NORTON — Inside the 6,000-square-foot gym, ninja-like athletes scale walls, leap over obstructions and perform intricate spins and tumbling dismounts.
It’s not a gymnastics training facility or a spy school, but a magnet for practitioners of one of the world’s newest sports. Afficionados call it parkour, or freerunning, a discipline that mixes the aesthetics of Olympic-style gymnastics with breathtaking feats of acrobatics.
“It brings together people who might be break dancers, gymnasts and acrobats into the same environment,” says Dylan Polin, 24, who opened the Hub Parkour Training Center on Mansfield Avenue in January, along with partner Lindsey Marr.
The center, which employs professional coaches and gives classes, is a magnet for new age athletes who train and compete in a sport of Spider Men.
This Saturday, the training center will host the indoor portion of the sixth annual Hubbable Community Parkour Jam with some of the top parkour and freerunning athletes in the country.
Parkour and freerunning originated in France a quarter-century ago. Athletes, known as “traceurs,” treat the gymnasium or urban landscape like an artist’s canvas. Traceurs run, climb, jump, vault, flip and and spin through their environment.
Hub PTC is the first gym dedicated to parkour, freerunning, and ninja warrior skills in New England, according to the business’ website.
Polin, who took up parkour as a teenager, said the jam is more a gathering of like-minded athletes than a competition.
“There are no expectations,” he said. “Athletes can just come and hang if they want.”
More likely, some of the nation’s top parkour performers will be displaying their skills and learning from each other as they leap, spin and bounce off walls and over obstructions.
Hubbable will open with an outdoor session beginning at noon Saturday at Boston’s Charlestown Navy Yard. Athletes will repair to Hub PTC in Norton beginning at 7 p.m., where athletes will bring their skills inside the gym.
On Sunday, enthusiasts will return to Boston for more outdoor events in Chinatown.
Hubbable, which has been held at rented sites in the past, attracted about 240 attendees last year. Polin is expecting a larger turnout this year.
While the public will be treated to the spectacle of traceurs’ leaps and spins at the outdoor session, Polin cautioned that the gym is not conducive to spectators. Floors and walls, as well as gym equipment, are all part of the palette for parkour artist-athletes.
“Really, nothing is out of bounds,” he said.
That doesn’t mean fans won’t be able to take in the action, however. Live coverage of the event is planned at @muvmag on Instagram, Polin said.
A full report will be posted after the event online at MÜV Magazine.
More information about the event and parkour can be found on Facebook at Hubbable 6: Year of the Beast and at Hub PTC’s website, hubptc.com.