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Simone Bicorgna is an italian practicioner who, after the events of the AOM 2019 in Matera released a statement openly discussing issues with the events surrounding the AOM that day. For Simone the AOM has raised questions on respecting spaces and on the ethics behind events like these. But it is not just Simones personal opinion. The AOM has caused an outcry from Matera locals and italian newspapers openly doubting the ethics of parkour/freerunning itself. Reason enough to take the initiative and ask Simone on his thoughts on it all.

At the end you will find many links to the articles, the actual AOM live stream, Storror and Storm coverage and other material related to the AOM in Matera.

Hi Simone. You recently released a statement (LINK!) in which you openly discussed your opinion on the Red Bull Art of Motion (AOM) that happened on October 5th in Matera Italy. Before diving into that:

  1. Who are you? What is your relation to Matera and the region?

I’m the director/president of ADD Academy Umbria, the first italian Art du Déplacement Academy directly recognized by the Yamakasi founders, that we opened in Italy in 2014. But first I’m a practictioner of Art Du Déplacement, I started to train in 2007 like many others, after many views of some parkour videos on youtube. Then in 2009 I met Laurent Piemontesi and after Chau Belle, Williams Belle and Yann Hnautra and I started training Art du Déplacement. I live in Terni, a small town in the centre of Italy, in the region Umbria, and I’m a full time coach in my association.

I was involved in a big project that ended in june 2019 in Matera and for this reason I have some good links, some friendships there, that is 500 km away from my place. I know the guys that live and train there, we worked together to make a big show and an International workshop supported by Fondazione Matera European Capital of Culture 2019.

  1. Can you quickly summarise what the key message of your statement was? What is it all about?

I noticed from the news that many accidents and disruption happened in Matera before, during and after the AOM, like damages to the Unesco heritage, and conflicts with the population, so I openly put the attention on it, because I think the most important values in the practice of ADD/parkour/freerunning are RESPECT and RESPONSABILITY. In my text I asked the readers some questions about that event: will there be any positive outputs for the local community? Which consequences for the town? Which for the RedBull brand? Who is going to pay for the damages? And, in the end, which kind of values are inspired by such events?

  1. Were you at the event yourself? How did you perceive the AOM?

No, I was not there, but I saw it on streaming.

  1. What are your main concerns in regards to the event?

I don’t like competitions but this is not the point. The main problem, as I see it, is the negative impact, caused by the event, on the inhabitants, and of course on the historical site. Matera is fragile and has to be protected. The organization of AOM didn’t pay any attention to that, but only on the show.

  1. Some time has already passed since the AOM took place. What is the feedback you have picked up so far?

a) What is the feedback from any officials and/or authorities? -> city administration for example

They didn’t say anything

b) What is the feedback from people living in Matera? How did they perceive the event.

I understood there is some disappointment, someone wrote about perceiving a sort of invasion by the freerunners, people jumping on the roofs of the houses at every hour for the whole weekend, annoying the owners of the houses, causing damages to walls and roofs and things like this. There were many calls to the police in those days by many inhabitants, and a journalist was beaten by a group of young freerunners because she was filming them while jumping on the roofs. I can’t say if in general people from Matera are happy about the AOM, but for sure someone is not. Recently the ADD/Parkour association of Matera “Muvt” realased a statement about that.

c) What was the feedback from the spectators from the event? Did they like the AOM?

I think that people who like AOM and went there to see the show, they liked it.

d) What is the feedback from the parkour communities who travelled to the event to see it live? (Have you heard anything?)

Same as before, I think the AOM has its audience, and these people love it, of course.

e) What is the feedback from the participating athletes? (Storror for example released a video -> LINK).

I don’t really much care about their opinion about that because, in some ways, they are part of the same business. Unfortunately Storror are already responsible for a sad accident that happened in Rome last year, filming themselves jumping on a police car. Because of that no one is anymore allowed to train where it happened and the local parkour associations had serious problems with their work on that area. Storror didn’t pay any consequences or apologize either.

  1. If we look at the relation between the AOM and the Greek island of Santorini for example. As much as I can´t relate to the AOM itself I still think the image of the island as a touristic location has benefitted from hosting the event since 2012. I don´t say the image of parkour has benefitted from the event but for the island and it´s public image it was probably a good thing. –  Do you think Matera is different from Santorini in this matter? – Why?

I don’t really think that places like Santorini or Matera need any help from the parkour community in order to grow their tourism; what I mean is that we are talking about people (ADD/parkour/freerunning practitioners) who, usually, don’t spend so much money while travelling, to let me think about them as an economic benefit for the city; in the particular case of Matera, they can cost a lot instead, causing damages to the ancient sites and roofs of the town.

  1. You mentioned the damages to the UNESCO world heritage: How serious is this damage we are speaking of?

I saw from facebook several walls cracked down and many damages on the roofs, so many that the President of “Fondazione Sassi” (the institution who works to promote and preserve the Unesco heritage in Matera) released an official disapproval statement that echoed through local and national newspapers.

a) Who do you think is to be held responsible for these damages?

First the Red Bull company that benefits from the event, then the ones who directly damaged the stuff, but also the Municipality for giving the authorization for the event.

b) What could have been done to avoid the damage?

I sincerely think Matera is not the place where an event like the AOM can be made without bad consequences, Matera is not Santorini, it is very old and fragile. Anyway the organization did not involved people from the town, or give any advice to the guys, there was not any security service. They came and went back home taking what they wanted, leaving damages.

  1. Do you fear long term consequences for your work in the region because of the AOM 2019? If yes: What kind of consequences? What are your thoughts?

Yes, of course. We did an amazing job in june working with Fondazione Matera European Capital of Culture 2019, but now I feel people in general will not understand the difference, also the municipality could ban future events.

  1. Do you think the AOM 2019 in Matera has helped spread parkour to a greater audience in Italy? Making it more accessible to an audience that had no idea of parkour yet for example?

For sure AOM it’s not promoting parkour, but parkour based competitions instead, that is very different.  I really can’t say if some people heard for the first time about parkour thanks to the AOM in Matera, probably it happened, but I think the great majority of the people who heard about this (understanding what parkour really is) already knew parkour. The real aim of Red Bull is promoting the energy drink in all the action sports and extreme sports in order to reach all the different markets. The marketing strategy is easy and probably the best in the world actually: to persuade all kind of people (mostly the youngers) to buy the Red Bull energy drink, because it helps you to overcome your limits and reach your goals. In order to achieve this goal, Red Bull has occupied every kind of sport, sponsoring (and owning) athletes, teams and of course events. Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz said: “We don’t bring the product to the consumer, we bring consumers to the product.” They associate the energy drink to the best athletes and the most extreme and spectacular sports to spread the energy drink to all the audiences who like these sports. Of course the athletes involved in the Red Bull Circus gain in terms of popularity and fame mostly inside the community, but I don’t think it helps so much to spread the parkour outside the community. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s my opinion.

  1. Do you have anything else you want to mention? – Anything else to say?

I think Red Bull can easily pay for the damages and apologize for what occurred. I’m not against events like that, but what about ethics and responsibility? It seems to me that many teams and events are pushing on the marketing strategy to appear as outlaw, over any rules, spreading the message to the younger generations that they can do whatever they want and that it is just fun (escaping from police, invading private property, pushing the adrenaline on the maximum to reach the podium, the likes, the success). I want to say that this is all fake and very risky. The original spirit of the founders/pioneers is very different instead: intimate, respectful and responsible, very linked to the habitat and to the people and yet powerfully revolutionary. The new generations should have the opportunity to know and understand this primarily and fundamental approach based on positive values. Keep your Ego aside, put community first.

We don’t need to build anything fake to move freely, and I also think there is no evolution in the practice of parkour/freerun through competitions, because competitions and competitors are the orthodoxy in sport, it is a very conservative way to look on the physical activity, so, in my opinion, they are not pushing forward, but backward the movement, building themselves their own cage, with the audience screaming out to see them pushing over the limits like any other sport. And what happen if  anyone injuries oneself? They just cut him/her off from the competition and pick someone else up to occupy the empty seat, the show must go on. I still think the best and real competition is with yourself, with your own limits and fears, not with others.

 

Simone Bicorgna

 

Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts on this!

 

To finish this up here are some useful links if you want to know more:

AOM 2019 live stream – LINK

Simone Bicorgna statement – LINK

Newspaper article on the AOM in the local Matera newspaper – LINK

Newspaper article 2 on the AOM – LINK

Neswspaper article 3 on the AOM – LINK

ADD Academy Umbria – LINK

MUVT: local Matera Parkour group – LINK

Workshop video with Laurent Piemontesi and Marcello Pallozzo in Matera – LINK

Storror video of the AOM 2019 – LINK

Storm Freerun documentary on Ed Scott and his participation in the AOM 2019 – LINK

Source of pictures: unsplash.com, Simone Bicorgna

 

 

In October 2019 I had the chance to lead a session for the Parkour „Übungsleiter“ education, a preliminary step for the state recognized instructor certificate in Austria.

