Sunday, December 19, 2010

Parkour for Survivalists.

I love doing what I do. Constantly learning and researching survival and preparedness opens a fascinating world of possibilities. From training, meeting people, to studying, I just love it. There’s hardly any skill or field of knowledge that can’t be associated to survival and preparedness in one way or another.
If I’m talking with a machinist or blacksmith I’ll ask about metal types, if it’s a doctor there’s lots to learn from him, from first aid to human anatomy info that can be used in fights, if it’s a pilot I’d ask about emergency procedures, types of accidents and so on. If its an economist I’d like to know what he thinks about the current situation. If its just an average Joe driving me somewhere I may learn about his life experiences as well, like I did today.

In many ways, at least in my opinion, survival is about exploiting your potentiality of what you can be as a person to its maximum. I’ve heard people telling me “You can’t own a gun. Isn’t it illegal in Argentina?” Yes, you can, and no, its not illegal. (but notice how the person creates a limit to what he can and can’t do before even knowing if that limit even exists) “It’s not safe to own guns! You’re not a cop!” An Argentine cops fires 25 rounds during his entire training, I fire 500-800 rounds per training course. These are just examples of things we’re supposedly not capable of doing but we really are if we make the effort. You can train, you can learn, you can masters skills, and you can mold your life to be anything you want, the limit is mostly mentally.

Looking for information on how to properly perform a roll I came across Parkour. I’ve heard about it before of course, but never really looked into it. One of my life maxims is from “The Little Prince” and that’s to never let a question go unanswered, never let pass the opportunity to learn something new. In this case I didn’t know the first thing about Parkour (PK), only what I saw on a TV report once, mostly some kids jumping buildings. My first thought was “yes, pretty silly to risk your life that way”. Turns out there’s a lot more to PK than just Hollywood stunts.
Parkour is the art of moving from one point to the other overcoming obstacles, most often urban obstacles,  in the most efficient way possible. In a more advanced stage it leads to pretty impressive acrobatics, often seen in movies where there’s chase scenes. Casino Royale, Bourne, Die Hard 4, the last Hulk movie, there’s hardly a big box action movie these days without Parkour scenes. But this is only the most advanced, most acrobatic part of it, there’s  a lot more that while not as flashy is still pretty useful, useful enough that the US Marine Corps are incorporating t to their training.
Jumping from one building to another may not be your idea of fun, but there’s still a lot you can do without risking your life and even a little PK may come in handy. 
From what little I have seen, climbing walls, jumping and learning how to fall from high places, dissipating the energy so as to not injure yourself are among the most useful techniques.
Of course its an outstanding physical activity from the fitness point of view, involving flexibility, strength, cardio and balance. PK and its origins, including the  m├ęthode naturell, have a philosophical side to it that I find strongly linked to survival and preparedness. If “adapt and overcome” isn’t about survival I don’t know what it is. (read more here )
Here’s some PK clips. Of course a good fitness level is needed, but some of the basic moves aren’t that demanding.

Advanced PK by one of its founders David Belle

OK, now that everyone saw that and though “I’ll never do that”, here’s some basic stuff everyone can start with and is still pretty useful. I’d be happy with some basic precision jumping, lazy vault, jump and roll, learning how to fall and climb a wall.

A little Parkour may go a long way when being chased, avoiding obstacles after a disaster, and of course its great fitness workout.
Interested? Find people to PK with near you.

Take care folks,



Dustin Tarditi said...

Parkour is awesome to watch... thrilling stuff. Sort of reminds me of the Bear Grylls MVW episode on urban survival. Clever, athletic, even awe-inspiring, but not practical IMHO.

I believe, that in a SHTF scenario, the ability to evade is paramount, but any unnecessary hopping/vaulting/swinging around is more likely to cause a mechanical injury. If you have the dexterity of Spider-man, then have at it. Be advised, however, the best "superpower" to hone in dire times is a keen sense of when things are about to turn sour while you still have an avenue of escape.
When you "break contact" make sure it doesn't break your leg or arm.

DaShui said...

My friend teaches Hapkido, he said roughly 3% of his students are attacked and have to use empty hands to defend themselves, while 100% fall sooner or later, and have to use falling techniques. I went over a bike handlebars, no injuries.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff. Check out the French films District 13 and D13-U (the sequel) for lots of cool PK stunts.

Anonymous said...

What's needed is pretty practical and of a common sense nature. And that's mainly climbing over fences really quickly, short fences, big fences, spiked fences. Also considering this stuff will probably be done at night, you'll need a way to light your path. Either a head lamp, right angle torch or something like the Nite Ize Lite Bite. Or perhaps in a pinch an elastic lanyard on your torch that goes over your hand, allowing you to use both hands but not drop the torch. Or a belt holder which holds the torch pointing forward. Handsfree is the keyword.

Some stab resistant gloves wouldn't be a bad idea either. Although it's very rare in Australia, alot of third world nations have glass/spikes on their walls.

I'd say gloves that offer more grip would be a good idea too.

Anonymous said...

yep, anonymous beat me to it, the fil D-13 had some epic parkour scenes, more impressive than most major american action films for sure.

Anonymous said...

You can train, you can learn, you can masters skills, and you can mold your life to be anything you want, the limit is mostly mentally.


Just in case you have NOT read this link, I highly recommend reading it. It explains the 'I can't, so YOU CAN'T EITHER' mentality.

"You don't need to have a gun; the police will protect you."

"If people carry guns, there will be murders over parking spaces and neighborhood basketball games."

"I'm a pacifist. Enlightened, spiritually aware people shouldn't own guns."

"I'd rather be raped than have some redneck militia type try to rescue me."

How often have you heard these statements from misguided advocates of victim disarmament, or even woefully uninformed relatives and neighbors? Why do people cling so tightly to these beliefs, in the face of incontrovertible evidence that they are wrong? Why do they get so furiously angry when gun owners point out that their arguments are factually and logically incorrect?

How can you communicate with these people who seem to be out of touch with reality and rational thought?

One approach to help you deal with anti-gun people is to understand their psychological processes. Once you understand why these people behave so irrationally, you can communicate more effectively with them.


It's a LONG READ, but well worth it for sure.

DA LUCCHE said...

Banlieue 13 2: Ultimatum was a total lackluster of a movie but Banlieue 13 was a total blast to watch.