Spring Updates

The Monkey Vault: Toronto, Canada

What’s good community? Happy holiday! I just wanted to update everyone on the goings on for the rest of the semester. Now that it is warm out, we’re going to be outside as much as possible (if there isn’t rain falling on everything). Also, elections are coming up soon… so everyone should think about running and who they want leading us next year. And please please please everyone should talk to one of the officers about getting on a workout regimen, we’ll design one just for you… all you need to do is ask! Possibility of a performance coming up soon too, so get pumped.

Finally, I’ll leave you with the video of the trip hex, marc and me took over spring break!

Beginner’s Guide: Part I

Trav balance

It seems obvious that practicing basic skills will pay off for any practitioner of parkour, freerunning, etc. but often even advanced practitioners have not mastered the basics of movement before trying more complex tricks. Many of these people never seem to develop the ability to flow between movements and objects and end up simply doing a series of disconnected tricks. This is fine; however, I personally strive to move beyond just “fine”.

Alright, so the point of this blog post is to teach you something about movement. The first skill that you will want to acquire is a high quality landing. Check this out: American Parkour Landing Tutorial. So mainly, you’re going to want to have good leg positioning and absorption as to avoid any injury. And please, don’t think that since you’ve watched a video on landing and rolling that you can jump off of a roof without injuring yourself… these skills should be practiced close to the ground. Once the skill and leg strength are present, then one can progress to higher jumps.

So, you’ve got a basic idea of how to land now, but you want to take it to some thing more structurally interesting… well I have a great video for you:

Remember, you now have an idea of how to land and fall safely, but you should also practice your roll! And DO NOT roll along the spine, roll across okay?

That’s it for today, learn your landings and ALWAYS land as silently as possible.

- travesty intl.

“Brink” European Parkour Tour

Daneil Ilabaca in Paris

For those of you who have not already found out about (and/or religiously followed) the “Brink” European Parkour Tour, here is the website: parkourtour.com. Go there. The tour was a 4000 mile journey made over three weeks and through 8 countries that sought to spotlight some of the various Parkour/Freerunning communities of Europe and educate people on the discipline. The tour guide was the marvelous Daniel Ilabaca, one of, if not the, greatest traceur/freerunner alive. If you don’t know who Daniel Ilabaca is, or how incredible his expression of movement is, just watch the video(s). Not only is his parkour beautiful and awe inspiring, but his outlook on it and life in general follows the same trend. In touring Europe and meeting the various communities he exemplified what it means to be a true traceur. Before the Tour Daniel spoke about parkour and this opportunity saying: “Parkour is about expressing your mind and thoughts through your environment and so I hope to see many different variations on the discipline. Meeting different people, experiencing their cultures and training in their cities will be a fantastic opportunity to see how Parkour can be expressed differently whilst sharing a common bond of movement.”

Danny Ilabaca PK Tour

If you want to learn or observe what parkour is really about I suggest you watch not only the videos of Daniel moving in each city, but also the “behind the scenes” videos from each area which offer valuable insight into the minds and attitudes of traceurs/freerunners from all over. All of the footage is wonderfully well put together and the tour turned out to be the most honest expression of parkour I have ever seen on this scale. Have fun watching! I know I did.


October 2010

Hello parkour community. Recently a couple car loads of UMass students went out to Boston to see the second part (the first being in Tampa) of the first set of freerunning competitions in America. Training with professionals was great and there were a lot of awesome kids who came out to the city like us to train. Red Bull has put up some nice photos here: Art of Motion: Boston.

Red Bull AOM Boston

As for the rest of the semester, we will be practicing regularly (every weekday but friday) and jamming on saturdays as long as the weather isn’t too unforgiving. Check out facebook page for details on practices and other meetups.

Also, we are finally starting to get some mats, soon enough we’re going to need our own training gym (the “kong vault” anyone?) Currently we have two vault boxes, two precision trainers, and a couple of beat up mats. If anyone has any old gymnastics equipment or any other useful object that they no longer use… please get in contact with us, we’ll even pick it up!

Also, if you haven’t done these two things already… please do. 1) Sign a Health Waiver (applies to anyone who attends) and 2) if you want to be an official member (applies to UMass students only) you need to join up on Campus Pulse. Thanks.

Finally, we’ve got a few things happening this weekend. We’re starting to release a series of training videos on UMPK’s Youtube Account and we’re hosting a Saturday Jam at 2:00pm, meet up in front of the Fine Arts Center.

Thanks for reading, train hard and train safely! Now go practice some movement!

February Update

Trav and Marc on set for Knights of Bostonia

As many of you know, we have started to increase the amount of training days for parkour. We now practice four days a week with a weekend jam happening almost every week. Currently we train on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:00-6:00pm also we have kept the Tuesday and Thursday practices from 7:00-8:30pm.

If you would like to attend the weekend jams, they are posted on our facebook and all members will be invited. If you would like to be one of those invited members please like our facebook page. Also, we will no longer be using the google groups.

Finally, two of our members were recently featured in a State Radio music video doing some parkour and freerunning. Travis Swain and Marc Freccero show off their moves in the last thirty seconds of the Knights of Bostonia Music Video. So check it out and train hard!

UMass Parkour in the news

Recently, UMass Parkour and many of our members were featured on the front page of the Daily Hampshire Gazette. Check out the story here:

UMass parkour club grows leaps and bounds

Photos: Best of Fall 2007

UMass Parkour has been leading the American college parkour community by example, we were officially certified by the University of Massachusetts as a Registered Student Organization in the spring of 2008. Here is a collection of photos of those who helped in making us the leader in the college communtiy that we have become!

Click on a thumbnail to see the full-sized version: