As part of a new series, we’re asking Baltimore-area kids to tell us about their favorite places in the city! In this first review, Freya (also known as Little Miss F!) shares why Urban Evolution rocks and why every kid should give parkour a try!

what is parkour?

Parkour is an art, made up of strategy, silence, and acrobatics, but the best way to describe it is ninja training. Ninjas were a tribe-like group of warriors that battled samurai in Japan. In their time, they lived in a natural environment and climbed up and down trees, rocks and other things. But they had to move quickly, so they wouldn’t run into samurai. Parkour is their technique if they did it in an urban environment. That means they would do it today in Baltimore over cars, against building, off walls, over rooftops, on sidewalks, an so on.

why i like it

A cool thing about parkour is you can do it anywhere. You don’t need equipment to do it. Of course, you can do it that way because it was designed to be in an urban environment, and it’s based off of the ninja outdoor technique. It’s good for city and suburb ( or strait up country)! Don’t need to drive to do this one! 

You just need to feel comfortable with what you do. Everyone has something different to work on, so why not focus on your own. And trust me, it’s a lot easier to do the move correctly if you’re focusing on it. Another thing that will get you all jumbled up is, again, if you don’t feel comfortable. Don’t force your ego to go the other direction, then you might REALLY get hurt. Try to see if it’s possible for you by practicing on the ground. You’ll feel more comfortable then, and even if you don’t make it, you can bail out safely. Remember why you started in the first place- to have fun! You don’t have to do the move. It increases not only your physical state, but your mental state as well, which is why there are challenges in parkour.

(cool) kid review: freya + urban evolution - (cool) progeny

what it’s taught me

People think parkour is dangerous. The truth is, it’s only dangerous if you’re hasty to do a difficult move without practicing its basics or bails, or you aren’t comfortable with the move at hand and force yourself to do it.

what you (other kids) should know before you go

Go at your own pace. Want to go faster? You’ll learn fastest by just focusing on the move at hand.

There are also a 3 very important safety rules:

1. No knees or shins for mounting (because, ow)
2. Quiet landings (you will learn to “absorb” your weight for a softer impact)
3. No perching or gorillas with your fingers (they have silly names, but are an excellent way to break your fingers or knuckles. Instead, you will learn to land flat-handed)

You will learn how to vault, roll, navigate on rails (without touching the ground), bail out of a difficult move, and have lots of fun playing tag every now and then!

what parents should know before their kids start

Again, it’s only dangerous if you or your kids don’t feel comfortable doing the move or don’t bail out right. There are other classes at the parkour gym, too, and you or your child can do both. Before taking a class you will have to sign a waiver so everyone can have fun ( and stay safe with the lessons ) with the best equipment! WARNING! Your kid will be full blown ninja-monkey afterwards. Either that, or they will be tired for the whole weekend!

what i can’t wait to try next!

There is so much to learn in parkour. If you’re balancing on rails or leaping over boxes, there is a different subject each week and so much to do in each one. I have so much more to learn and want to try to visit once or twice a week.

learn more about urban evolution

Freya takes parkour classes at Urban Evolution located at 6801 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224. You can learn more about them on their website. Be sure to check out their Facebook page, too!

(cool) kid review: freya + urban evolution - (cool) progeny


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