Parkour event gets people of all ages moving in downtown Houston

It looks so easy and so dangerous, but for those who practice Parkour, it is something else entirely
January 12, 2014 8:50:03 PM PST
Downtown Houston was turned into a park Sunday for practitioners of "Parkour."

It looks so easy and so dangerous, but for those who practice Parkour, it is something else entirely.

Marcus Lincoln is a Parkour Traceur.

"You have to adapt to what's going on around you," he said. "It definitely helps with self-confidence as well because you are doing superhuman things."

Parkour is the art of movement. Its followers compare it to martial arts, and it's easy to see why it is a growing sport in the U.S. and right here in Houston.

"With the progressions you get from dedicated training, you start to sort of feel like you can fly. But a lot of it is slow and low to the ground," said Cameron Pratto, the executive director of Urban Movement.

A couple of times a year, Urban Movement puts on a weekend-long workshop for Parkour beginners. Even those who have mastered the art, instructors from Europe were on hand this weekend to lift Houston traceurs, as they are called, to new heights.

"In America you've got quite large cities and grid systems and shapes, so it is nice to come here and see your style and kind of train with our style as well," said Chris Rowat, a Parkour coach visiting from England.

Don't be put off by the experts. There's room in Parkour for even those who never tried the sport.

"We teach classes from seven to 70 years old; and each class, the whole class is scalable for skill level, so we have some who will be in their first class with some who have been there six months," Pratto said.

Parents: If your kids are hounding you to try this, it will not break the bank. You can sign them up for just a few sessions. If they practice, I'm told they will be moving like never before.

Urban Movement's an indoor practice facility in The Heights. To find out more about classes for kids and adults, go to www.urban-movement.org.

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