Sport of the Month: Parkour
What is Parkour?
Parkour is hard to categorise – it is not an extreme sport, it’s not dance or a martial art – but contains elements of all these things. The aim of Parkour, sometimes called PK, is to move from A to B as quickly and efficiently as possible by overcoming the obstacles in your environment, whether they are trees, fences, park benches or concrete walls. Somebody who practices Parkour is known as a traceur. Movements in Parkour involve jumping, vaulting, leaping, climbing and rolling – basically an imaginative way of traversing the landscape.
The inventor of Parkour, David Belle, explains: “Our aim is to take our art to the world and make people understand what it is to move.” Belle sees the urban environment as a playground where he found freedom by breaking out of the physical constraints of his surroundings.
Where have I seen it before?
You might be familiar with Parkour from the rooftop chase in the James Bond film Casino Royale. Also the TV show Top Gear recently featured a race between a Peugeot 207 and two traceurs.
How do I do it?
There isn’t a list of moves to learn in Parkour – each obstacle poses a unique challenge and it is up to the traceur to decide how to overcome it. It is as much about the mind as about the body; you have to learn to react quickly and instinctively. However, there are techniques for beginners to learn, starting with jumping, landing, rolling and using your body’s momentum.
There is no cost, no equipment is needed – just a pair of trainers and:
- Quick thinking
- Physical Dexterity
- Awareness and caution
- A sense of adventure
Where can I try Parkour in Norfolk?
Norwich Parkour www.norwich-parkour.co.uk