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Parkour
Written by Mark Millard   

Parkour is a blend of athletics and gymnastics which improves your ability to move over obstacles at speed and escape in an emergency. If martial arts develop the skills of fight then parkour develops the skills of flight.

This makes parkour fundamentally different to free running. Parkour is about fast, efficient, safe movement whereas free running is about elegant, expressive, artistic movement.

Parkour was developed by David Belle, the son of an elite French fireman. The name derives from parcours de combattant, the French term for a military assault course. The unofficial motto is être et durer - to be and to last - emphasising the survival skill philosophy.

For some traceurs (practitioners) the benefits of parkour spill over into other areas of their lives, they learn how to tackle obstacles other than physical ones.

However there is currently little formal parkour training available and there are clear risks of injury, so getting some proper instruction in gymnastics, circus skills or on an assault course may be the place to start.


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