The following information is taken from Parkour UK, the National Governing Body for Parkour:
Information, Advice and Guidance – Training Outdoors
Parkour UK advocates and protects the rights and freedoms of Traceurs/Freerunners (practitioners) to practice our sport/discipline in the outdoors environment, providing this is done so in a safe, responsible and respectful manner.
The information, advice and guidance provided below has been developed for and with the community/practitioners. It is not designed to cover every scenario, therefore will continue to evolve and develop to meet the needs of the community/practitioners as well as the public.
What is Parkour / Freerunning / Art du Deplacement?
Parkour / Freerunning / Art du Deplacement is the non-competitive physical discipline of training to move freely over and through any terrain using only the abilities of the body, principally through running, jumping, climbing and quadrupedal movement. In practice it focuses on developing the fundamental attributes required for such movement, which include functional strength and fitness, balance, spatial awareness, agility, coordination, precision, control and creative vision.
It is a sport that encourages self-improvement on all levels, revealing one’s physical and mental limits while simultaneously offering ways to overcome them. It is a method of training one’s body and mind in order to be as completely functional, effective and liberated as possible in any environment.
The sport aims to build confidence, determination, self-discipline and self-reliance, and responsibility for one’s actions. It encourages humility, respect for others and for one’s environment, self-expression, community spirit, and the importance of play, discovery and safety at all times.
When selecting a training location there are a variety of factors that will not only enhance your experience and keep you safe, but will also help grow Parkour/Freerunning as a community, sport and activity that can be enjoyed and understood by everyone.
Always check the surfaces you are moving on, to ensure they are stable and appropriate for your movements and your level of experience. Check that the structures you are using are weight-bearing and can withstand the impacts you may expose them to.
It is beneficial for everyone if you train in spaces that are welcoming and open to Parkour/Freerunning and only where it is permitted.
Consider the members of the public who may be affected in some way by your training, for example;
Are there residents nearby who may be disturbed?
Will you be obstructing a high-footfall thoroughfare?
Are there young children nearby who may be unduly influenced by your actions?
Be aware of the context of where you are training and you are far more likely to have an undisturbed session that will lead to improvements in your ability and a more enjoyable experience overall.
As Parkour/Freerunning movements are self-controlled it is expected that injuries resulting from falls/misjudgement may occur, just like in any sport/activity.
Be safe; only train within the capabilities of your ability and don’t try to do something that you are not ready to undertake. In attempting to progress too quickly you may be at risk of injuring yourself and/or others.
Always prepare your body and mind with a thorough warm-up. Always focus on what you are doing and train with a clear mind.
After your session, ensure that you include a cool-down. This will help to maintain the health of your body in the long-term
Treat others as you expect to be treated; encourage and support others to create a positive training environment for all.
If somebody asks you to leave an area, be courteous, explain what Parkour/Freerunning is and be prepared to comply with reasonable requests to practise somewhere else.
Parkour /Freerunning is still a relatively new and unfamiliar sport/activity, and it is understandable that some members of the public are unsure of it. Anything you can do to give it a good name will help in making it more understood, improving relations with the public and generally advancing the sport in the eyes of the surrounding community.
There is no sporting reason/rationale for Parkour/Freerunning to be practised on roofs but it can, and ideally should, be practised in the outdoor environment, whether built or natural.
Do your best to learn as much about the body and fundamental biomechanics, as well as studying and researching good Parkour/Freerunning methods of training from Parkour UK qualified coaches/teachers/instructors.
Take it slow and know your limits. It’s going to take a while for your body to adapt to the physical demands of Parkour/Freerunning.
Ensure that you have mastered the basics before moving on to more complicated movements. Seek measured progressions in your practice/movements and acquire as much knowledge about your discipline as you possibly can.
Traceurs/Freerunners can further their knowledge by attending Parkour UK Awards, CPD & Qualifications
Summary of Guidelines
Parkour/Freerunning is a sport that needs and requires the same dedication, discipline and attention as any other sport.
As you can see from our sporting definition above, Parkour encourages humility, respect for others and for one’s environment, self-expression, community spirit, and the importance of play, discovery and safety at all times.
It is recommended that practitioners:
Select an appropriate training area
Be respectful of your surroundings
Check your surfaces and structures
Leave the area you’re training in as you found it (or tidier than it was!)
Be courteous to members of the public, other practitioners and those around you
Think of the health of your body, both in the short and long-term
Appropriately assess the level of the movements being performed against your own skill level
Train in an overall safe and healthful manner: remember the central motto of Parkour/Freerunning is ‘To Be and To Last’
Through your actions and conduct always be a good ambassador for Parkour/Freerunning