聲明：本文是得到Parkour Generation 的同意翻譯及授權刊登
Le Parkour (1), 最初名為l’Art du Deplacement, 在1980年代Yamakasi隊的努力下, 成了今天的模樣. 不過練習 le parkour 可以追溯到歷史記載以前: 參考過很多不同的事物, 受到很多人物的影響, 於幾種傳統之中演化, 變成了現在的訓練方法, 叫作parkour 或是l’art du deplacement. 名字與標籤可以是變化不斷, 而當然, 運動的外表也轉變了, 改良了無數次. 不過, 無論在什麼潮流外表的背後, 其核心一直都長久不變 – parkour的方法, parkour的結果, parkour的訓練以及目標: Movement 移動.
準確來說,, parkour 是人體與環境互動的時候, 人體動作的改善. 這運動的目標看似是要用最快最流暢地橫越任何的地形, 有效率之餘, 優美而且精確. 可是, 說這是不拘一格的parkour訓練的唯一目標, 是下了個較狹窄的定義. 其實, 它就是要反抗這些狹隘的定義. 說le parkour的目標單純是 ‘由A 點走到B點’ 的話, 會把上千的traceurs (2) 除名了. 他們都稱不上叫 traceurs.
舉個例, 很多練習者會說 le parkour 的目標就是要掌握人們自己的身體, 令動作更複雜, 整個身體都更靈活. 有些人練習只是為了健康, 要變得身壯力健, 而有些人就是為了樂趣, 他們能從小孩的角度重新去看世界. 很多練習者都有令人難以理解的原因, 例如他們想找尋parkour當中的哲理, 參透正確之 “道” 等等. 其實, 多數人都承認, 他們會同時追求以上幾個目標, 只是有時會特別著眼於某一方面.
當然, 很多運動和身體的動作練習可以說是同樣地追求parkour 複雜的目標. 決定性的分別在於訓練與集訓的方法. 在練習裡以及在實行的時候 – 兩種很不同的情況 – traceur 永遠都不會只訓練一個身體部份, 也不會訓練沒有最大用途的專長與技巧. 一個traceur 不會帶同有重量的, 或是笨重的器械來練習: 他只可以使用自己的身體. Parkour 首要的練習就是重複以及改善parkour 裡的動作, 加強一個人的柔韌度, 靈活性以及身體協調, 使肌肉紋理變得順暢, 神經肌肉更有效率. 不能太過著重於身體方向感覺的重要性, 因為這是可以從平衡, 夜行訓練 (可以是 ‘sensory deprivation缺感觀訓練’), 以及空間感覺鍛煉.
如此 ‘自然’ 的訓練方法可以追溯到古時候部落文化的生活模式, 而第一個在體適能方面來研究部落民族的可能是George Hebert (1875-1957). 他在西方世界的體能訓練歷史上舉足輕重. 他驚詫的發現非洲土人有著自然給他們的體格, 可是他們沒有鼓勵或是硬要執行特別的 “訓練體系 training regimen” – Hebert 指出只要他們活在運用體能, 富有動感的自然生活之中, 他們就能成為神奇的人物, 具有超於正常的力量與靈活度. Herbert 提出的 ‘自然之道Natural Method’ 現被視為其中一個parkour 的先驅. ‘自然之道’ 在一個漸趨工業化的社會裡發揮作用, 提倡 “ (對工業化的) 有機對抗, 增強肌肉強度與速度的優點, 從走路開始到跑步, 跳躍, 四腳爬行, 攀爬, 平衡, 投擲, 舉重, 自我防衛以及游泳.” 沒錯的是,四腳爬行, 也就是將人的體重平均的分配在四肢上的爬行訓練, 是現時parkour 常用的熱身動作.
