The word Parkour originated from the French “parcours”, which literally means, “the way through”, or “the path”, What we all know now as “Parkour” with a “k”. It had its origins in a training program for French special forces known as “Parcours du combatant”, or “The path of the warrior”. The Parkour inventor was David Belle who was from France and was son of a Parcours Warrior who changed the “c” to a “k” along with his comrades and companion, the Yamakazi, began the worldwide movement you are now officially a part of and which is also includes the movement known as Freerunning.
According to the most precised definition, Parkour is the act of moving from point ‘a’ to ‘b’ using the obstacles in your way to increase your efficiency. Parkour includes running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, rolling, quadrupedal movement, and other movements as deemed most suitable for the situation. Some basic moves developed over the years can be the “tic-tac”, the “Kong vault” and the “gap jump” that makes parkour instantly recognizable to most of the people who see it and don’t know what it’s called!
The funny thing happened on the way to point B was the cool and super creative moves that made by the Yamakazi which started morphing, and as there was no one chasing them (most of the times) the efficiency part got less and less important to some of the members of the Yamakazi, who decided to start throwing flips and other creative movement while expressing themselves through them. The leader of the splinter group was named Sebastian Foucan, the guy who was also in the CASINO ROYALE movie. Meanwhile, David belle decided that he wanted to stick with the efficiency program, so he and Sebastian kind of went their separate ways and the “two” sports stated developing along separately but in parallel paths.
For a long time, people had many argument that which was which and which was better but at the same time, a bunch of guys and some girls started their career in this way and started training and making their own tricks, some were timing themselves some were just out to express. Some did it in urban areas, some in forest but in the end they all got to one point which it was all movement and more importantly, it was all just play.
In other words, Parkour basically, is a philosophy and a way of life. It is a way of looking at your environment and believing in your heart that there is no obstacle in life to be overcome and that everyone is a unique individual with their own techniques, way of movement, strengths, style and limitations.
Little kids all learn to walk at their own pace and in their own way and they don’t begin with jumping off rooftops and no matter how many times they fall, they never give up. The basic fact never changes. We just need to pick ourselves up and start to play with whatever is challenging us right now, and hold to the motto that to know Obstacle is to Know Freedom!