The sun was settling down behind the city lines. Martin Gessinger and me were already strangling each other in a bright room at the top of a high building in Berlin. Why? My first Brazilian jiu-jitsu class had just started. I am quite convinced that this could be a nice strategy to start any collaboration. Fight before you talk. Further conversations will be more sincere, I guarantee. The basic rules of that night rolling game after a warm up:
- No kimono
- No hits
- Tap before you lose your senses – you have about 5 seconds.
- Whatever you do will come back.
A couple of words here and there but mainly a lot of shut up and practice. Very straight forward and no space for talking or complaining in between. I’ll dig into it more in the future.
After the class, we stopped to buy a light dinner and went home to have a chat before bed (it was hard to keep my eyes open after three trainings and over 1000 km of travelling in the same day).
Anyhow, eight hours later I was already feeling the cold German wind on my face while sharpening my eyes to look for a nice branch were to hang my rings in a park. I had a nice talk with an old lady passing by and two pigeons and a crow as companions. On my way to the ParkourONE hq I even met an handbalancer doing his thing at a traffic light.
During my stay, I felt a strong artistic atmosphere surrounding the city. Good vibes for developing any art at a deep level.
At the office and in the following days I had some talks about the history of German’s parkour community, the hierarchy of their organization, their approach to teaching (TRUST), some ethical views, etre-fort brand and more.I have also joined a couple of classes both as a student and as a teacher with no big introduction or so. It was a nice experience and a moment of deep analysis of a system similar to the one we are building with ParkourWave in Italy atm but different on many layers.
To quote Nujabes – you gotta read the signs.
Every coach implements a personal work into a broader structure, defined a priori by experts in the field (i.e. mobility routines are developed by sport scientists and then shared with the coaching team / practical teaching strategies are developed by educational scientist).
In my incognito action, I really appreciated the talks and the recollections that occured after every brief session.
Classes are fully mixed and there is no separation in level or age for inclusivity reasons. As any choice, it has a price to pay, but I believe it can be a valid option to contribute to a big cultural change in the movement world.
This experience ended with a meeting I had with Markus Meyer regarding a presentation we will bring to the Research & Development Forum in Denmark before the international parkour gathering in Gerlev, this year.
On the last day, I experienced a genuine training session under one of the strongest wind ever tried in my life. Think of parachuting, ok close enough. It took me over half an hour to stick 21 running precisions due to that condition.
It all ended with a group traverse of the orange paradise walls without touching the floor:
Just to finish off this post I’ll leave you with some ghetto wisdom that crossed my path – check it here:
"Dedicated to all style seekers, and masters. Put your childish fights aside. It's not good for our future and the future of hip hop. Our art has taken us this far and will take us further still, not the money, not the fame or the drugs.
Everyone that is true to the game will get their share of the cake."
Thanks to Samson for being such a great host and to ParkourONE for being so open and welcoming (if you are interested about their work check their website - here -). Good luck on your projects guys!
Torino next weekend and then off to Thailand for movement camp 2017,