Urban Fliers: A Look at Parkour

Having originated in France in the 1920s, parkour has become a world-renowned sport. A well-known parkour athlete and former ASU student, Francesco Caban, has brought his sport to the limelight, not only in Arizona, but in neighboring states. Caban has been instrumental in expanding the public knowledge of the sport by creating a network of performances, education and practice through Movement Connection, a group Caban founded consisting of performing parkour athletes. The group will be performing at the opening festivities for the ASU Art Museum on Sept. 28 and 29.

But first, Caban along with a few of his friends take his talent to the ASU campus in this photo essay.

ASU graduate Francesco Caban warms up by stretching.

Caban says that he likes to get warmed up barefoot to get the blood flowing in his feet.

A native from Las Vegas, Nico Matinata, has been participating in parkour for over two years now. Matinata, along with Caban, are both part of an organization called APK, which stands for American Parkour.

An airborne Matinata shows off his parkour skills.

(From left to right): Francesco Caban, Ian William, Daniel Mariotti and Nico Matinata take a moment to stretch.

“People are always afraid of what’s different," Daniel Mariotti, a current photography major at ASU, says. Mariotti has been a parkour athlete for three years.

“With parkour, once you get into it, you are part of a global network," parkour practitioner Ian William says. "There’s always that natural connection with people through this sport.”

Caban and Mariotti do side flips off the ASU sign while William and Matinata hang on the sides.

“Anything can happen on your best day or worst day, but just be prepared for as much as you possibly can be,” William says.

Taking a short break, the athletes smile for the camera.

“Even if you think that you can’t possibly do something, there’s no shame or harm in breaking down the steps to as simple as possible and building up to what your goal is," William says.

“We are the kangaroos of the urban environment," Caban says.

Showing strength and balance, Caban lifts himself off the ground and twirls around a stop sign.

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