Author: Katarina Karcolova
Although Skopje is not a big city, it has a lot of things to offer. I have been living here for five months and it still surprises me. I have never thought that my first live experience with Parkour will be here, but in fact it was. I had a chance to attend the second Macedonian Parkour meeting, gathering over fifty enthusiastic young people, and make an interview with Simon and Filip from Beyond team.
For those who never heard about it, Parkour is a physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle in one’s path using only the human body. The most common movements are jumping and climbing. Some of the people describe Parkour as art-form or even a philosophy consisting of finding new and often dangerous ways through the city landscape, walls, roof-running and leaping from building to building.
Mladiinfo: How and when did Parkour start in Macedonia?
Beyond: We were the first Parkour group in Macedonia, which was formed about five years ago. At the beginning, we were a group of five people that started with the training and later some others joined us. The people where coming and leaving, because of injuries, which made them to stop for a while or quit. Our activity inspired more and more guys, who wanted to learn and get some tips. After two years another group was set up in Veles, which carries the same name – Beyond.
Mladiinfo:What about the natural ability? Is it a question of talent or it can be trained?
Beyond: It is about the training. If you are training every day you can become good at it. It also depends on what you did when you were a child, if you were jumping or climbing a lot, your muscles developed that way.
Mladiinfo:How does the training look like? Do you need any special equipment?
Beyond: We are training outside and we are adjusted to these conditions. If you do some tricks outside, you know that you can do it everywhere. The psychology is different if you are landing on something soft, like safety mattresses, or if you are landing on grass or ground. However, there are some hard flips and tricks we cannot really try to do, because the injury might be fatal, so having the possibility to train in gym would help.
Filip: We are training almost every day. Actually, even if we are not really practising, we are going out, it is like training for us, as we are always doing different jumps. When I am walking on the street and there is an obstacle, I jump over it. I just like to do that. I cannot control it.
Mladiinfo:What are the reactions of the other people passing by the place when you practice? Do you have any interesting experience?
Beyond: The reactions are different. The older people usually consider us to be naughty children, who are just jumping in the city, telling us to leave, because we will destroy or break something. Many others are much more positive and amazed how we can do it. Once we even got an origami flower from a girl, who saw us doing some tricks on a main street in the centre 😉
Mladiinfo:What is your main inspiration? Are there videos on Youtube?
Simon: I think I get the inspiration from the fear itself. The adrenaline is pumping and I want to go against the fear.
Filip: Yes, there are things in videos you want to do, but it is always about the personal choice. I feel I can do something and I want to accomplish it. We want to go beyond what we are. That’s why our group is called Beyond.
Mladiinfo:You mentioned fear, adrenaline and pushing the limits but what about the injuries?
Beyond: There are small injuries e.g. you hit your leg or finger, which can be annoying. You can still practice but they limit you, because you cannot perform the jump as before. Every one of us had also a bag injury as broken finger or dislocated shoulder, but we have a guy who fixes us 🙂
Mladiinfo:So you have got your own doctor?
Beyond: We have a friend, who uses a Chinese medicine, connected to Kung fu and it is pretty awesome. He can always fix us back, it does not matter if you have dislocated shoulder, knee or you need to get rid of pain.
Mladiinfo:What is the relation between you and the other teams in Macedonia?
Beyond: There are four big teams located in Skopje, Veles, Bitola plus many small ones. Especially a lot of young boys are excited and want to learn it, even though they are still young and their body is not strong enough. Maybe they are rushing it a little bit, as their muscles are not so strong yet, and they do not realize that they can really hurt themselves, as we are training outside on the ground, not in the gym with safety mattresses. Anyway, there is no competition between us, we are training Parkour because of ourselves.
Simon: It is more like a competition with yourself than with the others. There are not strict roles and things you must do.
Filip: I want to be better than me, because I am doing it for my way of life. I don’t want to be better than Simon or someone else. We are all friends and we do it because we love it. We want to spread the Parkour culture.
Those, who want to know more, join the fan group Beyond Parkour Skopje on facebook.