venerdì 31 marzo 2017

Parkour flow - A destructive experience

New plans

Next week I will release some practical insight about a topic that is related to parkour, dance and art: Interpretive dynamics.

The idea behind it, is related to the creation of basic criteria, themes and principles that can allow anyone to start looking into movement expression with a new awareness.

These guidelines can help you build movement sequences of any kind, starting from nothing but a thought.

However, before digging deeper into this production of constantly making something new, I felt the need to do a totally opposite experience first.

Let’s freeze all the new stuff for a moment and give me the chance to disentangle a darker topic first.

The creation process is as important as the destruction process

What do I mean? Well, being too attached to what we create is a dangerous thing to do*. I believe it can only lead to frustration and self demolition. On the contrary, we should take every movement as a unique act isolated in time, that guides us forward in our practice, step by step. We should create and then let go of it, keeping with us the process that brought us there.
Monks getting ready for a Mandala creation (or building the death star, not 100% sure of which one)

Today’s experiment consisted of 30 minutes of flowing around with the environment. The only rule was to never stay completely still. What changes will occur during the movement creation as the tiredness comes by?

At the beginning, everyone’s** focus was into making aesthetically pleasing creations. No one was thinking about the long road ahead. Up, under and around the bars, individually selecting the best moves that first aroused in our minds. Every choice was appropriate and harmonic, even though everyone was doing his own thing.

As the heart started to beat faster and the breath to get heavier and heavier, the first notes began to be played out of tune.
Everyone fell in the same routine loop: similar ideas popped up in our minds, regarding what movement to choose next. At this point, the energy was dropping down. The quality of the choices was compromised. If we wanted to keep up with the process, something had to change. The group widened up for a second. From distance it was probably like a single organism that had to reorganize its own thoughts. A shared movement conscience started to grow. We started playing one another in the tiredness. Grabbing one another, making suggestions and fighting like human cubs until the final relief.

Sun and fatigue made our faces look purple and fluorescent. Like a Macaco’s butt.

A visual representation of what happened below:
1st - fast motions, smiles, focused minds, individual harmonic movements.

14th minute - smaller motions, a lot more walking, stronger echoes in movements, legs made of glue and slower body-mind connections.

20th minute - everyone has his space, eyes do not predict movements anymore, getting closer to the end. Hypnotic situation.

27th minute. Towards the end - last phase. Interaction. The death of the ego, the birth of the wego.***
Don’t forget to let go of your creations. The physical outcome is not the only point.



* If you are interested about this, I suggest you check out Tom Weksler and fighting monkey’s workshop.
**Raffaele Najjar, Nicolò Geretto, Tommaso Molinari and me.

***beautiful term I got from my friend Shanti Zimmermann

domenica 19 marzo 2017

Berlin - 2017

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.

The good people I was training with. A special thanks to Ralf Warneking for letting me drop in.
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:

“let’s do this quickly!” …five hours later…

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."

Berlin, one love, hip hop.
(If you are not smiling by now, you have something to hide!)
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,

giovedì 9 marzo 2017

Rail balance - practical trainings part 3

Hey guys, welcome to the last episode of this rail balancing journey. This time I will give some directions for everyone that can eat a whole meal on a bar.

Try and look at the work behind what I am doing and you will see what’s beyond. What do I mean? That it’s nice to see others’ exercises but not as constructive as creating yours. There is a profound importance in the creation process, that is not only the creation itself. You can buy or steal a beautiful vase, sure, but your potential of creating more vases remains unaltered. If you start creating something new (even if horrible at the beginning) your potential to create will now start to grow. One step at a time.
I will give you some ideas on how this pure theoretical concept might actually become an extremely practical tool in the next few weeks.

Here we go! Oh and if you manage to perform a rodeo both sides without falling off the bar send it to me, I will send you an ice cream back. Promise.

Advanced - circuit 3

Warm up

Blind balancing walking x 5 min work.


A1. Running on a bar variations - feet turned out (FTO)
A2. Running on a bar variations - foot in, foot out (FIFO)
A3. Complex 1 - Side position to side cat walk to side jump
A4. Complex 2 - Side position to low cartwheel to front cross step resolve to front foot half pivot
A5. Complex 3 - Front position to front sit half turn into dragon squat

Perform A1-A2 x 10 total mins. Focusing on breaking and turning and on getting comfortable with falling from the bar with dignity. Then do A3-A5 x 5 min each complex focusing on making it feel effortless.


B1. Complex 4 - kneeling to full squat to sitting and back
B2. Complex 5 - Back lying into pistol, switch leg, back
B3. Rodeo
B4. One leg side position - head motion: side to side

Pick one between B1 and B4 and spend up to 20 mins to perfect it.

Bar mounts

C1. Bar mounts - Eel-fish x 25 successful reps.

As a conclusion I'd say don’t over think guys your body knows more than your mind. Drop the excuses, the bar is short, wet, it's dark, small shakes ..yes. And so? You just need to spend more time on it, if it's not comfortable it's just more interesting.

Good balance people,
Until next time.


* Music in video - Lenine - Jack Soul Brasileiro.
* I don't remember where I saw the Rodeo, but it's not a movement that I came up with.

sabato 4 marzo 2017

Rail balance - practical trainings part 2

Hi guys, as promised - back on the bar!

