Moving forward in parkour. MURALI N. KRISHNASWAMY
Recently NXg had a piece titled “Urban Ninja” on 20-year-old Yasaswy Modukuru from Hyderabad who practises Parkour. In the interview, he says there “is not much awareness about it, so I have been learning it by watching videos.”
Parkour, or PK in short, is categorised as a non-competitive international discipline, a sport and a hobby that is the “art of forward motion in spite of obstacles, or to put it simply— the art of movement.” Its aim is “never to move backward but instead to overcome obstacles fluidly, with strength, originality and speed.” Interestingly, Parkour is different from “Freerunning.” While Parkour is about moving quickly and efficiently past obstacles, Freerunning is about “creativity through the use of moves like aerial rotations and spins.”
Parkour uses the landscape before you as an obstacle course … so get a professional to do it and it is supposed to transform itself into magic. Originally developed in France, the main purpose of this non-competitive sport is to teach participants how to adapt their movements to their environment by vaulting, rolling, running, and jumping. Its practitioners are called traceurs (for men) and traceuses (for women).
Parkour came into its own in 1998, after getting a boost, when it became the subject of a short film called “Rush Hour,” on BBC One , which featured founder David Belle leaping across buildings to avoid the horrendous traffic below (http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=C6a6YSRGzcA&feature= related). Since then there has been no looking back as it fired the imagination of several people. But its followers have also criticised the way it has been trivialised in advertisements, and make it very clear that “Parkour is a highly demanding activity that requires the entire body to be in good health and well-conditioned.
Trying any of the following moves without prior training, conditioning and proper instruction can result in serious injury.” Which brings one to the last stage. Urban FreeFlow, “the official worldwide parkour and free running network — running the streets worldwide since 2003,” — http://www.urbanfreeflow.com/ — is where one can make a beginning and get doubts cleared.
It has YouTube, Facebook and Twitter links.Some of the basic movements in Parkour are “Landing,” “Balance,” “Speed vault,” “Cat leap”, “Wall Jump” and the all important “Roll.” There are many more though. And here are links to some technique videos:
“360 Wall Hop” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyHVFh8ZyVo
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