For the past years I have reflected on my style of teaching parkour and what values I want to transport. And to me it comes down to 3 major things:

  • Outdoor Training
  • Exploration
  • The use and creation of challenges

Before heading on here is a quick overview /table of contents of the article

Table of contents

Background

Outdoor training
Exploration
The use and creation of challenges

Designing challenges

Categories of challenges
The nature of a challenge
The context of a challenge or – the setting

Summary

Planning your students effort / performance
Conclusion

Outdoor training

Parkour is an outdoor activity.  It was born on the streets of Paris, Evry, Lisses and in the woods of Sarcelles. Parkour is Parkour because of the way people trained and developed it. Training outdoor, amongst other factors is what separates us from other disciplines like gymnastics for example. Sadly training outdoors is not something I can expect and take for granted in every practitioner I meet. Even when I look upon the next generation of coaches I don´t see this. And that´s a shame. It indicate the parkour culture is losing its touch with being outdoor, with being in the city, with shaping our spaces. I see people who openly admit not wanting to teach outdoors because of safety issues or because of fear. I see people who have rarely trained outdoors themselves in their years of practice. In my own session at the “Übungsleiter” I have heard the words (more or less like this): “I am too tired to train on concrete” – This still sticks to my head and I find it sad.

To cut the story short. I expect a good coach to focus his/her sessions outdoors. AND I expect a good coach to be able to deliver a beneficial session anywhere, geographically speaking. It should not matter if you are in a small town close to the alps in Austria or doing a session in a neighborhood of a big city you have not been before. Be there, do it, and do it outdoor. Sure there are occasions where indoor is better, but I am speaking on a  general basis here.

Exploration

I have a natural curiosity that is also reflected in my practice and in my teaching. I love looking for and discovering new spots AND making a different use of already known spots. If my character would not have this feature I would have stopped parkour very early on as at the times I had started there was nothing! We discovered the spots people train on right now. We saw the chances a place had to offer. We created movement where other people saw nothing. If you don´t like exploring you will always train in other peoples shadows. Every spot you go will have the stigma that someone else already did this or that, and you will feel either a need to achieve something similar OR a feeling of “oh alright” I can do this too. But when is the last time you were 100% certain that no one else has done this or that ever. Or that YOU must be the first person to train here? This is what parkour is about, because like this you take temporary ownership of a spot and forge a deep connection with the spot but also your own movement. So when I look at a coach I expect him or her to have made experiences like that.  These are the experiences we want to foster when coaching. These are the experiences that are valueable to practicioners. Exploration is key to these experiences and also key to making use of the outdoor environment. Especially when having to deal with unknown territory.  Exploration to me is a skill. One of many I want a coach to own.

The use and creation of challenges

The former attributes I described would be nothing without the knowledge and tools of creating a beneficial learning experience.  “Exploration” and “being outdoor” directly transfer into the skill of creating challenges to achieve our goals when coaching. Every session should have an underlying goal, something  a coach wishes to achieve for/ or transport to his/her participants. The “challenge” is a tool of doing this.

Why don´t I say exercise? A challenge is a type of exercise. Its outcome is not sure because it would not be a challenge if it is 100% sure you can do it. On the other hand something  physically impossible can never be a challenge. Let´s go with the Cambridge dictionary definition of a challenge: “(the situation of being faced with) something that needs great mental or physical effort in order to be done successfully and therefore tests a person’s ability.” Creating challenges in parkour sessions IS a challenge itself. It is a skill. It serves a coaching goal. It is done with responsibility for the health and safety of the people we teach. We should create meaningful challenges. 1000 push ups is in most of the cases not meaningful.  A challenge is foremost a test of ones abilities.

What I want to discuss further and what I have actually never written down yet is my own method of creating challenges, probably a big part of my own teaching. I want to do this because I hope other people can benefit from my approach. Use it to their liking and adapt it to their coaching. I don´t expect anyone to copy it. This approach has served me well over the years. Be it in designing the infamous Night Missions (the most extreme form of this approach so far). Be it when I was teaching my weekly classes on a regular basis or when teaching private sessions for people with specific needs.

Categories of challenges

When exploring my environment in the process of planning a session and developing challenges I often find myself in what I perceive as a complex environment. If the spot/area of your session is not well known to you or if you don´t know exactly how your group will be for the session (in terms of skill, in terms of size, etc.) then it becomes gradually harder in planning the right session. The more you as a coach don´t know about your session and everything that comes with it the higher I would say is the complexity of the task of creating a good session! Simplification is ONE means of dealing with a high grade of complexity, and the way I tend to think about challenges poses such a way of simplification. At least for a first step of planning a session.

Using categories of challenges for designing a session!

Imagine you are planning a session at a spot. You know what coaching goals you want to deliver and what the rough content of your session should be. The only thing you don´t know yet is what to do where exactly. What movement do you want to see where. What type of challenge do you incorporate?

The nature of a challenges

I for my part have come to think of challenges in certain categories. These are so far:

  • Balance

    There are a thousand ways of balancing. The simplest way might be standing upright on a bar. But balancing can be made impossibly hard. QM on a rail. Balancing on a chain? Doing other tasks while balancing? It is a basic skill in parkour that you simply can´t be good enough at. A good balance is the key to successful movement and successful bailing.

  • Climbing

    I often use climbing challenges at the beginning of a session as a means of getting to know my students and their skills. A technical climb on low level might show the level of strength they possess, their coordination, their recklessness or their thoughtfulness. It sometimes serves me as a diagnostic tool on the one hand but as a challenge in itself on the other hand. A technically easy climbing route up to a few meters height might be the sort of test for a student’s self estimation and mental strength.

  • Strength

    How do people get stronger? One way is doing strength and conditioning. Packing strength and conditioning in a challenge makes it more fun. But strength challenges can be a test of ones ability or a good way to get people out of their comfort zone. However you do it, always ask the question why you are doing a strength challenge. And: what type of strength are we training? (explosiveness, strength endurance, power?)

  • Offgroundchallenge

    Moving over an area without touching the floor. – I often combine this with teamwork. Presenting the problem in terms of a certain route for example, and then making a group of people help each other along the way. To me this serves as a way of developing communicational skills as well as problem solving.

  • Breaking jumps

    Breaking jumps might be one of the most important processes a parkour practicioner can go through. I always tend to present levels of difficulty for challenges like these if I am not sure how capable people are.

  • Movement at height / dealing with real fear

    Usually there is no big consequence in messing up a jump. So for some people it is tempting to throw themselves into a move without thinking too much. Introducing height to a challenge is something I like to do on a regular basis as it is an aspect of training I have neglected myself for a long time. The result was that I froze up as soon as I had to move on higher ground. Training dealing with height  and/or fear benefits the overall parkour training in my opinion and liberates a persons movement. This has to be done with great care though, always.

  • Endurance

    …is something a lot of parkour practicioners lack. A lot of people focus on single jumps instead of whole lines. Endurance might be the biggest neglected aspect of peoples parkour training. Don´t be that person. And don´t let endurance slip when you teach. An endurance challenge could be repeating a fixed line 10 times in 10 minutes. Or 20 times in 15 minutes. Depends on the line. Depends on the physicality.

  • Urban exploration

    I have shown people secret spots of their cities. For example an underground tunnel passing through the city center or abandoned bridges that lie in the dark. To me this is a category that is not really a stand alone category with a well defined aim. Urban exploration to me is a way of appreciating your environment. A way of forging a connection with city space. This is so related to my idea of parkour that I tend to incorporate this into my sessions sometimes. As a personal experience rather than a means of progressing a persons parkour skills.

  • …and many more

These are some of the categories when I think of challenges. And each type of challenge may serve a certain goal in my session as you can check out in the descriptions and examples above. But if you think of the categories of challenges as the CONTENT / NATURE of a challenge there is yet another aspect of a challenge that you can and should have in mind when designing it. This aspect can be adjusted and can be designed too.

The context of a challenge or – the setting

The setting can be worked with and changed and every setting can serve its own goal.

  • Teamchallenge or working alone

    Training alone has benefits. Achieving something alone has benefits too. For example breaking a jump. On the other hand solving problems together or sticking together in training when things get hard is something to consider when designing challenges. The question to answer for yourself when considering if a participant of your session should move on their own or in a team is: what do I want my students to learn from this? No promises it will work out BUT having this thought process dialed in is important.

  • Moving with a backpack as added weight vs. no added weight

    A lot of times people feel comfortable with just moving. Add their backpack into the game and their hard acquired skills become useless. Adding the backpack is a simpleand effective means of scaling exercises. I don´t say you have to have the same moves under your belt with or without backpack. All I say is you still should be able to do a climb up, a wallrun and some basic moves even with your backpack on. If you can´t move with your backpack on what would you do in a situation where you HAVE to? Being an emergency situation or trying to keep up with the Storrors on one of their roof missions? The sad answer to this question was presented to me back in 2009 when we got robbed in London – ever since I run, jump and climb even with 10kg on my back. – Sometimes…- https://www.we-trace.at/2016/01/15/the-vauxhall-robbery/

  • Timed challenges and added stress

    Adding time to a challenge can switch it up and make something totally different of it. In the “Übungsleiter” I had a simple offgroundchallenge with a degree of height in there. It was technically easy. I introduced timed laps and wanted to encourage the teams to go as fast as possible. I hoped this would force the group into a more uncomfortable situation as the challenge itself was not (yet) demanding. As I did not check up on every team I don´t know if it worked in the situation but I hope you get the idea.

  • Height and fear

    I have already introduced this as a type of challenge but to me this is a type of setting as well.

