5 Things You May Not Know About Parkour

Facts About the Perpetual Movement Practice

You may have heard of parkour thanks to popular TV shows or the use of it in many action films especially those made around the early 2000’s. This practice of continued movement has grown to become a stylised method of getting from A to B that is often seen as something reserved for super athletic youths. The truth is however that parkour is substantially different from the cool and slick showmanship of the movies and instead comes from a background that many may not have suspected. Whether you have a foundational knowledge of parkour or not, you may still be intrigued by its fun and outdoor recreational charm. Here are a handful facts you may have overlooked about the movement-movement.

It’s Very French

The very name parkour comes from the French name for obstacle course, which is parcours du combatant,this military apparatus is where the idea was derived from. Attributed to Frenchman David Belle who not only popularised the term ‘traceurs’ which is used to describe anyone who practices parkour, but also was part of one of the first and most well known parkour groups the Yamakasi group. As if this group of French founders and names isn’t enough the Hollywood popularisation of the recreation was largely thanks to French Director Luc Besson, known for his sci-fi and action movies.

A Staple In Modern Videogames
A Staple In Modern Videogames

A Staple In Modern Videogames

Any modern gamer may already have caught on that the term traceur has a very obvious link to the popular, fast running Overwatch character Tracer, but this isn’t the only link parkour has on the industry. Aside from taking platformers to the next level and having dedicated parkour titles such as the first-person Mirrors Edge game, parkour is now almost standard affair in open world titles. From games like the hugely popular Assassins Creed titles to Prototype, Crackdown, and the Batman Arkham series, parkours free and non-stop movement style makes big sandbox titles much quicker and more seamless to navigate.

Anyone Can Start Today

Though all the big screen representations of parkour practitioners include some of the best free runners in the world (including founder David Belle oftentimes) and many aesthetically pleasing gym goers, you don’t have to be hyper fit to start. As you progress you will develop the strengths needed as you put the demand on your muscles steadily. As long as you start small and stay safe you can work your way up to being a pro, there is always plenty of tips online for best practice too.

You Don’t Need Equipment
You Don’t Need Equipment

You Don’t Need Equipment

Another great benefit of the sport is there is really no buy in cost. Unlike bike riding, skiing or even your gym membership there is no fee or recurring cost. All you really need are some decent running shoes, and some form fitting clothes, but even these aren’t necessary, especially when some runners go bare feet often.

It Has A Philosophical Side

Though it is commonly depicted as some sort of bro sport, full of fitness bragging and backflips parkour has a deeper aspect. The philosophy behind the movement is based on overcoming obstacles, not just the physical ones but mental ones too. Added to this comes a oneness with the body and the environment as parkour forces you to come head to head with tactile objects often, making it a beneficial practice for your body and mind.