Sunday, 20 July 2014

Start of Summer Holidays and a Year in Review

Hello guys and gals - with Trinity term just about over, I imagine a lot of you guys will be heading back to your respective homes. It's been a fantastic year, and I guess, if we don't see you over the holidays, then we hope to see you at the start of the next academic year in October!

Do keep an eye on the group if you can, as I will keep posting the usual helpful links and we will be sticking up votes for next year's committee (I realise I completely forgot to do the whole election thing this term).

Looking back at the year, a lot has happened! Here's a round-up of the biggies:

Working on online Content

Cherwell Tries - Parkour

We have been involved in the filming of a short documentary with Cherwell Lifestyle, which was fantastic fun! Here's the finished piece:

Huge thanks to both Tess Colley for giving parkour a go and to Lily Taylor for filming it! Was a pleasure meeting you both!

Parkour Map

Throughout the year we have been working hard on finding new places to train, and as a result, we have compiled a map of training locations. If you wish to collaborate, please get in touch!

Click here to see the map!

New Styles and Approaches to Training

Unstructured Sessions

Rather than continuing with the traditional 'coach and student' model of training, we have been experimenting more and more with the unstructured approach to training.

Typically this includes the usual group warm up and joint mobilizations, followed by seeing what people fancy focusing on that day. This dictates the locations we will train at and the time we take to spend there. But the movements that everyone spends their time training are completely up to the individual.
This is how parkour began in this country and the beauty from this approach is that the practitioners who know what they need are able to train exactly that, whilst those not so sure are able to draw inspiration from those around them.
What you end up with is a melting pot of styles, techniques and experience levels. This is underpinned by the beauty of a parkour community - at any point, no matter who you are, you can approach a fellow practitioner and ask them for advice, or they may in turn offer some insight for you, if they have experienced a similar puzzle in the past or spot a fault which you may not have done.


Dale Wood ascending the
Botley Rd Bridge
Due to more and more climbers joining our group, we have started finding more and more buildering puzzles in the Oxford Area.
If you are not sure what buildering is, then it's a if you have ever attempted bouldering (a rope-free form of climbing, typically trained at lower heights with shorter, more technical routes or puzzles), then it's basically the same thing, but on man-made structures. A great introduction to the sport is the Foundations of Buildering series by Julie Angel (episode 1 can be found here)

While climbing should be a very important part of any parkour practitioner's movement dictionary, it compliments the more traditionally dynamic form of parkour training very nicely.

New Indoor Training Locations

Abingdon Gymnastics Club

Keymore performing a
standing Back Tuck
We have also been lucky enough to have access to an indoor gymnasium available for us to train in. This environment is very different to what we are used to - the hard surfaces replaced with sprung floors and foam blocks. This is a fantastic location to begin your journey into tricking or acro, or to try any of those movements you have not been able to find a place for outside. To date, the sessions have been on Tuesdays, 8-9pm, however these are being replaced with Monday evening sessions, again at 8-9pm from the 28th July.

Sundays at Pumphouse Parkour

Alex and Sam training
at the Pumphouse
As if one indoor training facility was not enough, the Pumphouse in Faringdon have not got anything much Facebook page to make it happen! happening on Sundays lately, and thus has offered us the use of their space for our training! Not only do they have a large hall and stage area to train on, they also possess two sets of Freemove Portable parkour equipment, which is a great mix of vault boxes, platforms and scaffolding. These will be happening on an ad hoc basis, so please show your interest in this on our
In Addition to this, Dale Wood and Rob Chamberlain still run classes on Saturdays in the same location. If you do grab the chance to check them out and get in touch over at

The Holidays and Looking to Next Year

Over the holidays, we certainly will still be training in Oxford (and surrounding towns, such as Didcot, Tackely, Reading and anywhere else anyone wants to visit) among with anyone else, willing and able! I mean, with weather like this, it'd be criminal not to!

Looking forwards, we shall of course open up for a new committee in time for next year. The next big event will of course be Oxford Freshers' Fair, running from 8th-10th October. Any help with manning the stall anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.

If you have any thoughts on how the year went and how to make it better, do not hesitate to let us know on our facebook group, or email us on!

Dale Wood performing a standing precision at the Castle Mill Stream Lock

Many thanks to  Mu'adip Shakir (Keymore) and the Pump House for providing the pictures.