reason to train: freedom

Trav hits a precision

Today I want to share a few ideas and a few quotes from leaders of the human motion revolution. But before that I want to share a video that was recently posted on youtube: Drozd 2010

What is the human motion revolution? It is a concept really, movement for social betterment, in freeing your body you can free your mind. Sound far-fetched? Well, let me explain, (if you have seen the matrix this might make a little more sense) Americans (can’t speak for the rest of the world) are easily trained to act in a certain way, even if acting in this way isn’t going to positively influence their life:

“Be aware of every action that you’re doing… life is training… everything is my training… emotion is a choice as well.” Daniel Ilabaca (1)

One example is the problem of excess weight we have in the county, 1/3 of this country is overweight and 1/3 is obese. Really, look it up. By letting advertisers convince you to eat unhealthy meals you are not free to see the truth, if you gain too much weight you’ll die from the effects of excess weight. By choosing to eat in a way that suits your body you have freed yourself from certain chains. But what reason is there to change? Because it will be hard, it will have moments of failure and some pain, hmm this reminds me of parkour:

“When I think about all the physical training he went through I tell myself “Is that the price to pay to get that good? Fuck it’s really hard!” Many people pay to get trained, but I reckon if any of them would have trained with him only one day, none of them would have ever come back. That’s how hard it is. So many people try to train easy “Come do Parkour! it’s really cool!”. But if tomorrow I made you do real training, you would end up crying. That’s what you need to know: you are going to cry, you are going to bleed and you are going to sweat like never before. I can’t lie to you about that. Now if you come telling me “Hey I want to learn Parkour, but go easy on me, I don’t want to push too much”, well go do something else! It is for warriors. A training method for warriors. It is not like “I want to learn how to fight; but please don’t hit me too hard because I don’t like it”. If that’s the case, go do something else! If you want to be a real warrior you have to go through hard times.” David Belle (2)

For those of you who never exercised, who never played sports, try personalized movement… don’t be discouraged! UMass parkour is open to non-warriors! David Belle is speaking of a high level of proficiency that is definitely optimal but not required. People are simply meant to move, it has been so since our evolution:

“he find indigenous people in the jungle and ah yes, they are strong and they jump and to find food they chase and oh oh oh, and they climb and after he developed ten techniques exercises to have d’tente, the long jump, you have high jump, quadropedie (walking on all fours), notation, nager swimming, climbing, lancer (throwing), rah rah rah, (mumbling his list) you have defense like fight. On the internet you can find all this. Methode naturelle, George Herbert. He invented the method. It was a long time ago. This is the origin of our discipline, the real discipline, nobody can to discuss about this” Sebastien Foucan (This quote is from when his English was not as proficient – thanks scooter) (3)

Humans become depressed and unhealthy when we don’t move, the status of my country proves this fact. As a supporter of the “Health @ Any Size” concept, I think everyone just needs to get out and exercise regularly, simply: move. One way to move is parkour. However, once you can do parkour, your lifestyle changes to suit the way you’d like to move. You are able to free your body while using your mind creatively even in everyday situations. If you’re interested, an easy way to start parkour is to learn some of our techniques(often safety vaults, quadrupedal movement, balance, climbing, jumping, rolling, landing, cat leaps, more vaults, cranes, sprinting, jogging, wall kicks etc.):

“You learn these few skills and suddenly it’s like you start to look at the world a bit open…a little bit more open I should say…and everything else out there that can sort of push you towards your goals. And don’t dream little and take the same path that everyone else has taken, there are tons of paths out there. And so, that’s what I’m trying to promote…just to be creative, just to be outgoing, just to go for what you want to do.” Dan Iaboni (4)

You should really find that movement can bring you to whatever place you’d like to be… after you learn a few skills in each “movement category” you are more and more free to express yourself. If you like dancing, martial arts, gymnastics, etc. you should still have a solid basis in environmental navigation, if you can’t move then you are a prisoner. You are a prisoner to your own body (which isn’t strong enough to support you) and you are a prison to a society where people walk along designated paths and sit more than any human should. Just my opinion of course, take your own path, I simply want to share the freedom that comes with movement with all who will listen.

- travesty international



“Brink” European Parkour Tour

Daneil Ilabaca in Paris

For those of you who have not already found out about (and/or religiously followed) the “Brink” European Parkour Tour, here is the website: Go there. The tour was a 4000 mile journey made over three weeks and through 8 countries that sought to spotlight some of the various Parkour/Freerunning communities of Europe and educate people on the discipline. The tour guide was the marvelous Daniel Ilabaca, one of, if not the, greatest traceur/freerunner alive. If you don’t know who Daniel Ilabaca is, or how incredible his expression of movement is, just watch the video(s). Not only is his parkour beautiful and awe inspiring, but his outlook on it and life in general follows the same trend. In touring Europe and meeting the various communities he exemplified what it means to be a true traceur. Before the Tour Daniel spoke about parkour and this opportunity saying: “Parkour is about expressing your mind and thoughts through your environment and so I hope to see many different variations on the discipline. Meeting different people, experiencing their cultures and training in their cities will be a fantastic opportunity to see how Parkour can be expressed differently whilst sharing a common bond of movement.”

