Parkour is a relatively new and unknown sport (although it’s growing in popularity thanks to being featured on YouTube and spoofed in shows such as the Office and New Girl). It involves traceurs (a person who does parkour) using their body to move around obstacles in urban environments using rolls, jumps, climbing, and flips. It’s kind of like urban gymnastics.
This weekend, Philadelphia Parkour (led by traceur David Jones) will be hosting a national jam in Philadelphia, attracting traceurs from all over Philadelphia, the tri-state area, and even the country.
“I felt like it was the proper time to expose the Philadelphia community, we are still in development compared to other communities,” says Jones. “We're expecting guests from as far as Canada & Colorado. 150+ people have been estimated for the event on Facebook.”
The jam, starting at noon, will begin at Penn’s Landing and the traceurs will travel across Philadelphia practicing different parkour techniques, sharing the skills they’ve learned with each other. The event is free and open to the public.
“National jams are like the conventions of the Parkour world,” says Gabriel Arnold, one of the instructors at Pinnacle Parkour. “So many people [come out that] you don't get to see often, all doing what we love. It's the ultimate outdoor party.”
Newbies and those who are just starting out in parkour are encouraged to attend.
“If you've ever wanted to try Parkour, definitely come to a National Jam. It's the perfect place to get started and into the community,” says Arnold.
“Honestly, I'm extremely excited to meet a large group of fellow parkour enthusiasts,” says Mike Hudson, who has only been training for about 3 and a half months now. “Around my area there aren't many free runners/Pk'rs within a convenient distance. I'd love to be around that large group atmosphere; just being with that many people who love doing what I love to do is going to be a blast!”
Also this weekend, two gyms in New Jersey will be hosting events open to all national jam participants (and the public).
Friday, May 18th, the night before the jam, the Warrior Lab will be hosting a free open gym event before the National Jam.
“A lot of Free Runners want to come into town the night before and they need something to do so we wanted to offer them a chance to hang out/train with us at our gym in New Jersey,” says Chris Wilczewski of the Warrior Lab. “I strongly believe jams are about getting together and showing support for the community and I thought the best way to do that would be to offer up my gym as a place for everyone to come together and jam.”
The second event will be held at Pinnacle Parkour, an Art of Falling (Adapted to Parkour) seminar taught by Amos of Apex Movement. The 2 part course will be split up to Saturday Night/Sunday Afternoon. The course will cost $50 and the gym will be housing overnight.
The three events hope to help gain exposure for the parkour world and allow those within its community to come together.
“Our hope is to show our city that we are serious about what we do and love,” says Jones. “Sending a positive message out to the city is of the utmost importance.”
“The Philadelphia National Jam will be a great way for beginners and advanced to get together and have a great time. For more info, email us at Philadelphiapk@gmail.com, or contact us at https://www.facebook.com/ParkourPhilly,” Jones adds.
For more information, check out:
The National Jam Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/190299024407941/
Warrior Lab: https://www.facebook.com/warriorlabproteam
Pinnacle Parkour Falling Seminar: https://www.facebook.com/events/204418996339116/
Photos courtesy of the Warrior Lab