What is Parkour?
Parkour, aka ‘free running’, is the discipline that uses movement of one’s body to get from A to B in the most efficient way possible. It has been developed from military obstacle course training into what we see today. David Belle is said to be the pioneer of parkour and the best showcase of parkour and his abilities and skills can be seen in the video below. It is a chase scene from the french movie ‘District 13’.
Two things that India is not known for?
Rampur & Parkour
Rampur, Uttar Pradesh. It is known for its cotton milling, wine making, textiles, sugar refining, the Raza library, and the infamous Rampuri switchblade.
Initially, the only thing that Parkour and Rampur had in common was that they rhymed if you said the words with a stiff upper lip. (Try it)
Rampur parkour practice sessions
Mujahid Habib started a parkour team called Leonine that has gained some recognition over the last year. He and his team have been uploading videos to youtube of them practicing. They aren’t close to the legendary level of David Belle, but they certainly look like they are on the right path. Below is a video of Leonine practicing in different locations around the city of Rampur.
Red Bull has noticed
Red Bull invest in many different forms of extreme sport from rally racing to downhill cycle racing to air racing. Parkour is part of that long list of extreme sports for which Red Bull host the Art of Motion competition. The first ever competition was held at Kuwait in 2007. Last year Kuwaiti parkour athlete Mohammed Al Attar came down to Mumbai for a parkour workshop and was blown away by the boys from Rampur. This year, he returned to see for himself how they train.
Watch the video in the link below to see how impressed he was with their progress.
Future for Parkour from Rampur?
Maybe we’ll see someone from Rampur in a Red Bull Art of Motion competition in the near future. Or maybe Mujahid Habib will be in a movie chase sequence of his own, a la David Belle?