Friday, October 26, 2007

Philly (And NYC and RIT) Sampler

I'm going to come out with a longer Sampler in a few weeks, once I get some more footage. Probably end of November. But for now, these are clips mostly from Philly, but one from NYC and one from Rochester. I just put some recent clips together to show people more easily than giving them 15 download links.

Youtube link

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Well I've had my

Artem, Charlie and I travelled down to Philadelphia this past weekend for a jam at Drexel University. It was quite awesome. Pretty good turnout, had people from NYC/NJ, Rochester, Buffalo, Philly, and even Baltimore, MD.

We got to Philly at about 2AM on Saturday morning, and promptly went to sleep. We woke up at 8:30 to meet the rest of the tracuers coming in and we started jamming! We began at 30th Street Station doing some precisions on Jersey Barriers until the K9 unit showed up... After that we met up with M1l3s from NYPK - he was running 10 miles for the Step Up to Fight Diabetes charity event. Then it was a full day of walking, from Drexel's campus, to Temple, UPenn, Central City/City Hall, Philadelphia Museum of Art (where the stair scene from Rocky was filmed), and more. Saturday night, people headed back to Drexel to go to sleep, except for Jessie, Pyro, Blaarg and I. We decided to try and train all night long. We may not have ended up training all night, but we were out in Philly all night, and it was really awesome. We did SO much walking and we were exhausted, but spending the entire night in a foreign city is definitely a cool experience.

Sunday was spent doing a little bit more training at the Museum, where we had three or four groups of people come up to us and ask us what we were doing. We demonstrated, and taught, some pretty basic precisions, and then we got our pictures taken. After that, we were all very tired, and we started the 6 hour drive back home.

Thanks to everyone for making this an awesome Jam!
Philadelphia Parkour Jam

In other news, I'm in the middle of reorganizing all of my pictures and videos. Here's a new link to a (probably) temporary Picasa page with two albums (one for pictures, one for videos). Most are fairly new (a lot are from Philly infact, so if you want to see some of the pictures and videos from there, check it out!). Hopefully more will be added soon!

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Tonight... we work out... in HELL

The first official Hell Night was tonight. It was great. Seven people showed up, and we dragged in an eighth that we saw walking by. I know of one other person who just couldn't show up today, and we found at least two people who might be interested in joining us in the process. So I'm calling it a success.

We met up, warmed up a bit, and then got started. Two of the other guys had been to my planning session, but no one else had any idea what was in store for them... After the warmup, we started with this:
parkour rochester

Crab walk up, backwards, move over a flight of stairs, and then QM down. Rinse, wipe hands on pants, repeat until out of rows of stairs.

Other popular favorites included grabbing on to a handrail and wrapping your feet over it, hanging underneath, and then crawling up. Wouldn't be too hard... except for the vertical support poles you have to go around. It was some serious work, but it was fun.

The Indian Wall Sits were good too. About a 75ft stretch of wall, sit with your legs at 90 degree angles, and your back pressed against the wall. The person at the end of the line stands up, runs across everyones thighs, goes back to position. Repeat until the end of the wall.

There was a lot of QMing. Up stairs, down stairs, up hills, down hills, through the woods (That's a personal favorite of mine. About 1/5th of a mile path through the woods. Get down on your hands and feet, and crawl as SILENTLY as you can, trying not to make any sound at all. It's long, hard, and dirty, but it's probably the best thing we did all night).

My only complaint is that there was a lot more resting than I had hoped/planned for. Part of this is almost required, seeing as there is some required waiting for room to open up for some of the activities, but we finished in around 3 hours this time. Next time, I want to aim for 2.5.

Of course, every Hell Night will be different. Next week we're going to do it all in the opposite order, partially so we can get to the really awesome rock precisions before it gets too dark.

However, I was VERY impressed by everyone. There's a lot of work to be done, but I think if people stick with it, as well as the rest of their training, we can really turn ourselves into something special. Especially once the dogsled gets built. (That's right. I said dogsled. Note: There will be no dogs involved in the pulling of this sled...)

Hell Night Participants
(Left to right: Artem, Zachary (me), Charlie, Zack, Mike, Eric, Andres)

Great Job, guys. Lets keep it up.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Rochester: Get Warm Please! Sincerely, RIT Parkour

Today was Attempt #2 at the Campus Safety Jam, but the officer we were supposed to meet up with got caught up in "a dispute" (so said Dispatch. I almost offered to help out. "Hey, I'm looking for a rumble, how can we help?), and he couldn't make it. Oh well, maybe... eventually.

Still a good jam though. (Getting cold and windy though...) A few new people, everyone's making very good progress. We took another lap on the rocks (picture in a precvious post), and it is such a fantastic workout. Thank you, Rochester Institute of Technology, for putting those rocks there. They actually recently added 2, just for us! (Or so I will continue to believe.) Tim and I were drilling this tic-tac over a raised brick grate which isn't really that hard, but if you slip on the wall you could fall onto a smaller brick structure and hurt yourself, or you might just land on it coming out of the tic-tac. After a few dry-runs with spotters, we finally nailed it. We also came up with an idea for a tic-tac off of a wall into a turn vault, although we want to test it a few times somewhere that doesn't have a ledge on the other side of the rail, so if we miss it'll be okay.

