θα μειωνόταν δραματικά με το πέρασμα των ωρών, θα προσθέσω ακόμα 500 κάμψεις στις 6 ώρες!

Δώσαμε λοιπόν τα χέρια και δεσμεύτηκα να δοκιμάσω το challenge μέσα στον επόμενο χρόνο.

Η αλήθεια είναι ότι όταν ξεκίνησα να κάνω τα ‘’μαθηματικά’’ και το πλάνο της προσπάθειας κατάλαβα ότι δεν θα ήταν τόσο εύκολο όσο νόμιζα στην αρχή. Επίσης, δεν είναι πολύ εύκολο να βρεις μια μέρα όπου για 8 συνεχόμενες ώρες (υπολογίζοντας και το απαραίτητο ζέσταμα – αποθεραπεία) δεν θα κάνεις τίποτα άλλο παρά κάμψεις και έπειτα να ξέρεις ότι για τουλάχιστον 2 μέρες τα χέρια σου θα είναι κατεστραμμένα. Τώρα λοιπόν, με την καραντίνα λόγω κορωνοιού και με τον φίλο και αδερφό Bill (ακα Βασίλη Τσιράκη) να συμφωνεί να είναι εκεί μαζί μου και να συμμετέχει, ήταν η κατάλληλη ευκαιρία…

…Για να κάνει κάποιος 3000 κάμψεις σε 360 λεπτά θα πρέπει να κάνει κατά μέσο όρο 8,4 κάμψεις κάθε λεπτό.

Το πλάνο μου λοιπόν ήταν να ξεκινήσω με σετ των 9 κάμψεων, αλλά με διάλειμμα 30’’ (περίπου 1 σετ ανά 40’’) για την πρώτη μισή ώρα και έπειτα σετ των 9 κάμψεων ανά λεπτό για τις επόμενες 2,5 ώρες. Έτσι θα είχα κάνει περίπου 1750 κάμψεις σε 3 ώρες και θα απόμεναν 1250 για τις 3 τελευταίες ώρες. (7 κάμψεις το λεπτό) ‘’Οκ, ίσως να έχω μια ελπίδα τελικά…’’

Στην πράξη τα πράγματα αποδείχθηκαν λίγο διαφορετικά. Το πλάνο άντεξε για περίπου 2,5 ώρες, όταν και αποφάσισα να ρίξω τις επαναλήψεις σε 8 ανά σετ. Θεωρητικά ήμουν ακόμα στο παιχνίδι αφού στις 3 ώρες είχα κάνει 1590 κάμψεις, όμως είχα ήδη ρίξει τις επαναλήψεις ακόμα περισσότερο, σε 7 ανά σετ. Έτσι αποδέχτηκα ότι το challenge των 3000 κάμψεων δεν θα ερχόταν σε πέρας, αλλά αποφάσισα να συνεχίσω προσπαθώντας για το καλύτερο δυνατό.

Στο τέλος των 6 ωρών και με πάρα πολύ πόνο είχα κάνει 2528 κάμψεις.

2528 κάμψεις! Δηλαδή αν είχα κρατήσει το στόμα μου κλειστό και αποδεχόμουν απλά να κάνω τις αρχικές 2500 κάμψεις που αναλογούσαν στις 6 ώρες θα είχα πετύχει! Σωστά?

Σωστά, αλλά και πάλι δεν θα είχα αποδείξει ότι είναι δυνατόν να γίνουν (από εμένα ή κάποιον δυνατότερο από εμένα 10000 σε 24 ώρες)

Μικρή σημασία έχουν όλα αυτά βεβαίως, αφού οι αριθμοί υπάρχουν για να μας παιδεύουν και να θέτουμε στόχους, εφικτούς ή ανέφικτους. Τι είναι λοιπόν αυτό που κάνει ένα challenge επιτυχημένο ή όχι?

Αρχικά θα πρέπει να δούμε τον ορισμό και το νόημα ενός τέτοιου challenge.

Οι περισσότεροι (λογικοί) άνθρωποι θα αναρωτιούνται γιατί να μπει κάποιος σε μια τέτοια επίπονη διαδικασία, η οποία είναι μάλιστα εξ αρχής καταδικασμένη να αποτύχει?

