Parkour, or free running, has been gaining popularity among Mongolian youth lately.
Parkour is a training discipline using movement that developed from military obstacle course training. Practitioners aim to get from one point to another in a complex environment without assistive equipment, and in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Parkour includes running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, rolling, quadrupedal movement, and other movements for the situation. Parkour’s development from military training gives it some aspects of a non-combative martial art.
E.Erdenebayar, leader of Mongolian parkour and free running crew Odd Nation, gave an interview about the new youth movement.
Please tell us about yourself and how you have come to learn parkour.
My name is E.Erdenebayar, and I am 19 years old. I study at the Mongolian University of Science and Technology. I have been training in parkour since I was 16 years old.
Why did you choose to train in parkour? What influenced you to choose parkour?
I heard about this sport from my friend. I came from Dornod Province to Ulaanbaatar. I started training in parkour when I moved to Ulaanbaatar.
We heard that you have a parkour crew, and you are the leader of the crew. Are your crew members as young as you?
Yes, they are. My crew’s name is Odd Nation. Odd Nation Crew has seven members. We have been training in parkour and free running together since 2013.
Is there any particular reason you chose to form this crew?
Of course, we have a set purpose and objective. First of all, we want to promote parkour and free running to Mongolians. We also aim to promote ourselves to the world. We believe that our dream will come true.
This is a very risky sport for sure. What is the hardest thing about training in parkour?
There were so many hard moments. But I don’t want to talk about that right now because we really want to reach our goal. That’s why we have to tolerate everything.
How did your parents react to your passion for parkour? Were they apprehensive because parkour is very dangerous?
My family used to say “Stop this madness. You will break your arm or leg.” But now, they are supporting me. They understand my dream and have come around.
For other people, some understand parkour, and some of them shake their heads and say, “What the hell are they doing?” But that’s okay. We don’t care about what they say. We will train in parkour no matter what happens.
Where do you train?
We don’t have a field for parkour. We do our training in gymnastics halls of schools.
Has your crew participated in any competitions?
Mongolia’s first parkour gathering, Summer Jam, was held last summer. We participated in that event. After that, the National Parkour Championship took place in Chinggis Square on October 11, 2015. My crewmate B.Tsogbayar won first place.
What have you learned from training in parkour?
We usually do our training at sports halls three times a week, usually at nighttime. Sometimes we can’t find a venue, so we train outside. I feel very wonderful and relieved after training.
Parkour has so many advantages, for example it is very good for body development. You can overcome any obstacles and barriers in a very easy way.
There are also disadvantages. Our shoes are torn very quickly. Shoes are our best friends.
Notebook and pens are very important to journalist. To us, shoes are our best tool.