Leaps and bounds: Iranian women take up parkour in new craze

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Although it’s tricky to practice if you’re wearing a headscarf, women in Iran appear to be persistent in their parkour practice.

The new trend has catapulted off in the country, as groups of young headscarf-clad women have been increasing seen jumping from rooftops, scaling graffitied walls and somersaulting down stairways, The Guardian reported on Tuesday.

The hybrid of martial arts and gymnastics is soaring in popularity with Iran’s young women, with practitioners running related threads on online social forums and posting videos of their skills.

It is common, reported to the newspaper, for men to hold parkour tournaments in local parks, they also face less hassle from the police, according to male members of an online parkour forum.

Women, however, haven’t found it as easy to perfect their moves.

“It’s become quite acceptable for guys, but because we’re girls, when we're out practicing, they sometimes hassle us,” one young woman, hiding behind oversize sunglasses, says in a YouTube clip.

It is not just the authorities that are less-than-enthusiastic about women taking up the edgy sport.

One young man on the national parkous website questioned whether the activity was in-line with the “modesty and chastity” that he thought should be displayed by a woman.

But there are also scenes of men standing by to aid women doing air somersaults in film clips online, the newspaper reported.

"It gives us courage and helps us release our pent-up energy. It's great to feel that nothing can stand in your way." said Azadeh Moaveni, a student from a Tehran parkour clan, in quotes cited by The Guardian.

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