Sunshine, Videos, and Elections…It Must Be Spring.

First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who helped make Parkour Day a great success. Without our sponsors, the friends and family who helped us set up the course, the performers who put their heart into every step, and the spectators who were so appreciative of what we do, Parkour Day wouldn’t be possible. Thank you all so much for your support!

In case you missed it, College WFPF put together a great video of the event:

We also have an excellent video compilation of our spring training, thanks to our very own Chris “Bambi” Delmore:

And though it might sound crazy, spring means summer is just around the corner. With the academic year coming to a close, it’s time to start thinking about leadership for next year. Officer elections will be held at practice on Monday, April 22nd.

Members, please consider running for an office or nominating someone, and be there on Monday to vote!


Parkour Day is Almost Here!

There is less than a month until our annual Parkour Day showcase, and I’ve been getting a few questions about the logistics of the event. This guide should give you an idea of what to expect and how to prepare for the best day of the year.

First of all, Parkour Day is a team event. If you want to perform, your first step is to form a team of 3-5 people. If you don’t have anyone to form a team with, you may register as an individual instead. All the individual registrants will be randomly divided into teams, so be ready to make friends!

Whether you’re registering as a team or an individual, you fill out the registration form here. In this form, there is a space for a link to a video. This video should be 30 seconds to a minute long and include footage of each team member practicing parkour/freerunning. The purpose of the video is to make sure all participants know the basics of training and moving safely. You don’t have to do anything special to qualify for the showcase, and your video doesn’t have to be a cinematic masterpiece. As long as you show us that you can do parkour without hurting yourself, you are welcome to perform.

After you’ve registered, you may be thinking that you should plan some sort of routine for your performance. However, nobody knows what the Parkour Day course will look like until the day of the event. You’ll have a few hours of warm-up and practice time on the course before performances begin. You can use this time to plan a specific routine if you wish, although it’s completely fine to improvise as you go.

After practice time, it’s performance time. Each team will perform separately while everyone else gets blown away by their magnificence. Your performance is 100% yours and you’re free to do whatever you want. All state and federal laws still apply, but we’re not going to tell you your performance has to be exactly X minutes long or everyone on your team has to be in sync or anything like that. It’s not a competition, so there are no judges and no points. There is only a single requirement: have fun!

I hope this will help you all prepare for Parkour Day. If you still want to know more, you can check out this video of last year’s event by our former president, Jackie Hai. You can also send any questions to and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

Happy training, and don’t forget to register for Parkour Day by March 30th!

Ready For Another Year of Awesome???

Dear friends and friends-to-be,

I hope you all have had a wonderful summer, but it’s time to face the fact that it’s coming to an end. I know one reason everyone should be excited about the coming school year, though–UMPK training will be in full swing come September!

Personally, I’ve missed all of you veteran members dearly and I can’t wait to get to know some new members this year. So I’m very happy to spread the word about an event that will take place on campus even before classes begin! On Sunday, September 2nd, the first day of New England Parkour’s Third Annual Charity Jam will be held at UMass Amherst. Check out the facebook page or the event’s website for more details. It sounds like an awesome way to help out a good cause and get your jam on at the same time, so I hope I’ll see many of you there!

If you can’t make it to the charity jam, fear not, because UMPK practices are going to start the very next day. That’s right, the first practice of the school year will be held on Monday, September 3rd, at the usual time of 6pm. We meet right outside the main entrance to the Fine Arts Center. Whether you’ve been doing parkour since the beginning of time or you’ve never done anything remotely athletic in your entire life, we want you to come train with us!

Once the school year is underway, practice is held Monday through Thursday from 6pm to roughly 7:30pm, and we always start things off outside the FAC. So even if you can’t make it on either the 2nd or the 3rd, you can still show up on the 4th, or the 5th, or the 6th, or the week after that, or…

You get the idea. There’s no excuse not to check us out!

It’s going to be a fantastic year, my friends. Let’s start it off right!


Parkour Day Showcase and Elections bring an end to Spring 2012

Parkour Day Showcase

This is the final blog post that I will be writing as I am graduating from UMass in a few days. As I sign off I would like to thank everyone who I’ve met in the parkour community and those who support us. These last four years have been amazing and I have this club to thank for that. We’ve grown immensely as an RSO and I hope that growth continues in years to come. I’ll keep this short as I’ve finals to study for, always remember: keep playing.

In order to pass along the club, the members have elected a new set of officers for the following two semesters.

President: Kevin Barba
Vice President: Amy Desmond
Treasurer: Jasper Sardonicus
Equipment Manager: Max Perham
Public Relations: Jon Velez

Finally, I’d like to share some media from the regional event that UMass Parkour just put on. We’ve got a video by former president Jackie Hai, an article in the Daily Collegian and a post on the WFPF College Blog. So if you’d like more info on what we accomplished, check out the links!