Tomorrow we're going into downtown Rochester to Manhattan Square Park. It might rain, which won't stop me, but it wouldn't be quite as much fun so I hope it doesn't.

Philadelphia Jam is next weekend, we've got about 5 or 6 people heading down for that. (Oh yeah, Dad, I'm going to Philly next weekend.) A number of the NYPK guys are going, so it's going to be a good chance to see them again. I'm hoping some people from the Mid-Atlantic region come up too, get a good quad-state jam going.

In my own personal news, I got my standing backtuck down on Wednesday. Pretty happy about that. Landing isn't 100%, but I'm pretty sure it was just because I was tired. Going to train it some more tomorrow or Monday, I think. Should be fun. I'll get a video (or pictures! Those would be funny...) up once I get a chance.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

The first rule of Hell Night...

Thursday night I went out with Mike and Charlie, and we did a test run of Hell Night, which is basically going to be a 2-3 hour strength/conditioning/endurance session using Parkour style movements. There is shimmying, crawling, climbing, jumping, carrying, running. There are group activities and solo ones. The name was borrowed from the British traceur Blane, and the concept is adapted to fit the campus here at Rochester Institute of Technology.

The goal of Hell Night is more than just conditioning the body and the mind; the goal of Hell Night is to break you. Once you are broken - physically, mentally - you can progress to a new level. It is night: it is dark, cold, often will be wet, and you will be tired. People are capable of amazing things, but they do not think they are. If people can push themselves to what they believe is the brink of their physical capabilities, and then farther... That is when people begin to understand who they are. What they are capable of. I want people to develop an iron will, an unwillingness to give up. Once you are broken, then keep going... that is when you prove to youself that you can handle anything.

A preview of Hell Night. This is by no means even a small part of the total experience:
2x - Piggyback rides (or maybe fireman's carry) a partner up and down a hill.
2x - Crab walk up stairs, quadrupedal movement (QM) down.
2x - Bridge walk down between wall and handicap ramp, cathang the other side and shimmy up the other side of the ramp.
1x - Indian Wall Sits (everyone does a wallsit, the person in back gets up, runs across the thighs of everyone else, wallsits in the front. Rinse, wipe hands on pants, repeat until end of wall, about 100ft later)
1x - Cliffhanger (grab onto ledge, shimmy horizontally without a wall to touch against)
5x - Traverse from one side of playground to another without touching the ground.
1x - 1/6th mile QM through the woods. Emphasis on being as silent as possible.
2.5x - Precision jump from rock to rock, and then back, that's one lap. There are 43 rocks.

3x - Climb in a circle around tree, from branch to branch, using only arms.

Hell Night will evolve over time. Once winter really hits, there will be many changes to take advantage of the new enviroment (slippery surfaces, ice, snow). No two Hell Nights will be the same.

After the run through (which was closer to a full workout than a test run), I went back to the gym to get my bag. The receptionist said "Have a good workout."

I just smiled.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Urbanathlon: Part 2

Official results came out:

Relay Results:
13th Place (out of 76): NYPK (New York Parkour) Team One:
Artem Sivak - Leg time: 22:28. Leg place: 18
Zachary Cohn - Leg time: 35:31. Leg place: 24
Bryce Mankowski - Stair Time: 15:16. Stair Place: 7.
Total Leg Time: 21:49. Leg place: 6.
Final Results: - Race time: 1:19:56.

Artem Sivak, Bryce Mankowski, Zachary Cohn


Monday, October 1, 2007

Only 363 days left to train...

Artem, Bryce and I ran the Urbanathlon in NYC this past weekend. It was pretty great.

We drove down to Artem's house in New Jersey, dropped some stuff off, and then took a train to NYC. We got to the gym to pick up our registration packets at 7:40, and saw Jessie/Hardcoretraceur, X, and M1l3s there. We hung out outside the gym for a while, then split ways and headed towards Artem's grandparents house in Brooklyn.

All I can say is: Goddamn can Russians cook. And goddamn DO Russians cook. We must have eaten two or three meals in the... 2 hours we were there and not sleeping.

Got to sleep at 11:30, then woke up at 3:30 to hop on the train to Manhattan. We all got to our places with varying degrees of fail (Artem took the express train by accident, the train I needed was closed so I had to walk, Bryce missed one of his trains), and then the race began! Artem ran the first leg of the race, and did quite well, running a 22 minute 5k, including the time it took to pass the obstacles (Jersey barriers, climbing through tubes). He passed me the timing chip, and I took off. Passed my obstacles with absolutely no difficulty. I was actually a little bit disappointed in how easy they were (Scaffolding maze, Marine hurdles). I passed off to Bryce, who took off up the 52 flights of stairs in World Trade Center Building 7. He completed those in 13 minutes. Absolutely amazing. We actually missed him on the way down, because we didn't expect him to do them that quickly.

We all met up again at the finish line, where Jessie and I took to playing with the taxis hurdles and the 8ft wall climb. We got a nice shot of us simultaneously konging the taxis (I actually slipped and had to roll on the concrete, which worked out well), and then we flew over the wall, much to the surprise of the marines milling about.

Afterwards, the six of us met up with Pyro and Exo, and we went to central park to play Ultimate Frisbee. Then our team went back to NJ, ate about thirty pounds of Russian food, and then passed out.

It was a great weekend. Next year, we're running it all solo. And actually training for it a lot more (broken bones are not conducive to training).

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