Parkour的練習者透過了解自己細微動作的每一個細節, 令自己的技能逐漸複雜化, 漸漸能在潛意識裡也能控制自己. 動作上達到流暢, 也就達到所謂的 ‘The flow心流狀態’. 這可說是parkour 的聖杯, 是難以得到的瑰寶. ‘The flow’ 就是將一個個的技能連在一起, 成為無間斷的一個動作, 是利用本能在任何地形上使出的動作. 最重要的是, parkour 不只是人們使用的一組技術 – 其實, 一個人在某地形上自行移動, 使用沒有預算好的動作的時候, parkour 就發生了. 這就似很多武術裡講求的 ‘沒有思考的流動 flow without thought’. Tracuer 要求自己能夠在任何時間, 在任何平面上都可以做到 ‘流暢’ 的動作, 動作要優美而且要有效率. 於是他們會反覆嘗試去做出 ‘流暢’ 的動作. 我們Parkour Coaching(譯按: 現已改名為Parkour Generation) 的人的確會常常提醒自己: 練parkour 沒有捷徑, 只有好的訓練.
從寧靜訓練 (stealth training) 與輕觸訓練 (lightness of touch)中, 可以見得到動作的效率是parkour 的重點. 我們在訓練時想 ‘製造寧靜’, 令我們在任何環境之中移動, 不受注意而且不留痕跡. 任何玩parkour 的人很快就知道, 心靈對於人體潛能的控制是多麼的厲害. Parkour令我們注意到, 我們每一下動作都受到恐懼所阻礙: 可見parkour不只是講求體能, 而是講求心理以及情感.
當身體克服了恐懼, 減少了恐懼所帶來的反應, parkour 會令不可能的動作不只是成為可能, 而且看似毫不費力. 障礙物與欄柵在眨眼之間就能越過去. 人能順利地越過險要的地形, 而不受心裡的恐懼與焦躁所影響. 從前覺得是阻礙移動的障礙物, 現在在路上變成了移動的拍檔, 是幫助人移動的跳板.
在parkour 裡, 創新與適應是極其重要的. Parkour 經常被錯誤地形容為都市的運動或是藝術, 但其實parkour 教導人去調教自己的動作去適應任何的環境, 而任何的情況之下也如是. 練習者應該在已建地區練習, 也應該在郊區環境, 大石群中, 森林之中練習. 任何地方也有移動的機會. 教授parkour 的關鍵是要鼓勵人去找尋自己的方法去移動, 將自己的創意加在原本所學習的基本之上.
一個人的強弱要視乎一個人是否在任何時刻也都做到某個動作. 實際上, 意思就是說我們到在眾多訓練方法中要取個平衡, 令我們能夠保持一定情度的健康狀況與體格, 我們才能在我們有意慾或是有需要時做到某個動作. Parkour 真的是真真正正的紀律 (discipline), 讓練習者有一種新的方法去觀察以及與每一種環境打交道, 讓練習者知道環境裡移動存在著不同的機會, 評估自己使用了多少體內的潛能. 我們一定要不停問自己: 我能夠做到什麼? 我還差多遠才會做到某動作? 練習的目標就是要提升自己的生活質素, 讓我們在每一個動作或是活動之中都能夠獲益, 幫助我們去探索自己體內的潛能, 真正的使我們更強. 若一種訓練的方法是背離這個道理的, 便是在最基本的層面上也是不正確的.
很多新手都會感受到, parkour 涉及到一個人生活的每一個部份. 很多人都說他們 ‘真正開眼了’. 練習者很快便會用全新的, 沒有限制的方式去看待身邊的事物. 他們跳出了個框框, 發覺其實這世上從來都沒有這個框架. 他們發覺到一個人平日的動作是多麼的缺乏效率, 浪費力量. 他們學會如何正確地走路, 學會在多人的街道上盡量利用空位去移動, 學會預計以及避過在路途上的障礙物; 簡單來說, 一個人學會隨著生活的潮水, 更加和諧, 更加有益於自己, 令自己每天的動作都成為集訓與練習的延伸. 這不只是身體的改進, 其實心裡的思想也有改變.兩者是一起發生的, 不能分割.
我們都擁有極大的潛能, 能做出不平凡的動作. 我們生來就可以做到看似神奇的parkour動作. 事實上, 這些動作沒有什麼神奇 – 也沒有秘密的學習方法. 明智而勤奮的訓練, 加上定期的集中練習, 一定會令自己的潛能得到實現. 走上伸向四方八面的parkour道路, 你就走上了進步的路, 看不見路的盡頭.
