What are Parkour and Freerunning?
"Parkour" is a discipline of movement that involves using the human body to overcome obstacles quickly and efficiently, using techniques like vaulting, rolling, jumping, and climbing. It was founded in the 1980's by a group of French athletes, but most people know of it because of the scene featured in "The Office".
"Freerunning" refers to the extension of parkour, and includes creative movements like flips and tricks for athletes to express themselves through movement. Freerunners rely on techniques learned through parkour, martial arts, gymnastics, breakdancing, and other movement disciplines to give their style a creative flare.
Well, that's cool. What's the difference between parkour and Ninja Warrior obstacle training?
That's a great question. The primary difference is that parkour and freerunning are meant to be done in a variety of environments, including outdoors and in urban settings. A lot of traceurs and freerunners practice at parks, playgrounds, universities, and any other place where there are interesting obstacles to play around on. Because of this, the techniques in parkour are quite different than those found in Ninja Warrior training.
Outside? Isn't that dangerous?
All movement carries with it an inherent risk of injury. However, parkour athletes are trained from the very first day to learn how to fall correctly, roll safely, and absorb harmful impacts to the body properly to keep themselves safe. In fact, many cities around the world have started to teach parkour safety techniques in schools, rehabilitation clinics, gyms, and even retirement homes because of the effectiveness of the training, and the safety it offers athletes and non-practitioners alike. A keystone of the parkour practice is to know and understand your own limits and abilities, and never attempt any movement you aren't absolutely confident you can be safe doing.
Alright, so it's pretty safe. But is it for me?
The answer is yes! Absolutely. Parkour, the discipline of overcoming obstacles, can be practiced by anyone. Parkour is a fun, functional form of movement that will allow you to grow and see the world in a different light, and join the worldwide community of practitioners who have also fallen in love with the discipline. Everyone has obstacles in their life, and no matter your age, gender, favourite color, or anything else, parkour is a great way to learn how to tackle them.