Wednesday, 23 December 2015

23rd Dec 2015: Important Updates for 2016!

Please take a few minutes to read this newsletter, it contains very important information about classes in early 2016 and provides you with an opportunity to save money if you book classes before the 1st January 2016.

Read the newsletter online:

Don't want to miss out? Get this all future newsletters delivered STRAIGHT to your inbox by subscribing here.

I hope this information is of use and I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday.

- Brad at Southend Parkour.

Monday, 7 December 2015

7th Dec '15: December Newsletter: Important dates, videos and more!

December's newsletter can be found via the following link:
To ensure you don't miss out and to get this sent straight to your email inbox sign up to the mailing list either via this link:

Monday, 16 November 2015

16th Nov '15: Important dates for the diary.


November changes:
Friday 27th November: No classes taking place.

Final classes before Christmas will take place on:
Wednesday 16th
 December: Adult Outdoor 
Thursday 17th
 December: Junior Foundations at Temple Sutton
Friday 18th December: Junior Foundations/Intermediates at St Bernard's.

The first classes of 2016 will commence on the week starting the 4th January.

There will be some changes made to class structures in order to enable the best opportunity for participation for all and will be shared in December's newsletter(s) so make sure you subscribe (via this link: and ensure "info @" and "southendparkour @" (without the spaces around the "@") are in your "safe" lists of your email inbox.

You will now also notice that you can VIEW up to 2 months in advance, via the booking system, but still as ever, you can only book up to 1 month in advance. Hope this helps with your planning.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

10th Nov '15: November Quickie - Class Update for 27th November 2015!

Hi all! Hope November's treating you well!

Wanted to quickly update you all, there will be no classes running on Friday the 27th November 2015, any bookings already made for that date will be refunded.

Apologies for any inconvenience.

Friday, 30 October 2015

30th October 2015 - Southend Parkour recognised by Southend Sport Awards.

Southend Parkour wins the Innovation Award at the 2015 Southend Sport Awards 2015! Below are some social media posts from the night! (It might take a few seconds to load the embedded posts and images)

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Why Coaching Matters, Part 1: 10th October 2015

It has been just over a year since starting coaching sessions in the Southend area for adults and it's been great to see so many people giving Parkour a go and exploring movement. Things have progressed from 1 adult class class to 4+ classes a week for children and adults (with more opportunities planned). This clearly shows the interest and the need for quality Parkour learning opportunities in the local area and further across the UK, being met by a growing plethora of dedicated coaches.

For this blog series, I wanted to share some experiences from training and coaching over the past decade and share some thoughts about Parkour coaching, guidance and it's importance for learning through a practice as diverse as Parkour.

Coaching & The Internet:
When I first started Parkour, we had Snail-paced internet and no YouTube. We shared ideas, questions and videos via forum links and (Shoutout!). We often left things on download while we'd head out training for the day sitting ready for us to watch by the time we got home!

Given that Parkour was 'new' to the UK, only a handful of mostly forum based websites existed to help each other learn together, (A focused Parkour forum) being a primary resource of current information and discussion... and Andi. ;)

Without the internet, we wouldn't have had opportunities to meet up, formulate ideas, learn about the history, share experiences, discuss techniques, organise communities, learn from more experienced people and formulate our own views and opinions based on the evidence and discussions available at hand. Internet forums were a searchable, ever evolving resource, documenting the ongoing learning and evolution of Parkour, predominantly focused on movement aspirations stemming from a tiny pool of videos, interviews and literature of the early pioneers.

A few words I use to describe these videos and those in them: raw, powerful, simple, fast, strong. See what I mean? 

Today, the internet is the first port of call for information, it is a massive part of our lives, our culture, our businesses, our learning.... however it needs to be remembered, it is all still very young.

It's still learning how to effectively share and regulate information and we're still learning how it affects us.

Today, with any subject, anyone has the means to create a "how-to" video and share it; on occasion this content may is good and help things develop, but mostly, content shared lacks in the intricacies which may need to be conveyed, this content neglects the hours and hours of training and failures and focuses on the end-result, the spectacle... and this is the best of the bad stuff.... the rest may be viral-focused, views-hunting, subscription-wanting video content .... "junk-food", pushing stuff which more often than not, malnourishes the practice and those searching for it. 

The internet is unregulated, anyone can post and say anything, experienced or not. At least with coaching in the UK and learning in person with a qualified coach, there have been steps and in reality, years worth of checks and balances put in place to ensure experience, understanding and a good level of coaching ability. These skills have been developed and assessed in order to provide students with a good level of information and guidance. This provides instant feedback, opportunities to be challenged and supported to learn and grow in that moment, there and then alongside a high degree of care and accountability.

