Parkour, an internationally accepted training discipline is finally finding its way into the lives of people in the Kingdom. In a world where everyone seems to spend hours in gyms to regain physical fitness, Parkour is one approach that aims at delivering a holistic solution for the mind and body. Born in France during the 80s, the method found popularity across the globe through movies and advertisements that featured the practitioners of this approach.
We at Bahrain This Week finally found our chance to have this interesting conversation with Mr. Mohammed Saad, the Founder of Bahrain Parkour. Also a Sports Nutritionist and a Fitness Trainer, he was more than willing to share his words of wisdom about the training regime and its importance.
What is the specialty of the Parkour training discipline?
Parkour is a philosophy and method of movement through any environment with speed and efficiency. The concept is to overcome all physical and mental obstacles in your path by using your body and mind to run, climb, jump and vault. A practitioner of Parkour aims to be self-reliant and physically capable; fit, strong and healthy, honest and sincere, disciplined, focused, creative and always useful and helpful to others.
How were you introduced to the game of Parkour and what made you decide to continue the same?
I’ve been watching Parkour videos on the internet for couple of years, until I decided to try it by myself. So I started copying the moves that I’ve seen, and then started to watch some tutorials on how to do Parkour moves, until I learned the basic moves and some fundamentals of movement flow. I decided to learn Parkour because I’m an athlete and I’ve tried many sports in my life, so I wanted to do something new and more extreme than other sports.
When and why did u decide to bring the taste of Parkour to the Kingdom of Bahrain?
In September 2009 I wanted to create something on a national level for Parkour. So I aimed to spread the spirit of Parkour and Free Running among the Bahraini youth and take them away from wasting their free time, and to raise awareness of sports for youth, highlighting the benefits in terms of fitness, physical strength and speed. I also had the aim to teach them the foundations of Parkour such as jumps, vaults and rolling to overcome obstacles no matter how hard they are. In addition to all this, I wanted to pass on the art of jumping from high places without subjecting oneself to injuries. In order to be prepared for any emergency situation, one needs to learn these movements and develop the disposition and mental attitude to overcome any type of obstacles quickly and smoothly without fear of any mistake that might occur while moving from one point to another.
How did the society in Bahrain initially take Parkour and do you see a difference today?
As we all know, many people resist change, and they fight every strange idea in the community. And that is exactly what happened to me in the beginning when I decided to practice Parkour. But I kept on doing what I thought was right and about to be something big one day. Today after 6 years, everyone is happy about what I’ve achieved and as you may know, Parkour in Bahrain today is very well known sport. After all those 6 years of hard work, I’m satisfied with what Parkour has become today in Bahrain.
Your team is the first and the only Parkour team in the Kingdom. And it looks like members of different nationalities find it an interesting activity to be followed in Bahrain…
Parkour or movement is a language that everyone can speak; it doesn’t need translation. We all move, so it doesn’t matter where we are from, or where we belong to, at the end of the day we all can speak one language, and it is the language of movement. That is why we have different people from different nationalities in one team aiming for one goal!
Have you ever sustained any injuries while doing Parkour stunts? How important is it to have professional training to perform Parkour?
Like any other sport, injury may occur due to a mistake that could happen either because of lack of a good warm-up, or an inefficient move in a training session. But in all cases we try to have the best safety means possible to prevent any injury in a training session, or even in a free movement. And yes, it’s always good to be trained to know what the dos and don’ts are while you perform the stunts.
What do you think is the importance of learning Parkour?
Herein lies the importance of Parkour in our lives: body movement is an integral part of human activity at all stages of life. Since ancient times to the present, human instinct has always driven the person when he is exposed to any emergency situation whether trying to overcome an obstacle or speeding away from one point to another as a means to escape danger.