Do you think it’s possible to touch the sky? For five particular teenagers they are certainly doing their best to reach as high as they can. I recently met two members of MalteseMotion, namely Matthias Camilleri and Ryan Busuttil.
MalteseMotion is made up of five adolescents – Matthias and Ryan, as well as Karl Cumbo, Nicky Vassallo and Isaac Camilleri. They all share a passion for parkour and free running. Their love for this type of no-holds barred sport started at a very young age, primarily because they were into gymnastics. In time, they realised that there was not much of a promising future in gymnastics so they embarked on a different path and MalteseMotion was established in the summer of 2012.
They have now progressed to filming parkour and free running videos all over Malta, which I heartily advise you to have a look at by clicking on the link at the end of this article. Moreover, in a wholly random manner, they shot a film in London, proudly displaying the best of their free running abilities, while they were in England on a supposedly restful vacation.
When I hear the words ‘free running’ and ‘parkour,‘ I am curious to know what the main difference between them is. Matthias and Ryan tell me that with free running, one can learn it quite easily in a gym, and that it involves flips, acrobatics and gymnastics. With parkour, it also includes overcoming obstacles. The two activities share a lot of similarities but are not exactly the same. In both cases, one has to run, climb and jump while moving rapidly through an area, normally strewn with lots of obstacles.
The founder of parkour was David Belle. He came up with the name ‘parkours’ from the French ‘route’, since it is all about a system of movements that let you travel through another route to a designated destination. Normally, this route will involve trying to jump, climb and run fluidly through obstacles.
On the other hand, the term ‘free running’ was established by Sebastien Foucan and was meant to describe ‘parkour’ to an English speaking audience. But this term continued to develop throughout the years, with today’s definition being one of a discipline that fuses the techniques used in parkour to the regulated sports – acrobatics and gymnastics. Therefore, free running and parkour are all about creativity, self-expression and the ability to improvise on the spot.
Furthermore, when we hear these two terms, the first thing that pops into our mind is that their practice is somewhat dangerous. But is it really? When asked this question, Matthias and Ryan indulgently smiled and agreed that it is – to a certain extent – dangerous. However, they both insisted that if you know what you are doing and are confident in your technique, then you are capable of doing anything. Ryan added that “when something surpasses our basic human limitations, we tend to avoid doing it. I believe in the mantra you have to prepare your body and mind, so as to learn how to deal with dangerous – and unexpected situations.”
MalteseMotion activities are moving along at a good pace, but the fact remains, that parkour and free-running are something relatively new to Malta. Although progress is gradually being made, such extreme sports are being held back from reaching their full potential due to the lack of resources and limited training grounds, which quite frankly, is a shame.
Article by Bernice Farrugia