Sunday, March 29, 2009

Write up: March 28th Beginner's Parkour Workshop in Rochester

Rochester Parkour hosted their first “Beginner's Parkour Workshop” in December. 35 people attended, mostly regulars. On Saturday, March 28th, Rochester Parkour hosted their second “Beginner's Parkour Workshop.” There was no definitive count, but the lower estimate was 100 people, mostly newcomers. During the first workshop, it was in the low 30s and starting to snow. This time, it was in the high 60s, sunny, and a beautiful day.

Rochester Parkour Beginner Parkour Workshop
This picture was taken at the end of the workshop, after approximately half the group had left.

The workshop was scheduled to start at 2:30, but Zac decided to go a little bit early. When he got there at 2:00, there was already a handful of people waiting. After some introductions and idle chit-chat, Zac noticed a police car pulling up and parking nearby. After watching for a bit, the officers got out of their car and started walking over. At this point, Zac was convinced that the workshop was going to get broken up 25 minutes before it even started! He started walking toward the officers to introduce himself. After a brief exchange of introductions, the officers asked if this was the Parkour thing they saw on the RNews (the local news station). Reluctantly, Zac replied that it was. At this point, everyone else was silent and staring. There was a ten second awkward silence, then one officer laughed and said “You guys aren't in trouble! We just thought it was cool and wanted to check it out. We're not even from around here, we're from the next district over.”

Everyone talked with the officers for a bit, and they even said they'd try to stop back again during the workshop (although they weren't able to). It was a stressful, but overall positive indication of how the day was going to go!

Over the course of the next 25 minutes, more and more people showed up. Introductions were made, a Frisbee game broke out. A lot of teenage boys were coming, but there was also at least 10 girls who came out to participate! There were some adults, and even a few families that came out to give it a try! There was a husband and a wife, and their three young children who did a fantastic job! People just kept pouring over the hill and onto the field, until it was about 2:40, and it was definitely time to get started. A quick estimate of the turnout resulted in over 100 people!

Zac led everyone to the field, and we started off with a brief discussion. Zac explained what was, and what wasn't, parkour, and what was going to be covered in the workshop. Then random people in the audience were asked “Why are you here today? Why did you come to this workshop?” Everyone gave a different answer, ranging from “It's better than sitting inside” to “I've watched a lot of videos, and I wanted to learn how to do that, but safely.” After the Q&A session... it was time to get started!

With 100+ people, the warm up was interesting. We ended up doing two laps around the field, alternating between running forwards, backwards, and side to side – all while trying really hard not to trample anyone. Everyone then lined up and was taught basic QM, forwards and backwards. Seeing 100 people on their hands and feet crawling across a field is quite the sight! Landings were next, and Zac used his step-by-step progression to teach everyone the basics fairly quickly.

From here, the best way to deal with 100 people is to make them... not 100 people. So Charles Moreland took 1/3rd of the group to practice precisions, local traceur Zachary Leo took another 1/3rd to work on rolling and QM, and Zac Cohn took the last 1/3rd to learn basic vaults. The vaulting group started with the safety vault. After most people were comfortable with that, those who were ready learned reverse safety vaults. This was a bit different, but it ended up working really well. Benches were being used to vault over, so it was very easy to progress safely. The vault section ended with the Speed vault for those who were comfortable with the Safety vault, and that pretty much took up the rest of the time until the groups rotated.

After everyone hit every station, it was “free time.” People were free to work on whatever they felt they were weak in, or whatever was the most fun! Zac led a wallrun workshop, while his roommate Artem Sivak worked with people on climbups. This was a wildly successful station, with almost half the group coming over to learn.

After the free time was over, it was time for a game of Follow the Leader. Charles Moreland took the advanced/experienced group, while Zac led the beginners. QM, vaults, precisions, and some climbing were all utilized to give people a good workout, and to teach them about exploring their environment in new and interesting ways. Both games of Follow the Leader ended on the field, where everyone stretched out and chatted with their new friends.

All in all, there was beautiful weather, a huge and diverse turn out, and everyone had a ton of fun. There were many photographer's there, and a news crew from the RIT ESPN Sports Zone. Check out more information on Rochester Parkour, and check out Michael McGowan's photo gallery of the website.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Entry for Internet Marketing ticket giveaway contest.

I should be given Jon Payne's ticket to IM Spring Break. I am a student studying Marketing in Rochester, New York, and I want to focus in Internet Marketing for my career. I have pending employment with an Internet Marketing firm in Baltimore for this summer, and unlike most students who complete their schooling and then start implementing what they've learned, I am already working with American Parkour ( to improve their Internet Marketing strategies. I can take advantage of what I learn at this conference IMMEDIATELY, whereas other students who attend would wait until after graduation to begin to use what they've gained. By that time it might already be too late. This field is changing so rapidly that implementing a strategy developed a year or two prior is likely to result in an epic belly flop.

Not only can I take excellent advantage of this contest, but I'm almost as cool as you are Jon, so I would be an adequate replacement to send in your sted.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Beginner's Parkour Workshop in Rochester, NY - March 28th

Rochester Parkour is planning our second Beginner’s Parkour workshop. This is a free introduction, designed to inform and educate anyone interested in practicing Parkour. It’s targeted towards beginners, but we encourage more experienced members of the community to come as well.

We will be covering the basics of Parkour, including an introduction to proper conditioning, landings and precision jumps, quadrupedal movement, and basic vaulting. Rochester Parkour also emphasizes an importance on safety and slow, progressive training methodologies in all of our events and training sessions.

We encourage anyone interested in Parkour to attend. Whether it’s your first time out, or you’re already an experienced traceur, you’re sure to learn something - or at least have a good time!

Who can come: Anyone! Males or females of any age. Parents feel free to bring your kids. Kids, feel free to bring your parents!

Who is hosting: The event is being run by Zachary Cohn, one of the most experienced traceurs in the state. He is a member of the APK Alliance, a national group sponsored by American Parkour. He will be assisted by Charles Moreland and Jeff Whalley, two experienced and dedicated traceurs.

What: Workshop designed to teach beginners the fundamentals of Parkour training, while emphasizing safety and progression.

Where: The big field above the Ice Rink at Manhattan Square Park: 353 Court St. Rochester, New York, 14607.

When: March 28th, 2:30-4:00pm

Why: To learn about Parkour and to have a great time!

How much: This event is absolutely free! We will be selling Rochester Parkour T-shirts for $10 - all T-shirt sale proceeds will go toward building equipment (vaulting boxes, precision trainers) and our Spring trip to New York City (to be announced).

What you should bring: Bring comfortable clothing and layers. We can’t control the weather, and we will be outside! Bring comfortable but athletic shoes (sneakers, running shoes, skater shoes, etc). If you haven’t already filled out and turned in a waiver, please print out and fill out this waiver and bring it with you.

Most importantly, bring a positive attitude and the expectation of having a great time!!

For more information, email

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