- Travesty INTL

Vimeo Promo Video for UMass Parkour!

Check out the newest video about UMass Parkour! A couple of interviews from Scott, Travis and Amy fill you in on the goings-on of our movement club! If you’ve ever thought about joining the club, now would be a great time as the weather is getting warmer and Parkour Day is coming up soon! The club practices Monday through Thursday from 6:00-7:30PM and Saturdays at the same time in the activity room upstairs at the rec center. All practices are free and open to anyone who signs a waiver. So, come check us out, watch and hopefully you’ll want to come check us out!

Also, over spring break the officers and seth went to the The Monkey Vault in Toronto, Canada for some spring break training. If you ever are near the city, you should definitely go check out the gym for at least an afternoon. The community there is absolutely wonderful and the gym has a whole bunch of different surfaces that are a ton of fun to play on. Check out the goof balls in their video below:

Jacked Upper Body? Check.

Marc vaulting

How many times have you looked in the mirror and seen that your upper body needs a lot of work? I’m sure we’ve all been there. However, who wants to go to the gym and spend time there among a bunch of people who will look upon you with scorn? Not me. Luckily for all of us, I’ve put together a bunch of different body weight exercises to pump you up in the privacy of your own living space. We hope you like what he has to share because these movements will get you jacked!

After the past year I (and the other officers) have been amazed at everyone’s, including UMass Parkour’s, growth. Realizing that we have only 2 months (WTF?!) till graduation, we are excited that this has been by far the best year of UMass Parkour and it’s awesome that we (the Seniors) get to leave on such an amazing note and we have no concern for the years to come and how much of an impact UMPK will have (as it is already) on peoples’ lives.

The one main thing I have noticed (which is f*cking awesome) is the strong paradigm shift people are having. A paradigm is an example or model of the way we view the world and whatever we are doing, and it is constantly changing. As of right now it seems that the UMPK motto is “Get Buck,” but a couple years ago it was “Do a gainer.” This is because myself and the rest of the group looked at gainers as an almost “impossible” move; however, once one of us landed it, our paradigm shifted. This is why right now we not only find gainers just a normal move but will say things like “Why didn’t you cork, gainer arabian, etc.”

One of my main goals with this post was to say that where you guys are, as Freshman and Sophomores, is where all the Seniors were Junior year. “To be the best is to train with the best” is a quote that I love and truly believe in. Although sometimes people may get frustrated because they see more advanced people doing more advanced tricks and they are still struggling with (what seems like) an easy move, we were all struggling with the same move not too long ago. Sometimes, although it make not seem this way, the biggest factor of why someone may seem better than you is simply that they have been doing it longer. Trust me, with 100% certainty, you will get there.

This is why I talked about a paradigm shift earlier. By training with people who are better than you your paradigm shifts and increases. When I was in New York for a tricking gathering called Drednt there were people there doing moves with such ease that I am years away from doing. By being in this paradigm that a double corkscrew isn’t hard (I was one of the only people who couldn’t corkscrew, never mind double) it made me train harder than I ever have in those 3 days. This is why when we say that where you guys are now are way ahead of where we were, we mean it. You are going to be doing things that we couldn’t even of imagined when you guys are Seniors (no joke).

Overall, with Parkour and in life, even though it might seem that you are light-years away from people better than you, keep training hard because you are really not that far away. By training with people who are better than you, even if its just in one move, you are increasing your paradigm and constantly growing. Everyone in UMPK has their strengths and weaknesses and by learning what those are you can easily improve at a much faster rate than you could have ever imagined.

I want to finish this with an important quote – “We train with others but truly only compete with ourselves.” Parkour isn’t about being better than the other person – it’s about breaking down barriers, both mental, physical and spiritual, that were currently there. To someone, its about getting their first monkey vault, while other people it will be about landing some complex flip. This is why all the main offers get excited when someone lands a move for the first time, no matter how simple it may seem. Everyone is different and when someone does something they never have before, no matter how simple or complex, they are breaking down barriers. And that is the point – to help each other break down barriers and explore who you are – because that is what life is truly about.


- Marc

Spring 2012 Update – Video Blog

Hex and Trav at the club fair

Welcome back to UMass everyone! Its the second semester and parkour club is ready to go. We’re fresh from the club fair, which Hex, Trav and Marc hosted (see picture above).

We’re holding a couple of really cool events this year in addition to our practices. Here’s a letter from one of our sponsors:

Dear UMASS Parkour,

The World Freerunning Parkour Federation would like to make “Parkour Day!” an official WFPF event as part of the newly formed College WFPF. College WFPF is dedicated to promoting, organizing and supporting all college parkour events and we believe “Parkour Day!” is a great opportunity to support UMASS Parkour and the college parkour community. We fully endorse UMASS Parkour and “Parkour Day!” We encourage everyone to attend the event whether you are a parkour athlete or a spectator, as “Parkour Day” will not disappoint. The campus of the University of Massachusetts is an amazing venue for an event like this and we are excited to attend! Hope to see you all on April 28th!

