11/04/2015 11:24 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Parkour - The Art of Movement

Parkour with its breathtaking jumps from one building to another has now become a street sport that is attracting much interest from Vietnamese youngsters.
Parkour is an adventure sport that originated from abroad where people use skillful movements to traverse different terrains. Parkour began in Vietnam in 2007 when practitioners learned the sport via clips on YouTube. To date, it has become a hot trend among young city dwellers. In a park or an open yard, Parkour practitioners, who are usually called traceurs, can be seen jumping from one building to another, or climbing on walls with skillful movements.

Abandoned buildings are ideal places for Parkour. Photo: Van Quyen/VNP

Parkour is an advanturous sport that requires good health and special skills of practitioners. Photo: Van Quyen/VNP

Practicing basic movements to enhance physical strength and resilience. Photo: Van Quyen/VNP

Senior practitioners instruct newcomers on basic skills. Photo: Van Quyen/VNP

Because practitioners have to do a lot running, jumping and climbing,
trauceurs’ trainers are worn out quickly. Photo: Van Quyen/VNP

Practicing skills of walking and running on high walls. Photo: Van Quyen/VNP

Different from other sports, Parkour does not require costly equipment, only a pair of good trainers that are lightweight and have good traction. Parkour can be done anywhere, and abandoned high buildings are the ideal places for practice. Parkour is increasingly attractive to youngsters as it is a mixture of different sports such as martial arts, dancing, hip hop, breakdance and gymnastics.

Nguyen Khanh Duy, a member of the Hanoi-based Parkour Joker Team acknowledged that Parkour is regarded as the art of movement. There are several ways to cross different terrains and obstacles such as running, jumping, or even crawling, but it is Parkour only if it is the most efficient way possible to quickly get to the destination safely.

There are no rules for Parkour enthusiasts but they should master four basic skills including rolling: curling the body into a ball shape to avoid impact and reduce pressure,
dismount: holding objects such as steel bars or walls before rotating 180o and landing, reverse vault: rotating 360º in mid air over an obstacle, and landing: landing on the balls of the feet with the knees bent to absorb the impact. Traceurs can design new manoeuvres themselves after mastering these basic skills and gaining experience through practice.

A Parkour practitioner performs a quick movement to jump over a wall. Photo: Van Quyen/VNP

A spectacular jump that is as breathtaking as in action movies. Photo: Van Quyen/VNP

Jumping from one building's roof to another. Photo: Van Quyen/VNP

Senior practitioners can perform beautiful flips. Photo: Van Quyen/VNP

A trauceur perform a dangerous landing from the roof. Photo: Van Quyen/VNP

After mastering basic skills and gaining experience with hard practice,
Parkour practitioners can perform maneuvers with skillful and swift movements. Photo: Van Quyen/VNP

Parkour has spread to several cities and provinces in Vietnam with 12 groups of practitioners. It was also included in the Ho Chi Minh City Open International X-Games 2013 along with three other sports of hip hop, roller sports and beatbox. 

Story: Ngan Ha- Photos: Van Quyen, Ngoc My