What Is Parkour? Everything You Need To Know

Parkour

What Is Parkour?

Parkour is a discipline that focuses on efficient movement through one’s environment. It is often described as “the art of displacement” and involves moving around obstacles in the most efficient way possible.

Philosophy

The philosophy of parkour is to move freely and efficiently in any environment, using only the body and the environment to overcome obstacles. This can be applied to any situation in life, not just physical movement. It is about adapting to one’s surroundings and using whatever is available to get from point A to point B.

Parkour is about finding the most efficient way to move through your environment, whether that environment is an urban landscape or a natural one. It is about using your body and mind to overcome obstacles and find new ways to move.

The philosophy of parkour can be summed up in three words: freedom, efficiency, and adaptation. These are the core values that drive practitioners of parkour. Freedom is about moving freely and without restriction. Efficiency is about using the most efficient path or method to get from one point to another. And adaptation is about being able to adapt to any situation or environment, using whatever is available to you.

These values are what make this a unique and powerful discipline. They are also what make it an excellent philosophy to live by. If you can apply these values to your own life, you will be able to overcome any obstacle in your path and find new and better ways to do things.

Origins Of Parkour

The origins of parkour can be traced back to the early 20th century when French military officer Georges Hébert developed it. Hébert believed that everyone should be able to defend themselves and their country, regardless of size or strength. To this end, he created a training system that emphasized speed, agility, and efficiency of movement. This system eventually came to be known as parkour.

In recent years, it has gained a significant amount of popularity worldwide. Practitioners (also known as traceurs) can be found in most major cities, and events are regularly held in many countries.

Despite its growing popularity, parkour is still often misunderstood. Many people see it as nothing more than a form of stunt work or “freerunning,” but this could not be further from the truth. It is about much more than just jumping and flipping; it’s about finding the most efficient way to move through your environment, whether that environment is an urban jungle or a natural one.

Is Parkour Dangerous/What Are The Risks?

Is parkour dangerous? It can be, but it all depends on how you approach it. Well, it can be very dangerous if you’re reckless and don’t abide by the basic safety guidelines. However, the risks are significantly reduced if you take the necessary precautions and follow the safety guidelines.

So what are the risks associated with parkour? The most common injuries are cuts and bruises, but more severe injuries include broken bones and concussions. Sprains and strains are also relatively common.

The best way to avoid injury while practicing is to always warm up before your session, stretch properly afterward, and listen to your body. If something feels wrong or hurts, stop immediately.

Safety gear is also a good idea, especially if you’re starting. Wearing gloves, knee and elbow pads, and a helmet can help protect you from some more serious injuries.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide how safe it really is. If you take the necessary precautions and listen to your body, you can minimize the risks and enjoy this exhilarating activity.

Does Parkour Require Equipment?

No, parkour does not require any special equipment. All you need is a good pair of shoes and some comfortable clothing. Of course, if you want to practice in a more challenging environment, you might want to invest in some safety gear, such as gloves and pads. Also, a comfortable pair of shoes will be important as you’ll obviously be using your feet.

What Is Proper Parkour Technique?

Regarding parkour, there are a few fundamental techniques you will need to master to progress. These techniques include proper jumping, vaulting, climbing, and running.

Jumping: A lot of the time, you will need to jump over obstacles or onto ledges. You must use your arms and legs to generate momentum to do this properly. You also need to ensure that you land correctly to avoid injury.

Vaulting: Vaulting is when you use your body to jump over an obstacle. To do this properly, you must place your hands on the obstacle and then push off with your legs. You also need to ensure that you land correctly to avoid injury.

Climbing: This is when you use your hands and feet to climb up an obstacle. To do this properly, you must find handholds and footholds to support your weight. You also need to ensure you don’t put too much weight on one hand or foot, as this could cause you to lose your grip and fall.

Running: You must use your arms and legs to generate momentum to do this properly. You also need to ensure that you land correctly to avoid injury.

Different Parkour Movements

Precision Jumping

Precision jumping is a move that allows you to land perfectly on a small or narrow target. It requires extreme control and focus and a good understanding of your body and its capabilities.

To perform a precision jump, you must first assess the target you wish to land on. You need to ensure that it is stable and will not move when you land on it. Once you have found your target, take a few steps back to get a running start.

As you approach the target, control your speed and keep your body upright. When you reach the target, tuck your legs in and prepare to land on your toes.

As you land, ensure all your body weight is over your toes which will help you stick the landing and avoid injury. After you have landed, take a few moments to assess how well you did and adjust your technique accordingly.

Parkour Roll

A Parkour roll is an acrobatic move used to safely land from a fall or jump. The parkour roll is also known as the ‘traceur roll’ and is a staple move used by its practitioners.

To perform a Parkour roll, the traceur (someone who practices parkour) will tuck their chin into their chest and roll onto their shoulder, using their momentum to carry them forward. They will push off with their feet and continue running as they come out of the roll.

The Parkour roll is a significant move to master as it allows practitioners to safely execute jumps and falls, which are often part of a parkour routine. It is also a valuable move to know if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to get out of the way or jump over something quickly.

Arm Jump

One of the most basic and essential movements in parkour is the arm jump, or what is commonly referred to as a vault. The arm jump is used to surmount obstacles that are too high to step over and can be performed using either one or two arms, depending on the obstacle’s height.

To perform a single-arm jump:

  1. Approach the obstacle with your lead foot slightly ahead of your other foot.
  2. Place your hand on the obstacle (typically on a ledge or railing) and use your momentum to push off from the ground and launch yourself up and over the obstacle.
  3. As you land on the other side, roll out of the landing to absorb any impact.

