Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Introducing: Team Farang

My time in Bangkok gave me the opportunity to meet and train with some of the members of Team Farang, who I've been hearing a lot about during my travels, especially when I was in Australia last year.  The group’s name, “farang” originates from the Thai term for a Western foreigner and is a fitting name for this group of non-Thai natives (with the exception of Anan, who is technically Thai, but not quite Thai- he’s got a pretty unique story) that are based out of Bangkok.

The Team Farang logo.
First, a bit of background on the team and some of its members as gleamed from conversations with them in Bangkok.  The team is made up of a number of guys (there doesn't seem to be a fixed number) and started as a loose group of guys that met up in Bangkok (at an event hosted by Anan Anwar) to train for a few days and to generally have a good time.  This group included a pretty diverse representation of guys, (of course with lots of Aussies, who, as a country, seem to like Thailand a lot as a tourist destination- kind of like Cancun for Americans).  One of the unique aspects of this group is that not only do have a very high skill level when it comes to moving, they also like to party and have fun.  While it is obvious that there was a lot of training going on at the event, there is also a lot of footage from the everyday goofing off that goes on within this group of guys.  This video from the event in 2010 shows a bit of the action from that trip, as well as the general atmosphere that seems to characterize the group:

With the release of their video “Team Farang Tour – The City” in December 2011 Team Farang brought both their media production and movement to a new level.  While the video keeps the same attitude and general atmosphere of previous videos, it put Bangkok on the map as a "parkour hotspot" with lots of great places to train.  It is also pretty evident that there was a lot of time and effort spent in the production and editing of the video, which really shows in the final product.

The next video released by the group, is the next installation in the "Team Farang Tour" series, called "The Temple”.  It was actually released while I was in Bangkok with the guys so I got to see them reacting in real time to the international attention that the video got (it racked up more than 100,000 views within a few days).  The video has a lot of great movement in it, although some might raise objections to the use of another culture's sacred space as a training location.

Since then, Team Farang has released two more videos that follow member Jason Paul’s travels in India and Germany (Jason is pretty well known in the parkour community and has also done a number of the “Red Bull – Art of Motion” events). They have also launched a new website which looks like it will be a rather unique addition to the plethora of parkour websites out there.  Not only will they be posting videos and photos, but it they will also be trying to get a deeper look at some of the aspects of the sport that don’t seem to get a lot of direct attention (I was particularly struck by this recent article about the Storm clothing line) and interviewing people that they meet and train with.  Having met and spent a fair amount of time with the guys in Thailand, I'm really looking forward to seeing what they come out with and where they take things.  For more information and to check out the site, go to:  www.farang-mag.com/ or go to the Team Farang YouTube channel.

No comments:

Post a Comment