I'm not knocking the internet at all, it's such an amazing resource to share and learn through and it has helped massively in the growth and development of Parkour; nor am I saying "old content" was the perfect example, but with the community being smaller and having less available, there was or seemed to be a greater level of accountability. We had pages and pages of forum comments following a video and generate further, worthwhile discussion on the positives and negatives of the video's content, realising the benefits and limitations of what was being shared so that we can all grow and learn together (this is far removed from the youtube trolling comments from people that may or may not care about Parkour).

The speed and ease of distribution of information may be more of a hindrance to real knowledge than a benefit as is often assumed, in particular individuals who do not question information presented.

The unregulated nature of today's content; the impressionability of young people and for beginners who may not know any better, can be a potentially harmful thing.

The information we feed the mind and body, manifests in our lives and actions, the higher the quality and greater balance of information taken in, will provide a greater, more rounded and healthy understanding of the whole practice.

For some, the internet may well still be the primary option for learning... so as long as you research, challenge and question what's provided, it can absolutely help you on your journey. If you have the opportunity to access a coach nearby, (certified, experienced and clearly lives by what they teach) it make's a lot of sense to use them, chances are they've been there and done it and will guide you to find your own way of doing things and help you in find what's important, in both training and life.

With great power comes great responsibility. Question it all, challenge it, explore it.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

26 August 2015: September known session changes.

Hi all,

Super quick/short post to clarify, but there will be no classes on Friday 4th September '15.

Any bookings for this date have been refunded/amended.

Thanks, Brad

Friday, 21 August 2015

21st August 2015: New Booking System Tutorial

Just wanted to put this post together to show how easy the new system is to use! The new system will make multiple bookings MUCH easier than the older system, so please read.

1. and click the button for the booking system.

2. Select the class you would like to attend/book on the left and choose the amount of spaces you'd like to book on the bottom right. If you want to book subsequent weeks, select the next class on the left and repeat.

3. You'll see a little shopping cart next to the schedule if you've selected a class on those dates. You can click other classes on the left and click "select" to add more classes to your cart. When you've selected the classes/amount of spaces you'd like to book, click "PROCEED" at the bottom right of the page.

4. You'll be taken to a summary page to recheck your bookings, you can remove bookings on this page if you've added something by mistake. Click "book now" when you've checked the bookings on the left.

5. All details for each booking/multiple places on the same session can be entered on this single page. please ensure correct phone, contact email addresses are correct. Scroll down to continue and press "Continue" when this information is entered.

6. Payment - Final check before heading to the checkout system via Paypal.

7. You can pay via your paypal account of via a debit/credit card. Click the box below the paypal login box to pay by card. Follow the remaining instructions. Your booking is only confirmed after payment.
You'll then receive an email confirming these bookings and only need to make the single payment for multiple bookings.

Hope this helps!


Tuesday, 4 August 2015

4th August 2015: Tuesday Changes

Tuesday night classes in Rochford will no longer be running over the summer holiday period.

We will let you know when they're back up and running, details on other classes can be found at

Monday, 3 August 2015

3rd Aug 2015: Class Update & Parkour at Parliament.

Hi all! Brad here, hard to believe that it's coming up to a year since the adult outdoor classes started and it's been great to see so many people learning about and catching a real passion for Parkour and movement. I'm sure everyone who's been coming to classes has seen an improvement in movement ability alongside new friends and improved fitness. Keep it up and share what we're doing!

Class Changes:Being the first year SP is running classes over summer, there will be some last minute changes/cancellations if class bookings are quiet while students and families are way/on holiday. This is to ensure that good numbers are in attendance for students to enjoy classes together and to at least cover hall hire costs. To help avoid these late changes, please do book classes sooner than later.

The only date to mention in advance so far, is that there will be no classes on Friday 14th due to a hall booking error at St Bernard's. Any bookings already taken for this day will be refunded.
Parkour UK AGM
The Parkour UK AGM 2015 went well with a good representation of coaches from across the UK including the Parkour UK President Sebastien Foucan. There's plenty of exciting news including the continuation of Parkour being officially recognised by the UK's national sport bodies, further membership and insurance options not only for Parkour professionals but students.There's plenty of other exciting "behind-the-scenes" work/news which will be shared by out NGB in due course.

Parkour at Parliament!
Our Ninja Warrior UK and Parkour friends, Katie Mcdonnell and Shirley Darlington-Rowat met with Tracey Crouch from the Department for culture, media and sport to show and share what it's like to #givePARKOURaGO. This was a great high-level  opportunity to show the prevalence of Parkour in today's community, alongside the importance and growing amount of women in Parkour. Facebook post here:
Please continue to share the website and details about Southend Parkour with your friends and family so we can further expand the local Parkour community, developing fitness and exploring movement together.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Summer (Camp) is Coming: 23rd July 2015

We've launched a new newsletter and mailing list for you to subscribe to for exclusive content, offers and updates you won't find anywhere else! If you'd like a sample you can see the first email which was sent a few days ago via the link below.

