Parkour Circle and Satya Special School

After the opportunity was created to work with special needs children during The Urban Playground’s (UPG) visit in January 2016, we at Parkour Circle have begun training the children using Parkour methodologies.

Working with Special Needs Children

It has been an eye opening journey to say the least. There are so many aspects of things that I had missed over the past few years of my training. All those limitations were laid bare once the work with the kids began. In this series of blog posts, I will try to verbalise my observations, my learning, and what I intend to do with the knowledge gained. My teammates at Parkour Circle will be leading me in this journey as mentors, peers, and fellow seekers.

The first introduction at Satya Special School had been a fairly simple one. Meeting the teachers and discussing the various conditions that they deal with. While I had very limited knowledge with regard to the various conditions that exist, the overall perspective of Satya Special School opened my eyes in a way I never thought possible.

Contributing Members of Society

When it comes to any form of disability, our society today has become so rigid that even slight differences in physicality, emotional stature, psychological preferences and behaviour makes it difficult for those individuals to thrive. Emphasis is always on conforming to rules and regulations that try to fit the majority population into quantifiable contributors to society. Satya Special School’s teachers told me that their intention is to train all the kids to become functional and contributing members of society. It is a very heavy term: Contributing Members of Society.

Most people would deem any person with a physical or so called mental disability a burden on society. However, this school was trying to find ways to give them the dignity that is rightfully theirs. Oh! DO those kids earn it.

Working Through Parkour

It is in this context that the thought process of fitting in Parkour as a training regimen for these kids started forming in our minds. The whole point of training in Parkour is to be efficient, and to be strong to be useful. It was with this mindset that we began our research into the various conditions, and to wonder how we could develop a program through which the children and the teachers can have one more weapon in their arsenal … to be strong and useful.

We will share more about this journey of discovery soon, so do subscribe to our social media channels.

Are My Parkour Movements Efficient?

People often get confused between “efficient” and “easy”. Most people don’t even give enough thought about what the difference is.

Practicing parkour does not mean just jumps and workouts and random things on a day to day basis. There has to be a fundamental truth to the whole practice if anyone wants to achieve any kind of progress in their parkour practice.

If you do at least 30 push ups everyday, then 30 push ups becomes easy. But does that mean you are doing it efficiently?

This restrictive question immediately gives rise to the thought about perspectives. From what perspective does one measure efficiency of movement in parkour. I was talking to a silambam practitioner the other day, and they revealed a very interesting fact about how silambam was practiced in earlier times. It was not just practiced by soldiers who would be using it in a battle field, but was practiced by people in every household. If there was a problem with bandits and thieves raiding a village, then one man from every household used to take a weapon to defend the village and their loved ones. This required them to practice a martial art everyday. Looking at the amount of work that a farmer does in the field and at the end of the day, practicing one of the most gruelling martial arts before going to sleep on a day to day basis… Now, that’s strength. Strength to do what is necessary.

Am just talking about this to give an idea of what the possibility of the human body is. These days a lot of emphasis is on repetitions, numbers, structured progression, benchmarks, programs etc. While these are maybe useful as a tool, the sad truth is that most people are caught up in doing repetitions as an ultimate target. That is not how your own parkour evolves.

Train hard everyday. But be mindful of what you train. Mindful does not mean “counting every repetition” or every jump or repeating every movement by counting. Keep your mind inside your body. Be aware of what you are doing. Not just mechanical movements. Do not train just as an escape. Of course, it happens at times after a tiring day that your training becomes mechanical. But keep pushing your boundaries mentally and physically. Mind within the body as you train. Then, the movements become efficient.

Now, Two Weekly Parkour Training Sessions!

Parkour Circle can now happily say that you are welcome to join us in our Parkour training sessions on Wednesday Mornings or Saturday Mornings. Both sessions are at 5:30 am, and they are spread across the city. They are also a fixed schedule, so you can just turn up and meet us. Take a look at our current schedule below:

When and Where are the Training Sessions?

