Thursday, December 21, 2006

Hardcore Holiday!

Christmas is almost upon us! Personally I don't like to celebrate christmas. All the values and things associated with Christmas are actually how I try to live my life anyway. you know, the usuals like be happy, be kind to everyone, joy to the world, enjoy the company of your close family/friends.

In addition to Christmas celebrations, my birthday is on the 1st of January, and I will be 21! I get two weeks off work for Christmas/new year so...

Instead of a traditional celebration (read: get really drunk...) that most of the country will be doing (or would be if it was their 21'st) I have decided to have a hardcore holiday. Every second day I will be training muay thai, parkour and conditioning to the extreme. Proper hardcore training.

As I most likely won't get access to the internet too much over thie festive period I will keep a diary of my work and post it up here at irregular intervals or all at once when I come back to work on the 8th.

In the mean time, have a merry christmas, a happy new year and good luck to you all. Thanks for reading my blog this year. Hopefully I will have my first video mid January for you all...!


Monday, December 11, 2006

Almost a year...

I started parkour on January 12 2006, so it has almost been a year...!

In this time I have learned so much.

I have learned the difference between knowing something from reading it on an internet forum and knowing something through actually training! That is one of the most important things I have learned this year.

I have also learned that everyone progresses and learns at a different rate, both physically and mentally.

Only recently, I discovered the benefits of training with someone vs training alone. I understand reasons for wanting to train with someone, but also for training alone. I think that to learn new things, it is amazingly helpful to learn first hand from someone that knows the technique but to improve on the technique it is best to train alone, in isolation. This is something I will hopefully be able to use in the future.

Being forced to train on my own for 90% of the time this year has made me a better person in a few ways. I don't often get time to myself, but when I do, it is because I am out training and no-one else wants to join me. This has developed into a brilliant way to get rid of stress because I am getting everything off my mind and just focusing on one thing again and again and again and again and again and again (you get the drift..!).

This week onwards I am going to try and start filming my one year progression video which will hopefully be finished by the 2nd week in January. The tripod I ordered last week came this morning, so I may go out for a quick half hour session at dinnertime to try it out... haha! :D

Monday, November 27, 2006

Weekend Challenge Results

Not to make excuses, but I had more on at the weekend than I though. I had to work on Saturday and I got roped into christmas shopping with my girlfriend on Sunday!


I went home and done press ups, pull ups and chin ups. I didnt keep track of numbers. It was bitterly cold outside and raining horribly so I stayed in with my book and some music. Every 10 minutes or so I would stop reading and do something physical like 20 pull ups, or 20 press ups, then read (rest) for a bit, then do more. I musta done quite a few because I done this for a few hours.


After I had finished work at 3 on Saturday I went home, got changed and headed straight back out to train in the cold. :(
I was training from about half 3 to half 5 on one wall, just on climb ups. I know 2 hours sounds weak to those of you who are hardcore, but that is plenty for me as I am that weak!


Most of the training done today consisted of carrying shopping bags around town :(
I'm gonna make up for the lack of training on Sunday by training tonight as well. I have to paint the ceiling tonight, but I found that my loft is perfect for practicing clump-ups...!

Friday, November 24, 2006

The weekend challenge

I'm setting myself a goal and I'm gonna try my hardest to reach it. I only have Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday to complete it.

I'm gonna do this for the rest of the year and see how I get on.

This weekend I am going to improve my climp ups. Zeno from Glasgow seen how weak they were and with his help I did improve slightly on my technique. I know it will take more than a weekend, but I hope by Monday I will feel more confident in my abilities.

I'm going to try film myself and see if I can get a few progression videos from the weekend. It may be possible...

Wish me luck!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Training tonight

I was training Muay Thai last night, and it wasn't as physically intense as it usually is because I was training footwork and also Yaang Saam Khum (three stride movement) as well as my left and right low kicks on the heavy bag. Tonight I plan on making myself work hard!

There are two things which I don't like about my parkour at the moment.

1. Take Off

When I take off for a vault or whatever, I will usually stall (as seen on my video below) slightly before taking off. I think that learning a split foot takeoff will improve this, as well as make me more efficient in my movements. I plan on learning this, or at least making a start, tonight.

2. Climb-ups

These are a real weak point. I have very good power and strength in my legs but because of this, my upper body is pretty weak. My climb ups are really really rubbish, so tonight I will also be working on these.

I know it may not be sensible to train both upper and lower body in the same period, so I am thinking about going out tomorrow morning as well. In the afternoon I'm going to see a guy in my Muay Thai club fight. Should be fun!

