American Rendezvous Parkour Gathering 2
I’ve got a lot to say about American Rendezvous 2. But I’m going to keep it as a simple play-by-play for the purposes of this article.
Saturday began with everyone meeting in Columbus before heading down to Hocking Hills State Park. After getting to the park, we warmed up and then split into groups before heading into the gorge at Old Man’s Cave.
For an idea of what the area is like, check out this video Julie Angel made from last year.
When my group descends into the gorge is always one of my favorite moments of our large training events. I love watching people pull out their cameras and ask, “This is in Ohio?” The groups took turns training at different points up and down the gorge before stretching and returning to Columbus.
That night, we met up again for an hour of night training. Again, we split into groups and fanned out across the campus district of Columbus. Training at night often has a special feel to it. Everything is a little darker and looks a little bigger, but relative quiet and fewer distractions makes training at night worth it.
The groups focused on different parts of parkour, including balance, precision and conditioning. After training for an hour, the groups reconvened for a cool-down stretch led by Naomi.
The next morning around 125 event participants met up at Battelle Riverfront Park in downtown Columbus. Brian led a group warm-up that included having everyone in one giant circle singing and doing chorus line style kicks.
Although the warm-up was fun and silly, the next two hours were full of grueling training. All of the event participants split up into groups and took turns training at different parts of the park. One station had some groups doing handstand and push-up exercises before traversing a railing on a flight of stairs, then using quadrapedal movement to go up the stairs two times.
After the two hours of training in the morning and lunch, the group met up for the afternoon’s modules. On Sunday, participants could choose to attend two of a few specialized classes. They were Creativity in Movement taught by Benoit Odoyer (a coach from the ADD Academy), Strength Training and Conditioning by Chris Keighley and Injury Prevention and Management by Blane.
Participants could also spend two hours hearing presentations from Alissa Bratz about training women, Andy Day about parkour photography and Anthony Donskov about useful concepts from a strength gym that can be applied to parkour training.
Monday followed a similar schedule as Sunday, but it began with an option session from 8am to 10am for the early-birds. Brian’s warm-up on Monday was a thing of beauty. For the second half of it, he had all of the attendees singing “I love the World.” The two hours that followed focused on training movement. In the afternoon, participants got to choose to attend two classes again, this time from a different batch: Creativity in Movement taught by Benoit Odoyer, Flexibility for Longevity taught by James Gore and Breaking Jumps taught by Dan Edwardes.
Again, participants had the opportunity to spend two hours of the afternoon hearing talks. On Sunday, Tyson Cecka presented gave a presentation on Parkour Progressions and Julie Angel gave a compelling talk on the history of parkour.
We tried some new things at this seminar, and we all really hoped everyone got a lot out of it! If you were there, share some of your favorite moments from the training. After getting the play-by-play description out of the way with this post, my next post will be about my general thoughts on the value of large seminars and my personal experience from the weekend.