Η έννοια της πρόκλησης είναι να μας ωθήσει να ανακαλύψουμε τα όρια μας, νοητικά, ψυχικά και σωματικά και αφού φτάσουμε να λειτουργούμε σε αυτά, πιθανότατα να τα ξεπεράσουμε κιόλας.

Αν όταν ξεκινάμε ένα challenge ξέρουμε ότι θα το καταφέρουμε, πολύ απλά δεν είναι challenge.

Το ίδιο ισχύει και για οποιαδήποτε μορφή προπόνησης. Στην αρχή μια προπόνηση (πχ 1 σετ 20 κοιλιακών) μπορεί να μας φαίνεται πολύ δύσκολη, όσο όμως την επαναλαμβάνουμε, γινόμαστε καλύτεροι μέσα από την προσπάθεια και μετά από ένα χ αριθμό προπονήσεων οι 20 κοιλιακοί είναι πια εύκολοι. Τότε οι 20 κοιλιακοί δεν μας βελτιώνουν, παρά μας συντηρούν στο επίπεδο που βρισκόμαστε. Γι’ αυτό και θα πρέπει να αλλάζουμε την ρουτίνα της προπόνησης μας αρκετά συχνά και να προκαλούμε τους εαυτούς μας.

Βέβαια, προκλήσεις σαν και αυτή που ανέφερα παραπάνω δεν είναι για να γίνονται συχνά ή ακόμα και για να επαναλαμβάνονται περισσότερες από μια φορά. Αυτά τα challenge είναι για αποδεικνύουν στους εαυτούς μας το τι είμαστε ικανοί να φέρουμε σε πέρας. Σε τι καταστάσεις είμαστε ικανοί να συνεχίσουμε να δουλεύουμε σωματικά και ψυχικά. Και φυσικά αν είσαι τέτοιος τύπος, παρά τον πόνο, τον ιδρώτα και πιθανότατα τα δάκρυα, είναι μια ξεχωριστή εμπειρία πολλές φορές ίσως και διασκεδαστική.

Αν αναλογιστώ όλα αυτά, για το challenge που σας μίλησα, ίσως να μπορούσα να προσθέσω ότι τελικά #challengecompleted αν και failed

Και για του hashtag το αληθές ορίστε μερικοί λόγοι που κάνουν την πρόκληση επιτυχημένη.

  1. Σε 6 ώρες δεν έκανα καμία παύση, και πραγματοποιήθηκε τουλάχιστον 1 σετ ανά λεπτό. Για την ακρίβεια σε 360 λεπτά έγιναν 366 σετ
  2. Η ποιότητα των κάμψεων μου ήθελα και πιστεύω πως κατάφερα να είναι άψογη από την 1η μέχρι την 2528η κάμψη. Quality over Quantity (ακόμα σε μια τέτοια πρόκληση με παράλογο αριθμό επαναλήψεων)
  3. Με διαφορά ίσως λίγων επαναλήψεων έκανα πραγματικά όσες περισσότερες κάμψεις θα μπορούσα στο χρονικό διάστημα που είχα.
  4. Έπεισα το μυαλό και το σώμα μου να συνεχίσουν μέχρι το τέλος, παρά τον πόνο, τις ατελείωτες ώρες και ενώ ήξερα μετά από κάποια στιγμή ότι δεν θα έφτανα τον αρχικό στόχο.
  5. Έκανα 2528 κάμψεις 😀

To Parkour είναι ένα άθλημα – τρόπος ζωής – τέχνη το οποίο περιέχει την έννοια του challenge στον πυρήνα του όσο τίποτε άλλο.

Όμως είτε Traceur (αθλητής Parkour) είτε όχι, ο μόνος τρόπος για να βελτιωθούμε σε οποιοδήποτε τομέα της ζωής είναι να θέτουμε τους εαυτούς μας απέναντι σε προκλήσεις και αν κάποιες φορές οι προκλήσεις αυτές φαίνονται αδύνατες ή παράλογες ακόμα καλύτερα!

“If you want to be the best, you have to do things that other people aren’t willing to do.” Michael Phelps

As you know I am a great fan of interviews and in the past I dedicated a lot of resources towards conducting a variety of interviews with parkour-related people. Recently Skochymag lead by the awesome Andy Day has released interviews with Blane, Boki and Thomas Couetic.

Andy got a great sense for relevant and sharp questions and the three interviews you can find below are a great read. My last interview with Blane dates back to 200x, in the time between then and now Blane has totally changed his life to being a fulltime firefighter in London, leaving most of his coaching duties behind and living our well known motto “being strong to be usefull” to its fullest.

