Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Important: No More Cards

In an effort to save on costs, I have closed my merchant account with MindBody and will no longer be accepting card payments through the MindBody site. This does not change anything else related to the MindBody site - your account is still there and any remaining services you had are still on your account. We are now only accepting payments by cash, Dwolla, and Square.

Thank you for understanding that this change is important in order for me to continue running the business. I urge you all to try Dwolla - it is very cool, and I'm not the only place using it! Click the logo below to read more about it.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Breaking Jumps

As a quick definition, "breaking a jump" simply means doing a new jump whether it's a precision, a cat leap, a crane, etc.

"For me, and for many others, this process of breaking the jump, this moment of truth when you lean into your fear and put your body and mind to the test, is the essence of the discipline – the very heart of parkour."

This quote is from the newest article posted by Dan Edwardes, director and founding member of Parkour Generations and co-founder of Parkour UK. Here's a link to his article on the topic of breaking jumps:


Since we're on the topic - check out this new parkour-related podcast/radio show from London created by Brian Appiah Obeng of Parkour Generations as well:


And an older blog post from myself; a quick touch on the topic as well and my own thought process while breaking jumps (back then, at least):


Before I was writing on the Parkour Ways blog I had a few entries on my own blog that are still relevant. The link above was obviously one of them, the rest can be found here:


You can likely expect something to do with breaking jumps this weekend in the classes!

A Message


There’s a certain “essence” that I'm going for when I instruct, and I'm very happy to hear that it's showing. Big thanks to my new student Beck Anstee for inspiring this post, through a message she sent to me via Facebook. Beck found my classes through our Ninja Warrior Games (http://www.UrbanNinjaProject.com) event that she attended with her daughters and has since attended 3 classes and brought her 2 daughters to a class as well.

In her message, Beck had inquired about the philosophy of parkour and was unsure if she was making "more of it than there is". In fact, I believe she has come to a better understanding of the discipline than most at their beginner stage in training. She went on to compliment my methods of instruction and the classes as a whole, and I was extremely satisfied by her message. Enough to write back a rather large response.


Here was my response to Beck’s message:

“You are not making more of it than there is. On my website I mention that I don't just teach a catalog of movements. If that was all there was to parkour, I probably wouldn't still be doing it after these years. It is definitely part of the philosophy to tune in with your environment and other people. Parkour is about a few simple points, but those points branch deeper to so many levels it's almost impossible to understand without getting into the discipline yourself:

Knowing Your Self - No matter what we do, we are always doing it alone. I don't mean that in a negative way. Everything we do is a decision of our own; every choice we make is made by us. When you're training, even with 100 people by your side, your training is still up to you. Nobody can really know what you're feeling inside at any given moment, the challenges you're facing or the thoughts running through your mind while you're staring down a jump.

Becoming Stronger - I think many (if not all) of the people who stick to training parkour have at least one thing in common: we always want to do/be better. When I say becoming strong, I don't just mean being able to lift 100lbs instead of 80lbs, or being able to do 100 pushups versus 50. The strength you find and build in parkour is in the mind as well. We use the skills we've developed through movement and apply them to all sorts of situations: problem solving, fear management, teamwork, leadership, compassion, confidence, self-expression, imagination and creativity. Yes, the physical strength of course can be carried into other goals and objectives or situations in life. But every bit of parkour should include the mind. If you're not using your mind, you're simply not training parkour.

Use That Knowledge and Strength for Good - "Be strong to be useful." This is one of the phrases that have been carried down from the founders and others that have followed in their footsteps. The word "Yamakasi", the name the founders gave their group, is an African Lingala word that means "strong man, strong spirit." To them it meant "strong body, strong mind, strong spirit." It was all about strength when they developed the discipline and their name. "We start together, we finish together!" is another phrase you will hear around the Parkour Generations team and the Yamakasi at their events. We want to be strong for a reason. Not just to lift heavier things, not just to impress others or to be "cool" - but to show others what they, what WE as human beings, are capable of. Especially nowadays with technology taking over everyone's lives; we've lost the ability to use our bodies and the will or respect to take care of them. There is a spirit in parkour that is just too difficult to explain. That spirit is about taking care of others and our environments just as much as it is about taking care of your own self.

