What is Parkour?
By Antz and Red Leo from the Street Monkeys
Parkour, known as Le Parkour or PK for short is not something that can be easily described or explained. Actions speak louder than words and the art of movement does exactly that.
Parkour is about moving, moving in a way in which you don’t let anything stop you - moving through your environment and overcoming any obstacles that come in your path.
Originally, David Belle and his childhood friend Sebastian Foucan created Parkour from an idea that was put into David Belle's head from his father. Raymond Belle (David’s father) adapted the idea.
David always looked up to his father and his grandfather for being heroes the pair where sapeurs-pompiers (military fire service). David would always listen to tales form his grandfather and father and feel proud and very inspired and realised he had to find a similarly path.
David joined the fire service but felt to restricted by the regulations and wanted to be free. His only real love was obstacle courses.
He then left for India and achieved a black belt in Chinese Kung Fu. He also achieved a certificate of honour for his gymnastic agility, this is where Parkour was born.
So, in a nutshell, what is Parkour?
Parkour is the art of forward movement. Being able to interact with your environment, it’s being able to get to one place to another in the most efficient quickest way possible. This involves running, jumping, vaulting, and climbing obstacles in natural or urban environments to get to your destination in the quickest time.
Obstacles can be anything from a rail that is blocking your path, a set of steps that would be easier to jump down instead of run down or a large wall that would be much quicker to climb than run around. This is Parkour.
Tricking as such is not Parkour. But you will see many traceurs (the word used for people that partake in Parkour) practising tricks such as flips. The traceurs who perform these tricks only do so to better themselves mentally and physically and wouldn’t use them in a run, as they’re not efficient to use. There are much faster and better ways to overcome obstacles.
What can you achieve from Parkour?
• Physical fitness
• Mental ability
What do you need for Parkour?
The best thing is all you need for Parkour is to be relatively fit and have a good set of running shoes. It’s not like other activities where you spend lots of money on equipment. All you need is a good pair of shoes that offer support. As a new comer to the Parkour world you need to have a good understanding about the different basic moves. For example, you need to know how to break a fall before you jump off a high obstacle. You need to have a good amount of practice before you try to vault a rail for example.
There are websites all over the net that will teach you the basics. They give information on Parkour and help you find traceurs in your local area. Here are some links to get you started.
last updated: 30/04/2008 at 09:22