The practice of L'art du Déplacement taps into a forgotten instinct deep within all of us.
The practice of Parkour (L'art du Déplacement) taps into a forgotten instinct deep within all of us.
A long time ago, our hunter-gatherer ancestors didn't partake in weekly exercise classes. Instead, their daily survival required them to move diversely and frequently - hunt and track animals which in itself include climbing, chasing, walking long distances, expertise in weapons handling and carrying carcasses across a terrain that is usually not flat and predictable (like urban terrains), gathering food such as plants, fruits and tuber, fishing, carving weapons, preparing animals for consumption, building houses, migrating in different seasons etc.
For something we pay to do once or twice a week for an hour and often in an unnecessarily fixed manner (move your arm this way, put your leg that way, keep your back straight, open your chest, straighten your knee etc.), our ancestors solved a multitude of 'complex' movement problems everyday due to necessity. All they could think of is 'get that fruit, spear that fish, carry this home, climb that branch, follow that animal etc.'
Notice the difference - while modern fitness obsesses on having us adjust our own bodies (feeling for muscle groups and attaining the perfect form), our ancestors focused on manipulating things outside of themselves and their bodies adjusted to achieve those goals automatically. There is strong evidence that hunter-gatherers enjoyed excellent health and little diseases.
In our classes, we follow the same approach - 'Can I climb that? What if I jump down here? Can I go through that hole? I need to dodge that'. In that process, fitness becomes simpler and our bodies move more easily, lubricating those joints and pumping blood circulation for good health. We'd also find that we can overcome more physical challenges simply by not over-analyzing.
Through the class, there is also a high emphasis on individual adaptation and community spirit. We do what we can, nothing more, nothing less. Through time, each of us would recognize our own body's unique strengths and weaknesses. We'd also learn from one another through observation and discussion, and support each other with our strength and verbal cheers.
It is only when there is an inner sense of aliveness that exercising, which in essence is simply movement, becomes truly enjoyable. Every fiber of our body will then bring itself to complete the challenge on hand.
Good health is more than just a set of exercises. It is a combination of constantly engaging in personal challenges, feeling supported by others, learning new things and observing your own progress through time.
The class title is 'Phoenix' which represents a reborn life, like a phoenix rising from its ashes. It is for ages 45 to 70 (+/-), suited for the more adventurous personality, the type that refuses to resign to the fate of ageing.
Class consists of movements such as crawling, climbing, jumping, running, rolling and vaulting. There is a heavy emphasis on strengthening our bodies to build up a fundamental fitness capacity which is crucial for good health, safety in practice and advancement in techniques. Other times, we play and explore the environment to our hearts' content.