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USE+FUL | Parkour and Freerunning

So, what really is Parkour and Freerunning?

Are they the same thing?

So, you might have herd of it, and in case you don’t remember, for sure you’ve seen people jumping over roofs, climbing tall walls, doing flips and spins in any way you could imagine. Or maybe not, anyway both are sports practiced literally almost everywhere! And though they look the very same way, they are not exactly the same thing. But to explain why, first you have to know a bit of their History.

History of Parkour and Freerunning.

Well Freerunning comes from Parkour, despite the rumors that its roots are in gymnastics. But where does parkour comes from, actually its starts over a century ago in France. It was developed by French naval officer Georges Hébert, who before the First World War promoted athletic skill based on the models of indigenous tribes he had met in Africa. He noted, "their bodies were splendid, flexible, nimble, skillful, enduring, and resistant but, yet they had no other tutor in gymnastics but their lives in nature." Then inspired by that, he starts training the French military during the First and Second World wars. And  Inspired by Hébert, a Swiss architect developed a "parcours du combattant" (military obstacle course) the first of the courses that are now standard in military training and which led to the development of civilian fitness trails and confidence courses. Years after that, Reymond Belle used "parcours du combattant" and created many courses of his own. His son David Belle is believed to be the father of Parkour. As he was the first to call it parkour. He changed it a lot, creating parkour as it is now. Later, created the group Yamakashi. David Belle and one person of his group Sébastien Foucan had different visions of Parkour development, so Sébastien Foucan founded the Freeruning.


A practitioner of parkour is called a traceur and they aim to get from one point to another in a complex environment, without assistive equipment and in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Parkour includes running, freerunning, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, plyometrics, rolling, crawling and other movements as deemed most suitable for the situation. It is the art of movement.


Freerunning is a way of expression by interacting with various obstacles and environment. The central principle of freerunning is to express yourself by moving fluidly in one's environment; there are no limitations on the form of this movement. And most of the movements are usually adopted from other sports, such as gymnastics, tricking or breakdancing. Freerunners can create their own moves, flows and lines in different landscapes. It is all about becoming creative in an objective environment.

Something More…

Still they are something more than that, more than a sport, it is art. It is about seeing the world in a different way. Where people see obstacles, you see opportunities, it is self-control, self-knowing, you believe in yourself in order to trust yourself to deeply know and feel your body and mind. And when you run it is close to be meditating because then there is only you flowing through everything.


by Atanas Bedrev

Participant in

YE "Make social inclussion happen" in Costinesti, Romania


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