Watch a child, watch his movements closely. He would have climbed the chair, jumped across the table, rolled down skillfully and vaulted over his toys. The world around him is his playground. There is no hesitation, nor limits, no reservations, and absolutely no thoughts on the ‘what-ifs’. If he falls, he gets up and try the chair again, if he bumps a knee, he would brush the pain off. Doesn’t this remind us of the trial and error activity we are familiar with while we were young. This is the art of movement, practiced alone or with cajoling company, competitive or not.
Free-running or commonly said with the slang as Parkour, has its origins tracing back to France as a holistic training discipline developed from ‘military obstacle course’. In our local context, many Singaporean NS men will recall the sweaty days of SOC, with some sergeant holing at you like his life depended on it. Yet this is without a drill sergeant, and the discipline is self managed, self conditioning. Being free form with choices of different styles, Parkour begins to be recognised and similarily its focus is shifted to competitive events, with a grading margin wide enough to cover methods of speed to dexterity to finesse.
Parkour is basically getting from point A to point B, of course in the most efficient way possible, utilising only their bodies and surroundings to channel momentum. Superfly Monkey Dragons’ instructors began with a few ground rules. Of which two struck out, when practicing this sport “leave no trace” and “We start together, we finish together”, so that teamwork and safety is observed. Unlike popular believe, Parkour is in fact a self-discovery activity; it’s fairly safe aside from a few minor bruises or abrasions.
Knowing your limit is very crucial for further enjoyment and achievement. Not only does it boost and promote a healthier lifestyle, it generally improves blood circulation, giving you a perk and edge in your confidence days after your last workout. With everyone now into ‘cardio’, short for ‘cardiovascular’ exercises, more Singaporeans tend to look for alternatives to break out from their desks and offices. Parkour helps to boost that mental endurance, and pushes you to develop courage over your fears. Fear of heights, insecurity with your own body, or even fear of having fears can be overcome as long as your mind is willing, the body will not be weak.
One great thing about this nonspecific exploratory route is no more sweating out on the gym mat, or running loops on the track. This is free running, so no more worries on selected attires, everyone is free to engage in this sport from as young as 6 to 60 years old, again it is always good to check on your individual limits.
Parkour starts with conditioning, not only for the body with the high physical demand, but the mind as well –you’ll be taking leaps of faith you never would have dreamt of. It focuses on increasing fitness, improving co-ordination and balance, not some fancy nonfunctional muscles to prance around as beauty pageants. Progressive training is part of the conditioning, and very soon the united nation of belly-mass will divide first into six then eight. The mind and body will be awaken to move together in sync and in one fluid movement.
Having an overwhelming source of laziness to conquer the couch, or sick of constantly feeling lethargic? Break free from this bondage and experience full control of your body once more! Finding it hard to discipline your cravings, and avoiding the weighing scale at all cost? Fret not! Reach the dream of feeling good about yourself walking tall with pride and confidence, knowing that each step you take is a calculated risk with continued success. Free and open your mind to new possibilities while being guided closely by qualified Superfly Monkey Dragons’ instructors, challenge and develop yourself in this fun, cooperative and disciplined practice.
To get a complimentary class, visit http://bookings.superfly.sg and select ‘Nuffnang’ on the Referral tab and mention “Melicacy” to redeem on the spot.
Photos by Nuffnang, words by .