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The Birth of Parkour

The Parkour Performance

The Parkour Performance
  • Parkour (or route) is a concept embraced by thrill-seekers and martial-art adepts and is a commando-style system of jumps, rolls and landings designed to navigate through any obstacle (like jumping from one rooftop to the other).
  • It is also a part meditative pursuit and relies on mental strength, agility and speed.
  • This movie-friendly stunt hobby is not for everyone, and the main obstacles that are engaged with are walls, stairwells, fences and gaps between roofs.
  • A ‘performance’ is considered elegant when it is efficient and fluid while crossing difficult terrain.

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The Birth of Parkour

The Birth of Parkour

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/04/16/no-obstacles

newyorker.com

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Key Ideas

The Parkour Performance

  • Parkour (or route) is a concept embraced by thrill-seekers and martial-art adepts and is a commando-style system of jumps, rolls and landings designed to navigate through any obstacle (like jumping from one rooftop to the other).
  • It is also a part meditative pursuit and relies on mental strength, agility and speed.
  • This movie-friendly stunt hobby is not for everyone, and the main obstacles that are engaged with are walls, stairwells, fences and gaps between roofs.
  • A ‘performance’ is considered elegant when it is efficient and fluid while crossing difficult terrain.

Origin of Parkour

The concept of Parkour was thought of by a then-teenager named David Belle in a small place called Lisses, near Paris, France. His father, Raymond Belle was a hero fireman and acrobat. This was in the 90s, and the teenager was greatly influenced by Spiderman and Tarzan. His acrobatic ways made him a celebrity and created a huge fan following.

Parkour is a made-up word, cousin to the French parcours, which means “route.”

Parkour "language"

The world of climbing walls without stairs and jumping off rooftops without any rope or parachute is filled with risk, thrill and adventure.

It also has its own naming system. Someone practising parkour is called a ‘traceur’, someone who traces David Belle’s footsteps. A female traceur is called a traceuse.

American Parkour

A prominent disciple of Parkour is Mark Toorock, from Washington DC, who follows David Belle, and hosts a website called American Parkour (at the beginning of the 2000's)

He was impressed by the stunts and the daring shown by David and has followed it in a low-key (less dangerous) way.

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