I have been hearing some feeds here and there, and the first circuit is working good ..or to better say is tickling many minds. Curiosity can be a far more interesting phenomenon to explore, develop and promote compared to inspiration.
Where inspiration is a red big bang, curiosity is more subtle - like a small spider walking into your ear as you sleep to make you wonder and wonder for a longer period of time.

It’s not that I refuse inspiration - it can play a huge role in boosting one’s motivation. I just believe it is overestimated and, as a booster, it can have a shorter nature compared to many other qualities.

Anyhow, this bar is not going to be walked by itself, off with the second circuit:

Intermediates - Circuit 2

Warm up

Forward and back walk (at height) – spend 5 mins without ever coming down
Shake it out on the ground.


A1. Hands behind the back / head / in pockets. The bottom line is, don’t use them! X 25/25 steps forward/backward
A2. Complex 1 - Side to front cross-step to back cross-step x 5/5 (switch side after each cluster)
A3. Complex 2 - Cat walk into forward walk x 10 in total
A4. Complex 3 - Squats to lunges x 10 in total

Try and complete A1-A4 in the least amount of time possible without decreasing the quality. X 2 sets / rest until your focus does not pop into your legs and feet again.

Bar drills 

B1. Bar turns x 10/10 reps - switch side each time
B2. Front position bar head touches (regress them using fists as markers) x 5/5 reps
B3. Side position to straight legs jump into same position x 10 total reps (do a very small jump, just let your feet off the bar, it should be enough for now)

Try and complete B1-B3 in the least amount of time possible without decreasing the quality. X 3 sets / rest until your focus does not pop into your legs and feet again.


C1. Bar mounts - one leg swing up x 25/25 total reps - switch leg each time / rest as much as you need in between the reps

To make the circuit harder, just increase the height of the bar.


This work will not exhaust you since it is made of a lot of small neuromuscular refinements, I suggest high frequency training. Minimum 4-6 times x week for at least a 3-4 weeks period to start getting some good results. Don’t underestimate rail balancing, something great can grow out of this.

Some more rebalancing tips:

  • Think about the boat rule. What would you do if the sea goes wild when you are standing on a boat? You would lower your COM, you’d widen your stance to reorganize your structure in a better position as fast as possible. Every millisecond counts.
  • Throw your limbs HARD in a last strife to counter balance.
  • And the most important one - Fight! You have not fallen until you fall.

Soon the advanced variations on this topic,

Good balancing!


*Neologism I came up with to indicate dynamic “rambling” sequences on a bar.

*Music in video: Barbatuques - “Baiana” - which means ..curiosity ;)

mercoledì 1 marzo 2017

Rail balance - practical trainings part 1

Balancing on a rail.
Ok it will not make you better at handstands since balancing does not transfer this way, but it will considerably improve the stability of your landings, it will strengthen your feet’s intrinsic muscles giving you the touch of a black panther.
It will also help you coordinate and reorganize all your body segments in faster and more efficient ways if you are about to fall in other daily practices and activities. And much more. I will post some more reflections later on, but now it’s time to get practical.

So let’s get started - Flat, weak, jelly feet? NO MORE!
My idea here is to give some quantitative ideas and circuits to practice as first timers or as intermediates. We will jump into something more qualitative while looking at more advanced variations of rail balancing.

First timers - Circuit 1

A1. Forward walk x 50 steps
A2. Backward walk x 50 steps
A3. Side position isometric holds + 10 breaths standing + 10 breaths half squat + 10 breaths full squat
A4. One leg front position kicks x 25/25 (start with little kicks)

Try and complete A1-A4 in one go without coming down. Done this, rest a couple of minutes, shake it out and get back on that rail.

A5. Quarter turn walk x 5/5 steps
A6. Low rail forward precision jumps (adjust to your training level – focus on the quality of the landings) x 25 reps
A7. Kong into side position – hold 3 sec at top position x 10 reps
A8. Step vault into side position - hold 3 sec at top position x 5/5 reps

Perform A5-A8 in the least amount of time possible.

Go from A1-A8 x 2-4 total sets - drink some water in between.


This work will not exhaust you since it is made of a lot of small neuromuscular refinements, I suggest high frequency training. Minimum 4-6 times x week for at least a 3-4 weeks period to start getting some good results. Don’t underestimate rail balancing, something great can grow out of this.

Some more notes and details to partially care about if you never ever balanced on a rail:

  • Your forefoot is the most intelligent part of the foot, don’t take your ankle joint out of the equation by pressing onto your heel.
  • Shift the weight from one foot to the other and don’t step forward going from 100% of the weight on your back foot into 100% of the front foot - go gradual.
  • Keep your feet facing forward while walking forward. Do it.
  • And look at the bar or you’ll never know where it will end!
  • Wear minimalistic footwear or you will take away some great training food from your feet.


Note: If you are practicing balance as a form of active form of meditation, don’t focus on the progressions. Just do it and enjoy it - for a very unique and particular experience try to stand on it for > 30 mins.

Music in video - Barbatuques: Do Mangue a Mangá.

If you have any questions feel free to write to me.

Soon the intermediate and the advanced variations on this topic,