Parkour group hits gym scene

Parkour is an extreme sport that may be new to Cayman but some locals are investing their efforts into it.

Flo-Motion is a local team of five young Caymanians aged 18-21 in Daniel Ebanks, Robert McLaughlin, Brian Myers, Derrick Pascal and Leroy Rodriguez. The group grabbed headlines at last year’s Pirates Week festival though members like Rodriguez view their activities as self-expression rather than training.

“It’s an amazing way to express ourselves,” Rodriguez said. “When we have a bad day, it fades away with parkour because we put our heart into each move we do. Each move we learn means we learn a new way to express ourselves.”

McLaughlin, the founding member, is the veteran of the group as he has trained for four years. Pascal and Ebanks have been in it for two years while Rodriguez and Myers are newcomers with just over a year’s involvement.

They currently train at Motions Unlimited Gymnastics Studio in George Town, where they recently did a demonstration. It tied in with a small showcase by the Motions Unlimited boys and girls team, which featured youngsters like Berkley Ponce and Roger Cockhill, ahead of their upcoming meet in Jamaica.

McLaughlin states the group’s efforts these days focus on gym work.

“Parkour, in addition to tricking and free-running, is a sport that is rapidly growing,” McLaughlin said. “Our main spot is Motions but we also train at the Purple Dragon dojo as it is a good spot for tricking.”

Flo-Motion practices parkour (which is about fast and efficient movement from point to point while navigating obstacles), tricking (which incorporates martial arts, gymnastics and flips) and free-running (which is similar to parkour except it involves flipping while travelling through urban obstacles).

There has been talk of Flo-Motion representing Cayman at international competitions like the Art of Motion (a free-running event). Myers, who is an avid skateboarder, states eventually the group will look to compete abroad.

“We don’t consider what we do a sport, it’s an art of self-expression,” Myers said. “One day we’d like to compete at a Parkour Games where you’re going through crazy, crowded courses in the fastest times possible.”