The Capital’s Parkour scene is picking up, and Delhi-based Parkour expert Mujahid Habib and his team are participating in a big way. An architect by profession, Habib started Parkour a.k.a freerunning — the activity or sport of moving rapidly through an area, typically in an urban environment, negotiating obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing — almost a decade back in Rampur, his home town, and soon brought it to Delhi.
Habib says that his interest in Parkour began at an early age, when he didn’t even know much about the movement-based discipline. “I used to watch Jackie Chan’s movies and that is what primarily got me interested. His fluidity and effortless action inspired me, and in 2007, I started practising Parkour,” says Habib.
Parkour, for Habib, is a liberating experience. “It teaches you to respect your surroundings, shows you opportunities where there are none and, in a way, becomes your life’s philosophy, which is to leap over obstacles, one leap at a time,” adds the 25 year old.
You can often spot Habib and his team, Team Leonine, practising in parks and compounds near his home in Okhla or at various monuments. Habib feels that Delhi has many options for practising this discipline. “The urban landscape of Delhi is amazing. We often see international videos of Parkour and are amazed at their skill. But, Delhi too is a gold mine. From monuments to simple housing compounds, there is so much to traverse,” he says.
I learned Parkour early on in my life and it quickly helped me not only to become more confident but also to use that confidence — Mujahid Habib
Habib has not only won accolades in the field, but also has featured in the 2011 Bollywood flick Ladies vs Ricky Bahl. “I did a short stint in the Thug Le song sequence and loved the experience. My moment of pride was when I was mentioned in 401 Reasons to Love Delhi, written by Fiona Caulfield. I still have a copy of that book with me and owe it to these little things for getting me noticed.” says the Parkour, adding, “I learned this discipline early on in my life and it quickly helped me not only to become more confident but also to use that confidence. It is probably the only sport, where you just compete with yourself and set the benchmark. I’m now promoting Parkour among the youth and my team comprises many talented youngsters. Parkour has been my lifeline and I want it to influence other lives too.”