VietNamNet Bridge – Parkour, a French street art that involves moving around or over obstacles at high speed, has been present in Vietnam over the last four years. At first, parkour was practiced by some small groups of individuals but this street art has strongly developed among youth communities with more than 50 groups with hundreds of members in major cities and provinces such as Hanoi, Haiphong, HCMC, Binh Duong, Can Tho and An Giang.
A traceur performs parkour in a park in HCM City.
Groups often hold annual festivals or contests to exchange and share the passion. Mastering their stunning skills some of them have been invited to perform in some local movies and music videos.
Parkour has not grown as popular as other games. “Parkour in Vietnam is still strange as it is not easy to practice. Based upon military, athletic and martial arts, parkour requires practitioners to vault, roll, run, climb, crawl or jump in to move over obstacles,” said Vu Le Van, a member traceur of the group Speed.
The basic techniques of parkour include Precision Jumps, Parkour Rolls and Rail Balancing – through the advanced techniques such as the Arm Jump Speed Vault, Lache, Lazy Vault or Wallrun. “Therefore, along with physical exercises for quick, tough and flexible moves, practitioners need an iron will to overcome obstacles, fearless creativeness and quick reactions in every situation. Some traceurs sometimes sustain injuries, so it is not a game for every one,” Said Van.
In Vietnam, there are no professional parkour schools or training centers. Traceurs mostly do research on the internet, learn from international players and then pass on their skills to others.
Traceurs in Vietnam are mostly students of sports, martial arts and hip-hop dancing schools.