Craig: And of course, the final question. Three words to describe your practice.
Dan: I’m going to use the three words that I think also describes the learning structure of the human mind, which we teach when we’re doing ADAPT in terms of coaching theory and stuff. Which is effectively, explore, challenge, adapt. And I think that’s also a pretty good definition of how parkour came around. But that really is the learning structure of the human mind in that you basically explore, you go out and you find things. You experiment with things. Those things challenge you because you can’t do them, because they’re new. And then you have to create an adaptation to deal with that challenge and to solve it, to solve the problem.
Dan: They’re all part of the same path. For me, it’s just one path and that’s the through line. And then I’ll experiment with other things here and there. Like, I went through a phase of studying archery quite a lot and getting into things like that. But I don’t train archery every week. But having trained it enough to understand the principles of it, that I find very useful, because I know, okay, now I can shoot a bow if I need to. And it’s great fun, and if the opportunity comes up to keep training it again, maybe in the future I will.
Craig: Yeah. You could pick it up and really, really shine it.
Dan: Yeah. I mean, it’s all part of one training pathway, which is this search for competence. Physical and mental and emotional, I suppose, competence.
Craig: If I say who’s the first person that comes to mind when you think of the word competent, who comes to mind?
Dan: First person. That’s tricky. It would probably be a character from a story.
Craig: That’s great. What character?
Dan: It would probably be Batman, someone like that. Because these-
Dan: Yeah. And then I think to me, that skill is the skill that I think is really important to develop. And for me, it’s about each day. Now, the meta for me is how am I going to manage my time? Because you’ve only got a certain amount of time in life, and what do I think is important enough to prioritize on a given day, in a granular sense, and in a given week and a year? So, almost like programming. What’s your microcycle, what’s your macrocycle, mesocycle? And how are you deciding what’s important enough to give your time to? Because if you don’t decide, your phone and social media will decide for you. And then you’re at the whim of fate. I mean, then you’re not choosing anything.
Dan: I think that skill is really important to develop, and that’s the one that I work on the most. It’s not a question of what am I going to train now, so much, because my training is always, in some ways, organic and continuous. Now it’s a question of how much time I’m going to devote to training and how much time I’m going to put to other things and project development and et cetera, et cetera. And not project developing, time off, that sort of stuff.
Dan: I think that’s a really tough skill to develop, and I think more and more that skill needs to be taught at a younger age. Because people, they’re not taught that sort of stuff and they grow up with the phone strapped to their hand. And I think I heard recently that the average adult touches their phone 3,000 times a day.
Dan: Your health is going to give out, so the question is what are you going to do with that health? What are you going to do with that fitness? What are you going to do with that training? And that’s why parkour has some good … Those elements of strong to be useful and stuff like that. If you actually think about those things, it makes a lot of sense because the reason you’re training is so that you can do things. Not just so that you can be good at parkour or good at movement.
Craig: Yeah. And the ante, the, “I want to also not be a burden insomuch as possible.” To also not be a burden in addition to also being able to be helpful. But those are two sides to that. It’s not just, “Can I help someone?” but, “Can I carry the things that I would like to carry? Or do I have to call my friends and get help?” to make a really simple example, that I want to also enable myself.
Dan: Yeah. That kind of self-reliance and the autonomy and yeah, the self-efficacy that comes through that kind of training. But yeah, I think it’s a really interesting thing that you’ve got to get those values and those principles into whatever practice you’re doing. And not lose sight of them for the sake of just having this idea of being a better mover or a fitter athlete or whatever. Because really, what do those things mean, really?
Dan: If you tell someone a message through a story, it is going to be more likely that they will remember it. It will be stronger, it will have an affective impact on them, an emotional impact on them, and therefore they will remember it, they will embed it, they will replicate it. But this is not to say, when you say bringing storytelling into training, it doesn’t mean you have to create a story about dragons. It is already a story. The fact that they’ve come to the class and you are the person teaching the class, that is already a story. You don’t need to talk about any story to make it a good story. The story’s already there.
Dan: The question is, if you’re the coach, if you’re creating that experience … And I suppose in ADAPT, for example, in the Level 3 Coach Certification, we talk about the profound experience and how really excellent coaches go into creating profound experiences for people. They’re not so much necessarily focusing on making people better jumpers or runners or fitter. They’re now thinking, “How can I create a profound experience for individuals which will have an impact on their life?” The more experienced teachers in any world, I think, are just very good at understanding that there is already a story in operation here just because these 10 people turned up to my class. They’re already looking at me thinking, “I am a certain person in their story. I’m the guide or the mentor or the enemy or whatever, but I’m a person in their story depending on their narrative. And they’re people in my story, because I’m the coach or whatever and therefore I see them as this.”
Craig: Welcome to the Movers Mindset podcast, where I interview movement enthusiasts to find out who they are, what they do and why they do it. In this episode, Dan Edwards explains the value of playing games and unpacks what motivates him. He discusses the struggle of choosing where to spend your time and energy and the difficulty of distractions. Dan shares his insights on parkour’s relationship to efficacy, and the power and importance of storytelling.
Craig: But first, do you know that our website also has answers to training-related questions from athletes? Is there a specific athlete you’d like to hear from? Reach out to us on social networks or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Hello, I’m Craig Constantine.
Dan: Hi, I’m Dan Edwards.
Craig: Dan Edwards is a parkour teacher, leader and the co-founder and CEO of Parkour Generations and creator of the international ADAPT qualifications. He has helped to teach and spread the benefits of parkour to thousands of people across the education, fitness and sporting communities. Dan speaks regularly at major events across multiple continents and has a deep interest in human potential and the search for self-knowledge. Welcome, Dan.
In this conversation I chat with Dan Edwardes, founder of Parkour Generations, about parkour as a training discipline which is perfectly suited to developing the skills, attributes and mental resilience needed to be of service in the world. The interview includes a 25 minute excerpt from a wider conversation with members of the London parkour community, who had just survived a 9 hour ‘night mission’ shaped around Campbell’s Hero’s Journey.
Marvel’s ‘Ironfist’ was released on Netflix a few weeks ago to much fanfare and superhero fans around the world rubbed their hands in glee. Unfortunately the show has suffered a bumpy reception by critics and fans alike; is the criticism harsh or have Marvel made their first mis-step in preparing for ‘The Defenders’ show? In this episode Andy and co-host Dan explore all things ‘Danny Rand’ and offer their thoughts on the series, and the hero on which the show is based.
An irreverent review of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2’; Andy Fisher, Dan Edwardes and Jo Edwardes come together to wax lyrical about this easter egg laden fireworks display of a movie. Beware – do not under any circumstances listen to this show until you have seen the movie…you have been warned!
063. Dan Edwardes: Motivation, efficacy, and storytelling
00:00 / 55:34
Dan Edwardes explains the value of playing games, and unpacks what motivates him. He discusses the struggle of choosing where to spend your time and energy, and the difficulty of distractions. Dan shares his insights on parkour’s relationship to self efficacy, and the power and importance of storytelling.