ART OR SELF EXPRESSION?
Parkour or free running is also known as 'l'art du placement' (which is the art of moving from place to place). It's a training discipline which originated in France. Practicioners (traceurs) aim to get from one place to another in the most eficient way possible using their bodies and their surroundings to propel themselves, mainting as much momentum as possible while keeping safe. It includes running, climbing, swinging, rolling, voulting, jumping and quadrupedal movement. It includes over coming obstacles such as fences, walls and railings. It can be practised in the countryside but it is more frequently ''''''done'''''' in urban landscapes.
It's origins can be traced to military obstacle course training and it was developed in the 1980's in France by Raymond Delle, David Delle and Sébastien Foucan. It became very popular in the 1990's and 2000 when it was exposed to more media wit hthe appearance of documentaries films and advertisements showing traceurs in action.
It's considered a holistic training because it involves overcoming mental and phisical obstacles. It teaches us to touch the world and interact with it and you must be able to control your mind in order to master the art of parkour. You must believe you can do it otherwise you won't. Training revolves around two very important things: progression and repetition, the movements are repeated over and over until the traceur is comfortable and confident about it. It is hard work, there are no short cuts.
As in skateboarding Parkour isn't just a sport, it's an art. Its not about competing against each other but about connecting with other people in similar mind sets that want nothing more than your success. Its a means of expressing yourself through movement. Movement is delightful to human beings and you can clearly see it in children playing. These two strands of philosphy started as parcours but then developed and divided into two diferent acivities; parkour which focuses on the discipline and personal challenging and freerunning focuses on self expression and exploring the enviroment.