The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Parkour

by Brett & Kate McKay on July 19, 2013 · 37 comments

in Fitness, Health & Sports, Sports

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You’ve seen it on TV shows such as American Ninja Warrior (and not so seriously in The Office) as well as in movies like Casino Royale and The Bourne Ultimatum. If you’ve played Assassins Creed or Mirror’s Edge, you’ve even done it, virtually, at least.

I’m talking about parkour.

Yeah. That sport where you jump from buildings and vault over walls. Many men are drawn to parkour even if they’re not entirely sure what it is. It’s captivating to see someone move through an environment in ways we had previously not conceived of, and inspiring to witness the human body pushing the very limits of its capabilities. Plus, it just looks like so much fun and it seems like an important skill to have during the zombie apocalypse when you’ll need to be able outrun a pack of vicious brain-eaters (depending on your theory of their bipedal capabilities, of course).

To learn more about parkour I visited the Tempest Freerunning Academy in Los Angeles to talk to parkour/freerunning instructor, stuntman, Ninja Warrior veteran, and epic handlebar mustache owner Brian Orosco .

What is Parkour?

Parkour is all about moving through your environment efficiently and naturally. Parkour practioners, who are often called traceuers (from the French for ‘to trace’), jump, climb, and vault over obstacles in their path. Their goal is to get from point A to point B as efficiently as possible.

The history of parkour is actually pretty fascinating. It got its start in France and has its roots in military escape and evasion tactics and 19th century physical culture. In fact, the word “parkour” originates from the French phrase “parcours du combattant:” the obstacle course-based method of training used by the French military. So while we think of parkour today as simply an interesting form of recreation, it was actually developed as a tactical skill and way to build the fitness of soldiers.

The Difference Between Parkour and Freerunning

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Parkour and freerunning get used interchangeably. While they share a lot in common, there is a small difference.

Parkour is simply about maneuvering through your environment efficiently using jumps, swings, and vaults. No need for flips, wall spins, and other acrobatics. With freerunning, efficiency is less of a concern, and you can throw in these types of cool-looking acrobatic movements as well.

So when you’re watching YouTube videos of people doing flips and spins off walls, that’s freerunning; if they’re just jumping and vaulting over urban obstacles without acrobatics, they’re doing parkour.

Why Practice Parkour?

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Parkour is fun! In parkour, you basically treat the world around you like a giant playground. It’s fun to find novel ways to maneuver through your environment, and, yes, pretend you’re running away from ninja assassins and/or zombies. It harnesses your inner child that has long been dormant and just wants to run around, explore without limits, and simply play again.

Parkour is great exercise. Running, jumping, climbing, swinging. Parkour is a full-body workout that will simultaneously improve your body awareness and coordination.

Parkour is a challenge. Parkour will require you to push yourself physically and mentally. Starting out, you may not be able to do certain moves, but with time, you’ll gain the strength and coordination you need to master them. You’ll face obstacles that you think you could never surmount, but when you dig deep within yourself, you’ll find that you can push your body beyond what you saw as its limit. In short, parkour can help activate the primal switch of manliness within all of us for a challenge. As you overcome these challenges you’ll gain confidence in yourself that will carry over into other parts of your life.

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Source: Daily Texan

Parkour is a great way to make new friends. Parkour is a social sport. It’s typically done in groups, and the parkour community is very friendly and supportive. It’s not competitive; rather, the goal is to have a good time and to help each other improve.

Parkour can help save your life. We’re big proponents of the idea that every man should be able to save his own life should the circumstances arise. Parkour gives you the skills and physical conditioning to do that. We joke about zombies and having to escape and evade in an urban environment, but what if the day comes when your life depends on being able to run, jump, and climb over obstacles? Would you be able to do it? Parkour can help. It’s particularly handy when you have to jump from rooftop to rooftop.

Parkour makes you more creative. Parkour requires you to look at your environment creatively. Instead of interacting and maneuvering through the world as some architect or city designer wanted you to, you do it the way you want. Stairs? We don’t need no stinkin’ stairs! Oh, you want me to use this little pedestrian bridge? I’ll just jump over this gap and swing under this rail. Every fence, wall, or gap becomes an opportunity to try a new move. This sort of playfulness and creativity can seep over to other areas of your life, helping you find creative solutions to problems at work or in your relationships.

How to Get Started With Parkour

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Find a parkour group. The best way to get started in parkour is to find a local group and attend a parkour jam. People in the sport’s community are super friendly and supportive of one another. You’ll get insights from folks who have been doing it for awhile, plus you’ll have someone there to spot you on particularly hard moves. And of course, if you take a bad fall, you’ll have someone who can take you to the hospital. Most big cities have parkour meet-ups; you can find them on Meetup.com and the American Parkour forums.

Another great way to get started is to join a parkour gym like the Tempest Freerunning Academy if you’re lucky enough to have one in your area. These types of gyms are pretty new, and there aren’t too many out there right now, but more will likely be cropping up in the next several years as the sport continues to grow in popularity.

Be safe. Don’t take unnecessary risks. Your goal is to have a good time and push yourself beyond your comfort zone, but without hurting yourself. Your first question before any movement should be, “How can I do this without injuring myself?” Make sure to train with a group or a partner so they can spot you on demanding moves and call for help if needed. Before any training session, check the environment for any potential hazards, like broken glass and the like. In short, don’t be stupid.

