Greetings everyone! I'm BANE and this is my first little foray into the world of blogging, short of the 'micro' blogging aspects of Twitter. While trying to come up with a subject to write about, I thought that I would delve into personal experience and my own musings on one particular technique- I wish to talk about rolling!

As a young traceur, one of the first techniques that I started to work with was actually the roll itself. Growing up on a small farm, I was no stranger to jumping from trees, over wire fences into fields etc...and naturally began to barrel roll long before I had heard about Parkour. Fast forwarding quite a number of years then to when I had begun training Parkour, I would sit and do frame by frame advances on a VHS recording of Jump London trying to disseminate the honed roll technique that I saw exemplified by the participants- I loved how elegant it looked and as I practiced it, how it began to feel.

These days there is a lot of discussion over the merits of landing with/without a roll. I find that, personally, I see fewer and fewer practitioners rolling after landing, especially on concrete which, let's face it, is a very large part of the surfaces that we all train on. While this observation is by no means ubiquitous throughout the community, I certainly notice the difference from when I started training until present day. For me though, the roll represents more than simply a method of distributing shock throughout the body- it represents a wonderfully flowing movement which can control or build momentum, as well as bridging the gap between movements in tighter environments. I often use rolls in my training in places that they are not 'essential' because they sometimes feel like a natural extension of my forward momentum- they have become part of how I move! I often pick a small area and discern whether I can fit a roll into it or not. This practice can force you to adapt your technique on the fly as well as improve your judgement and spatial awareness while also linking vaults and movements in an alternative way.

So next time you are out and about, if you've not experimented much with rolls as linking movements, why not try it out! Vault, roll (regardless of the potentially small height) and vault again as you get to your feet. If you have more space between the obstacles you can try diving more with your roll to bridge the gap or, conversely, if the space is smaller, work on shortening and tightening your roll to deliver you to your next obstacle. Most importantly- have fun with it!!!