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Le Parkour: An Introduction

- 3flow - Wednesday, April 13th, 2005 : goo

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Le Parkour, Free Running or PK for short is a relatively new urban activity conceptualised by Frenchman David Belle. First seen by us in the UK in the BBC promotion Rush Hour. In it we watched Belle swinging and leaping from roof top to obstacle flawlessly like a real life Spiderman. It was then brought to the masses by Belle's childhood friend Sebastien Foucan amongst others, in the 2003 Channel 4 documentary Jump London and more recently the explosive Jump Britain.

image 311

Photograph courtesy of

In many ways parkour is more akin to dance, tai chi and the discipline of martial arts than it is a sport. It embraces the philosophy that urban obstacles no longer act as barriers but as a challenge, a series of playthings tempting us to find an alternative route from A to B... in other words over, under and above in the most fluid manor possible. Keeping the flow between obstacle and moves is as important as any aspect of your free run. Sometimes stylised tricks borne from gymnastics are used to add flair and expression en-route.

Through parkour we run free from the restraints and rules laid down by civil planning and architects, we take the short cut and in doing so increase our awareness, fitness and our frame of mind. It is often commented on that Le Parkour is what many of us did as children before social restraints and inhibitions where instilled into us as we grew up. Next time you are in the street watch how a kid will climb, jump and run along pretty much anything. This is possibly evidence that it is an innate, instinctive way for man to move about his "jungle".

This article has been viewed 36558 times in the last 10 years

jeeff: 11th Mar 2005 - 04:00 GMT

i think this is really fascinating. i've never heard of it before. photos are great, but the idea of the movement really intrigues me. any links to online videos of parkour?

hasslehoff: 11th Mar 2005 - 08:58 GMT

try the goo link at the top of the article. seems to be the authorative source for all things parkour.

watcher: 12th Mar 2005 - 19:40 GMT

ah i never noticed the goo links before. coool. thx.

maxis: 5th Apr 2005 - 19:27 GMT

Re: Le Parkour: An Introduction is the guy 'foucan' who was in the jump britain documentory. the link has loads of parkour movies on media player. :p have fun

gizmondiz: 7th Apr 2005 - 23:00 GMT

parkour has nothing to do with martial arts!!!!!!!!

Jamie: 7th Apr 2005 - 23:18 GMT

No one said Parkour was a Martial Art. The article states that Parkour is more akin to dance and martial arts than it is a sport. Which is true. As i understand it, Le Parkour is a form of artistic expression through the use of movement and ones urban environment. In this way it shares many qualities with dance and indeed the martial arts. If only i wasn't such a clumsy bumbling fool i would give it a shot. But i think i would break many of my bones, so i shall stick to conformatively walking along prescribed pedestrian walkways and suchlike.

Jamie: 7th Apr 2005 - 23:29 GMT

With reference to what has been said about kids navigating their environment in this naturalistic way i have been studying my two year old son. Jumping onto and over low walls, running along them and jumping off. I began shouting Parkour at him in an encouraging tone every time he exhibited this behaviour. He now, much to my amusement, wildly shouts Parkour every time he jumps off something. He also, on cue, will recite Gary Coleman's classic catchphrase "watchoo talkin' 'bout willis?". I am a poor role model for any child.

Jamie: 7th Apr 2005 - 23:32 GMT

No one said Parkour was a Martial Art. The article states that Parkour is more akin to dance and martial arts than it is a sport. Which is true. As i understand it, Le Parkour is a form of artistic expression through the use of movement and ones urban environment. In this way it shares many qualities with dance and indeed the martial arts. If only i wasn't such a clumsy bumbling fool i would give it a shot. But i think i would break many of my bones, so i shall stick to conformatively walking along prescribed pedestrian walkways and suchlike.

skull: 23rd May 2005 - 00:55 GMT

does ne1 here know where i can find the vid of david belle doin the roof to roof jump??? the crazy high one ware he has no shirt

phatness-flies: word, kid! one love! PARKOUR WORLDWIDE!

spiney: 29th May 2005 - 17:01 GMT

if u want more of this rent the movie yamakasi
its a full lenght movie (1h30) where the find(steal) money to help a kid getting a hart transplant

its a must see movie

Appearing_kid: 30th Jun 2005 - 23:45 GMT

i think its the greatest thing ever... it tried it out once but i broke my arm so im gonna stop and just admire the people who are good at it

gift shop: shit ... that looks fun

it a crap web put the sport is good: 15th Jul 2005 - 08:38 GMT

parkour is a good way to show your enajetic and its fun beleve me i do it!!!! were very skilled at me and my crew

Kelsey Grammar: 15th Jul 2005 - 08:53 GMT

You're not very skilled in the art of spelling though are you.

future freerunner: 26th Jul 2005 - 19:02 GMT

hey, are there any freerunners around in southern OR??, I wana start training w/ somebody

Albury/Wodonga parkour: 29th Jul 2005 - 14:06 GMT

Just starting to parkour and i was just wondering is there any advice i could get off you guys? please email me at or add me to your msn

piranha erem: 29th Jul 2005 - 14:14 GMT

to hear some of these comments you would think this is a parkour hook up site!

