Parkour is a physical training method that teaches people ways to adapt themselves to the environment that they’re in, using their body as a tool. It is about learning how to move safely and effectively to overcome a problem.
As a non-competitive sport, it instills a deep sense of self-development and problem solving. People find that the physical problem solving that they practise through Parkour will often help them to overcome other ‘obstacles’ that they come across in their lives. In this sense, Parkour is truly a physical and mental discipline.
Parkour is rooted in three small towns surrounding Paris: Evry, Sarcelles and Lisses. These small towns were home to a group of young people drawn together through challenge. It is acknowledged that 9 young men from this group created a discipline that is still practised today, called l’art du déplacementor ‘the art of movement’.
These young men called themselves the Yamakasi, a Lingala word that means ‘Strong man, strong spirit’.
The Yamakasi were regarded as wild-men, however, their training was anything but wild. With focus on precision and control, they started to push their limits and with this the media started to take notice.
In 2003, the Channel Four documentary ‘Jump London’ was broadcast. The documentary saw the men practising parkour across London. It was at this point that the term ‘freerunning’ was coined to more easily translate to the English viewer what Parkour was.
Parkour has since exploded, with it now playing centre stage in movies, video games and other media. With this explosion, a blurring of the lines has occurred, with some feeling that the core values of Parkour are being lost.
At Train Hard we believe that the core values of hard training and bettering oneself will give a person the ability to move with freedom. We value the history of Parkour; a history that is based on relationships and an individual’s achievement of their goals with community support. We believe that by understanding the history of Parkour a person can fulfil and surpass their goals in the same way that the Yamakasi did.
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