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Archive for the ‘Freerunning’ Category

First Wall Flip!

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

First Wall Flip

We are so proud of our athletes in the parkour program at The Cave. For example, this is Sam R. and he achieved his first wall flips last week!  Sam attends our Flip and Flow classes (ages 8-12).  After spending about 20 minutes working through the steps and progressions with his coach, Sam understood what needed to be done to execute a wall flip. The last training stage was to build the confidence and muscle memory to successfully execute each piece of the newly learned technique, every time. What you see here is what he ended up with…he nailed it!

Parkour Flip and Flow is a class for traceurs who have developed a higher than average fitness level, have a vast vocabulary of parkour terms, and demonstrate a maturity level that is needed to learn more complicated movements and techniques (i.e. respectful listening, no reckless behavior, basic understanding of the parkour lingo, etc.).

Interested in attending a Flip and Flow class?  Check out the parkour schedule and give our office a call (415) 927-1630.

E-mail works too.

Back Flips in Parkour!

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

This week in parkour, coach Andrey Pfening set the focus on  wall back flips.  He designed four effective stations where our athletes practiced different skills. The skills were small pieces of the wall back flip skill itself.  This is a picture of your Parkour Fundamentals class (6-7yrs):

img_0910Parkour Fundamentals is a class created for our youngest traceurs (parkour practitioners).  The basics of parkour equal a solid base level of fitness coupled with the maturity to distinguish the difference between a stunt and calculated risk.  We understand that children aged 6 and 7 develop these attributes in many different ways and timelines.  Therefore, students participate in an hour long class designed to build strength, flexibility, and an understanding of how to use their bodies safely, all while having fun in a safe, learning environment.  Curriculum includes, but is not limited to:  Games, obstacle course navigation, and individual skill building stations.

Anthony is mid-way through landing a wall back flip as Derek, Caden  and Liam watch.  Huge thanks to coach Andrey Pfening on his creative and inspiring class set-up and for helping young athletes safely learn exciting skills.

Parkour Progressions class

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Here is a clip in time lapse taken from the Parkour Progressions (13-17) class highlighting our students practicing their skills.
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Parkour Progressions is a class developed specifically for our teenage practitioners.  This is the perfect introductory course to parkour.  Become familiar with key movements involved in this exciting discipline.  Our amazingly talented coaches can walk you through many progressions, big and small.  Check out our schedule to find a class/time and join us!

The parkour room set-up this week includes a 2-story scaffolding, designed to create realistic training situations like pullovers, muscle ups and big cat leaps.  Our students are putting in some hard work on their skills, and it makes me proud.

American NInja Warrior 6

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

anwCoaches JB Douglas and Andrey Pfening are trying out for American Ninja Warrior 6
Check out  their video submissions, and lets all wish them luck!
Click here for Andrey’s video
Click here for JB’s video

Good stuff, and more to come!

1st Annual American Ninja Warrior Course & Parkour Seminar at “The Cave” (with Guest Coaches & Celebrities)

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Hi Cavers,

As you know we’ve held several American Ninja Warrior events, seminars, & competitions here at the “Cave”.  Nevertheless, the next one coming up is going to be the biggest and most spectacular yet, and best of all there will be a new format that will enable even more people at different skill and fitness levels to try their turn at the course and practice their skillzz.  Here are the details:

Saturday Nov. 3rd 1-6pm:   1st Annual American Ninja Warrior Kid’s Course & Parkour Training Session with Celebrities and Guest Coaches
Ages: 6-12 y/o
Come train with the American Ninja Warrior Legends. There will be 2 Kids courses, Ninja Challenges, Vaulting Clinics, Games, & More. Meet some of the biggest personalities of the show and half a dozen of the United States top Ninja Warriors from the “Great North West Region” as well as the stuntmen from the “Spectacular South West”, and don’t forget the Cave’s own Mt. Midoriyama veterans! Re-define your Ninja Skillzz.
Cost: $50 early-registration/ $65 preregistration / $85 at the door.
(Early registration ends Oct. 19th, preregistration ends Oct. 30th.) (no sibling discounts- sorry.)
Registration open for: 36 little athletes (may be extended to 48 good weather permitting)
Includes 2 obstacle courses, parkour vaulting clinic, games, raffle & course prizes, and of course, mingling with American Ninja Warrior celebrities.
Who will likely be present?  :  David Campbell, Travis Furlanic, Chris Wilczewski, JB Douglass, Kelvin Antoine, Ryoga Vee, Tom Hutchman, Andres De la Rosa, and several others!
Event Location: The Cave

Member cost: $50.00
Nonmember cost: $50.00

Notice how stylish and comfortable Travis looks in his sweatshirt!

Notice how stylish and comfortable Travis looks in his sweatshirt!

Sunday Nov. 4th 8:30-2:15pm:

Ages: mature teenager to 50+

Cost: $50 early-registration/ $75 preregistration / $85 at the door
(Early registration ends Oct. 19th, preregistration ends Oct. 30th.)
Registration open for 36 ninjas (may be extended to 48 good weather permitting)
Includes 2 obstacle courses, parkour skillz clinic, ninja challenges, course prizes, and “meet & train with the American Ninja Warrior celebrities”,

& compete at whatever level you’re comfortable

Event Location: The Cave

Member cost: $50.00
Nonmember cost: $50.00

Parkour + Physics = Happiness; Fight Science Features Ryan Doyle & Daniel Ilabaca

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Here’s a little video with two of the best traceurs in the world helping Fight Science analyze the physics and forces behind a shoulder roll landing as well as a massive gap jump to cat hang.

Post questions or thoughts to comments.