Make It Last - "To be and to last." This is another phrase common to the founders, Parkour Generations, and those who have followed them. Parkour is an ongoing discipline. It is not a fad, it is not meant to be a workout or diet that you commit to for 6 months only to fall back into your "regular" life. There are those who train to go the biggest and hardest that they can, trying to pull off the biggest, flashiest tricks or movements. Despite anything that television, movies, any other media or anybody ever tells you - it is NOT an extreme sport, it is NOT about competition... and it never will be.

There are a limitless number of other branches to the discipline. Parkour is a never-ending and always-changing lifestyle - a journey without a destination. It is unique to each individual, just as our bodies and minds are.

Thank you for that message. It was really great to get confirmation that my instruction carries those core values! I'm going to share this on the Parkour Ways blog.”


I really like where Beck is headed, and I want to give her recognition for being incredibly involved in my classes in such a short amount of time. She continues to seek knowledge of the discipline on what seems to be a daily basis, sharing what she learns with others (including her nephew, Nick, whom she brought with her to a class last weekend!).

For the first time ever last weekend, I “assigned” some of my students a bit of homework. Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t paperwork or an essay! All I asked of the students in that class was that they go out and work on their balance somewhere, at some point during the week. That was all.

Just a few hours later, I saw that Beck had posted a few videos on Facebook showing that she not only did the balance assignment, but also tried a few other new things! Absolutely awesome.

Beck has discovered a love for parkour. “I love it. It's a very natural progression for me. It's almost permission to be myself”, she says. ""Parkour is for everyone and contagious. I am seeing a variety of age and skill levels come into Parkour Ways and couldn't be more pleased."

Your Homework

Now, I have homework for my readers. If you haven't already, watch this video:


Additionally, I want you to poke around the Parkour Generations site (www.ParkourGenerations.com) and read some of the articles they have up. Not any one in particular. Just poke around at what catches your eye.

Lastly, I want you to read this recent blog on the topic of the way parkour is being spread and misconstrued, written by Parkour Generations coach Chris "Blane" Rowat:


Thanks for reading. Keep training everyone!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Facebook Updates

For those of you who don't get to read or see our Facebook updates because you don't use Facebook (weirdos!), you can now see our status updates and even the photos and videos that we share right here on the site! Did you know most of our Facebook posts get shared to Twitter also? Click the image above to go to the new News page and check it out!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ninja Warrior Games Success!

The past few weeks I've been working with some new close friends to launch an organization called "Ninja Warrior Games" (soon to be changed to "Urban Ninja Challenge"). We worked a ridiculous number of hours throughout these weeks: on our computers creating logos, graphics and the website, driving around putting up flyers and posters and talking to local businesses, planning and designing courses and obstacles and, of course, putting in the plethora of physical labor required to build the nearly 20 different obstacles we came up with for our first event!!

Needless to say, we didn't get much sleep and things have been incredibly crazy. But, we all felt rewarded as the event came to fruition and we realized what all of our work was bringing to our participants. The smiles on all the faces reminded us why we wanted to do this in the first place - to give people a new way to have fun while staying healthy and fit. We wanted to get kids and adults excited about moving, excited to learn new ways to exercise and use their bodies, and excited to be part of a new community that revolves around those concepts.

Our first event brought together several types of disciplines and activities in 32 unique workshops in just 2 days! We had some incredible trainers and coaches in attendance:

The turnout for participants was great, totaling approximately 110 people over the weekend! We had a lot of help from some great volunteers while we ran the courses and workshops and for setup and take down of the obstacles - thanks to everyone who gave us a hand!

We can't wait to get our next event rolling! We've already been scoping out locations and having meetings about your feedback and how we can improve or streamline future events! Follow us on Facebook or check our website for updates about our next events!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ninja Warrior Games Update

Here's the detailed schedule for the weekend:

And here's a teaser video!

More information at www.NinjaWarriorGames.org!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

History of Parkour Ways

Parkour Ways is an organization created and run by me, Kurt Gowan, since September, 2011. My goal with Parkour Ways was to provide professional, reliable parkour instruction to Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.

