Parkour As a Competitive Sport
Parkour is exciting, fun and challenging!
What Is Parkour?
To the glancing observer, parkour looks like a Jackie Chan action sequence. When we take a closer look, we see that the activity that also is called freerunning involves gymnastics, running, and even some dance moves. It is a unique and creative way of getting from one point to another without using the usual methods. You might think of it as skateboarding without the board!
For instance, one might walk down a sidewalk from the bus stop homeward every day. In parkour, one would not simply walk. One might do cartwheels all the way home, or back flips, or forward somersaults. The traveler might climb every tree on the way home as well as walk between the trees. If there were fences, the walker might leap back and forth over them or walk across the top edges light a tightrope walker. In the 1930s, this was simply called "playing on the way home from school."
Another excellent example of what is parkour today is taken from the South Korea of the 1940s. There, the boy who would grow up to become Supreme Grandmaster Joon Choi in Columbus, Ohio ran and performed martial arts movements on the four miles to and from school, six days a week!
Parkour is the sport of training to overcome obstacles to become mentally, physically and emotionally stronger. It involves running, jumping and climbing and can be practiced by anyone willing to work hard to improve her or himself. -- Parkour Horizons
From the French
Traditionally, a practitioner is called a treceur or traceuse, one who traces a route.
Parcours du combattant (obstacle course) became parkour (popularized by Frenchman David Belle) which became PK. This is similar to our physical fitness course or fitness trail that is called a parcourse, invented around 1968 in Switzerland. However, parkour is not limited to prescribed calesthenics along a trail. The parcourse and parkour are both influenced by the work of French fitness advocate George Hebert.
Parkour Among the Trees
Parkour In the Forests of South Korea
In the pine forests near Seoul in the 1940s, another young man who would become a grandmaster practiced running and martial arts through forests and around the trees. This required often running up the trees several steps and kicking off into the sky, doing flips from the trees, leaping from their high branches, performing flying kicks over streams, and doing other feats. Martial artists practiced these methods in the forests for centuries, often before sunrise in the mists against the sounds of trickling streams.
The tradition of the forest practice become deeply ingrained in my own martial arts training, but was never called parkour.
As a popular sport, parkour became a creative way of traveling from one place to another, using the environment for exercise. It was non-competitive and one of the best examples is presented below in a segment filmed by four creative men as a silent movie with musical background. Their parkour skills in Columbus, Georgia may amaze you.
Columbus OH Parkour
Watch the "1920's Parkhour" Video Here
So far, Columbus GA seems to have more parkour skills than Columbus OH.
Parkour: Like the Half Pipe Without a Board
Parkour For You
Trying New Exercise
How about parkour?
In Columbus, Ohio
Here are some people in Columbus, Ohio that seem to be just starting their practice of parkour. It's rather funny, but they are surely having a good time!
The activity is similar to skateboarding and snowboarding in that the gymnastics techniques have their own names. We may be looking at another extreme sport to bid for the Olympic Games in a few years.
Keep practicing, Columbus, Ohio!
Columbus, Ohio Parkour
- Parkour Horizons | Columbus, Ohio
Parkour Horizons runs over 50 parkour and fitness classes a week and offers personal training, workshops, summer camps, and other special events year round.
- Parkour Horizons On Facebook
- Parkour Meetups in Columbus- Meetup
Find Meetup Groups in Columbus, OH, us about Parkour
Columbus OH Parkour In a Building
Philadelphia now hosts competitive parkour competitions since 2011, but many people prefer the non-competitive version. Still, some practitioners are hoping that it will one day be included in the Summer Olympic Games.
The Competitive Parkour Games - Philly 2011
- ART OF MOTION - Best Action of Parkour and Free Running
- North American Parkour Championship in Vancouver
You may already know about the increasingly popular sport of parkour from movies and TV. While Hollywood usually displays a more flamboyant side of
- Parkour | International Parkour | Parkour Championship | Parkour Girls
Parkour- Parkulture is the first international public benefit organization dedicated to freerunning and parkour. Our goal is to promote freerunning and parkour as legitimate sports through the annual international goodwill competition
- Parkour Plus! Free-Running Contest Comes to Detroit
Who are those people in downtown Detroit, deliberately running up walls and jumping off roofs? News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of Detroit. CBSDetroit.com
Historic International Demo and Training 2008
Over Memorial Day Weekend in 2008, over 120 men, 10 boys, and 10 women put on a demonstration and training session of parkour in an international event held in Downtown Columbus OH. I remember that someone called them urban acrobats. They were certainly that and some were obviously gaining control and skills in their practice of the sport. Someone else said that it was not work. -- They were dead wrong.
I had only seen parkour done against trees, boulders, and some walls, but the activy was actually unnamed. However, the the demo participants used their full surroundings. Somersaulting over a stone staircase did not look safe without a helmet, but many participants wore headgear.
Parkour Horizons, begun by a small group at The Ohio State University, sponsored the demonstration and training. They are active and growing today. Along with parkour, the university has encouraged skateboarding as well, with a large new skateboarding installation on its West Campus in Columbus.
Extreme sports can be fun and healthy exercise when supervised properly, so look for a good parkour team in your area. I'm glad to know I've been doing a style of parkour for years. you might like it!
© 2013 Patty Inglish MS