Parkour jam going on in London, from August 6th through the 9th.
Le parkour originated in the Paris banlieue; teenagers turned the restrictions of high-rise buildings into urban playgrounds, developing an art of movement characterized by precision jumping and controlled acrobatics. David Belle is credited with creating this inventive form of extreme sport/urban leapfrog.
The goal in parkour is to run the gauntlet of a series of obstacles in a creative and athletic style. Runners (a.k.a. traceurs) can use any combination of jumps, runs, rolls, flips, or handsprings.
Core "parkour" or "free running" moves include dive rolls, cat leaps, back flips, aerials (cartwheels), but the most recognizable move is the aptly-named gap jump; also the rail flip, or the gainer. View a more comprehensive list at: UK/PKA.
Unlike other hardcore sports like boxing, circus sport, Muay Thai or capoeira, le parkour hasnt made it to your local fitness center, but you can check it out onscreen: new film "Les Fils du Vent" features a clan of seven Paris-based traceurs a.k.a. Yamakasi.
Find out more: Screw Gravity or Le Parkour (official site).
UK Parkour Jam: Wingrove Hall, Beech Hall Road, Walthamstow
Get info: Yakobpk@yahoo.co.uk
Find other offbeat events worldwide, in the August 2004 issue of "Arte Six".