Parkour Workshop at BITS Pilani, Goa, Waves Fest. 2013

This is a report on the event by Vishwa Dayakaran.

Tamil Nadu Parkour Association’s Parkour Workshop at BITS – Pilani Goa

Members of Tamil Nadu Parkour Association (TNPK) were invited by the organisers of WAVES, a cultural festival by BITS, to conduct a 2-day Parkour workshop and demonstration at their beautiful Goa Campus.

The team that conducted it were four members from the TNPK – Chennai Parkour Core Group: Prabu Mani, Vishwa Dayakaran, Vignesh Raghavan and Baskaran Subramanian.

Day 1

Chennai Parkour Trainers and Workshop participants at WAVES, 2013 two day parkour workshop

We reached the BITS Goa campus on the 8th of November, in the afternoon after an exhausting 18 hour bus journey. I thought the climate in Goa would be very pleasant but I was wrong. Goa welcomed us with its scorching heat.

BITS Goa has an amazing campus, with an air force base near by. We were very excited to see fighter jets flying by every now and then. After an hour’s wait in the reception we were allotted two rooms in the BITS hostel. It was past noon and we were hungry and tired so before going to the rooms we decided to eat. Thank God there were so many food stalls. We took a solemn vow to eat at all the stalls before coming back to Chennai. We tucked in.

Our demonstration was scheduled for the evening. After the snack, Vignesh and I decided to hit the sack and rest for a while before the demonstration while Prabu and Baskaran went out to set up the obstacles.

After an hour’s nap we woke up and were getting ready, when we were told that we would have to use the study tables from the BITS classrooms as obstacles. We decided to tie them up with ropes to set up obstacle structures. We were also informed that our “Aarambam” video would be played at the auditorium and that our outdoor demonstration would start after that.

Baskaran, Vignesh and I went into the auditorium to see how would the audience react to the video, and were happy to see that it was received with enthusiasm. After the video was over we rushed out to set the tables up but they arrived late. By the time we set them up, it was dark. With no other option, demonstration had to be cancelled and postponed to the next day before the workshop began.

Our plan was to practise for a while and then treat ourselves to some delicious food and then get back to the rooms, but the organisers were kind enough to give us special passes for all the three special events. We quickly got back to the room, freshened up and found out that the first night was DJ night. Vignesh and I were awestruck by the way people danced, but we were too shy to move a muscle to dance, but Baskaran and Prabu danced away without any inhibitions. After the DJ night we had our dinner and decided to stay in a single room and laughed the night away.

Day 2

The workshop should have started by 1pm but the tables arrived late again, and it took an hour for us to set them up. To our disappointment one of the structures collapsed in our testing, and we had no time to waste, so we decided to carry on with the other tables that were already set up.

31 people registered for the workshop, 29 showed up. We started the workshop by making them get to know each other, gave them an introductory speech about why warm ups, cooling down, proper form and stretching is very important, what not to do, and ended with a question about who wanted to learn flips. We immediately saw hands flying up. This made us laugh.

The actual training began and in the beginning people were not comfortable moving in the sun but as time went by we saw them having fun when the progressions for various vaults was taught. Everyone was very eager and no one was ready to wait for their turn. There were people jumping around in happiness after trying out a move.

We made them do a little circuit training in the end and the 1st day of the workshop ended with a big smile on everybody’s face. People couldn’t wait for the 2nd day and wanted to learn more.

After the workshop we went back to the rooms, freshened up, ate a lot at the three food stalls and went to blues night for the second night’s entertainment. Prabu was tired and decided to get back to the room after dinner while Vignesh, Baskaran and I decided to stay back and enjoy the music. After the event was over, we went back to the room and decided to get some good sleep at least this night, so Vignesh and I decided to head to the other room. I fought with Prabu for the laptop and took it with me to watch Dragon ball GT. It was a mystery, trying to find the other room. After a little searching, we finally managed to find the other room, but I ended up sleeping instead of watching Dragon ball GT.

Day 3

After the events of the first day of the workshop, we decided to go an hour early to location, and have a good set of structures set up for the second day’s training. To our joy, the tables arrived soon. We tied the tables together in a line and supported them with rods. It worked, and we succeeded in setting up a super strong structure. Finally, we were happy with the obstacles.

It was time, and participants began to arrive. Quickly we made the participants go through the obstacle with the progressions and the movements learnt the previous day and have a feel of the new set up structures. After spending an hour of making the participants do what they learnt the previous day we decided to take them to real walls and concrete structures and try out the same moves.

Most of them were afraid in the beginning, but after a few tries many were comfortable to move in real world. We decided to end the session with a small conditioning game and give out t-shirts for the winners. The games were tough, but most of them were not ready to give up. They kept pushing even when their bodies were trembling. We decided to stop, as there was no time and gave out t-shirts to multiple winners. By the end of the session there were smiles all over and most of them were ready to start their journey in Parkour.

With a big thanks to the organisers we ended the session and started off, back to Chennai completely happy and very satisfied.

- Vishwa

Photographs of the event