American Parkour Forum

Support Center => FAQ => Topic started by: Mark Toorock on January 06, 2008, 06:24:50 AM

Title: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Mark Toorock on January 06, 2008, 06:24:50 AM
Its not age so much as attitude. When I was 14 I was very independent, but also very immature. I would have probably killed myself if I had either gotten the motorcycle I wanted so badly or if I had seen some of the Parkour videos out there!

What's most important is your patience, and willingness to train correctly and safely. There is NO need to ever go on a roof, and nothing about being on a roof that makes you any better at Parkour or Freerunning. What makes people good is practice, consistent, safe practice. Going big leads to injuries which leads to less consistent practice. Going too far outside your comfort zone leads to hesitation, leads to injuries, leads to less practice. Parkour and Freerunning are not about balls or guts, they are about honing your abilities so that more things are within your realm of safe possibilities. Even then there is a risk of danger, "even monkeys fall from trees".

So, I can't tell anyone a specific age is right or wrong, but here's a guideline: if you are disciplined (yes, Parkour is a discipline, funny how bad words and good words are the same words :) ) enough to train for three hours a week by setting up a goal or plan and sticking to it without jumping off anything over your own chest height for a month straight, then you are suited for Parkour and Freerunning safely and will probably get good at it. On he other hand, if you go out to train precisions, and ten minutes later you're jumping off 6' walls and rolling before you knowhow and doing running jumps, then Parkour and Freerunning are not for you, you will only end up hurt.

Don't go out training alone, and if you're less than 18 don't go meet "people from the internet" without at least a few friends or even a parent. There are a lot of other pieces of advice about starting to train that aren't included in this article but exist in others, like whether to start in a gymnastics gym with padding, training alone or with friends, etc.
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: dood0dood on January 06, 2008, 07:17:48 PM
 thx this answer my question perfectly come to think of it a new YMCA was built two blocks away from me...you think they might be interested in teaching parkour?
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Matt Hudson on January 06, 2008, 08:28:57 PM
They probably wouldn't but you could try.
They would have to be certified or what not....

Well... they could always call it "Movement Class" or something like that. and teach parkour and free running in it.. but I think a gymnastics center would be more likely to do it... for instance.. TumbleTime Gymnasium.
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: tabler1010 on June 07, 2008, 01:17:19 PM
im 12 and i do it the olny problem  is im not full size and do not have alot of arm strength i can do like 15 pull ups
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Kurt "Ziro" Samuels on June 09, 2008, 06:07:15 AM
On the opposite end, of this, I'm 26 and just getting really interested in this, but I look around the net and at videos and things and I wonder if I'm almost too old to just get started as it seems most people doing it are like 20ish. Out of curiosity, what is the average age of the people around these parts?
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Andy Keller on June 09, 2008, 12:42:54 PM
On the opposite end, of this, I'm 26 and just getting really interested in this, but I look around the net and at videos and things and I wonder if I'm almost too old to just get started as it seems most people doing it are like 20ish. Out of curiosity, what is the average age of the people around these parts?

Dude, don't worry about it. What you see on YouTube vids and such is often only the big-air/dangerous stunts that only the most experienced traceurs are conditioned and prepared to do. In fact, this is only an extremely small portion of parkour. Many of us[including me] on this forum don't do 'big tricks,' but we "keep it simple, stupid" and like to practice more of the technical, precise movements, that are mostly low to the ground and safe. Take Mark[that one that wrote this FAQ] for example. He is in his mid 30's[right?] and is better than most of us. I've watched him at jams. He enjoys doing precision jumps and balance maneuvers, and almost always low to the ground. As long as you take it slow and listen to your body, you'll do fine.

Maybe someone older than 17 will have more insight.