For a two-arm jump, simply place both hands on the obstacle and follow the same basic motion as a single-arm jump. This variation is often used for higher obstacles or when more speed and momentum are needed to clear the obstacle. As with a single-arm jump, roll out of the landing to absorb any impact.

Wall Run

Parkour practitioners often use wall runs to increase speed and efficiency while moving through an environment. This is a move where you use your momentum to run up a wall and then push off it to gain extra height or distance. It can be used to clear obstacles, reach higher ground, or travel faster.

To perform a wall run, approach the wall at a slight angle with enough speed to make it up the wall. As you reach the wall, place your hands on it and push off with your legs to launch yourself upwards. If you have enough momentum, you will make it to the top of the wall and be able to push off from there. If not, you will run into the wall and stop.

Wall runs can be performed with any type of wall, but those made of smooth materials such as brick or concrete are generally easier to run up. Parkour practitioners often use wall runs to increase speed and efficiency while moving through an environment.

Climb Up

When you first start practicing parkour, one of the most basic movements you’ll learn is the climb up. The climb up is a move that allows you to overcome obstacles too high to simply jump over. While it may seem simple, the climb up can be pretty challenging for beginners.

To perform a climb-up:

  1. Start by approaching the obstacle you want to overcome.
  2. Place your hands on the edge of the obstacle, and then jump up so that your feet are on either side of your hands.
  3. From here, begin pulling yourself up with your arms until your chin is over the edge of the obstacle.
  4. Once your chin is over the edge, begin pushing up with your legs until you can get your entire body over the top of the obstacle.

Are Their Competitions In Parkour?

There are indeed competitions in parkour, though they are relatively rare. The discipline is still fairly new, and most practitioners focus on the more creative aspects of the sport. However, a few competitions have cropped up in recent years.

The most notable is the Red Bull Art of Motion, held annually in various locations worldwide. This competition challenges parkour athletes to complete complex obstacle courses as quickly and stylishly as possible.

There are also a few smaller competitions that are held sporadically throughout the year. While competitions are not the focus of parkour, they provide an excellent opportunity for the top athletes in the discipline to showcase their skills.

Impact Of Parkour On Society

The impact of parkour on society has been both positive and negative. On the one hand, parkour has helped people become more physically active and has even been used as a therapy for some.

On the other hand, parkour has also been linked to crime and vandalism in some areas. There is no doubt that parkour has had a significant impact on society, but it is up to individuals to decide whether that impact is positive or negative.

Positive Impacts On Society

Parkour has become an increasingly popular activity due to its emphasis on physical fitness and its unique style. While it is often associated with young people or ‘urban explorers,’ parkour is open to people of all ages and abilities.

One of the most significant benefits of parkour is the positive impact it can have on society. In cities worldwide, parkour practitioners are using their skills to brighten up dreary urban landscapes and bring a sense of community to otherwise isolated areas.

For example, in London’s Docklands area, a group of parkour enthusiasts known as the ‘Dockland Samurai’ has been using their skills to transform derelict buildings into vibrant spaces for residents. The group has also worked with the local council to help design and build a new parkour facility.

In New York, parkour groups have been working with the city’s parks department to create dedicated parkour spaces in some of the city’s parks. This has provided young people with somewhere to practice their skills and helped reduce crime and vandalism in these areas.

Parkour can also have a positive impact on mental health. The physical challenges in parkour can help boost confidence and self-esteem, while the activity’s social aspects can help reduce loneliness and isolation. For many people, parkour provides a much-needed outlet for energy and creativity.

Negative Impacts Of Parkour

Why’ll there are positives, parkour also has a dark side, and there have been several reports of people being injured or even killed while attempting stunts. This has led to some people calling for a ban on parkour in public spaces.

Critics argue that parkour is dangerous to those who practice it and innocent bystanders. They point to the many accidents and injuries reported as proof that the activity is too dangerous to be allowed in public spaces. They also argue that the presence of parkour practitioners can be disruptive and intimidating to others, and the activity can damage public property.

Supporters of parkour argue that the activity can be safely practiced if proper safety precautions are taken. They also point out that parkour can positively influence society, helping people stay fit and active. They argue that the benefits outweigh any negative impacts parkour it can bring.

Whether you think parkour is a positive or negative force in society, there is no denying that it has impacted how we live and move through our cities, especially with today’s youth.

Physical, Mental, & Emotional 

There is no one specific skill set that guarantees success in parkour. However, certain skills can help make parkour practitioners more successful. These include physical skills such as strength, coordination, and agility; mental skills such as focus and concentration; and emotional skills such as courage and determination.

Physical skills: The discipline requires a great deal of physicality. Strength is necessary to move the body through space, while coordination is key to executing movements precisely. Agility is also essential for being able to change directions quickly and efficiently.

Mental Skills: Being strong mentally is just as necessary as physical skills in parkour. Focus and concentration are required to be able to execute movements flawlessly.

Emotional Skills: Courage and determination are also important, as they help parkour practitioners push through difficult moments and persevere when things get tough.

Is Parkour Right For Me?

Parkour is a physical activity that involves moving through your environment in an efficient and creative way. It can be performed anywhere, anytime, and by anyone.

If you’re thinking about trying parkour, the first question you need to ask yourself is, “Am I physically able to do this?” Parkour requires a certain level of fitness and athleticism. If you’re unsure if you’re up for the challenge, talk to your doctor or a certified personal trainer before getting started.

Once you’ve determined that you can do parkour, the next step is to find a good training program. There are many ways to train for parkour, so it’s crucial to find a program that fits your individual needs and goals.

Conclusion

Parkour is an amazing physical activity with many benefits, but it’s important to be aware of the dangers too. With a few simple precautions, parkour can be enjoyed safely by everyone.

Have you tried parkour? What was your experience like?