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Posts Tagged ‘Parkour’

Five reasons of why YOU should try parkour

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Parkour, as defined by Mark of American Parkour, is “…the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one’s path by adapting one’s movements to the environment.” I understand parkour to be moving over obstacles in the most fluid and efficient way possible.
So, why should you and/OR your children give it a try? Here’s five reasons.
1. Increased Confidence
Parkour is a natural confidence builder, as it slowly takes you from not being able to do a lot, to being able to do things that you never would have guessed possible. When you look up at a wall that you know is higher than anything you’ve ever been able to scale before and you commit and manage to make it over, you feel like you can accomplish anything. After a while, that feeling starts to bleed out into the rest of your life.
Whenever you start feeling unconfident about something, your job, school, whatever – you can think back to the time you got over that wall, cleared that gap or landed that precision and remember that if you can do something that awesome, you can do anything.
2. Helps mental fortitude
While once you might have seen a wall, a fence or a gate as an obstruction, something that meant you shall not pass – you now see as a fun challenge. It doesn’t take long, to begin looking at every physical obstacle you find in your path as a challenge to be tackled with enthusiasm. Soon you find yourself seeing mental obstacles in the same way. Rather than hit a problem and immediately get frustrated, you’ll find yourself excited with the prospect of a challenging problem to overcome.
3. Increases creativity
Parkour also fosters creativity. The goal is to move over the obstacles in as efficient a way as possible. That usually takes some creativity on its own, but lots of people also try to clear obstacles in the most aesthetically pleasing way possible. You begin deconstructing objects to find the most efficient way to get past it and how to make the skill look really good.
4. Increase your fitness
Parkour was very heavily influenced by a man named Georges Hébert. Hébert found when traveling through Africa the people there were in a heightened state of fitness without following a structured exercise routine. This lead him to develop a fitness system, the Natural Method, where each training session involved a variety of real world movements like running, jumping, crawling, climbing, throwing etc.
His method resulted in substantial body development and significant fitness gains. Parkour took some inspiration from his method,s and by its nature develops the body in a similar way.
When you practice parkour you walk, you run, you sprint in bursts mixed with periods of slow movement (sound like interval training?), you vault over things, you roll, you climb, you crawl, you jump, you balance. Almost every way you can make your body move, parkour practice will find a way to make you do it.
This kind of free flowing circuit training is fantastic for your fitness level. Additionally, it’s all real, compound, full-body movements (again sound familiar?). There aren’t isolated bicep curls, training for parkour prepares your body to use its fitness in real world situations.
5.Extreme Fun
Practicing parkour makes you feel like a little kid again, screaming your head off as you run from whoever was ‘it’ in a game of tag. It’s like the feeling of having an all out sprint just for the fun of it. There’s just something fantastically fulfilling about it. Honestly, to understand how fun it really is, you just have to go try it.
So what are you waiting for? check the schedule and come to a class!
…….bonus reason: You Always Wanted to Be a Ninja

Parkour Coach Andrey Is Tarzan

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Sometimes, we need to just play.  If you provide kids an interesting environment, they will play.  They will experiment with trees, rocks, water, sticks, dirt, bugs, etc.  We tend to move away from this child-like curiosity as we get older and we really shouldn’t.  Playing in natural environments is a great way to develop and keep strength.  Not everything has to be programmed out…sometimes the best thing to do is just get out there and create.

From Andrey:

After watching a Tarzan cartoon a while back, the idea of flowing through trees that grow close together sounded super fun and challenging.  And so, I scouted places in SF, figured out a line, practiced, discovered what poison oak is all about, found an amazing cameraman, and shot it.  Hope this video inspires you to go play on those trees like I did.  They are all over Golden Gate Park and Mountain Lake Park in SF, enjoy! “

This Week in The Cave

Monday, June 9th, 2014

campfire-night3_webKids Night Out

Forget about the babysitter and bring the kids to The Cave!  They’ll get exercise, have lots of fun and enjoy a healthy dinner.  This week’s theme is Campfire Night.   Register on-line or call (415) 927-1630.  $35 in advance or $45 at the door.

Summer Camps

Have you made summer plans for your kids yet?  The Cave’s summer camps are perfect for any age and any level!  Our coaches will challenge your child at her level while making sure they are safe and having fun.


If you like the idea of keeping the kids healthily active during the summer (while giving parents a few hours break),  check out our Summer Camp schedule below!  Then be sure to register NOW as these classes fill up FAST!
Gymnastics:  June 16-20
Ninja:  June 23-27
Team Gymnastics:  June 30-July 3 (This training camp is for Level 3+.)
Gymnastics:  July 28- August 1
Youth Camp:  August 4-8
Gymnastics:  August 11-15
Parkour:  August 18-22


Challenge WOD

Challenge WOD #4 was announced last night, read about it here, so get it done by this Sunday! The third challenge WOD is complete, great job to all those who participated. Want to know more about Challenge WOD? Check this out!

