Parkour 101: Learn the Basics of the Art of Movement
Parkour: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners
Parkour is a natural method for training the human body to be able to leap and move from place to place by climbing, jumping and flipping. This 'art of displacement' requires neither specific structures nor accessories for its practice: The body is the only tool. It takes perseverance, guts, and discipline, but the end is rewarding.
Parkour is more than just a sport or a hobby. It is a way of life that challenges you to overcome any obstacle that comes your way, both physically and mentally. It is a form of self-expression that allows you to be creative and spontaneous. It is a community that supports and inspires you to grow and learn.
If you are curious about parkour and want to know more about it, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will give you a comprehensive introduction to parkour, covering its history, benefits, techniques, equipment, safety tips, and examples. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of what parkour is and how to get started with it.
History of Parkour
Parkour has its roots in military obstacle course training and martial arts. The word parkour derives from parcours du combattant (obstacle course), the classic obstacle course method of military training proposed by Georges Hébert in the early 20th century. Hébert was inspired by the physical development and movement skills of indigenous peoples in Africa and elsewhere. He developed a system of natural movement training that he called "the natural method", which involved running, jumping, climbing, balancing, swimming, and defending.
One of Hébert's students was Raymond Belle, a French soldier and firefighter who used his skills to perform heroic feats during his service. His son, David Belle, inherited his father's passion for movement and trained with him from an early age. David Belle also befriended a group of young people who shared his interest in physical challenges and exploration. They called themselves the Yamakasi, which means "strong spirit" in Lingala.
The Yamakasi were the pioneers of modern parkour. They adapted Hébert's methods to their urban environment and created their own style of movement that focused on efficiency and speed. They also gave it a new name: l'art du déplacement (the art of displacement). They practiced parkour as a way of testing their limits, expressing themselves, and having fun.
Parkour gained popularity in the 1990s and 2000s through films, documentaries, video games, and advertisements that featured the Yamakasi and other practitioners. Some of them also branched out into different forms of movement that emphasized more on aesthetics or acrobatics than efficiency. These forms are known as freerunning or tricking.
Today, parkour is practiced by millions of people around the world who belong to different cultures, backgrounds, and ages. Parkour has also become a recognized sport with official organizations, competitions, and certifications. However, parkour remains true to its original spirit of freedom, creativity, and self-improvement.
Benefits of Parkour
Parkour offers many benefits for your physical and mental health. Here are some of them:
Fitness improvement: Parkour is a demanding physical activity that can improve your cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength, flexibility, and coordination. You will use your whole body to perform various movements that will challenge and develop your fitness level.
Mental enhancement: Parkour is also a mental exercise that can improve your concentration, problem-solving, memory, and creativity. You will have to plan your route, adapt to different situations, overcome your fears, and learn from your mistakes. Parkour can also boost your confidence, self-esteem, and happiness.
Social connection: Parkour is a social activity that can help you make new friends, learn from others, and have fun together. You will be part of a supportive and diverse community that shares your passion and values. Parkour can also teach you respect, cooperation, and communication skills.
Techniques of Parkour
Parkour involves a variety of techniques that can be classified into two categories: basic and advanced. Basic techniques are the foundation of parkour and can be learned by anyone with proper training and practice. Advanced techniques are more complex and require more skill and experience. Here are some examples of each category:
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Precision jump: A jump from one point to another with accuracy and control. You land on the balls of your feet and absorb the impact with your legs.
Vault: A way of passing over an obstacle by using your hands and feet. There are different types of vaults, such as speed vault, kong vault, dash vault, and lazy vault.
Roll: A way of landing safely after a jump or a fall by rolling on the ground. You tuck your head in, touch the ground with your shoulder, and roll diagonally across your back to your opposite hip.
Wall run: A way of climbing a vertical wall by running towards it, placing your foot on it, and pushing yourself up with your leg and arm.
Cat leap: A way of reaching a higher ledge or wall by jumping towards it, grabbing it with your hands, and pulling yourself up with your arms and legs.
Flip: A way of rotating in the air by using your momentum and body position. There are different types of flips, such as front flip, back flip, side flip, and gainer.
Spin: A way of turning in the air by using your arms and legs. There are different types of spins, such as 180, 360, 540, and 720.
Twist: A way of combining a flip and a spin by rotating along two axes. There are different types of twists, such as cork, full twist, double full twist, and arabian.
Lache: A way of swinging from one bar or branch to another by using your grip and momentum. You release your hands at the right moment and catch the next bar or branch.
Tic tac: A way of bouncing off a wall or an obstacle by using your foot as a springboard. You can use it to change direction, gain height, or reach another point.
Equipment of Parkour
Parkour does not require any special equipment or facilities. You can practice parkour anywhere with anything that you find in your environment. However, there are some items that can make your parkour experience more comfortable and safe. Here are some of them:
You should wear clothing that is comfortable, breathable, durable, and suitable for the weather. Avoid clothing that is too loose or too tight that might restrict your movement or get caught on something. You should also wear clothing that is appropriate for the place where you practice parkour. For example, avoid wearing dark clothing at night or bright clothing in nature.
You should wear shoes that are lightweight, flexible, grippy, and supportive. Avoid shoes that are too bulky or too slippery that might affect your balance or traction. You should also wear shoes that fit well and protect your feet from impact and abrasion.
You may wear gloves to protect your hands from blisters, cuts, burns, or cold. Gloves can also improve your grip on certain surfaces or objects. However, gloves can also reduce your sensitivity and dexterity. You should choose gloves that are thin, snug, and durable.
You may carry a bag to store your personal belongings, such as your phone, wallet, keys, water bottle, or snacks. You should choose a bag that is small, light, and secure. Avoid a bag that is too big or too heavy that might interfere with your movement or cause injury. You should also wear your bag close to your body and distribute the weight evenly.
You may wear protection ge