Danny Ilabaca PK Tour

If you want to learn or observe what parkour is really about I suggest you watch not only the videos of Daniel moving in each city, but also the “behind the scenes” videos from each area which offer valuable insight into the minds and attitudes of traceurs/freerunners from all over. All of the footage is wonderfully well put together and the tour turned out to be the most honest expression of parkour I have ever seen on this scale. Have fun watching! I know I did.


October 2010

Hello parkour community. Recently a couple car loads of UMass students went out to Boston to see the second part (the first being in Tampa) of the first set of freerunning competitions in America. Training with professionals was great and there were a lot of awesome kids who came out to the city like us to train. Red Bull has put up some nice photos here: Art of Motion: Boston.

Red Bull AOM Boston

As for the rest of the semester, we will be practicing regularly (every weekday but friday) and jamming on saturdays as long as the weather isn’t too unforgiving. Check out facebook page for details on practices and other meetups.

Also, we are finally starting to get some mats, soon enough we’re going to need our own training gym (the “kong vault” anyone?) Currently we have two vault boxes, two precision trainers, and a couple of beat up mats. If anyone has any old gymnastics equipment or any other useful object that they no longer use… please get in contact with us, we’ll even pick it up!

Also, if you haven’t done these two things already… please do. 1) Sign a Health Waiver (applies to anyone who attends) and 2) if you want to be an official member (applies to UMass students only) you need to join up on Campus Pulse. Thanks.

Finally, we’ve got a few things happening this weekend. We’re starting to release a series of training videos on UMPK’s Youtube Account and we’re hosting a Saturday Jam at 2:00pm, meet up in front of the Fine Arts Center.

Thanks for reading, train hard and train safely! Now go practice some movement!

Fall 2010 Announcements

g. d. logo

Welcome back to school UMass… its time for us to start doing parkour again (if you haven’t been training in the summer). We have a couple of announcements to make, first off that today we’re going to be showing off some of our equipment and movements at the Activities Expo, check the link out for more info. Also, we have our first practice at the Fine Arts Center on Thursday, check out the Facebook Event. The first meeting is open to anyone with interest in the club, lets do parkour.

Summer News Update

We have a few announcements to make after an officer meeting in amherst this weekend. First, we would like to introduce the officers for 2010-2011: Travis Swain(President), Marco ‘Orbit’ Casarano(Vice President), Scott Maxson(Treasurer), Marc Freccero(Public Relations Representative), and Jasper Sardonicus(Equiptment Manager). We have a few new plans for next year which we will explain during the semester. Be ready to train right at the start of the semester and if you’re looking for more information we’ll be at the activities expo. We’ll post more information on the first meetings among other things soon, so stay tuned.

February Update

Trav and Marc on set for Knights of Bostonia

As many of you know, we have started to increase the amount of training days for parkour. We now practice four days a week with a weekend jam happening almost every week. Currently we train on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:00-6:00pm also we have kept the Tuesday and Thursday practices from 7:00-8:30pm.

If you would like to attend the weekend jams, they are posted on our facebook and all members will be invited. If you would like to be one of those invited members please like our facebook page. Also, we will no longer be using the google groups.

Finally, two of our members were recently featured in a State Radio music video doing some parkour and freerunning. Travis Swain and Marc Freccero show off their moves in the last thirty seconds of the Knights of Bostonia Music Video. So check it out and train hard!

UMass Parkour Second Semester Update

Hello traceurs and free runners of UMPK,

I just wanted up to update you on what’s going on with the RSO:

A. We are having practices every Tuesday and Thursday from 7:00-8:30pm meeting in front of the Fine Arts Center. We like to stay outside even in the winter so be prepared.
B. Our first jam is tomorrow, here are the details: UMPK Jam on Facebook
C. If you have any ideas for this club please talk to Scott or Travis and we’ll see what we can do.

Train hard and safe.

Fall ’09 Officers

The new officers for the UMass Parkour club next year will be:

President – Travis Swain
Vice President – Mike Ostroski
Treasurer – Scott Maxson
Equipment Manager – Marco Casarano

Fall ’09 practices will be held every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:00pm to 8:30pm in front of the Fine Arts Center.

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace 2008

Every April, there’s a nationwide Parkour initiative to come together and clean up our training environments as a way of giving back to the community. This year, we will be participating again on Wednesday, 4/22 in celebration of Earth Day.

The woods on the northeastern perimeter of campus are a great place to run through for natural Parkour training, but are unfortunately filled with litter — plastic bags, food containers, beer cans, and all
manner of trash. We’re going to meet at 4:00 p.m. next Wednesday to sweep through and pick up as much as we can, and then have a bonus jam for anybody who wants to get in extra training and try out some natural Parkour.

We’re postponing this event due to heavy rain. See below for the new date!

WHAT: Leave No Trace
WHEN: Wed., 4/29 at 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Meet at Haigis Mall

Spring ’08 Schedule

The training times for UMass Parkour this semester are:

Tuesdays and Thursdays

During the winter months and until further notice, we’re meeting in the basement of the Student Union, outside the Hatch.

UPDATE: As of March 24th, we are now back to meeting outside, at Haigis Mall near the Fine Arts Center. Meeting times are the same.