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Parkour is the art of mobility over and around obstacles whilst running to and from places and situations in a fast and economic manner that requires flow, grace, and style. It's origins as a sporting activity are in the assault course training of the French Foreign Legion military group and derived from the traditional practices of many eastern martial arts.

Free Running is a recent extension to or, a derivation from Parkour that includes various gymnastic tricks just for the fun of it, and showing-off of course. Pure Parkour, however, is about managing and minimising risks during the activity, for which reason, unlike free running, it is entirely consistent with self-defense/martial art principles and objectives. (More info below video...)

Rockface Running

Parkour is...

  • Parkour can be practiced in urban areas or the countryside, though it tends to bloom in urban areas. Training out in the open air, particularly in the countryside gives a completely new and refreshing perspective in our practice of the martial arts. It builds awareness of the environment and the local area, and, how to use it to our advantage. 

  • Not only is it invigorating and challenging to our physical senses and judgment of distance, speed, and timing, but, we are also forced to reappraise our assumptions about the use of certain types of tactics, techniques, and footwork. Parkour and martial arts can be combined almost seamlessly for martial training purposes.

  • Note, however, that Pure Parkour is really about the efficiency & economy of movement (speed and grace) in getting from A to B over, around or under various obstacles. The spectacular somersaults and vaults are derived from gymnastics and generally referred to as 'Tricking' or, are collectively referred to as 'Free Running'. These are extra skills practiced for the fun of it, to enhance the skill level and confidence, whilst at the same time providing some really spectacular entertainment/showing-off. They are part of the fun for advanced practitioners, but, not compulsory for pure Parkour and martial arts in which, they would be excessively risky (dangerous) and unnecessary in real self-defense situations.