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Parkour Gaining Popularity As An Alternative To Traditional Sports

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Parkour (CBS4)

Parkour (CBS4)

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I-Team

MIAMI (CBS4) – Parkour is fast-becoming popular around the world and right here in South Florida. Participants use walls and rails. No obstacle seems to stand in the way.

“Parkour is the discipline of movement,” said Derek Klein of Miami Parkour. “Parkour is about challenging yourself. You have to challenge you.”

Klein, 25, says he does it for a reason.

“If you need to get somewhere in an emergency, you have the physical capability to do it,” said Klein.

Klein is one of thousands of people who have embraced Parkour, a so-called weapon in disguise. It’s a lot like the stunts you see in action movies but Klein calls it a sport. Like most, he found out about the French movement on YouTube with online videos.

“It’s not reckless and dangerous, we’re actually training to become extremely well-disciplined and safe,” said Klein.

While Klein says he’s never been seriously injured, others have. In fact, California teen Kenneth Ta died in 2009 when he fell from a parking garage. Investigators blamed Parkour.

Today, Klein wants other young people to learn about responsible Parkour, teaching them about it all across Miami for free.

“Part of the reason I hold free training classes is because I don’t want people to go out and throw themselves around like I did,” said Klein. “I think it’s less dangerous than a contact sport because it’s you against the obstacle. It’s not you against another person who’s trying to win.”

In November, the City of Margate banned Parkour in public parks. City Manager Yolanda Rodriguez saw videos of people jumping off buildings there.

“I just thought this is a huge liability for us. What’s going on? Who’s participating?” asked Rodriguez.

She and other city leaders started looking for answers. Now, she wants to find a safe spot for Parkour enthusiasts. One of the sites Margate is considering is Firefighter Park. If approved, it would be one of the only public places anywhere for Parkour.

“We know there are innovative things happening all around us, and we don’t ever want to say no to our residents, if we can find a solution that meets halfway, meets their needs and meets our needs in terms of public safety,” said Rodriguez.

For more information on Klein’s group, Miami Parkour, visit http://facebook.com/miamiparkour

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