1 year parkourversary – the physical

My parkour class yesterday marked a year since I started training. I’m planning a post on the wonderful mental and emotional education I’ve had through parkour, but today’s post is a more superficial record of how much I’ve learned over the last year, and what I’m able to learn in just 12 months.

Here’s the list of my current progress, with links to videos in case you’re curious about what each one is. Many of them are shown at a far higher skill than I’ve reached, but (unless the dot point says otherwise), they are all techniques that I can demonstrate.

  • Vaults over fences/low walls/etc, including lazy vaults, turn vaults, and speed vaults

  • Approaching wall climbs (not quite there yet, but I got a lot closer in yesterday’s lesson. One of my instructors says he took 18 months to learn, so I’m pretty happy with this progress)
  • Wall runs

  • Rolls (that is, somersaults, but with a focus on rolling diagonally across the back to avoid damaging any vitals (like the spine!). These were also part of my ninjitsu lessons some years ago, included on the basis that they get you out of trouble pretty quick if you’re on the ground, and they can be used to recover from a fall without getting hurt.

  • Quadrupedal movement. There’s a bunch of different styles, including forwards, backwards and monkey quads. These are used to get around quickly on the ground without taking the time to stand up, as well as for precarious or cramped places.

  • Tic-tacs (pushing oneself off a wall/tree/other vertical object to change direction)

  • Precision jumps (though I haven’t made it to this height or distance yet.)

  • Landings

  • Cat passes. These were my Achilles heel, but I’ve recently conquered them, and now they’re a favourite thing to practice on low bars. Notice the comment in the video about ‘approaching the obstacle head-on’. It looks like a minor challenge in the video, but learning that I had the skills to survive running face first at certain obstacles was one of my most important achievements in parkour this year.

  • The theory for reverse vaults (these look like they will feel fantastic when I figure them out!)

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