Monday, 30 November 2009
MovNat/Parkour ; Training with Sydney Parkour
Yesterday saw Hazardous Davis and fellow brother Sunda-Thunder catch up with the well established Sydney Parkour tribe deep in the heart of the central city at Pyrmont Point Park; the meeting spot that would separate the elastic from the plastic.
A 5.4km journey on foot from our location to the RV meant that to be honest, I was almost fully cained before even starting class! The heat was pretty outrageous, and my Jeremy Bead-on was in full effect. Still, we seemed to make a good impression - not bad for a pair of withered, sweaty, lumps of British Cheddar.
The waiver forms were signed, and the wristbands were filled in with our emergency contact details, and the $10 were not paid, simply because we didn't realise that it was a formal class! Don't worry, we genuinely weren't trying to skam them, as the HPs don't believe in skamming fellow tribesmen, but the SP crew were kind enough to let us off, for this once. Except this was the last class of the year....Result.
Ego's pushed to one side (difficult at first) we both joined in with the 'first-timers' group, beginning with:
Dynamic Stretching - (movement based) better for warming-up cold muscles before activity, doesn't weaken the muscles, as opposed to static stretching, which is better to do with warm muscles after activity.
Starting at the ankles, working up to the necks - included some shoulder warm-up that I've never done before and really gets them going, I tell you.
Quadrupeds - This is where the submerged ego of mine tried to surface itself. Way harder than it looks, quadruped work is basically shredding on all fours. Carried out on a fifty-yard stretch (see top photo) we did the following:
- Which sounds like nothing, but believe me, I was breathing after each one, and just having the instructors tweak your positions ever so slightly made the movements so much harder. Really good for warming up and getting you strong.
After a couple of water breaks, we moved on to running technique, which we also used as a warm up. The secret basically is to run silently and always on your toes, being able to run in all directions too. The keeping-quiet part was the hardest...no surprises.
The British Cheddars were melting, so it was time to move on to some techniques, which formed the mid-section of the class.
Using lines on the floor, the SP instructors taught us how to jump properly. Again, something which I thought I had got down, indeed I hadn't. Gladly, one of the instructors pointed out that I was bending too far forwards when I was landing, causing me to over-shoot the target every time. Instead -
1. Jump up and out at 45 degrees.
2. Look at your landing.
3. Land on your spot, with the balls of your feet, bending your legs no more than 90 degrees.
4. Keep your back straight head up, just use your eyes to spot the landing.
5. Keep your arms out in front of you for extra balance.
And it worked! Again, the secret was to be as quiet as possible.
Rolls, something that both Sunda-Thunder and myself were keen to get nailed, as a couple of days previously, we weren't far short of maiming ourselves trying to arse around on the floor like a pair of hyper-active hacky-sacks.
I found the side which worked best for me, and after many-a-tweakage to my technique, I matched the technique to my body mechanics. There was only so much Youtube could teach us, so having the instructor point out various adjustment procedures really helped.
We grazed our shoulders up pretty good, and we all learnt how to do the rolls on the road - the theory being you learn faster on concrete and once you can roll on rock, any other surface is easy.
Sunda-Thunda had a few savage grazes and a nice lump appearing on his back - all part of the package.
It's too hard to verbalise the process needed to achieve the roll and then the further adjustments, but all I can say, is if you're having trouble, get someone to teach you properly. I have learnt with many a different disciplines that a book or a screen can only teach you so much, as can trial and error. Having descent instruction is no substitute.
A technique we had been attempting just two days earlier, a gift from the heavens was surely in order, as now we had proper instruction on how to achieve such a useful technique.
We were taken to the 'triangle walls' which were standing blocks of sandpaper - Sunda-Thunder pretty much rubbing his fingerprints into oblivion...Fortunately I brought the love gloves for myself, so my natural identity is still intact. Not sure if that's a good thing or not, but the main thing was that we both learnt the climb-ups.
The trouble I had before was not using my stationary leg to push from in conjunction with my hanging leg which was projecting me upwards. After realising that it was perfectly legal to use both of your limbs together, I found the technique more than feasible. Another success.
The third and final part of the class came, the oh-so-dreaded conditioning.
1. Lunges - uphill 100 yards - Sprint downhill 100 yards
Well, the lunges were fine, no issue. Until the sprinting came. Sunda-thunder made it, no problem. I, however, started sprinting and given ten yards my legs just started to go from under me. With a very elegant 60 degree tilt, I started to capsize and there was nothing I could do to rectify the situation! Next thing I know, I 've accomplished the only mach10 sacking out of the whole class, and there I am sprawled on my back laughing in amazement at how little control I had with my legs. Tooled, to say the least.
2. Plank - holding two rounds for 1 minute each
3. Push-ups - 4 second-negatives, explosive push upwards, 2 sets of 10
4. Quadrupeds - 50 yards uphill, 50 yards downhill
And that saw the end of the class, a good two hours of shredding, and needless to say, we were both knackered.
We had a warm down as a group to end the class which was vital, and then we were offered to stay for the free BBQ afterwards with the whole 45+ people together.
All in all, the class was well worth it, the instruction was very technical and very good; being able to approach any of the 4 instructors to ask them bits and pieces proved very helpful.
I would definitely recommend the class to anyone who's interested in learning some parkour bits and pieces.
A rad outdoors BBQ laid on by the SP team, very nice.
SP - Veggie Style
After food - time for some fun in the harbour.
Cute girls, Parkour and sunshine anyone?
Weighing it up...
Sunda-Thunder and myself trained some more after the onion bombs had been digested, training our wall-runs and climb-ups, running and normal precision jumps, cat and speed vaults and muscle-ups.
Needless to say, we were trolleyed by the end of it all, but what an awesome, awesome day.
And that's how the Hazardous Pioneers roll...
Thank you Sydney.