David Belle is credited with inventing Parkour in the 80s, but the credit is also shared by his father, Raymond, and a friend, Sebastian Foucan. Raymond raised his son to follow a strict series of military based workouts “in case something happened” so he would be able to take care of the family. David changed the training and the focus, but kept the goal of being able to handle whatever may happen the same. When he started to train with a group of friends, it was Sebastian’s input that helped to give Parkour enough form and structure that it could take on a life as a competitive sport. Competition is new to the sport as it is hard to measure who would be best at an event since it is based on being the best within your own personal skill-set.
Who is doing it?
Parkour originated in France and has quickly spread around the world. Some of its best practitioners are from the Middle East, but it also has aficionados in China and the United States. A quick search for “Parkour” on the Internet will show posted videos of feats from all over the world. While initially the sport of the young, those who are older are starting to get drawn into the challenge and skill of the sport. The fact that it is mostly a competition against self makes it uniquely accessible to any age.
Are there classes?
Parkour classes are slowly catching on, but you won’t find any gyms. Boot-camp fitness and CrossFit can help you get in shape for Parkour, but to start practicing you should review some of the videos on line. Then, find a challenge for yourself and start to practice.