Friday, October 17, 2008

Thinking About Obstacles in a Different Way

Some like yoga, others prefer tai chi or karate. Nothing gets my blood flowing like parkour.

Parkour is incredibly subversive. Its philosophical principles are linked to Situationist writings which view the urban landscape like a trap built by capitalism to shape our consciousness, making us prisoners to a routine life. The Situationists proclaimed there were original and useful ways of perceiving the landscape, and only a radical shift in "psychogeography" could help access our nativist urban psychology.

Parkour is also incredibly practical as a revolutionary tool. Jumping fences, getting away from the cops, dodging bullets: all these things are possible with a rigorous parkour training. It encourages physical fitness and ease of transition in all sorts of environments typically thought to be unsurmountable.

Today practiced parkour with handful of others in a park nearby. We jumped tables, walls, and other barriers. I began to think no obstacle was impossible to get by. We climbed trees, jumped from walls, and balanced on poles. A couple were running and side-flipping or back-flipping off obstacles. If only I were that agile. At this point my training has only begun.

This is essentially what parkour looks like.

More information on parkour here.

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