I leave you with this photo of my mate, Graham. This was the second time he came out training with me. He has since decided parkour is not for him and is sticking solely to boxing, but at least the photo is good :)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I made a video

I made this video to figure out how to use Windows Movie Maker and to see if the quality of my digital camers's camcorder mode was any good. It's only 36 seconds long, but it had the best ever music in any demo I've ever seen.

I was intending to make a video on training in my garden a while ago, but I forgat about that project and focused more on training rather than making a video. I decided to stick on some random clips to figure out how to do it, and this is the result.

I know some of the editing and movements are a bit shit, but I was learning how to use that program so I can make my one year progression video in January! :D

Monday, October 16, 2006

Looks like a nice day

Yup, outside looks like a nice day, and hopefully that means a rain free evening. Which means PARKOUR! :D

I now have a video camera. My Dad got a new one for his birthday, so I got his old one. I may take this (rare) opportunity to try it out tonight. I'll have to learn how to edit it, but that should be no problem! All I need to do now is to convince my girlfriend that she should come out and hold the camera for me... ;)

Monday, October 09, 2006

RE: standing jump entry earlier

Took a pic:

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Back from Glasgow

Stayed the weekend in Glasgow.

It was mad on Saturday night because of our football result against France (GET IN!!!!) but during the day I met up with a good few of the lads (and lass!) from the Glasgow parkour "scene".

Hopefully I can remember names:

"guy that fell on his arse at the scaffolding"

Can't remember his name! Ach well... :(

It was vey good fun speaking to all there people I've spoken to electronically but not in person and having a bit of a jam with them. That was the first time I've ever done Pk in such a large group, I think the largest group I've trained with before was about 4...

Hopefully I'll be going back to Glasgow again very soon and this time I won't forget my camera!

If any of you Glasgow traceurs fancy coming to Arbroath for a weekend or whatever just give me a shout!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Going to Glasgow

This weekend (7th & 8th) I am going to meet some traceurs in Glasgow. I often visit the Glasgow parkour website and frequent their messageboards and I think it's about time I met them all and checked out some of the spots down there.

Hopefully I'll get one or two photos of us all from the day.

I really hope I do meet up with the Glasgow guys because my girlfriend is going shopping and I really don't want to have to go with her!

I'll update tomorrow with a few photos I got last night before it started raining :(


Click here to see one of the best parkour Media pieces I've ever seen, whch just so happens to have been from members of Glasgow Parkour!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Some pics and movies...

Ok, I remembered I had a account and that I had put a few photos in there so here ya go!

This is me training in my garden. The blocks are there to help my landing technique, not mark distance. My landing here is a bit guff... (video may/may not work)

This is one of my friends practicing his balance

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This is the perfect height for learning most vaults and that is exactly what I used it for!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Darren airborne!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Finally, I was trying to help my two pals with their diving saut de chat techniques and overall confidence. First is the video of me doing it, then my pal Darren's attempt.


Just yesterday I was introduced to Buddhist meditation techniques.

I downloaded an e-book on meditation from, which I have printed off and started reading.

From what I have read and heard from other people, meditation is exactly what I need. here is an excerpt from the e-book:

"In the Buddhist tradition, meditation is used to defuse the source of all the trouble -the illusion of self and other. In Cha'an (or Zen), the aim is to overcome thought and defilement. Having done this and with thoughts no longer strring, the real substance of mind becomes evident. Without thoughts and without the illusion of self and other, greed, anger and hatred have no place to arise; and the energy that was tied by those illusions becomes avaliable, helping to provide an overall improvement in health"

This is the paragraph which made me decide I wanted to try out meditation for myself. To raise my subconscious concentration to a level where I can block out everything, including my own thoughts and focus on one thing a time, whether this may be the huge saut de bras I require all my energy to even contemplate or the guy in ring who I need to knock out. It may even be that I require my concentration to be focused solely on the pile of work in front of me! I can see how this sort of thing can help me in many aspects of my life: Work, drumming, parkour, muay thai etc.

As usual, any progress will be up here.

Standing Jump

I have found a spot in Arbroath where I can drill standing jumps for as long as I want without being disrupted. At the business entrance for a local gear making company there is a nice area with a few trees and a view of the river. The trees are in what is best described as a concrete box filled with earth.This box is no higher than my knees. Anyway, round the edges of the "concrete box" there are ledges about as wide as my foot is long and the distance between then is about 8 and a half of my feet. I know for a fact that I can get to 9 of my feet, but that's not a comfortable land. I can make 8 and a half feet, but again, that's not comfortable either.