CrossFit Trainer’s Gymnastics Seminar

amanda_muSpend 3 hours with Roger Harrell, founder of the CrossFit Gymnastics Certification program, learning how to properly teach gymnastics fundamentals in a CrossFit program. Detailed progressions will be covered. Key safety concerns will be addressed specifically geared toward teaching gymnastics movements to adults.

SAugust 9, 2014 01:00PM to 4:00PM

Member cost: $70.00
Non-member cost: $75.00

To register, use the “Register” link to sign up for just this seminar.  This seminar is limited to 20 participants, so sign up early to ensure a spot. The price listed above will hold up until 10 days prior to the event (July 31) at which time the event cost will increase to $90.

This seminar is coupled with the Athlete’s Gymnastics Seminar. Member’s cost for both Trainer’s and Athlete’s seminars is $90, non-member cost is $100.  Call (415) 250-9710 to sign up for BOTH seminars and receive the special pricing.

CrossFit Athlete’s Gymnastics Seminar

Spend 3 hours with Roger Harrell, founder of the CrossFit Gymnastics Certification program, learning gymnastics movements. This seminar is focused on proper and efficient execution of key gymnastics elements.  Get started or improve your technique on a variety of movements. Learn how these skills truly break down to work toward mastery. Floor, rings and parallettes will be covered in detail with an introduction to other gymnastics apparatus.  Learn some key techniques to dramatically improve your efficiency and enable performance of skills you thought unattainable.

August 9, 2014 04:30PM - 7:30 PM

Member cost: $70.00

Non-member cost: $75.00

To register, use the “Register” link to sign up for just this seminar.  This seminar is limited to 20 participants so sign up early to ensure a spot. The price listed above will hold up until 10 days prior to the event (July 31) at which time the event cost will increase to $90.

This seminar is coupled with the Trainer’s Gymnastics Seminar. Member’s cost for both Athlete’s and Trainer’s seminars is $90, non-member cost is $100.  Call (415) 250-9710 to sign up for BOTH seminars and receive the special pricing.

American Ninja Warrior, season 6

Friday, May 16th, 2014

American-Ninja-WarriorAmerican Ninja Warrior (ANW)  is a televised competition highlighting incredible athletes attacking intense obstacle courses.  For the parkour community?  Well,  ANW is our Super Bowl. Insanely talented athletes from around the world compete to do what no one has done before — conquer a course modeled after the famed Mt. Midoriyama in Japan. American Ninja Warrior season 6 premieres on Memorial Day, May 26th. Be sure to cheer on our favorite athletes!  This is a great show to watch for learning new moves and hearing incredible stories about perseverance from the athletes.

Did you know many of our previous parkour instructors have competed on ANW, including me?  You never know who’ll you’ll see this season!

We will be doing Ninja Warrior Style courses next week to prepare for intense watching and cheering when the show airs. See an obstacle you like and want to try?   Let your coach know!

Spring Break Parkour Camp!

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Parkour Spring BreakWe had an excellent Spring Break Parkour camp this year!  Coaches JB, Josh, Zack W, Andrey and Zach R. had a blast training parkour with an incredible group of young athletes.  Some highlights include:  Moving up parallel walls Jackie Chan style, lunch time adventures, dodge ball, ANW courses and, of course, an epic water balloon fight.  Thanks to all the amazing families who spent spring break with us!

Parkour Spring Break 2

It will be summer before you know it and I’m looking forward to more parkour fun with our traceurs.   I’m hoping to meet lots of new ones too!  Summer camps fill up fast, so be sure to reserve your spot today!

Parkour Offers an Outlet for Women in Iran

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

After its birth in France, parkour has slowly grown a following here in the States.  But, parkour is no longer a sport for just the west…nor is it popular with just men.

On Fridays, groups of young women across Iran can be seen jumping from rooftops, scaling the graffitied walls of apartment blocks, and catapulting themselves over stairways. They are performing the same  parkour moves we do here in The Cave, but they’re much trickier to execute while wearing a hijab.

As one student from a Tehran parkour group says:  “It gives us courage and helps us release our pent-up energy. It’s great to feel that nothing can stand in your way.”  We’re in full support of the budding community there in Iran and would like to give a massive shout-out to the courageous ladies who are pushing the limits there in more ways than one.

Parkour’s popularity among young women in Iran is soaring, regardless of the bulkier clothing and head coverings Islamic dress codes require them to wear. The outdoor sport, a fast-paced hybrid of gymnastics and martial arts, seems designed to get you out of a fix quickly, which explains its appeal to young Iranians, whose social lives in the strict Islamic republic often require considerable agility. Iran’s female practitioners are running their own threads on Persian-language forums and posting films on-line to showcase their skills.

