Sunday, March 11, 2012

Back to London for the LEAP Parkour Park Opening

After a few months back in the USA, my arrival back in London felt oddly similar to coming home, and it felt good to be back within the PkGen community.  Unfortunately my flight was delayed so I missed the official opening of the LEAP Parkour Park at the Westminster Sports Academy, arriving in the city a few hours after everyone had already left.  I've attached a brief clip below that includes some footage from the event.

While there was a lot of debate at the beginning of the year in the London parkour community as to the usefulness of the park with a fair amount of resistance to the concept of “paying to train” in a city with so many great public training areas, the park seems to be becoming more and more popular.  Part of it is probably because of the presence of a number of skilled traceurs at the park, especially since many of the PkGen instructors and advanced students are often at the Westminster Academy on a regular basis anyway for classes and training (the park has also seen frequent visits by the awesome "Supa XXL Sunday Training" group).  Also, despite what some veteran traceurs may claim, the park offers a convenience factor that is tough to beat, with a large variety of very challenging obstacles (both mentally and physically) located within a small training area.  Instead of having big jumps and different training surfaces spread over the entire city or neighborhood, they are all located in a compact area and are interconnected, which allows for additional creativity.  While the park is by no means a substitute for training in the greater urban environment, it is a good place to work on specific physical techniques and mental obstacles.

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