Parkour is the new love of fitness freaks

Novel sport

If you saw Daniel Craig performing jaw-dropping leaps between buildings and climbing walls in Casino Royale and thought that those were computer-generated scenes, here’s reality check for you.

Freestyle jumping, swinging, scaling and vaulting are all part of an actual sport called Parkour which has been practised in western countries for many years now.

This is now gaining popularity in India with many fitness freaks taking to Parkour after training in the allied Judo-Karate, Taekwondo and Yoga. On any early Sunday morning, a trip to Lodhi Gardens in Delhi or Leisure Valley in Gurgaon will reward you with scenes of youngsters vigorously climbing walls with the help of  scaffoldings and sometimes not even that. Their daredevil flips, splits and leaps across buildings will give even Spiderman a heart attack. But not these Parkour enthusiasts who practise it with all might and determination.

For them, it is nothing short of an Olympic sport.

Gunjan Sharma, who has been running his own training institute by the name of ‘Parkour in India,’ says, “Parkour is the art of reaching from point A to B, however far the intermediate distance, with as much swiftness as possible. For this we utilise the objects, or hurdles as some may call, on the way. You look for cracks in the wall and use them to scale it. You swing across anything you can grip with your wrist and fling yourself over the finishing line.”

“This is not easy or possible to accomplish without professional help. Some people master it over decades. I train my students over various levels,” says the Black Belt in Taekwondo and Karate who’s adept at the martial art Jeet Kune Do developed by Bruce Lee, as well. Abhishek Ghosal, who works as a business development manager on weekdays and on weekends turns into a Parkour instructor at ‘Monkey Business’, says, “I was inspired by a documentary on NatGeo on this sport and decided that I want to learn this myself. It’s a complete fitness package which develops your strength, agility and stamina.”

“Not just that, it develops your mind as well. Obstacles are a reality not just on the roads but on your life journey as well. Parkour trains you to think of them as opportunities to further yourself and not as insurmountable problems.”

Clearly, Parkour is the new love of fitness freaks for more reasons than one.  

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