Saturday, April 07, 2007

ParKour

ParKour (aka urban running, urban jumping, or free running) was originally founded in France by David Belle when he was only 15 yrs old. The name parkour [/paʁ.'kuʁ/] was thought of by Herbert Kuonde, a friend of David Belle... — and it derives from 'parcours du combattant', the obstacle courses proposed by Georges Hébert method and a classic of French military training. Kuonde took the word parcours, replaced the "c" with a "k" to suggest aggressiveness, and removed the silent "s" as it opposed parkour's philosophy about efficiency.

Belle was trained in Gymnastics and martial arts applying these disciplines to navigating an obstacle course. By some it is considered its own form of martial art. In life when we are faced with confrontation we have built in to our physiology fight or flight. Traditional martial arts cover the fight part very thoroughly. ParKour attempts to cover the flight.

In parkour the idea is to over come obstacles as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Below is a clip I liked that demonstrated this rather well. It is about 8 minutes long, I thought it was rather good. You may need high speed in order to watch it and it takes a few minutes for the guy in it to warm up, but if you are patient you are in for quite a show. In the recent James Bond movie Casino Royal the beginning chase scene is a great example of Parkour. The villain being chased is actually Sébastien Foucan, the founder of free running in London who trained with Belle in France.

Illegitimate, non-peer reviewed, secondary Reference: Wikipedia under Parkour

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