M2? Muse?[not that I think you're old ;)] Somebody help me out.
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Andy Keller on June 09, 2008, 12:45:40 PM
PS: Also, check out the 'Over 40 - or even over 30' board lower down on the main forum page. There's some inspiration for you...  :P

Just click here:
http://www.americanparkour.com/smf/index.php?board=145.0
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Kurt "Ziro" Samuels on June 10, 2008, 09:39:45 PM
Thanks :) I guess it's not so much that I feel too old to do it, and I wouldn't let that stop me really anyway, but rather I just feel like I would be 'that older guy who sucks' or something lol.
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: AirGear on July 19, 2008, 07:38:10 PM
im 14 im not that good actualy i suck im horrible but i love parkour if my arm wasnt broken i would be out practicing every day and will soon be doing just that so i believe it is maturity not age that we should justify this with ive met some pretty stupid 20 year olds and some increadably(spelled wrong) smart ones and the same goes for kids my age so i think its stupid that were talking about age in this but size is a different matter but thats just my opinion ( i hope i didnt  offend anyone)
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: james34 on December 15, 2008, 03:48:58 PM
i am 15. i train with my friends. we had a fever for it over the summer we must have gone about 10 hours a week minimum. but we had no training other than each others insight and youtube videos.. i cant find anywhere that provides formal or experienced training in my area.. (massachusetts) can someone tell me where i could search or find something.
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: BWADE612 on January 22, 2009, 01:41:55 PM
I'v been freerunning for about a year and im 13 i been doing it with my 1 friend who isnt around much so i train by myself. Its kind of boring but it pays off. When i First started doing it i got hert alot becouse i didnt really know how to land and jump properly
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Stephanie Belle Hagan on January 22, 2009, 07:04:57 PM
I'm 14. For some reason, I feel pretty young when I look at other traceurs around me. But it doesn't bother me too much... I just with I had more upper body strength. I could run a marathon, but can barely manage 5 pull-ups... heh.  :P

Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: PKAB on January 23, 2009, 09:54:31 AM
Im twelve and I dont care about age for Parkour.
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Daniel "spider" Potes on January 23, 2009, 10:24:20 AM
i agree with marks statement. i am almost sixteen, have been doing parkour for about 5 months and started out with no physical prowess. now im as fit as ive ever been. i agree also that parkour is more for those who are ready to train and not grumble. i love training and try to get around an hour  day. with the help of some of my more dedicated freinds ive reached a level that pleases me. many people i know who got excited about it never trained and ended up hurting themselves and quitting.
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: FalconRunner24 on March 19, 2009, 03:34:22 PM
im 14 and i dont think anyone in my grade or skool even knows wat parkour or free running is. any suggestions on how to get started in a small northern NJ town and where to practice?
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: MetalPanda on March 19, 2009, 06:49:40 PM
16 and my neighbor is 14. we got into this sorta last summer. but are just now getting serious for this summer.
it started off as flips into a pool, now we wanna flip flat ground. ha. but there are NO good spots by us. i'd have to get us downtown and my car sucks! lol XD
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: b5200 on March 19, 2009, 08:26:10 PM
I'm 14 now and I think I started when I was 11.  Age does not matter.  I admit, I didn't really do much for my first year or so but if it wasn't for those years I wouldn't have the dedication I have now.  I managed to do some bad damage to my joints as well the first 2 years but that taught me the lesson not to jump off of stuff(and it taught me the miracle of glucosamine supplements as well).
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Shawn Meilicke on April 11, 2009, 06:10:43 PM
well, ive always been comfortable jumping off things before i started parkour, and even once i did start, before i learned how to land, i never once hurt myself.

now that ive learned the proper way to do it and how to roll it makes things even easier.
i run daily, at my school im taking a class called "strength and conditioning" where i exercise every day of the week.

i thought i was in pertty good shape, then i started practicing my rolls by jumping down about ten feet and found out how outa shape i was. after my first hour 1/2 workout i was sore for two days...

i think where you start depends on your own personal fitness level; though i realize you were more using the "month of jumping only less than chest level" as an example of discipline.




the thing i like the most about parkour, is on top of it being something i find fun, relaxing, meditative, and invigorating, i also find it to be one of the best and easiest workouts to do. i used to love doing nothing all day, but since ive started parkour i hate sitting in a chair for more than a half hour straight, i gotta get up and move! i love parkour, its the best thing thats happened to me
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Micah Childs on May 26, 2009, 07:11:53 PM
"The thing I like the most about Parkour, is on top of it being something I find fun, relaxing, meditative, and invigorating, I also find it to be one of the best and easiest workouts to do. I used to love doing nothing all day, but since I've started Parkour I hate sitting in a chair for more than a half hour straight, I gotta get up and move! I love Parkour, its the best thing that's happened to me."

