Have you ever wanted to learn how to do those “ninja moves” you see on movies? Or are you a parkour enthusiast looking for a safe place to practice your craft without looking like you just stole from somebody’s house? Well, Ninja Academy got you covered and I got to see what it’s all about from their new Las Piñas branch.
First, definition of terms. Parkour (derives from a French word meaning “route”) is a training discipline using movement which aims to get from one point to another in a complex environment, without assistive equipment and in the fastest and most efficient way possible. It includes running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, rolling, quadrupedal movement, and other movements as deemed most suitable for the situation. Practitioners of this sport are called traceurs. Free running is often associated with the activity because of their common origin but they do differ in philosophy: parkour is more utilitarian while free running is more performance-oriented. (Sources: , , ).
I admit I’ve always been fascinated by people doing parkour as I don’t even know how to tumble. The way they go through obstacles like they’re not there is just amazing so when we were invited by Ninja Academy Las Piñas to come over I did not hesitate. Actually, I was thinking that we would just watch demonstrations but surprise! We get to be in an actual introduction session. By we, I was referring to myself and a few lifestyle and mommy bloggers.
Our introduction was facilitated by none other than one of the owners of Ninja Academy, Robby Apelo. He’s been practicing parkour for about five years already so we could say he’s a subject matter expert. He mentioned that they started Ninja Academy so that those who want to learn or practice parkour have a safe place to do it. Because running around and jumping over walls in public places don’t necessarily draw good attention, particularly with security and police. 😀
Our session started with some warmup drills, just like with running or any physical activities. Unlike what I’m used to where the point is just to elevate your heartrate and warmup your muscles, our drills were meant to incorporate coordination. This involved simultaneous movement of hands and feet. Unfortunately, I had too much fun doing it that I forget to take pictures of our routines!
Then we got a tour of the obstacles. For someone who isn’t exactly comfortable with heights, some of the obstacles can get intimidating, but for traceurs, I could just imagine how exciting it looks for them. Robby started introducing us how to do some of the basic moves like the safety vault, side vault, etc. for us to follow. Regrettably, I had injured my left shoulder the day before from the gym so I was unable to do some of them. But really, it was so much fun!
Last on our tour were the trampoline and the foam pit. I’ve never had the chance to get into any of those before, and I didn’t realize that they were so much fun! Robby mentioned that beginners start at the foam pit whenever they practice doing their flips and then progress on to the trampoline where you may get higher jumps. Jumping into the foam pit is probably much softer than jumping into water (it can get a bit hot in there though as foam traps heat) and after bouncing up and down the trampoline, the rubberized floor seemed so hard!
We also got a glimpse of their second floor where they conduct their gymnastics classes. It is a huge space with a couple of equipment already installed with some more to follow according to Robby.
Ninja Academy offers more than just training grounds for traceurs and gymnasts as they offer other classes:
- Gauntlet Class – Ninja Academy’s Signature Class, a 30 minute circuit training + 30 minute obstacle course challenge
- Kenjutsu Class – the art of swordsmanship
- Tricking – A combination of martial arts, gymnastics, break-dancing and capoeira
- Rogue Day – Calisthenics class by one of the leading calisthenics group in the country, Team Rogue
- Personal Coaching – We have certified instructors, both in Fitness and Parkour
To get to Ninja Academy Las Piñas, head towards SM City Southmall and enter Manila Doctors Village Road. Just follow the road signs and you’re there! As we learned the hard way, don’t follow Waze if it asks you to pass through a different road!
Ninja Academy also has a Pasig branch for those coming anywhere but the south of Metro Manila.
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I would like to thank Robby for giving us our sweat-inducing introduction to Parkour and for touring us in your Las Piñas branch! Thank you as well, Pepi, for introducing us to Robby.