You can see a great video and read more about these amazing women here:

Keep it up girls, we’re all proud of you!

This Week’s Happenings in The Cave!

Monday, April 14th, 2014

cave_client-bbq6_webCave Community BBQ!

The Cave is hosting a Client Appreciation BBQ event on May 3rd from 1:00-7:00PM.  All are welcome to attend, though we will be paying extra special attention to our CrossFit community! They have worked very hard this year and deserve some home cookin’ and some fun!
If you’re looking to show off your awesome paleo (or non-paleo) cooking skills, you’re in luck for this is a pot-luck event.  The Cave will provide the bulk of the food and drink, but feel free to bring a dish to share! Come prepared to participate in some fun games and contests for prizes.  Who doesn’t love an old fashioned water balloon toss or three legged race? It is important to note that The Cave will NOT be providing child care at this event, however, children are welcome to attend. We hope to see you there!

Kid’s Night Out

Next Kid’s Night Out is April 26.  It’s Sports Night, with hot dogs for dinner!  Reserve your space now by e-mailing or calling (415)927-1630. $45 at the door or $35 in advance.

CrossFit Open Masters Qualifier

Masters competitors who finished in the top 200 worldwide in their age division in the Open are invited to compete in the Masters Qualifier. The Masters Qualifier runs from April 17-21. At 5 p.m. PT on April 17, four workouts will be released. Competitors will have four days to complete the workouts and submit scores. The Cave has 5 athletes competing this weekend!   Stay tuned to the blog and our Facebook page for more information.


Summer Camps

If you like the idea of keeping the kids healthily active during the summer (while giving parents a few hours break),  check out our Summer Camp schedule below!  Then be sure to register NOW as these classes fill up FAST!

Summer Camps:

Pay Attention Traceurs!

Sunday, April 6th, 2014


Parkour Essentials (8-12 yrs.)

Monday 4:00-5:00 PM

Parkour Essentials is the perfect introductory class for young traceurs (parkour practitioners).  The class is geared toward developing agility, body weighted strength, stamina, confidence and most importantly, the skills to practice safely. The basics of parkour movements come from strength, flexibility, and confidence in one’s abilities.  Students will develop these skills within a curriculum that includes obstacle course navigation, conditioning and parkour skill work in a safe and friendly learning environment.  This class provides a fun, active, and engaging way for kids ages 8-12 to burn off energy, become a part of a constructive and positive community and learn physical movement in an encouraging environment.

Parkour Flip & Flow (8-12 yrs.)

Monday 5:00-6:00 PM

Parkour Flip & Flow is a class for 8-12 year old traceurs who have developed a higher than average fitness level, have a vast vocabulary of parkour terms, and demonstrate a maturity level (i.e. respectful listening, no reckless behavior, etc.) that is needed to learn more complicated movements and techniques.

Sign up NOW!


Sunday’s Parkour Progressions from 6:00-7:30 PM will now be a Parkour Open Gym from 6:00-8:00 PM.
For ages 13 and up, members and non-members fee $25

What to expect:  The first 20 minutes will consist of a group warm-up, stretching and conditioning.  The remainder of the time will be supervised skill training for all skill levels.


Don’t forget!  The Cave’s Parkour Spring Break Camp will be from April 14-18!

Who can participate?  Kids ages 6-12 of all skill levels.  Sign up NOW, camps fill up quickly!

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 Additions!

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

the_mega_boxYou might have noticed some recent construction occurring in front of 417.  This last week, we built a new feature for the parkour area.  It is an 8-foot tall wooden box, commonly called a mega box.  The mega box is a multi-use tool that allows us to practice wall runs, climb ups and spider wall.  Plus, the open “windows” on opposite sides of the mega box provide unique climb through opportunities.  We also added more wall features.  The mega box and new wall holds inspired hard work and solid training this week.  I’m looking forward to next week’s improvements and creativity!

Last week, in parkour, all the groups exceeded my expectations in the creativity, focus, and performance categories!  The classes participated in a creative exercise that we call “Add On”.    The Add On exercise works to build both mental and physical capacities by requiring focus in different areas.  The student needs to remember the sequence of movements being spontaneously created by the participants, while enduring the physical performance repeatedly.  All classes were impressive in their own interpretations of the game.  They all started with the same parameters as each group received a blue vault box and a hand rail.  While I made a few initial suggestions for moves, after a few minutes, the traceurs had a great parkour flow going and added moves that we have worked on in the past involving the scaffolding.

The progression of the traceurs in The Cave’s parkour program has been amazing to watch over the past few months.  The skill level just keeps going up!

Try playing Add On with your family at a playground or in your own backyard.  It’s a great way to get some fresh air, exercise and have a lot of fun!