Adaptation: The Central Mechanism of Parkour
Dan Edwardes
by Dan
2M ago
Parkour was born out of the process of solving movement problems, or challenges. They began simple – can we cross this gap; can we climb this building; can we balance along this railing; can we vault this wall? Over time, as competence increased, the complexity and demands of the problems increased, which powered the continual adaptation and evolution of the movement skills within parkour. This, then, is the central mechanism of parkour training: adaptation to new problems. The most common training method is to search for movement problems within a given environment, then attempt to solve them ..read more
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Cultivating Confidence
Dan Edwardes
by Dan
2M ago
If you train in parkour long enough you will come to understand that your body will quickly become strong, fast and powerful, but it is the mind that truly dictates how much and how quickly you progress. You have a phenomenal capacity for movement, just as every primate does! You are nature’s most adaptive athlete. But we are also burdened with a powerful prefrontal cortex which tries to consciously control our movement, and in doing so interrupts our automatic movement capabilities which are faster, more responsive, more accurate and more efficient. Parkour will realign your mind with your bo ..read more
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Safety… Second?
Dan Edwardes
by Dan
7M ago
Why the modern focus on safety at all costs is lowering our competence, confidence and capabilities while also making us less safe overall. We all know that well-worn adage, ‘safety first’. A seemingly innocuous and perfectly reasonable phrase, reminding us to consider the risks and think about what safeguards might be a good idea within any given activity. As a general reminder, it makes a lot of sense. The problems begin, or rather began, when we started taking this phrase literally and applying it to just about everything. Because, in reality, safety simply cannot be first. Nor should it be ..read more
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Repetition is the Birthplace of Skill.
Dan Edwardes
by Dan
7M ago
Repetition is the birthplace of skill. Skill, to me, is not best measured by the ability to do something well but rather by the inability to do it poorly. When you rarely get something wrong, you’ve acquired true skill in that thing. This takes time, and countless repetitions. And smart, well executed repetitions, too. There are no shortcuts to this, and no exceptions. With this in mind, every training session counts, over time. The work adds up. You may not see the development, but it is happening. And the results can appear quite suddenly, when they do. Train with Parkour Generations by fin ..read more
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The Power Of Physical Literacy
Dan Edwardes
by Dan
1y ago
‘Fitness’, I believe, is an almost redundant term. When you think about it for any short amount of time, you will soon come to realise it is too broad, too vague, to be of much use. Are we talking about health, or performance, or resilience, or longevity, or the original Darwinian meaning of ‘fit for a particular context’? All or some of the above? A marathon runner’s idea of fitness is worlds apart from a powerlifter’s definition of the word, as is a gymnast’s and a soldier’s. So what do we mean by ‘fitness’? And until you define that, how do you know what to train or not train? I prefer to d ..read more
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Groundwork: The Benefits of Quadrupedal Training
Dan Edwardes
by Dan
1y ago
Parkour has involved quadrupedal locomotion patterns, or crawling drills, since its inception over 25 years ago. Anyone who has ever come to one of our classes, workshops or events will be familiar with just how challenging, demanding and sophisticated this form of training can be, as well as how fulfilling it is to become proficient on the ground. The wider world of fitness has woken up to the power of this training protocol only in recent years, with all manner of systems popping up promoting crawling patterns – some doing it well and intently, others simply to join the bandwagon with no rea ..read more
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Parkour: The Unrevealed Depth
Dan Edwardes
by Dan
1y ago
Parkour is true situational movement. It’s great to see so many movement enthusiasts and teachers discovering the power and effectiveness of parkour as a training discipline, something we as practitioners have known for decades. It’s common these days to see movement teachers learning to take their balance skills to railings, or applying their pulling strength to climbing walls and other obstacles, or learning to jump stair sets or build accuracy through precision; then incorporating these basic skills into their workshops and programmes. These components that have been central to the parkour ..read more
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Situational Movement
Dan Edwardes
by Dan
2y ago
Situational Movement. Another term for what we practice in parkour.  Words like ‘functional’ and ‘practical’ tend to evoke certain limited vocabularies of movement, aligned with existing fitness industry or sporting paradigms. Situational includes the functional and the practical, but is not limited to either. But parkour is, in truth, an adaptive movement concept; we shape our movement at any given moment to fit a given situation, which leads to infinite variability and endless application. We are both products of our environment and masters of it at the same time. And surely this is ide ..read more
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The Future of Functional Fitness
Dan Edwardes
by Dan
2y ago
The future of functional fitness is an evolution into functional movement. We see this already in the explosion of more complex movement practices like parkour happening all over the world and being adopted slowly by the mainstream fitness world. Organisms are not machines, and the era of training them like machines will give way to an age of treating them like organisms, leading to longer health-spans, fewer injuries and even greater potential. The Parkour Perspective The body/brain has evolved for movement, in every way, as demonstrated by the continual feedback process of action-perception ..read more
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Train As An Individual, Not Just An Athlete
Dan Edwardes
by Dan
2y ago
I think the greatest practices humans have yet created are those which train the entire individual, not just the athlete in us. The practices which ask questions of body, mind and soul, and don’t stop until they have answers – and then start again with harder, deeper questions, continuing that cycle until one’s whole self is revealed, and understood. That’s the fertile ground from which, in time, mastery can arise. And, more importantly, this is actually what people yearn for: we all seek profound experience, not just physical betterment. In my experiences teaching and coaching tens of thousan ..read more
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