Features Tuesday, April 07, 2015 - 05:30
Nitin B | The News Minute | December 4, 2014 | 2:50 pm IST Twenty three year old Yasaswy is like any other teenager except that he likes jumping from one rooftop to another, walking over narrow railings and hanging from a rooftop without any support. It may sound like a dangerous thing to do, but to Yasaswy, these things come naturally Yasaswy Modukuru is one of the few people in the country who practice parkour. "Parkour is closely related to martial arts. It is a form of physical discipline, rather than a sport'. Yasaswy told The News Minute. Yasaswy recently became the first certified level two Parkour instructor from India when he got a certificate from the American Parkour academy (APK) last week. He is the only one in the country to achieve this feat. So what is Parkour? For those unfamiliar with the term, Parkour according to textbook definition, is a holistic training discipline using movement that originated in France. It’s a relatively modern discipline as it evolved in urban settings where practitioners aim to get from A to B in the most efficient way possible. Watch this video to get a better understanding of the concept. Though not very common in India, Parkour over the years has been taken up by young enthusiasts in the country. The discipline has also found its way into the stunts performed in the Indian film industry. One popular example of this would be Akshay Kumar's Thumbs Up advertisement that shows two friends trying to get to a bottle of Thumbs Up without touching the floor.   For Yasaswy, who is also a health psychology student in the University of Hyderabad (UoH), Parkour is a part and parcel of his life. “I practice for at least 3-4 hours a day and sometimes 6-7 hours if I have the time. I practice in nearby parks and also pay the occasional visit to Golconda fort” he says When asked about his insprations, he says “I have somehow always seen Jackie Chan in his movies, doing his stunts and though it’s not technically parkour, the way he manipulates his surroundings is something that probably started it off” He also goes on to mention “David Belle” who is widely considered as the creator of the discipline. About the scenario of parkour in India, he agrees that there is still a long way to go and a lot of awareness has to be created in the country. He was in fact thrown out of a nearby park in May after confused security guards who did not understand what he was doing, manhandled him and even went to the extent of saying what he was doing made him look like a thief. As of now, there are only a few parkour enthusiasts in the country mainly in the metro cities of the south and Delhi. “The best way to create awareness is to probably keep practicing in public places so that more people will be exposed to it and also do something similar to a “flash mob” in malls” Yasaswy adds. Yasaswy also paid a recent visit to the secretariat in Hyderabad where he met the Home Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chinna Rajappa. “The purpose of the visit was to offer the incorporation of parkour training to the OCTOPUS (Organization To Counter Terrorist Operations) wing which is an elite anti terrorist force.” he added. The proposal is under consideration and has already been moved a little higher along the hierarchy. Yasaswi currently plans to open up a 1,500 sq ft training facility on the top of his house to which the APK have already agreed to sponsor. “I personally spoke to the director of the American Parkour academy and he was happy to sponsor the gym and I hope that this will help in creating awareness and inspiring more people to take up Parkour.” “When I’m practicing, it’s like I’m free and I’m completely living in the moment. The freedom of movement is something that’s like meditation for me. It’s a very liberating feeling” he says. The thrill has not been without injuries for the youngster with him suffering from a lot of cuts and bruises and even injuring his neck in October. However, this does not dampen his spirits. “I will do this forever. Till I’m in a position to move, I will never stop doing what I do” he concludes. (Yasaswy proudly flaunts his certificate from the American Parkour Academy certifying him as a level 2 instructor)
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