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5 steps to get started with parkour

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  • 1. 5 Steps to Get Started with Parkour Im glad youve found your way to this guide! Parkour is a fantastic discipline thathas the potential to positively affect your fitness, strength, confidence, athletic ability and many other aspects of your life. It can be difficult when starting out, to find theright information and get started on the right foot, (no pun intended) so let me help you get going! Who am I?My name is Ben Krueger and I started Training For Parkour and created this guide to help spread the discipline to people that are interested in parkour. I have been training for over four years now, am an A.D.A.P.T. Level 1 Certified parkour coach and have taught parkour for over two years. To learn more about me, check out the website at TrainingForParkour.org This Guide will cover: Table of Contents Step 1: How to Find Other Practitioners in Your Area ...................................................... 2 Step 2: Finding A Location ............................................................................................... 3 Step 3: Get the Right Gear ................................................................................................ 5 Parkour Shoes ........................................................................................................................................... 5 Parkour Clothing .......................................................................................................................................6 Parkour Pack ............................................................................................................................................ 8 Step 4: Planning Your First Parkour Session .................................................................. 10 Step 5: Time to Try It Out!....... ........................................................................................ 11TrainingForParkour.org
  • 2. Step 1: How to Find Other Practitioners in Your AreaWhen starting out with parkour, there is undoubtedly no substitute for seeking out experienced traceurs (parkourpractitioners) that can teach you in person. Knowing this, the first step is to figure out whether there are people alreadytraining in your area, and if so, whether they are qualified to teach you. I use the term qualified in quotes because itseems that every person out there that has been practicing parkour for two weeks is already trying to teach someone else the art without much experience themselves. Because of this, Ill advise this; if you meet up with someone to have them teach you, and they dont seem to have a good grasp on basic parkour skillsets to begin with, you might not want to learn from them. To find out whether there are people training in your area, here are some resources to check. United States: www.americanparkour.com/directory - You will have to create an account to post here - Scroll down to the "Local Connections" section and select your region. - Within your states thread, write a post introducing yourself and ask if there is a group that trains in your area. You might be surprised to find that traceurs are everywhere these days. Rest of the World: www.urbanfreeflow.com/directory - Unfortunately, this resource isnt very detailed, but check to see if there are groups in your country, and then contact them directly. 2
  • 3. Cant Find A Group?So what do you do if you cant find someone locally to teach you? Training For Parkour is specifically designed with theabsolute beginner in mind. Go to TrainingForParkour.org to get started with lessons, tutorials and more. The site alsohas a growing community where you can interact with other beginners and help each other learn and improve!Step 2: Finding A LocationNow, we have to find a spot to have your firstparkour training session. There is somethingto be said for practicing in any environment,however, it can drastically help you getstarted if you have a good location. An areawith any of these things can make a goodparkour spot: ! Walls ! Ledges ! Park Benches ! Railings ! Stairways ! Handicap Ramps ! Boulders ! Trees ! Any abnormal terrain 3
  • 4. Places that are generally good for parkour and contain the things above can usually be found in or near any of these places: ! Parks ! Playgrounds ! University Campuses ! Schools ! Down Town ! WoodsMany people will notice good parkour spots when they are out walking around, andforget where they were. I do this all the time. Here is my suggestion, if you have asmart phone or a map of your area, walk around any areas of interest (especially theones listed just above) and mark these spots on your map. This way you will have amap with multiple spots to come back to and you can have a variety of training spotsfor future use. *Quick Tip: When walking around, take back alleys and side roads to find hidden gems. These places are often great because there isnt much pedestrian traffic.Now I have to say this, public areas are generally okay but anything that is private or government owned is off limitsunless you have explicit permission from that person, business or entity. Use your best judgment and if you are asked toleave from any area, kindly apologize for disturbing them and leave. If we are respectful, we can avoid the skater punkimage, and eventually be allowed to train in more places rather than being chased off and thought of as hooligans. 4
  • 5. Step 3: Get the Right GearJust to be clear, this section is largely opinion based, however the basic characteristics of good parkour gear shown belowwill get you started. One of the great things about parkour is that you really dont need much, as far as gear goes, to startpracticing. There are many parkour specific clothing lines, shoes etc, but you really don’t need any of that to get started. Iwill mention them, but know that they arent necessary in any way.Parkour ShoesThe first thing youll need is a good pair of shoes. There aresome differences in opinion here among the community,but it really comes down to personal preference and whatworks for you. Generally though, a good parkour shoe is: ! Light weight ! Grippy rubber sole ! Durable ! FlexibleIn this light, a cheap pair of running shoes will often do thetrick. Especially to get you started. Down the road, you cando some more research and find a pair you really like, butfor now you just need to get moving! Here are generalsome things to avoid: ! Plastic soles under your arches ! Open toed shoes ! Anything with "springs" in them 5