Christian Fairfax Parkour Highlight reel: Semester in Review

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Hey Crew,

Here is one of my favorite Parkour and Freerunning videos, a highlight reel by Christian Fairfax, an extremely talented and dedicated local bay area traceur.   He’s got amazing skills and JB Douglass, the newest member of our staff and amazing in his own right considers him to be his “parkour teacher”.  Christian is one of several elite traceurs who are not yet eligible to compete in American Ninja Warrior, because they’re not yet 21 years old, but they  will be in a year or two… Gulp!  Competition is going to get tighter!  Here you go:

Don’t be surprised if you end up hearing the soundtrack around the gym on Thursdays while the PK staff is doing their thing training!

Pro Vs Amature Parkour Fails

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Parkour Fail videos are horrible, because people get hurt, often badly, and not just physically.  They’re embarrassing too.  But I actually like watching parkour fail videos, as much because I enjoy the process of analyzing what went wrong and mentally archiving how to avoid that “wrong”.  I often cringe even before the crash.  Most of the time if you have an experienced eye, you can tell what’s going to happen before it does, and especially when the “athlete” doesn’t look anywhere near well prepared you know it’s going to go horribly wrong.  Nevertheless, in contrast there are “pro parkour fails”.  I recently watched one of Jesse Le Flair during a commercial shoot.  Sometimes even pros eat it, but more often their training kicks in to save them.  Look at the difference between Jesse’s fail and the other fails in the Parkour Fail compilation.  My reaction to Jesse’s fail was… “Wow..!  Nice reaction.  Great awareness.  Grip strength came in handy.” As opposed to “you fool, you’re no where near strong / flexible / prepared / experienced enough to try that outside of a foam pit!”  Many people trying or learning parkour on their own are often fool hardy and try a trick or skill well before they’re athletic base is an parkour skills are sound enough to attempt a trick of the level of difficulty that they have in mind.  People who try parkour and freerunning tricks that they are nowhere near ready for aren’t only a hazard to themselves, but mar the art form and set a bad example for others as well.  Here is the video of someone failing a cat-to-cat with a strong base:

In contrast, most of the fails in this next video are performed by folks who don’t even seem to know they’re not ready to try these.  I love the music for this next one.  It’s so appropriate.  Try analyzing some of the fails and “read” what exactly went wrong with each trick.  The more you understand, the safer you’ll be.

Ultimately, my philosophy for throwing dangerous skills is that it’s better to be over-prepared for a skill than to increase the risk of injury or even tragedy by throwing a skill prematurely.

By the way, I think that the kid in 3:40 may have broken his neck.

San Francisco International Parkour Jam June 24th & 25th

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

The 2nd annual San Francisco International Parkour Jam is taking place this weekend in different locations in and around the bay area.  I was fortunate enough to have a chance to go to the Ninja Warrior type course on Friday June 22nd at Parkour Connections’ and SF Parkour’s registration location and had a great time with some of the old SF PK cast as well as former Cave coaches Marissa Lee and Ryan Fulmer.  Here is a picture of Bay Area Parkour Bad Boy Christian Fairfax testing out the Ninja Warrior course:

Christian Fairfax on the Ninja Warrior course for the 2012 International Parkour Jam

Christian Fairfax on the Ninja Warrior course for the 2012 International Parkour Jam

Here’s a link to SF Parkour’s International Jam page:

http://www.sfparkour.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5415

and to the map with all the meeting spots for Saturday & Sunday:

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=205411862093985305694.0004a5dd43312f893ff41

SF Parkour community leaders have always done a fantastic job of organizing their events and bringing traceurs together from all parts of the continent.  If Parkour is something you’re passionate about, I would make sure to make it to at least part of the activities this weekend.

The More You Understand, the Better You’ll Get: The Physics of Parkour Series

Friday, June 8th, 2012

One of the things I find myself doing during the parkour classes that we teach is explaining physics to our kids and why it’s important.  In parkour, it all comes down to physics, and the more you understand it, the better you’ll be able to figure out the moves and the more confident you’ll be it what you’re doing.  Newton’s three laws of motion form the basis of classical mechanics and, according to en.wikipedia.org, can be summarized as follows:

  • First law: The velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force.[3][4][5]
  • Second law: The acceleration a of a body is parallel[disambiguation needed ] and directly proportional to the net force F and inversely proportional to the mass m, i.e., Fma.
  • Third law: The mutual forces of action and reaction between two bodies are equal, opposite and collinear.
  • These are reoccurring themes in parkour moves.  One of the common explanations during our classes is in regard to jumping and the third law, which can also be stated as “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”  When we jump, we push down on the earth (or down and back, if we are jumping forwards) by extending our ankles, knees, hips and also shoulders.  That’s why we swing our arms in time with opening our hips, because by swinging our arms up, we are exerting a greater push down on the earth, and since the earth doesn’t move much (but in theory, it actually would move a teeny-tiny bit) the result is that we get air-time.  It’s an interesting experiment to try to “jump” by just swinging your arms without using your ankles, knees, or hips.  You can actually get a bit off the ground, and it’s magnified when you do it in time to the rest of your jump.  One of the common mechanical breaks that parkour coaches notice in new aspiring traceurs is the lack of optimal use of the arms in time with their jump.  This also commonly happens with CrossFitters doing box jumps who don’t have a particularly strong athletic background.

    At The Cave we have commonly had kids do their school projects on parkour and take video footage during their parkour classes.  I don’t know if any of them have done physics presentation for their projects, but the material lends itself extremely well.  During the next couple of months I intend to intermittently post several parkour physics projects that young traceurs from around the country or even overseas have put together, after all, the more you understand, the better you can get!

    Here’s the first one:

    Are there any errors or inaccuracies in our young parkour and physics teacher’s explanation?  Can anyone identify them or make any clarifications?  All around, I think it’s a great video.

    Cheers,

    -Amadraeus