On one of our Sunday training at #PKPHBansay while performing drills over an open grass area, the sprinklers suddenly all popped-up getting most of us around wet. Common reaction would be to run for cover, but the training leads for the session decided to simply continue on encouraging even the newbies to stay put. While most of them were hesitant at first, continuing on getting drenched and rolling over grass probably made everybody's PK experience more memorable. Just like that particular training day, there are only a few things more nostalgic and liberating than taking off your shoes, walking around, and training in barefoot. It simply feels like you've been transported to when you were 5yrs old, running around every ground surface, without care for getting dirty or hurt. Adding to the great sentimental value, another reason to take off your shoes and do some barefoot training is its benefits in improving your Parkour techniques - specifically in skills that involve balancing and landing on your feet. Here are a few observations we were able to gather after doing some barefoot training...
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.
In a couple of months, PKPH / Parkour Philippines will turn 10yrs old. As possibly the first Parkour organization that started out in the Philippines, lots have changed - thankfully most for the good. From a handful of after-school practitioners to thousands of great athletes within a decade, PKPH couldn't ask for anything better. For the past few months however, the community has found several game-changing circumstances that has lead everybody in the core group of volunteers to switch gear and look to a different direction - that is to migrate to another country. Again, as abrupt as it may sound, with both sentiments of regret and excitement, PKPH / Parkour Philippines will finally close its doors in the Philippines and move to one of the world's PK meccas, United Kingdom.
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.
For quite some time, we've been getting this question a lot : "How can I be a member of PKPH / Parkour Philippines?" It's been asked of us enough times that it compelled the current group of PKPH Core Volunteers to reflect on the matter. The issue of membership had to be thoroughly discussed as it's one of those issues that are so critical to the identity and core philosophies of Parkour in general and PKPH / Parkour Philippines - the value of camaraderie. In this post, learn what it takes to BE PKPH.