You can subscribe via this button:

As mentioned via our other media channels, our summer camp classes start next Tuesday!

All details can be found via

Classes are small for excellent ratios and will work with both indoor and outdoor training to develop well rounding young Traceurs'/Traceuse'! 
You have until Sunday morning to book your place for that week, each week, so don't leave it to the last minute.

If you haven't please make sure you follow us on facebook, twitter, instagram and youtube for news and updates like the one below!

Thanks! - Brad

Friday, 5 June 2015

16th June '15: My Ninja Warrior UK Experience.

Having taken part in the first Ninja Warrior UK show which aired through May/June 2015, I wanted to write and share a few thoughts from my experience. This might give interested readers a bit of an insight into the show and hopefully dispel rumours/ add some points to any future discussion about the show.

If you like, please read, share and/or comment.

You only get one shot.

One of the questions I get asked a lot about the show is "do you get a chance to practice?".
Quick answer is no! Each run you see on the show is as it happened, give or take any course malfunctions, (only happened once on the show from what I saw) and the runner would start from that obstacle at the time they got there, as stated in rules (Remember this happened with Makoto Nagano one year, it's no big deal, it happens).

Your one and only run, which could be at the start or end of the filming session (A few hours long) is the first chance to attempt the obstacles.

It takes a particular type of training and mindset to be able to deal with the physical adaptation of new movements/obstacles/surfaces, keeping calm and composed to make positive choices for your course approach and how you tackle each obstacle. Some people manage to wing it and that's a great part of the show too!

We did get a chance to walk alongside each obstacle to see course testers show a few options for obstacle approach and to brief us on any Health and Safety precautions, however, that's as much and as close as you get.

If I had the chance to practice with a few runs, I'm certain I could have brought my time to at least around the 30-45 second mark, but practice isn't a luxury you get on Ninja Warrior.... or in a real-life.

To have the chance to experience a 'real', one-chance situation like this was great as a Parkour practitioner. Being cautious but confident and where possible, having a back up plan to fix an error and keep moving forward. "Just going for it" might work and might have worked for some, but is it worth the risk? Its your choice ultimately but as a Parkour coach, with over 10 years of Parkour experience, my choice was slow and methodical, you only get one shot.

As for my semi-final slip-up, after waiting around backstage for hours, watching attempt after attempt I was tired and I think, let nerves get the better of me; I rushed the chains and either my hands were too sweaty or the chains were wet; either way, no grip and a slow slip. :(

This is a reason I train Parkour and why I believe practitioners are well suited to Ninja Warrior, not only do we spend a lot of time practising overcoming obstacles but many practice and play with odd and awkward movements. During training, we ensure any time spent practising is to high standard, being strict, being consistent and ready to adapt learned movements if and when required.

A broad experience within movement will keep you calm, confident and (hopefully) on your feet!

Comparisons to Japan and American Ninja Warrior

There has been some criticism around the course suggesting that Ninja Warrior UK is 'watered down' or too easy. Although I can understand the points raised, I feel that the series did a good job in baring the Ninja Warrior name and for the UK audience.

The UK is a silly country when it comes to TV, look at soaps and prime-time shows, generally it's all very over the top and silly. British people do like to have a laugh at others, most people do...  and for the first series, viewer-ship is required to get anywhere near making another series.

I agree that Ninja Warrior UK was a little, "lighter" in terms of how it was edited and commentated. However, during the show, both filming and backstage, everyone there was there to have some fun, OR really give the course a go, much alike the Japanese and American versions. Gladiators and the Crystal maze are great examples, they were a show and entertaining but it was very respectful and they favoured the successes, hard work and determination over painting it with the same tongue-in-cheek entertainment brush.

Participants make the moments; encourage, support them and let them. Make the course test them.... and I mean really test them, from heats to finals, and you'll see something amazing.

Having been a NW fan for many years,as I'm sure the majority of participants were, in the heats and during the semi-finals, the focus was very much excitement for having the opportunity to try a purpose built obstacle course, similar to the ones we've seen people attempting for many years. Personally I would like to have had each heat more difficult, but again, for the first series, I think there was a good balance of obstacles and challenges with even the practised course testers taking a plunge during the briefings! Things ARE bigger than they look on TV.

Lastly, the great thing about the global Ninja Warrior movement are the people who come and try, their stories and their abilities. The global Ninja Warrior opportunity has pushed people to improve their lives, help others and share their stories of overcoming obstacles faced both on the course and in their lives. Father and son attempts, Nanny-ninja attempts, professionals wanting to test themselves further, pushing the limits of age, injury or disability etc.