(1) 新創的字 ‘parkour’ 一詞來自法國的 parcours du combattant, 意思指 ‘戰士的道路’, 也是原本軍隊式障礙訓練的名稱. 現在世界各地的軍隊也使用障礙場作訓練用途. Parcours (指 ‘路途’) 這一詞演變後成了 ‘Parkour’. 為parkour命名一事, David Belle歸功於好朋友 Hubert Kounde. (譯按:曾擔演電影<無國界追凶>的法藉演員)
(2) 一個法國用詞, 原本是一群的練習者的稱呼, 叫 Les Traceurs. 這是由parkour的始創人David Belle 所組的團隊, 從 ‘子彈’ 這字發展而來, 意思就是一個人要跟著自己的路走. 現在這詞被廣泛指所有parkour的練習者.]
By Dan Edwardes
Chinese translation by Daniel Wan
Le Parkour (1) , originally named l’Art du Deplacement, though crystallised into its current guise by the Yamakasi sometime in the 1980s, is a practice the roots of which precede records. It has drawn on a myriad of sources, been inspired by a number of notable individuals and evolved through several traditions to arrive at the modern discipline now referred to as parkour or l’art du deplacement. Names and labels come and go, of course, and the outward visage of this discipline has shifted and modified itself countless times. However, behind whatever appearance has been fashionable at the time, at its core there has always existed an eternal constant – the means, the end, the method and the goal of parkour: Movement.
Put as concisely as possible, parkour is the refinement of one’s body movement during the interaction with one’s environment as one progresses though it. One ostensible ‘goal’ of the discipline is to be able to traverse any terrain as swiftly and fluidly as possible with efficiency, grace and precision. However, to say this is the only aim of this broad-ranging and eclectic practice would be to place a rather narrow definition on something which, in actuality, tends to defy such definitions. This ‘getting from A to B’ designation would exclude thousands of traceurs (2).
For example, for many practitioners the ‘goal’ of the art is simply to master their own physical vessel, to sophisticate their mobility and improve their overall agility. Some practise solely for reasons of health and fitness, while others do it for the fun of recapturing a childlike view of their surroundings. Yet more walk the path for more esoteric reasons, finding philosophy and contemplating ‘The Way’ as they go. In truth, most would admit to pursuing a combination of all these goals while perhaps emphasising one aspect above the rest.
Of course, a wide range of sports and physical practices could also lay claim to the sophisticated goals that parkour lays before us. The crucial difference, however, between most of these and parkour is to be found in the training and practice methods themselves. Both in training and in practice – for the two are very different things – the traceur is never attempting to work any part of his body in isolation, nor is he ever developing anything other than the most functional attributes and skills. The traceur does not need to bring extra equipment or fad machinery to his sessions: his body is usually his one and only tool. The principal practice for parkour is to repeat and refine the movements of parkour, improving tensile strength, flexibility, and coordination as he goes, greasing the grooves in the musculature while increasing neuromuscular efficiency. The importance of proprioception cannot be overstated, and is constantly improved through balance exercises, night-training (read ‘sensory deprivation’), and spatial awareness drills.
This ‘natural’ approach to training goes back to the lifestyles of ancient tribal cultures, perhaps first properly researched from a fitness perspective by George Hebert (1875-1957), a pivotal figure in the history of physical education in the West who was struck by the natural attributes of the indigenous peoples of Africa, among whom no specific ‘training regimen’ was ever encouraged or enforced – Hebert noted that merely leading their natural lives of physicality and dynamism produced incredible specimens possessed of exceptional functional strength and agility. His ‘Natural Method’, which many regard as one of the forerunners of parkour, was a means by which to reproduce these effects in industrialised societies by “promoting the qualities of organic resistance, muscularity and speed, towards being able to walk, run, jump, move quadrupedally, to climb, to walk in balance, to throw, lift, defend yourself and to swim.” Indeed, quadrupedal movement – moving with one’s weight evenly distributed between all four limbs – is a tool regularly used when warming-up in preparation for parkour.
