Parkour is a discipline of movement that uses the abilities of the human body to overcome obstacles in the environment. The goal of parkour is to move from one point to another in the most efficient and quickest way possible. Movements in parkour include climbing, vaults, jumps, and many others.
Parkour is a very positive activity, as it teaches many skills and characteristics beyond the physical movements. From parkour one gains the ability to overcome obstacles in life, and encourages self-confidence, coordination, physical strength, and conquering fears. The parkour community is, and always has been, very positive, welcoming, friendly, and helpful.
The history of parkour dates back around 30 years to Lisses, France. A man named David Belle and his friends would try to push themselves physically. This group, called the Yamakazi, was, in some sense, the ‘founder’ of parkour, although Belle primarily receives credit. Throughout the years, parkour began to heavily spread throughout Europe with films such as Jump Britain and Jump London to help spread the movement. Eventually parkour found it’s way to the United States.
The growth of parkour in the US started with a few traceurs (parkour practitioners) around the country. The first real parkour organization in the US was started in 2004 called American Parkour. Through the media, word of mouth, and the internet, parkour has rapidly spread through the US so much now that communities and gyms are sprouting up all over the country. Some other gyms include Tempest Freerunning Academy, Apex Movement, and Parkour Visions. Parkour continues to grow and become a more popular and organized discipline worldwide.