All of us age. And in aging, physical changes occur. While I believe that aging is mostly a positive experience, there are undoubtedly negative ones. A few notable examples to mention are Sarcopenia - loss of force-producing mass/muscle mass - and Osteopenia - loss of bone density. Though partly natural in nature, a major reason why these conditions occur in an accelerated manner is because these bodily resources simply aren't being used, more commonly seen in people living sedentary lifestyles. What then could better counter these conditions than to introduce Parkour to the elderly?
For quite some time, I've noticed that the some of the smoothest and most inspiring traceurs/traceuses train not only in Parkour alone, but also with other movement disciplines as well. Every time I encounter a dancer, a gymnast, or martial artist during our #PKPHBansay sessions, I almost always expect that they get Parkour skill movements quickly, and seldom am I wrong. Thus, the merit of 'cross training' maybe quite a beneficial strategy in the goal of wanting to be good in Parkour.
When disaster strikes, most people will attribute it to the worsening situation of the world, in the tone of 'the beginning of the end of the world'. I don't know about you but I always found such hasty conclusions idiotic, often irresponsible. Such observations are unfounded, and are most likely because information is so easy to get hold of nowadays, plus the fact that people are occupying so much space in this world that something 'bad' is bound to happen statistically. As a whole, I believe that there is really no greater time in human history in the improvement of quality of life than now. Ridiculous as it may seem, one very minute example of that is the presence of video-sharing websites, like Youtube, with awesome features making learning much easier.
In the many years I've been involved in Parkour Philippines, I've heard all kinds of concerns and questions from both practitioners and interested participants. One worry that almost always comes out is when people remain hesitant to train in Parkour because they do not have a group to train with. There is a hesitation to be exposed out there all on your own, by yourself, in not so private places. In these public places where public eyes can see you make or break a jump, fly or fail a flow, catch or fall off a ledge, some would rather avoid the situation altogether and thus not even attempt to try out something for the sake of practicing Parkour. The reality, and perhaps, rooted from experience also, is that training alone is part and parcel of this discipline. Rather, there is a lot to learn from taking the "Solo Flight."
INTENTIONAL MOVEMENT, a key concept of which Parkour Philippines (PKPH) espouses during its activities. It is about carefully orchestrating which part of your body will go where and at what point in time - special attention be given to which body part will interact with what specific surface. While the thought of it may sound so ridiculously ordinary not deserving of much attention, it is actually often overlooked especially when beginners first engage a new movement discipline, or a more experienced practitioner trying to learn a new trick.
CONDITIONING : a word that’s easily thrown around Parkour circles like practitioners jump from block to block. And we believe that that’s a great thing. Very few backyard disciplines have at its core the need to be physically fit and healthy. Adding to that Parkour’s roots grounded on the need to be ‘useful’, especially in emergency situations wherein a traceur’s assistance to another will be needed, there is no greater motivation to build an able body. On the flip side, while the attention to ‘conditioning’ is heightened to the top of mind of Parkour practitioners helping bring about discussions on optimal performance, injury prevention and participation longevity, using the term loosely without proper and correct understanding of definitions and methods will only bring about confusion. As such, understanding of Conditioning is often watered-down or even downright incorrect, producing sub-optimal and, sometimes, even harmful results, consequently discrediting the methodology as a whole. With that in mind, PKPH: Parkour Philippines wants to contribute to the discussion, believing that it can shed information that is scientifically credible, comprehensive, effective, efficient and action-oriented.
Everyone is going to be injured at some point in time, it's just a question on when, where, and how. There is obviously no time to think, step back, and assess the situation in a split second while you're flying through the air. Make or break decisions happen instinctually, experience and long hours of training rewires how a person reacts under different circumstances, much like how different martial artists instinctually move when punched in the face.
Perhaps most important in the development of a solid structure of self-confidence is the ability to calculate the risk involved in our actions. Everything we do entails risk, even the smallest movements and the simplest techniques: we can injure ourselves slipping from a three-foot high wall or landing badly from a short precision just as easily as we can from a big cat-leap or a complex vault. What separates us from the danger-freaks is the knowledge that we are taking calculated risks, fully cognizant of our capacity to overcome them, along with our facility to make good choices about the risks we take.
Two things that PKPH : Parkour Philippines takes seriously, 1) our good reputation in society and the PK community, and 2) training. For quite some time, we've opened our Sunday training (#PKPHBansay) to the public for FREE, without strings attached, in hopes of sharing what Parkour is and eventually helping start local PK communities. As such, from the multitudes of training hours we've put into this discipline, we're strictly enforcing these rules to maintain our training sessions' standards.