  • 6. Now that you know what will work, here are a few recommended parkour specific shoes and other shoe models that are especially good for parkour. Click on the images to check them out and learn more on Amazon.com. Recommended Parkour Shoes These two types of shoe are regular running shoes that work very well for parkour. They are light, flexible, with a good sole and they get the job done. Click on the image to learn more on Amazon.com Nike Darts 9 Nike Free Runs These are the shoes that I personally use. These are Nike Nike Free Runs are also great shoes with fantastic grip for Dart 9s but I have been using all the Dart series since I rail work, wall runs and other climbing. There arefirst started with Dart 6s. They are pretty much a normal multiple different thicknesses and flexibility levels for running shoe. Relatively light weight, comfortable, and these shoes as well. These shoes are setup on a scale of 1- provide enough cushion without being over supportive. 10 with 10 being most like a normal running shoe and 1 being very similar to running bare foot. I would recommend starting in the middle somewhere with +5 or +3. 6
  • 7. These two types of parkour shoe are more minimalist and provide less cushion. That being said, they allow you to really feel the ground and obstacles beneath your feet. They also promote quality, controlled movements because a big jump with a poor landing will hurt with these shoes on. Click on the image to learn more on Amazon.com Vibrams FeiyueThis shoe is a popular choice among the naturalists and those that like to train in the woods, rocks, trees, etc. Feiyues are actually a martial arts shoe but are once againThey are also great for concrete but they promote a more a favorite among accomplished traceurs because of their barefoot feel so be sure to work your way into these good grip, flexibility, and barefoot feel. They are shoes. basically slippers but work great for parkour.When it comes down to it, the shoes you pick for parkour are personal preference. If you try a pair and dont like them, thats okay, you can always change down the road. 7
  • 8. Parkour ClothingIll first say that any workout clothes that you own (or get at the thrift store) will do just fine. There are, onceagain, a few parkour specific clothing brands out there that add some style. They all have tee shirts, sweatpants, hoodies and other parkour types of clothing and gear. Here are some of the most prominent. Click onthe image to check out their store! Take Flight Parkour Generations American Parkour 8
  • 9. Parkour Pack While this isnt a necessity in any way, Ive found that using a small, light-weight back pack is very helpful. You can carry extra clothes, water bottle, keys, phone, wallet and the essentials without having everything bouncing around in your pockets. Small, lightweight packs with a chest strap are what Ive found to work best. Click on each option below to learn more about the bag on Amazon.com: Click on the image to learn more on Amazon.com CamelBak Eddie Bauer BagThe 50-70 liter Camelbak bags are fantastic for parkour. This Eddie Bauer backpack is what I personally use They have the built in liquid bladder for holding your because it has a little bit more space to hold an extrawater and small pockets for all your other essentials. Its sweatshirt, your sandwich, or whatever you want to take also small and compact to the body so it doesnt flop with you. It can also strap tight so it doesnt flop around around when you run. much. 9
  • 10. Step 4: Planning Your First Parkour SessionSo youve found the parkour spot, youve got thenecessary gear, and youre ready to go. Now comes thefun part! Lets get out there and start moving! If youwere able to find a group of people that train locally,contact them directly and ask if you can come out withthem. Almost all groups that Ive trained with are morethan happy to teach newcomers and usually enjoy itquite a bit.If you were unable to find a local group to train with,then head over to Trainingforparkour.org and click onthe lessons tab. You will notice there are five freelessons to get you going on the right path. Go throughthe lesson one material, then follow the instructions andlesson plan to begin learning the basics. There is also aCommunity page where other beginners like yourselfcan share videos, stories and generally have otherpeople to talk about parkour with. What fun is doing itall by yourself? If you have any questions, you canalways ask other beginners on the Community page orask me directly at ben@trainingforparkour.org. 10
  • 11. Step 5: Time to Try It Out!If you devote some time and energy you will see fast Free Parkour Lesson If you dont have any desire to improve and only practice once every third week, you wont ever be able to perform the impressive movements that attracted you to parkour in the first place. If you choose to train parkour as a social event or something that you can use to show off, then you are certainly welcome to do that. At Training For Parkour, I promote parkour as a long- term, holistic discipline and something to practiced for years to come. Obviously, you are just starting your journey, but Ive personally experienced the incredible transformations that parkour can have on your body, mind and confidence, and I seek to spread that to as many people as I can. Those are the five steps to get started with parkour! Be safe and have some fun! If you found this guide helpful, share it with someone that is interested in parkour! Get A Free Parkour Lesson 11