Parkour Classes: Where You Can Learn in the UK
Just some of the places you can get parkour classes in Britain...
The world of parkour and the interest in the sport is constantly growing these days, and because of that, there is more and more people searching for parkour classes, starting up parkour classes and making it easier to learn basic parkour techniques in the UK.
Gone are the days when people would ask ‘what is parkour?’ if they heard the discipline mentioned. We’re now in a world where parkour videos and parkour fails are near constant in day to day life, where the difference between parkour and freerunning is a favourite go-to for internet trolls on YouTube and where it’s no surprise to see parkour in the world's biggest blockbusters or even people asking about parkour shoes.
While there are plenty of parkour classes out there though, it’s tough to know what exactly these parkour classes involve, where you can find parkour classes and what you should expect in general if you do choose do get involved.
Luckily for you, that’s where we come in! Of course, we couldn’t cover every parkour class in every UK city, so we’ve rounded up some of the best from the UK cities where parkour is most popular.
Parkour in Birmingham
If you’re interested in parkour classes in Birmingham or the West Midlands in general, EMP Parkour are your people.
EMP stands for Elevated Movement Potential, and the crew is made up from a professional team of traceurs – a term commonly used to describe parkour practitioners – and freerunners who also do displays, demos and commercial work.
The EMP Facebook writes that the team “wish to promote the philosophy and positive values of usefulness, comradery, selflessness and creativity that the arts of the movement embody."
Currently, EMP have classes in Stafford, Wolverhampton and Birmingham. They write that most classes are suitable for children, some are suitable for adults, and they urge anyone who would like a class near them to contact their Facebook page. Their classes run on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at a variety of locations.
Brendan at EMP Parkour explained to us: “EMP Parkour offer a range of different classes for all ages and abilities. Some are for kids, some for adults, and others are mixed age.
“We do sessions indoors and out. Parkour was of course born on the streets, so we encourage people to get outdoors and train as often as possible. We teach the traditional philosophy and values of Parkour, such as mental and physical resilience, altruism, determination, and adaptability."
For more information on the classes and to contact EMP about getting involved, give them a like and a message on the EMP Parkour Facebook page.
Parkour in Edinburgh
The Scottish capital is finely built for parkour, with big walls all packed closely together and some stunning views of the famous castle if you work hard enough. Access Parkour are the go-to organisation for parkour classes in Edinburgh, providing parkour coaching and training not only in Edinburgh but also further out.
Access Parkour run a range of classes ranging from adult, family and youth to U12, active school and youth parkour classes.
“Adventurous; exhausting; technical; physical; punishing; brutal and yet somehow still completely worth it," writes the Access Parkour website. “Our outdoor classes are designed to both provide an introduction to parkour, and to compliment your own training.
“The outdoor classes are normally pitched at beginners, making them easily accessible. But the movements and techniques are scalable for more advanced practitioners. The core aim of our parkour class is to build functional fitness through fundamental training, as well as providing a challenging and stimulating class environment that builds strength as well as confidence.
“Outdoor classes take place throughout the year in all types of weather; the training is simply altered to be appropriate and safe for whatever training conditions we come across."
Adult parkour classes run on Mondays and Thursdays from 7-9pm in central Edinburgh, and cost £9 or £6.20 for students. An e-mail is sent out to those in the class the day before the class giving the exact location of the meet, so get in touch with Access Parkour at email@example.com if you want to get involved!
Access also run a separate adult’s ‘Access’ class focused on philosophy of movement, mobility work and conditioning. You can find out all you need to know about the parkour classes from Access Parkour on their website here.
You can also keep up to date with parkour events in Edinburgh at the Edinburgh Parkour Facebook page – “the community page for all traceurs in and around Edinburgh"!
Parkour in Newcastle
Apeuro parkour and freerunning is a start up from Newcastle 22-year-old Craig Cheel, who along with a group of similarly keen and qualified parkour/freerunning offer various classes in the North East.
From open freestyle to intermediate and beginner, there’s room for everyone to get involved at Apeuro. The coaches have over four years of teaching experience and up to eight years of fully dedicated parkour and freerunning training, “making them the most skilled practitioners of the sport in the north of the country."
The Apeuro Freerunning website writes that their teaching includes “regular weekly freerunning, acrobatic, martial arts tricking and fitness classes, teaching basic parkour workshops at over 30+ festivals, events and schools in the last year alone, [and] teaching basic parkour classes all over county Durham as part of Sportivate for almost two years."
All sessions cost just £4, with the open freestyle running from 5-7pm on Mondays, the intermediate session from 6pm-7pm on Wednesdays and the beginner/intermediate running from 12-1.15pm on a Sunday.
Parkour in Nottingham
If you want to get involved in parkour in Nottingham, you’re going to want to head to the page of Parkour Nottingham Facebook, the official organisation for Parkour within the Nottingham region, and take in all the info.
While not run as classes, the page offers you the chance to get together with other people who are of all experiences and ages and have a real passion for parkour, learn from each other and jam.
The good thing about parkour is that it’s still such a young art at this point, so even the most experienced of traceurs will only have been at it for likely less than 10 years. This means, basically, that they’re used to welcoming in newbs and giving them as much advice as they can.
Parkour Nottingham write: “more experienced practitioners are on hand to pass on their knowledge to others who need it. You only have to ask while out training and people will be more than happy to advise and help you.
“Our goals are simple, to promote and teach Parkour in a correct and safe way. Helping people learn the basic/core movements of PK before moving onto the more advanced movements."
Hit up the Facebook page and keep an eye out for info. on the weekly jams and upcoming events!
Parkour in Oxford
Oxford Parkour is a community of traceurs and freerunners in Oxfordshire, and welcome any level of mover, even if you’ve never tried parkour before.
Writing on their website, Oxford Parkour say: “The vast majority of the people in our community joined as beginners, so we are very used to introducing people to our discipline."
To help do just that, Oxford Parkour run and organise a variety of different sessions, ranging from classes to training and more open, creative sessions. The classes are intermittent and organised mostly on the Oxford Parkour Facebook page, so give it a like to stay up to date.
Oxford Parkour do state that none of their coaches are fully-qualified, and so are doing their classes and training as amateurs, “falling somewhere above moron but below expert." The big bonus? It’s completely free – though a small donation of a suggested £2 is welcome at each session.
At the helm of the community are Nikolay TImofeev, who has trained in parkour since 2005 and is the Oxford Parkour president, his vice-president Harry Cruse, a fourth year student at a local college who has been involved in parkour since 2012 and coach Alex May, a parkour practitioner with over a years experience in teaching.
Of course, London is the kingpin when it comes to Parkour in the UK. Some of the most famous parkour features in the world have been shot there – including David Belle’s Rush Hour which originally introduced the UK to parkour through the BBC.
Parkour in London offers a variety of options, with Parkour UK, the governing body of the sport, and Parkour Generations, the biggest parkour company around, both based there, and the London Parkour Academy handy and built for purpose.
We've done a full piece on parkour in London seperately - so if it's that you're after, click through and we're give you all the info. you need to know!
If you’re desperate to get going in parkour, we’d recommend getting in touch with the ever helpful people at Parkour Generations and asking about next steps. They offer plenty of awesome parkour classes, ranging from youth, all abilities, beginner and advanced to more specific classes focusing on balance and accuracy.