Parkour is one of the most exciting, exhilarating ways to get fit. What’s even better is that it can be performed anywhere, in the house, on the street, beach or specialized training centres.
So what is Parkour?
Simply put it is the art of moving from A to B in the most direct line. Parkour is both a way of life as it is exercise. It is embodied by the idea of freedom of movement. A Parkour course can be literally anything, anywhere, with athletes, known as Traceurs) running up walls, jumping from house to house, hurdling benches and anything in between. Parkour represents a style of movement going back to what our ancestors used to survive everyday trials.
Parkour began in France with a military officer called George Hebert, who taught it as a way of training the French military to be able to deal with any situation in front of them. It was then adapted by David Belle and Sebastian Foucan to become something that anybody can enjoy. Their group, the Yamakazi attracted the attention of famous filmmaker Luc Besson and many of its members have appeared in films and TV all over the world. Flips, tricks and elements of other sports were then blended in to make it what we see today. It features elements of Capoeira, gymnastics, break-dancing and martial arts.
There are especially dedicated areas for Parkour training. You enter an enormous warehouse and look around amazed at the setup. Padded floors with young athletes performing tricks and rolls, trampolines for all sorts of summersaults, climbing walls for grip and strength training, and lastly obstacles of all shapes and sizes which athletes can run, jump and vault over to perfect their technical
There are now international competitions and the World Parkour Championship 2018 series has recently come to a close in Mardin, Turkey and has been aired in full on international Television, CNBC Asia and Youtube. This represents a chance to see the top athletes in one of the world’s most exciting and fastest growing sports.
The World Freerunning and Parkour Federation (WFPF) run these competitions all over the world to help promote fun, fitness and the spirit of Parkour. Connecting people on the streets from all over the world. Red Bull also run their own events alongside these competitions and there has been a variety of TV shows about Parkour around the world. Together all of these have helped to change the lives of thousands.
To ensure the safety of its participants there are especially dedicated areas for Parkour training. You enter an enormous warehouse and look around amazed at the setup. Padded floors with young athletes performing tricks and rolls, trampolines for all sorts of summersaults, climbing walls for grip and strength training, and lastly obstacles of all shapes and sizes which athletes can run, jump and vault over to perfect their technical skills. This provides a safe environment for anybody to learn in comfort. Parkour is suitable for any and everybody, from toddlers to Octogenarians and beyond. Fit or unfit it is a great way to improve your health and focus your life.
Parkour is now on the rise in China and other parts of Asia. So why not give it a try? Learn to do moves such as the Kong Vault, Tic-Tac, wall run or maybe even something a little more acrobatic such as front flips and aerials.
You can try Parkour lessons in Beijing with trained, native English-speaking instructors through Imagine. Check out the website for information on lessons, camps, and upcoming competitions.