Parkour takes over the UK

Posted on April 21, 2012

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Parkour in action, around Sheffield City.

Written by Joanne Mascall

Simon Jones, 17, from Ecclesall Road, is a member of the Sheffield Parkour Group, who meet up every Saturday at 12, at Hallam Square. He talks to Alternative lives about how he became interested in Parkour and why he believes it has become so popular worldwide.

“Parkour has become my biggest passion in life. Watching how good my best friends are has definitely encouraged me to learn more and become as good as them. I only learned Parkour a year ago, I was watching videos and stuff on the internet about David Belle  [well known within the Parkour industry] and thought it was incredible.

“That’s when I found out about Sheffield Parkour group, me and my friends went to a session and practiced running up walls until I felt more comfortable doing some jumps. I was really unhealthy and never enjoyed sport, now I am training almost everyday.”

“Parkour I believe has become so popular for many reasons, for starters its free, its cool and some of the moves I can do definitely impresses people. By joining Parkour groups you make friends and can all train together. ”

Parkour and free jumping are described as many things, an outdoor sport, art, a philosophy and for some even a way of life. Parkour was developed in France and the practice has quickly gathered a cult following, becoming increasingly popular in the UK, with groups forming throughout the country.

Urban Free Flow (UF) is one of the leading parkour networks with around 14,000 member’s worldwide, setting up workshops to give beginners the chance to learn the basics of parkour in a safe environment. UF is London based and encourages people to join from all ages and backgrounds.

A basic overview of Parkour

Parkour is practised by many, for lots of different reasons, including physical benefits, a mental challenge and for fun. Everyone has their own interpretation and definition of it, but at the core, the essence of parkour is the art of moving through your environment and overcoming obstacles using your body.

The fundamentals include, running, jumping, climbing and leaping, with the prospect of learning more advanced moves like the quadrupedal movement and the dash vault.

Anyone can get involved in parkour, as it’s free and requires no special training equipment, as long as you have a little imagination, a pair of trainers and plenty of energy.

Visit http://www.parkouruk.org/ to find out more on UK Parkour.

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