When I started to get into parkour, I didn't have access to professional instruction - it just wasn't available. I was bored with my life. Working several years in electronics retail will do that (to myself and many others, I’m sure of it). I started my “training” by watching videos on YouTube, like many tend to do. I ended up with some pretty hefty knee injuries from improper training and trying to go "too big, too fast" (those injuries have long since subsided, thankfully). I quickly realized I needed to find a new way to go about my training.

In the beginning, most of my sessions were in Chicago though I did have the occasional solo session out here in Northwest Indiana. I live in Illinois, but just on the border of Indiana. Been here all my life. Traveling to Chicago for training was getting to be too expensive. I stumbled upon a group of practitioners in my area – right over the border in fact. One of these practitioners was John Conway – now my best friend and one of the greatest practitioners I’ve had the pleasure of meeting (referring more to his mindset and the way he views parkour, not a comparison between his movement and others’).

John helped me to discover a new way to look at parkour. Whether it was his intention or not, he helped me to see it as a way to better myself, not just something to do with my boredom (though it definitely does away with boredom as well). I soon learned that John had an instructor certification for parkour, the ADAPT certification (www.AdaptQualifications.com). He had traveled all the way to the United Kingdom to obtain this certification – and that certainly caught my attention.

Soon, I was attending John’s classes at a nearby gymnastics facility in Indiana where I often assisted him in showing the “noobs” the “ropes”. Helping others discover what they could do with their movement was a fantastic feeling – a feeling that grew on me very, very quickly. Ever since I had helped teach the kindergarteners when I was in 5th grade, I had some fondness in my heart for teaching others. Little did I know; that fondness would grow to be my life and my mission.

In June of 2010, my mom died after a heartbreaking struggle with cancer. I loved my mom; she was always there for us and always took care of us (single mom, 3 kids, 2 grandkids). Witnessing her struggle with cancer and even her struggles before that diagnosis was really tough. My mom was the first important person in my life to die… the first person to die who I had really known. I hid it pretty well, but it hit me extremely hard.

Her passing made me realize a few things. One of those things was that I did not want to die doing something for a living that I did not want to be doing. Surprisingly, electronics retail sales were NOT what I wanted to do (gasp!). Another one of those things was that I needed to take some risks sometimes and be unafraid of change if I ever wanted to move forward (two things I think my mom really had trouble with, to be honest). Yet another was that home ownership is expensive and rough, and yes even one more: how hard it is to deal with my brother when his decisions will have an effect on you, too!

Combine those two life lessons and you get this: I went through 3 jobs (fired from one, quit the second), dropped out of college and quit the last job I had without having another one lined up.

I dropped out of school because I realized that sitting at the computer all day every day was exactly what my mom did for over 30 years at Chase (it was “First National Bank of Chicago” when she started there, then "First Chicago Bank", then "Bank One", etc.) – and I thought that maybe that had something to do with her seemingly never-ending stress and anxiety. Don’t worry; that was not the only reason I dropped out. The further I got into school and my program (Computer Engineering Technology), the less I enjoyed it and the more I realized that online school is really just the incredibly expensive equivalent of Googling and YouTubing everything...

I had a dream one night that I was at work at Best Buy talking with a friend/co-worker and the manager approached us and said something. I cannot remember what the manager said (and it wasn’t any real-life manager, just the manager in the dream – honest), but it somehow dissatisfied me and I got up, told the manager I was quitting, and walked out of the building. Days later, I quit my job at Best Buy just three days before Black Friday… anyone in retail can tell you that this is a huge no-no. I wanted to burn that bridge and never look back. Check! Thank you, subconscious!

By this time, I had my own ADAPT parkour instructor certification and a desire to start teaching parkour in Chicago. Originally, John and I were working together to create an entity in which we would both run. Little known fact – he actually came up with the name “Parkour Ways” when we were brainstorming for our brand (don’t worry - I have a piece of paper with his signature now saying that it’s allllll mine! Muahaha!). Months went by and I went through a WHOLE lot of planning, designing, programming, talking, emailing… you get the idea. With the help and advice of a few other people, Parkour Ways eventually came to fruition - and here I am today!

