Guide to SKOPJE

Free flying over the urban jungle

People have always dreamed of being able to fly and beat gravity as the mythical flyer Icarus. Flying is a symbol of freedom as an ultimate goal for everybody. Probably that is why everyone has experienced the feeling of free flying in their dreams at least once in their lifetime. But if
that is only a dream for most people, then it is an everyday reality for the Macedonian parkour team “Try2Fly”. They jump over fences, fly over buildings and roofs, make breathtaking somersaults in the air and climb trees easier than cats do.

Dragan (15), Daniel (17) and Andrea (15) are among the first Macedonians who practice the skill called parkour. With them we discussed what parkour is and why they decided to practice this skill.  -This skill was developed in France in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s by a man called David Belle. In the begining parkour was practiced primarily by the military and firemen because it was useful for their work. Parkour is the art of movement that is used for faster and more efficient crossing of obstacles that stand on your way from point A to point B, while using only your body and mind. Nowadays, most widespred is the so-called free running that includes the somersaults, unlike the parkour where if you do a somersault you just slow down yourself, and that is not the goal of this sport- says Dragan Stojkovic.

FILMS AS INSPIRATION

These guys found out about parkour through films like ” Yamakashi” and” B-13” ‘. Although they go to school regularly and do not forget to finish all their obligations, they still find time to enjoy in the free flying over the urban jungle.

-During the school year, we have training sessions 2-3 times a week and during the holidays we keep training almost every day. In winter we mainly practice indoors, while in the summer we are outside. The trainings usually last from 2 to 3 hours, except if someone drives us away from the
location and manages to destroy our training-says Dragan.

Daniel Stojanovski explains that their parents are worried about their safety, but despite that they believe in their abilities.  -It’s normal that our parents are worried and scared that we can get seriously injured, but they still support us in what we do. Each time I go out for a training, they warn me to be careful and to avoid trying something if I’m not totally sure about it – explains Daniel.

PARKOUR AS A GREAT ANTI-ALCOHOL SOLUTION

Parkour is practiced in many countries, but only a few dare to overcome gravity in a way as these boys do.

– In the neighboring countries the parkour is more popular than here, but we can notice a gradual  increase in the the interest  in Macedonia. When we go abroad, we insist on practicing with the other groups and then we try to stay in touch just to continue the collaboration. Also we often train together with the other teams from the country and we are in very good relation with all of them, says Daniel.

Andrea on the other side explains why is good for the young people in thecountry to get involved with the parkour.

– When you practice the parkour you forget about all the problems that surround you. The adrenaline rush is great and the general feeling is priceless. In the same time you stay  away from the vices like alcohol, cigarettes, etc. You also meet a lot of new friends and we all attend various events, movies, TV shows about parkour, says Andrea.

According to him, the parkour equally develops the body and the mind. For the end of the coversation he shares a joke that the free flying also helps them to “catch” girls easily. These three friends have fulfilled their dream and tried to fly. With or without wings, they have reached the wanted freedom.

Alexander Manasiev

Photo: Tose Ognjanov

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