Luis Parkour Insights #1 4TLOM (for the love of movement)

Saying that 4 The Love of Movement is a Hype might already be an overstatement. The JUMP Freerun Event taking place in The Hague, Netherlands, can be described as the most well established gathering in the current Parkour generation.

Why did it become such a milestone in our community?

What makes 4TLOM such a great phenomena? Why did it become such a milestone in our community? I will try to crack down the event by its core essence and relevance for each person who attends it, to a community overview.

1 – From PK Lovers to PK Lovers:

Nothing would be as important as the spirit and purpose of those who organize and work at 4TLOM. JUMP Freerun plays a huge role in the dutch Parkour scene. The organization runs two gyms, coaching hundreds of students. It created its official coaching course officialized by dutch sports federations. 4TLOM is only one of dozens of events happening throughout the year in the Netherlands. Mark and Phill – the brains behind JUMP – are old-school practitioners themselves, working together with a group of PK lovers, community members and many volunteers.
4TLOM is not a money-making event. In fact, the whole team and organizers are not making huge amounts of money with the gathering. So far, the goal of 4TLOM is purely to gather people in this must-go meet.

2 – Timing is crucial:

The first editions of 4TLOM happened at the start of the great PK Jams wave. It was contemporary with KRAP Invaders, FAM JAM, Mashody, the last editions of 3Run Family Jam and many other local events. Some of them, unfortunately, no longer happen. The JUMP Freerun Jam is still growing after 12 editions. Hopefully, many more will come.

Both versions of this jam(Summer and Winter), happen in the ideal time for all of us to come together. In the peak of Summer a great number of traceurs are already travelling around Europe to local jams and spot tours, 4TLOM fits in this agenda almost like an obligation. The holidays between Christmas and New Years are always idle times where most of us would be bored eating more than we should and training less than we wanted once it’s cold and wet outside(at least for most of Europe).

3 – Where da f*** is The Hague?

Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Eindhoven are usually the cities coming to your mind when you think about the Netherlands. But 4TLOM happens in The Hague, a city located in the western coast of the Netherlands, which has a great relevance in the governmental and justice scene internationally. Since 2014, it has also become one of the world’s capital for our community. Besides 4TLOM, The Hague has a great deal of spots(check Scheveningen, yummy area filled with walls, rails and other things we all look for)  and a promising community for the next generations. It also sprouted many great athletes such as Thyrone Paas and Kevin Alsemgeest.

The Hague is also located 40 minutes away from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and is served by a great system of infrastructure: Trains, Buses, Highways or even by boat.
The current location of 4TLOM is a sports club where within a 15 minutes walk you will be at the beach, find supermarkets and other shops but still isolated enough so you feel like you’re living in a Parkour Universe.

4 – Creating Parkour Setups is an art…

And that makes Phillip Van Ees a world class artist. The mastermind behind the 4TLOM setups is also one of the founders of the event and has as his day job Parkour and Stunts. I know him personally and the man has a basement filled with wooden blocks, tires and rails. If any muggle would have a peak on this guy’s belongings they would think he’s a treehouse builder or he’s planning to build the new arch for the next great flood. He works alongside with Mark and the other JUMP team members creating unique setups for each edition of the event. On 4TLOM Winter Edition 2018, approximately 2000 bars and hundreds of wooden boards were organized to challenge almost 400 attendees. Besides the huge scaffolding system, JUMP Freerun brings their crazy inventory of setups and blocks, transforming a normal sports gym into a Parkour paradise.

5 – “Hey sorry, can I jump here?”

This is one of 4TLOM’s greatest challenges. How can you manage to train where there’s so many people running up and landing from every direction? Well, Parkour is a very flexible sport, every angle is an opportunity, every corner is a new challenge(or 20 new ones). That makes it very difficult to coordinate so many athletes jumping at the same time in a sports field.

However, surprisingly, collisions are very rare, somehow movement works as the traffic in an asian big city. As messy as it seems, we all have eagle eyes looking all around the gym. BUT PLEASE! Don’t take it for granted. On the next editions of 4TLOM, don’t sit on the obstacles, keep watching around you, don’t train with headphones and communicate. That’s how it is still manageable, and that’s how it will always be a training Jam. So I would definitely say that the crowded spot gives a little spice to your sessions.

6 – Endless sesh…

When you go out on a casual day of training you are absorbed by the energy at the spot you are. There’s a sort of “intimacy” in your session with the group you’re training with and you get carried away with this, it’s kind of a “parkour synergy”. Now imagine you’re in a gym with 400 other PK lovers, from different countries, backgrounds, level of energy and motivation. There’s always somewhere you can start from. You can talk to a random by-walker and ask if he wants to have a sesh, you can join a group in a challenge already set, you can catch up to a station by standing next to it and prep on your time. The vibes of 4TLOM sessions are very welcoming and less discriminatory, as long as you’re not static on the run-up of other challenges, you have the same right to train as anyone else. And you’re always welcome to flow into the synergy of any group and join this endless session.

7 – Don’t wanna train? Nothing wrong about it.

Personally, I rather train with a small group of friends, on a quiet spot. That makes 4TLOM the opposite of my ideal training atmosphere, but that does not stop me from having a great time. I spend most of my time catching up with friends, having PK Talks, watching people move, hanging out with people who share the same passion, and that is very satisfying. So if you avoid 4TLOM because training is too difficult, it is still a great occasion to meet people and have a good social time.

8 – Party time…

If you’ve been to 4TLOM at least once you know that the last night is not a simple relax time. Leave your stretch and rest for the time you’re back home. Everyone gathers in the bar where the JUMP crew is playing some funky music and we all spend our last efforts on dancing and having a good party time. PK Style. Obviously. That includes the classic circle of flips, crowd surfing, groovy dance sessions and a great deal of beers.

4TLOM brings the Parkour and Freerunning community together into one venue. There, the goal is simple: Celebrate movement. If you’ve never had the chance of joining to the craziest gathering in the world. You should seriously consider doing it, if not for the training, do it for the friendship, the energy, and above all: For the love of movement.

I’ve been using this bag for a year and it’s stood up pretty well to regular use.

When I’m in the forest, I often switch to being barefoot and the straps on the bag’s exterior allow me to carry my shoes quickly without having to wedge them inside. This is a nice touch as it maximises the bag’s potential load and is handy for carrying extra clothing when temperatures are a bit unpredictable.

I’ve been using this bag for a year and it’s stood up pretty well to regular use. I’d make a few small changes: firstly, all zips eventually fail and the bag might benefit from a clamshell zip that’s a larger gauge and a bit more robust. Secondly, the shoulder straps are a bit fiddly to tighten when they’re completely loose, but this is a very minor issue. Finally, the straps for attaching gear are solid when cinched tight but seem a bit precarious when hooked only loosely. I frequently want to attach a pair of shoes very quickly and I’m a little concerned that they might fall off.

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