Movement Inspiration 4/7/2014 Projects

One aspect of rock climbing that I really admire is the diligent work on long term projects, a high level climb may involve a sequence of 30 movement many of which have to sequenced together without any mistake, that type of long sequencing is huge mental effort in addition to the extreme physical effort involved.

Dancers too train very long phrases of movement all of which maybe difficult and where each technique is reliant on effective performance of the prior elements.

In the gymnastics world the Pommel horse event has always impressed me tremendously because of the sequencing together of large number of extremely difficult elements in which there are almost no periods to reset and were a small error on one skill makes subsequent skills impossible.

Pommel horse work is allot like rail flow work in parkour only without ever putting your feet down, or bending your legs or elbows, its amazingly difficult and its an incredible example of the difficulty of long sequencing of complex high intensity movements.

This an an area I think many movers in the parkour world and among those approaching movement training primarily with strength and conditioning or team sport backgrounds tend not to have been exposed too.

I believe it is an incredible valuable practice; connections compound complexity and create their own type of intensity, while freestyle and improvising is incredibly valuable it is only through training towards specific long term projects you can really explore this in the greatest depth. Perhaps one day someone will climb la dura dura on site but it is hard to imagine. For now the have to go through the project process.

You have to do this through breaking the sequences down into peices and identifying the cruxes the key transitiosn and movements that need the most focus and from which other movements flow smoothly.

Chris Sharma and Adam Ondra spent months work on the recent La Dura Dura project working past specific spots on the wall over and over before graduating to take on the next part of the challenge.

Gymnast train on pommel horse in a similar way they train an element, then train connections into and out of the element then train mini routines and then full routines.

This is something all movement athletes should explore It is not enough to be able to do a technique in isolation you need to work to being able to connect it to other elements and eventually other high difficulty elements.

When working on a new technique the first goal is just to accomplish it and then to be able to repeat it, once you can do that something like the max jump protocol is a good goal, then work up to doing a repetition protocol with the same skill, once this is accomplished work on being able to do develop connections out of the element, then on adding connections prior to the element.

Here is piece of project I am working on.

There are three difficult elements in the route for me, the pass under out of the jump, the first swing and the second swing. I spent most of two days getting the pass under smooth and it has continued to improve since then, the first swing took 50 tries before I landed it and I wasn’t able to rep it out till yesterday, the last swing was not quite as difficult to get but has taken a while to get consistently and to be able to connect into. This sequence is itself just part of longer project I am working on that I believe will be the most technical difficult route I have created. I would also note that while I am happy with completing the three difficult elements and happy with the perferomance on those elements before I move on this route needs to have a number of landings, and small transition elements cleaned up it is a work in process.

My challenge to you today look past single techs and short sequences for second and think about how you can find complexity and difficulty through stringing together longer routes difficult enough that they are long term projects.

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