Parkour Generations is pushing boundaries in ways you wouldn’t have imagined.
(Left: Dan Edwardes, Right: Stephane Vigroux); Photo credit: Elizabeth Pregers
It may seem like Stephane Vigroux and Dan Edwardes started doing Parkour for different reasons, but for both it was a desire to push past their limitations.
At a young age, Dan was trained in functional fighting arts, and as he tells it, when he first saw Parkour on British Television it blew him away. ‘Seeing very functional movement, someone who’s really capable, very strong, very fit, very fast and could actually use his fitness and power in real situations to make these jumps and do incredible things — It made me realize that there’s a whole other level of functionality and capability that at that stage I didn’t have.’
Needless to say, Dan wanted to learn it. He started training and trying to piece it together. ‘The first time I actually tried it and went out and did a jump, it was probably not a good idea,’ Dan recounts. ‘As I said, there was no guidance back then, so I went and I did a fairly big jump for [the time]. Doing that jump is what got me because I was so afraid. To land a jump, to actually find the willpower to make the jump and climb up — that was an amazing feeling. Immediately after I thought, “Okay, this is training now. This will always be a part of my journey.”’
For Stephane, it was also a video that caught his eye. A video of Parkour founder David Belle. ‘Visually the movement inspired me. Seeing a human being evolving with the city or interacting with the environment inspired in me some sort of freedom. Freedom in my mindset, thinking out of the box. It felt like a complete revolution,’ Stephane explains.
Stephane and Dan are both directors of Parkour Generations in Bangkok and the UK respectively. As Dan puts it: ‘The main work [now] is raising the awareness of Parkour — bringing quality coaching and delivery so people can learn it safely and accurately. The delivery of the A.D.A.P.T. coaching qualifications is a really big thing. We’ve been delivering that pretty much every month. It’s been a way to get into the professional coaching side of Parkour. It’s the best way of building a grassroots community and developing the movement.’ There will be an A.D.A.P.T. post convention course held on Monday and Tuesday here in Pattaya for anyone interested in learning more.
Parkour itself is a special type of exercise. It’s one that is not dependant on equipment or a gym. According to Edwards, ‘The idea really is to explore and discover your environment wherever you live — whether it’s in the forest or the city. To adapt your movement to the environment — that’s how Parkour was born. That’s what pushed the boundaries and created these amazing movements that, until Parkour came along, no one even knew were possible. It’s extended the limits of human potential. We now have a much bigger understanding of what we can do as humans and its way more than you think you can do before [you’ve done] Parkour.’
He continues, ‘It’s a holistic discipline. You can’t just train with the body in Parkour. The first thing you encounter right from day one is fear on quite a profound level… you probably haven’t dealt with before.’
‘If your mind isn’t developing you won’t be able to do it.
20/10/2012 - 16:40