Spiderman In Real Life (Parkour, Marvel)
Superheroes of our time. A new era of parkour
Parkour in Russia became widely known after the release of Luc Besson's film Yamakasi in 2001. Three years later, thanks to the film 13th District, many people in our country fell in love with this traffic. Now parkour is regaining its former popularity and will soon become an Olympic sport. Daniil Spirtus - the founder of the Parkour School in Moscow - told the “Championship” about the stages of development of the movement in Russia and plans for the future.
Photo: from the personal archive of Daniel Spirtus
- Daniel, tell us about parkour, how would you describe it?
- Parkour - it is movement, overcoming obstacles. Parkour is an art that helps develop the entire body, from head to toe. This is a whole direction in which you develop both physically and spiritually. By training your body, you train your spirit. Parkour shows that it is important to move forward and go towards the intended goal. Many tracers (people who practice parkour) use the philosophy of parkour in their lives. When faced with a problem, you are either afraid, stop, or overcome it.
Parkour demonstrates how to achieve success in life. Not every person can climb a four-meter wall, jump from a height, land softly, do somersaults. This is the whole science of getting the right movement.
- When did parkour begin?
- Parkour was born 25-30 years ago. The founders of the movement are Frenchman David Belle and Sebastian Fukan from the Yamakashi team. Later, Fukan moved to England and opened a freerunning direction, which is now developing all over the world. Freerunning is aimed at artistry, closer to filming a movie, it has a lot of acrobatics and tricks. Parkour is more about fitness, training and movement through the perception of your spiritual world.
- Tell us how freerunning, XMA and tricking are different from parkour?
- Freerunning is one thing from the directions of parkour, but there are more acrobatics and tricks. These are acrobatic elements that are performed on a plane. Freerunning is currently being held in world competitions, for example, Red Bull Art of Motion.
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Tricking came out of the martial arts, from the XMA. It includes trick elements that follow each other. Often times, tricking takes the elements of freerunning and vice versa. In tricking, there are ligaments, which are indicated by blows. Thanks to these blows, you perform acrobatic elements. In tricking, acrobatic elements, strikes and technique are valued. There are many Russian tricking professionals who work and tour the world. Tricking is a very famous trend in Moscow. XMA is a fairly new direction in Moscow, here we are working with an oravie: nunchucks, katanas, sticks.
- And when did parkour begin to develop in Russia?
- Parkour appeared in Russia about 15 years ago. After the film Yamakashi, the active development of the parkour movement began, and after the release of the 13th district, everyone was sick with it. The whole world is in parkour now.
- How long have you been doing parkour?
- I've been doing parkour for about 15 years. I was one of the first to promote and develop parkour in Russia, which is what I do to this day. For so many years I have not left this movement, I develop it, I do dance and acrobatic shows. In our shows we use acrobats, parkour constructions, we give master classes, act in films, in videos. We have a Parkour School - Black Panther - and a dance and acrobatic project Jump Evolution. Jump Evolution is a commercial project that works at events, corporate parties, filming. We also have two own Black Panther rooms. The first hall is a parkour park, which has a team of professional athletes. They train, train and make parkour develop. They want our team to be among the top teams in Russia. The second hall is our dance studio.
- How did your love for parkour begin?
- After school we went to the unfinished building of the cultural center, played Cossack robbers and tag. We used parkour skills to run and hide. Of course, then we did not understand that this is called parkour. We ran there, at a height, it was scary, but you don't feel it as a child. I had a friend who told me about parkour. Then I realized that there are many people like me, they get together and train together. It was exciting. Parkour is a sport, a drive, it enters you and remains for a long time. Besides parkour gives you good physical characteristics. You become strong, sturdy, powerful, you can do somersaults, run without stopping, climb high. Tracers are real superheroes of our time.
- Did you play sports before parkour?
- Yes, I was professionally involved in football and martial arts. Later I switched from football to parkour.
- Are you currently training to keep yourself in shape?
- Yes, of course. Parkour takes strength. During exercise, your body sways and becomes powerful. All our guys are in very cool physical shape.
Photo: from the personal archive of Daniel Spirtus
- How many hours a day do you study?
- Everyone has different ways. The guys who train in my team every day. This is the norm and the basis. I train a little less because I don't have enough time. I have halls and my own show, I also stage productions, choreography, and perform. Despite this, my base and core are classic parkour.
- Do you keep an eye on your diet?
- Yes, of course. A year ago I pI stopped eating meat, eat only fish and drink a lot of water. I am in good physical shape, my level does not drop. Good nutrition and training make me who I am.
- Many people think that parkour is a very extreme sport. Do you agree with this?
- Parkour is not an extreme sport. People who don't know how to train do somersaults and think it's parkour. Children who climb on the roof also call it parkour. Parkour is a sports activity that requires special training. If you don't have it, then there is no need to risk it. You cannot jump from a 30-meter tower into the water without preparation. Any direction can be called extreme if you do not know how to do it.
- Have you had any serious injuries during all the time you practiced parkour?
- I only had professional injuries ... I was a stuntman for 10 years, so I had some knee problems, but it's all curable. There was also an injury to my hand, which I received when I set the record for a flask (acrobatic element). But now everything is fine, everything has healed.
- Strangest or most dangerous place where you did parkour?
- The most dangerous place is Vorobyovy Gory, between the highway and the metro. At one time we trained there, on the rooftops, but only professionals. My training is not about climbing a bridge or a roof. This is not my training program. To promote pages on social networks, to shoot a video or work with sponsors, we can climb onto the roof, for us this is not a problem. We get paid for this, this is our commercial component. I myself do not jump from roof to roof, simply because I wanted to. We do this when we have insurance, mats and all the necessary professional conditions.
- You have two teams - for the development of parkour and for your show. Are the lineups different?
- Yes, they are two different teams. The Black Panther team is developing parkour, while Jump Evolution Snow is more creative and commercial.
- When was your parkour team and Parkour School formed?
- Our Parkour School was formed eight years ago, in 2009. We opened first in the Moscow region, then in Moscow, were at different metro stations and now we have moved to Sokolniki Park. In the park, we first made a summer project, then a winter one. This place is in one of the park's pavilions. A warm room with a sports area and a wrestling hall. This is one of the best parkour gyms in Russia.
- How many people teach at the school?
- The composition of the team has changed, now it has five people. After the opening of the hall in Sokolniki, we completely renewed our roster. We recruit professional and organized athletes who are suitable for our activities.
- You do not take newcomers to theteam?
- No, but we give them the opportunity to train in your gym for free. If they suit us, then we will take them to the team.
- Do many people sign up for the Parkour School?
- Now we have 30 people enrolled. People come and they like it.
- Do the girls sign up for you?
- Yes, of course. At the moment we have five or six adult girls and six little girls.
- How old are the children who come to you?
- They are seven, eight, nine years. They want to train themselves, and their parents bring them to us. They watch their children learn to climb gently, jump and balance their bodies. We have a whole training program for children. Parents understand that parkour is not about jumping from roof to roof, it is a very serious fitness and great workout for the whole body.
- Tips for beginner tracers. What is important for a beginner to consider?
- I would advise tracers who are just starting to practice, try everything in the halls, and not watch videos, then repeat them on the street. Go to professional parkour schools, which will show you, teach and explain how to do it right. Then your level will rise faster. By training with the professionals, you will understand what you are doing. Strive for professionals and you will become the same yourself!