by Janet Jonus
Does your child literally climb the walls? Does he jump on everything? Does she want to learn how to flip and spin? If you answered yes, then you should check out parkour.
Parkour is the art of moving through an environment in the least restrictive way. Parkour teaches the individual, or traceur, to move over, around, under, and through obstacles. Parkour includes elements of gymnastics, running, and martial arts, but it also focuses on mental discipline, training, and repetition.
Pittsburgh is fortunate to have an entire gym dedicated to the art and sport of parkour. Steel City Parkour in Export, PA is a 10,000 square foot gym for parkour, ninja warrior, and extreme obstacle course training. Owner Steve DiGirolamo has been coaching parkour for eight years. “The main goal of parkour is confidence-building,” Steve explains. “Parkour is about conquering challenges. It is about setting goals and working towards them.”
What will your child learn in a parkour class?
“What aren’t they going to learn?” Steve DiGirolamo asks with a laugh. “Students learn balance and coordination. They learn high level acrobatics and high level jumping skills. They learn to work hard and to improve themselves. They learn control and self-discipline. Parkour requires all of it. The body and mind working together.”
For new students, the most important skills they learn are safety. Kids learn how to safely work with their bodies and their environment.
“Although you see athletes (online) doing dangerous things, the real goal is to challenge yourself”, Steve explains. “We teach everything close to the ground. Our students learn how to move their bodies through their surroundings in new and exciting but safe ways.”
Once the students master the basic skills, they learn additional skills. Parkour involves jumps and balance obstacles, but most kids want to learn how to master three things – wall flips, laches (bar swing jumps), and obstacle courses. Steel City Parkour can teach all of these skills to more advanced students.
What will you find at Steel City Parkour?
Steel City Parkour has six major training areas – the Spring Floor, the Trampoline Wall and Foam Pit, the Tumble Trampoline, Parkour Obstacles, Ninja Warrior Obstacles, and Workout Equipment.
The Spring Floor is used for a lot of the Beginner and Intermediate Classes. Steve and his co-coach Christian use moveable foam blocks and mats to set up obstacles for the students. Expect a lot of running and jumping mixed in with balance and upper body skills. The Spring Floor also has an overhead ring course, parkour obstacles, and Ninja Warrior obstacles like the Devil’s Steps, the Spider Jump, the Spider Climb, and Salmon Ladder.
The Trampoline Wall and the Foam Pit are used to teach jumping skills and yes, those flips in a safe way. The foam pit allows the students to practice bigger tricks safely.
The Tumble Trampoline is used to teach jumping skills and more of those flips. There is also an extended Ultimate Cliffhanger from American Ninja Warrior here.
There are all levels of Parkour Obstacles throughout Steel City Parkour. These include blocks, pipes, walls, another foam pit, and two Warped Walls. There are also climbing obstacles in this area.
The Workout Equipment is not used during classes but parents can pay a monthly fee of $25.00 or a daily fee of $5.00 to use the equipment while your kids are in class or you can schedule a personal training session with Steel City Parkour’s personal trainer, Spartan Steve, for a personalized workout.
Parkour is for Everyone
At Steel City Parkour, students have a large, safe facility to learn new skills and make new friends.
“My kids love Steve and Christian,” one mother says. “They are amazing. They have attention to detail, every child is challenged, and my kids learn something new every week. We love it here.”
“My son didn’t fit into other sports,” another mother explains. “Here (at Steel City Parkour) he found himself.”
“Parkour is for everyone,” Steve DiGirolamo says. “It’s a no-pressure sport. Your only goal is to be the best you can be.”
Class Schedule (From the Steel City Parkour website)
Steel City Parkour offers the following classes as of May 1, 2018:
• Monday Wednesday Friday
• 5-6pm Beginner Parkour: ages 8-12
• 5-6pm Advanced Parkour (by recommendation)
• 6-7pm Open Gym: ages 8-16
• 7-8pm Teen Parkour: ages 13-17
• 8-10pm Adult Open Gym: ages 17+
• Tuesday Thursday
• 5-6pm Little Ninjas: ages 5-7
• 6-8pm Youth Open Gym: ages 12-18
• 8-9pm Adult Parkour Class
• 11am-12pm Beginner Parkour: ages 8-12
• 12-2pm Open Gym: ages 12+
Yearly Registration Fee $50, additional family members $25
1 class per week $75 per month
2 classes per week $125 per month
3 classes per week $175 per month
*Due to some months being longer and with holidays a month is considered to be 4 weeks, therefore if you are signed up for one class per month you are guaranteed at least 4 classes in that month, but no more than 5 classes.
You can drop-in on a class for $20 (limit 3 drop ins without registration)
Steel City Parkour offers the following discounts:
5% discount if you pay for 2 months
10% discount if you pay for 3 months
15% discount if you pay for 4 months
Multiple family members discount: 10% for 2 members, 20% for 3 or more members
2 hr Teen open gym (Ages 12+ or advanced class students) Members $15 Non members $20
1 hr Youth open gym (ages 8+) Members $10 Non members $15
Youth Open gym punch card (10 hours of open gym) Members $80 Non members $100
Adult open gym punch card (10 hours of open gym) Members $60 Non members $80
Unlimited open gym pass $100 per month
Adult open gym (17+) Members $10 Non members $15
Pitt or CMU students $10
Unlimited open gym pass $100 per month
Beginner Parkour/Freerunning(Youth 8-12) Teen(13-17):
This class is recommended for students who are just getting into Parkour/Freerunning and do not have a strong foundation of parkour specific skills. This will also involve students that are not able to perform flips without a trampoline. This class will take place primarily on mats and soft surfaces, and will place an emphasis on safe landings that can be applied to harder surfaces.
Advanced Parkour(Youth 8-12) Teen(13-17):
This class will focus on becoming a well rounded Parkour and Freerunning athlete. Elements of tumbling and tricking will be introduced into this class. Students will have full use of the facility to learn these skills. (Note: Students must be referred by a coach to join the advanced class)
Adult Parkour (18+):
This class is designed for adults who are interested in Parkour or Freerunning. Recommended for people with no Parkour experience to those with intermediate skills, the class will give you the basics and the skills to apply during the open gym sessions.
Little Ninjas Ages 5-7:
This is a strength training class for students 5 to 7 years old. This class will focus on improving climbing, balance, and general strength through fun challenges and obstacle courses.
Steel City Parkour also offers private sessions, group session, and birthday parties. Check out these options at http://www.steelcityparkour.com/birthday-parties/
Steel City Parkour is located at 2080 Borland Farm Rd, Export, PA 15632 . There is ample free parking behind the building. There is a parent waiting area and free WiFi.
For more information contact Steel City Parkour at 724-799-1038 or by email at [email protected] .