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Ee, it's parkour out

March 1, 2004

So, I was sitting in a franchise sandwich shop the other day and I saw a sight that I never thought I'd see in Huddersfield: some teenage kids practicing free-running (a.k.a. le Parkour). Now, I don't know why I thought that if free running took off it'd never come to Huddersfield - I suppose I just imagined that it'd be restricted to particularly athletic Nathans in That London. Besides, as far as I know, free running hasn't taken off yet, at least not in a mainstream, bored-kids-doing-it-in-car-parks sort of way.

Don't get me wrong, these kids weren't particularly accomplished at all, they were just leaping from bollard to bollard to low walls around the memorial square on Market Place. However, they were definitely trying to copy free-runners, practicing discrete moves in the way that novice martial artists practice individual punches, kicks and short forms.

Bits of Huddersfield could be pretty good for Le Parkour; I can just imagine free-runners bounding and leaping around the railed and ramped area around the piazza and library for example, perhaps leaping down the back stairs to queensgate and from then onto the parkour paradise which would be the University campus with its steps down to and bridges around the canal.

I also wonder if le parkour has to be in an exclusively urban setting? Some of the outlying areas of the town would make what I imagine would be an interesting mix of buildings and rugged contryside with a wealth of features amenable to clambering and leaping. The various sites I've seen seem to suggest that it's far too "street" an activity for its proponents to consider practising anywhere green, but there'd be just as many challenging routes out in the sticks and it'd be a lot easier on the knees too, I'll wager.

Posted by Jonah at March 1, 2004 7:35 PM


From what I've seen, free-running isn't strictly an urban sport. Just my .02 UKP.

It's late and I've just spent too much at muji online.

Posted by: robbie at March 3, 2004 9:36 PM

I enjoy reading through this informal place.
I will surely visit you again to see if anything new appears on it.
Good luck for the future.

Posted by: Lacey at May 18, 2005 7:22 AM