  • Competitive vs. non-competitive

    Introducing time restrictions for example is a way of making a challenge competitive. If you compared the times between groups it would make the challenge even more competitive. But beware competition bears the risk of injury and short sighted decisions. As with working with heights, introducing competition should be done with great care. As a coach you want to know your group and how they might react to competition.

  • …and many more

By adjusting the NATURE of a challenge as well as its CONTEXT I dare say it is possible to cater to most of the coaching goals you want to transport. Of course it needs a lot of preparation. It needs a lot of planning. It needs the willingness to try new things as a coach and a certain extent of creativity. The categories I have listed above are just examples of my own coaching practice. You will have other categories in mind or maybe you have already developed other ideas. Maybe you can think of a dozen different settings to use in a challenge. That would be awesome! Because that is exactly what I am aiming for with this approach.

Planning your students effort / performance

Challenges should be scaleable to cater to every skill level and to the whole group. If you think of a session as a chain of challenges, thinking in the proposed categories allows to judge the type of exhaustion, the type of effort your group will be faced with. It also allows for a well balanced planning of the type of effort you will demand of your students. Climbing might demand strength in the arms but balancing might relax the arms and demand concentration. Endurance might be hard on, well, endurance, but working on height might allow for some rest endurance wise. Chain your challenges together wisely and you can achieve quite a high performance output of your students without killing them physically. That´s the main concept behind the Night Mission where we cover a distance of up to 25km in 9hrs of constant movment! (The distance is not the aim of the Night Mission it is merely a result of transporting oneself from one spot to the other).

Conclusion

My categorization of the nature and the context of challenges is neither whole nor is it 100% defined. Sometimes categories may overlap, be a subset of a different category, whatever. I realize this. BUT remember that this system shall help reduce complexity not serve as a definition.

If this system helps any coach to bring more structure into his/her session I dare say mission accomplished. Especially to new coaches or coaches from a way different background I assumed this way of thinking can be of benefit. That´s why delivering this approach was my main aim at the “Übungsleiter” in October 2019 but also at a session in New York earlier this year.  If you have any questions or if you want to discuss this further you can reach me at alex(at)we-trace.at

Ab Mai 2019 findet in Österreich bereits zum ~4 Mal in Kooperation mit der BSPA Bundessportakademie (Linz) die staatlich anerkannte Instruktorenausbildung zu Parkour und Freeruning statt.

Fabian und Fitsch aus der Wiener Parkourszene nehmen an diesem Lehrgang Teil und haben sich dankenswerterweise bereit erklärt über ihre Erfahrungen im Zuge der Instruktorausbildung zu berichten. Der Kurs findet in mehreren geblockten Teilen über mehrere Wochen verteilt statt.

Danke an Fabian und Fitsch an dieser Stelle für die Zeit und Mühe die in diesen Bericht geflossen ist!!

@fabian_janicek

@sprungeheuer

Intro

Liebe Leserinnen und Leser,

ich (Fabian, 25, Single 😉 ) habe in der Woche vom 13.05.2019 bis 17.05.2019 (16.05.2019 in meinem Fall, da ich einen Tag früher abreisen musste) am ersten Teil der Parkour und Freerunning Instruktor Ausbildung der BSPA Linz (Bundessportakademie Linz) teilgenommen. Hier schildere ich meine Eindrücke.

Vorweg möchte ich noch sagen, dass ich kein Schreiber bin und diesen Artikel auf die Bitte, vom lieben Alex hin, schreibe. Also jeder der sich jetzt ein literarisches Meisterwerk erwartet, sollte diesen Text weglegen und lieber einen anderen Text lesen (meine Empfehlung wäre “Faust” von Göthe).

Allgemeine Informationen zum Kurs

Bevor ich näher auf die Inhalte des Kurses eingehe, werde ich noch allgemeine Informationen zur Ausbildung geben. Die Ausbildung besteht aus vier Kursteilen die jeweils vier oder fünf Tage lang dauern. Wie oben schon erwähnt, wird die Ausbildung von der BSPA Linz im Olympiazentrum veranstaltet. Am Ende der staatlichen Ausbildung wird das Wissen in Theorie und Praxis geprüft. Also ist es voraussichtlich eine halbwegs ernst zu nehmende Prüfung und keine Freunderlwirtschaft. Die Ausbildung selber ist auch staatlich gefördert und kostet daher nur 95€ für alle vier Kursteile inklusive Skripten. Die Grundvoraussetzungen um an der PK & FR Instruktor Ausbildung teilzunehmen sind eine abgeschlossene Übungsleiterausbildung (vorzugsweise ÜL für PK & FR, aber ÜL für Trendsportarten geht auch), ein ärztliches Attest (das bestätigt, dass man gesund und fit ist) und zu guter Letzt das Bestehen der Aufnahmeprüfung.

Zudem muss ich hier noch anmerken, dass die Parkour Praxiseinheiten alle indoor unterrichtet werden und der methodische Übungsaufbau auf ein Hallentraining ausgelegt ist. Was man davon dann in den Trainings- bzw. Unterrichtsalltag mitnehmen kann, wenn man vorrangig outdoor unterrichtet, bleibt dahingestellt.

Erster Kursteil

Der erste Kursteil hat mit einer kleinen praktischen Aufnahmeprüfung begonnen, die für jede halbwegs fitte Person, die sich mit dem Sport Parkour & Freerunning ein bisschen beschäftigt hat, kein Problem darstellen sollte. Zuerst muss ein Hindernislauf auf Zeit bewältigt werden. Danach muss jeder Teilnehmer zeigen, dass er/sie die Basic-Vaults beherrscht (Speed-Step/Safety Vault, Kong, Dash, Lazy, Reverse und Speed Vault). Nach den Vaults werden noch Präzisionssprünge auf eine Linie demonstriert und Parkour-Rollen abgeprüft. Bei den Parkour Bewegungen geht es im allgemeinen darum zu zeigen, dass man diese Bewegungen kontrolliert und fehlerfrei ausführen kann. Diese sollte aber nach einem erfolgreich abgeschlossenen Übungsleiter für PK & FR (Grundvoraussetzung für den Instruktor) wohl jeder Teilnehmer können. Zum Abschluss müssen alle Anwärter noch ein Seil hochklettern (Männer ohne Beine, Frauen mit Beinen). Die Aufnahmeprüfung haben alle ohne Probleme gemeistert.

Wie schon erwähnt lässt sich die Ausbildung einerseits in Theorie und Praxis gliedern und andererseits in “allgemein” und “speziell” (Parkour spezifisch) unterteilen. Die speziellen Teile wurden über die ganze Woche von Martin Friedrich (Team Obsession, im Artikel kurz Martin) geleitet.

Aufnahmeprüfung und Tag 1

Nach der Aufnahmeprüfung haben wir gleich mit einer speziellen/parkourspezifischen Praxiseinheit begonnen, bei der es um die Vermittlung fortgeschrittener Techniken der Hindernisüberwindung (Dive Kong und Double Kong) gegangen ist. Dabei haben wir zu den beiden Übungen jeweils einen methodischen Übungsaufbau von Martin gelernt. Er selber hat dazu gemeint, dass dieser Aufbau nur ein Vorschlag ist und wir es auch gerne anders machen können. Meiner Meinung nach war der Aufbau bei beiden Übungen sehr gut, aber zu detailliert und langatmig. Also sehr gut sofern man Bewegungslegastheniker unterrichtet. Nachdem es bei diesen Techniken um fortgeschrittene Hindernisüberwindungen geht, mache ich das natürlich nur mit einer Gruppe von Schülern die schon genügend sportspezifische Bewegungserfahrung hat um die beiden Übungen schneller zu erlernen. Falls ich dann doch einmal einen Schüler habe der nur Tourist in seinem Körper ist (also unterdurchschnittlich wenig Kontrolle über seinen Körper besitzt) bin ich Martin sehr dankbar für diesen Aufbau (Martin, falls du das liest: du bist ein leiwander Kerl und ich hoffe, dass du dich damit nicht persönlich angegriffen fühlst. Das ist nur meine Meinung und die ist nicht immer die kompetenteste Meinung, kennst mich ja eh; Bussi ;-*). Die Stunde haben wir dann noch mit einem Spiel zum Thema Flow beendet. Wie oben schon erwähnt ist es fraglich wieviel man von diesen methodischen Übungsaufbauten outdoor auch umsetzen kann, wenn man nicht dasselbe Equipment hat wie in einer Turnhalle.

Damit war der Montagvormittag einmal abgeschlossen. Über die Theorie und Praxiseinheiten der folgenden Tage (Montag bis Donnerstag, wie oben erwähnt musste ich Freitag leider schon fahren und konnte nicht mehr am Kurs teilnehmen) werde ich nicht ganz so detailliert berichten. Die theoretischen Einheiten in diesen Tagen waren: Sportgeschichte, allgemeine Trainingslehre, allgemeine Bewegungslehre, Betriebskunde, Seminar für Fachfragen (Sicherheit), Sportpädagogik/Sportmethodik, Sportbiologie, Dopingprävention und Deutsch (Kommunikation) für Nicht-Maturanten.