Albury/Wodonga parkour: there is much more here. do look around the site :-)

Anonymous ( 5th Sep 2005 - 12:22 GMT

any beginers in london looking to practice email me at

yuzdin yanzen: 5th Sep 2005 - 21:04 GMT

pk is the most extrodinary thing to me. it is the only way for me to clear my head

js in belleville: 12th Sep 2005 - 23:38 GMT

parkour or freerunning, whatever you want to call it... It reminds me of a game I played as a kid. only one rule. whoever touches the ground the least on the way to school wins. I do a bit myself with less flips and what not but praise to all who can. Any one in belleville ontario (canada) who wants to do some training, send me an email at

js in belleville: 12th Sep 2005 - 23:43 GMT

ps. gizmondiz.. maybe you should take a closer look at both martial arts and freerunning. The level of self discipline and stylistic presentation present in both activities makes them very very close in nature.

hinatha: 11th Oct 2005 - 09:19 GMT

hey you guys u can do better den dat coz I do those kinds of things myself. I used to do those spinin things at da age of 3 in a little village at china but I'm now 18 at london studyin I'm jus writin in to let u guy's knw you can do better coz my mates at china are much better we do our own style's with the flips, should come and see us let youguys knw .

butter: 8th Nov 2005 - 05:37 GMT

freeeeeeking crazy wish they could flip like my ass. After watching the vid i tried a backflip on the ground an busted my ass. bloody up my nose and broke 2 ribs talk about hurt for a couple of months

Mateusz: 11th Nov 2005 - 16:43 GMT

ejo ziomy fajna ta wasza strona, fajne filmy (pozdro)

freerunner: 22nd Nov 2005 - 18:54 GMT

huh?? this is no parkour!!!!
this sucks....

wordup!: 23rd Nov 2005 - 22:25 GMT

anyone doing any pk near south west wales area ill love it if sum1 came down
or there was someone there already
chat at

SporadiC: 1st Dec 2005 - 09:42 GMT

some stuff about Le Parkour:

1. Le Parkour and Freerunning/FreePK/Urban Tricking are totally different
2. Urban Freeflow is the worst source of information about the REAL PK
3. the use of Le Parkour is to traverce from point A to B in the most efficient, fluent manner, with mostly the purpose to lose anyone following you.
4. Le Parkour does NOT contain tricking.
5. shows video's that also contain tricking, so do not think its a good source of finding pure PK
6. plz do NOT exceed your personal limits when attempting Parkour and allways check the objects you will traverce on BEFORE you try to do moves on them (eg. check for strength, grip, sharp objects, loose gravel etc.)
7. remember that anything that other people do, you can also do, but it requires a LOT of TRAINING!!!!

Jamie: 1st Dec 2005 - 10:02 GMT

Great, thanks for the info SporadiC. On a related slant, i'm interested in doing some pk/freerunning/urban tricking (call it what you will) photography. So here's a shout out to any traceurs/freerunners in the east of england. Specifically or areas. email editors at citynoise dot org for my contact details.

Rafinator: 11th Dec 2005 - 00:24 GMT

I just found out about Parkour and i've been dying to try it out.
if anyone could maybe tell me how to get startd it'd be great. I live in Philadelphia, PA United States. My e-mail is Looks like a great thing to do.

Pkmadmatt: 19th Dec 2005 - 09:37 GMT

SporadiC:You said some stuff that isnt striclty true.
UrbanFreeflow is NOT the WORST source of information about the 'real' pk. However it is not the best either. But i think you should have some respect to all the people behind it, because it has encouraged thousands to start the discipline. Although for the serious traceurs out there, is their preffered site.
Also, you say Parokour can not contain Tricking, but Parkour is ultimately the art of movement and therefore if one can do aerial tricks, and make it look fluid and smooth, then why not use it to create flow-which is the main aim of practising Parkour. However what people should not do, is have footage of Tricking within a Parokour video, and pass it of as Parkour, because they are, as you quite rightly said, twco COMPLETELY different things.

wuzzy: 12th Jan 2006 - 12:47 GMT

I did years of gymnastics as a child and teenager and I've missed it ever since I gave up. My body just won't let me do it anymore. I went out to do parkour the other night along Brighton (UK) beachfront and it was amazing. It's the only activity i've found that is as exciting as gymnastics was to me. One problem: i have been unable to walk properly for the past 4 days due to sore muscles! But they're better today and I want to go out again. I'm in Bath now (not Brighton) so if anyone else wants to find places in Bath get in touch. By the way, i think parkour is especially liberating in the dark (although maybe not pitch black, could be lethal!)

