One of the most common questions I get asked when I tell people that I did parkour is simply, “what is parkour?” There are so many different ways to answer this question, so I am going to give you the short, elevator explanation, and then the long, detailed one.
What is Parkour?
The Short Answer
Parkour is the discipline and art of movement, and of training your mind and body to overcome obstacles and boundaries. It often involves running, jumping, vaulting, climbing, crawling, and a number of other physical movements. The practitioner slowly pushes his boundaries mentally and physically continually, progressing himself as a person.
The Long Answer
Parkour is a discipline. It forces the practitioner to stretch his abilities mentally and physically through movement. Running, jumping, vaulting, climbing, crawling, and a number of other actions are used to break the trainer’s boundaries. As his skills increase, so does his mental confidence. This stretches into every aspect of his life, be it work, school, or family. The training disciplines him to face his fears, tackle trials with confidence and patience, and keep progressing.
Parkour is an art. Moving around any environment in a way that wasn’t originally intended, like most parkour training entails, is artful. Connecting individual movements to be a sequence of graceful maneuvering takes training, patience, and finesse.
Parkour requires… consistent, disciplined training with an emphasis on functional strength, physical conditioning, balance, creativity, fluidity, control, precision, spatial awareness, and looking beyond the traditional use of objects.
Parkour movements typically include… running, jumping, vaulting, climbing, balancing, and quadrupedal movement. Movements from other physical disciplines are often incorporated, but acrobatics or tricking alone do not constitute parkour.
Parkour training focuses on… safety, longevity, personal responsibility, and self-improvement. It discourages reckless behavior, showing off, and dangerous stunts.
Parkour practitioners value… community, humility, positive collaboration, sharing of knowledge, and the importance of play in human life, while demonstrating respect for all people, places, and spaces.
Thanks to American Parkour for the last several points.
Now that you know what parkour is, check out How to do Parkour.