Scaling a two-story wall, vaulting off of a park bench and jumping over a three-foot fence are just a few of the many parkour moves people can learn at the new American Parkour Academy opening in May at Go Primal Fitness and Training Institute.
Parkour is the discipline of training oneself to overcome any obstacle within one’s path by adapting one’s movements to the environment. This involves jumping, climbing, rolling and swinging.
Drew Drechsel, the founder of the new academy, has been practicing parkour for five years.
“It’s a way to play with your environment,” he said.
He started in high school when he was doing flips off of vending machines for fun. After discovering parkour on YouTube, he started training himself.
Earlier this year, Drechsel was on an eight-week television series called “Jump City: Seattle.”
After finishing the show, Drechsel moved to Gainesville and decided he wanted to teach the discipline, so he set about opening a school.
Participants will go through a $200, four-week boot camp to learn the basics before starting regular classes.
Go Primal Fitness, 110 NW 39th Place, hosted two open houses for the academy in April to generate interest.
Raul Crespo, a junior mechanical engineering major at Santa Fe College, attended an open house after hearing about it from a friend.
“I’ve always had a very big interest in parkour, so I was excited to give it a try,” Crespo said. “And it’s exactly what I expected — fun and exciting, with a lot of possibilities.”