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A story: Parkour in a Japanese garden

I recently had the opportunity to visit a prominent international organization in Paris as a delegate to a conference. The venue was one of the early examples of modern architecture, designed by a cooperation of the star architects of the 1950's, a sunlit and airy gem of a building right next to the Eiffel Tower.

The buiding also had a japanese garden. As said by the guide, this was a donation of Japan, made to be a spiritual place for silence and meditation on peace in the world. It matches the style of the buidling with concrete blocks for sitting on, walls to guide the view, cherry and maple trees, a cascading river and a few fountains, and some raised walkways with glass-and-steel railings.


Needless to say I was twitching to train in this garden right from the first day. Every coffe break, I would sneak out and measure the distances between the blocks, feel the slippery concrete and the grippy natural rock of the walls, and regret that I left my Parkour pants and shoes at home in Hungary.

Anyway, is it OK to train in a Japanese Garden? Will people mind? Will the guards throw me out? Will I raise a scandal at the conference?

But the rocks were there, the walls were there and as the days went on I grew more and more sure that I will do it.


So I made my rules, which I share below:


Rules for Parkour in a Japanese Garden


1: Before you start, find the security cameras and stay away from them


2: Warm up properly in a place where you can't be seen


3: Move silently. Run silently, jump silently, climb silently, land silently. Don't talk.


4: Keep moving, don't loiter around between moves. Find the flow and go with it as long as you can.


5: Don't push your limits too hard, this is not the place to take risks or fall.


6: Don't take pictures. Do what you do for yourself, don't feed the curiosity of photo/video junkies


7: Leave no trace at all and double-check this.


One morning I waked up, put on my suit and my delegate badge as usual, packed a pair of short jeans and a T-shirt in my laptop bag, and left the hotel for the site before normal working hours. I even had to leave the laptop in the bag because the security people X-rayed it every day on entry. International territory is no joke. With noboby in the foyer but the cleaning crew, I changed in the corner of the garden, did the usual warm-up beside an office wall, and off I went from rock to rock, over the weird stone lantern, across the water cascade, up the walls, from railing to railing. In little more than 30 minutes I felt like after three hours of training back home. People were arriving for work, walking past the garden behind the glass walls. So I slipped back into my shirt and suit, packed away my sweaty T-shirt, put my badge back on and bowed to the place when I left as I have learned in the karate dojo. Still slightly out of breath, I walked back out of the building, nodding to the security guards.


Michie, Sushi and miriam! like this

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hahaha, der Parkour-Ninja :]


Ich find den Gedanken herrlich: Der geladene Herr Dr. packt in der Pause sein Trainingszeug aus und gibt es sich in der Location so richtig..... da kommen bei mir Comics hoch wie Spiderman oder Superman, mit Ihren Alter-Egos in den Sinn - kurz nicht hingeschaut und plötzlich sind sie umgezogen und in Ihrem Element :)

Find ich gut, dass Du versuchst das auszuleben, sofern man sich respektvoll seine Grenzen steckt und versucht niemanden negativ zu beeinflussen (und da bin ich mir bei Dir sicher, dass Du das korrekt tust ;)

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