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19/07 Friday 05:19PM

the parkour man

Sliding off railings and bouncing off walls may be scenes from a Jacky Chan movie, but for Shafique Hussain, it is just a regular workout with the buddies. At first glance, it seems like a risky business what with bodies flying off platforms and propelling from staircases like leaping lemurs. We shudder with trepidation from just being a spectator, so we wanted to find out just what are the thrills that keep these bodies going like Spiderman.

When did your love for parkour begin?
2005. I've been training for about 3.5 years now.

What are the rules of parkour?
The only rule I know and live by in parkour is "Respect yourself, respect those around you, and respect your environment". Other than that, as far as I'm concerned there aren't any rules. Express yourself in whichever way you know.

Who can parkour?
Anyone can do parkour. Doesn't matter how old, young, fat, thin, big or small. Anyone can do parkour.

What challenges have you faced in doing parkour?
I've faced many challenges both physically and mentally during my training. It is a constant battle everyday to be better than we previously were.

That IS parkour. To know yourself, your limits and your capabilities, and working towards surpassing them.

How do you promote this activity?
To promote this activity I've been in the newspapers (both Brunei Times and BB) a couple of times, we've been interviewed on Pelangi 91.4 FM, we continually to update our Facebook page and we even have a twitter account.

How are the locals reacting to this activity?
People react in different ways when seeing us train. Some people think we're crazy, some are amazed at what we are capable of. The first thing people do though is think negatively about it. I've heard things like "Sanang lari dari police ni..." and stuff like that. But it's not about that at all.

People who practice parkour or freerunning are generally positive people and have no reason to do negative things like steal or run from the police.

Where are your favourite places for a parkour run?
My current favourite places to train locally are The Stadium, specifically the tennis court area and also above the swimming pool. I've been training at these places since the beginning and there are still many obstacles to overcome. I also train in Singapore a lot with Parkour Singapore. Favourite place has to be Bedok, a place they call "the maze".

What location in the world would you like to attempt a parkour run?
There are just way too many to mention. I'd like to go to the home of parkour, a place called Lisses in Paris. I'd basically go everywhere if I could. :-)

What advice do you have for somebody who wants to take up parkour?
Parkour isn't just about running around, climbing and jumping over things. It is a way of life. If you really want to do it, you must put your heart into it. Without passion, there's no point.

Do you have any workshops on the horizon?
At the moment we've been having open sessions every Friday afternoon. These sessions are free and a time where we teach the basics and fundamentals of Parkour. For beginners I call it, discovery time because it is a time when you really find out what your capabilities are. How far can we go physically? How far can we push ourselves? What are my limits? Where am I weak? This is when you find out. And after these sessions, if there are those that really commit to the discipline, they can join us on our usual training days during the week.

How many people in Brunei do parkour?
At the current moment I would say there are at least 20-25 ACTIVE practitioners in Brunei. Both for Parkour and Freerunning. These are individuals who allocate days of the week to serious training and not just people who jump around.

What organisations do you belong to?
We've been under BARA (Brunei Adventure Recreation Association) for a year or 2 but we hope to make the move towards starting our own organisation over the next year or two. Parkour is still a baby here in Brunei. Still very new.

Something you are still learning?
I am always learning. We should never stop learning. I'm nowhere as fast, strong, agile or balanced as I want to be.

What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is not being strong enough when I need to be.

A website and/ or blog you visit often?
www.parkourgenerations.com < Website for the parkour organisation in UK. My training is based on their teachings. It was established by some of the founding members of the discipline. They are there to teach the correct way. I admire these people.

Something that is overrated?
Freerunning competitions are overrated. Parkour shouldn't be about competing against other people. It's all about being better than your previous self. That's what appealed to me the most when I started training.

Something you are saving up for?
A trip to Singapore with my training buddies, and is possible, Europe!

What item do you wish you had designed?
I wish I had designed the iPhone. It's alien technology I tell you!

If you could have lunch with anyone who is famous who would it be?
Daniel Ilabaca, David Belle, Sebastian Foucan, Ryan Doyle, Yamakasi, Stephan Vigroux of PKG. All Parkour/Freerunning greats.

Your favourite movies of all time?
B13, Batman Begins, Tron, Starwars (All of them).

Finish this sentence – If I had one wish….
If I had one wish, I would wish that I started training Parkour at a younger age. Maybe at 12-15 yrs old.

Your readers can find out more about me and what I do:

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