Saturday, 29 December 2007

Random thoughts at this precise time.

Where I am and where I am going.
For the last three weeks I have stopped doing conditioning routines and my focus has been purely on techniques. Although it is very important to do conditioning when starting off in parkour to have the strength, I am content with my strength at the present, but I want my technique up to match my strength level.

This week my jump distance has went up, and so has my mood and confidence. Therefore I am going to continue to train this way for the time being.

The weather and general environment has been excellent recently with lots of wind, rain and darkness falls in Glasgow about 3:30pm, so most my training is at night. Am I being sarcastic... Nope! I have been training the past few weeks in cold, dark and wet conditions and for the first time in the wetness I have been doing Parkour and not body weight strength conditioning.

Today for example I popped up the blind and looked out the window, and smiled. At one time I would have been annoyed and frustrated seeing rain and wetness, but today I just grinned. It was wet after a crazy down pour of rain and today was a Saturday Jam session in Glasgow. Despite the cold and wetness, I managed to do my biggest precision to date, as well as vaults, jumps, cats, cranes and balancing/walking on the wet rails.

I am finding training in the wet is heightening my senses and sharpening up my technique, as I do not want to slip and fall. I have to be very precise in my movement. Even in this very short time i feel I am adapting faster than I usually would, and my mind strength has improved, with higher concentration levels, faster instinct and an even more positive attitude to myself and to others.

I am becoming addicted to training in the wet now, due to the highly focussed mentality, almost like meditation at certain points. After training at Rottenrow I went back to the west end and drilled 51 wall climbs and 100 precisions all on my precision limit, plus one extra precision for you lot who where not there... A productive day!

If I can handle Parkour in the wet, then surely it will improve me when it becomes dry and I will feel even more confident as well as competent.

I still have a long long way to go, but i feel happy and can see and feel my current progression.

My new years resolution??
My new years resolution will be the same as last years one... "Not to have a resolution"... I am already doing what I need to do because it is relevant in my progression at this precise time in my Parkour journey.


Wednesday, 26 December 2007

My Parkour highlights of 2007

Below are some of my Parkour highlights that was 2007.

Started Gymnastics for the first time in my life aged 28, to improve my form, flexibility and confidence in the way my body moves.


My first trip to Lisses in France with my Fiancée to visit the home of Parkour and the Dame Du Lac, which was an unforgettable experience. It was inspirational at the size and scale of some of the most famous obstacles and paths chosen by the best.

My Being part of an article written by the Scottish Sun newspaper on Glasgow Parkour.
I Conqueored the baby cat at Wellington Church, Glasgow

My first Edinburgh Jam with BJ, Pete, Gav & Rab on a gorgeous sunny day.
My first time ever doing Slackline with Liam Arnold.
Kettlebell training with David BJ Lang.
Nailing the Rail Kong to Precision at the Uni Library.


The Eglinton Trip with Chris Grant, Paul Sayer and Sean Laverty, which was one of those sunny long lasting days with great training and fun, topped off with a freezing cold dip in the sea and juicy steak on the Barbeque.


The London trip with Chris Grant and David BJ Lang to see Dan Edwards and train in the evening with Forrest.

Coaching the younger up and coming Traceurs at Unit 23 Parkour Workshop in Dumbarton with David BJ Lang, Chris Grant and Sean Laverty.


Participating in the K Swiss event with Chris Grant, Sean Laverty and Paul Sayer at the Fort Shopping Centre, Glasgow.


The London trip with Chris Grant, David BJ Lang & Paul Sayer to train with the Yamakasi, Stephane Vigroux, Forrest, Johann Vigroux and the rest of the Parkour Coaching team at the Rendezvous 2 event. Also it was a pleasure to meet and chat to Blane and Dane DC Grant too.
Also in December I have began to practice Parkour in the rain with wet obstacles to sharpen my technique and mental abilities.
I would like to thank my Fiancée and to all who I trained with, met and chatted with, for a memorable year, and I wish them all the best in strength, courage, love, self improvement and happyness in 2008.


Sunday, 9 December 2007

Rendezvous 2

This blog entry is from a thread I posted on today and summed my feelings on Rendezvous 2, which was an event held by Parkour Coaching team and the Yamakasi.

Rendezvous 2 was magical evening where like minded Traceurs and Traceuses learned and pushed their abilities in mind and movement after a killer warm-up.

I went to this event to learn and I personally learned a lot about myself and what I need to train on. The scaffolding towers that where constructed where superb to pass round, above and through. And was one of my favourite obstacles to execute my movement on and watch others too.

I thought the 5 workshops that where laid on in this event where very well thought out. The number of people who attended was perfect, so we all had space to learn and move, move and learn and little time to stand still. The music and training vibe was perfect!

I would like to personally Thank Dan, Forrest, Stephane, Johann, Kazuma and the rest of the Parkour Coaching for making this event possible.

I would personally like to thank the Yamakasi for their teachings and encouragement.

Well done to everyone who attended and pushed themselves!

From a tired, positively sore and very happy Zeno.

P.S. I would like to thank my training partners Chris Grant, David BJ Lang & Paul Sayer, whom made the 4:30am travel and flight from Glasgow to London, and on the same day, the 8 hour brutal bus trip back home to Glasgow worthwhile, with the good banter and team spirit.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

The Spirit of Parkour and how is it a way of life for me.