In this respect Ninja Warrior UK did the show justice. I'm proud to have been part of the GLOBAL Ninja Warrior community and will aim to go further to complete the course for next series. Determined, experienced and ready.

Suggestions for the second series.

In the way the show was aired, it feels like it tried a little 'too hard' in some respects. Voice-over's trying to add 'hype', trying to make it intense and exciting, visual effects to make it look flashy, when really, it doesn't need it!

Katie McDonnell hanging on the ring slider for minutes was exciting, Dion and Geoff Trigg's father and son story of Ninja Warrior was moving, the near misses, the families, the incredible performances of real athletes who live and breathe this stuff like Toby, Tiege and Tim. No need to add hype, challenge is entertaining enough.

What I'd like to see in the next season:
- A more difficult course from the start, if ITV can "build it..... they will come" and get better TV from it, both in terms of the 'successes' and 'failures'. One of the best things about Japan is how notoriously hard the course is! There are more people in the UK who do 'this stuff' than I think, is assumed. Look at OCR, Parkour and MovNat participation figures....

- Keep the editing simple, Japan and America's versions keep a good balance of respect, encouragement and fun without poking too much fun at anyone in particular; sometimes, less is more. It doesn't need to try and entertain, there's plenty of excitement happening already.

- The jump from the Heats/Semi's compared to the second stage of the final was BIG leap. The time restraint was very tight in watching and knowing how challenging those obstacles were, it would have merited either no time (like Japanese version). A reasonable time limit for the 1st Heats would have been a good idea to add a little pressure to keep moving and not take too long.

Thanks for reading, agree or disagree? Comment below and share!

Related articles:

Monday, 18 May 2015

18th May 2015 - Update!

Hi all!

Quick update with what's going on at SP-HQ this week!

Meetings and setting up new options for both adult and junior classes, both indoor and out! The aim is to have these ready for delivery and launched together in one schedule update.

As soon as they're good to go, details will be up on the website and shared via social media, so make sure you're following "Southend Parkour" on facebook, twitter, instagram and youtube.

We have a new video up, showcasing our Junior Indoor Classes and what happens in them! 

As mentioned, we are very busy at the moment with classes being booked up to a week in advance. With new class options available soon, this should improve and lead to better availability. Again, thanks for your patience,  Click here to book online in advance to avoid missing out! 

Subscribe to the youtube channel and don't miss a video update!

Shirts and Merchandise:
We will have a limited supply of adult and junior size Southend Parkour T-shirts available this week. Shirts will be black fabric with white print and yours for £15. Very limited quantities available to both junior and adult students, first come first serve at classes this week. Working on a few other cool bits of kit too, and again, will be shared as soon as available.

Ninja Warrior UK Semi-Finals:
This coming Saturday (23rd May) my semi-final heat for ITV's Ninja Warrior UK will air at 7pm, see how I get in when I take of the "toughest obstacle course on TV!".

It was a great experience and a fantastic opportunity to challenge myself with like-minded individuals, sharing a passion for obstacles and movement!

I'll be training hard for next year and who knows.... hopefully I'll be joined by a few students who've been developing their skills through the classes!

Be sure to tune in at 7pm on Saturday!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

5 May 2015 - Junior Class Update!

Last month we added a second junior class to the Friday schedule to enable more young people to ‪#‎GiveParkourAGo‬ however, we're still regularly fully-booked on Fridays.

Thanks for your patience during this busy period, we're working hard to have other classes running soon to meet this growing demand.

You can book up to a month in advance via the website, so to avoid missing out, please book classes as soon as they're available.

Details will be shared at as soon as available.

**Special summer holiday details to follow over the next few weeks**

Thanks for the ongoing support. Keep moving - Brad @ SP

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

22nd April '15 - James' story, so far...

Below is a short piece from one of my regular outdoor class students who's made some fantastic progress over the last 6 months.

Great work James!

"Two years ago I was in an accident which ended me with a broken collar bone, since then I've not been able to get back the strength I once had in that arm and it affected my every day life. Since I've been practicing parkour with Brad and Southend Parkour, I feel my muscular strength, endurance and overall fitness has sky-rocketed. I'm now able to hold my entire body weight with my injured arm and last sunday I completed my first OCR.

Brad has been a huge supporter in helping people reach their targets and he is a great influence to better myself. A year ago today I would not have dreamed to have finished a 7km run and the only reason I hit the finish line is because Southend Parkour has helped me to push myself harder and has given me confidence in myself to do better."

