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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Till the next LCG, see you soon!