Have you ever seen the amazing aerobatics of parkour, where bodies seem to be flinging themselves through the air with no resistance? Bouncing from one building to another, down to some railing and flipping to land on the ground. This amazing sport of parkour has been around for a very long time and if you begin to read up on the history it is quite impressive. When it comes to who actually founded the sport, it is still up in the air. According to Parkourgenerations.com "the later term for the discipline ‘parkour’ is perhaps indirectly attributable to Raymond Belle, who introduced his son to the military training methods of Georges Hebert, a man who had a powerful influence on the development of physical education in France, particularly in military circles, by creating the parcours du combattant; the obstacle course. From parcours, meaning ‘course’, came the altered parkour, for which David acknowledges his friend Hubert Kounde as having coined." Either way, parkour has become a phenomenon especially with the videos on YouTube. There is also a documentary available discussing the connection with body and environment.
If you are interested in trying parkour in a safe environment, there is a brand new gym opening in Concord just an hour or so from Sacramento. The Apex Movement Norcal will be offering a wide variety of training classes, falling classes and even American Ninja Warrior training. The original Apex Movement is located in Boulder Colorado, which was also the 1st U.S. parkour gym. One of the partners, Alison Leitheiser noted "I love the vision of having a positive and safe environment to learn and connect with self and others. Having an emphasis on creating a movement community is important to us." Alison continued, "We had a soft opening Jan. 14th 2013, with the Grand Opening and full spectrum of Parkour, yoga, American Ninja Warrior, Ukemi, Dance, Conditioning, Flexibility and Obstacle course classes on March 23rd." For more info check out Apex Movement Norcal, the website includes a video of instructor Alan Connealy displaying his talents in Las Vegas while competing on American Ninja Warrior.
So if you are ready to climb the walls and jump from new heights, get the workout clothes on, grab the kids, pack a lunch and head out for a new experience with a family parkour adventure.