Do not worry. They don’t jump off rooftops like YouTube daredevils.
ALEXANDRIA, Virginia – A playground in Alexandria became a training ground for a group of third graders who recently began their first class of parkour.
The non-profit organization ‘PK Move’ offers children an introduction to parkour, which includes running, balance, climbing, swinging and more.
“Everyone does parkour before they know what it is,” said Sean Hannah, President and Executive Director of PK Move.
What I witnessed in the playground was a group of children who played normally but were given instructions on how to control their body, balance, and correct landing after jumping and hitting the ground to avoid injury.
Third graders in Alexandria learn the intricacies of parkour through a program with @RPCA_AlexVA and @ ACPSk12 pic.twitter.com/F5gc8WNk13
– Adam Longo (@adamlongoTV) October 15, 2021
“We have partnered through the City of Alexandria Parks and Recreation and Alexandria Public Schools to offer on-site parkour classes in places like Chick Armstrong (a recreational center in Alexandria) to teach them about parkour,” said Hannah.
Mention the word “parkour” and maybe the first thing you will imagine is young daredevils jumping from roof to roof at dizzying heights. YouTube videos have made the sensational antics of some of the world’s best parkour athletes known.
“When people think of parkour, they think of high, high risks, big gaps. Weird stuff on YouTube. But it starts down here,” explained Hannah, pointing to the ground. “If you don’t understand the consequences of having one foot off the ground, then you can’t go two, three, or four feet up and endanger yourself. This is not about adrenaline. This is not about being a daredevil. “
Interestingly, PK Move began teaching parkour to older adults to help with fall prevention.
Hannah says the organization’s founder, Nancy Lorentz, was a student in his parkour class a few years ago. She was the only 40-year-old mother in a class of teenagers learning parkour.
After Hannah was diagnosed with breast cancer, Hannah said Lorentz was motivated in her recovery by being able to do parkour again.
Shortly after this recovery, according to a Tedx talk held by Lorentz, an older friend of hers died after a fall.
Lorentz hypothesized that if seniors were able to learn some of the basic elements of parkour, they could potentially avoid serious fall injuries by understanding how to fall and how to get back up.
The group offers three weekly classes in Alexandria and they offer the first free of charge.
“I think it will run and jump,” said one little girl on the show.
“Do you do this often?” I asked and she nodded her head.
“Then you shouldn’t have a problem with that at all,” I replied.
“It’s the very first skill everyone teaches themselves,” said Hannah, who acknowledges that we did all of the elements of parkour long before either of us could even pronounce the word. “You’re just curious about your body. How you move As you explore and pretty soon you are walking, running and climbing on things and threatening to jump off and you are told no. “
When the kids tried to balance the curbing and play Freeze Day with one of the teachers, Hannah pointed out that parkour is a sport that anyone can do anywhere.
“We go on site and show them that you don’t need any particular obstacles. You don’t need anything, ”says Hannah. “You just need the right mindset and some experienced people to show you how to use it all – you can use your whole world to build a playground and build a strong, capable body.”
Find out more about PK Move HERE.