Christian Fernandez, Gabriel Nunez and George Shunia are co-directors of the first ever Jam El Paso event to be held this Sunday, August 24, at the DC Skate Plaza on 4700 McNutt from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The trio hopes to host future events in downtown El Paso said Christian Fernandez, “Downtown inspires a lot of the parkour we do in El Paso.”
Parkour, also known as freerunning, is often associated with urban settings. It is a discipline that has its roots in military obstacle course training. Developed in France by widely recognized founder Raymond Belle in the 1980’s, the discipline has recently been more widely recognized as a sport. The goal of Parkour is to travel from one point to another with economy of motion, utilizing only the body as a means of propulsion to overcome environmental obstacles in creative ways.
The trio of El Pasoans coordinating Jam El Paso have no official group but they are an extension of the globally recognized Team Tempest Freerunning Group. Co-founded by native El Pasoan Gabriel Nunez, now residing in Los Angeles, California as a professional stuntman. The group consists of parkour practitioners and working stunt professionals.
Gabriel Nunez was also the first to win the Barklaycard World Freerun Championship in 2009.
Nunez is the official stunt double for Taylor Lautner of Twilight fame in the upcoming film Tracer, a movie about a man, “Wanted by the mafia, a new York City bike messenger [who] escapes into the world of parkour after meeting a beautiful stranger,” according to IMBD.com
Co-director of Jam El Paso, Christian Fernandez said, “[Nunez] keeps in touch with myself and George Shunia daily to stay connected to El Paso and the parkour movement here.”
Fernandez himself has been practicing parkour in El Paso for years but was incited to elevate the activity and inclusion of a wider community after sharing a trip to Los Angeles with friend and co-practitioner George Shunia.
“Up until meeting George, I kept to myself because people were always interested in parkour but didn’t commit to it the way I had,” said Fernandez.
The pair shared a trip to Los Angeles for the Tempest Pro Takeover held in Los Angeles, an event co-founded by Gabriel Nunez. The Tempest Pro hosts 33 of some of the best athletes from over 13 different countries that collaborate on parkour movements and hold workshops. “We wanted to participate and see this indoor freerunning gym they built that has revolutionized stunt-work training,” said Fernandez.
“George and I came back and have continued to remain active in collaborating and traveling,” said Fernandez.
The lifestyle of a parkour enthusiast requires dedication and an affinity for a visceral connection apart from the comfortable conveniences of today, “I discarded all of my devices and have learned that instead of training to build muscle, doing yoga, homeopathic healing and keeping lean is better,” said Fernandez. In 2012, Fernandez participated in the American Ninja Warrior television show.
“We prefer to practice and collaborate in downtown which is where the vibe and inspiration came from,” said Fernandez adding, “You will usually find us in Union Plaza on the weekends where we really invite anyone interested to join us.”
Assumptions about parkour are that practitioners perform the discipline on rooftops while trespassing, “We try to get permission whenever possible and though we sometimes practice on rooftops, it is a misconception. Most of the work is done on ground level and we always keep safety in mind,” said Fernandez recalling the 1994 film, The Crow, “That scene where Brandon Lee’s character is running on rooftops was inspirational and cool but it’s not always like that.”
Jam El Paso will feature pro athletes like Paul “Diddy” Darnell the stunt double for Henry Cavill the current actor portraying Superman. Luci “Steel” Romberg has worked on films and television with credits such as Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and True Blood.
The event which is free and open to the public will also have parkour demos, prizes, giveaways, the first mobile parkour park, music, food and more.
The event seeks to foster and keep an organic vibe said Fernandez. “When we’re practicing downtown and because so many people are outside and on foot, we get to see artists, musicians and anyone simply interested. Some of the friends we made will be performing at the event but that really is the nature of our group. We promote community, health and wellness.”
At this time the coordinators are still open to interested sponsors and vendors including food trucks or similar businesses.
For more information visit the official facebook page or write to: firstname.lastname@example.org