Saturday, 22 October 2011

PARKOUR


Have you ever heard about ‘Parkour’? I heard it while watching movie Cop Out. In that movie, a thief uses this French technique. This is a kind of French martial art. I have practiced it myself in my boyhood days, but off-course without having heard about its name! Parkour’s English equivalent is ‘Free Running’.


Parkour has similarities to martial arts and has a very interesting philosophy of freedom behind it. Its founder says that he was inspired by Bruce Lee’s philosophy. He says "There’s a quote by Bruce Lee that’s my motto: ‘There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. A man must constantly exceed his level.’ If you’re not better than you were the day before, then what are you doing—what’s the point?"


The vision of Parkour according to its founder is “You just have to look; you just have to think, like children.


Efficiency and speed go together in Parkour with an injury-free practice. Parkour practitioners are called Traceurs. Traceurs move through their environments jumping, vaulting, rolling, climbing and running. The practice not only emphasizes on developing freedom in physical movement but also emphasizes on getting mental freedom. It stresses on moving through the mental challenges with the same zest as the Traceurs move through physical obstacles.



There is no formal list of movements in Parkour and there is no formal kit. Traceurs are recommended to wear light clothes while practicing. Neurological studies have shown that Parkour is more effective than gymnastics in improving self-confidence and critical-thinking skills. Now Parkour is part of club activities in many countries across the globe. Will you ever try it?