If you happen to don´t know Boki already, he is a Serbian traceur, Etre Fort sponsored athlete and one of the main influences of parkour in Eastern Europe.

Thomas is the second generation of traceurs originating from France and currently living in Fontainbleau. Along with others from his generation (Stephane Vigrourx, Kazuma, the Shintais and many more) he is a direkt link to the early phase of parkour, a still active practicioner and a soruce of parkour wisdom and philosophy, although he mostly keeps to staying in the background. Enjoy the interview.

The only thing I regret when reading the interviews is not having done them myself 🙂

This interview is part of the archives. It was published on December 29th 2012 when I was doing an interview series for our PKLinz Blog. Most of the questions came from the community directly.

 

Blane is an english Tracer known to most of us for his passion for movement and hard training. Especially his high level of strength and control are unmatched. Additionally he is the author of some key articles considered standard lecture amongst practicioners of all ages and skill levels.

http://blane-parkour.blogspot.gr/2007/04/dilution.html
http://blane-parkour.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/a-call-to-arms.html

As a senior coach at Parkour Generations and one of the main driving forces behind the organisation, Blane has long made his passion profession and along with Parkour Generations is to be held responsible for major Parkour coaching game changers.


Alex: Hi Blane, first off: Thank you for participating in the interview!

 

Blane: (Thanks for the opportunity!)

 

Alex: What was your inspiration for your very recent article „A Call To Arms“? Was there a certain incident that motivated you to write down your thoughts?

That article I wrote was just the end result of some thoughts that I had been having for a while. There wasn’t one particular thing that made me sit down and write but it was just an accumulation of a few weeks of different thoughts, ideas and looking at the Parkour community from an outside point of view. It was a message to people who care about more than big jumps, whether they’re already practicing Parkour or just finding it now.

 

Alex: Your article “Dilution” has become a classic read for many of us and your recent article will as well.

– How do you define Parkour for yourself?

Blane: Parkour for me is a training method for life, a way to improve myself, to test myself and to maintain and develop my physical capacities.. as well as my ability to deal with difficult situations and fears. It’s a self-improvement tool!

Alex: What does Parkour mean to you and how did it benefit you until now?

Blane: Parkour is not everything in my life but it’s a large part of it.. I suppose it’s a tool I have to improve my life and something that I can use to experience life with. Everyone has their own thing that is special for them and something that shapes the way they think and experience life.. and mine is Parkour.

Alex: How could you imagine to be the title of an article you might write in 10 years? What topic could you imagine it to circle?

Blane: That’s a great question! Hopefully I won’t have to write anything in 10 years if the community is very strong and there are plenty of people sending out good messages and coaching safe, effective methods and the original messages of Parkour. But perhaps in 10 years I’ll write an article entitled “The effects of 20 years of training Parkour on the mind, body and spirit”

 

 

Alex: Are you a full-time Parkour-Coach or are you working additionally?

Blane: I have two jobs, my first is coaching Parkour and delivering ADAPT courses, and my second job is managing the coaching department of Parkour Generations.. so both Parkour jobs luckily!

 

 

Alex: What is your (backup) plan, if your mind is ready, but your body isn’t anymore? (disease, accident, etc.). What would you do without being able to do/teach Parkour (physically)?

Blane: I think if that ever occurred and I couldn’t train physically in Parkour, but could still do other training, then I’d still train very hard in other methods. But if I couldn’t train physically at all then I’d probably find that very difficult to accept. I’d probably spend my life refusing to believe doctors and the professionals and I’d still do my best to train. I’ve heard hundreds of stories of people being told they will never walk again only for them to come back and return to their sport. I’d fight to come back and even if it was impossible then my goal would become to just keep trying.. that would be the biggest obstacle I would face in Parkour. 😉

 

Alex: Which person in the scene had the biggest influence on you? (…or left marks on your way of training)

Blane: It’s really hard to name one person since quite a lot of different people influenced my training and approach, both inside and outside of Parkour, but if I had to name just one person in the Parkour community then I’d go with Stephane Vigroux. His movements and training methods heavily inspired me and influenced my training early on.

 

Alex: How much time do you put into teaching and how much in actual training for yourself? Could you give a relation in %? (For example 50% teaching/50% training)

Blane: I’d say of my ‘Parkour time’, 70% is spent training and 30% is teaching.