True that.
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Shawn Meilicke on May 27, 2009, 07:11:12 PM
thank you for correcting my grammar, lol

Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: WoodlandGhillie on June 01, 2009, 12:22:09 PM
Im twelve, but I can still do great. Really, there is no age limit, it's more of a maturity thing. I can easily keep up with 3 sets of 25 PushUps 5 PullUps 50 lunges, each side, 50 squats, repeated three times a day.

It really depends if your actually going to work at it, regardless of what other people think.

(I remember one time, a bunch of older guys saw me vaulting, saddle vault since that was one of the two vaults I knew when starting out. They came over, made fun of me, I later left towards a nearby creek. A few minutes later, they follow. After hiding, they found me. Again. after leaving, I noticed my watch was missing. Next time I see them, Im toatally going to backflip his face off...)
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Sarah A. on August 10, 2009, 05:16:35 PM
I'm 13.

It doesn't really matter how old or young you are. I think you just need to be old enough were you have enough common sense to take Parkour slow (Like 11ish if you're a mature person) and young enough were you can still move around great (I have no idea what age that would be XD)
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Entity Elite on August 10, 2009, 05:33:46 PM
I'm 13. It's not an issue of age. It's an issue of genetics (Yes, they matter. Your maximum potential is determend from the moment you are born). , Maturity, intellegence, open-mindness, the willingness and drive to learn. It also depends a great deal on body development. For instance, I'm 13 like I said above, and almost 6 feet tall, shave, and am ripped. I know an 11 year old 6th grader whom is taller than me. I know alot of 16-19 year old guys I am considerabley taller than.
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: KyleWP on August 10, 2009, 06:28:04 PM
I met a maybe 9-10 year old kid and his father the other day.

... The kid has been doing rock walls, martial arts, and gymnastics to prepare for parkour. Needless to say, I was more than a little impressed. ^_^
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: AlexIsDesu on August 11, 2009, 06:11:29 PM
I stupidly Just Started a week ago, I wanted to do it at age 16, but I wasted 2 years dreaming.
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: ParkourBoy217 on September 30, 2009, 08:18:21 PM
Really there is no specific age to start at, the sooner the better. Unless your like 4.
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: abusivechicken on December 14, 2009, 09:40:47 AM
i'm also 12 and is very confused about how to start Parkour and i live in Minnesota so i don't have much places to practice if you know a place were i can practice please reply to this. ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: BrMays on December 14, 2009, 04:35:09 PM
If you live in the Twin Cities area, there's a group that meets regularly near downtown Minnesota (see the regional threads (http://www.americanparkour.com/smf/index.php/board,74.0.html)).  Chad also teaches a freerunning class in nearby Eagan, MN--which I found extremely helpful.  Personally, I've lived in remote areas for a fair amount of time.  Basically, anywhere you can find a playground, state park, safe trail or combination of those three is gonna be fair game for freerunning.  Just keep safety in mind and stay alert.
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: kharvilak on December 15, 2009, 04:36:07 AM
I met a maybe 9-10 year old kid and his father the other day.

... The kid has been doing rock walls, martial arts, and gymnastics to prepare for parkour. Needless to say, I was more than a little impressed. ^_^