Atmosphäre

Bevor ich einen kurzen Einblick in die einzelnen Theorieeinheiten gebe, will ich allgemein sagen, dass es die Vortragenden geschafft haben ihre jeweiligen Inhalte sehr gut zu präsentieren. Damit meine ich einerseits die Art und Weise wie es erklärt wurde und andererseits die Atmosphäre, also gelegentliche Witze der Vortragenden und Teilnehmer, die die Stimmung eher locker gehalten haben. So locker wie es sein kann wenn Wissensvermittlung an erster Stelle steht (es ist ja immerhin ein staatlich geprüfter Kurs). Die Teilnehmer hatten jederzeit die Möglichkeit Zwischenfragen zu stellen. Sowohl bei Unklarheiten zum Thema, als auch wenn das Interesse bzw. die Frage eines Teilnehmers über den Kursstoff hinausgegangen ist. Kurz gesagt: Gute Atmosphäre und kompetente Vortragende. Ein Lob an die Organisation des Instruktor-Kurses und die Vortragenden der BSPA Linz.

Location

Das Olympiazentrum ist eine gut gewählte Location und solange man nicht auf ihr Dach klettert auch sehr umgänglich und freundlich. Ich möchte an dieser Stelle noch anmerken, dass ich bereits ein Jahr Sport studiert habe und auch andere Ausbildungen im Bereich Sport und Fitness absolviert habe. Also habe ich einen Großteil vom Stoff davor schon einmal gehört, was es mir natürlich leichter macht Inhalte zu verstehen. Trotzdem glaube ich, dass andere Teilnehmer, die sich mit diesen Themen noch nie beschäftigt haben, es auch sehr gut verstanden haben. Außerdem habe ich mich mit meinen Kommentaren, sofern sie qualifiziert waren, ab und zu wie ein Streber gefühlt (in der Schule war ich eher das Gegenteil). Die unqualifizierten Kommentare meinerseits waren Größenteils dumme Witze, die gut aufgenommen wurden (danke für die Geduld an meine Kollegen und die Vortragenden).

Theorie

Jetzt gehe ich noch kurz auf die wichtigen Theorieteile der ersten Kurswoche ein:

  • Sportgeschichte war nur eine sehr kurze Einheit mit einem kleinen allgemeinen Teil und einem längeren speziellen Teil. Im speziellen Teil wurde die Geschichte von Parkour genauer behandelt. Ich werde nicht die ganze Geschichte von Parkour und Freerunning erzählen, sondern nur die üblichen Namen auflisten die mit der Entstehung der Sportart in Verbindung gebracht werden: Georges Herbert/Methode Naturelle, Raymond Belle, David Belle, Sebastien Foucan und Yamakasi. Um die ist es natürlich bei uns hauptsächlich gegangen.
  • Allgemeine Trainingslehre und allgemeine Bewegungslehre haben sich mit den konditionellen Fähigkeiten (Kraft, Ausdauer, Beweglichkeit und Schnelligkeit), den koordinativen Fähigkeiten (Gleichgewichtsfähigkeit, Rythmisierungsfähigkeit, Differnzierungsfähigkeit, Reaktionsfähigkeit usw.)  und sensomotorischen Fähigkeiten bzw. Sensomotorik (wobei Sensomotorik und Koordination sehr eng beisammen liegen) auseinandergesetzt. Also genauer gesagt wie man diese Fähigkeiten trainieren kann.
  • Im Fach Betriebskunde haben wir alles Mögliche über Vereinsrecht, Betriebsrecht und Steuerrecht erfahren. Der Vortragende war selber Steuerberater und konnte uns auch für unsere persönlichen Situationen ein paar Fragen beantworten.
  • In Sportbiologie haben wir die Basics von Anatomie vorgetragen bekommen. Da hatten wir zwar nur eine Einheit, aber es kommt mit Sicherheit noch mehr in den nächsten Kursteilen.
  • Genauso in Sportpädagogik/Sportmethodik. Da haben wir das Thema ein bisschen angeschnitten, werden aber in den weitere Kursteilen sicher noch tiefer in die Materie eintauchen.

Alle weiteren Theoriefächer, die ich jetzt nicht explizit angeführt habe (Dopingprävention, Seminar für  Fachfragen (Sicherheit) und Deutsch (Kommunikation) für Nicht-Maturanten), waren Nebenfächer. Wobei ich zu Deutsch (Kommunikation) für Nicht-Maturanten nichts sagen kann, da nur Kursteilnehmer ohne Matura (ich habe eine Matura, sollte aber klar sein nachdem ich oben erwähnt habe, dass ich ein Jahr lang Sport studiert habe) an diesem Fach teilnehmen mussten (acht Jahre Schule haben doch etwas gebracht, eine Stunde weniger im Instruktorkurs sitzen).

Praxis

Nach dem Theorieteil kommt noch der Praxisteil dieser Kurswoche bzw der vier Tage, die ich anwesend war. Insgesamt hat es vier Einheiten gegeben.

Die erste Einheit war ein spezieller/parkourspezifischer Teil mit Martin auf den ich oben schon eingegangen bin. Die anderen drei Teile haben sich mit Sensomotorik beschäftigt. Also im Prinzip mit der Ausbildung der koordinativen Fähigkeiten. Dabei hatten wir in den unterschiedlichen Einheiten jeweils andere Schwerpunkte. Die Schwerpunkte waren Kopplungsfähigkeit (unterschiedliche Bewegungen miteinander zu verbinden), Gleichgewichtsfähigkeit und Reaktionsfähigkeit (beide selbsterklärend). Wobei natürlich immer mehr als nur eine koordinative Fähigkeit geübt wurde. Zum Abschluss hatten wir noch die Möglichkeit uns in Kleingruppen auf unterschiedlichen Stationen selber kreative Aufgaben zu überlegen die uns persönlich koordinativ bzw. sensomotorisch fordern.

Der letzte Tag der Ausbildung gestaltete sich wieder parkourspezifisch. Martin übernahm ganztags die Kursleitung. Im theoretischen Teil zu Organisation des Sports wurden aktuelle Thematiken wie Wettkämpfe, Fachverband (ÖPFV) in Zusammenhang mit der FIG Thematik und Ausbildungsstrukturen besprochen. Im Anschluss fand noch eine Einheit zur speziellen Pädagogik statt, welche sich mit Risiko und Risikowahrnehmung, Persönlichkeitsentwicklung, Wahrnehmungs-/Problemlösungskompetenz sowie verschiedenen Lern- und Lehrmethoden im Bereich PK/FR beschäftigte. Wiederum sehr kompetent und didaktisch wertvoll vorgetragen.

Der restliche Tag war praktisch und vom methodischem Übungsaufbau von Backflip, Palmflip, Gainer und Back Full im Turnsaal bestimmt, wobei für jede Bewegung verschiedene Aufbauten für ein erleichtertes Erlernen sowie spezifisches Sichern erklärt und ausprobiert wurden.

Vielen Dank, an alle die es geschafft haben bis hier her dran zu bleiben. Ich hoffe, dass dieser Artikel euch einen kleinen Einblick in den Ablauf der Parkour & Freerunning Instruktor Ausbildung gebracht hat. Nach dem zweiten Kursteil, Oktober 2019, werde ich diesen natürlich auch wieder zusammenfassen.

Vielen Dank auch an Fitch (bzw. Fitsch, wie er sich selber schreiben würde) für seine Zusammenfassung vom letzten Tag, an dem ich ja, wie oben schon gefühlt 20 mal erwähnt, selber nicht teilnehmen konnte.

Liebe Grüße,

Fabian

Recently I was asked “What motivates you as a coach?”. It was before a guest coaching for Movement Creative in New York in 2019. I wrote my answer and I thought ok, if I am going to do this I am going to do it right (meaning long lol ). So here it is. Why do I coach you ask?

When I started in 2004 I was one of 5 people in the whole country. Teaching was a necessity back then rather than a choice as beginners were approaching us frequently. It was natural that we tried to keep people from making our mistakes. It was natural to help them progress faster than we did (in terms of technique) and to pass on what we learned and experienced.

From this necessity a passion for teaching and coaching was born. This went together with my constant reflection on what parkour is for me and how I try to transport it. This correlates strongly with the low amount and quality of information that was available to practicioners at these times.  To me parkour has changed a lot of times. And the more I got to train with more experienced people or whenever I had the chance to learn directly from the founders the more it changed. It impacted my own parkour and my coaching too.

Fast forward to 2013. I did a 6 month internship (study related) at PKGen in London. In the last 1-2 months I also assisted in teaching their classes. Children, adults, anything really. This was also the time I did ADAPT, but not because this cert means anything in Austria but because I was trying to grasp all the knowledge I could. Btw. I am aware of the influences of Streetmovement on ADAPT and I am aware that other organisations have totally different approaches than PKGen. And they are all valid to me. (a shout out at this point to PKOne for example from Germany)

When I came back from London I tried to share what I had learned. I still want to  think I am partly responsible that coaches in Austria make sessionplans these days, that they know why a proper warmup is good for you and that parkour can´t be solemly taught indoors. These are basic things but information was so rare. A few years back from London a colleague and me started Parkour Austria, a parkour company. We offered classes and workshops amongst other services. I was teaching a few times a week. I stepped back from PK Austria end of 2018 but I still enjoy teaching.

Why? Because I still think parkour is one of the most amazing and versatile activities out there. I still think it is inclusive and can be practiced by anyone no matter what. (One of my students was blind and deaf btw. You can read about our sessions here:

https://www.we-trace.at/2018/11/22/novision_nohearing_parkour/

My motivation to coach has not changed over time but maybe the demand has. I am not sure if what I teach is demanded or if people actually care, but I am here and with me is the history of my parkour.

