Movement Inspiration 2/6/14 Do parkour

Evolve Move Play is about movement in broad sense not any specific discipline, it is about trying to recover and explore our innate human movement capacity. However human movement is an enormous study worthy of many life times. To develop the most all around capacity one must decide what are the basics the places to start and the foundations from which we will move into anything else.

Crossfit has offered the ideal of balanced athlete as a combination of gymnast, weight lifter, and sprinter. Those are wonderful disciplines to start with as a base developing high levels of capacity in both locomotion and manipulation but interactive movement is left out, as is play and for the most part flow and improvisation, we can do better.

To find the most basic places to start, in becoming a mover, we need to look at the disciplines which best capture our innate play drives, the things every kid will do given a chance.

In the realm of locomotion of moving the body through space I think parkour comes closest to capturing the essence. That is is why I left the gymnastics world, left crossfit and movnat and choose to devote myself to that practice for 8 years years.

Parkour has faults, it ignores swimming a vital and potential life saving movement skill and aquatic environments which inspire play and restore the pysche in every culture in the world. By and large parkour has become an urban discipline. In some sense parkour is about imagining the city as an environment for play the way all children will play in nature. But in doing so the natural environment has been neglected.

Finally Parkour has had the fortune and misfortune to be popularized by online videos with no central brand. This allowed it to spread incredibly swiftly but it also made it less attractive to broad swaths of the population whose only association with it is giant leaps and flips between and off buildings by adrenalized young men. You could watch many of the most popular parkour videos on youtube without seeing a single mover with broad physical competence. The ubiquity of the big move videos crowds out awareness of the practice of parkour on the ground level.

Still there is no more basic task to apply human movement to then overcoming obstacles, and the movement patterns in parkour running, jumping, vaulting, climbing, and brachiating are the basic stuff of human locomotion. These movements have been part of martial arts training the world over, they were the basis of old school gymnastics, major parts of stunt and circus training and they have been elements of childrens games all over but only in parkour has the study of this type of movement become the primary focus, and there are incredible movers and amazing thinkers in the parkour community far more than people on the outside of the community realize. If your are truly devoted to movement and not pulling from the parkour community you are missing a huge resource.

If you do not have access to direct training with Evolve Move Play and want to start full a movement practice, your local parkour gym or community is one of the best places you can start. Check out my links page for some of the best parkour resources

So todays challenge is going to be to do some parkour based on your level
For those new to parkour the challenge is to develop the parkour roll, step vault and reverse vault.

You can practice all of these skills on the ground without any obstacle. For the Step vault start in a lunge with your right leg forward drop you left hand down then thread your leg through and back, voila ground step vault. If you become comfortable with each of these movement try to put them together to create a basic movement phrase. Start in lunge step vault through, come up into a squat, reverse then roll. Try variations on the pattern, then add obstacles, step vault over a small wall/box/tree limb, reverse down of an object or under one, roll underneath or over a wall/rail/bar/tree limb. Explore the potential for the connections between these movements.

For those with developed parkour basics try to find something new within this phrase apply it in a new situation, use it in a new way, use it as part of your warm up, find a way too mobility bias it, find a way to make it more strength biased. Do all the movements on a rail or tree limb, do them in situations of height or out connected to other more difficult movements.

Your three movements too work on though today are step vault, reverse and roll and the movement phrases you can create out of them.

Your inspiration for today a simple video showing the tremendous potential for flow using parkour movements in a simple environment of a single rail and the ground.

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