If you’ve seen children flying through the air, springing and spinning around your local area don’t dismiss it as horseplay, take a moment to look at what they do. It is likely that you’ve come across practitioners of the latest freestyle acrobatic discipline called parkour, or ‘free-running’.
There has been a recent surge in popularity of this discipline mainly among teenagers, as it does not involve any specific equipment and is challenging, exhilarating and requires a high level of skill and control.
British Gymnastics have defined the discipline as “Freestyle” gymnastics and several Springfit coaches are qualified to teach this loose form of gymnastics.
Classes run in a very different way to our structured ability-based classes, as members are left to discover their own style and technique, with helpful guidance and support from coaches.
For more information please see our Freestyle Gymnastics page describing how our classes run.
Springfit run Freestyle classes at St Bede’s school, Redhill every Monday from 6:30pm to 8pm for younger children and 8pm to 9:30pm for older members as well as at Oakwood Sports Centre, Horley on Wednesdays from 7:30pm to 8:30pm.
What is it?
Parkour is largely defined as the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one’s path by adapting one’s movements to the environment. It is also a state of mind, rather than simply a set of actions, which encourages practitioners, known as ‘traceur’ and ‘traceuse’s, to overcome and adapt to everyday mental and emotional obstacles as well as enjoying the challenge of conquering physical barriers.
Parkour differs from the art of free-running which has more emphasis on freedom of expression and creativity, rather than efficiency and speed. Traceurs take the most direct path through an obstacle as rapidly as that route can be traversed safely. Developing one’s spatial awareness is often used to aid development in these areas, and by training effectively, one can enhance self-confidence and critical-thinking skills as well as avoiding injuries by focusing on efficiency. This idea embodying parkour’s unofficial motto is être et durer (“to be and to last”).