Parkour is an urban sport that involves running, jumping and swinging over obstacles. Parkour originated in France in early 1990s. It has since become a popular form both of exercise and self expression.
Parkour’s Early Roots
Parkour’s origins can be traced back in the late 19th-century when Georges Hebert, an officer on the French navy, created a training system for soldiers that focused on natural movements such as running, climbing, and jumping. The system Hebert developed, known as la méthodee naturelle, was intended to improve physical and mental agility, strength and endurance in a variety of environments.
Raymond Belle, a French soldier stationed in Vietnam during the 1930s, was influenced by Hebert’s philosophy. These ideas were passed to David Belle, his son who was to become a pioneer of parkour in late 20th century.
A New Art Form is Created
David Belle and a few friends started to experiment with natural movement techniques in the early 1990s. They combined elements from Hebert’s training system with personal experiences and insights. This led to the creation of a new style of movement art that emphasizes efficiency, creativity, and breaking down physical and mental barriers.
Sebastien Foucan, another member of the group inventing the name “parkour” in the mid-1990s. The French word “parcours”, meaning “route” or course, is the origin of the term. It quickly gained popularity among young French people due to its non-competitive nature, and emphasis on individual development.
Spreading the word around the globe
Parkour spread to other countries over the next ten years. Practicing parkour practitioners traveled to North America and Europe to share their skills and knowledge. The internet played a key role in the spread of the practice. Online forums and video platforms such as YouTube allow people from all over the world to share their knowledge and help one another.
Parkour began to be criticized as it gained more mainstream attention. Parkour was banned in public spaces by some communities and cities due to safety concerns. Inadequate regulation and oversight raised questions about professionalism, accountability, and accountability.
Parkour is a worldwide phenomenon with hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts and practitioners. Parkour training and certification is offered by many schools and organizations. Many people use it to stay fit, keep healthy, challenge their minds, and connect with likeminded people.
Parkour has inspired many creative projects, including live performances, art installations, films, and other artistic endeavors. Parkour’s emphasis on creativity and adaptation has made it a dynamic art form that continues its evolution and inspiring new generations of practitioners all over the world.