This weekend I had the chance to go to the Y Combinator startup school in Silicon Valley and had the opportunity to share what we do with some of the brightest, most brilliant people on our planet. I met Googlers, as well as met individuals who are creating Minority Report technologies, Tech entrepreneurs, Creativists, Do Gooders... as well as listened to some pretty amazing talks from a wide range of start up backgrounds. Probably the most impactful talk for the event was Danae Ringelmann (founder of Indiegogo). You might remember, in our earlier days we used Indiegogo to fund our foam pit (raising $3,000) with this funding resource from members of our gym and community. Many of the speakers directly impacted my life and business in a positive way, and it was really neat to hear them speak about their early ideas, early struggles, how they overcame them, and their wise insight.
Admittedly, I wasn't really there to do a startup (although plans are certainly on the horizon in regards to the overall vision of FFA). I was mainly there for inspiration, as well as way for me to gain insight on what's happening in tech culture. I believe my own personal future, as well as the future of Free Flow Academy, very much relies on the developments of these tech gurus. These people mold/shape and influence our lives more than any other industry. The tech industry matches the influence of entertainment/media, as well as industries contributing to overall design and infrastructure. I am deeply fascinated with techists, their deep understanding of this other world that would seem alien to the every day citizen, but somehow they can harness this alien code, and transform it into something absolutely critical and useful to the masses. And the more I study and become familiar with different cultures, it all seems to be even more connected and more intertwined. Like, we're all learning the same lessons, and overcoming very similar struggles - but just in the language that we understand.
Movement culture - is it's very own culture. And movement, is also a universal language, but each language - holding it's own code/dialect - that has to be introduced and learned over time. Much like programming code, we must understand basic fundamentals. And our binary is basic mechanics. The body has a binary code. It functions, moves, and has the ability to bend in only certain directions, with a few varying degrees. But it is the patterning that makes the code, and ultimately it is the patterning of our code that unlocks a limitless design and world of creation. I had the opportunity to share with many people this weekend, about Parkour, the fundamental nature of it, and why it's important. To my delight, people were overall, sincerely excited, about what I had to share, and I noticed a deep sense of understanding of the utility of it all, without having to really explain much. Parkour is a binary. It is basic, and it is exactly what every human on the planet should learn first and foremost. The interesting thing, is that Parkour generally comes natural to small children. Children, as soon as they are able, start to climb, start to jump, and start to do Parkour. But as western civilization developed, society began to look down on Parkour. Children were scolded "Don't climb that! Get off that! Don't jump off that!" And then usually followed up with something negative, like, "You'll hurt yourself!" "You'll break you neck!" So ultimately, society posed a stigma on our binary. Instead, we skipped learning binary, and placed a huge emphasis on manipulatives. We gave children balls, and said, "Here play with this instead!" The only problem with that is that you are now training kids and people to put an emphasis on one type of coding, that limits the use as well as the understanding of the binary. It's like teaching someone to program an app, by teaching them the code (already written for them), but then never teaching them how to actually code. Basically, most of the population, especially in Westernized cultures, has NO IDEA how to use their body. Instead, they know a few different codes (taught to them by people who wrote a code, and then kept passing on that same code...)
Which is why Parkour is absolutely FUNDAMENTAL. People should learn, first and foremost, the mechanics of their body, AND what it's limitations are. BUT at the same time, understand it's vast capabilities, and limitless capacity for creation and design in their movement. Parkour is MOVEMENT, in it's most primal, natural, and fundamental state. Parkour - the movement discipline - has progressions, a system and methodology for teaching these mechanics. Just like you would learn how to count, to add, subtract, multiply, divide, and use decimals, the same goes for Parkour progressions. Parkour is a binary code for your body - which is why EVERYONE on the planet should do it.
Now you're probably thinking - "Are you saying I need to be like those folks on YouTube who jump off of buildings and such?" The answer - NO. Although, if at some point, if you have decided to take your training in a way that includes jumping off rooftops, then so be it. But understand that jumping off rooftops is only one form of expression of Parkour, and really only addresses one way of coding, that is expressed through the individuals patterning and design of their movement. YOU on the other hand, will know, grow, and understand your binary, and then will come to create your own expression of Parkour. Whether you express yourself through the design of utility and efficiency, or though creative and abstract expressions - that really is up to you and the direction you take your programming. Ultimately once you grasp the basics, and the world has turned into your playground, your individual programming options just skied the limit.