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  1. I've been away from Nerd Fitness for a while, and away from the Assassin's Guild even longer. Years perhaps. Anyway, lots has happened since then. I finally returned to karate and earned by shodan, which was a big deal and at the same time not at all a big deal (you know what I mean). Still, I'm happy to have reached that milestone. I decided to take a break from karate over the summer, and returned to hacking around in parkour. Now my hacking around has turned into a full tilt fascination and pursuit of more parkour skills. My goals here are two-fold: 1. Practice: Training in parkour 3 - 4 times per week, whether working skills or conditioning, has been a good fit. I'm progressing, and maintaining good balance with the other priorities in my life. I will simply keep to that. I aim to grade this on a sort of 4.0 scale, just like in school. 3 practices per week will equal a 2.0 for that week, while 4 practices will equal a 4.0 (difference between earning a "C" and an "A"). 2. Cartwheels: I will spend some time specifically practicing cartwheels at least one time per week. I've just started trying cartwheels, as it's something I've never done in my life, and it seems like a good place to start for future techniques like flips and handstands.
  2. I have been fascinated with MovNat for some time now. It is a system of training in "natural movement", establishing the strength and mobility to explore our full physical potential for interacting with our varied environments. So for instance rather than training pullups, they train a variety of methods of pulling yourself up onto an overhead bar/surface. Rather than deadlifting weights, they teach how to effectively lift and carry a wide variety of heavy objects. They like training in the woods, in an improvisational way, but they teach fundamental drills that are generally practiced indoors in a safe and controlled environment. The goal is to change how you move OUTSIDE of training. They very much embody the Assassin's Guild motto of "The world is our playground". Many of the techniques seem very basic, but they set a pretty high standard for grace and "efficiency" of movement. No flailing and grunting your way through. Everything is smooth and controlled, and the progressions are very gradual. They seem to put a lot of thought into keeping things safe. They don't include anything without some plausible purpose in real-world movement. (Why do we train inverted crawling? Because it is a safe way to make it down a steep, technically challenging slope.) They include the more practical obstacle traversal aspects of parkour, as well as fundamental movements of throwing and catching, lifting and carrying, combat, and other things, but the beginner drills focus on climbing, jumping, balancing, carrying, and assorted maneuvering on the ground. (SPOILER: Lots of kneeling and deep squatting. ) Unfortunately, I've never taken any classes in it, largely due to money and distance. Classes would be a serious investment for me, so I'd like to get solid on some basics and improve my overall strength and conditioning before I do that. (I don't need to pay someone $$ to supervise my crawling or falling off a 2x4 on the ground. I just need practice.) So I've been gathering up the various bits of information they have scattered around online, freely available, and condensing it into a form more useful to me in my training. They have a book in the works, but it remains to be seen how much of it is practical systematic instruction - intended to guide the reader in developing a home practice - and how much of it is glossy inspirational photos of extremely fit people vaulting through lush forests interspersed with laments about the sorry state of the modern world and how it devastatingly restricts our movement patterns. I've read some stuff that strongly suggests they intend to eventually make a good deal of training material freely available online, but want to have a certain level of infrastructure established first. They seem very much to be a work in progress at this point. Primary Resources: The MovNat website: Lots about their philosophy, and how to get in-person training. Also, the From The Ground Up, beginner instructional videos. 4-Week Primer on Breaking Muscle: Lots of simple ground movement and balancing drills. I've laid these out in charts below. Short demo videos of techniques: No verbal instruction, but over 100 short clips demonstrating different techniques. Beginner Workouts on Youtube: Five circuit training "combos" for beginners. My plan on where to start... Sign up for their newsletter, to get their free ebook. There is a place to sign up at the bottom of their website. The newsletter has been very infrequent, but has included actual training info, not just promotional stuff. In case that doesn't work, I've got a copy of the free ebook here. Flip through the ebook. Practice any techniques that catch your eye, but these are somewhat randomly chosen techniques, not a beginners practice. (The