Parkour practice encourages a gradual sophistication of attributes, through detailed specification as the traceur goes deeply into the intricacy of his movement, towards an unconscious mastery of his own abilities. To achieve ‘the flow’ in movement is the Holy Grail of parkour: to link skills together into a seamless, dynamic whole facilitating instinctual movement over any terrain. It is important to understand that parkour is not simply a collection of techniques – rather, parkour occurs when one is moving over terrain in a spontaneous and non-predictive manner, paralleling the ‘flow without thought’ of many traditional fighting arts. To have this capacity to move at any time, along any plane, gracefully and efficiently is what the traceur seeks. And he trains for it by doing it. Indeed, as we at Parkour Generations often remind ourselves: there are no secrets, just good training.
Efficiency, demonstrated through stealth training and lightness of touch, is central to parkour. We aim to ‘make silence’ as we train, to go unnoticed as we pass through any environment and to leave no trace of our passing as we go. And anyone who practises parkour soon realises just how powerful the mind can be in restricting one’s own potential, as the art shines a bright spotlight on how much fear-reactivity hinders our every move: parkour is as much mental and emotional as it is physical.
And once this fear-reactivity is overcome, good parkour make impossible actions seem not only possible but also quite effortless. Obstacles and barriers are traversed in the blink of an eye, difficult terrain negotiated without the impediment of fear or anxiety, and what most would see as impediments to movement become partners and springboards along one’s route.
In parkour; innovation and adaptation are crucial. Parkour is often wrongly described as an urban sport or art, when the truth is that parkour aims to teach the individual to be able to adapt his movement to absolutely any environment, and in any situation. Practitioners are encouraged to train in built-up areas as well as in rural surroundings, upon coastal rock formations, within forests and jungles; indeed, anywhere that presents the opportunity for movement. Parkour coaching hinges on encouraging individuals to find their own way to move, to add what is specifically their own creation to the fundamentals they learn from those who have gone before them.
Fitness must be measured in terms of one’s ability to perform a chosen task at any given time. Effectively, what this means is that we must have balance in our training methods in order to maintain a constant and high level of health and fitness, so that we are able to act whenever we want or need to. Parkour is a truly holistic discipline that offers the practitioner a new way to observe and manage the relationships between himself and his every environment, encouraging him always to be aware of the possibilities for movement and to appraise his own ratio of capacity to potential. We must constantly ask the question of ourselves: just what can I do and how close am I to being able to do it? The goal of training is to improve our standard of living, to enable us to get more from every moment and every activity, to help us explore our innate potential: To make us more capable, in the true sense of the word. A training method that detracts from this in any way is flawed at a fundamental level.
Parkour, as is commonly noted by newcomers, reaches into every aspect of one’s daily life. Many voice this as ‘having their eyes opened’. Practitioners soon come to look at their surroundings in a completely different and unfettered way. They step outside of the box and find that, in fact, there is no box nor ever was one. It raises one’s awareness of the inefficiency and wasted effort that accompany most of one’s everyday movements. One learns to walk properly, to maximise the use of space on a crowded street, to foresee and avoid obstacles on a journey; in short, one learns to flow with the currents of life in a more harmonious and beneficial manner so that your very daily activities themselves become an extension of your training and practice. This change comes about as much mentally as it does physically for, of course, the two are inextricably interwoven.
We all harbour immense potential for extraordinary activity. We all possess the innate ability to move with the seemingly superhuman attributes that Parkour develops. The truth is, of course, that there is nothing superhuman about these activities – and there are no secrets either. Diligent, intelligent practise and focused, regular training willbring about the realisation of this potential. When you walk the omni-directional paths of parkour you are on a road of self-improvement to which there is no end in sight.
(1) The invented word ‘parkour’ originates from the French parcours du combattant, a phrase meaning ‘course of the fighter’ which was the original term for the military-style obstacle courses now used by armed forces around the world. From parcours, meaning ‘course’ came the altered ‘Parkour’. David Belle credits his friend Hubert Kounde for having coined the word.
(2) A French term that originated as the name of a group of practitioners – Les Traceurs – consisting of several of the original French practitioners including Stephane Vigroux, David Belle, Johann Vigroux, Seb Foucan and Kazuma. Derived from the word for bullet and meaning someone who follows his or her own way, it is now widely used in reference to all practitioners.
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