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The upcoming of the urban sport, parkour.

What is parkour?

Parkour is a sport that has started to gain popularity over the couple of years, this is due it being a sport different from others, requiring only your own will to do it. Parkour is the art of movement and creativity in going through, over and under something that would be a bother for the uninitiated, it aims to strengthen you and so it has started becoming more popular as a sport. Parkour is an extremely interesting sport because of the versatility it offers to those who are willing to try it, and its also a sport that is easily approachable for anyone, as learning the beginner techniques can be easy, the harder task being the ability to master and adapt from them.


To sum up what parkour is, It’s a sport which aims to improve your imagination,  strength, will power and agility to overcome everyday obstacles presented in the environments around us while also making it a presentable action.

Parkour in Oulu.

Oulu Parkour Club was founded by 3 aspiring parkour practitioners or “traceurs” who were keen on passing on the knowledge of parkour and continuing its legacy here in Finland. Oulu Parkour Club runs courses for all ages ranging from preschoolers to adults at their gym located in Oulu, near the city center as well as the environments around Oulu.

 

Parkour is focused around being an outdoor activity, but due to Finland’s everchanging seasons, It has proven to be a challenge to train outside when the temperatures drop below 10 degrees.

This is why Oulu Parkour Club also built a gym located in the city, so that training could be done more efficiently even in the winter times. This gym was built solely for parkour, making it durable and enjoyable for the sport while also providing a safe training area for the practitioners.

 

A typical session contains a warmup of the whole body followed by simple but heavy movement exercises, or in some cases tag. After doing a proper warm up the session becomes focused on specific tasks and courses made by the instructor, and in most cases ends in doing light exercise or a free jamming session.

Why should you try parkour?

The thing about parkour is that there are no limits to who can train it, as the aim for the sport is to develop on your own terms and constantly gaining more strength in all of its areas. Parkour is a unique sport for how its trained, as you can train it almost everywhere, this also makes it a great sport to practice with fellow trainers.

Parkour offers the opportunity to create challenges to other trainers while providing constant growth to everyone’s training. You can be training a very specific move and others will join in interest, and together you can figure out how to get past the challenge, which is a very unique and fun way to train without having to constantly think to show off your best strengths.

 

Now to answer the question of who can meet the requirements for this sport, the easiest answer to this is EVERYONE. As stated before parkour isn’t just a sport about strength, in fact it provides everyone a wide skill set of traits that can improve everyday life. A good example of this is adapting good reflex skills, because parkour can be unpredictable, it’s good to always be ready to shelter yourself if you fail a jump or a trick which would cause you physical/mental harm. 

 

Parkour started gaining more popularity in Finland around the 2000’s era, but it is still considered an underground sport making it relatively unknown to the public.
So why should you not try the sport out?

Key fundamentals of parkour.

As mentioned before parkour operates on a lot of different types of movement, so listing them and explaining them might make it easier to comprehend the variety of movement it can provide.

Running:
Parkour can be a fast sport, and so running comes in as one of the base movements you will learn, this doesn’t just mean normal running, but the ability to run within obstacles to keep a constant flow in your sets.

Jumping:
Jumping is one of parkours most notorious moves, being able to do huge leaps over rooftops will always be shocking, but so can jumping a smaller distance but landing on a thin metal bar. In the end jumping rewards you if you know how to land properly without causing any damage to yourself, this is a move which is constantly being trained and improved as you will be using it a lot.


Climbing:
Climbing in parkour provides the ability to traverse between different levels of height in an efficient way, it provides multiple ways of getting on top of obstacles and objects without making it slow and bothering. 

Balance:
Balance in parkour creates the ability to safely move about on objects that could cause harm if done hastily, it helps you become more stable on odd and urban obstacles like pipes, while also helping on stable ground if something where to happen in which you would usually go off balance and fall.


Hanging:
Hanging is the movement where you swing usually from pipe to pipe like a monkey would from tree to tree. But hanging can also be performed side ways to for example make a swift turn without losing your momentum. Its a move which is often used to create a more smooth flow in your parkour sets, but can also be used to avoid having to jump, but rather swing to the other side without hitting your head.