deep squat getup is damn hard.) The tone of the book seems kind of judgy to me in places, but whatever, it is intended as motivational. Watch the "From the Ground Up" videos, and practice the movements until you feel like you've basically got the hang of it. These are fairly detailed, high-quality instruction. Skip anything too hard. Make a note of anything you think you should work on. You can look at the notes I made for those videos. Some of these can be used as short workouts, but most are just instruction on one or two techniques. Read through the 4-Week Primer on Breaking Muscle. Look at the videos. Try the techniques. They aren't especially exciting - lots of maneuvering around on the ground - but they are safe and require little equipment. If they seem super boring, go to the Beginner Combos. If a quick run-through of the Week 1 techniques is easy, skip ahead to try some from week 2, especially the once balancing on a board. Week 3 is many of the same movements, this time carrying a heavy sandbag or other load. Week 4 changes the format entirely, and strings the movements together in longer sequences. If you want to practice the 4-Week primer, here are some practice sheets I put together for myself. (NOTE: For these workouts, x4 = right, left, right, left. Four times total. Not four each side.) Try techniques you are confident about in more complex environments. Balance on all sorts of things. Crawl up and down hill, etc. Use the Progression tools described in "From the Ground Up" to increase complexity and intensity. If you want more, seriously consider getting professional instruction, especially if you have significantly limited mobility, or are not confident in your ability to self-assess your movement quality. They don't have a ton of trainers around, but they do have quite a few, listed on their website. Check out the Beginner Workouts on Youtube. These are somewhat random circuits, including techniques that aren't taught in the other videos. They include basic instruction on the techniques, but I'd find them a little hard to follow in parts. I'd probably focus on one at a time, until I got the hang of it, before attempting a circuit of five new movements. The first two videos require a bar high enough for a good dead hang, and the others need space for running/crawling. I've made notes about them and what props they require. (There are also intermediate and advanced MovNat Combo videos on Youtube, as well as BreakingMuscle.) For more examples of MovNat workouts, look at their "Movement of the Day" workouts. They show up in the monthly newsletter.They are not beginner workouts, and many require an discouragingly wide assortment of equipment. Here are the five July MODs, with required equipment listed for each. There are also seven random MODs from the old MovNat blog, which they took down when they redid their website. I've also found a variety of good articles, which I'll post as I dig them up.
  3. YO WHADDUP? Battlescars here! Trying really hard to stick with this four week challenge. I'm terrible at posting, but I want to give it a shot this time around! Quick background: Working with a parkour company as a video editor, as well as a receptionist at their gym. I hurt my knee about four months ago, and we've yet to figure out EXACTLY what's wrong with it. All symptoms are consistent with a bucket handle meniscus tear, but my MRI came back clean. So I've been in limbo while we've been figuring that out. But I've been trying to do as much training as I can without injuring myself further. In the middle of an epic weight loss journey. October 2015: 250lbs August 15th, 2016: 200.4lbs Making progress, and hoping to continue moving forward! *Goals to come!*
  4. Hello there! The well known Freerunning Team Farang wants to declare April 29 as the offical Parkour/ Freerunning Day. For that their goal is to have as much Jams (= Training together) in as much places and coutries as possible. The cool thing is that, no matter if you are a beginner, interested or a pro, you can find like minded Traceurs & Freerunners. Farang's video You can start a training on your own or check the internet if there is already such an event at you city. I hope you will participate and have fun doing it! ~Ikarus
  5. What’s good, Rebels?! I’m back again to try to finish a six week challenge. First challenge with the Assassins! Life Update: Depression sucks. I’m sure a lot of you know that. I moved out to Los Angeles about a year ago with hopes of find a job in the film industry. After 10 months, several hundred applications, and a couple dozen interviews, I was completely burned out and feeling extremely low. I had been working in a cupcake & ice cream shop, and while it was fun in the beginning, many factors led it to become one of the most draining jobs I’ve ever had (not to mention the amount of weight I gained because I couldn’t control myself from devouring the product). A couple weeks ago, after a particularly awful interview, I had a stroke of inspiration and decided enough was enough. I quit