I plan to drill this one day this weekend. Possibly Sunday. Hopefully I will get some pictures as this blog seems to be lacking in the image department!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Muay Thai

Ok, I know I said I was going to do boxing but I accidentally came across Muay Thai - Thai boxing. I watched one session of muay thai take place and I instantly knew this was what I wanted to do, not boxing. Muay Thai claims to not only get you fit, but get you fighting fit (what a line!)

On top of getting extremely fit (which is what I desperately need), I also have never really learned to fight properly. I mean, I'm so bad I have been headbutted and punched and not retaliated through lack of confidence that I could do anything. In the few weeks I've been attending training I feel I now have the confidence to stand up to anyone who confronts me.

In the greater picture, I feel I have taken a step forward in becoming the most useful person I can be. In my opinion, parkour is not just about overcoming obstacles of concrete, metal, height or distance. To me, it is not just about escaping but about being useful. I feel that this is where the roots of parkour lie and where my true path lies. In learning Muay Thai I have taken a step towards something positive. I am taking action for the future, so that I can protect my loved ones from physical harm when they are around me. I am also taking steps to effectively protect myself from anyone who is overly aggressive towards me.

I am still making progress, It's just getting harder to maintain a view on the future while concentrating on the now.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Boxing has been estimated as approximately 70-80% anaerobic and 20-30% aerobic. Anaerobic means to conduct an activity without oxygen. Anaerobic exercise, like boxing, stresses the muscles at a high intensity for short periods of time.

I see similarities between parkour and boxing. I would estimate that training parkour is 70-80% anaerobic too. I think that boxing will bring me the sort of discipline and commitment to training that I need.

On top of that, my friend wants to try out boxing too and he reckons he could wipe the floor with me...!

Lets the games begin ;)

Monday, August 07, 2006

New Traceur!

I met a Ukrainian called Anton the other day.

I was practicing balance at one of my usual "spots", which just happens to be outside a supermarket. Anton was doing shopping and he spotted me. We swapped numbers and arranged to meet up last night (Monday).

He told me that he had only been training for 3 months but his abilities would lead me to believe he has been training for much longer!

As he is not from Arbroath we went around town, with me showing him places where I go and him scouting for more locations. We had a brilliant time and we have arranged to meet up again on Wednesday, when we will be joined by one or two more. :D

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

New Job

I got a job at the local college as a receptionist!

This will hopefully let me buy a new pair of trainers and get a flat so I can sort out my training properly.

On Monday I started my roadwork programme. I've not exercised regularly since I stopped playing football competitively about 4 years ago and before I found parkour my only exercise was drumming about 6-8 hours a week. For this reason I have decided to "ease" myself into regular exercise, starting with roadwork.

My roadwork programme basically consists of a 2 mile run twice. I can't do running in the morning as I don't have a regular place to sleep, so I can't be guaranteed a shower after I've been running! I decided to just do the two miles twice (with a 10 minute rest in between) at a regular time each night - 2230. I've so far only done two of these and I can honestly say that although my legs feel like jelly afterwards I wake up feeling brilliant!

Once I'm settled into a flat I intend on stepping things up a gear. I will do 2 miles in the morning as well as the evening, increasing this when I am feeling able. I also want to start getting stronger and I feel the best way to do this is with bodyweight exercises. I decided to use bodyweight exercises instead of wieght training as 1. I don't want to shell out for weights when I can just use my own bodyweight and 2. I would have no place to put weights if I did buy then. Finally, I know this would sound silly as I do parkour but I always feel slightly embarrased about going to the gym. :(

I'm going to try to update every week from now on, seeing as I now have regular access to a computer. It's been a bit hard updating lately as I've been finishing college, applying for jobs and generally being homeless! haha.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I have been trying.... honest!

Recently I've finished college and between finding jobs and practicing/playing gigs with various bands I've not had as much time to work specifically on anything parkour related. Shame really.

I did get round to filming myself though. I can see instantly where I am going wrong from looking at the video footage, I run at too low a speed and with not enough conviction. I don't "attack" the obstacle like I should. I think I treat the obstacle with too much care, if that makes sense.

On a more postitive note, I managed to get good "catleap" technique in a spot which I've been looking at for about 6 months now! I need to work on the approach a bit more (launching with only one foot rather than stalling the run and launching with two) but it feels really good. As soon as my friend finds his DV cable to connect the video camera to the PC I will upload the videos I made; a progression of three short clips, all from differnt approaches.

Job - Flat - Shoes - Progression!

Friday, June 16, 2006

The past and the present (some future too).

The Beginning

I found out about parkour from a website called A member of the forums who was interested in Kung Fu found out about parkour and decided to use the forums to see if anyone else wanted to train with him. As soon as I read some stories and seen some examples of parkour I was completely amazed and decided, that day (January 12th 2006) to get involved in this thing that was called parkour.