We (practicioners) often claim parkour is such a “holistic” and “well rounded” discipline. That it is good for old and young and that it is a great all around training. Sure, I believe so too and I teach it as well.

Over the years I have started testing this believe. The endurance challenge called Night Missions are a sort of test to check if your training has prepared you for meeting a multitude of physical and psychological requriements. But the Night Missions are very close to parkour in terms of what to expect and in terms of how you move.

And in my opinion a good traceur is also a good mover. If you train a lot in a certain discipline. How well do you do in others? – Can a climber run a marathon if he wanted to? Is a swimmer any good in alpinism? Can a weight lifter do basic gymnastics moves? If yes, can they do it “right now”? If no, why? I have a similar thought process connected to parkour. Is my training good enough to have prepared me for a multitude of potential challenges?

Can I run a marathon? Can I climb a mountain? Can I ride my bike from Vienna to Linz in a day? (~200km)

2 years ago I had that question pop up in my mind. Can I ride my bike from Vienna (where I live now) to Linz (where I was born) in a day? I train parkour. I think my training has provided me with a good fitness level. But can I ride the bike in that huge endurance challenge style? Let´s find out.

I basically took my bike a few weeks after the initial idea and set off to catastrophic failure. Well maybe not catastrophic but definitly “challenged failed” for me at that time. After 138 km and 13hrs of pure pain I gave up.

After having failed so miserably I knew what I did wrong and it motivated me the more to try again as soon as possible. The bad news is: what did I do wrong? – EVERYTHING (more on that in a sec.). The good news is: Mistakes can be learned from and corrected.

So what did I do wrong? 2 main mistakes.

  • Bad navigation – made me loose a LOT of time.
  • Bad preperation – for instance: I took 4 woollen shirts with me. When I sweated I changed them and put the used ones in my backpack. The sweaty shirts added a lot of unneccessary weight. Oh yeah. I carried a heavy backpack – bad choice, put a lot of pressure on my body and posture. – speaking of which: I did not adjust my bike to my body (seat position and height, handlebar,…), and so on…
  • Bad equipment – really old bike from the 70s with a gear change mounted to the frame. But the bike was a constant, it was part of my challenge. I wanted to do it with that bike and had no other choice anyway. But if I was to repeat the challenge I would prefer to do it with a slightly more modern bike.

Fast forward to 2 years later. I am on the road for 150km already and I feel great. I have already passed the spot where I gave up 2 years ago. Nothing is hurting, legs feel good, wtf is happening?

What did I change and why wait 2 years?

I think when you suffer as much as I did in that failed attempt you definitly don´t want to hear a few weeks about cycling, because…”Cycling sucks anyways”. But in all seriousness. A mental break is good. Give it a rest. And so I did. I needed time to think and analyse. Then came winter. The following year I forgot all about the challenge and continued training parkour as usual.

When I coincidentally found a great used road bike for sale I took the chance and bought it. I also talked to a work colleague of mine, who I found out was a cycling enthusiast and who has done some great tours in Austria and other countries (including Vienna to Linz). I think I mentioned I wanted to do the Linz challenge (as I call it) and he answered that we should do it together. An idea was reborn. I estimated my chances were good given I had a lot of potential when I would use what my errors showed me last time. Also: we would be a team of 3 people joining forces for the tour this time. The third man on bord was a powerhouse. Performance rower and strong built body type. Cycling for him means a balance to his training routine in rowing. He was in for the fun of it and he too had done the route already.

What did I change effectively?

  1. functional clothing: biking pants, shirt and shoes with a click pedal system, (the shirt does not get wet when sweating for example) – it really makes a difference
  2. no backpack but a saddle bag with only the most necessary equipment (spare tube, tools, food)
  3. adjusted my bike to my body when I could (most importantly saddle height for optimum power transfer)
  4. the bike had/has a comfortable shimano 105 gear shift and ran smoother/easier than my other one (that I still use for city biking)
  5. maybe the most important factor: THE TEAM

Our team included my work colleague. Navigation mastermind who provided the best route for us via his Garmin GPS system and who would lead most of the way; a friend who lead our party sometimes and who set an incredible base speed (leading some stretches with 35kmh). Following and having the chance to be paced like that pushed us forward allthough sometimes I had to ask to reduce the speed by a few kmh as I felt like burning out if I continued.

The ~200km flew by in a breeze. The weather was perfect, the wind was good. Success!

Some key stats:

  • Overall distance: 197,4 km
  • Overall time (netto riding time): 7,5 hours
  • Overall time (breaks included): ~9 hours
  • Average speed: 26,1 kmh
  • Starting time: 05:00 am
  • Finishing time: 13:40
  • Falls due to inexperience with getting out of click pedals: 1 (yeah lol I was just falling over when standing).

My resume is: I was a fool for going in so blue eyed. It would be the same as when a swimmer would instantly try to free solo the biggest walls in his/her swimsuit. Not happening. But change the swimsuit for basic rock climbing gear, get a great partner to lead the pitches, have some basic rock climbing skills and off we go! (ok climbing might not be the best paradigm but I hope the point comes across).

I am glad to have finished this challenge and I am up for more. 200km of biking is something I can do with my current parkour training and I am glad. In encourage everyone to take their skills to the test, see if their training works for other disciplines too? If yes it is a good indicator for a healthy development and a sustainable training style.

 

The following blog post is the last part from my 5 part series about my experience in London where I did a 6 month intership for Parkour Generations.  

Looking back to 2013, living and working in London was an amazing experience. It shaped me and my training and ultimately gave me the courage to co-found Parkour Austria (from where I withdrew end of 2018).

My days, although very different and filled with a ton of new experiences had a similar structure. I would arrive with the first “after rush hour” train at the Chainstore (09:30 or 10:00). The gym would be quiet mostly until early afternoon, and I took this time to do computer work (emails, preperations, news pieces, other tasks…). Midday I would start moving a bit because people were arriving or because PKGen team members started training. I joined in, or if no one else was there I would often train alone too. I would also just walk out the office, bust a few muslce ups or ring muscle ups, and go back in. It was pure pleasure ^^ After a first training session I would continue work. And a lot of times I would train again for an hour or more before heading home.

Then, a lot of times (especially in the beginning) I joined PKGen classes. And because I was quite unfit at the time due to stress levels before London I really could use all the training I got.

Here are some impressions from the life of a PKG Intern (navigate with the arrows!):

This routine got me down to 79kg in a few months. I arrived in London with probably around 88kg but I had no way to check my weight as there was no scale in our shared flat. So… funny story. One day I went to pick up tape for my ruptured callus at a pharmacy and I see they got a scale. It was a few “p” to weigh and I said f* it I am gonna do this now. So I did. And I realised I had lost around 6 kg. The next time I checked I was down to 79kg… This was crazy. And awesome.  In this time I also trained muscle ups a bit and could get 4 consecutive ones (I finally beat the 5 rep mark 2019). Ring muscle ups were also something I learned due to awesome feedback from some people who trained that day. And that I edged up to 12kg one rep or less kg, but up to 5 reps.

Some other cool things I could experience in that time were:

  • Winterval
  • ADAPT
  • the first Night Mission
  • the opening of the Chainstore
  • the first ADAPT conference
  • and many great and long talks with Forrest (to whom i feel indebted for all the time he took with me)

This is the end of the 5part series. If you need any info on how to get in touch with PKGen for a potential internship let me know, I can help.

Best,
Alex

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

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.

 

Von 10. bis 13. Dezember 2013 fand in London der letzte A.D.A.P.T. Level 1 Kurs des Jahres statt. Der folgende Blogeintrag widmet sich meinen Erfahrungen im Zuge des Kurses und einigen grundlegenden Dingen in Bezug auf Parkour, die sich für mich in den wenigen Tagen A.D.A.P.T. geändert haben.

 

Vorweg jedoch erst einmal: Was ist A.D.A.P.T. Level 1 nicht?! Diese im UK Raum und teilweise EU weit staatlich anerkannte Trainerzertifizierung ist eine Level 1 Zertifizierung. Dies bedeutet, dass der Inhaber dieser Zertifizierung dazu fähig ist einem Level 2 Coach oder höher bei der Durchführung einer Trainingseinheit zur Hilfe zu stehen. Die Level 1 Zertifizierung ist keine eigenständige Trainerausbildung! (Edit 2019: bisschen so wie ein Übungsleiter nur breiter gefasst als rein auf den Verein bezogen). Bemächtigt eigenständig Parkour zu unterrichten ist man ab Level 2 A.D.A.P.T.  , wobei zwischen Level 1 und Level 2 ganze Dimensionen liegen, was die Anforderung an die Teilnehmer anbelangt. Ein Umstand der beim Vergleich der Durchfallquoten anschaulich wird. Während bei Level 1 lediglich 20% Durchfallquote beobachtbar ist liegt die Quote bei Level 2 bei über 70%, was bedeutet, dass gerade einmal 3 aus 10 Personen Level 2 bestehen. Erwähnenswert ist außerdem, dass man nach den 4 Tagen Kurs und einer schriftlichen Prüfung noch NICHT zertifiziert ist, sondern bei 10 Coachingsessions eines Level 2 Coaches oder höher assistieren muss, wobei die 9. und die 10. Session von einem Level 3 Coach bewertet werden und man zu diesem Zeitpunkt immer noch durchfallen kann. Dieses Prozedere gilt auch für jegliche im internationalen Raum abgehaltenen A.D.A.P.T. Level 1 Zertifizierungen.

