Parkour is the art of displacement. Meaning you use your body mass and shape combined with speed to move effortlessly over, under and through your environment
Freerunning is all the things that Parkour is but the main purpose is showmanship. It could be described as “fun” running as acrobatics are done for display during movements.
In parkour you aim to go through and around obstacles as if they weren’t there, you wrap yourself around physical barriers so that you move across any landscape with efficiency. Freerunning on the other hand tends to focus on obstacles, barriers, as an object to work with, to see what can be done.
Freerunning is still efficient, just that if someone was chasing you, you would not want to waste energy and time to do a handstand just for fun, during the chase.
There is a difference although the movements are interchangeable and as you can see from the movie on the right, you can learn things from all disciplines.
Finally, there is no right or wrong way to practice parkour or freerunning, you learn to adapt techniques to fit your ability but there are some rules which will keep you on the right track, like not trying to jump across rooftops.
What you do need is fitness and a solid mind discipline.
Parkour in TV Adverts
Dangerous, Dangerous, Dangerous
Thames Festival Mashup
Sky Sports / Heineken Commercial
Hewlett Packard Commercial
British Telecom Commercial
Forrest – Bread Commercial
Top Ten Parkour Commercials
David Belle Commercial for coca Cola
David Belle Commercial for the BBC
This is not a discipline for old people like me it requires the confidence of youth and the agility of a pre-middle aged body to be able to move with finesse however you do not have to be spiderman to practice this satisfying urban art form, you need a special confidence, a mind that can focus on the moment and a determination to match your fitness level to your ability.
*New* World Freerun Championships Edit from North ONE TV – London 14th August 2009
Preparations for the World Freerun Championship
Organised by Urban Freeflow
Great Parkour and Freerunning 2013
Streets of San Francisco
Behind The Scenes with Ford
Sebastien Foucan & Jerome Ben Aoues – Jump Britain
David Belle is considered a god in Parkour, he basically developed various technique with the French army and that regimental discipline of evasion training became the urban parkour of today. It is relevant also that he remains the foremost example of how it should be done with grace of movement and knowledge.
Francois “Forrest” Mahop
Parkour, a made-up word, cousin to the French parcours, which means “route,” is a quasi commando system of leaps, vaults, rolls, and landings designed to help a person avoid or surmount whatever lies in their path—a vocabulary, that is, to be employed in finding one’s way among obstacles.
Spread mainly by videos on the Internet, it has been embraced in Europe and the United States by thrill seekers and martial-arts adepts, who regard it as part extreme sport—its founder would like to see it included in the Olympics.
Movies like its daredevil qualities. A bracing parkour chase begins “Casino Royale,” the recent James Bond movie. It includes jumps from the boom of one tower crane to that of another, but parkour’s customary obstacles are walls, stairwells, fences, railings, and gaps between roofs—it is an urban rather than a pastoral pursuit. The movements are performed at a dead run. The more efficient and fluid the path they define, and the more difficult and harrowing the terrain they cross, the more elegant the performance is considered by the discipline’s practitioners.
The History of Parkour
Parkour’s development into a cohesive discipline first began in 1988 in Lisses, France, when David Belle was 15 years old. Belle was greatly influenced by his father’s experiences as a renowned rescuer and military firefighter in the Paris regiment of the sapeurs-pompiers. As a highly skilled and talented athlete, Belle’s father, Raymond, adapted well to the training philosophy of physical education expert Georges Hébert, a former naval officer.
While traveling through Africa with the French Navy, Hébert witnessed the indigenous peoples’ remarkable athleticism and how they achieved it by interacting with their surroundings.
The holistic training method Hébert developed emphasizes the integration of the human mind and body to overcome obstacles through running, jumping, leaping, walking on all fours and climbing. His efforts directly contributed to the military obstacle course, or parcours du combattant. The military obstacle course, still used by the French military today, consists of different stations like rope climbing and swinging, balancing on wooden beams and climbing ladders. Through these activities, trainees gain victory over their fears and physical weaknesses through repetition.
Parkour in Palestine
Inspired by the nascent sport of parkour, Gaza Parkour Team began to observe the urban fabric of Gaza as a playground through which they could move fluidly, using their bodies—instead of weapons and explosives—to overcome boundaries and barriers.
Start With These 5 Basic Exercises
People often ask me, “When did you start Parkour?” My favorite response is, “When did you stop?” You see, every single one of you did some version of Parkour when you were little. At one point in your life, you climbed a tree. You leaped and tumbled off the couch. Do you remember the game, “The Floor is Made Out of Lava”? I still play that game all the time. And you should too! We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.
Parkour at its root is about self-improvement, through movement. It doesn’t matter if you are learning how to squat or how to double backflip. All that matters is that you explore your own potential and advance yourself. Even if you have no desire to become the next Parkour all-star, my challenge to you is to move more often.
Extreme Parkour 2014
Parkour videos on YouTube include “FAIL” compilations, there are over 50,000 of them, search for the keywords “parkour fail” on YouTube.
Can you believe there is a page on WikiHow titled “How to Become an Expert at Parkour”. This wont teach you how to Parkour but you’ll actually become an expert – wow. I wonder if they do a page on how to become an astronaut?
Conquer your fears
Despite perceptions of its dangers, parkour is about personal progress rather than jumping over nausea-inducing drops.
The sport, developed by David Belle after experiences of military obstacle courses, has steadily grown in popularity in Australia and elsewhere in recent years.
Despite perceptions of its dangers – fuelled in part by videos of extreme routines at dangerous heights – one reason for its growing popularity is its accessibility to athletes at all levels. It’s not a competitive sport; rather, it’s about progress at a level that’s meaningful for you.