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Team Pseudoflux practicing at the beach.
It's like break-dancing without the music and it can drive you up the wall! Bournemouth's Team PseudoFlux have been practicing Parkour, a form of Freerunning.
Parkour is soon becoming the biggest extreme sports movement in Dorset since skateboarding.
Even in the busy centre of Bournemouth’s shopping district you can spot the Parkour group, Team Pseudoflux (which means fake-movements), as the figures vaulting over bins being eyed by somewhat shocked passers-by.
Acrobatics are essential to Parkour
Parkour is a hugely physical sport that originated in France and involves running in a straight line in the quickest possible way, using acrobatics to move quickly over any obstacles.
To people involved in this underground free-running culture, railings, flights of steps and walls have become obstacles to practice high-risk moves on.
Crowds began to gather to watch the six-man-team defy gravity and camera phones snapped pictures of the group haring through Bournemouth Gardens somersaulting over railings, rivers and walls.
Michael Warner is the oldest member of Team Pseudoflux at the age of 20 and he admits that his reasons for practicing Parkour have changed:
"It started off as something to take my mind off of various stresses that where in my life at the time such as college. Now though its purely for the exercise I’m about the only 20 year old I know that can front flip."
"We’re going to back-flip"
Parkour does not boast the comfort of crash mats or sprung floors, just concrete, grass and sand to land on, which can be very painful.
Parkour can be practiced anywhere
As I stood at the summit of the huge wall looking down at Bournemouth beach below, it seemed a bad idea to jump off. When I queried if the members of Team Pseudoflux were sound of mind, I got the response "don’t worry we’re not going to jump, we’re going to back-flip."
Though they all made it look so easy this time, most of the Dorset team have suffered serious injury on more than one occasion.
Steven Nation-Grainger of Team Pseudoflux turned up on crutches after a
"Recently I broke my ankle attempting a back-flip off of a four foot wall, this resulted in five nights in hospital and at least three months on crutches."
How To Start
Parkour is a great art-form to learn because all you need is a pair of shoes to begin, and it is good exercise but Mike Warner, or MiniMike as the team know him, advised:
"Sign up to a locally hosted website dedicated to the sport. It’s definitely the best way to meet other traceurs [people who practice Parkour] in your area to train with."
Starting with small jumps between kerbs and small walls would probably be a good idea before moving onto the more extreme moves, but remember that safety is always the priority when training.
Most of the six members of Dorset based Team Pseudoflux have been practicing the art-form for around a year, but already see running up walls and back-flips as an everyday occurrence.
last updated: 06/11/2008 at 10:23
Have Your Say
Is this art, or a ticket to hospital?
retroherb (team pseudoflux)
Max 'Without Wings' Howells
philip mc auley
John Paul O'Neill