 

Meine persönlichen Beweggründe mich A.D.A.P.T. Level 1 zertifizieren zu lassen waren folgende. Als jemand der in Österreich regelmäßig Parkour unterrichtet wollte ich die Chance nutzen mich coachingtechnisch sowohl als auch parkourtechnisch weiterzuentwickeln und zugleich möglichst viel des A.D.A.P.T. Wissens nach Österreich mitzunehmen. (Update 2019: was dann auch passiert ist. Heute ist es auch in Parkour in Österreich selbstverständlich sich einen Trainingsplan zurechtzulegen, sich zu überlegen welcher Part der Session welchen Zweck erfüllt, das ist nicht zuletzt auch A.D.A.P.T geschuldet) Der Umstand, dass A.D.A.P.T. in enger Zusammenarbeit mit den Yamakasi, Sebastien Foucan und Parkour Generations entstanden ist (Update 2019: und Streetmovement, was ich zu dem Zeitpunkt nicht wusste) stellt für mich ein Qualitätsmerkmal dar, dass bis dato einzigartig ist. Wer also anderen Menschen Parkour beibringen möchte und zugleich Wert auf den Spirit von Parkour und dessen Werte legt, kommt früher oder später um A.D.A.P.T. nicht herum. Das bedeutet nicht, dass ich glaube, dass es keine guten Coaches ohne A.D.A.P.T. gibt, die Zertifizierung stellt jedoch eines von vielen Qualitätsmerkmalen für mich dar, wenn es um Parkour und Coaching geht.

 

Ich werde im Folgenden detaillierter auf die einzelnen Tage des Kurses eingehen, wobei ich an diesem Punkt loswerden möchte, dass diese 4 Tage, die ich mit den unterschiedlichsten Leuten verbracht habe, die man sich in Bezug auf Parkour nur vorstellen kann, eine der besten Erfahrungen in meinen nahezu 10 Jahren Parkour darstellen. Unsere Gruppe bestand aus 9 Leuten. Einer Chillenin mit schlechtem Englisch, die uns bewiesen hat, dass man Sessions auf hohem Niveau auch ohne Worte leiten kann. Einem 17 Jährigen Engländer mit einem wahnsinns Verständnis für Parkour und langer Trainingserfahrung. Einem Mitte 30 Jahre alten Fußballcoach der A.D.A.P.T. Level 1 machen wollte um dem Level 2 Coach seiner Community helfen zu können den immensen Andrang an jungen Leuten zu bewältigen. Einem 2x jährigen alten Hasen im Parkour Buisness, der erst wenige Tage zuvor mit Daniel Ilabaca gemeinsam in Ägypten war um dort zu unterrichten/performen. Einem hulkmäßigen Polen für den 15 schöne Muscle Ups hintereinander kein Problem darstellen. Einem ninjaartigen Zyprioten der 6 Jahre Parkour-Pause hinter sich hatte. Einem sehr talentierten Engländer mit Hörschäden, der auf ein fix installiertes Hörgerät angewiesen war, jedoch ein hohes Parkour-Level aufweisen konnte und Sam ein 20 Jahre junger, 2 Meter großer und überaus talentierter Engländer, der charakterlich so herzensgut erschien, dass wir uns von Tag 1 an bereits angefreundet hatten. Mit diesen Personen würde ich die nächsten Tage 8-9 Stunden pro Tag verbringen.

Tag 1: Der erste Tag des insgesamt 4 Tage andauernden Kurses bestand aus einem Erste Hilfe Kurs mit ausgewählten, eventuell für Parkour relevanten Themen und einem „Safeguarding und Child Protection“ Kurs. Tag 1 hatte somit nur indirekt mit Parkour zu tun und stellte die notwendige Erste Hürde dar, um in England und dem UK generell als Trainer/ Assistenztrainer anerkannt zu werden. Der erste Hilfe Kurs war mein insgesamt dritter und zugleich bester. Der erfahrene Londoner Paramedic John, der unter anderem Sebastien Foucan bei seinem ersten Treffen gefragt hatte ob er auch Parkour trainieren würde hatte ein unheimliches Talent dafür, die trockenen Inhalte lebhaft und interessant darzustellen. Seine Ausführungen, die er mit Geschichten des echten Lebens verknüpfte waren teilweise schockierend und faszinierend zugleich, so zum Beispiel, dass er bereits 9 Mal Babies wiederbeleben musste, von denen in Summe 2 überlebten. Inhaltlich wurden Herzkreislauf Themen genauso besprochen wie akute traumainduzierte (ob das das richtige Wort ist…)Gefahren und die nötigen Handlungen, sowie Prioritäten, um die Chancen des Überlebens so hoch wie nur möglich zu halten, sollte es warum auch immer zum Ernstfall kommen.

 

Der Child Protection Kurs war etwas trockener aber trotzdem interessant. Es wurde versucht auf Kinder als verletzliche Mitglieder unserer Gesellschaft hinzuweisen und das Vertrauens- bzw. Autoritätsverhältnis Coach zu Kind zu thematisieren. Welches Verhalten wird als Missbrauch angesehen, welche Arten von Missbrauch gibt es und worauf gilt es zu achten, wenn man mit Kindern zu tun hat. In einem Teil des Kurses wurden verschiedene Situationen durchgesprochen. Beispielsweise: Die 15 Jahre alte Sophie erzählt dir als Coach sie wäre Schwanger und du dürftest es niemandem erzählen. Wenn ihr Vater je davon erfahren würde würde er sie umbringen und die Mutter hätte erst vor kurzem versucht sich per Medikamente das Leben zu nehmen. Wie würdest du dich verhalten. Die Diskussion der Situationen lag nahe am echten Leben und war dementsprechend interessant. Mir als Österreicher erscheint so eine Situation relativ extrem, für andere Mitglieder der Gruppe jedoch noch harmlos. Einer der Teilnehmer, der alte Hase, wie weiter oben beschrieben, ist Sozialarbeiter in London und konnte uns von einem Fall berichten indem 9Jährige als Crackdealer fungierten. Von daher macht ein Kurs wie der Child Protection Kurs durchaus Sinn.

 

Tag 2 und 3: Ab diesem Zeitpunkt stand Parkour zu 100% im Fokus. Dan Edwardes leitete ab nun den Kurs, versorgte uns mit Theorie und sehr viel Praxis. Grundsätzlich wurde der Kurs folgendermaßen abgehalten: Ein kurzer Theorieblock mit Diskussion wurde gefolgt von einem großen Coaching-Praxisblock und einem Feedbackblock. Was diese Tage relativ anstrengend machte (im positiven Sinn) war der stetige Wechsel von Warm werden und wieder abkühlen und so war es keine Seltenheit, dass wir bis zu 4-mal pro Tag aufwärmten. Die Tage waren vollgepackt mit Informationen und so wurden neben der Funktion von Warmup und Cool-Down auch Coachingprinzipien und Sicherheitsaspekte im Parkourtraining durchgesprochen. Auf eine detaillierte Aufführung der ganzen Inhalte werde ich an dieser Stelle verzichten. Stattdessen möchte ich auf ein paar Dinge eingehen, die mir persönlich aufgefallen sind und/oder die mein Denken in Bezug auf Parkour verändert haben.

 

Die Definition von Parkour.  Viele von uns kennen die folgende sehr vereinfachte Definition: Parkour als effiziente Methode jegliche Hindernisse einer selbst festgelegten Route A nach B zu überwinden. (Edit 2019: holy shit, warum replizieren immer noch so viele Leute diesen Mist). Angelehnt an diese Definition war auch meine Auffassung von Parkour. Freerunning ist mehr oder weniger Parkour mit Akrobatik und wehe man verdreht die Begriffe, obwohl bekannt war, dass Freerunning als Wort ursprünglich als direkte Übersetzung von Parkour im Zuge der Dokumentation Jump London erfunden wurde. Wie stehen also Art du Deplacement, Parkour und Freerunning zu einander? Es ist alles das gleiche. Und ja…Flips können auch Parkour sein. Die Frage ist nur warum macht man was man macht? Ich werde für mich auch weiterhin den Begriff Parkour verwenden, die wichtige Frage ist aber, warum macht man Parkour? Denn nur daraus ergibt sich, ob man denn tatsächlich Parkour ausübt oder nur herumspringt und es so aussieht wie Parkour. Für die ursprüngliche Gruppe junger Männer und Frauen bestehend aus den Yamakasi (heute), David Belle etc. war das Hauptziel stärker zu werden. Nicht nur körperlich, sondern charakterlich, besser als ganze Person demnach. Sie suchten sich Herausforderungen in ihrer Umgebung deren effiziente Überwindung sie nachhaltig veränderte. Parkour als Methode der Selbstverbesserung im Zuge konstanter Herausforderung durch die Möglichkeiten die sich durch die Umwelt ergeben. Self-Improvement hat in diesem Sinne nur wenig mit reiner physischer Stärke, dem Schaffen eines riesigen Sprunges oder einem Doppelsalto zum Show-Off zu tun. Dass diese Gruppe so unheimlich faszinierende Dinge vollbringen konnte war der Umstand, dass sie sich immer aufs neue in ihrer Umwelt herausfordern wollten, teilweise durch Aktionen die ihr Leben mehr als einmal am Tag gefährdet hatte. Parkour ist seit diesem Stadium einen weiten Weg gekommen. Die Hauptelemente der Selbstverbesserung durch konstante Herausforderung sollten sich jedoch bis heute halten und prägen die Definition von Parkour. Für mich persönlich war die Betonung dieser 2 Hauptaspekte sehr prägend. Einerseits, ja ich trainiere Parkour nur für mich und ja ich verändere mich durch mein Training. Aber mich konstant herauszufordern beispielsweise habe ich vernachlässigt. Der Umgang mit Höhe und mit Angst im Speziellen ist etwas das ich sogar bewusst ausgelassen hatte. Physische Challenges die mich an die Grenzen meiner körperlichen Fähigkeiten brachten waren eher die Ausnahme als die Regel.

