Who invented Parkour?

Parkour

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.

What is Parkour all about?

Parkour has been popping up more and more in the news, on social media, and in viral videos. While you might think it’s just stunts or challenges; it is actually one of the fastest growing sports in the world. There are more competitions and exhibitions being organized each year. It wouldn’t be a total surprise if Parkour made it to the Xgames soon. It is presenting a challenge to athletes, and to those just looking for a way to get fit that isn’t boring, that is catching people’s attention.

What is it?

The simplest description of Parkour is that it is a challenge to get from point A to point B as fast as possible, using the most direct route, and using only your body and anything on-site at the moment of the challenge. Parkour can be done on official obstacle courses, but you will more often find its practitioners running up the sides of buildings, flipping off awnings, and bare skating down rails. The goal of Parkour is to enable you to respond to get out of, or into, any area using what is on hand. It differs from programs such as CrossFit (which has some similar elements), because there is an underlying purpose to developing the strength and skill to cross any obstacle at any moment.