Over the past few weeks, parkour gyms have gained a lot of media attention. Sites like Reuters, Huffington Post, CBC, and ABC have all posted articles about the same thing, parkour moving inside. They all follow the same formula.
They start by explaining parkour as “the risky pastime of urban youth.” Next, throw in some quotes from respected practitioners, who happen to own gyms, like Ryan Ford and Phil Pirollo. Ryan reported on his Facebook page that the articles in-fact mis-quoted him once. Finish off by giving the opinion of a fitness “expert” who declares it’s great that the sport is moving inside because it’s dangerous outside.
The article is correct: parkour gyms are now popping up all around the world. Just in the United States and Canada, there are 30 gyms that offer parkour training.
Is this a bad thing for the discipline? Definitely not. We would love for every major city in the world to have a parkour gym. Parkour enriches peoples lives, and everyone deserves the opportunity to feel safe while practicing.
Is parkour “moving inside”, or evolving into a new stage? Doubtful.
Gyms crop up for a variety of great reasons. Most gyms in the north (like Canada) are used to practice throughout the winter. Other gyms exist to help students feel safe when trying parkour for the first time. Whatever the reason, gyms they serve a specific purpose; they fill a need in communities.
Parkour will always have an outdoor component. It was born outside, on the streets, and in nature. Gym owner Dan Iaboni shared, “In my training, I tell myself that I can’t do a trick, unless I’ve done it outside.”
What do you think? Is parkour “moving indoors”? Will someday parkour have become so diluted it’s original purpose will be lost in padded gyms and simulated environments? Sound off on our Facebook page.