I found out about parkour from a website called undergroundscene.co.uk. 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 glasgowparkour.co.uk 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 Parkour.net. 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!
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.
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: