Today's post is quite simple. I'm working on a larger post and also on compiling some video tutorials, though the latter isn't working out as well as I had planned due to device capabilities and malfunctions. For the time being, I will go back to the site's roots and work on answering some questions I have received. Today's post is on the kong or monkey vault.

"I started doin parkour/freerunnin but dont know where to start some vaults like the monkey vault i dont dare do cuz i keep thinkin i will hit my legs on the obstacle and go face first"
I had the same problem when I started on them, as did many people I suspect. It is harder to explain this without a video, but I'll try anyhow. (eventually I'll have a video tutorial for some of the moves up on the site; hopefully within the next month).

The way to learn any parkour move is to work at learning the technique in chunks and progress through the move. Learn the little bits and get comfortable with them before you tackle the whole enchilada. For your monkey vault as an example:

START with a wall or rail that is a few inches shorter than your nipple line ( or lower if you feel uncomfortable with that height) and place your hands on the object about shoulder width apart. This is how each step of the progression will start.

ONE: Start with your hands as mentioned, and keeping them there just jump up and tuck your knees into your chest at the top of the jump. Try and get some good height as this will help with your comfort level. To recap: your hands should remain in the spot, and you should just be jumping up and down, tucking your knees into your chest to get the most clearance possible. When you are comfortable with this and feel that your height is adequate, move on.

TWO: This an intermittary step that can be skipped, though if you want to boost your confidence you can try it: Do the same thing as number one, but lean forward and tap your feet off the top of the wall or railing, to get a feel of your height. If you feel that maybe you aren't getting enough height, re-evaluate your jump style and work on improving number one; then come back and try again.

THREE:Now you are going to do the same thing as in number one, only this time you will land on the object (which is why I would prefer a wall less you've worked on some precisioning). So jump up and try to tuck in those knees, look at where your feet are going and put them there, between your hands. AT this point you will find that it is comfortable to let go with your hands when your feet hit, this is fine. Do this step over and over, not until you feel just comfortable, but until you are confident.

FOUR: This is another intermediate step. If you are practicing on a wall or other thick object, you may wish to work on getting closer to the other side. To do theis you lean into the jump more and swing your legs through a bit; your hands will likely come off a little earlier. If it is considerably thick, you may wish to consider putting your hands further in, but this will mean you have to jump at a lesser angle and you may wish to try step one again with this new angle to get comfortable.

FIVE: Heres the final one. When you jump up pull a little bit with your arms to get yourself closer to/over the object. Instead of the middle or closest part, this time aim for the absolute edge of your target and at the last second give an extra bit of swing (but keep your legs tucked long, elsewise extending them too early you may catch) and push off with your hands. There, you've made it over and done a monkey/kong. If you didn't, well it takes practice so go ahead and backtrack a bit to find where you went wrong. Later you can work on cleaning up your landing, getting more distance, getting over higher obstacles with monkeys, diving into a kong for lengthy or thick objects etc.

After all this, remember to focus on the move; if you think you're going to fall you might do just that because you concentrated on falling, not succeeding.

2 comments and questions

  1. Anonymous // 14/4/12 14:40  

    thanks to the editor of this page

  2. Sam Teeter // 4/8/13 23:07  

    An excellent way to develop the long diving motion of a kong vault is to place a marker (like a stick or something) on the ground in front of your obstacle and take off from there. Then you just slowly move the marker further and further back from the obstacle and build your confidence for that big leap. (Be sure and get a good running start).