#92 – Birmingham Trip.

 

Pyro – Precision.

 

Today was a jam of two halves, while some of the Npk community had gone on a trip to Birmingham with Livewire, the very few of us who were left in Nottingham trained like we usually did on a Saturday. I can’t recall exactly how the events of Birmingham went down because I didn’t go myself, but from the accounts of others I am able to piece together the day like a patchwork quilt of memories, with each person adding there own thoughts and feelings from the day. The images you see within this blog are from the day and are what Pyro (Tom Frankenburg) was kindly enough to send over to give everyone an idea of the days events, after all what are memories without colourful images to cultivate.

I remember that everyone had to meet up earlier in Broadmarsh Bus Station, where the guys would meet up with Tim before collecting their bus tickets to get on a coach to Birmingham which took just over an hour or so to get too, minus the peak time traffic. When I say earlier, I mean long before our one o’clock meet. They had to be there for ten o’clock, a shock to many people’s system. Going by coach was much cheaper than going via train, even if it was a slower form of travel. Still, it was all part of the fun and adventure, being seated in a big group, taking over the coach. Many more people than the initial ten had turned up, no doubt they had decided to join the trip at last minute being persuaded by others going. I guess with Livewire going too and the promise of a special guest (Blue Devil) being out in Birmingham, had brought people out like a swarm of ants.

To be honest as a Parkour community it has so far been very rare, if ever that we have trained other areas within Nottinghamshire, never mind other cities with the exceptions of myself and Flip going to Mansfield [2][3] on a few occasions last year to train with Sark. I feel this year may be different though because people are progressing quickly and with their new found movement skills, they are wanting to sample other cities to challenge themselves. I’m not saying they are tiring of being out in Nottingham and the same areas week after week, as we still have plenty of stuff to do here, but it’s always nice to be some place new from time to time too. There have been talks that we should visit other close cities such as Derby where Tim is from, as that has some nice areas and it only takes a thirty minutes bus ride. Also we should maybe join the guys in Leicester as their scene seems to be thriving, that and they have Blane, another well known Parkour celebrity within the online community.

 

Livewire – Human Flag.

 

Even with all the Parkour/Freerunning politics currently with people bitching about which is better, the true practice and meaning of Parkour. The biggest debate is the A-B of Parkour vs Freerunning and showing off with acrobatics not to mention some people who are classed as ‘purists’ who have decided to use all the French terminology of l’art du déplacement too. It’s one debate which is currently poisoning the online and physical communities around the world and I won’t even go into the group divides and rifts it is causing! It seems people are trying to merge or create other disciplines, broken from the originals. There is much misinformation out there and while people argue, the true meaning of movement is lost. At the end of the day, it’s all about movement and improving our own abilities which we should be enjoying while out training, doing something different without the stigma of all these labels and tags which people are putting on things of late. I hope all this will blow over in time, but I find that hard to believe for the time being if at all in the future, time will tell though…

It seemed like everyone had, had a good day once arriving in Birmingham there were so many people out training and that coupled with the Birmingham guys out training too, it was clear that at some point in the day that would cause some sort of problem for training and constantly getting moved on by the authorities. A new city, new people to meet and train with, new places to train at had everyone buzzing and wanting to try movements. I think the biggest thing people noticed were that the guys who had come out from Birmingham all seemed to be quite distant and didn’t socialize with the Nottingham guys so much, whether that be because of not knowing them and being shy or just overwhelmed by the numbers and things being done, who knows. We in Nottingham are quite open and welcoming, we try to talk and help each other out, I guess that isn’t the case to every cities communities?

The best part of the day was playing Parkour tag on some giant scaffolding which was at an undercover bridge, car park area. It was by far the biggest scaffolding structure anyone had the pleasure of training on so far. Like all games of tag, one of you are on and the rest of the people then have to move around the area without touching the floor. There are different variations of the game, some where once the person on has touched you, you are out or then become on too, in which case the game carries on until it’s the last man standing which increases in difficulty with the numbers of people being on grows each time a person is captured. The other version is the tagged person switches each time a new person is caught and you carry on playing until everyone is bored of playing or the person on gives up and then you reset the game.

 

Blue Devil – Cyclone.

 

The greatest thrill is trying not to get caught and being able to move around with ease, which is difficult when everyone accumulates in a corner of an area which makes it hard for people to escape easily when the person on draws in and then people have to take more risks to try and evade capture. Even worse are the people who move at a snails pace or dawdle as they come to a jump, unsure if they can make it or not and stand hesitant, while others behind are frantically shouting for them to hurry up or move as they want to get past before being tagged. Speaking of which this is one of the reasons Nam missed a scaffolding precision and slid and hit his back on the pole, though he didn’t still managed to save himself from being on. The best part of the game are the risk takers who in their moment of risk it all pays off and that jump they didn’t think they could do, they make and it even amaze themselves.

Like I mentioned earlier the worse thing about training sessions with the masses, is the fact it draws so much unwanted attention to what we do and sooner or later you get moved on by security, police or wardens. While training at a office complex the police turned up and moved everyone off and so throughout the day people were being moving from area to area in hope of finding a place which was public and free from getting moved on for a few hours to get some solid training in a singular area done, in peace. Blue as always did some crazy movements, a tic tac up to a ledge which was around head height, clearing a kong precision over a canal, multiple silly tricking, flipping manoeuvres and his general training level being well advanced, more than our own.

While on the subject of Blue and Parkour politics, Mattski had been more than a eager, annoying keyboard warrior on the forums of UF, Npk and other online forums bad mouthing the practice of anything other than the purist way of training, arguing with Tim and many of the other Urbanfreeflow members. It was at a time when things were of heated debates, anyone seen to be making money from the discipline was flamed to high hell and criticised. There was so much hatred, trolling and banning going on within the online community. Needless to say Mattski got a good grilling by Blue later on once he had realised that Mattski was the one who had been bad mouthing people about it all. People who were speaking to him at the time slowly slid away to leave them to the debate and needless to say afterwards Mattski was quiet for the rest of the day and got on with training rather than preaching his thoughts on groups and training overall.

 

Jak – Wallspin.

 

I remember Nam telling me that Jan and himself spent most of their time eating so many free samples of food from the Bernard Mathews fridge raiders that they both felt horribly, horribly ill on the coach ride back home that evening. After this day of training I think it was the start of many people wanting to travel more and see other areas and meet new practitioners. Who can blame them, when you have a great day you want more of them. Plus you never realise just how many people practice Parkour and how big it is becoming until you visit other cities and see how their communities are developing.

People had, had a great day of training and it was a long day indeed with people getting back to Nottingham later in the evening after the peak time traffic, getting in just around 9 pm. Roll on the future training sessions and more adventures to other cities later in the year. I hope we also get visits from other communities too, as for the start of the year it’s been rather quiet compared to 2005 when we had lots of people visiting use most months, increasing out networking with other practitioners.

 

Nam – Precision.

 

Blue Devil – Precision.

 

Sam – Lazy Vault.

 

Jan – Precision.

 

Blue – Sideflip.

 

Precision Jump.

 

Jan – Precision.

 

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