Sunday, June 25, 2006

Use your body!

You've probably heard of PARKOUR by now. If you haven't, this is will blow your mind!

Watch my favourite parkour video: "Russian Climbing"

Now that you've opened your mind to the possibilities of your body, I'm sure you're eagerly awaiting the upcoming release of District B13 featuring the father of parkour, the free-flowing Frenchman, David Belle. Co-founder credit goes to Sebastien Foucan who has developed his own style of parkour called Free Running. On July 2nd the super cool (come on, say it with a French accent!) film will hit theatres everywhere, except maybe Prince George, BC.

The Russian Climbing flick may not be the 'best', but it is my favourite because it's not a flashy, big budget, professional film and not over stylized. It is just some extremely athletic friends with a shaky video camera (and a lot of style!). And the film has a gritty, subaltern radicalness to it. It's a couple of guys with nothing but their clothes and well-honed strength re-imagining a derelict urban landscape, claiming it as their own playground.

parkour rethinks how we use space. Many of the films you'll find online (I'll list some below) show people 'free flowing,' as some northern American's call it, in areas that are "out of bounds" or "private, no trespassing". And while companies such as Adidas and Reebok are trying to capitalize on Parkour fervor with various merchandise such as weighted running vests which tote your mp3 cellphone and car keys, you don't actually need gear to parkour. No snowboard, climbing shoes, gloves, crash helmet, elbow pads, yoga mats, or flashing lights (well, flashing lights would look cool!!). So there, middle class!!

Many compare Parkour with Free Running, but the 'pure' Traceurs (parkour people) view the two as quite different. Read about the Parkour vs. Free Running debate here.

Okay a LIST OF KICKASS PARKOUR VIDEOS to get you started: video page
Google Videos- Parkour

Other Parkour Sites (tutorials, articles, news, photos, videos and more...): (aka - Home of Sebastian Foucan, co-founder of parkour
Urban Free Flow - UK Parkour webportal (sponsored by Adidas)
Worldwide Jam - parkour and free running online resource and print magazine
American Parkour - comprehensive site for parkour purists ('Just say no!" to free running!) - Levity, a group of UK traceurs with a coolio website

GET OUT and Parkour in your community:
Parkour in Canada's Capital (that's Ottawa silly!)
Parkour Toronto Network
Le Parkour Montreal
Parkour San Franscisco
Parkour South Africa

Parkour is full body, functional fitness-- it fits perfectly with my Crossfit regime. We do crossfit at home with basic weights, rings, bars and medicine balls. It's a revolutionary fitness system that will work for everyone! It's not based on ridiculous machinery or dead end, boring repetitions that NEVER work. Furthermore, it's an open source system available for all. Read more on the main Crossfit website and find a Crossfit affiliate near you. If you can get by all the photos of US army personnel with guns on the main website, you'll find some fantastic people using their whole bodies and getting fit fast!! The Message Board link is a great resource for all things fitnessy.

PHOTO: Motion, trailblazing in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. (May 2005)

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