On the 28th of March 2015, Raul Piscoya of San Francisco Parkour organized the first Women’s Parkour meet up which took place on University of California's campus in Berkley. It was during the spring break, so the campus was unusually empty and quiet.
The class started with warm ups on all fours, landing and jumping techniques, basic vaults and balance training. Upper body strength drills were added later, which mostly consisted of climbing over obstacles. About half of the women who came to the meet up already had some parkour experience. Five of these women train PK on a regular basis.
Raul decided to organize the all female jam himself since there wasn't yet a female PK leader in the Bay Area. He explained that many women generally feel uncomfortable at first at predominantly male meet ups, where many guys jump around with their shirts off, oftentimes making racy jokes and doing advanced training - all of which can be very intimidating. Raul personally loves the idea of mixed gender trainings and hopes that all women interested in parkour will join weekly jams with the guys in the future.
Raul met his girlfriend Gabby StMartin through parkour. She comes from a volleyball background and has been practicing PK for 2 years. Raul thinks that practicing PK has not just helped her play volleyball better, but has taught her how to land properly on her feet and strengthened her.
The decision to organize the jam at Berkley had a lot to do with police being accustomed to traceurs jumping around and practicing here, which they have been for the past 8 years. Most of the architecture is made of concrete and it’s hard to break something while practicing. Also PK athletes here take care not to damage plants, pick up trash after themselves and even bring magic erasers to clean up the walls from their shoe marks. All of this creates a good reputation with the local police and security forces.