No! The great thing about Parkour is that there are no requirements. You can be any shape, size, or place and still practice Parkour. All you need is the drive and determination to overcome whatever physical or mental obstacles stand in your way. Conditioning and becoming strong are an important part of the process and will help you progress. As you begin to learn the moves and accept the challenge, you will find yourself transforming into better shape and becoming stronger all while having fun. People of all ages and weights and sizes have found Parkour to be an excellent form of exercise and physical challenge.
How dangerous is this practice?
Safety is one of the main points of focus and many of the moves are taught to prevent injury. Learning how to properly land, jump, and roll are just a few examples of how to prevent you from getting hurt in the environment. Knowing your body’s limits and not attempting moves that you are not ready for are highly recommended as with any sport or practice. Efficiency is a primary characteristic of Parkour and that involves avoiding injuries. Everything we will teach will be indoors with pads and mats unless otherwise noted.
What is Parkour vs. Free running?
Parkour focuses more on efficiency of movement, while free running places more emphasis on freedom of movement and creativity. Free running often incorporates tricking and acrobatic like stunts while running and is often practiced in urban environments with obstacles. Many people often use both in practices, although true Parkour practitioners do not consider tricks to be a part of Parkour. Many people use the terms interchangeably and moves from both practices often overlap.
Where did Parkour come from?
Parkour was developed by David Belle in France in an effort to understand himself and his motivations and find his own way in life. The roots of Parkour are from Hebertism created over 100 years ago by George Hebert. A formal naval officer, he travelled throughout the world before World War 1 and was struck by the physical development and skill of indigenous people in the environment. In 1902, Herbert coordinated the escape and rescue of over 700 people during a volcanic eruption. This experience had a profound effect on him and reinforced his belief that athletic skill must be combined with courage and altruism, which he developed into his motto: "être fort pour être utile" ("to be strong in order to be useful"). Herbert went on to exert a major influence on the development of physical education in France. “Their bodies were splendid, flexible, nimble, skilful, enduring, resistant and yet they had no other tutor in Gymnastics but their lives in Nature.” – G. Hébert.
What will I learn in a class?
The classes taught are meant to be an introduction to Parkour, basic movements and techniques, principles of the philosophy and guidance with an emphasis on safety. The layout of each class will consist of a philosophical theme, a physical movement, strength conditioning, and an obstacle course. The classes are meant to help you be able to train or practice on your own, or to create a safe place for you to try new moves, or practice safely.
What do I need for a class?
You will need comfortable clothes, loose but fitting, a bottle of water, and suitable shoes (athletic shoes). Most of the time we will be barefoot indoors, but if we go outdoors it is important to have proper shoes. Try not to wear jewelry or accessories.
How much does the class cost?
The class has variable cost depending on which location. The average cost is $14, which includes a 1.5 hour session. An additional one-time registration fee is required for insurance purposes on the behalf the facility. The average insurance registration fee is $25. We can be flexible with payments, but we ask for honesty. We want everyone who is interested to be able to participate!
The first class is always no obligation, so you will only be charged if your student decides to continue with the class.
Multiple class packages are also availble, on average these will be:
*each gym has a specific payment procedure, therefore packages are only applicable per gym
*We offer sibling discounts- 10% off any siblings with one student enrolled.
Will we learn flips and tricks?
As you progress through your movements, you may be advanced enough to learn flips and tricks. If you are interested in learning these, we may offer a free time or open gym in which you can come learn how to flip. During the class itself, you may learn smaller tricks like wall flips or vault tricks, but flips and tricks will not be strongly emphasized
Should I practice at home, and how?
Conditioning and strength training are important in Parkour because you need to be strong to be able to maneuver your body. As you get stronger, the more you will be able to do. Exercising at home like doing weights, cardio, pushups, and jumping will help make you stronger and more able. If you want to practice the moves you learn in class, please make sure you do them safely and in a safe environment. Start out in the grass and don’t try anything you haven’t learned. We discourage dangerous activities and do not want students to try things on their own without being ready.