Looks can be deceiving
Parkour technique is very deceptive. The general rule is, “if it looks easy, it probably isn’t and if it looks difficult, you might be surprised.”
Parkour attracts a lot of attention. Let’s face it, it’s not exactly a subtle art form. So when someone spots you training, they typically have one of two reactions – either they are impressed/intimidated by what you are doing, or they feel the need to prove that they can do what you do.
WHY YOU NEED PROPER INSTRUCTION
I recall one particular training session in which our group was focusing on precision jumps, specifically from an elevated ledge, over a gap and down to a railing. It wasn’t the most physically challenging obstacle, but it still required a lot of thought, analysis, and preparation.
While debating the science behind the technique and swapping suggestions as to how each of us could overcome our individual shortcomings to achieve this goal, we were approached by a passerby who wanted an up-close look at what we were attempting. Convinced that it “didn’t look that hard” and that he “could definitely do that without a problem,” he insisted we step aside so he could give it a shot.
We all foresaw how this was going to end and I typically intervene to deter someone from putting himself or herself at risk, but it was clear there would be no stopping this young man.
His crash was spectacular.
But, to his credit, when he got back to his feet, he acknowledged that there was obviously a lot more to it and applauded our training method.
It’s for this reason that we always focus on fundamentals, instruct proper technique and instill the right mindset for critical thinking and analysis, and build to challenges like this.
The “grip it and rip it” method is foolish and the risk outweighs the reward.
WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER ASSUME YOU CAN’T DO PARKOUR
Not long ago, a student and friend of mine brought one of her friends to a training session. The woman was in her late forties and was in excellent shape. But what impressed me the most was the fact that she was willing and excited to try whatever I would teach her. Being in shape is great, but it’s not what counts in parkour. So many people who are in excellent shape don’t do what we do because of fear or self-doubt and so many people who are not in great shape, have joined us, done amazing things, and got fitter and healthier in the process!
Before the end of the class, this woman was working on techniques we typically don’t cover until much further into a student’s training, but she eagerly soaked up each lesson and every word of feedback.
It only takes a small taste of success to instill the belief that you can be successful. There is no prototypical body type, age or gender, athletic or artistic background that gives any one person an advantage over another. There are countless ways to conquer obstacles. The decision you must make is how you will choose to take them on.
What this woman had over most other new students, was belief in herself. She knew that she could achieve great things if she came ready to learn, to work, and to push herself.
Don’t ever be worried about how you look or what shape you’re in or how much skill you think you lack compared to us or the people who surround you every day.
Nobody can be you as well as you can, and that’s what we will teach you to discover!
Nathan Fleming - Head Instructor at Fusion Parkour