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Cliff Notes May 2004: Volume 1, Number 2

Climbing the Walls


On a normally quiet weekend, the campus is empty except perhaps for a few sleepy students trudging into Geisel Library. But on a closer look you’ll see a group of guys, scaling walls, leaping concrete blocks and jumping railings. The art of parkour started in France, but its growing popularity has brought the new sport to UCSD.

Parkour essentially means trying to move as fluidly and efficiently across any terrain whether urban or natural. Silverton Nguyen, ’06, who practices parkour with a group at UCSD first learned about it while watching the British T.V. documentary Jump London.

“I realized that the human body is capable of much more than most people imagine,” Nguyen says. “I liked the philosophy of not being restricted by barriers.”

Nguyen found out that some La Jolla High School students were already holding parkour “jams” in the area. The first UCSD jam was held last winter and since then has become a weekly activity.

A jam begins at the Main Gym for general warm-up, then the group practices movements at various locations. Although it’s not true parkour, Nguyen says the jams allow the group to practice basic movements required in the situation of a continuous run.

Nguyen says parkour has become a metaphor for his life, teaching him how to focus and practice in order to optimize his performance.

Cliff Notes written by Marnette Federis, ’06


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"The art of parkour started in France, but its growing popularity has brought the new sport to UCSD."