Quick Jumping Tall Fences

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Psychlonic
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Quick Jumping Tall Fences

Post by Psychlonic » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:00 am

Imagine this scenario: you're moving quickly along an area with little cover trying to reach the next point of concealment when you come across a fence as tall or slightly taller than you. Your goal is to cross that fence as quickly and silently as possible without drawing attention. What is the optimal way?

By now most of us have a method we use, I thought I'd share my own methods for the sake of discussion. In general I have two ways to overcome a fence like this when I feel going over is ideal.

Squat Jump Vault
The first method I use relies on explosive power and coordination. We'll call it a 'squat jump vault' as that's essentially what it is. The idea is to approach the fence, you need not run. In fact, when you come to the fence you want to reach a dead stop. Although there are good running methods out there and this may seem a waste of your momentum, that's not what we're going for. Instead, you first want to inspect the other side quickly to ensure you'll land safely and not on dangerous terrain of any sort. Then, you want to grab the top of the fence with your hands if possible. If you can't quite reach the top, that's ok but this will require more coordination on your part.

If your hands can reach the top, while still holding on you want to squat as much as possible. Don't just crouch down, swing down into it. Really get that motion down because that's how you want to be coming up out of it. Typically for most fences you can reach a full squat position. Now, you simultaneously want to explode upward from the squat while pulling down with your arms as hard as you can. You want all four limbs working in unison to throw yourself right over the top of the fence. When done correctly, you need not even use a foot assist at the top as you'll clear the fence completely using this method.

If you can't reach the top but it's close, the idea is to go down into squat position, explode upward, and immediately pull up from the top while you still have momentum from the upward explosion. This won't quite generate as much power, but it should be enough to bring at least one foot onto the top so you can throw yourself completely over the fence.

When you clear the fence and you're on descent toward the ground, prepare for the appropriate break fall. Generally landing back into a squat while bringing your arms down and slapping into the ground is enough and prevents unnecessary movement and noise, but a rolling break fall will also work quite well here and soften the landing even more.

Modified Gate Vault
Well, it's a gate vault but basically in slow motion. The traditional gate vault tends to generate noise which is fine in parkour but not so much in night ops. Here's a demo of a normal gate vault:

Code: Select all

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_c0-4pC57E
This can come in handy because unlike the squat jump vault, you only need to reach about waist high on the fence to clear. As you can imagine this is great if the fence is especially high, you're tired, or you just haven't yet developed the strength to perform the squat jump vault (get over to my apothecary now!).
What you'll want to do is once again approach your fence slow and check the other side for hazards if possible. When clear, grab the top of the fence or jump to grab the top of the fence and pull yourself up to waist height. Do not go for sheer speed and "slap" the other side of the fence with your downward hand. Instead, drape your body over the top with precision and THEN rest your hand against the fence silently. You may now complete the vault. The vault ends with you facing the opposite side of the fence so keep this in mind for your break fall if necessary, as you'll likely need to employ a reverse roll to properly redirect your landing force.

This technique can actually be coupled with the squatting jump vault, where instead of completely trying to clear the fence you just need to get yourself to waist height. You should be able to cross considerably tall fences using both of these together, anything more will likely require a slower climb and descent for safety reasons.

That's it! I know there are other vaults, many of which require running up to the fence and often using the feet to climb higher before the actual vault, but I prefer these two methods for the sake of silence and control. After a vault I always get low and assess what's in front of me, even if for a split second, then move to cover as needed.
Knowledge alone is not power, it is the potential for power. That potential can only be unlocked through applying that knowledge and realizing the skill.

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