6-7 Parkour Club Launches Into Prominence

Hear from the Club sponsor and some members about this epic club!


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The 6/7 parkour club is very popular in the lower school. Not only is the club well known to most students in 6/7, it also has a large amount of participation.  Members meet every Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Dr. Wilkinson’s classroom to both learn about parkour and learn parkour skills. This club was made to teach kids how to be able to move in a real world situation. If you don’t know what parkour is, it’s a sport in which athletes try to move between set points as quickly as possible, generally without using equipment and by performing moves similar to those seen in gymnastics. Parkour was created in France and was popularized in the 1980s through the Internet and movies such as James Bond, The Casino Royale (2006) and others. Parkour was first used as a movement art for the French regime in World War I to ambush enemies. This method was created by Georges Hebert, who showed the method to a man named Raymond Belle. Belle then passed the method on to his son, David Belle, now dubbed the father of parkour. Now parkour is a well known competitive sport which can be done professionally and just for fun.

After one of the parkour club’s meetings, we had a chat with club sponsor Dr. Wilkinson to learn more.

 Why did you want to become the sponsor of the parkour club?

 Well, I knew what parkour did for me. And it basically showed me a whole new way to move my body and things that I never knew that I could do if I wanted to and I wanted to allow other kids to do that as well.

Did you do parkour as a child? 

 No, my son got into Ninja Warrior, and then he did some parkour classes and the coach just forced me into joining.  I remember my first class, I started the warm up, and then I woke up a half an hour later, and my mind was completely blown by what I had just made my body do. I’d never experienced anything like that before moving my body in that way. And so, you know, I just was hooked from that point.

How do you feel about being a coach?

Well, I just really enjoy seeing all the kids master these skills that they did not know anything about or were intimidated by at the beginning of the practice. They were thinking ‘Oh, no, we can’t do like a Captain America vault’ and, by the end, they were able to do it and the sense of confidence that gives them that they could do something that they thought was completely impossible before is what makes me really happy.

 How do you view the relationship between academics and athletics?

 Well, obviously, you know the mind-body connection is so important. Not only for laying down memories, but, but also for keeping yourself healthy and having a positive attitude. If your body is healthy, your mind is also going to be healthy. You’re gonna have a positive attitude and you can accomplish a lot more. 

  How do you feel about these skills, how do you feel that they would work in real life? For instance, how would you use that?

 Well, for instance, if you’re walking through the city, and all of a sudden there’s a dog that’s chasing you; obviously, parkour is going to help you get away from that dog. We’re learning what are called ‘Top outs’. And so we learned how to get a really good height on a wall by running up it for a while. And there are pieces of tape that students have put on the wall [indicating how high students were able to climb up]. And so some of them are like 10 feet up, and so you know if the dog was chasing you and you were able to grab a ledge that was 10 feet up, you could definitely escape that and you know, [it’s] not just dogs, but maybe there’s people that are chasing you. Or maybe you’re in a building and you need to jump off the roof because the buildings are on fire, [which] where we teach rolls, which are basically how to transfer downward momentum into sideways momentum [is helpful]. And so basically, if you jump off the top of a building, then you can transfer that terrible downward momentum that could break your neck into just a running momentum because of the rolls that we teach. 

After interviewing Dr. Wilkinson, we interviewed some members of the parkour club to get a members’ perspectives. They are Keith Lee ‘29 and Scott Wilson ’29.

 So how has the parkour club affected you?

Scott: So I feel like since joining the parkour club, like my skills have improved a lot. I mean I feel like we can be more agile and flexible and we also do workouts at the beginning so we can get stronger.

So what do you guys feel about your coach? Do you guys like him?

Keith: Yes.

 Scott: Yeah, I mean, Dr. Wilkinson’s a science teacher also so he’s really nice.

 Do you guys feel comfortable around people above your grade such as seventh graders or like the eighth graders in your club? Are you guys comfortable with them?  

Keith: No. I feel like everyone here is like a great community.

Scott: Yeah, I mean, kind of what he said. I mean, everyone’s really nice to each other and we help each other out. 

 What would you do if you faced criticism about this club? If you would like to talk to your friend? And they said, “Well, that club is stupid and stuff like that.” What would you guys do? How would you guys react?

Keith: I’d be surprised and I feel like a lot of people also enjoyed this club.

Scott: I want to ask you if they had done it yet, and if they had seen how fun it is. 


To wrap it all up, the parkour club is a very fun and exciting club that teaches you real life skills and applications you could use to stay safe in potentially dangerous situations.