Le Parkour T shirts

c o n c e p t T s h i r t s . c o . u k

home | fun T shirts | sports Tees  | protest T shirts | shakespeare your design | latest | usa store | basket

Le Parkour



  What's gravity? Le Parkour  

What is Le Parkour?

Parkour (also called Le Parkour, PK, or free running) is an activity in which participants attempt to clear all obstacles in their path in the most fluent manner possible.

The ultimate goal in parkour is to ‘flow’ along one’s path, for the entire journey to be as one fluent movement with no pauses or breaks. A principal rule of parkour is to never go backwards. Free runners believe that there is path to every obstacle which is achieved through forward movement.

The magnitude and technicality of a move in parkour are secondary to the flow and beauty of it. Explains Jerôme Ben Aoues, one of the traceurs featured in the acclaimed Channel 4 documentary Jump London, “The most important thing really is the harmony between you and the obstacle; the movement has to be elegant, that's what will make it prettier. Length and distance only add to the beauty of the move, if you manage to pass over the fence elegantly that's beautiful, rather than saying ‘I jumped the lot.’ What's the point in that?”

To many, parkour is an extreme sport, to others a discipline more comparable to martial arts, to others an art form akin to dance, a way to encapsulate human movement in its most beautiful form. Parkour also inspires freedom; being free in an urban environment designed to trap, not restricted by railings, staircases, even buildings.. It is for many people a way of life.

Arguably, the essence of parkour has no origins. Says Sebastien Foucan in Jump London, “Free running has always existed, free running has always been there, the thing is that no one gave it a name, we didn’t put it in a box.” He makes a comparison with prehistoric man, “to hunt, or to chase, or to move around, they had to practice the free run.”

The origins of recognisable parkour, though, lie primarily in the childhood games of the art’s founders. Growing up in Lisses, a Parisian suburb, the founders (most notably David Belle and Sebastien Foucan) would run and jump around and play at being ninja on their school’s rooftops.

“From then on we developed,” says Sebastien in Jump London, “And really the whole town was there for us; there for free running. You just have to look, you just have to think, like children.” This he describes as “the vision of parkour.”

Parkour was not an entirely independently developed discipline, though; inspiration came from many sources, not least the ‘Natural Method of Physical Culture’ developed by George Hébert in the early twentieth century. David Belle was introduced to this by his father, a Vietnam soldier who practiced it. The word parkour derives from “parcours du combatant”, the phrase referring to the obstacle courses of Hébert’s method.

According to Sebastien, the start of the “big jumps” was around age fifteen. The moves of top practitioners have continued to grow in magnitude, as building to building jumps and drops of over a storey became common media-fodder, often leaving people with a slanted view on what parkour is. Ground-based movement is just as important as that on the rooftops, most free runners would say more so.

The journey of parkour from the Parisian suburbs to its current status as perhaps the most promising new sport for years saw splits develop amongst the originators. The founders of parkour started out in a group named Yamakasi, but later split due to disagreements. The name 'Yamakasi' is taken from a Zairian word meaning 'strong spirit, strong body, strong man'

In 2001 French filmmaker Luc Besson made a feature film, Yamakasi - Les samouraï des temps modernes , featuring members of the original Yamakasi. The film tells the (fictional) tale of a group of young thieves who use their parkour skills to evade capture, while stealing money to fund the healthcare of a child that was injured copying their parkour training. The first time the British public were made aware of parkour on a large scale was in the BBC station trailer Rush Hour This depicted Belle leaping across London’s rooftops from his office to home, in an attempt to catch his favourite BBC program. This generated much discussion amongst those that learnt no special effects or wires were used.

The biggest interest surge to date was created by the documentary Jump London, which explained some of the background to parkour and culminated with Sebastien Foucan and two other French traceurs undertaking parkour at many famous London locations - HMS Belfast, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Somerset House and the Tate and Saatchi galleries amongst them. It is perhaps worth noting that David Belle received no mention in Jump London, despite often being accredited as the most important founder of parkour. Belle was the person to bring the basic ideas of le parkour to the suburb of Lisses, and was the person that brought Sebastien Foucan and the others to the idea of moving like this.



This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "parkour".


* Wales T shirts


© 2004 conceptTshirts