Parkour was developed in the 1980’s from French military obstacle courses, where they learned to find the most efficient routes to the end of the training courses. It was later popularized by movies and television in the 1990’s and 2000’s. Its’ roots in military training give it real world application and a non-combative self-defense application. It trains you to look at your world in a different way… a way that lets you not see walls and barriers keeping you on the set path, but a potential route to get to out of danger.
Parkour is not a sport in the sense that there are no accolades outside of the respect of your peers for accomplishing certain feats, but it is not about showing off. Rather, it is about traversing your environment with no wasted movement. “Free Running” is something different, which is more focused on things like doing the coolest flip off of an obstacle, whereas “Parkour” would say that the flip is unnecessary, would slow you down, and so should not be performed.
At OMMA we have taught self self defense through the use of martial arts for over 10 years. And for some of our leaders they have taught self defense far longer than that. Also as kempoists we want to constantly be looking for better and more efficient ways of defending ourselves. We never want to use more force than is necessary to defend ourselves, the end goal is to escape without injury. In our constant search for ways to equip our students with better tools to use for self defense we have implemented a separate “Parkour” curriculum, that emphasizes escape from our attackers. This program will teach you basic self defense principles, as well as give you an indepth understanding of parkours movements from the view of using it for escape to keep yourself safe.
Your training in Parkour will help you develop confidence, body awareness, balance, and many other beneficial practices. We here at OMMA have taken every precaution we can with both our equipment and the instruction to ensure minimal risk of injury during training. While we cannot control what our students do outside of our facility, we will equip them with the best instruction possible and encourage safe practice outside the facility.
The things that you will learn in our “Parkour” Program include…
Here are some Q&A’s to help you better understand the program and answer possible questions
Q: I don’t train in martial arts, will I be able to do parkour?
A: Yes, OMMA’s Parkour Program is separate from the martial arts training that most of our members take part in.
Q: I train at OMMA as a martial arts student, so what does that mean for me as I start this new program? Will my rank carry over? Is Parkour included as part of my tuition?
A: It means you have the base coordination to accel quickly in parkour but it is not the same. And it will not as our parkour programs level are much different. And no it is not, parkour is discounted to our martial arts students while they also take part in martial arts classes on a monthly basis.
Q: What should I wear?
A: Anything that is modest and you are able to maneuver in, most students wear gym shorts and a t shirt. You may wear your Gi if you wish as well but these are not provided as part of the program.
Q: What are the “Parkour Levels”?
A: The “Parkour Levels” are levels of skill that are measured in your ability to perform the movements we teach, and they also help divide up the movements by difficulty and progression.
Q: How will I know what level other people in the program are?
A: We show your and other students level via a colored sweatband that is given to you when you sign up or progress.
Q: How many levels are there?
A: There are five levels. Starter (White band), Beginner (Yellow band), Intermediate (Purple band), Advanced (Blue band), and Expert (Black band).
Q: This person with a Yellow band is teaching me something instead of someone higher, am I getting the right instruction?
A: Yes, part of progressing in this program is knowing how to break down each movement so that you can not only help others, but also more importantly so that you can troubleshoot why you are not doing a movement correctly.
Q: how do I progress? I have shown I can do all the movements for my level and I haven’t gotten my next level yet.
A: Progressing past one level onto another takes a few things…
Q: What if I am to scared to try a movement I am asked to do?
A: This is why we break all our movement down, so that we can find a way for each individual to progress into any movement no matter how daunting you will be able to do it with enough progression.
Q: Will I get hurt by doing parkour?
A: Not on our watch! We take every precaution we can think of to make sure you have a safe training environment. That doesn’t mean we can prevent you from stubbing a toe or twisting an ankle once in awhile. But there’s no safer way to learn and train your parkour!
Q: I already do “parkour”, why should I train with you?
A: Well if you already do parkour then we would love to be able to learn from you and have you as part of our community, and you will have a safer area to train in!
Q: My child wants to take Parkour, but I don’t know if they are ready yet, what are your requirements for children who want to train?
A: A child must be at least 10 years old and over 4ft 8in, some special exceptions can be made for some children who have the physical ability to use our equipment and the mental ability to focus as well as the other students.
Q: Am I too old for parkour?
A: Never! But if you have an injury that would be aggravated by the training we recommend that you try out our Martial Arts training first.
Q: What’s the difference between this program and another program that I may find?
A: Our program is focused on training in order to get away from danger, and so our community is focused on and encourages individual achievement and progression.
We are excited to have you as part of our Parkour Program! You will do amazing and fun things! We are glad to have you as part of our community!
If you have any unanswered questions please ask your instructor when you are next in the gym, or email us because we love questions!