I have been doing a lot of thinking before, during and after my training and thinking why do I do Parkour and why I feel so passionate it?

I started Parkour after seeing it on the TV (when I use to watch TV). I was impressed by the fluid movement, strength and power being executed. It reminded me also of when I was a kid, jumping wall gaps and climbing walls and trees, but on a more serious and higher level. So I browsed the internet looking for Parkour group in my area, and was happy to find Glasgow Parkour where I met up with local Traceurs and my journey began...

I knew it would take a long time and hard work to achieve a descent level of Parkour. And that I would have to be patient too, in letting my mind and body develop together.

The reason I do Parkour is:
* Improve myself
* Positive inspiration
* Survival skill (help, chase and escape)
* Beat Stress
* To learn and to teach

Improve myself
A Traceur’s/Traceues’s journey is an infinite ascending and path. On this difficult path are many rewards (body, mind & spirit) with true greatness as well as hard times, much like life really.

It is good to move or reflect on your environment knowing you are competent of your abilities. And should you have a weakness, challenge it!!! Improve on it. I feel if you are strong in body and mind then you will be strong in spirit. Positive things happen to positive people.

Positive inspiration
I take inspiration from my Traceurs and Traceuses I train with. I take inspiration from Traceurs and Traceuses I have met, chatted to and watched videos of from all over the world. In return I like to give back that positive energy back , and keep a balance.

Survival skill
Parkour in its essence is a survival skill on whether to help, chase or escape. And therefore a Traceur/Traceuse should be always training, even when not training. What do I mean by that? Well I train most days of the week I am out either practicing technical moves or body conditioning. However my Parkour training does not stop when I get home or go about other duties in life. I am always thinking about my movement and my surrounding environment. I could be in a restaurant or on a form of transport; I will be thinking and running over in my mind routes of escape or arrival.

It is always important to be always thinking about your movement (before, during and after), and when you become strong, skilled and useful you will no longer need to think, you will just know. On various occasions I have spent time teaching an individual the importance of landing quietly and correctly, only to watch them perform another move such as a cat leap, so happy they made the leap; they forget and land all loud and sloppy. Parkour should always be a state of mind so be aware of it and yourself at all times.

When I am in work, I will walk past the lift/elevator and take the stairs, and ascend or descend smooth and quiet, thinking of ways to take less steps or how I turn. Even when I am sitting down or resting, I will mentally go over a move, and see it in my mind, overcoming the obstacle. And when I mentally visualise I will incorporate my senses to make it all the more vivid, such as how the texture of obstacle would feel or the rhythm of my movement, what sound my hands and feet would make when in contact with my obstacle, and any smells such foliage, sea air and certain obstacles just have a unique odour, which most of us do not even think about and should. We should connect our senses to our movement and obstacles to increase our alertness and better our chances at survival.

Beat Stress
One of the beautiful aspects of Parkour is the ability to switch off your mind from everyday external problems, and just focus all your attention to the moment of your Parkour. Yes exercise in itself is a fantastic physical stress reliever but it is good to mentally escape too. It is magical to have fun and always be a kid at heart regardless of age, and strike the balance also in ing the discipline of Parkour seriouly too. When your movement is of the highest purity and is just natural instinct, then you do not even have to think, you just know and move freely. That is the path of enlightenment.

Many Traceurs and Traceuses will agree that there is a strong connection between over coming obstacles in Parkour and obstacles in life. Parkour allows you to see your obstacle, analyse it, and provide the solution with the end product overcoming the obstacle. In obstacles in life you become more possitve at handing stress and problems around you, you , provide a solution and take that path.

The only frustrating aspect in Parkour is not conquering the obstacle; however there is an easy answer. You are not ready for it. You go back to your training, you mentally run over it in your mind. You practice, practice and more practice until you are both mentally and physically capable. You make that move and you over come that physical obstacle and that mental obstacle in your mind; you feel amazing, you feel proud and you grow from that experience. And if you have great training partners, then they are proud of you too. Likewise when I watch my fellow Traceurs over come an obstacle significant to them, I am happy and proud of them. Only then do you really begin to feel what proper training and pushing your abilities can do wonders for the body and mind.

To learn and to teach
There is always something to learn and master in Parkour. Your vision, environment and you as a practitioner evolve. It is important to put what you have learned into practice, in different environments and circumstances. Let’s say someone was chasing you. Yes you could do a turn vault, drop down, roll and run onto a cat leap, but what if one of your arms where broken or fractured? Can you vault or roll left and right side? Can you perform your movement using just one hand for example?

I enjoy teaching and even more learning. I am going to Rendezvous 2 next week in London to train with Dan, Forrest, Stephane and Johann Vigroux, The Yamakasi plus more of the best Traceurs and Traceuses there is. I am not going there to show off what I can do or just execute what I am comfortable with. I am going there to learn, train hard, absorb the positive energy and chat with like minded friends. And I know I will return grateful and continue my journey.

I feel it is important not to have a big ego, and think you know it all. It is important to remember that there is always something to learn, regardless of how good you think you are. It is equally important to teach well too, as one time you were a beginner and how grateful you were to have someone to teach and guide you, regardless of age, race or gender.

All that I have written above is why I am so passionate about, why it is a state of mind and a way of life for me.