parkour origin

Parkour Origin: The Evolution of Free Running

Parkour, also known by free running, has been gaining immense popularity in recent years. Parkour is an art form that involves maneuvering around obstacles, navigating terrains and overcoming barriers in a most efficient manner. Parkour may seem modern, but its roots go back more than 100 years.

Parkour’s Beginning:

Parkour’s origins can be traced back to the early 20th century, when it was created by Georges Hebert (a French Navy officer). He invented natural gymnastics, a military-style training system that emphasized the development of agility, health, and vitality in individuals. Hebert’s training stressed the importance of strength, endurance, agility, and the ability to overcome obstacles and navigate the world.

Hebert’s observations about the indigenous tribes he met while traveling around the globe inspired the training system. Hebert noticed that their movements were natural and efficient. They ran, jumped, and crawled in a way that was completely natural. Hebert believed this movement style was crucial for military personnel to develop speed, strength, and agility.

The Spread of Parkour

Parkour’s current popularity can be attributed primarily to David Belle, a French free-runner who started practicing the discipline in early 1990s. He and his friends often practiced the art in the urban environment of their hometown, Lisses, France. Belle’s Parkour style was different than Hebert’s natural gymnastics system. It emphasized speed and fluidity over its functional aspects.

Belle and his team filmed themselves performing these feats of parkour and uploaded them to YouTube, which helped spread awareness about the art. Parkour athletes found new ways to learn the art and incorporate it into their daily lives. Parkour enthusiasts started creating forums, blogs, websites, and other resources dedicated to the art form, creating an active and vibrant community of practitioners.

The Rules of Parkour

Parkour is often described as a non-competitive sport with no rules or regulations. Parkour has a set of core principles that require certain codes of conduct. Parkour athletes must respect their bodies and the surrounding environment while focusing on their unique abilities and pushing their physical limits.

Parkour is also known for its ability to overcome obstacles as efficiently as possible. Parkour athletes should seek out the most efficient way to move and not rely on brute strength to overcome obstacles. Parkour practitioners must be respectful of their surroundings and not cause any damage to the environment or objects around them.

Parkour’s Benefits:

Parkour is a vigorous form of physical activity that offers many benefits to those who regularly practice it. Parkour’s ability to improve balance, agility, and coordination is one of its greatest benefits. Parkour practitioners can improve their ability to react to their environment by executing precise movements.

Parkour also helps to develop endurance and functional strength. Parkour requires a high level power, flexibility, and core strength. Parkour training improves cardiovascular fitness which can help improve heart health as well as respiratory function.

Parkour is a great way to improve your mental health. It challenges the mind and body in an unusual way. Parkour practitioners must be able to focus and maintain calm under pressure. This helps build confidence and self-awareness.


Parkour has made great strides since its inception. Parkour has evolved from Georges Hebert’s military-style training, to David Belle’s free running, to become a unique and dynamic discipline. Parkour has seen a significant increase in popularity over the past few years. Many practitioners consider it more than a sport or art form. Parkour enthusiasts find unity, community, and personal growth through this challenging and intense activity.

Parkour could be the right choice for you if you’re looking to challenge your mind and body, or explore this unique style of movement. Parkour can be mastered with dedication and consistent practice.

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FreeRunNation is a community-driven organization dedicated to empowering and inspiring the Parkour community through high-quality resources, gear, and educational content. We foster a culture of inclusivity and respect, where everyone is welcome to explore and express their unique style and creativity.

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