‪#‎success‬ ‪#‎parkour‬ ‪#‎ocrchat‬ ‪#‎ocr‬ ‪#‎givePARKOURaGo‬ ‪#‎parkouruk‬ ‪#‎southend‬‪#‎essex‬ ‪#‎fitness‬ ‪#‎goals‬ ‪#‎motivation‬

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

14th April 2015 - Junior Class Update.

Over the next few weeks our Friday junior classes will be changing slightly to ensure the best learning experience for all of our students. Parkour is a very specific practice holding an important focus on strength, physical and mental resilience, endurance, adaptability, flexibility, technical ability, understanding, problem solving and confidence.

As such, we believe it is in our student's best interest to adapt our sessions to provide an improved offer for all. In short this means, over the next few weeks the following changes will be implimented:
  • Class 1 (From 6pm): Will be tailored for our newer/younger juniors with more games, movement and play-based activities and learning for Parkour.
  • Class 2: (From 7:20pm) For our older/more experienced juniors to challenge fitness and develop Parkour techniques. These classes will also expand on Parkour as a practice and our students understanding. (Suitability for this session will be decided by the coach and discussed with you over the next few weeks)
All details about these changes can be found on the website, available at

If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please email

Thank you for the ongoing support this year and I hope this will provide a better and more enjoyable learning experience for our younger students.

Brad @ Southend Parkour

Monday, 6 April 2015

6th April 2015: Ninja Warrior UK

This week I've been away in Manchester, one of the 250 contestants on Ninja Warrior UK, which starts on ITV on the 11th April (This coming Saturday!).

For those of you unfamiliar with Ninja Warrior, it's been running for many years in Japan, known as "Sasuke", attracting both serious and not so serious competitors to see how they fair at a challenging obstacle course which increases in difficulty and complexity each year.

As the series continued, people from around the world have ventured there to try themselves against the courses and other countries, now including the UK have recreated their own courses to challenge and test people in their countries.

Here's a classic clip of the Japanese course and Makoto Nagano with one of the only 3 or 4 people to have ever completed the course:

After auditions alongside 6000 others from across the UK, I was selected and joined 250 contestants on the UK version this week trying themselves and their training against the course. I am unable to share how the show and my attempts went, so you'll have to watch the show which starts on the 11th to see how we all did.

It was a fantastic opportunity to test my own skills against the course and the camaraderie throughout the show and participants was amazing. My heat airs on the 18th April but if you want to see what I'm certain will be a great show, record or set a reminder for this Sat at 7pm!
- Public thanks to my girlfriend for joining and supporting me throughout training and the show, thanks Jenna!

Photo Courtesy of Jenna Core.

Want to find out more? Visit: 

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

24th March 2015 - Class Changes

There's a few changes over the next few weeks so please read the following information to get up to speed.

This Friday will hold the last adult indoor class in order to meet the demand for more junior classes, so if your 16+ and want an indoor space to train, you'd better get in this week before it's too late! We'll be having a night devoted to obstacle coursing and challenges.

We will not be holding any classes on Good Friday and will return the week after with a second junior class in place of the later adult session, schedule below.

Wed 25th - Adult Outdoor
Fri 27th - Junior Indoor from 6pm, Adult Indoor from 7:20pm.

Wed 1st - Adult Outdoor
Fri 3rd  - NO CLASSES

Wed 8th - Adult Outdoor
Fri 10th - Indoor Junior: Class 1 from 6pm and Class 2 from 7:20pm.

As ever, all classes need to be booked online via - click "book online" to book up to a month in advance.

Keep up to date by following us on: FACEBOOKTWITTERYOUTUBE and INSTAGRAM for exclusive offers, competitions and updates.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

17th March 2015: Move and play.

Wanted to post up real quick, a link to a new video on our youtube page, if you haven't done so already, head on over to and click subscribe!

Parkour as a massive practice and as much as training (real, hard work) is important to build the "suit of armour" to keep the body strong and safe to continue moving, spending time playing and experimenting is also a key component in experiencing unplanned situations and the chance to test and examine areas of weakness in a fun context.

More fun, more movement, don't underestimate the power of learning in play.


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

3rd March '15: Risk taking and Parkour Part 1.

The purpose of this and following posts is to discuss risk exposure within Parkour and further explore how we should look at including it as a community. I aim to discuss current "trends" in the community and look toward exploring effective methods to train smarter with regards to risk and safety. Everything we do in life revolves around balance and we need to work with this ideal to find how to most effectively be exposed to it yet remain safe enough to be able to grow, be safe and have ability to continue to do so in life.

Re-establishing the practice:

Parkour is a training practice to overcome obstacles with movement, moving better for life, function and purpose. Obviously, globally we all train for different reasons based on our experiences and goals, but the majority of practitioners who I believe to have a healthy grasp on Parkour channel to a common focus, working towards the ideals of being useful, being able, ensuring safety and having fun. I'd argue that safety and readiness (being able in X or Y situations) are two of the most important areas of focus for training Parkour.

