Parkour gym hops onto NorCal scene

Just when you thought Northern California couldn’t get any cooler, someone decided to open up a parkour gym.

Parkour, for those not in the know, involves people vaulting, rolling, running, climbing and jumping on any surface you can imagine. You may have seen “The Office” episode where they attempt to perfect the art of parkour, but it’s actually much harder than you think.

From jumping off 10-foot walls and flying over obstacles, the sport is enough to make even your standard gymnast buckle at the knees. It’s easy to see how YouTube videos of people doing parkour in urban environments become so popular.

With parkour athletes gracing Northern California’s streets, sidewalks, skate parks, and buildings, the owners of Free Flow Academy decided to seize the day and open the first parkour gym in the region.

Elle Beyer, Kung Fu trainer and Media Production Director at Free Flow Academy told CBS Local:

“Essentially, you’ve hit mainstream. It’s not just a YouTube sensation, people want to learn it.”

Appropriately located in Rocklin right next door to an indoor skate park and trampoline park, Free Flow Academy also offers free open gym for members nearly every day of the week. The academy teaches everything from martial arts to acting, parkour, dance, and music, along with general fitness classes.

On any given day you can find people taking part in parkour all around the Bay from Dolores Park to UC Berkeley. And when you find these people, you will inevitably also find someone in a cast or a sling or icing their ankle on a park bench — because this sport is dangerous and not for the faint of heart.

Ivan Flores continued to perform flips on railings at Cal despite having a neon green cast covering one of his wrists. He said:

“I fell a few feet down, and put all my impact on my wrist. It should heal in four more weeks.”

With the opening of Free Flow Academy, more parkour athletes will be able to practice in a safer environment while building up their muscles and perfecting their techniques for real world application.

Although the Academy is less than a month old, they are already out sharing their love of sports with the community. At a St. Jude’s fundraiser last month, Free Flow Academy provided free parkour and tumbling lessons for the kids. Quite possibly bringing them that much closer to their dream of becoming Spiderman.