Know Obstacles, Know Freedom!
Greg Milano
Matt Milano
College WFPF

Check out our first video blog for updates on UMPK:

Practice will be held Monday through Thursday 6:00-7:30PM. Meetings take place at the front entrance to the Fine Arts Center.

Comfort Zones

Amy performs cat balance on a rail.

You’ll notice it right away when you wake up one particularly cold morning. You’ve got things to do and places to be, but your comfort zone, which in this case extends just to the edges of your warm fuzzy blanket, is sucking you in. In this cozy little pocket of snuggly security, you’re safe and content. But if you stay in bed all day, you can’t accomplish much of anything. It may be difficult to counteract the attractive forces of this comfort zone, but most of the time you steel yourself for the cold and the challenges of the day, and you break free.

Your comfort zone is not always as easily definable as the physical area of a warm, cozy bed. It is wherever you feel safe, wherever you know what to expect. Part of your comfort zone might be the routine you use to get ready for the day, for example, or the friends you sit with at every meal. Part of it could even be as abstract as the things you choose to think about or believe. Staying in a comfort zone makes sense from an evolutionary perspective, because in the wild, if you didn’t get chased by predators or run out of food or get injured yesterday, you probably shouldn’t change things up today. If the goal is survival, a comfort zone is a fantastic place to be.

But what if you want to do more than just survive?

If you want to learn, if you want to grow, if you want to challenge yourself to be in some way better today than you were yesterday, try breaking out of your comfort zone. Do something you’ve never done before. Do something that makes you nervous. Do something you’re not even sure you’re capable of. When I first got to UMass, parkour was all of these things to me. I didn’t play sports or do any kind of conditioning. I was afraid of being looked down on, afraid that others would wonder why I was there when I was so obviously “unathletic,” and afraid of making a fool of myself in front of so many other people. All I had was a desire to improve myself, and while that didn’t seem like much at the time, it turns out that’s all I really needed. Outside my comfort zone, I discovered a whole world of possibility which I had thus far excluded myself from. I could list endless benefits I’ve gained from parkour, but the point is I did something I was completely uncomfortable with, and it helped me grow.

For those of us who are traceurs and traceuses, we’ve all purposefully removed ourselves from our comfort zones in certain ways. The safe, routine way of getting around is simply walking. Pretty much everyone is used to it. But if you stick to this comfort zone, you miss out on a lot of other ways of moving, all the other paths you could take, and all the lessons you could learn along the way. So when you’ve chosen to stray from the comfort zone of walking and move in other ways, you’ve already gotten outside your comfort zone. However, one thing I’ve noticed in myself lately, and that we mentioned quickly in our discussion last Wednesday, is that once you start gaining confidence in certain moves in parkour, it can be tempting to stick to what you know. Gaining confidence is a wonderful thing, but if you only go for the moves you are confident about, you’ve created a new comfort zone for yourself. Playing it safe and staying in your comfort zone can hold you back whether you’ve never tried parkour before or you’ve been doing it for years.

I’ll use myself as an example again. I love turn vaults. I could do turn vaults all  day(although I’d probably get pretty tired!). I am far from perfecting them, but I’d say they’ve become a part of my comfort zone. If I’m practicing turn vaults because I am trying to improve my landing or fine tune the movement in some way, great. But if I’m practicing turn vaults because I’m avoiding something I’ve never tried or something I’m not as confident with, I’m removing myself from the situation in which I have the most potential to learn.

So I guess what I’d like you all to consider is this: don’t get so comfortable with monkeys that you never go for the kong. And once you have a solid kong, start thinking about the double. If you get the double, there’s always the triple. There are an endless amount of adventures available to us, limited only by what we can conceive of and what we’re willing to try.

What are you willing to try?


When you fall, choose to land

Recently Scott, Javier, Kevin and a couple others were featured in a blog post, check out what Electronic Blogging Endeavors has to say about UMPK!

Or, read the article before the final edit in its parts: Electronic Blogging Endeavors’ Parkour Week Part’s I-IV.

In other news, T-shirts and sweatshirts have arrived!

UMass Parkour Tshirt
UMass Parkour Sweatshirt

Also, there’s a jam this weekend see details on facebook.

Finally, there is some tech news: our website now works on mobile phones and we have added facebook, twitter and calender options to our Campus Pulse Page.

As the coldness comes…

Trav's dash

Parkour starts earlier! We are now meeting from 6:00-7:30pm Monday through Thursday, meet at the front entrance to the Fine Arts Center! All skill levels are always welcome, so come train.

Also, here’s a little taste of our fall training, slowly remembering to bring my camera to practices…