Thanks for reading, I hope this helps everyone understand a bit where I've come from and how Parkour Ways got started. Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported me in this endeavor!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Overnight Movement Jam #2!

FIRST - A great big thank you to everyone who came out for the first Overnight Movement Jam at Vie! It was a great success and tons of fun!

Now we're celebrating the expansion of our classes to LivFit in Forest Park, Illinois with Overnight Movement Jam #2!

LivFit is an indoor facility with high ceilings, its own rock climbing wall, brick walls on the inside (use them as you wish!), rings, and a lot of mats and vault/plyo boxes. This overnight jam is actually 13 hours long, running from 8pm to 8am! YES, 13 hours! It's daylight savings "fall back", so we'll gain an hour during the jam!!

Like the last OMJ at Vie, there will be some healthy snacks but you are welcome to bring your own food or order food in. Of course, there will be music as well. If you wish to sleep, feel free to bring a pillow and blanket or sleeping bag. There is a small room and other space to sleep!

I'd love to see everyone who came out for the last overnight jam back for this one! Let's get more people involved and make this one even more awesome!! The more people come, the better... it will help us to build more equipment!

- $15
- Ages 14+
- Snacks (You may bring/order food if you want!)
- Music
- Doors will close at 10p (only adults can leave and return)
- Everyone must bring a signed waiver unless we already have one on file for you (minors need parent signature)

Pictures of the facility: www.ParkourWays.com/gallery?album=LivFit

SIGN UP FOR THE EVENT HERE!(pay with card or choose enroll as unpaid)

Please pay in advance if you have the means to do so (it will speed things up when you come in and will also help me pay for the snacks!). If you're paying cash, try to bring exact payment as I might not have enough change for everyone!!! Thanks! :)

If you need help figuring out how to register:

Monday, October 22, 2012

Chicago Ninja Warrior Games!

I'm proud to announce that I have teamed up with the folks at Dog House CrossFit and some other great new friends to help bring Chicago its first ever Ninja Warrior Weekend! We've dubbed this non-profit organization "Ninja Warrior Games" and we plan to have our first event on November 10th and 11th... just 3 weeks away! The cost is only $5 for kids and $7 for teens and adults, per day! There will be workshops throughout both days, two levels to the kids course and 3 levels to the teens and adult course. This WILL be a competition - with a grand prize of $100 to anyone who completes the level 3 course in the fastest time!

Dog House CrossFit is a great group of people and they've got a large indoor facility with plenty of room to set up an obstacle course! We've been working round the clock to figure out the course and find resources for equipment. We're looking for sponsors of any kind that are willing to help contribute in any way that they can. We're also looking for volunteers to help keep the event organized (keep time, move equipment, direct foot traffic, etc).

For more information and to register you can visit our website: www.NinjaWarriorGames.org

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Second Location Starting Soon!

I'm excited to announce that Parkour Ways is expanding! I'll be running my classes and open gyms at a second location soon: LivFit in Forest Park, Illinois. Boasting some great features like high ceilings, an abundance of mats, interior brick walls and its own rock climbing wall, LivFit will be a great place to train! Follow the link below to see some photos of the facility, and stay tuned to find out when Parkour Ways will be starting there!!

Photos of LivFit in Forest Park, IL

First Overnight Jam: Success!

Thank you so much to everyone who came out for our first Parkour Ways overnight jam last night!! I had a blast and I hope you all did too! I really appreciate the great turnout we got with such a short notice of the event! I'm Looking forward to doing something like this again in the near future!

If you stayed at the jam through the night then you heard me talk about two important things coming up:

* * Parkour Ways classes and open gyms will be expanding to LivFit in Forest Park (Berwyn/Oak Park area) in a few weeks!