If you are unsafe or make unsafe choices, you increase risk of error or injury; if you are on the floor hurt, you aren't a very effective mover. As such being unsafe opposes the idea of training Parkour, to move. Safety is subjective but I'll discuss this later on.

As for readiness, the inability to practically execute and apply a skill is equally as concerning, especially in a high-stress, real-life situation. I agree with the ideal we need to train to work and act for the unexpected, the challenging, the real, the "scary", but we need to be smart about how we train that and what that looks like. Our training must be varied and introspective enough to look at our own areas of weakness and build our training types/frequency to acquire those skills/improvements/experience.

"Fear makes men forget, and skill that cannot fight is useless." — Brasidas of Sparta

As a newer practice we do need to continue to discuss Parkour; challenge what we do and how we do it. We can always improve in training and the practice itself is not exempt from this.

Origins of the Misconception: A big misconception about Parkour is that a large part of the practice is about working at height, doing things over drops etc. Documentaries such as Jump London/Jump Britain/earlier TV interviews shared Parkour at height as a blend between practice exposure, spectacle and art (film). It utilised spaces clearly not designed for people moving across to create spectacle and share levels of competence/ability. As such, the notion of height progressed in the masses because of the reach and focus of the films via mainstream TV and the evolution of YouTube.

The current trend: Rooftop photography, filming:  Early Parkour footage coupled with a lack of understanding/care for the practice alongside comparisons to other traditional sports/activities which often revolve around competition (leading to greater need to show, do bigger, faster etc), has in my opinion, lead to the recent growing culture within Parkour or people linked to it partaking in "roof missions"/ "crane climbing” etc, often seemingly with a primary motivation of filming/photography and exposure via social media.

(Image taken from

Please note: My concern is always and will always be for the safety of practitioners, current and future, alongside the development of Parkour in the UK.
Please read with an open mind and lets think about what we do and why. Since the dissipation of the online forum aspect of the Parkour community, there has been a reduction in exploring and understanding mentality of the practice, the hows, the whys, the reasoning behind our actions.

Alongside the majority of very experienced practitioners I engage with, it is agreed that the recent prevalence of trespassing and high level climbing, being shared via video is concerning for the practice, students and the continued growth of Parkour. I do not and will not condone this practice for several main reasons which I will explore over this and future posts and I'd encourage you to explore this in your own training, choices, or for you to understand and discuss with your son/daughter if you are the parent/guardian of a practitioner.

ANYONE, can grab a camera, climb something, film it, slap it up on YouTube and call it whatever they want. Just because it's labelled with "Free-running" or "Parkour", it doesn't mean it is, so look at everything with a critical eye. Competence does not eliminate risk and does not make you bulletproof. Just because you can, it doesn't mean you have to or should, risk in this area isn't just about YOU damaging YOURSELF but damage to the practice also.

Climbing a ladder and most 'climbing' shared that I've seen as a part of this trend is a very broad basic skill, it is very simple and something which small children do naturally, but are often discouraged from doing. These movements are not and should not be considered categorically, a highly evolved skill and thus carried out by an advanced or skilled individual. Just because something isn't seen often, doesn't immediately mean it is complex or 'special' in terms of an individual's ability. People have jobs that climb daily, tree-fellers, window cleaners for skyscrapers, fire-service etc, whether they've had particular training or not, they are achievable trainable skills, we can all do this with time and practice. Climbing more difficult things is obviously harder and may be a better indicator of skill, however, there are a few things that should be considered as a practitioner of a community.

We live in a society of fear, which is almost as much of an issue to as the carefree and naïve idea that we should climb and do what we can just because we can. The uninformed share the misinformed.

Take this example:
1: 2 Metre High, Two-footed jump - Landed quietly, balanced and good posture.

2: 200 Meter High Two-footed jump - Landed without absorbing impact, poor posture etc.
It's fairly obvious that the 'skill' is seen in the smaller, so why the need to do the same at height poorly? For the sake of filming? What kind of message are we sharing?

Some would argue it shows the mental toughness/resilience, confidence in ability to do it in a high stress scenario; to an extent I'd agree with this, but at what cost?

Is the cost of the risk or falling from height, worth the gain of achieving the same movement execution elsewhere? Is it worth the cost of possible arrest, being the cause for copycats to try and fail, being the very reason for your own/others’ injury or worse. Is it worth the cost of contributing to poor "non-practitioner" understanding continuing to make what we do harder?

Each of our actions have reactions whether you want to accept it or not.

