Novice and Expert Learners

There are two important takeaways from this idea. The first is that this is a sliding scale not a pair of absolutes. Almost everyone sits somewhere between. Secondly, by virtue of their position, teachers coaches and educators will always be experts. They have deep domain specific knowledge about an issue and understand it in a very different manner from the novice learners they are invariably teaching.

~ John “Hedge” Hall

I am not a parkour coach. But John most definitely is. He gave a wonderfully lucid and thought-provoking discussion at the last Art of Retreat which has left a permanent idea/mark/lesson in my mind about the “journey” each of us goes through in our learning process. (Just because I feel I learned the lesson, doesn’t mean I’m necessarily any good at passing it along.)

Anyway, John has a lot of really good thoughts on inclusivity in practice!

A lifetime of successful training

(Part 67 of 67 in ~ My Journey)

I had to change my expectations of how much I trained because I was in that mindset, the more training, the better. You can’t do more intense training, so now I probably train, if you look at it, still, I train maybe four or five hours per day, but three of those hours or four of those hours are watching video, or reading books, and researching because I can do that without damaging my body or going too far. For me, it’s not saying, “Well, I guess I’ll never be this good. Well, I’m just not going to have the expectation that I can get on the mat and grind it out with the 20-year-olds for five hours a day.” That’s not going to happen.

~ Burton Richardson

If you don’t know who Burton Richardson is… uh, think: Direct student of Bruce Lee, and 30 years of training with many of the greatest martial artists in history. Also, zero ego.

This interview with the legendary Burton Richardson is life-changing. My pull-quote does not do this interview justice. This 45-minute interview contains an insane amount of insight into training and practice for the long-haul.

…yeah, how many hours a day do I train?

You Need People

When you’re stuck in a black hole where it’s impossible for you to reach escape velocity, your only hope for escape is to find an even stronger gravitational field to pull you out. People act a lot like gravitational fields, and when you put enough of them together, all tugging at you in a consistent direction, you’re going to move.

This is a vastly better version of the old adage, “you are the average of your five closest friends.” I very intentionally use the people I find and train with in the Art du Dèplacement universe in this way. (Semantic detour: I may have you plotted in the ADD space even if you would say you are in some other.) If I’ve trained with you, you now know why I am sincerely appreciative of _your_ contribution to my journey.

Day 97/100 – ring a’ ding ding

(Part 100 of 104 in ~ 100 Days of Training)

Variation of the 15 minute drill, on rings. Do about 15 seconds of effort every minute, for 15 minutes. Variations: Strict pushups with both hands in the rings; knee pushups both hands in rings; strict pushups with ONE hand on floor; static plank (high and low versions) with both hands in the rings; “clocking” where you move your hands symetically as far from the neutral position; good old pushups to failure on the ground to finish.