Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Skills of Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong's a big dude, yeah, but he's still pretty damn agile.  Forward rolls, big leaps, balancing, climbing, these are all major parts of his repertoire.  He's also got his ground pound, his climbing and swinging, his keg throw, and his ability to look cool wearing only a tie.  These we will not cover here, as much(although you're working with a keg  and climbing a lot in his workout section).

For starters, we have his forward roll.  DK's roll is different from the parkour roll we covered in Ezio's skills section.  His is more of a straight gymnastics roll that he uses for mobility and dodging, as well as a basic attack.  While I wouldn't necessarily recommend it as a frontal assault, forward rolls are still cool.  To start, you want to squat down close to the ground(like a catcher's position in baseball), put your hands on the ground in front of you, about shoulder width apart, and TUCK YOUR HEAD.  Then you want to lower your head to the ground, push off with your legs, and try to bring your hips straight over your head, keeping your legs somewhat tucked and pushing off with your hands at the last second to help yourself stand back up.  Alternatively to pushing yourself back up, you can also grab your ankle and tuck harder, continuing your roll.  Practice this on a field or on a gymnastics floor if you can.  Here's a good video for reference.

Next we're gonna move on to some parkour with our first vault, the monkey vault.  Before you try this, make sure you're solid on your rolls that we covered in Ezio's skills section.  For the monkey vault, you want an object about waist height(maybe a little shorter if you're uncomfortable), that you can get a good grip on, like a low chain link fence, a railing, or a bench.  You stand in front of the object to be vaulted, grab on with both hands about shoulder width apart, and then jump, PULLING hard with your arms and swinging your legs in between them.  To start with the progressions, try just to pull your feet onto the bar/fence you're trying to vault, and then hop to the other side.  Once you're comfortable with this, try swinging your legs all the way through without planting your feet on the fence/bar.  Take it slow, and stay safe. This is an excellent tutorial video if you need visuals.

Last thing we're going to touch on is balancing.  DK walks along cliffs, balances on rolling kegs, tight ropes, and all kinds of fun things.  To start with your balancing skills, try walking along a roadside curb.  Easy?  Cool, now do it with your eyes closed.  Got that?  Now try backwards, with your eyes closed.  Good on that one?  Cool.  Now move on to narrower object.  Try a low chain link fence, or the back of  a park bench(hint: these are good for practicing your monkey vaults on, too).  Walk along thick sticks without touching the ground around them.  Walk on top of the monkey bars at a playground.  Balance on everything you can.

If you have the option, I do recommend looking into local "high ropes" adventure courses.  These are typically team-building retreat courses for either kids or corporate get-togethers, though sometimes you'll find some that have just open sessions.  These usually involve all sorts of climbing, swinging, balancing, and other fun stuff.  Also, look into local gymnasiums, see if they have classes in your age group, or maybe an open night with a small "drop-in" fee.  There's always tons of people here looking to help you learn new skills.  Always be on the lookout to improve yourself however you can, and take advantage of any resources you have.  At the very least, go climb a tree!

That's it for the skills of Mr. Kong.  Tomorrow we'll look at the philosophy and ethics of Donkey Kong, and the value of living a simple life.  Hope to see you then!   And hey, don't forget to like our page on facebook!  Or follow me on twitter!

Dan "DaRatmastah" Wallace

Donkey Kong and all  property therein are © Copyright Nintendo Entertainment.

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