Alex: Is teaching a form of training for you?

Blane: I don’t count teaching as part of my training. You can teach and train at the same time but it doesn’t really work if you are truly giving all of your attention to your students, so I prefer to keep them separate whenever possible.

Alex: Could you also estimate the relation of your strength training / conditioning to other forms of your training?

Blane: Of my total training time at this moment, I’d say 40% is focused on strength development, 40% is focused on technical training and 20% is spent on conditioning and developing fitness levels.

 

Alex: What’s your opinion about the image of Parkour in the UK?

-On the one hand as the public perceives it.

 

Blane: Parkour in the UK is widely seen as a positive thing in most cases but it’s largely misunderstood. The public tend to perceive it as ‘that cool thing from tv’ and are impressed by it, but they don’t know anything about what’s actually being trained in most cases.

 

Alex: On the other hand: How do you think the international community sees Parkour in the UK?

Blane: I think a lot of the worldwide community see the UK as one of the central locations for Parkour, which is interesting due to its French roots. It’s true that there are a lot of people training in the UK and that there are a lot of very experienced people here.. but Parkour is a truly global phenomenon and the UK is really quite small! People also think that we are very lucky in the UK since we have some very, very good training areas. 😀

 

 

Alex: You are well known for pushing yourself very hard in training.

-How do you determine the point where it would turn into destroying your body, rather than pushing the limits?

Blane: I think that knowledge comes from experience. I think I understand very well what is beneficial for my body and what is damaging, but there is a difference between knowing where that line is and choosing to cross it. Sometimes I do things that I know are damaging for my body because I believe there is a psychological benefit to doing so, but as long as I’m careful then I can recover from that training and become better from it.

Alex: How do you cope with injuries?

Blane: Injuries are a part of the discipline but I’m happy to say that I don’t get injured very much. I’m overly careful with my training in some cases but I really focus on taking care of any problems I have before they become bigger.. so if I feel some strange pain or issue then I’ll immediately deal with it and adjust my training around it and give the area time to heal or rest. This method has kept me relatively injury free since 2003! Whenever I have any minor injuries I try to stay positive and treat it as an opportunity to improve something else.

 

The following questions were originally designed for the general Parkour Generations interview.(as we already did) But as a coach and vital part of the organisation we would like to direct them to you instead. [The I in the next question refers to a particular member of our community]

 

Alex: When I was training with Parkour Generations during my stay in London i had the impression that especially the indoor classes follow a very physical way of training without any visible way of focussing on parkour philosophy.

-How important of a role is teaching your practicioners an understanding of a true to the original way parkour spirit?

 

Blane: I think it’s important that people understand the original way of Parkour and it’s difficult to pass this on in a coached session, but it’s very possible. The important thing is that students are exposed to these situations that naturally call for qualities like respect, strength, honesty, humility.. so we try to expose our students to situations that would do that, without forcing it on them.

Our indoor classes are only a supplement to training and we don’t call it Parkour training in itself. If someone only trains indoors then they will miss a huge part of what Parkour is! Therefore we use our indoor classes to build qualities like endurance, strength and power, and some technique work.. and we focus on presenting the original messages of Parkour more in our outdoor classes.

 

Alex: Do you encourage your practitioners to go training outside and connect with others as well? (i mean outside regular classes)

Blane: We insist that our students train outside of Parkour classes! It’s absolutely necessary that they do so if they want to really reach their potential in Parkour. I believe training outside, alone or in small groups, is one of the best ways to train Parkour and we actively encourage it. The Parkour community is very open and friendly in the UK so we want our students to go see that.

 

 

Alex: As a company one of the most basic needs is income. As a result of a discussion in the community the following question arised:

What effect has the need for income on the quality of classes? (If there is any)

Blane: There is a need for income for any company to survive, as you said. But this doesn’t have to have any negative effect on the quality of classes. In almost every case, I think that it means the quality of the class has to be exceptionally high, because people are paying to be there!

We’ve always approached coaching Parkour from the mindset that we’re not being paid to coach Parkour, we’re being paid for our time.. which is very different. Time is the most valuable thing a person has so if someone wants to use your time to learn something from you (as is the case with a coach of any activity), it’s completely fair that you someone should be compensated for that.. but it’s better if it never becomes the reason or priority for coaching. J