The masses want spectacle, but I feel as practitioners, we should oppose this viewpoint and reach for more, share a different perspective. We could do things for our own self gain or help people change in their approach and perspective. Bring them into the discussion rather than giving a viewpoint to them, contributing to the evolution of understanding over more of the same.
Doing things for the sake of filming, to replicate, or just to follow another, out of an esoteric notion of "freedom" and "rebellion", is concerning, naïve and will lead to further serious cases which will leave gaps in people's families and friend circles. To get people paying attention to the issues that really matter, I'd argue would be a better, stronger and more worthwhile use of time.

If we as practitioners helped others to learn to appreciate the 'small' movements, the intricacies of movement, valuing mastery and consistency over mass/ or size, society/communities as a whole wouldn't feel the need to take potentially giant risks to validate themselves and their self-worth.

Parkour is as much about changing ourselves as it is helping others (being able and ready). Non-practitioners are overexposed in the “look at me” celebrity culture creating detachment and separation.

Parkour and it's practice is about RECONNECTION, joining us back to movement, back to fundamentals, back to basics, which are so often overlooked and dismissed. I think taking Belle’s approach of “reaching back and help another” is the change we CAN make as practitioners, encouraging others to join and contribute in movement (and Parkour's on-going development) rather than just view the spectacle.

The more people in the loop, understanding what it is we do, the more we can do, the more provision and the greater lives we can leave, partaking in accessible physical activity with a shared understanding. Personally, I will continue to train the small things to better the big picture for myself and for others and at the least I'd love for you to look at your training, your choices and think, what can we do for the better of this amazing discipline.

A similar linked post from our friends at Train-Hard Parkour -

Saturday, 31 January 2015

1st February '15: Hands and Feet!

You were born to move.

Quadrupedal movement is an excellent training tool to engage both body and mind in physical (re)education. Research by Herbert, Gross and Payne (2007) suggests that crawling movement aids in memory development in infants moving earlier than others.

There may well be limited carry over into adults, and there is a lack of research in the area of QM for adults (understandably) however, it stand to reason that being able to work and move effectively using 4 limbs, consciously rather than 2 (just legs) may engage your body and mind in a more challenging way compared to using less of your body at any given time.

From experience, quad movement brings on the sweat, makes the lungs and heart work hard and forces you to be more conscious in your movement, especially when moving slower, deliberately place each foot, hand and body part to move yourself. Coupling this with balancing on or in smaller spaces adds an extra element of difficulty which is a recommended progression for improving movement ability.

One such exercise I've been developing and training is making an assortment of rail/bars/beams and forcing yourself to keep moving in the, without touching the groun, using your arms as much as you would your legs, try even a minute of movement in this manner and you'll see what I mean. In spending more time in this type of movement progressively, you're develop wrist, forearm, bicep/triceps, shoulder and surrounding musculature strength/ability simply by spending more time in more movement patterns, supporting and controlling your movements with upper body limbs.

The more experience in movement, in different rotations, directions and stances, the better your ability to apply yourself to a new or similar situation as and when they occur.

In the grand scheme of movement, we're more likely to need to move on our feet and use our hands/arms secondarily but as for training and learning, give it a go.

Crawl more, move more and have fun!


Friday, 9 January 2015

9th January '15: Why Learn Parkour?

Short post to explore 5 reasons for learning Parkour, they may not be what you think but hopefully they will help you understand what we're about and what Parkour and you, can do!

1. Health 

Globally, the majority of us we are sitting or still for most of the day. Sedentary lifestyles increase a variety of health issues, we're not doing what we're built to do, MOVE!

We're built to walk, run, climb, vault, squat, lift, carry and chase. Not doing so leads to a 'wealth' of health issues which more often than not, shorten the quality of our lives. 

By moving more and realising where (using our surroundings) and how we can move (using our bodies safely), we start a journey towards doing what we're built to do, rekindling not only our ability to move, but our physical fitness ability and overall health.

2. Safety

We're all familiar with the "fight or flight" state, in a high stress situation our mental and physical response to a stressor is to either run away or fight to survive (We are built to move)!. Although these situations may be rare in the UK or "civilised society", things do still happen; fires, attacks, the need to chase, the need to reach, the need to escape.

Martial arts are a common practice in the UK, having dabbled in Wing Chun, Ninjitsu and Krav Maga, to varying degrees, we're often told, "Run first, but if you can't, as a last here's how to defend yourself."

Parkour develops the first part and is, in our opinion, as important as being able to handle yourself up close. As a practical example, a friend had a knife pulled out on him, he could immediately vault a rail safely and had a barrier between the attacker and him. Parkour is great for self defence, run, escape and move! If you've not practised escaping, running or vaulting under pressure, if your slip and are hurt, the attacker has you anyway... it makes sense to practice the art of escape.

