Lion City Gathering 2016

Bartje with the Lads from Freerun X5

As Singapore looked forward to another weekend away from work, hundreds of practitioners were heading there to enjoy some of the best spots in the world. Little did they know, their city was about to turn into the biggest parkour jam in Asia.

In its second time running, The Lion City Gathering hosted about 200 practitioners, made up of a multitude of different nationalities. With faces from UK, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, China, Korea and all over the world, it’s definitely one of the most diverse jams ever made.

 

FOR TRACEURS, BY TRACEURS

Completely free, and open to all, the 3-day event was created by Parkour Singapore purely for the love of movement. The local community pitched in all their possible resources to host the event, from practitioners opening up their homes,  to the local parkour gyms allowing some amazing sessions for the international guests.

“Singapore is the ‘best and worst place’ to organise such a jam” – Koh Chen Pin

Besides the free and easy training sessions during the Lion City Gathering, the highlight of the event was a Parkour Workshop by Jiho Kim, practitioner for more than 12 years and president of PkGen Korea. Practitioners, new and old, came together as he shared his perspective of movement, and gave tips on how to be more purposeful in parkour. The insightful workshop was also backed up by Art Du Deplacement Academy Singapore.

Lion City Gathering

The 4-hour workshop demanded everything from beginner-, intermediate- and advanced-practitioners.

Lion City Gathering

Lion City Gathering 2016

Heeso Chung dispersing the dust.

And of course, not forgetting, the first ever legit Parkour and Freerunning competition in Singapore. With well-known hosts such as Bart Van der Linden, Dominic Di Tomasso, Ista Ho, Alex Winslow, and Singapore’s Koh Chen Pin, the competition had some beautiful runs. Aimed to showcase the hidden talents of Asia, the competition definitely did not disappoint. Unknown names from Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia and even Singapore itself, represented hard. Each showcasing their distinct style of movement.

There were positive vibes all around, as people shared their passion for movement with each other.

Lion City Gathering 2016

Zack from Singapore performing a TicTac, placing 3rd in the LCG Challenge.

CONSERVATIVE SOCIETY

A fine city famous for its law and order, Singapore is the ‘best and worst place’ to organise such a jam as said by one of the organisers Koh Chen Pin. With so many strict rules that disallows crowds to be too noisy or simply gathering around in extra large groups, and having such a densely populated city area, the police were called to the jam ever so often.

However, it is exactly this, that makes LCG so unique. You might get kicked out of a spot anytime, but there are places to train literally everywhere. For every close-minded resident, there’s a few standing by their windows, watching you train, silently cheering you on. In no other place in the world, would you get to experience a silent Freerunning Competition, where only hand signals are allowed as cheering. It may not be the most pleasant experience, but it certainly is a unique one, as you overcome the obstacles of a conservative society. We are already excited for the videos to come, documenting this interesting experience.

The incredibly talented Khỉ Sét "Monkey" from Hanoi, Vietnam scored first in the LCG Challenge

The incredibly talented Khỉ Sét “Monkey” from Hanoi, Vietnam scored first in the LCG Challenge

Hopefully, Parkour will be accepted and appreciated in more societies in the future, and more opportunities will be given to practitioners to pursue a livelihood in this fine art.

SPIRIT OF PK

In a world that focuses on commercial value, it brings a smile to our faces to see such an event where different communities get together to create something beautiful. The Koreans for conducting the workshop, the Indonesians for helping out the logistics side of things, world-class athletes judging and running the Freerunning competition. And of course, the many others who gave bits and pieces of advice for the jam, or simply gracing it with their presence.

Lion City Gathering 2016

Perhaps it is jams like this that are the perfect embodiment of what Parkour represents, a means to express, to give back, to grow, and just having fun with some new mates who enjoy jumping as much as you do.

But we need your help to prove it! Unfortunately in the course of the event the newly built Superfly Parkour Park had to be closed down. After some foreigners who weren’t familiar with the strictly ruled governing situation in Singapore had alarmed police and ambulance through standing on the edges of the building, the proprietor told Derrick Siu from Superfly that he had to close down the Park.  Now the Singapore Parkour Community is trying to raise funds, that are needed to close down the Parkour Park. In case you can spare some digital coins, show some love and support the Parkour Community in Singapore here

Till the next LCG, see you soon!

Pictures by Freerun X5 | Graham Hay | Jonathan Tan | and Grant Webster

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