Practicing Parkour

by Deborah Frieze April 14, 2014


The Old Oak Dojo has attained a new level of coolness. Remember that scene in Casino Royale where Daniel Craig chases some dude who launches himself off rooftops and bounces from wall to wall? The guy he’s chasing is one of the early developers of parkour, the art of moving smoothly through any environment, negotiating obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing. The Old Oak Dojo is partnering with Parkour Generations to launch a series of  classes where students train to develop strength, speed, endurance, precision, spatial awareness, dynamism, and creativity.

We’ve built scaffolding in our backyard to support skills training. Add that to the slackline and climbing rope, and we’ve got a real playground!

Playing with Weightlifters

by Deborah Frieze February 26, 2014

InnerCity Weightlifting visit

Yesterday, the crew from InnerCity Weightlifting stopped by the Old Oak Dojo for 90 minutes of messing around. We practiced push-up handstands, stumbled across the slackline, knocked each other over playing push-hands and competed to see who could freehand all the way up (and down) the climbing rope without getting rope burn. It was the first of what we hope will become many visits with these strong and engaging young men.

InnerCity Weightlifting is a non-profit organization whose mission is to reduce violence and promote professional, personal and academic achievement among urban youth. They work with young people at the highest risk for violence in order to reduce youth violence by getting students off the streets and into the gym, where they are empowered with the confidence and positive support needed to say no to violence and yes to opportunity. Watch video on ESPN.

Reclaiming Myself in Community

by Deborah Frieze September 15, 2013

Early in August, Deborah Frieze and I gathered together with 20 of our friends for an experiment. We called it “Village Week,” and our idea was to bring together folks whom we dearly loved for a week of play, learning, good conversation and rest.

Tuesday-and-childBecause Village Week was born from a simple desire to be together and see what would happen, we didn’t devise a “learning agenda” or plan specific outcomes for the week. Instead, we put a lot of thought into who we wanted to join us and invited them to bring their partners and families to be part of our experiment. Read More »