Wednesday Morning 5:30 AM: St. Thomas Mount steps
Saturday Morning 5:30 AM: Besant Nagar Beach, Near the public gym / Police booth.

Call Prabu: 98848-97546 / Baskar: 97911-02804 for more details.

These aren’t the only sessions, though! We will also be announcing sessions in other places across Chennai, such as Anna Nagar, Velachery, Nungambakkam, Chetpet / Egmore and more. If you have a suggestion for a training spot, Contact Us and let us know!

Parkour Training at Besant Nagar Beach every Saturday in Chennai Parkour Training at St. Thomas Mount every Wednesday in Chennai

How Much do These Sessions Cost?

They don’t cost anything. They are free. At Parkour Circle, we are all professionals who have our own careers, but have a fierce love of Parkour. We want to see Parkour being explored by people from all walks of life, for passion, for adventure, for fitness and for self-discovery. We want it all! Join us on this journey.

What Should I Wear? What Should I Bring to Parkour Training Sessions?

Be sure to bring a bottle or two of water, a small snack to eat (we suggest a fruit like a banana or an orange) after your session, and a bag to keep your stuff safe.

You can wear shorts, or track pants, a comfortable shirt, and running shoes. We don’t suggest that you wear sandals or slippers, but training barefoot is ok.

Who Can Train With Parkour Circle?

We firmly believe that barring a Doctor’s restraining order, there are very few things that should prevent you from being able to train in Parkour. We welcome everyone to come and join us in our sessions. No matter your age, gender, weight, height, complexion or religion, feel free to join us in something that all humans share… Movement.

Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+. If you would like to see updates on some other social media channel, do let us know in the comments, or on Facebook. We are usually quite responsive.

Parkour Jam and Performance Parkour Workshop on 18th January, 2016

For the last 9 days, Parkour Circle has been working closely with The Urban Playground Team. We have jointly conducted workshops for diverse sets of audiences, ranging from differently abled children, to educators, to men-women-children-grandparents of socially excluded communities, and children from an International school.

We are very excited to be able to present to the Parkour community in Chennai, two unique experiences on the 18th of January, 2016 at Tamil Nadu Eyal Isai Nataka Mandram, Greenways Road.

Events:

3pm – 5pm: A Performance Parkour workshop aimed at exploring how Parkour movements can be used in performance arts.
5pm – 7pm: A pure parkour jam with a masterclass led by Malik Diouf of the Yamakasi. If you’re a parkour enthusiast or practitioner, you can’t afford to miss this.

Contact us on Facebook, or on the phone (+91-99620-28747) for details

Welcome to the Parkour Circle Blog

Greetings, searcher for Parkour knowledge! Welcome!

We are a Parkour training organisation based in Chennai, India.

This is the blog. You can expect to see posts and updates about various projects, classes, and other parkour related topics. You will also hear from various team members… Their thoughts, insights and probably also some of their ramblings. I suspect that this is going to be a fairly informal place for traceurs across Chennai, Tamil Nadu or even India to gather and discuss their thoughts in the comments. So, don’t feel shy. Step up, leave a comment and introduce yourself.

If you would like to join us on our exploration of Chennai through movement, you’re welcome to join us. Our sessions are free. Here is our Training Schedule, for your convenience.

You can also communicate with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Join us on:

Wednesday Morning 5:30 AM: St. Thomas Mount steps
Saturday Morning 5:30 AM: Besant Nagar Beach, Near the public gym / Police booth.

Call Prabu: 98848-97546 / Baskar: 97911-02804 for more details.

Interview with Tim “Livewire” Shieff

Timothy “Livewire” Shieff is a Freerunning athlete who has recently been in the spotlight after he won the World Freerun Championships ’09. He’s also appeared in the MTV Ultimate Parkour Challenge alongside other well known athletes like Daniel Ilabaca and Ryan Doyle.

Tim graciously took the time (even though he’s been working hard, and fighting sleep deprivation) to answer some questions that my buddies  had for him. Here they are, for everyone to partake in.

