Parkour practitioners or traceurs efficiently overcome obstacles in their path, using only their bodies and the obstacles to propel themselves.
MORE than 400 parkour lovers gathered during the recent Parkour Year-End Jam 2013 in Putrajaya and Shah Alam.
The two-day event started in the Sunken Garden, Precinct 2 in Putrajaya and the group gathered at the Shah Alam Lake Gardens on the second day.
The annual gathering, held since 2007, has been attracting hundreds of the obstacle course practitioners to join in the fun every year.
The gathering was organised by close friends and Parkour Malaysia founder Muhammad Sabree Mohd Sapian and Siddiq Rafee Ramli.
“Parkour is still an underground sport but it is slowly gaining attention through this annual jam,” he said, adding that the event was the biggest event of its kind in the parkour world in Malaysia.
“Parkour lovers would come from all states in Malaysia,” said Sabree.
Developed in France by David Belle, parkour is a training discipline using movements developed from obstacle course training.
Parkour can include running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, rolling, quadrupedal movement, and the like, depending on what movement is deemed most suitable for the given situation.
Parkour practitioners are called traceur, where they efficiently overcome obstacles in their path, using only their bodies and the obstacles to propel themselves.
These obstacles are usually high walls, railings and roof tops. The list is endless as traceurs jump, swing and vault over various obstacles in their path to move from Point A to Point B efficiently.
Sabree said parkour was a healthy sport that required practitioners to have strong core muscles.
“It is a non-competitive sport and the gathering enables traceurs to learn a few new tricks from other parkour practitioners,” said the 25-year-old medical student.
The growing community used social media such as Facebook to keep in touch with other traceurs.
Meanwhile, Siddiq said the annual gathering was aimed at getting as many parkour practitioners together.
“We only know each other on Facebook. So, it would be nice to meet them and to just have fun together,” he said.
The morning started with a warm-up exercise led by Edward Hum, a traceur who runs parkour workshops in Penang.
“My passion for parkour started when I watched a parkour video in 2008. Since then, I had started to train myself by watching video tutorials on YouTube,” he said.
Hum said he had injured himself many times when he first started.
“It is important to train your body with basic and strength exercises before going all out as it could be dangerous if you have no practice and experience,” he said.
Parkour became popular in the
late 1990s and 2000s through films, documentaries, and advertisements featuring these practitioners and others.
Parkour’s training methods have inspired a range of other activities, including freerunning and l’art du déplacement.