Parkour – First Experiences
Fun With Parkour
I’ve always been interested in Parkour, but never knew much about it. As a life-long martial artist, there seemed to be a synergy between Parkour and martial arts, but no one around me had ever experienced it, let alone taught it. Like many, the recent television show American Ninja Warrior gave me the motivation to seek out Parkour, and I’m glad that I did.
For those that don’t know, Parkour is a physical discipline that originated in France. Parkour principles and movements are about efficiency, as reflected in the many jumps, vaults and climbs that comprise the sport. You can read more about Parkour here.
After speaking with a number of people about my desire to learn Parkour, one of them pointed me to Regal Gym in Essex, Vermont. The website made no mention, but I emailed them and heard back quickly that, yes, they offered Parkour!
Classes vary and last an hour and a half. We work on combinations of vaults, rolls, flips, jumps, ropes, bars, stretching and strength conditioning. I enjoy all of it, but my favorite part is when we get to connect movements together. I very much want to find an outdoor playground to go test my new skills.
I have been to a few classes now, and must confess, I’m hooked. It challenges me in a way that few things have, but my background has allowed me to progress fairly quickly. I absolutely love the vaults – jumps over objects – and keep pushing to jump taller obstacles. I’m able to vault over most things that are chest high now, though I’m far more comfortable with something a bit lower. Time will improve this.
I’m sure that American Ninja Warrior has created a large crop of folks interested in learning Parkour. I hope to get certified to teach at some point, as I feel the ability to move is something that most people would find beneficial. The gymnastics club I train at has already shown interest in holding Parkour classes. Now I just need to get better!