* * I am collaborating with another facility and an awesome group of new friends I've met to bring Chicago it's first ever Ninja Warrior weekends. We are hoping to do monthly events with a 3-level obstacle course including skill workshops and (of course) a competition with some prizes! Show us your support and let us know if you have any great ideas or resources for equipment... we are looking for sponsors! We're still just getting started and there is much left for us to do, but check out our page! Ninja Warrior Games

Here's a quick video put together by some of the guys that came to the jam!! Thanks for sharing this guys!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Overnight Movement Jam This Weekend!

Parkour Ways is hosting an overnight MOVEMENT jam this weekend at Vie Personal Fitness to celebrate the end of the season as we move our equipment indoors again! The jam will start outside and will likely move indoors after the sun goes down and the temperature drops!

This isn't a parkour-only jam. You're free to train any discipline you'd like! The cost is $15 - a very reasonable price for a 14 hour gym session like this!! Registration is limited! Read below!

- Plenty of indoor and outdoor space to utilize for whatever you want to work on - parkour, tricking, capoeira, breakdancing, yoga, weightlifting, etc!
- Cost is only $15/person for 14 HOURS!
- Music played inside and outside! Bring an iPod/phone/mp3 player/laptop/CD if you want to share yours!
- Healthy snacks will be provided! There are always water bottles, Gatorade, cans of Monster Absolute Zero, and snack bars for sale (cash only). Absolutely NO alcoholic beverages allowed.
- IF you want to sleep you are welcome to sleep on the floor... just make sure you're out of the way!
- Ages 12 and up!

- EVERYONE MUST BRING A SIGNED WAIVER (unless you have ever been to a Parkour Ways session before)!!! Print the waiver here: http://www.parkourways.com/documents/Parkour_Ways_Waiver.pdf

- REGISTRATION IS LIMITED!! Sign up in advance here to make sure you get a spot:

Sign Up!!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Open Gym Price Drop!

Open gym sessions at Vie Personal Fitness are now just $5! We're no longer offering the packages of open gym sessions, but we've dropped the price for drop-ins to make it more accessible for everyone! Open gyms are currently scheduled on Saturdays from 12:30p - 2:30p, on Sundays from 1:00p - 3:00p and temporarily on Tuesday nights from 6:30 - 8:30p (those Tuesday night sessions will end on October 16th).

Now that the sessions are only $5, you will no longer pay for the sessions through our online registration system but you can still pay with a debit/credit card when you get to the gym. Open gym sessions are subject to cancellations in the event that our regular classes are cancelled (empty/zero signups) or if there are not enough sign ups for the open gym (minimum 4 needed, you can see the number of people signed up on the schedule). If you're planning to come to an open gym session, make sure you sign in for it on the website (select "Register as Unpaid") in advance. If you're signed in for the session and the session gets canceled, you will be notified via email. If you need to find out whether or not an open gym session is still scheduled to occur, you can call!

For more information about our classes and sessions: www.ParkourWays.com/classes

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Parkour Ways Welcomes Ekaterina Kartashova!

Ekaterina Kartashova is a female practitioner of parkour originally from Russia. She made her move to the United States 10 years ago and started training parkour about two years ago. She decided to start training parkour because she was afraid of it and thought it would be a great challenge for her to take on. When she learned about some of the philosophy that parkour entails, she realized that this is what she has believed in her whole life. She saw the opportunity to learn many things from training this splendid discipline.

Having had no sports background, it was very difficult for Ekaterina to get started with her training. Her fears kept her grounded, and one by one they formed into hopes of new little victories for her. She trains in order to live the way that she has always felt is right for her:

"I want to live my life with the knowledge that anything is possible, that any obstacle can be overcome. That there is never such a thing as 'I can't'. There is always a way when it's something you truly want."

"I want to give peolpe joy. I love seeing people happy and enjoying their movement through life so if something I know can bring a smile to their face... well, that's why I love to share parkour with people."

Some years ago - before she started training parkour, Ekaterina found out that she had a pinched nerve in her spine. This condition kept her from any running, jumping, or any other similar physical activities. "I would walk and collapse randomly in the street because my legs would just stop carrying me", she said. "But parkour makes it better. The common exercises we do on a daily basis have made it possible for me to not only run, but train consistently in this discipline which is in my mind one of the most difficult and serious disciplines out there."