Quadrupedal movement:
Quadrupedal movement is an important aspect in parkour, it creates movement which is swift and constant while using every level of height possible to your advantage. A great adaption of this is a style called “monkey style” which basically means moving about in urban environments like a monkey would, constantly on the move jumping, swinging and striding between different levels of obstacles.

“ Parkour is the art of movement that challenges your creativity and the ability see the obstacles in our every day environment as opportunities to better oneself. ”

Oulun parkour-seura.

(Translated and shortened version)

Mitä on parkour?

Parkour on laji jossa keskitytään kehon käyttämistä esteiden ylittämiseen ja haasteiden ratkaisuun. Parkour on laji jossa kehitetään kehoa siten että parannat omaa liikkumiskykyä jokapäiväisten ympäristöjen esteiden ylittämiseen. Parkour syntyi ranskassa Pariisin esikaupungissa Lisessissä 80-luvulla David Bellen ja kahdeksan muun nuoren miehen toimesta. He kutsuivat ryhmäänsä nimellä Yamakasi (suomeksi, vahva ihminen, vahva henki).

 

Parkourissa käytetään tapoja jotka ovat adaptoitu eläinmaailmasta, joko roikut tangosta tankoon kuin apina, tai liikut esteiden ohi kuin kissa, aina voi löytää samankaltaisuuksia lajin ja eläimen liikkeistä, mutta se tekeekin lajista kiinnostavan.
Parkour on sosiaalinen laji, tarkoituksena on kehittää itseäsi omalla tahdillaan, mutta laji tarjoaa erittäin paljon sosiaalista laajuutta jos harrastat ryhmässä, voit olla harjoittelemassa tietty haastetta jota et itse ymmärrä kovin hyvin, joten treeni toverisi voivat tulla avustamaan tai miettimään haastetta sinun kanssasi joka voi edellytetään sen ohittamiseen.

 

Parkour ei katso ikää tai sukupuolta, joten se sopii kaikille kiinnostuneille. Koska kaikki voivat harrastaa lajia, siitä on tullut laji jossa ei ole oikeaa tyyliä, koska jokainen tekee omannäköistä liikettä.

Missä parkouria voi harrastaa Oulussa?

Oulun parkour-seura tarjoaa parkourkursseja,-leirejä, sekä lajikokeiluja kaikenikäisille ammattilaisten ohjauksessa. Oulun parkour-seura tarjoaa myös vapaavuoroja jossa voit harjoitella omatoimisesti salilla. Harjoitellakseen vapaavuorolla et tarvitse aikaisempaa kokemusta parkourista. Ohjeita ja ideoita treenin ja lajin aloittamiseen saa vapaavuoron valvojalta. Parkour on mielenkiintoinen ja monipuolinen laji jota voi harrastaa missä vain milloin vain, kunhan vain tiedät omat rajasi etkä lähde yrittämään haasteita joihin et ole valmis.

 

On tärkeää myös kunnioittaa ympäristöä ja huolehtia siitä, että et sotke tai riko mitään tai ole muutoin häiriöksi muille ihmisille ulkona julkisilla paikoilla harjoitellessa. Kesällä harjoituksia voi tehdä ulkona käyttäen kaikkea ympärillä omaksi hyväkseen, kunhan ei vain aiheuta vahinkoa.

 

Parkouria voi harrastaa myös talvena, ottaen huomioon että ympäristösi tulee olemaan liukkaampi ja vaarallisempi. Toisaalta liukkaus tuo lajiin mahdollisuuksia kuten vauhdikkaiden liukujen tekemiseen ja lumikinokset voivat olla turvallisia paikkoja harjoitella vaikka volttien tekemistä tai pehmentää alastuloa pudottaessa. Parkour-salilla harrastaminen on toki helpompaa, koska tila on muokattavissa ja välineet ovat tehty harjoittelua varten, eikä tarvitse harjoitella paksussa ulkovaatetukseesa. 

Oulu Parkour Club interview (In Finnish)

HAASTATTELU, TEKSTI JA VERKKOTAITTO (INTERVIEW, TEXT AND NETWORKING) : Luca Kaakinen
KUVAT (PHOTOS) : Luca Kaakinen

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