Archive for the ‘Parkour’ category

Parkour is more than a pastime

August 19, 2008

Well I have submitted all three chapters of my dissertation to my supervisor and I am left with a gap in my life. I am currently filling that gap with exercise and Parkour. I have changed my exercise regime to cater to my weaknesses in Parkour so I am just dedicated to Parkour. After watching some interviews with Parkour practitioners or “traceurs”, I realize that I view my environment very differently. One “traceur” stated that you develop the eyes of child; the urban landscape suddenly becomes your playground and you’ll see new fun activities everywhere. Kids haven’t learned social norms and often just play when and where ever and you have to follow their lead, even when people give you funny looks or take pictures of you without asking.

Here are a few clips, which illustrate its true awesomeness. Note that these videos features pros, I am not that good, I do not claim to be a “traceur” (yet).

Here is a good documentary/intro into Parkour, from the Vancouver Film School (VFS), hurray for Parkour in Canada!

Parkour is not a male dominated sport, here are some of the ladies of Parkour Generation taking to the streets of London. One of the best constructed videos with just the right amount of humor.

Parkour seems in is element in chase scenes, there is some great games of tag on youtube.

Good collab- the shirtless guy is David Belle a co-founder of Parkour, part of the Yamakasi school, he is also featured in the movie District 13

Ok, here is one of the best chase scenes, ever, from District 13, this is hardcore Parkour, most Parkour is not that high risk

There is a lot more on youtube
“Parkour generation” has a lot of good videos which show the hours of practice that go into video/photo shoot jumps (such as “behind the jump”). You develop a sense of familiarity with your training grounds and it feels very weird to suddenly see it on youtube. “Rottenrow” is my turf, and there are a few videos which feature the spot.

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Oh boy/Europe ahoy!

April 17, 2008

Yesterday was a beautiful day. I biked to Loch Lomond (at least 19 miles one-way) and then I went to Parkour class. Most have heard of the sunny, sunny banks of Loch Lomond but I am willing to bet that Parkour is not so well known. Parkour is a essentially a French version of “free running” that is all about “the art of displacement”. Have you seen the newest and best, in my opinion, James Bond/007 movie, “Casino Royale”? When James Bond is chasing the scarred bomb maker through the construction site, the baddy is using Parkour. In the newest Die Hard, one of the baddies is well versed in Parkour too. Note: not only evil people learn Parkour. A person learns Parkour so they can efficiently escape danger. Free running is all about expressing yourself acrobatically/artistically; Parkour is all about the most energy efficient and quickest method to move to safety. To see a good guy using Parkour rent the movie “District B13”, awesome combat scenes. You can also check out some videos about Parkour, and Parkour training, on YouTube.

I learned about Parkour through http://www.fitmusic.com, they have a good workout podcast and I went to the website to see if they were reviewing products etc. They were, and I eventually found some exercises for “Parkour” and was intrigued. I looked it up and I learned about the development of Parkour; I first learned about Georges Hébert. Hébert was a member of the French army and went to Africa where he developed a fitness regime based on the indigenous tribes he met. While in was in Saint-Piere, Martinique a volcano erupted and he coordinated the escape and rescue of 700 people. This changed his life, as it would for most, and his personal motto became “be strong to be useful”. The lifeguard portion of me loves that. Oh and Hébert later developed the rope course, fascinating person no doubt. The Belle family founded Parkour, in the form it exists today; the official founder is David Belle, but he received a lot of guidance from his father Raymond who was in turn influence by Hébert. For more information on the subject look up “Parkour” on Wikipedia.

Today I travel to continental Europe. I am flying into, and out of, Amsterdam. Apart from that, this journey will be very “gonzo”. I mean “gonzo” like the journalism style of Hunter S. Thompson, not the tire eating Muppet. So far, the plan is the stay with some friends in Amsterdam until Sunday (or Monday) then a clockwise tour of Europe. I am thinking it will be Berlin, Bern, Brussels and back to Amsterdam to fly out on the 26th. I like to fly by the seat of my pants, it keeps me on my toes.

As it turns out my work placement starts on April 28 and not May 5 as I was previously told. I will post the details of my placement sometime after my first day. I have maneuvered myself to do something awesome!