Teacher educator and author of many teacher reference books. Amused by random ideas and loves random acts of kindness. Enjoys writing humour...seriously!
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Published October 20th 2013
You've seen it in James Bond and in other action movies… move out of the way because this type of pastime is now becoming popular amongst the general population.
I mean no offence when I say Parkour athletes look like a cross between break-dancers and agile monkeys! They propel, gain speed, conquer height and other built and natural challenges that us mere mortals would treat with annoyance and reluctantly walk around. Their speed and agility is truly amazing!
Parkour includes jumping, running, swinging, sliding, balancing, bouncing, sliding, vaulting and rolling at great speed. There are no official Parkour moves but it can include running to and kicking off these walls, it could include a somersault or back flip, jumping off or landing on small ledges.
It seems impossible
It's a free sport that can be practised just about anywhere. Anything in the urban environment, such as walls, rocks, branches and ledges are used as a natural obstacle course. This is a free form, non-competitive activity, with no uniform or costs and ideal for free spirited individuals.
I imagine skaters, gymnasts, pole-vaulters, high jumpers and trick riders would find Parkour an intriguing variation on their interest.
So simple a child can do it!
Apparently Parkour has been around since the late 1990s but I have just started noticing signs advertising classes that teach how to use Parkour techniques in a safe way. There is an Australian Association of Parkour which is set up to assist all states and territories. They boast classes everyday in Melbourne. For Melburnians, find classes, programs for school and organisations, workshops, personal training and tuition here.
For classes in NSW, Sydney and Newcastle, details are found here.
For Queenslanders, and those living in South Australia, Western Australia, the ACT and Tasmania the Australian Association seems the best first contact.
It seems counter intuitive that this sport developed from military obstacle course training. Any attempt to regulate or standard Parkour or the creation of dedicated spaces would no doubt be a counter-productive due to the nature of this sport.
Night time parkour
I am envious and in awe of the grace and fluidity of movement that Parkour involves. It looks like so much fun. I wish I had the strength, dexterity, flexibility and energy to give it a go. As I lack any form of physical skills it's a most unlikely sport for me to take up. Apparently this is designed for all ages and skills levels but I am highly doubtful that I'd qualify or be capable. I don't fancy braking a leg or worse but that's not likely to deter our young folk.
Just want to make the point that parkour is about efficient movements - from A to B - as if with purpose (such as to reach someone in need, or to escape from danger).
Freerunning is about expression, creativity, and flourish. That's where flips and somersaults happen.