Games People Play

Parkour is generally pretty fun just by itself. Despite this, a number of traditional games have grown up amongst practitioners, like bonus levels or minigames within the massive game that is parkour itself. Some of these make sense. Others… less so.

Tube Olympics

Thanks for the video, Leon.

Tube Olympics is the reason the Underground was invented. It’s literally the most fun you can have on public transit. The object of the game is to turn each stop into a challenge – the challenge begins when the tube doors close, and ends when they open at the next stop. Bystanders often find this game confusing, and will go to any lengths to avoid acknowledging the presence of players. This makes it even more fun. A typical game looks like this: Round one – Deadhang from the overhead handrails Round 2 – Chair position Round 3 – hop on one foot Round 4 – hop on the other foot. This is obviously flexible. Handrail deadhang has been included in every version I have done, but there are plenty of options – L-sit on the seats, pressup position, crow position on the floor… try not to fall onto any civilians.

Foot Ninja

This is a really sensible and fun game where nothing could possibly go wrong. I’ve seen it played many times in Yao’s chainstore classes, and hardly anyone dies at all! The object of the game is to dance around (preferably to unusual French rap music) and stand on other peoples’ feet, while avoiding getting stood on yourself. If you get caught out, you have to do pushups and experience shame. There is a Crossfit 1864 variant of this, in which players touch each others’ feet with their hands. This is probably slightly more difficult but slightly less foot-mashing.


What is it with parkour and ninja games? This is a surprisingly complicated game. Everyone starts by standing in a circle, and adopting a dramatic ninja pose (as you do). People then take turns to move. You get to make one movement, with the aim of slapping someone’s hand. They get to make one movement to avoid your strike. If your hand is touched, you are out. I seriously cannot play this game. I can’t tell when it’s my turn or what the hell I’m meant to be doing. It’s fun anyway.


The Floor Is Lava

Yes, I know. Parkour is pretty much a giant game of “the floor is lava,” but this game still exists. I’ve played it on both the Chainstore dancefloor and in the parkour area. On the dancefloor, you are given some smallish objects, such as a kettlebell, little plastic thing, moveable rail or inflatable gym ball. You have to make it from one end of the open space to the other. You must work as a team, and the objects can be moved. In the parkour area, the objects are less moveable and consist of scaffolding, boxes etc. It’s single player mode here – find your own path.


This is a Wednesday Night Special – I’ve seen it played outside once or twice, but not with the tension and hilarity in the Wednesday beginner class. A couple of “sentries” are stationed on high points in the parkour zone. They sweep the area with their “binoculars,” looking out for movement. The rest of the group has to silently sneak over and around the terrain, hiding and freezing whenever the sentries can spot them, and get behind a sentry to kill them (by kill, I mean tap on the shoulder. Wednesdays are pretty hardcore, but not THAT hardcore).

Balance Gladiators

This is another awesome, fun game where nothing could possibly go wrong. This requires at least two players, and a LOW railing. LOW. One player starts at each end of the rail, and they walk towards each other. When they meet, they try to take each others’ balance by tapping each other with their feet until one player comes off the rail. Light taps, people. This is NOT kickboxing. It’s best played on those moveable low-level rails in Chainstore. Did I mention it’s a game for low railings?

Rabid Dog

The Chainstore dog has rabies! Everyone has to climb high enough to avoid being bitten.


I do sometimes wonder what’s wrong with us…


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