What is Parkour?
Parkour (also known as Freerunning, or L’art du Deplacement) is all about overcoming challenge and improving oneself, with aims of being self sufficient and helping others.
Training is primarily movement based, with the focus being on having the capabilities to overcome obstacles quickly, and perform physical tasks and challenges.
Practitioners (Traceurs) use running, jumping, climbing and a vast array of specialist movements to overcome obstacles, whilst also building strength, power, fitness and endurance.
The roots of Parkour are in France where in the 1980s a group known as the ‘Yamakasi’ (a Lingala word, meaning ‘strong man, strong spirit)’ influenced by the work and physical training methods of Georges Hebert and Raymond Belle, aimed to train themselves to be as strong and capable as they could.
Later, David Belle and Sebastien Foucan split from the group to follow their own paths with their practise; however the core of the discipline remained the same.
The mantra, “Être fort pour être utile” (“Being strong to be useful”) is often used to describe the philosophy behind Parkour.
A large part of Parkour practise is facing ones fears and training to remove weaknesses. With this mindset Traceurs build a strong mind and the confidence to face problems instead of ignoring them. This then allows them to help others more effectively.