My son and I practice together regularly... he's 8 years old, and is starting to get pretty good for what he does.
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Nick Stone on December 15, 2009, 05:35:36 PM
I'm 14 and I've just gotten into it. Just training so far, I live on a ranch so that's all I can do anyways...
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Travis S on December 17, 2009, 01:54:22 PM
Ha, asking what age you should start and end parkour is like asking a monkey at what age it wants to start and stop climbing trees. The question itself is the problem. You start parkour the second you are able to crawl, parkour really just breaks down to human movement and how far you are willing to push it. We all should influence our children to do parkour when we have them, but we should teach them how to do it without injuring themselves. Encourage movement and an open mind but teach safety and good technique. There is a video online of an 11 year old girl killin' it ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnJLGPdyt6k ). As long as we teach the young how to avoid injury, they are going to do a great job. Also, I think parkour is something that people of any age can do, there are a few clips of a 65 year old woman doing some pk in the Point B documentary ( http://pointbmovie.com/Watch.html ). So, parkour is for all ages, as long as your train safely the only limit should be how much your body can do. Parkour is for everyone.
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Observer13 on December 18, 2009, 01:56:28 PM
I'm 13 and, but ive been doing Free running for a 2 years, but i keep trying to do parkour. but when i get to jump or do a flip, someone always comes and yells at me to get down. My mum thinks Im to young to do parkour. but i have no idea how old i should be
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: rob f hawkins on December 25, 2009, 10:03:41 AM
you have to be old enough to walk.  pk and fr are both about interacting with your environment creatively and thinking outside the box.  i have been free running for about 10 years now i have a ten month old son and it amazes me how creative he is with everything around him.  he climbs on everything pushes small boxes to bigger boxes so he can get on them.  that is pk in its simplest form. getting from a to b. i didn't start out learning movements or tricks i just went out and started playing now i can throw back fulls off ten foot platforms with absolute confidence.  everyone is a traceur or a free runner it just a question of perception.  so in answer to the question at hand i don't think there is a set age maybe a safe age for more advanced things but as long as the right precautions are taken anyone of any age can do it.
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Tyler Voels on March 05, 2010, 01:27:46 PM
im almost 15 and i just started and i really suck but age dont matter but i think if you start young it would be more benifitial. and i dont know where to go for classes on pk any ideas????
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Shadow Panda on May 24, 2010, 05:08:07 PM
Well im 13 and I am going to start as soon as my neck is fixed. This helped alot. I thought i should start when i was 15 so i have been practicing ok. Like 15 push ups a day and about 70 crunch ups a day. And now im going to start training constintly thx guys this got me started.    8)
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: jj pimp daddy on July 07, 2010, 12:58:55 PM
im ten and i started at nine no age is too young
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: mikey741 on July 19, 2010, 07:18:35 PM
I say personally, to start parkour in the teens. that is when the body is very durable and is able to produce more strength build up. Plus you have a lot of engery and a lot of free time. start around 8th or 9th grade. But really it doesnt matter age, it matters fitness and state of body.
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Nick Smith on August 11, 2010, 01:56:13 PM
i'm 14 and i have great upper body strength except today i did a cat hang on the side of a brick wall and lost my grip so i fell on my ass, it's not a fun experiance when it's concrete :P
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Michael Himes on September 22, 2010, 09:09:59 PM
Personally I find no age requirement as long as you're willing to practice. My baby sister, whom is five, started at four, trains an hour a week with me. My other sister, whom is eleven, started at ten, trains an hour to two hours a week with me, and and hour of tumbling practice with me. Both of them have been at this for maybe about four months.
My baby sister can do two pull-ups and has a three to four foot precision (what she's practiced most). This is mostly play to her but she's slowly getting it that's it's a lifestyle and a mindset. She even tries to join in my conditioning sessions.
My younger sister can cat a low wall (she hasn't gotten the guts to do it without a spotter). She can vault a low rail also. We're still working on wall-ups and other stuff. And of course she has the roll. She always joins in conditioning (just doing a lighter version of mine) She totally understands how this is a discipline while still having fun doing it.
Neither of them ever jump of something higher than three feet, and nothing higher than a foot and a half while with me. Age is never a factor. As long a competent mentor (how I've pulled that off so far no idea) is teaching and lead even little kids can learn.
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: hardasult on November 05, 2010, 06:47:44 AM
I am goinh to start soon, i'm twelve but i'm fit and so i'm at a good time before my bones get stiff and easier to break.  I'm small for my age, ut i've done gymnastics for 5 years so i'm use to pain
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: mickeynotmouse on November 22, 2010, 10:05:25 PM
I'm a fetus and I started eight years ago.
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: parkoursumisu on February 04, 2011, 11:43:06 AM
i,m 14 and i started about 2 weeks ago each day i've non stop trained for about 3-5 hours each day of hardcore training
my little brother who is 9 can do a wall up,
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: michigancitypk on February 04, 2011, 01:31:26 PM
I'm like not even 15 and i do Parkour
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Nick Smith on February 04, 2011, 01:41:22 PM
I'm like not even 15 and i do Parkour
so, who cares it's better at a younger age.
Title: Re: How Old do I Have to be to Start Parkour or Freerunning?
Post by: Mayor on February 22, 2011, 12:46:23 PM
Age doesn`t matter, i started Parour 3 years ago when i was 12 and i trained alone,first year i tried to learn fast but soon realized it`s not that easy.In last two years i founded a group of traceurs and learned a lot just because we went to training 3-4 times a week,age doesn`t matter passion does  ;) :D ;D