 

Techniken sind zweitrangig. Für die erste Generation (Yamakasi und David Belle etc.) gab es keine Techniken. Für sie standen Qualitäten und Attribute von Bewegungen im Vordergrund. Stärke, Schnelligkeit, Sanftheit oder etwa leise Bewegungen. Die Techniken kamen erst später. Beispielsweise landeten die Yamakasi die ersten Jahre ihre Armsprünge mit einem Arm über dem Hindernis, was dazu führte, dass sie relativ hart auf das Hindernis prallten. Sie empfanden diese Methode für sicherer als den klassischen Armsprung, wobei ihre Technik einen immensen Muskelpanzer am Oberkörper erforderte. Als Stephane Vigroux, der einen ganz anderen Körperbau aufwies begann den Armsprung zu entwickeln fand dieser erst langsam Einzug. Wenn ich daran denke, dass ich die letzten Jahre unzählige Sessions damit verbracht habe Anfängern Landetechnik beizubringen oder einzelne Hindernisüberwindungen über einzelne im leeren Raum stehende Kästen, dann schaudert mir. Diese Art und Weise zu unterrichten ist meilenweit von Parkour entfernt und obwohl man manchmal Techniken unterrichtet liegt mein Fokus ab jetzt weniger auf den Techniken selbst als auf den einzelnen Qualitäten von Bewegung, die Technik ergibt sich von selbst.

 

Session Planung und Aufbau! Eines der Hauptprinzipien für jede Trainingseinheit sollte eine konkrete Planung sein. Warum unterrichte ich was ich unterrichte und was haben meine Teilnehmer davon? Wie nutze ich meine Zeit in den Trainingseinheiten? Ein Grundprinzip das uns von Dan vermittelt wurde gliedert eine exemplarische Trainingseinheit in 4 Teile.

  • Warm-Up
  • Technical Session / Movement
  • Conditioning
  • Cool Down

Jeder dieser Teile sollte auf die anderen Teile abgestimmt sein. Quadrupple Movement steht im Warmup Sektor sehr hoch im Kurs, stellt jedoch nur eine der 1000enden Übungen dar die einem zur Verfügung stehen. Außerdem wird neben generellen Übungen und sportspezifischen Warm-Up Übungen unterschieden, wobei ein weiteres Grundprinzip des Warm-Ups vorschlägt die Intensität langsam und stetig zu erhöhen bis man das Trainingslevel erreicht hat. Personen mit Erfahrung in diesem Sektor wird das wahrscheinlich bekannt vorkommen, für mich war es Neuland, aber logisch.

 

Nachdem wir die verschiedenen Conditioningarten (strength, power und endurance) und deren Merkmale besprochen hatten leitete ich meine erste Session. Dan lies mich eine 5 Minuten Conditioning Session leiten mit dem Ziel Push Ups unter dem Strength Aspekt zu unterrichten. Das bedeutet ich musste mich dem Level der Teilnehmer so anpassen, dass alle herausgefordert wurden und zugleich bei jedem Teilnehmer der Strength Aspekt trainiert wird. Was bedeutet das? 100 Pushups nacheinander bis die Muskeln versagen fällt in die Kategorie endurance. Man versucht ein gewisses Kraftlevel möglichst lange aufrecht zu erhalten. Power wäre klassische Schnellkraft, man versucht möglichst viel Kraft in einem möglichst kurzen Zeitraum freizusetzen. Und Strength wäre, möglichst viel Kraft über einen gewissen Zeitraum zu entwickeln. Push Ups im Zuge von Strength Übungen bedeutete eine oder mehrere Push Up Varianten durchzuspielen von der jeder Teilnehmer maximal 10 Wiederholungen schafft. Herausfordernd, wenn man an den hulkigen Polen und an die Chillenin denkt.

 

Was ich auf jeden Fall aus dem ganzen Themenblock mitnehmen konnte war die Bedeutung der einzelnen Parts (1,2,3 und 4) für das Training und dass ich auch mein persönliches Training deutlicher strukturieren sollte. Aus dem einfachen Grund, dass man so gezielter Fortschritte machen kann und ich glaube, dass es für mich persönlich gut funktionieren wird.

 

Eine weitere Session durfte ich gemeinsam mit 2 Kollegen coachen. Ziel war es outdoor einen relativ nichtssagenden Platz möglichst optimal zu nutzen und sich ein Programm einfallen lassen, das den Teilnehmer herausfordert und ihm die Möglichkeit gibt sich schrittweise zu steigern bis zu einem Punkt wo er die Challenge nicht mehr oder nur mehr knapp schafft. Wir entschieden uns für Wallrunvariationen bis hin zu einarmigen Wallruns. Der rest der Übung verlief gut aber unspekatkulär.

 

Die beiden Tage so vollgepackt sie auch waren sollten uns auf 2 Dinge am letzten Tag vorbereiten. Den schriftlichen Test und die 10 Minuten Coachingsession anhand derer wir bewertet wurden.

 

Der schriftliche Test war einfach aber detailliert. Neben stupiden Multiple Choice Fragen gab es offene Fragen zu beantworten wie zB. Parkour definiert wird oder welche 3 Ziele mit einem Warm-Up verfolgt werden (Verletzungsprävention / Leistungssteigerung / psychologische Vorbereitung auf das kommende Training). Der Praxistest war tricky. Von Tag 3 auf Tag 4 (Assessment Day) sollten wir eine 40 Minuten Session untergliedert in die 4 Hauptparts zu je 10 Minuten planen. Wir würden einen der Parts coachen müssen, wissen aber nicht welchen. Außerdem sollten wir, wie im echten Leben mit allem rechnen. Beispielsweise könnte es sein, dass wir kein Equipment benutzen dürfen oder jemand eine kleinere Verletzung ins Training bringt. In meinem Fall war es etwas anders und ziemlich smart.

 

Nach einem Tag voller Testsessions (wir waren die Teilnehmer der anderen Sessions und Coaches unserer Sessions) waren Sam und ich die letzten beiden Teilnehmer die noch nicht geprüft wurden. Wir wurden zur kurzen Vorbesprechung gebeten während die anderen eine Verschnaufpause hatten. Ich hatte meine Sessions gut durchgeplant und Dan lies Sam und mich die einzelnen Parts erklären. Nachdem er sich die Pläne fertig angehört hatte sagte er: „Alex du coachst Sam´s Technical Part und Sam du coachst Alex´s Conditioning Session. Ihr habt 5 Minuten Zeit euch die Sessions zu erklären.“ HAHA damn. Was für eine Herausforderung. Und so brachten wir es mit viel Freude hinter uns, wobei alles ziemlich perfekt lief. Nach einer Feedbackrunde und einer herzlichen Verabschiedung kann ich sagen, dass A.D.A.P.T. Level 1 eine Erfahrung war, die ich jedem empfehlen kann.

 

Wenn ich mit meinen 10 Sessions durch bin schreibe ich darüber. Vor allem über die letzten beiden Assessment Sessions.

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.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

From December 10th to 13th 2013 the last A.D.A.P.T. Level 1 course of the year took place in London. The following blog entry is dedicated to my experience during the course and some basic things concerning my parkour, that have changed in the few days A.D.A.P.T.

What is A.D.A.P.T. Level 1 not?! This level 1 certification is recognized by the UK and partly by the EU as a level 1 certification. This means that the owner of this certification is allowed to assist a Level 2 Coach or higher in conducting a training session. The Level 1 certification is not an independent coaching cert! To teach parkour independently (meaning from an official stance) you have to be at least A.D.A.P.T. level 2, whereas between level 1 and level 2 there are whole dimensions concerning the requirements. That becomes clear when comparing the pass and fail rates. While at level 1 only 20% fail, at level 2 the rate is over 70%, which means that  only 3 out of 10 people at level 2 pass. It is also worth mentioning that you are NOT certified after the 4 days course and a written exam, but have to assist in 10 coaching sessions of a level 2 coach or higher, where the 9th and 10th sessions are assessed by a level 3 coach and you can still fail at this point. This procedure also applies to any A.D.A.P.T. level 1 certification held in an international setting.