Since starting her journey of parkour, Ekaterina has trained with world-class parkour instructors from Parkour Generations (UK) on several occasions and even with the Yamakasi (the founders of parkour)!

Ekaterina will be joining us for a special $5.00 open gym on this coming Saturday, August 4th. Don't pass up this opportunity to train with an experienced female practitioner and a wonderful person! You can sign in at the link below (sign up as unpaid, payment will be taken at the gym):

Sign Up Here!

Ekaterina leaves us with this additional food for thought:

"Each day is a new chance to conquer yourself. To believe in a higher power than fate. And find your connection to that power is stronger than you thought. Thus each day is a chance to change your life. To manipulate the obstacles you face and reach a new place of peace. Each day we trace ourselves unto higher ground. Each day is parkour."

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Farewell Masa Suzuki Jam!

This will be a fun weekend at Parkour Ways with some special guests!! Masa Suzuki has spent the past month of July right here in Chicago training with the local practitioners and working with a group of kids in Austin, Illinois, instructing them in parkour. Tomorrow, Friday August 3rd, we will be hosting an open gym from 7:00pm - 9:00pm to see Masa off before he travels back home!

Here is a video Masa put together of his time spent here:

Sign Up Here!

Monday, June 11, 2012


Jeffrey Strening and David Yip came out from Chicago to train with myself and John Conway out in Indiana last Friday and my good friend David Gall came along to snag some shots. A large number of great photos in this set, click here to see the full gallery at the site!

Photos by David J. Gall

Sunday, June 3, 2012

American Rendezvous 3

American Rendezvous - one of the biggest and most exciting events of the year for traceurs and traceuses! Parkour Horizons (www.ParkourHorizons.org) hosts this event annually and brings out some very admirable coaches from across the pond to help us all learn and get stronger together. This year's Rendezvous was led by a generous amount of Yamakasi (www.ADD-Academy.com), and Parkour Generations (www.ParkourGenerations.com) instructors from abroad: Chau Belle, Ben Odoyer, Francois 'Forrest' Mahop, Dan Edwardes, Chris 'Blane' Rowat, Tony Thich, Thomas Couetdic, Chris Keighley, Annty Marais, and Dominic Willoughby. Julie Angel and Andy "Kiell" Day also made the trip out for the event and gave some very interesting presentations. Julie Angel has a PhD in parkour. That's right! She makes parkour documentary films and has a book out on the subject as well. Andy "Kiell" Day is a photographer who takes some stunning shots of parkour practitioners. Andy also enjoys rock climbing and he even ran a climbing session during the training on Monday.

The event was a huge success with a great turnout on all 3 days! Everyone put hard work and strong effort into the warmups and all of the drills throughout the weekend, we start together - WE FINISH TOGETHER!

Thanks to Parkour Horizons, Parkour Generations, and the Yamakasi for putting the event together and making us all train extra hard!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Brian Scalabrine Commercial!

Check it out! Blaze stunt doubled for Chicago's very own Brian Scalabrine (of the Chicago Bulls) last month doing parkour in a hilarious web commercial!

More Classes!

Great news! Outdoor classes are now being added to the schedule for Chicago AND Northwest Indiana! We're excited to get more classes going and we can't wait to start things up outdoors again! Outdoor classes in Chicago run at $15, and they're just $10 in Northwest Indiana. Keep an eye on our schedule - you should start to see more and more of the outdoor classes popping up for various locations around these areas. Check out the new schedule by clicking here!!

Chicago Locations:
- Lincoln Park Neighborhood
- Grant/Millennium Park
- Elmwood Park Neighborhood
- Logan Square Neighborhood
- Lakefront Area (Museum Campus)

Northwest Indiana Locations:
- Hammond, Indiana
- Highland, Indiana
- Munster, Indiana
- Calumet City, Illinois
- Lansing, Illinois
- Hobart, Indiana

At the moment, outdoor classes are all ages 12 and above, including adults!

I hope to see you out there soon!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Spring Schedule!