Tim Shieff Speaks.

Prabu asks “In the midst of the most physically demanding move, what runs through your mind? How do you build mentally and physically towards something that is very dangerous?

Tim: Moves are only dangerous if your not ready to do them/dont have the abilitiy. Theres always a step before thats less dangerous so if your scared, work out what that step is and do that instead. Its all about progressing at a rate your comfortable with. Progress is the second most important thing in parkour, safety is first.

Terence asks “Were you naturally strong among boys of your age group when you were a child or did you have to work on it? What advice would you give those who are aren’t built too strong and want to be traceurs?

Tim: I was always a skinny kid not noticabely strong just had this strange ability to walk on my hands but that only ever gave me the role as class clown more then anything! I rarely ever do conditioning I just like to train movements that are safe and beneficial to you physically.

Tariq asks “Do you undergo any particular training for your famous upper body strength and the signature one hand-stand?

Tim: Nope just always enjoyed being on my hands. The key is to have fun with it and be playful so you don’t get bored.

Sandeep asks “Parkour is hard on one’s body, especially the joints. Do you have advice on joint care and recovery?

Tim: Don’t do anything that feels as though it may be damaging! There’s infinite things you can practise that will only make you stronger. You don’t need to do big jumps and drops to do parkour. In my videos you’ll notice I hardly ever do anything thats big impact, it’s not worth it.

Havish asks “I have seen most of the Traceurs not wearing Knee Braces, Elbow Pads etc… Would wearing the protective equipment hamper the ethics of Parkour? Or is it just to supress the personal FEAR?

Tim: Yes, if you feel you should be wearing protection then your not training within your boundaries or safely enough. You should only do things your comfortable doing in trainers, sweat pants and a tshirt. You should NEVER supress Fear, fear is a wonderful gift that stops us killing ourselves. Its just knowing what to be afraid of thats important, and thats what we learn through parkour.

Susheel asks “What drives you towards Parkour / Freerunning as a creative outlet? Does recognition, success and popularity figure in that, and where do you see Parkour and Freerunning taking you in the future?

Tim: Everyday I wake up to the nicest emails from people that appreciate my work which definately helps me keep going and wanting to put out more content. But as for training creativity alone plays a huge part as it keeps it fun and original so you never get bored! I dont know where it will take me but the path I’m on right now is the exact one I want to be on so I’mma keep following it, everyday is a blessing full of exciting prospects.

Tariq asks “What exactly is the tattoo on your back? I’ve never been able to get a clear picture of that.

Tim: Its of Atlas (the greek god) holding up the world, I know in the stories he held the sky up but you often see him pictured with the world on his shoulders, its just to represent how I feel sometimes. That and hes one of the strongest men in greek mythology, what better a role model?

Terence asks “What did it feel like, growing and developing under the shadows of greats like Daniel Ilabaca? Would your life be any different if you had not really met them at all?

Tim: I don’t know if it would be different or not but I am very grateful, he really is a great athlete, role model but above all human being, just being around him you feel his aura of confidence and precision.

Havish asks “Approximately how many hours a day or what kind of a routine would you suggest for Freerunnin (for guys who hardly find time besides their busy schedules. Considering the fact that work starts at 9 AM and that we are back home late in the evenin at 7.30 or so)

Tim: Sometimes less is more, the time we spend resting can be as important as the time we spend training, just make sure you train properly on the weekends!

Havish asks “I have a pair of Powerisers (Jumping Stilts) and would like to try Parkour with them. How do I do it?

Tim: You tell me! I’ve had a go on powerisers but would never try anything beyond running down the street in them.

Havish asks “What Vegetarian & Non-Vegetarian Diet would you suggest for Parkour enthusiasts?

Tim: I don’t follow a diet, I just listen to my body and think “I feel bad today, hmm what did I eat yesterday? I’ll try and avoid that in future.” Or the other way round.

 

This interview was originally published on the Chennai Parkour blog by Susheel Chandradhas it is reproduced here for everyone’s benefit.