As I arrived I saw a bunch of female parkour/ art du deplacement (ADD) practitioners in the middle of Archway square (just outside of Archway station).
The coaches had arrived and people were registering. It wasn’t long before I too joined with a caramel latte in hand. As we waited, there was chatter as old friends caught up with one another, new people introduced themselves and more women began to show up.
Then it began.
Kit-Cath was the first coach up as she led an ice-breaker type warm-up. We started off by weaving in and out of the human circle we had made before going around the circle introducing each other with a high-five and our name. This was followed by a slightly leg burning squat-jump circle which every now and again had a Mexican wave that rippled through the circle.
As the warm-up came to a standstill we split into three groups, these were based on how much you wanted or needed to be supported. I headed into the last group, which I guess would be considered the advanced group. We then followed our selected coaches.
MEETING THE JUMP: KASTURI & GEORGIA
So to explain the concept of ‘meet the jump,’ we first have to take a look at ‘breaking the jump’ and what it meant to us.
For me personally, it was overcoming a mental barrier when doing a jump I could physically make or could make with a bit of training.
It was explained that the idea of breaking the jump had for some people also meant just lenging a jump and hopefully making it.
So there was a lot of discussions and talk as to the emotions we came across when doing a jump and meeting it.
My understanding of meeting the jump was really thinking about the jump before doing it.
- Challenges set.
We broke up into groups of two or three. Then the coaches set us a variety of different jumps and things to try. The catch was you only got one try to do it. For me, the idea of only being able to try the jump once was a bit challenging because I did instinctively just want to work on it until I got it.
- Progression in a team.
I preferred this because we got more goes and we tried to help one another a little more.
2 Challenges were set. One you picked yourself and the other a coach picked for you and we had to work by ourselves. This was good as I normally do not do this. I found the method of distraction the best for me. So if I was not making a jump I could do, to go and do another jump similar and then go back to it.
It was a good session as it made me think a lot more about the process of the jump/ technique than I normally do. I realized that if I look at a jump for more than 10 seconds then I have to reset before I reattempt the jump because it starts to look bigger than it actually is.
THE ART OF FALLING: SILKE AND HAZAL
As a sort of warm-up into this session, we did a warm up by the name ‘Stupid Cat.’ Which I guess was an appropriate name for this, as we had to essentially feel and rub against walls like a cat. Best quote for this was from Alex Gregg: “The walls probably feel harassed.”
Within this session we attempted to fall safely out of everything which I have to admit is not something I am very comfortable with. That said, this session did help overcome this in some ways.
Things we had to fall out of as safely as possible:
- Baby Cat-leap
- Tic-tak type thing
So for each of these, we did the technique without falling first. Then we tried it 10 times with falling and then we did it 10 again without falling a couple of times. The movement afterwards seemed to done with much more confidence and perhaps this was because we knew we could bail safely without it hurting too much.
It was interesting to see how people bailed out of kongs because that is the one movement I never wanted to have to bail out of.
The underlying theme of this session was to keep going even after you had fallen, so keeping the flow. From this concept, some nice lines developed.
TRAINING YAMAK STYLE: KIT-CATH AND CLAUDIA (KLO)
This was probably one of my favourite sessions from the day as we warmed up with some games. Then we had to create a flowy route from A to B for our partner which in my case was Alex Gregg, who was great fun to be partnered with. We did 3 routes. After creating the route we had to try our partners one, then we did it blind with our partner guiding us and lastly we did it joined together. It was a lot of fun and we came up with some weirdly interesting routes.
Next, in pairs and threes, we did a circuit of various things three times. I partnered up with Sana Iwao, a great partner for inspiration. Together we did the following:
Macao x3 on each side
- Pre down the stairs
- A little flow route
- Plyos x 6
- Kick up to handstand on a wall x 6
- Stair Kong x 6
- Climb up x 6
- Dyno x 6
- Balance for up to 30 seconds
- Handstand x 3 kick off each leg
It was a good mix of things, it not only utilised a space well, but there were lots of little bits you could work on and I felt this would help with my own training in the future.
For the last section we had to get from point A to point B without touching the floor and we could help one another. This was actually fairly difficult. As a group, we did not manage to complete it perhaps due to a lack of communication as another group had completed it. Regardless it was a really nice way to tie up the end of this session.
We headed back to join the others for the last sectioned lead by Klo, it was about 45 minutes of various movements from rabbit hops to leg raises. You did it there (point A) and back (where you started). Then you jogged if you finished before everyone was done and when everyone was done, you did the next exercise. I liked it, it felt a lot shorter than it was but you definitely felt like you had done a fair bit of movement.
After the event, we were invited to a chilled out dinner. So those of us who wanted to go went to the organizer’s place, had some food, got to know one another a little better and the coaches, messed and joked around. All in all, it was a great end to the day.
It was two days of wonderful, positive energy full of countless opportunities to learn and grow as a practitioner as well as getting to train with a variety of fantastic people.
A lively event where we meet other traceuses & are privileged to be coached by amazing female athletes.
A really well-organised event full of learning, challenges, laughs and exploration of movement. Loved being surrounded by so many great female coaches and like-minded people.
To be continued…
©World of Parkour 2018