my ice cream job, and decided to pursue some other interests. And as soon as I decided to catch my breath and stop searching for a job in the film industry, everything fell into place in the most beautiful and unexpected way. Now I have 3 jobs. It might sound crazy, but the schedules actually fit together like a flawless puzzle. I work for Tempest Freerunning Academy, an aerial arts studio, and an elementary school. The elementary school job is just something a friend was able to set up for me that works really well with my schedule (plus, I freaking love kids). Parkour and aerials are two things that I have followed for years, and have always wanted to try. But being the chunky/ clumsy lady that I am, I figured it would never be in the realm of possibility. But it turns out there were two positions that opened up right as I hit my low point, and I feel like it was God saying “I’m game if you are.†Its a chance for me to work towards becoming a person I never thought I could be. So this challenge, I’m going to learn how to fly. (or at least start to) Goals: #1. Attend at Least 1 Aerial & 1 Parkour Class a Week I get free classes at the aerial studio, and Tempest. I need to take advantage of that. It’s scary for me, because I’ve never been one for group exercise, and I’m extremely out of shape. But it will be good for me, and I’ll learn how to do things I never thought I could do. #2. Post At Least Twice a Week (/Finish the Challenge) I always fall away from Six Week Challenges. Not for lack of trying, but I let me schedule consume me sometimes. But I’ll have the time available with the new jobs to get stuff done. Another thing I should absolutely take advantage of. Besides, this community rocks and I want to be a more active member of it. #3. Prep At Least Two Meals A Week My schedule is crazy. And if I’m not careful, I’ll end up eating out every day. I can’t afford that! So hopefully I can pack myself some food and cut down on my food spending for the next month or so. #4. Don’t Step on the Scale This one is for my mental health. I get obsessive over numbers. If the scale isn’t consistently going down, I get super discouraged. I need to stop relying on it as my source of results. I just need to chill a little bit, and focus on how I feel, and how I notice my body changing. No scale for six weeks will be tough, but I think I really need it. *Bonus*: Climb the Silks/ Get in the Lyra/ Do a Pull-up My upper body strength is minimal, and it’s needed for both parkour/freerunning, and aerials. I just want to be able to move my own bodyweight. I’m not sure if I can get there in six weeks, but I’m damn sure gonna try! Let’s get to it!
  6. Hey guys! I'm fairly new on the forums, but i just wanted to make sure as many people as possible knew about the upcoming parkour jam in a couple weeks. The current community in Tennessee is growing by leaps and bounds (pun intended) and we usually hold at least one jam each season with a different city hosting every time. There are concentrated groups of practitioners in the Nashville, Murfreesboro, Chattanooga, Fairview, Cookeville, and Knoxville areas just to name a few. If you want to find a community to get stronger and progress in, go ahead and check out this: https://www.facebook.com/groups/273954675347/ We would love to see you at the Spring Jam! Event details are here: https://www.facebook.com/events/546349148816278/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming. Don't stop moving, rebels.
  7. Have you guys seen this video? I found it on ICanHasCheezburger. Some of these are hilarious (like the guy getting pantsed by the pole), but most just hurt to watch! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuXju71wMts#t=321
  8. Dearest Fellow Assassins, I'd like you to please forgive my indecency in our last meetings. Due to some sever troubles in my life I lost the rest of the journals written by The Alchemist and so the rest of the story was lost. I feel so bad about that and I even considered never coming back to start another story lest I mess it up again. However, today I received a package in the mail from an anonymous sender. At first, I wasn't that interested but then I realized that someone, though I don't yet know who, has sent more journals concerning the fabled tale of The Alchemist. The story seems to leave off nearly a month after he got out of prison and I have pieced together a few parts of what happened to him. However, the journals are written in a dark magical language I have yet to translate but I'm working. Should you decide to listen to me once more, I will post my translations here and tell you more of the story of The Alchemist. Sincerely Splitrift
  9. I'm new here and i want to get into parkour. I don't know what exercises i should put emphasis into but i do: Inclined Push ups, squats, handstands and pull ups. Can you guys let me know if i need to improve anything in my workout or if i need to add some exercises? I would really appreciate anyone's help. Thanks.
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