Tag Archives: parkour

Ground Training

I am a beginner in Parkour and Freerunning.  That means that you won’t see me doing those crazy leaps from buildings, running up or flipping off walls, or any of that stuff any time soon.  Are you kidding me?  I wanna have fun, not kill myself.

So how do I train?  On the ground.  No obstacles – just the hard, firm, but ultimately much safer earth.  This way I can train in moves without worrying too much about getting hurt.

This also solves the problem of finding training spots.  All you need is enough space.  If you go outside to a park, a field, or a vacant lot, you’re good.

Now I have my own way of training on the ground, but here’s a video from the Tapp Brothers of how to train on flat ground.  If you’re a beginner looking for a way to train safely and you happen to be reading this, bear in mind that this video assumes that you can at least perform the roll with reasonable proficiency (meaning it doesn’t hurt when you do it on concrete), as well as know the proper mechanics for the other basic moves shown.  If not, I recommend either subscribing to the Tapp Brothers’ YouTube channel or going to their website.  They have tons of free useful parkour and freerunning tutorial videos*.  And no, I am not paid to say this – I just know their stuff is useful because I use them in my own training.

*They also offer more (I imagine) comprehensive and structured programs that you have to buy online.  I haven’t tried those out so I can’t say anything useful, but judging from the usefulness of their free stuff I say if you have the cash and you’re willing to part with it to buy their program, go for it.

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Day 2 of Going Back to Ninja Training – Err… Parkour/Freerunning and Martial Arts

I feel sore.

In places I didn’t expect, though in hindsight I should have expected.  After all, going back into tumbling after a few weeks of not tumbling is bound to make one sore in the core.  It’s just that I expected to feel it more on my abs and sides, and I’m feeling the soreness on the sides of my lower back.  Must be all those cartwheels.  Yup, definitely all those cartwheels.

After a long period of relative physical inactivity due to suffering and recovering from sinusitis (hey, remember when I said my week-long headache may have been caused by my dental issues? Yeah, turns out it was acute sinusitis.  Go figure.), traveling out of town twice – first for a wedding and then for a live audition (more on that on the next blog post), and then recovering from said travels and THEN recovering from having my wisdom tooth removed, I finally officially returned to my regular physical training routine.  It helped that yesterday was a holiday, which meant I didn’t have to worry about getting things done by 7 so I could leave for work by 8.

So before breakfast I worked on:

  1. Cartwheels – both regular (2 arms) and single-arm cartwheels for my right side, which is my stronger side; and regular cartwheels for my left side.  I intend to work up to doing single-arms on my left as well, but all in good time.  I have noticed a significant improvement on my left: I’m more stable and I travel in a straighter line than I used to.  So it’s just a matter of time.
  2. Parkour rolls – on a yoga mat over a tiled surface.  No, I’m not bragging.  Okay, maybe a little.  But only because I used to stack said yoga mat over some thin kiddie puzzle mats.  No more.  If I’m gonna train in Parkour and Freerunning, I’m gonna have to get used to rolling on hard surfaces.
  3. Jump rope intervals – this is a new one for me.  I’ve never used a jump rope as part of a regular routine before.  I patterned my intervals after the Tabata protocol – 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest x 4 + 60 seconds cool down – but I rested 20 seconds instead of 10, and I didn’t go all out like you’re supposed to in Tabata.  Hey, I’m jump rope virgin!  It’s okay to take things slowly.

After breakfast I still had some time to kill before a 10:00 meeting, so after I felt reasonably settled in my stomach, I proceeded to practice the 13 basic strikes of Kali.  I would have finished it with a minute of Carenza (free play) but my son borrowed my stick and we ended up playing sword-fighting.

In the afternoon, I was still feeling okay so I decided to practice some Aikido sword movements then finished with the 24 forms of Taichichuan.  I learned the 24 forms a few years ago when I was in graduate school.  I only took a few lessons though, just enough to learn the forms.

So that’s what I did yesterday that left me feeling sore.  This morning I worked on my straddle press to handstand and freestanding handstand.  For straddle press, I worked on doing the against-the-wall progression where my head and back are supposed to press tightly against the wall as I stand in a straddle and roll up into a leaning handstand and slowly roll back down.  I still can’t quite do it – and I’m pretty sure it is more psychological than physical – so I placed two chairs behind my legs, placed one foot on each chair, then rolled from there.  After a couple of reps, I kicked up to a handstand against the wall, then worked on pulling away both feet and holding that freestanding position as long as I could.  To date, I have never gone past 4 seconds.  It’s pretty frustrating, but it is what it is.  Sometimes all you can do is just train your ass off.  It is comforting to know that even though I can’t still pull off a 10-second freestanding handstand, I can tell that I have gotten better in the past year or so.  This time last year I was still struggling to kick up to a handstand (again, it was more of a mind thing than any actual physical shortcoming).  And as I’ve mentioned earlier my cartwheels have improved, which can probably be attributed at least partially to my handstand training.

