02 Le Parkour, East Java
Some members of Play On Parkour ready to practice at the Taman Krida Budaya, a cultural park in Malang, East Java. Brex (seated) needed two months to save $40 for the trainers he wears.
Le Parkour is the physical practice of moving as directly as possible through one's environment. In many ways it takes on the trappings of a philosophy. Whether they go over, under, around or through obstacles, practitioners of Le Parkour (called "traceurs") use strength, athleticism and creativity to defy the conventional limits of the built environment, usually of a city.
The popularity of Le Parkour in Europe has grown rapidly over the last four or five years. And many western traceurs relate Le Parkour freely to eastern traditions of martial arts and spiritiuality: speaking in terms of stereotypes about spiritual enlightenment, similarities with martial arts and chase scenes in Hong Kong cinema, etc.
However as a truly global phenomenon Le Parkour is being adopted by Asians. Le Parkour is broadcast over the internet in online videos and discussions boards where traceurs can share their knowledge and accomplishments with anyone who can access the internet.
Two years ago in a small city in East Java, 21 year old Agus Purwanto (aka Brex) heard about Le Parkour and began practicing the moves he saw in online video clips at the university campus where he studies visual arts. Over time he drew the interest of a couple dozen passersby who have become a loosely knit "crew" named Play On Parkour of which he seems to be the leader.