LA Free Running School Sprinkles Videogames Into its Urban Playground

Logan Westbrook

Transform, Roll Out, Etc
Feb 21, 2008
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LA Free Running School Sprinkles Videogames Into its Urban Playground


Nothing says "amazing feats of aerial dexterity" like Super Mario Bros.

If you're anything like me, you see the kind of moves that free runners and parkour practitioners pull off and you get to thinking that throwing yourself around like a real life Prince of Persia might be a skill you'd like to learn for yourself.

That's where the Tempest Free Running Academy comes in, which not only teaches you how to run, roll and leap like a videogame character, but also lets you test out your skills in videogame inspired environments.

The Tempest gym is curious mix of realistic urban environments, not-quite-so realistic ramps and bars, and an utterly unrealistic Super Mario section, which is pretty much the first thing you come across as you enter the gym. It also has a trampoline and a foam pit, but that seems to be less about free running or parkour specifically, and more having fun. On its website [http://tempestacademy.com/], Tempest says that its facility was designed by BMX rider and X-Games ramp builder Nate Wessel, and claims it has the perfect mix of gym and outdoor training.

Tempest does offer classes, but you have to live in Los Angeles to take advantage of them. Nevertheless, it's rather fun to watching a bunch of would-be Marios leaping around a real world Mushroom Kingdom. Now, if Tempest could just get some boxes that floated in mid-air and dispensed fungi when struck, it would be perfect.

Source: Gizmodo [http://gizmodo.com/#!5789358/la-freerunning-academy-is-like-one-giant-donkey-kong-playground-for-adults]



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Logan Westbrook

Transform, Roll Out, Etc
Feb 21, 2008
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Im slightly disappointed that the Mario section wasn't an actual Mario level, that would of been better.
 

Fayathon

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Nov 18, 2009
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I'm a bit surprised that they didn't do a Mirror's Edge area (unless they mentioned it in the audio, I don't have sound ATM) but still, the Mario section is all sorts of geeky cool.
 

The Zango

Resident stoner and Yognaught
Apr 30, 2009
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If only they had these in England, I'd sign up in a second... Though there do seem to be alot of sharp, straight edges with pointy corners at the end, I wonder how long it took to scrub the copious amounts of blood from all the surfaces?
 

RandallJohn

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Aug 21, 2010
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Armored Prayer said:
Neat, but I expected an actual Mario themed course rather than a small section.
This, exactly. I think it's cool, but it's not that big a deal to me. It's just a tiny set of obstacles. To hear about it, you'd think they recreated world 1-1 or something.
 

Owlslayer

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Nov 26, 2009
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Nice. Some of the tricks they did were really amazing. Didn't even know you could cheat physics like that.
And the Mario thing is a nice touch.
 

XSin

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Jul 21, 2009
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Parkour interested me for a while years back and the Mirror's Edge sparked it up but I'm far too lazy to keep enough in shape to pull off those kind of moves >_<

There's a free-running group on my campus as well, community formed so you see 10 yr olds vaulting over building gaps lol
 

Mahorfeus

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Feb 21, 2011
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Man, this video gave me a flashback to the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers for some reason. Probably all that pointless leaping around... kidding.

Parkour's always looked really interesting, nothing I could or would ever try though. I'd snap my neck in no seconds flat.
 

Woodsey

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Aug 9, 2009
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I would have killed to see some fat guy try the course and go head first through everything - like the fence jumping in Hot Fuzz, only more.
 

Sean Strife

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Jan 29, 2010
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I wish there were more places to practice parkour in my area, but given that I live in small town, Tennessee, people would just look at me funny if I were to start doing that shit on the Christian college campus right up the road from me... and would probably get hassled by the crooked druggie cops in town, too.
 
Mar 9, 2010
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If there is one thing I want to be able to do well in the physical area then it's free running. Man, it just looks so awesome and it's practical. I think I have my summer plans ready, shame I don't live anywhere near LA.
 

Shellsh0cker

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Oct 22, 2008
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Damn, that looks really awesome. I hope they do well and open up some more of these in other major cities, because I'd really love to try this out.
 

V8 Ninja

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May 15, 2010
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And I have to ask the question again: why do I live in the middle of nowhere?