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History of Parkour - The Art of the Street

Updated on April 30, 2020
Tuan Leminh profile image

My name is Tuan, welcome to my post. My post is for parkour lovers & so on.

The Beginnings

Parkour is a type of sports movement, it was founded by David Belle - a French in 1988. This idea originated from conversations with his father, he knew about a kind of coaching that his father called "Parcours". He understood that this training is not a game, it's an important thing that will help him survive and protect the people he cares. David realized that this was what he wanted to find, so he began training in the same way. After moving to Lisses, he found other young men who had similar desires, and that they started practicing together. In 1997, they'd their first performance "Parcours" under the group name Yamakasi. Later, David Belle changed the letter "c" to the "k" to convey parkour as we know it today.

Another name of parkour in English is Freerunning - running freely. Some people call parkour the top of the art of movement. Some people consider it an adventure sport. Many people call this the art of adventure sports. It's not wrong. Parkour has a lot of movement with increasing difficulty, this will be applied to each terrain, obstacles, depending on the level of simplicity or complexity as well as depending on the creativity and combination of each person.

Parkour is an activity that may be practiced alone or with others. It will be done anywhere as urban spaces, parks, even in the woods.

The most striking feature of parkour is that the performers must move proficiently on different uneven terrain through dance, acrobatics... Movements must be made very quickly and accurately.

If you've ever seen movies as Yamakasi, District 13, Ultimatum, Brick Mansions... or played games as Prince of Persia, Assassin Nott Creed, you're no stranger to parkour. Today parkour appears more and more in action movies, commercials, and games.


Parkour is a combination of efficiency and art, so no rules apply to all or any students. Everyone has their own way, as long as it is efficient, beautiful, and safe. The most factor in parkour is the harmony between the body and the obstacles. It requires subtlety, agility, and a high degree of concentration in almost motions. It like an unconditional response before any terrain or obstacle which you would like to bypass.

David Belle once said parkour means courage not reckless. It's the courage of an individual who understands his ability, dares to overcome challenges, isn't timid, and always faces his fears. When a person asks David: “Can you show me the way to do this?”. He said: "No, I am going to show you how I do it. Then, you'll have to learn with your own technique, your own way of moving, your style, your abilities, and your limitations. You are going to learn to be yourself, not someone else."

The images in the commercials always talk about the "spiderman" guys climbing walls and flying through the roof. But parkour is really not like that. Parkour discourages people from jumping from roof to roof. Parkour is a sport that puts safety first because its starting point is to escape. You just need to overcome obstacles in a level that suits your ability. The magic of Parkour lies behind the conquest. That's when each person begins to explore his or her own abilities, explore the world around him.

Many parkour learners are reckless to practice at very dangerous places like high-rise buildings… and even David Belle also says such caves don't seem to be recommended.

Before 2002, parkour was only known to a little a part of Paris youth, until the BBC published a documentary called the time of day detailing this sport before it had been introduced widely and quickly becoming popular everywhere the planet.

Clip Giờ cao điểm - David Belle do BCC phát sóng

The art of the street

Parkour artists see this as an art that helps people feel the true connection between body, soul, and environment.

For many people, parkour is an adventure sport, many others call it martial arts, and some people say parkour could be a combination of both. When you observe the comfortable and free of the parkour artists, you can't know they need how much time and effort to ready fly so rhythmically and beautifully.

Parkour trains people to be persistent and patient. It is inexpensive, doesn't require expensive training tools, parkour learners only need a decent teacher, and a pair of comfortable and lightweight sneakers to start an exciting art sport.

To join a parkour group, players must be in healthiness and adventurous. A special feature in parkour is its efficient movement. In other words, the way to move from one position to a different in an optimal way, parkour relies on the strength of the body and also the flexibility to avoid obstacles within the environment. And for several teenagers, parkour is conquering by moving through the challenges that appear before the eyes.

Unlike other sports, parkour isn't only practiced publically areas such as building, patio… parkour can practice at gymnasiums, parks, public playgrounds, and derelict buildings.

It can be said that, with full of adventurous elements, creativity, or health benefits, parkour is really a challenge that young people in Vietnam and the world aspire to conquer.

When I started practicing parkour, I realized my shortcomings and weaknesses, not only physically but also more importantly mentally. I finally realized that these deficiencies are completely overcome and that means our potential is far greater than most people have ever known.

Parkour will cause you to stronger, faster than you ever thought possible. It’ll provide you with increased coordination, functional movement skills, and problem solving tools that may cross over into every other aspect of your life.

Today we live with so much fear. We are afraid of failure, afraid of hurt, afraid of responsibility, we choose to exist instead of living the right life. If you are willing to take daily risks and learn to interact with it and manage it, not only with parkour but any sport, anything in life will not make you give up.

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