Jamie: 12th Jan 2006 - 13:14 GMT

heh, you might sympathise with JJ. Read: I'm Too Old For Skateboarding :-)

chris: 26th Jan 2006 - 22:56 GMT

holly crap does any one else do urban freeflow or parkour out there!
i live in oklahoma city and i freerun all the time. im looking for some people to maby start a team. i have one friend who does parkour and we are fairly freekin good, but we need more people. ps my email is please email me and maby we can get together.

Randy: 31st Jan 2006 - 00:03 GMT

hi there its realy awsome what those guys can do but i have 1 question ive seen a movie a french 1 and forgot the name of it

the movie goes like this a couple of guys are planning to break in some houses and they also use the sport parkour and i cant remember the name its a long time ive seen this movie but if anny of you now the name
pls put it here on the forum ty very much

soz for my bad english im dutch heheheh

mercury: 7th Feb 2006 - 04:45 GMT

hey ne 1 who wants to help a newbie to the art of parkour would be greatly appreciated. i just saw a video of david belle and i would love to start. ive been working on rollin and small jumps but i dont know of ne thing else i should do so again ne help would be greatly apreciated my e-mail is

alvaro: 17th Feb 2006 - 15:41 GMT

Im not english im spanier of spain an also I do english on one spain we do parkour i am 1 of the bests of spain childrens
im 12c years old

alvaro: 17th Feb 2006 - 15:44 GMT

hps si ai alguno q sepa espaņol y kiera aprender q acuda a mi enviarme e -mails a

Leszek: 25th Feb 2006 - 03:47 GMT

Hey i was thinking of startin up le PK, but i have trouble finding anyone here in toronto, any suggestions??

jeeff: 25th Feb 2006 - 17:28 GMT

skullspine: 21st Apr 2006 - 22:09 GMT

any1 into action movies av 2 watch DISTRICT 13. it icludes parkour and its bloomin amazin! MUST BE WATCHED BY ALL.

max: 29th Apr 2006 - 10:35 GMT

leszek, check or

Freakface20: 9th May 2006 - 03:33 GMT

It gets easier....I started about a month and a half ago and my ankles and my endurance have both become much better.If you see us around the Arkansas campus then join in...the more the merrier!!

TheExpo: 15th May 2006 - 01:48 GMT

Our Crew Goes around PLymouth...a little place near detroit michigan, if any one near wants to hit us up... check the myspace group michigan parkour

calvin : 6th Jul 2006 - 14:08 GMT

hi i'm from south east london and i want to learn parkour in south east london and someone help me?

Merphy: 12th Jul 2006 - 20:37 GMT

parkour is the best sport i want to join bur were? i live in west london in hayes. hahaha

mitch: 8th Sep 2006 - 20:55 GMT

hi me n my m8 luv doin parkour were only 12 but were pretty good, if u dnt believe me check out da videos of us on

Tom: 8th Oct 2006 - 11:13 GMT

After watching Parkour round my mates house i was BLOWN away! i am very much into my martial arts and i love all the dynamic stuff that goes with it. im itching to try it out. Im in Oxford so somebody drop me a line.

PBSE: 10th Nov 2006 - 19:19 GMT

me an some mates just started a Parkour crew i got a few videos goin but its gettn 2 dark now so ill wait til spring :D

Xzation: Yeah, Parkour is my life.

Hood: It would be quite good if i could do parkour.

Hood: 1st Jun 2007 - 21:07 GMT

The only darish thing i can do at the moment is jump of a trampoline on to the ground at high altitude and speed.

Mackenzie: 28th Jun 2007 - 17:11 GMT

I'm from east London and i want to find others that are intested in doing it as i am. so if you want to get hold of me add my msn

Dorky: 15th Jan 2008 - 23:25 GMT

I'm from Tulsa,Oklahoma and I'm wondering if there's anyone around who can give me tips or is just interested in it. Add me at msn:

Jason: 30th Sep 2008 - 17:13 GMT

I'm learnin spanish in school and i have to do a project on something i'm interested in but to do with spain. How can i find out about parkour in spain?

Heero: 3rd Jan 2009 - 16:58 GMT

How can you say Urban Freeflow is GOOD?

They act like they're the official parkour organization.

Even more so, they even tried to create competitions. I don't know about you, but competitions will destroy parkour and make it too mainstream.

Parkour needs to stay with the people themselves. Forums? Okay. Extreme tag? Okay. Movies? Maybe not so much. Madonna? Where's your shame? Corporate sponsored competitions and merchandising? Get out of here, you're making me barf.

Heero: 3rd Jan 2009 - 17:04 GMT

Basically, I think of Urban Freeflow as prostitutes who sell the art.

online: Dzieki za ciekawy blog

anon ( 15th Oct 2010 - 22:46 GMT

where can i watch parkour in london?????????????????????????????????

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