Unlike many others, I didn't go straight out and jump off roofs and learn to do "cool" flips, What I did was extensive reading. I read all of the urbanfreeflow pages and studied their fundamentals page, I read all the articles that were written and downloaded all their videos. I found and discovered another side to parkour. The urbanfreeflow site (in my opinion) was more product and market orientated. They had sponsors, sold t-shirts and run a team dedicated to doing media jobs. Glasgowparkour was a few guys spreading the word of parkour positively and having fun doing so. I appreciate that a lot more and this was the first I seen of what is only scratching the surface of the "spirit" of parkour.

Although I am not very knowledgable in such things, philosophy and sociology interest me very much (especially Jean Paul Sartre, his existentialism and Camus' absurdism) and finding the philosophical element in parkour cemented my interest.

I duly went and bought Jump London from Amazon and thought it by far, a huge improvement on the UF (urbanfreeflow) documentaries. I then practiced parkour every day. Working (sensibly) on the basic manouvers that I seen on the UF fundamentals page. Precision jumps and basic vaults for the first few weeks.

Parkour feels the most liberating when you know nothing and your eyes feel like they have just been opened for the first time.

After 3 or 4 months of training by myself and with friends I reached a basic level of fitness and had learned what are know as monkey vaults and kongs as well as most of the silly named vaults.

It was only once I had learned all these things that I found This website opened my eyes even more. There was (and still is) views and opinions from people that live parkour, not just casually practice it, as I had been.

After this, I decided to buy Jump Britain. It was slightly entertaining but taught me nothing. If anyone wants either of these documentaries contact me and you can have them!

The Present

Now I feel like I have reached a new level in my training. I know what my weaknesses and strengths are and I know what I want to improve and why. My understanding is in no way complete, far from it! But at least I know that I have a lot to learn. I have come to accept that I may never completely realise the potential that nature has given me as a human, but with parkour I can get closer to it than most people and at least the small potential I will realise will not go to waste because I will have fun finding it.

The Future

I'm not going to post up a list of "moves" that I can do because names are only useful when you are "learning to move again", so to speak. I no longer feel the need to refer to names as much as I used to but I am trying to learn to say/pronounce the french names, as they seem to sum up the moves a lot better than the english ones.

I need to improve on efficient movement between obstacles more than anything.
I need to get new shoes as skate shoes do nothing to improve rail to rail precision jumps. I have the technique, but the shoes need to go!
I am getting better with regards to upper body strength. I have practicing muscle ups on the swings in a local park and I roughly have the technique, I need to just keep practicing.

I plan on filming myself more to make sure I'm doing my muscle ups properly and in between obstacles I would like to study my movements to see where I can tighten up and improve.

I will try to upload either videos or pictures for the next update!

This is me whenI was having some fun down by the beach:

A Little Fable - Franz Kafka

"Alas" Said the mouse, "The world is growing smaller every day. At first it was so big that I was afraid, I ran on and on and I was glad when at last I saw walls to the left and right of me in the distance. But these walls are closing in on each other so fast that I have already reached the end room, and there in the corner stands the trap that I am heading for!"

"You only have to change direction" said the cat, and ate it up.

An introduction of sorts...

Ok, this is my first post in my brand new blog. Welcome etc... :D

This blog is for me, to make sure I actually do what I say I will. Putting it on the internet is a motivational tool. Saying that, if someone likes reading what I post then that’s excellent! I think it will also be good to look back on my progress.

First off, I am hoping to chart my progress in parkour with this blog. I may set myself targets and declare whether I achieved them or not. I may update with many, many pictures of myself (how sad!) But I guess you want to know what parkour is already? If you already know then either skip this part or send me a message telling me what I got wrong.

What is Parkour?

In the simplest of terms, parkour is “getting from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible, using only the capabilities of the human body.” In this one statement there have been countless arguments and many different factions arising on the various opinions regarding this statement.

Between these factions, parkour is called many things; an art, a sport, a discipline, a way of life. Personally, I believe it to be anything but a sport, mainly because in sport you have competition between individuals and between teams. In parkour you do not have teams (except those which are together for sponsorships and those teams are arguably not doing parkour anyway) and you do not compete against anyone but yourself. I guess it can be seen as an art form but personally I don’t see it that way although the graceful, efficient movement does provide a pleasingly aesthetic side effect.

For more info on parkour and David Belle, read the Wiki/F.A.Q. on

When I have a wee bit more time I will add another post, my first "real" post with progress so far and my aims and goals.