I posted this the other day over at the Glasgow Parkour forums and decided this would be a good blog and educational for those people who don't have too much parkour experience. I'll post my weekly training at the end of the week as I now have an idea about what I want to do in terms of conditioning.
I've been thing recently about what I am doing with my various training activities such as fighting, parkour, self improvement in general. I've often explained this to people as an extension of the parkour philosophy, applying it to my whole life but I've realised this is wrong and I have been thinking wrong for ages. The reason I chose to do all this stuff was to give my life purpose which I lacked at the time and I was primarily inspired by parkour, hence the confusion. In reality though, it was Erwan's posts on the parkour.net forum and my research into what he preached: Méthode Naturelle. It is this which influenced my decision to train in various manners.Méthode Naturelle focuses on ten fundamental utilities; walking, running, jumping, quadrupedal movement, climbing, balancing, throwing, lifting, self-defense and swimming. This was influenced by Hébert's experiences in the army. I have adapted his méthode naturelle philosophy to suit my own lifestyle and the current society. For example, throwing or quadrupedal movement aren't imperative utilities in my life so I am not particularly interested in specifically focusing my attention on those. I feel that méthode naturelle would be better if it was more flexible to suit the individual rather than being general. I understand why these particular utilities were chosen by Hébert but I cannot justify training quadrupedal movement for example, in this day and age and in my life because it is not particularly useful and thus not a fundamental utility for me, despite my body being able to do it.
Of course, I'm only focusing on the physical and ignoring the virile and moral utilities in my previous paragraph but my training does not ignore these aspects. I am constantly trying to do things which will scare me so that I am more courageous, trying to act in a way which I feel to be morally correct. I meditate and do breathing exercises and plan on researching more into this. I have been studying altruism and try to live my life in an altruistic manner. I try to control my emotions and thoughts and have discipline.
Because of this, the reason I do parkour is different to the next traceur. The preference I give to movements and techniques and the way I perform them will generally be the same as most traceurs and there are a finite number of movements you can perform in many situations. When traceurs talk about their own parkour, half of them don't really understand what they are saying and the other half are grossly mistaken by everyone. Of course, individual creativity will give traceurs their individual style and this is what a lot of people think is meant by "your own parkour". I feel this view is borne from a misunderstanding of Foucan's statement regarding "your own way" and "following your own path".
Sure, the way you move is part of your own parkour path and your own way but your parkour journey is mostly a mental one, coloured by your life choices and decisions - why you do parkour, what you do when you "do parkour", what you get out of parkour etc. My parkour is flavoured by Méthode Naturelle moreso than many other traceurs but I feel it is important that you recognise the path you are on and the purpose for walking it.
In conclusion I would like to explain that the point in this post is to hopefully inform people of what I feel is meant by the phrase "your parkour", to inform people of my own parkour as an example but most importantly, to gain feedback and input from other traceurs on this topic, that's an important aspect of parkour too! If you agree or disagree then please share these thoughts. Share - learn - live better.