What is Parkour?
Parkour is largely defined as the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one’s path by adapting one’s movements to the environment. It is also a state of mind, rather than simply a set of actions, which encourages practitioners, known as ‘traceur’ and ‘traceuse’s, to overcome and adapt to everyday mental and emotional obstacles as well as enjoying the challenge of conquering physical barriers.
Parkour differs from the art of free-running which has more emphasis on freedom of expression and creativity, rather than efficiency and speed. Traceurs take the most direct path through an obstacle as rapidly as that route can be traversed safely. Developing one’s spatial awareness is often used to aid development in these areas, and by training effectively, one can enhance self-confidence and critical-thinking skills as well as avoiding injuries by focusing on efficiency. This idea embodying parkour’s unofficial motto is être et durer (“to be and to last”).
Parkour movements typically include running, jumping, vaulting, climbing, balancing, and quadrupedal movement. Movements from other physical disciplines are often incorporated, but acrobatics or tricking alone do not constitute parkour.
Parkour training focuses on safety, longevity, personal responsibility, and self-improvement. It discourages reckless behavior, showing off, and dangerous stunts. Parkour practitioners value community, humility, positive collaboration, sharing of knowledge, and the importance of play in human life, while demonstrating respect for all people, places, and spaces.