The class schedules have now been updated for the spring season! There are now more class options than before with a few scheduled on the weekdays. The Open Gym sessions have been moved up to an earlier time in the afternoon/evenings on the weekends, and we've added an Open Gym on Wednesday nights as well.

With the new schedule comes some new policies:

  • You can sign up for a class up until 5 hours before the time it is scheduled to start. If there are no students signed up for a class by this time, the class will not meet that day. If for some reason you cannot sign up through the website, please send an email to contact(at)parkourways.com to let us know you'd like to reserve a spot and which class you'd like to sign up for.
  • Open Gym sessions will be canceled if no participants have shown up after one hour from the time the session was scheduled to begin. If you are running late for an Open Gym session, please call ahead to ask if the session is still running!
We hope to see you all at the gym! Follow this link to sign up and view more info: http://www.ParkourWays.com/classes

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Slim Jim Video

Last Wednesday we got to spend some time with Scott. He's the Sultan of Snap, the king of the Slim Jim community! We got to tell him what parkour is about and show him a few things. It was a lot of fun, check it out!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Grant Lechner Photoshoot

A good friend Grant Lechner came out to the gym to shoot some photos for a school project he's working on. Here's a few shots from the shoot, they turned out great! There should be more to come!

Blaze leaping for a swing.

Blaze leaping for a swing.


Blaze leaping for a swing.

Diving for a laché.

Blaze leaping for a swing.

Diving for a laché.

Blaze leaping for a swing.

Diving for a laché.

Blaze leaping for a swing.

View more of Grant's photos here. © Grant Lechner 2012.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Parkour For Schools!

Check it out students, parents and faculty! Parkour Ways is looking to introduce parkour to school students in the Chicago and Northwest Indiana areas! Parkour is an extraordinary, exciting way to get students physically active and applying their mind in new ways, discovering their limits and simultaneously pushing them... safely! We'll work with you to set up a special event for your school. We can provide brief introductions to parkour for the students and staff including an explanation of this art of movement, demonstrations of techniques, and even get the participants started with some of the basic movements. Please see this page for more information:

Parkour For Schools

Or contact us today to schedule a meeting!

Contact Us

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Closed Easter Weekend

There won't be any classes or open gym this weekend for Easter! If you bought a one month open gym package, your expiration date has already been extended by one weekend to make up for this. Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

NEW Youth Classes!

I'm proud to announce that we will now be offering regularly scheduled youth classes inline with our other classes over the weekends! Spread the word! Tell your friends, your family, your parents, even tell your teachers!

Parkour is a wonderful thing for kids to get into and can help them build and develop so many great things. Parkour Ways provides kids with the opportunity to learn this discipline in a safe environment, with knowledgeable and friendly instructors.

The benefits of parkour are virtually endless: strength, power, endurance, mobility, flexibility, balance, stability, agility, coordination, touch, creativity, confidence, inner peace, discipline, durability, respect… the list goes on! Parkour can help us fight obesity in our country in a fun and natural way. It gets us outside and moving – exactly what our bodies were built for! The physical benefits are quite obvious, but there are many benefits that one does not immediately think about when they see or hear about parkour, too. As practitioners, getting in touch with our environment changes the way we look at the architecture of our surroundings. We build a higher respect for all environments, especially the properties on/in which we train. Parkour builds a great sense of touch – concrete, rocks, gravel, metals, dirt, grass – we train on every kind of surface imaginable and this creates a higher sense of tactile sensitivity.

There is a phrase that floats around through the founders and many parkour communities: “Be strong to be useful.” In parkour, we can condition and prepare our bodies (and minds) for everyday situations. It’s not just physical obstacles in our environments that we learn to conquer – we take that confidence and adapt it to life’s many mental obstacles. Through our training, we find that we can train ourselves to get through and accomplish anything. The discipline, respect and focus gained will transfer to all walks of life, including school work and classrooms. It can keep kids out of gangs, away from drug use, and keep them active and fit. Parkour is also useful in emergency situations where there is a need to escape or to reach persons in need that, without parkour training, might otherwise be unreachable.

If you have any questions about the classes, please contact us via email contact(at)parkourways.com.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Outdoor Classes Coming Soon!

