What is Parkour

Parkour is a training method or lifestyle to get strong physically and mentally, to be able to adapt and overcome obstacles in any given environment with ease, flow and efficiency. It involves various techniques and skills that require consistent practice and experience to attain perfection. It is a non-competitive activity that has no specific age limit or eligibility. Parkour is suitable for people of all fitness levels with a strong desire to push beyond their abilities and limitations. 


The goal of Parkour is to move from point A to point B across any landscape in the fastest way possible using the most efficient movements over obstacles. These movements include running, vaulting, rolling, climbing and jumping with great accuracy and control. Practitioners of Parkour are generally called traceurs. The word was coined as they ‘trace’ a path through an urban environment.

History and Origin

Parkour is by no means an ‘original’ art. It is derived from many disciplines and skill sets that have developed over millennia. Perhaps the most influential are the ‘Methode Naturelle’ way of physical training, Military/firefighter obstacle course training, Gymnastics and martial arts. Since most of these disciplines included a philosophical point of view as part of their training, so does Parkour.

Perhaps the entire philosophy behind Parkour can be summed up in one small sentence. Be Strong To Be Useful.

Parkour in its modern form was developed in France in the 1980’s. David Belle is regarded as the pioneer and founder of Parkour. He was guided by his father Raymond Belle, a renowned firefighter and proponent of the Methode Naturelle way of training. There were many others who trained with him and they formed a team called the Yamakasi. The group consisted of youngsters who experimented, developed and mastered various techniques required to safely and efficiently move through urban landscapes.

As the team grew, each one started viewing Parkour’s goals and motives differently. Sebastien Foucan, one of the team members called his practice Freerunning. The basic idea behind freerunning is the freedom to express oneself through creative movement on obstacles, whereas Parkour demands just pure efficiency.

Today, Parkour and Freerunning has grown into a worldwide phenomenon inspiring people of all ages to experience the forgotten joy of interacting with our environment through movement. An activity whose direct and obvious benefit being the physical fitness, it has brought about a change in the way people want to get fit, strong and agile.


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