My personal reasons for doing A.D.A.P.T. Level 1 were the following. As someone who teaches parkour regularly in Austria, I wanted to take the chance to develop my coaching skills as well as my parkour and at the same time take as much as possible of the A.D.A.P.T. knowledge with me to Austria. (Update 2019: this happened. In Austria for example it is a standard to have a session plan when coaching parkour, this was not the case back then and is pretty much traceable back to A.D.A.P.T.) The fact that A.D.A.P.T. was created in close cooperation with the Yamakasi, Sebastien Foucan and Parkour Generations (update 2019: and Streetmovement, which I did not know at that time) is a quality feature to me that is unique to date. So if you want to teach parkour to other people and at the same time value the spirit of parkour that´s a good start. This does not mean that I believe that there are no good coaches without A.D.A.P.T., but the certification is one of many quality characteristics for me when it comes to parkour and coaching.

In the following I will go into each of the days of the course. These 4 days, which I spent with the most different people, I could imagine in relation to parkour, represent one of the best experiences in my nearly 10 years of training. Our group consisted of 9 people. A traceuese from Chile with bad English, who proved that you can lead high level sessions without words. A 17 year old Englishman with a great understanding for parkour and long training experience. A mid 30 year old football coach who wanted to do A.D.A.P.T. Level 1 to help the level 2 coach of his community cope with the high demand for parkour. A 2x year old pro in the parkour buisness, who had been in Egypt with Daniel Ilabaca only a few days before to teach/perform there. A hulky polish dude who could rep 15 consecutive muslce ups with no problem. A ninja-like guy from Cyprus who had a break of 6 years behind him. A very talented Englishman with a hearing issue, who was dependent on a permanently installed hearing aid, but had a high parkour level and Sam a 20 year old, 2 meter tall and extremely talented Englishman, who seemed so warm in character that we had already befriended each other from day 1. With these people I would spend the next days 8-9 hours a day.

Day 1: The first day of the 4-day course consisted of a first aid course with selected topics relevant to parkour and a “Safeguarding and Child Protection” course. Day 1 was therefore only indirectly related to training and was the necessary first hurdle to be recognised as a trainer/assistant trainer in England and the UK. The first aid course was my third one so far and the best. The experienced London Paramedic John, had an incredible talent for presenting the dry contents lively and interesting. His work, which he linked to stories of real life, was both shocking and fascinating, for example he had to resuscitate 9 babies, 2 of which survived. In terms of content, cardiovascular issues were discussed as well as acute trauma-induced (if that’s the right word…) dangers and the necessary actions, as well as priorities to keep the chances of survival as high as possible, should it come to an emergency for whatever reason.

The Child Protection course was a bit dry but interesting. Children as vulnerable members of our society. Discussing the relationship of trust and authority between coach and child. What behaviour is regarded as abuse, what types of abuse are there and what needs to be taken into account when dealing with children. In one part of the course different situations were discussed. For example: 15 year old Sophie tells you as a coach she is pregnant and you are not allowed to tell anyone. If her father ever knew about it, he would kill her and the mother has recently tried to take her life with medication abuse. How would you react? To me as an Austrian such a situation seems relatively extreme, but for other members of the group rather harmless. One of the participants is a social worker in London and told us about a case where 9-year-olds acted as crack dealers. So a course like the child protection course makes sense.

Days 2 and 3: From this point on it was parkour 100%. Dan Edwardes now led the course, providing us with theory and a lot of practice. Basically the course was held as follows: A short theory block with discussion was followed by a large coaching practice block and a feedback block. What made these days relatively exhausting (in a positive sense) was the constant change from warming up to cooling down again and so it was not uncommon for us to warm up, up to 4 times a day. The days were packed with information and so besides the function of warm up and cool down also coaching principles and safety aspects of parkour training were discussed. At this point I will refrain from a detailed presentation of the whole contents. Instead I would like to discuss a few things which I personally noticed and/or which changed my thinking regarding parkour.

The definition of Parkour. Many of us know the following very simplified definition: Parkour as an efficient method to overcome any obstacles of a self-defined route from A to B. Following this definition was also my view of Parkour. Freerunning is more or less parkour with acrobatics, although it was known that Freerunning as a word originated as a direct translation of parkour in the documentary Jump London. So what is the relationship between Art du Deplacement, Parkour and Freerunning? It’s all the same. And yes…Flips can also be Parkour. The question is, why do you do what you do? I will continue to use the term Parkour for myself, but the important question is, why do you do Parkour? Because only from this it results whether you actually practice Parkour or just jump around and it looks like Parkour. For the original group of young men and women consisting of the Yamakasi (today), David Belle etc. the main goal was to become stronger. Not only physically, better as a whole person. They were looking for challenges in their environment, whose overcoming changed them lastingly. Parkour as a method of self-improvement in the course of constant challenge by the possibilities arising from the environment. In this sense self-improvement has little to do with pure physical strength, the creation of a giant jump or a double flip. The fact that this group was able to accomplish so incredibly fascinating things was the fact that they always wanted to challenge themselves in their environment, partly through actions that had endangered their lives more than once a day. Parkour has come a long way since then. The main elements of self-improvement through constant challenge, however, have been retained to this day and shape the definition of parkour. For me personally the emphasis of these 2 main aspects was very formative. On the one hand, yes I train parkour only for myself and yes I change through my training. But to constantly challenge myself, for example, I have neglected. Dealing with height and fear in particular is something I even deliberately left out. Physical challenges that brought me to the limits of my physical abilities were the exception rather than the rule.

Techniques are secondary. For the first generation (Yamakasi and David Belle etc.) there were no techniques. For them qualities and attributes of movements were in the foreground. Strength, speed, gentleness or quiet movements. The techniques came later. For example, the Yamakasi landed their arm jumps with one arm over the obstacle, which caused them to hit the obstacle relatively hard. They found this method safer than the classic arm jump, but their technique required an immense muscle armour on the upper body. When Stephane Vigroux, who had a completely different physique, began to develop the arm jump, it was only slowly acceppted. When I think about the fact that I have spent countless sessions in the last years teaching beginners landing techniques or techniques over single boxes in an empty space, I shudder. This way of teaching is miles away from parkour and although sometimes techniques are taught, from now on my focus is not so much on the techniques themselves as on the individual qualities of movement, the technique will develop on their own.

Session planning and setup! Why do I teach what I teach and what do my participants get out of it? How do I use my time in the training sessions? A basic principle that Dan taught us is to divide an exemplary training unit into 4 parts.
1) Warm-Up
2) Technical Session / Movement
3) Conditioning
4) Cool Down
Each of these parts should be matched to the other parts. Quadrupple Movement is very popular in the warm-up, but it is only one of so many exercises available. There are also general exercises and sport-specific warm-up exercises, where another basic principle of warm-up is to slowly and steadily increase the intensity until you reach the training level. People with experience in this sector will probably know that, for me it was new territory, but logical.

After discussing the different conditioning types (strength, power and endurance) and their characteristics, I led my first session. Dan let me lead a 5 minute conditioning session with the goal of teaching push ups under the strength aspect. This means I had to adapt to the level of the participants so that everyone was challenged and at the same time the strength aspect was trained for each participant. What does that mean? 100 pushups one after the other until the muscles fail, falls into the category endurance. You try to maintain a certain level of strength for as long as possible. Power would be classic explosive power, you try to release as much power as possible in as short a time as possible. And strength would be to develop as much power as possible over a certain period of time. Push ups in the course of strength exercises meant to play through one or more push up variations of which each participant creates a maximum of 10 repetitions. Challenging when you think of the polish guy and the traceuse from Chile in one group.

What I could definitely take away from the whole block was the importance of the individual parts (1,2,3 and 4) for the training and that I should structure my personal training more clearly. For the simple reason that you can make more targeted progress and I believe that it will work well for me personally.

Another session I was allowed to coach together with 2 colleagues. The goal was to use a relatively meaningless outdoor space as optimally as possible and to come up with a program that challenged the participant and gave them the opportunity to gradually increase to a point where they could no longer or only just manage the challenge. We decided for wall run variations up to one-armed wall runs. The rest of the exercise went well but unspectacular.

The two days as packed as they were should prepare us for 2 things on the last day. The written test and the 10 minute coaching session on the basis of which we were evaluated.

The written test was simple but detailed. Beside simple multiple choice questions there were open questions to answer like how parkour is defined or which 3 goals are pursued with a warm-up (injury prevention / performance improvement / psychological preparation for the coming training). The practical test was tricky. From day 3 to day 4 (Assessment Day) we should plan a 40 minute session divided into the 4 main parts of 10 minutes each. We would have to coach one of the parts, but we don’t know which one. Besides, we should expect everything, just like in real life. For example, it could be that we are not allowed to use equipment. In my case, it was a little different and pretty smart.

After a day full of test sessions (we were the participants of the other sessions and coaches of our sessions) Sam and I were the last two participants not yet assessed. We were asked for a short briefing while the others had a break. I had planned my sessions well and Dan had Sam and me explain the individual parts. After listening to the plans he said: “Alex you are going to coach Sams technical part, Sam you are going to coach Alex conditioning part. You have 5 minutes to explain the sessions to each other”. HAHA damn. What a challenge. And so we did it with a lot of joy and everything went pretty perfectly. After a round of feedback and a warm farewell I can say that A.D.A.P.T. Level 1 was an experience I can recommend to everyone.

When I’m through with my 10 sessions I’ll write about it. Especially about the last two assessment sessions. (Update 2019: I went to different PKGen classes for my first 4 sessions. Including Westminster Academy youth class with 60 students. The rest of my sessions I did at Winterval 2014).