Practising Parkour and movement also allows you to deal with mistakes better, through knowing your body and how to move. Most times when I fall, slip etc, my training enables me to avoid injury and still land safely, living to "flight" another day! 

We all make mistakes and will fall, Parkour tends to help us be safe doing so!

3. Fun

Parkour is fun! A big deterrent from most forms of exercise is that it can be quite boring, obviously it's perspective, but lots of individuals who try Parkour, latch onto it and continue. Competitive sports tend to focus your performance on other's ability, Parkour is different in that it accepts that we are all unique, we all have strengths and weakness and all move differently. 

You can't accurately compare yourself to another because you are and will be different! In training we move and explore, finding new challenges, new spaces, new situations to grow and develop. 

There is no ultimate "right or wrong" with Parkour as a practice, only what works for you and your movement in a given situation. We learn through challenges: personally and externally set; we learn through imagination and games: Playing "Stay off the ground" and similar games/ scenarios. 

Because we are all unique, we can set our own goals, to move towards them at our own pace and ensure our own safe and fun progression.

4. Benefits of Challenge

We face challenges daily in all areas of our, work, personal, social and recreational lives. In training and overcoming obstacles we have to apply our physical and mental being to overcome, practising practical problem solving skills. We physically and mentally overcome these challenges, we achieve. 

Through achievement, we gain confidence, building an "experience backpack", a collection of challenges faced and overcome, which we can apply to future challenges faced. 

People who practice Parkour tend to have a very similar attitude and approach to life in that things can be done and problems can be solved. Even if we don't know, we still try (as long as it's safe to do so), in turn, gaining experience and apply to our future personal conquests!

5. Adaptability

Being an adaptable person is a very useful skill/personality. Tying in with some of the areas mentioned above Parkour practitioners, seek, try, gain experience, reflect and apply what has been learnt, what works and what doesn't work, to future challenges both mentally and physically.

As such, Parkour tends to aid people in other sports and other physical activities from having a good experience and understanding of movement. There is a mindset developed through practice, to very quickly risk assess, problem solve and develop creative solutions to problems or challenges presented. In a world where change is an integral part of society; jobs, lifestyle, time, family, friends, technology, having the confidence to adapt and change yourself is something many people can struggle with.

To quote Sebastien Foucan, In overcoming, we become.

START YOUR JOURNEY! Join us for a class or if you have any questions, please visit

Saturday, 3 January 2015

31st December 2014 - Out with the old...

First of all, I'd like to thank all of the support so far and throughout the end of 2014. It's always inspiring to see younger, older, new and experienced practitioners involved with our classes and services. As much as we've only been officially trading since October, we've been involved in Parkour in one entity or another for well over a decade, having had the opportunity to travel and coach all across the UK and abroad. 

Following the announcements below it will become increasingly important to keep connected with news as an when it comes. Our facebook account will detail last minute spaces for classes to please ensure you are connected with us for important recent changes. Other unique content is and will be also added regularly via our twitterinstagram, and youtube so please ensure you follow!

Moving forward into 2015, we are please to announce a few new developments:

Firstly: Cheaper Outdoor Classes! 

Our weekly adult outdoor class, which explores Parkour in the real work is now open for anyone 16+ (With parental consent) and now reduced to £8 for 2 hours of outdoor, Parkour coaching. These classes put Parkour training where it belongs, out in the open, rain or shine, utilising spaces in Southend to learn, strengthen, challenge, adapt and overcome! 

Find out about these on our website

Secondly: We will be adding two new Southend classes from the 16th January 2015!

The first will be a "Junior class" for young people ages 8 to 15 years of age, taking place at an indoor training space in Southend for 1 hour & 10 minutes of Parkour movement development and functional fitness under our expert guidance. 6:00pm til 7:10pm

The second class will follow immediately after for a 16+ (Senior Class) 1 Hour & 10 Minute class, challenging attendees to adapt and overcome through Parkour skill development and functional fitness. 7:20pm til 8:30pm.

Wall frames, ropes, vaults and matting will help support your effective learning. As much as indoor training can't entirely substitute outdoor training, it can provide a great introduction to the practice and you'll still be challenged through fun and engaging guided practice; improving fitness and physical ability with our training.

Finally: We're going digital! You can now sign up and pay online to all of our classes via our new online booking system, booking up to a month in advance!

You can book via our website at, then click the "Book online" button. 

Using this ensures we can have spaces filled while not oversubscribing which may make a wasted journey for some. If you have any questions or issues, contact us through the email address listed on the system or contact us through our website,

Please read the information carefully before booking, to ensure correct dates/classes.

We look forward to moving with you this year! Thanks for joining us!