Definition of Parkour
a method of training the body and mind to expand and improve a person’s ability to move by progressively overcoming physical obstacles using only the body.
Respect for Self. Respect for Others. Respect for Spaces.
Parkour practitioners respect themselves by learning and understanding their limitations and then expanding them methodically, not recklessly. They train for longevity in their practice by listening to the feedback of their body. Parkour practitioners respect others by always encouraging those people training around them and always yielding to people around them not practicing. Parkour Practitioners recognize their spaces as vital to their practice and act as stewards of their training spots, leaving them better than when they arrived.
History of Parkour
Parkour, in its current form, arose in the 1980’s in the suburbs of Paris where David Belle, credited as the founder of the practice, grew up. The roots of parkour can be traced to Georges Hébert and his Méthode Naturelle” (Natural Method) which he developed through the late 19th and early 20th centuries.. Hébert developed a way to train the body and spirit based on his experiences as a French naval officer. He observed indigenous cultures and their athletic prowess despite a lack of formal training, and concluded that movement based on natural human movement patterns was ideal. He was also influenced by his experience assisting in an evacuation effort during a volcanic eruption, which reinforced his belief that athletic skill must be combined with moral courage and selflessness. His teachings became the basis for the French military’s physical training system. David Belle’s father Raymond Belle was a military firefighter and educated in the evolution of Hébert’s teachings. David was inspired by stories of and conversations with his father as he developed parkour along with childhood friends and relatives including Sebatien Foucan and the Yamakasi.
“Parkour”- Coined by David Belle from the French term “parcours” which means obstacle coursing.
“Freerunning”- Coined on the production of the “Jump London” documentary as a direct English translation of “parkour”; later adopted by Sebastien Foucan as the term for his practice.
Here is a video that we love as a lineage and explanation of parkour movement.