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BLIND PARKOUR: THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE

Understanding the surfaces you are working with is one of the most important skills in Parkour. Like many of the essentials, it isn't flashy, and won't win you any YouTube followers. Yet, learning to master your surface areas will take you one step closer to a complete game.

Your ability to do the movement you want depends a lot on the surface you are doing them on. If you try a tic-tac, how do you know how much pressure to apply on the wall? What sort of friction is there between my shoe and the wall? Is the distance the only thing you need to consider? No.

Sticking with that example, the amount of force you use off the wall will change depending on the type of surface you are jumping off. If it is a hard structure, too much power will send you flying hard into the other side. Too little on a soft surface and you will fall short.

This article is going to teach you how to "feel" your surfaces, and get a better understanding of how to use them.   We are going to teach you blind Parkour.

We are not going to get you to memorize a bunch of statistics or facts. We are going to teach you how to develop a sense for every surface you see. We are going to train you to understand the surfaces you encounter subconsciously.

Safety First

Before we can teach you to become the Spider-Man of Parkour, you need to learn some basic safety habits.

The best way to become familiar with surfaces is to touch them regularly. Use your hands and your shoes to examine all the spaces you might encounter during your run. Take your time.

Make sure you test them for support. Find out if they feel slippery when wet. Is there any grip to them? You need to understand what these surfaces feel like before you go ahead and launch yourself into them.

It is not the most fun part of the game, but it is a vital safety step to check off before every run. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Touch Everything

After you start this habit, you should start doing it all the time, everywhere. Even if you are not training and just walking around the city, touch the surfaces that you pass. Doing this over and over will develop your natural ability to assess specific materials.

After practicing this for a long while, you will start to be able to understand surfaces without needing to touch them. That is our goal. You should always make contact with surfaces before you train, but you want to build up your ability to assess them with your eyes. Touching them with your hands and shoes is the only way to do that.

Developing a New Sense for Your World

Now, this is where the real work begins. We are going to teach your body how to "feel" the world around it without using your vision or hearing. Sounds scary, but cool, right?

Many people do not realize how much they rely on their vision and hearing to judge space and movement. Without these two senses, it becomes difficult to balance and know where you are in the world. You might be thinking: “Well, duh!” But your body is actually capable of understanding your environment without the use of vision or hearing.

Your brain has something called a "kinesthetic sense,” which it uses to understand where your limbs and body are in space at any given time, as well as if you are moving and how fast. We won't bog you down with a bunch of science here, but this is an important tool for your brain.

But this sense is not as highly developed as it could be. After all, you live with your eyes open all the time. So we are going to close them. That's right, we are going to get you to do Parkour with your eyes closed.

Don't fool yourself, and don't be an idiot. We are not suggesting you do vaults, cat grabs, or tic-tacs with your eyes closed. Yet, try balancing on something with your eyes closed. Find a small incline, and try to balance on it with your eyes closed. After you feel comfortable doing that, put headphones in your ears and block out your hearing. Try slowly turning your body once you feel even more comfortable.

Do this until you feel you have mastered balancing with limited senses, and then do it again. Practice this regularly. You will be amazed at the effect it has on your general practice.  

Step Up Your Game

After you master balancing, start basic movements. Start with quadrupedal movement on grass, and then advance to a harder surface. Go slow, and make sure you have room to work.

You will never be able to “feel” objects coming at you, so don’t practice this stuff in front of a bunch of obstacles. Practice light movements on a variety of surfaces with your senses blocked. Keep it safe, but keep adding new surfaces and movement styles.

After steady practice with all of the techniques described in this article, you will begin to master your terrain. Your body will feel different as you move. During your runs, you will have a complete sense of control, and your game will go through the roof.

As a final point, check out the video below. Mike Tyson is well known to be one of the most accurate heavyweight boxers in the world. Boxers spend many hours slipping and ducking punches. Watch the masterful sense of positional awareness and accuracy.  




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