It's that time of year... the skies are blue again and the sun will be showing its face more often. The concrete will stay dry longer and the heat will keep our bodies nice and warm while we train. This also means we'll soon be starting our outdoor classes. Not only will we be setting up the equipment outdoors at the gym, but we will also be holding classes outdoors in various locations. We've already got some locations in mind - but we are open to ideas and suggestions! Know a place that's great to train at here in the city? Want us to come to your town/area to hold a class? Let us know! Shoot us an email to contact(at)ParkourWays.com! Feel free to include pictures!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

An American Journey

John Conway, my great friend and an ADAPT certified affiliate coach of Parkour Generations, just returned from a trip across a good portion of the United States and has put together this video to share the experience with all of us. It turned out wonderful, I'd like to thank John for making this video and for helping me to get where I am today.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Help An Indiana Traceur Make A Difference!

A local traceur from Northwest Indiana has set out on a mission to Help Make A Difference. Joseph Genova of Dyer, Indiana will be traveling to La Labor for a week of work assisting those in need:

"On May 3, 2012 I will be waking up at 1:00am to catch a 4:00am flight departing from O'Hare International airport only to land in Guatemala City 7 short hours later. Once I arrive, I will be on a bus heading to the impoverished village of La Labor, which will then begin my first of seven days of mission work involving: helping rebuild churches, painting houses, fixing fences, constructing areas, helping children, and doing overall good for the community. For the past 10 years a small group of 6-9 people, including students and faculty of Calumet College of St. Josephs (CCSJ), have been traveling down there each year (personally funded) in order to help out a village in desperate need of assistance. I am a sophomore at CCSJ, and I am proud to say that this will be my first year going, and I am more than excited to be able to lend a hand. Unfortunately, being a full time student doesn't allow for a steady income, and paying for such a trip at my own expense has so far exceeded the amount of $1,200 dollars leaving little to no room for anything in my budget. The aim of my writing is to simply ask for a small donation (Anything you can give will be helpful) to help buy extra supplies for the schools/children. All proceeds will be used to buy crayons, pencils, coloring books, soccer balls, and anything else that may be needed to help improve the lives of these kids. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! As said before, All of the money donated will be put towards a good cause so why not donate?? And if money is an issue, and you have some new or slightly used supplies then I will be more than happy to take those as well!

Thank you,


You can find an event for his mission on Facebook by clicking here.

You can donate using the button below:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Blaze's New Video

A new video from Parkour Ways owner Kurt "Blaze" Gowan. The majority of these clips were shot throughout 2011, some are more recent from 2012. Locations include: Chicago Illinois (UIC, Lincoln Park, Elmwood Park), Arlington Heights Illinois, Columbus Ohio, Hammond Indiana, Hobart Indiana, Munster Indiana, Monticello Indiana, Whiting Indiana, Miami Florida, and inside the Parkour Ways gym location (Vie Personal Fitness).

Thursday, February 23, 2012

$5 OFF OPEN GYM THIS WEEKEND! (2/25, 2/26)

NOW THROUGH THIS WEEKEND (Expires after 2/26): Buy single open gym sessions (as many as you want!) online and use the promotion code "KASHVAULT" to get $5 off EACH session.

Click here to view other scheduling and pricing info!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Pictures From The Gym

There are some new pictures in the photo gallery of the gym, check the "Blaze" and "The Gym" albums! See them all here!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Launch Weekend Success!

The launch weekend at Vie Personal Fitness was a success! We had a great turnout for the launch party on Saturday and to the free open gym on Sunday. Everyone that came got a free t-shirt and food. It was a ton of fun, thanks to everyone that came out to support this! Special thanks to Yvon Bignet for letting Parkour Ways into his gym and making this possible!

As a reminder, anyone that attended the launch weekend events can get a 50% off discount on ANY open gym package. That means only $30 for a full month ($3.75 per session), only $125 for a full year (only $1.30 per session)! Email us or post on our Facebook page to get your discount!

Click here to view other packages and pricing!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Gym Preview

Here's a preview of the new gym location! We had a soft launch to test out the equipment this weekend, thanks to everyone who came out!