Well, there you have it.  Two days of ninja training.  The original plan was to also include pull up training this afternoon, but I ran out of time.  Oh well.  Next time.  Tomorrow is recovery day, and I’m looking forward to a massage in the evening.  Yippeee!


I Like to Move It-Move It…But I Can’t Right Now

if you took the time to read this blog’s About page (and if you did, I love you so much I could kiss you but I won’t and I’m really exaggerating, but I do appreciate it!) you know that I used to be a total couch potato.  A chain-smoking, obese, and physically weak couch potato.  You’ll also know that I have learned to enjoy being physically active.  I enjoy it so much that this not feeling well is making me – well, let’s just say I’m not enjoying not being able to move.

It’s not that I’m immobile or anything, but I am in pain and I’ve been in pain since last week.  I went to the dentist yesterday to get my teeth checked.  He said it’s not so much my wisdom teeth that’s causing the pain (although I still have to have them removed in the future) as it is the fact that the sensitive part of my teeth is practically exposed to the air.  This was caused by the build-up of plaque, which he proceeded to remove while I struggled not to struggle as I lay there doing my best not to panic…I know, a visit to the dentist turns me into a wimp.  Please don’t tell anyone.  The other cause, which didn’t occur to me until after I left the clinic, was my brushing habit, which is best described as overzealous.  Apparently this was causing my gums to recede, exposing more of the sensitive parts of the teeth.  Well, damn.

Anyway, all that means is I’ve had a headache for more than a week.  The good news is it’s not so debilitating that I can’t function at all.  And it feels slightly better especially after the cleaning, and I believe it will improve more as I gently brush with Sensodyne (that wonderful toothpaste made for sensitive teeth like mine).  Heck, I’m already here at work.  The not-so-good news is, I still have a headache.  Which means, no physically strenuous stuff for a while.  Certainly not handstands, cartwheels, tumbling, and sprint intervals.  I hope I’ll be ok enough to join this Friday’s Aikido practice.  But for now, I guess I’ll just have to content myself watching other people move.  People like…

Luci Romberg of Tempest Freerunning

UPDATE:

I had to remove L’1consolable’s YouTube video because it’s not working for some reason.  Also, I am feeling way much better now. Yay!  Hoping for a full recovery soon!


Parkour Training and the Day After, plus More Writing

This post covers both Friday and a bit of yesterday because I couldn’t access WordPress’s New Post page (damn 3rd world Internet connectivity!).

Friday: Safety Vaults, Soft Landings and Jumping Around

My resource for parkour training is the Tapp Brothers’ website.  They offer a free 5-day course, which I’ve used as a guide for my training.  They also offer more for a fee, but while I’m not averse to purchasing courses online, I want to try out the small free stuff first before I commit.  It’s like trying free samples of a pastry shop before deciding to buy.  Anyway, here’s what I did:

Soft landing progression: Squat-and-drop

This progression is for learning the proper form and technique for landing softly (without rolling, that is).  For low heights, it is not necessary to drop to all fours and absorb some of the impact with the arms; however, it is good to practice doing that in preparation for the bigger, higher-altitude landings.

Safety vault progression: 1 leg up

Before doing the full safety vault I decided to just focus on getting one leg up on the rail while preparing the other leg to pass in between.  I got a nice workout doing 10 reps per side.

Safety vault progression: full safety vault

Jumps: I started with just doing box jumps but after a few reps I decided to play around by adding 180-degree spins to the jumps.  So I would jump and turn as I landed on the bench, then drop and turn again as I landed on the grass.  Did this several times.

I finished the whole thing with five pushups.  Yes, only five pushups.  I could have done more but I was pretty tired at this point.

Saturday: the day after

One word: OW.  Ow ow ow OW…..

Oh hello there Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness!  A good day to you!

Nothing physically strenuous today because man do my hips and thighs hurt!  I took the time (because I hadn’t gotten around to doing it since Thursday) to work on not just “Walk Away” but also my earlier songs.  I finally got to add in some lyrics there – yippeee!  Nothing final, but at last I’m making small progress.  I also added some lyrics to a song I wrote in the beginning of this year.  I also played around with the guitar and the piano.  My daughter was watching me from her baby chair while I was working on “Walk Away” and she started bobbing around, which was really cute and funny.

And in closing, OW!


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