Parkour: more than jumps and flips

Parkour has been becoming a fast favourite with kids due to its popularity on the internet.

Running, jumping and climbing are all incorporated into parkour. This fast-growing activity has seen success all around the world.

Local Bryce McGinnis has been participating in parkour for nearly 11 years and teaches it at Key City Gymnastics.

“In the dictionary definition parkour is moving from one point to another as quickly and efficiently as possible. It’s kind of lumped in with a term called free-running, which has adapted into moving through those points with freedom of expression and motion,” said McGinnis.

With all the different movements parkour is different to every person. A 70-year-old will do different moves than a 12-year-old, it’s all up to them and the personality they throw into their movements.

When you learn parkour you get to learn different actions that make you more aware of your own body.

“You learn to fall, you learn to control your body. It increases your self-awareness. I noticed as soon as I started doing parkour in my spare time – my soccer skills and my basketball skills just got way better,” explained McGinnis.

In parkour, people use their bodies in different ways which means different muscles used.

“To me, it’s the ultimate physical literacy, like controlling your body. Lots of kids these days can do a backflip on a trampoline, but as soon as you ask them to do it somewhere else, or off of something it changes. That confidence in yourself can lead you to lots of things,” said McGinnis.

While like any sport there is the potential of injury, McGinnis said a big part of parkour is making sure your body is strong enough to accomplish all the things a person would want to.

After getting a taste of parkour 11 years ago from a friend McGinnis wasn’t sure he liked it, but after a second time, he was hooked.

“I just kind of fell in love with it. It’s just moving, jumping, flipping, twisting all that kind of stuff that you do as a kid normally and I got to revitalize that at 14 years old, which is cool,” he explained.

The popularity of the sport has kept on growing throughout the years. When McGinnis first started to coach at Key City Gymnastics there were 65 athletes in parkour, now he sees more than 150 athletes.

The community of parkour has been extremely welcoming McGinnis said and is a reason why he continues to do it.

“Showing up to a parkour gym and them showing all the challenges they can do, and it’s training with like-minded people who just want to jump, doesn’t matter anything else you have that connection automatically,” he said.

The physical aspect the parkour is also a focal point to why McGinnis enjoys it.

“Being able to challenge your abilities, learn new skills and get stronger is really awesome,” he said.

However, the best part about the sport for McGinnis is teaching parkour.

“Being able to share that information and just seeing their faces light up when they do a new skill for the first time, or they are experiencing something brand new,” he said.

There are many videos online with people participating in parkour, but it’s an art form like any other and there is no rules which need to be followed.

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