Take it slow. Know your limits. Just because those around you are doing crazy flips and aerials from giant buildings, doesn’t mean you have to. Don’t try to do too much too soon. It’s going to take awhile for your body to adapt to the physical demands of parkour. Don’t move on to more complicated moves until you’ve mastered the basics. On a related note, don’t get so cocky about your abilities that you don’t take every move seriously. Pride goeth before the fall, and in parkour that fall can really hurt.

Respect private property. Stick to doing parkour in public spaces like parks and city plazas. Try to avoid times with high pedestrian traffic. If somebody asks you to leave, politely say, “Sure thing!” If the police confront you, be courteous, explain what you’re doing, and comply with requests to take it somewhere else. Parkour is a new and unfamiliar sport in the U.S. Anything you can do to give it a good name will help in making it more acceptable.

Basic Parkour Moves

Balancing

Balancing is a vital skill to have in parkour. You’ll often be walking and jumping on to small areas like rails and wall edges. You need to develop the muscle strength and coordination necessary so you don’t go tumbling to the ground. Practice balancing by standing and walking on rails. Consider taking up slacklining to help improve your balance.

Running

In order to successfully evade zombies or other malicious pursuers in an urban environment, you’ve got to run. Running in parkour requires both explosive sprinting as well as endurance. Training with parkour on a regular basis will help condition you to the running required, but consider adding in 5K runs and windsprints to speed things along.

Jumping and Dropping

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Source: JB London

Jumping plays a big role in parkour. Use jumps to overcome height differences and to get across gaps and over obstacles.

Precision jumping

Precision jumps allow you to land on small areas, like the small surface on top of a wall or maybe a stepping stone in the middle of a body of water. Precision jumps require concentration, balance, and an awareness of your limitations.

Tic-Tac

Tic-tacs are sort of a combination of a wall-climb and a jump. This technique allows you to get to places that are higher than you could with a jump. You’ve probably seen tic-tacs in martial arts movies or on American Ninja Warrior. It’s where a person runs towards a wall at an angle, places a foot on the wall, and then pushes off from the wall with that foot to jump to a higher level. Tic-tacs are typically used in combination with another movement.

Drop

drop is an active jump from a higher to lower level. When you’re first starting out with parkour, avoid dropping from anything higher than head-level. You need to master landing (see below) and you need to condition your body to the stress that comes from dropping from heights.

Landing

Knowing how to land safely and efficiently after jumping or dropping is an essential skill for parkour and freerunning. Landing correctly is what allows you to immediately get up and keep moving to the next obstacle, and, more importantly, not have to make a trip to the emergency room.

How you decide to land will depend on a few factors, namely: 1) the height you’re landing from, 2) the distance of your jump, 3) your landing surface, and 4) your preceding move.

Two-foot landing

Two-foot landings are more effective than one-foot landings at reducing the amount of stress your body experiences during landing. So when you can, try to land on two feet. When you land, you want your first contact with the ground to be with the balls of the feet, shoulder-width apart, knees over the tips of your toes.

Your goal is to land as “softly” as possible. To achieve that soft landing, bend your knees as you land — just make sure they don’t bend further than 90 degrees. If you’re jumping or dropping from a particularly high level or if you’re landing with a lot of forward momentum, let your torso sink towards your legs, and place your hands on the ground so your arms can help absorb some of the impact. Having your hands on the ground also puts you in a position to spring up and run to the next obstacle. This type of landing takes practice, so train from lower drops before moving to anything higher.

Rolling

Rolling is a vital landing skill to have if you want to avoid injuries. Rolling after landing spreads out the force of impact across more parts of your body, which reduces your chance of injury. You’ll typically want to drop to a roll after landing if you’re dropping from great heights or jumping horizontally with great forward speed. When performed correctly, a roll will allow you to land and pop right back up with nary a scratch on you.

You want to roll on your shoulder, diagonally across your back, so you’re rolling from one shoulder to the opposite hip. Tuck your head under your armpit as you go into the roll. Concentrate on rounding your body and making yourself into a ball. Keep yourself tucked as your weight carries you through the roll and keep your knees bent and your weight low as you rise to your feet.

Vaulting

As you’re running, you’re going to encounter obstacles that are too high to jump over. That’s where vaulting comes in. Vaulting is when you place your hands on an object to help you clear it. There are different kinds of vaults you can use depending on the obstacle you’re trying to clear and your personal preference. Brian Orosco from Tempest Freerunning Academy showed us five common vaults used in parkour and freerunning. You can see them in the video above. I’ve added links to various parkour sites that have step-by-step photo instructions of the vaults as well.

  • Step (safety) vault. Step vault is the easiest vault and lays the foundation for the rest. It’s typically done when approaching an obstacle slowly.
  • Speed vault. As the name suggests, the speed vault is performed when running at full speed.
  • Lazy Vault. This is a good vault to use when you approach an obstacle at an angle. You’ve probably done this type of vault without even knowing it when you played as a kid. Whenever your body goes sideways over the obstacle without your feet touching it and you have just one hand planted on the obstacle, you’re doing a speed vault.
  • Kong Vault. Kong vaults will make you look like you’re jumping over police cars like Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. This is an advanced vaulting technique. Don’t try this until you’ve had some experience parkouring.
  • Dash VaultThe dash vault is sort of like the Kong vault, except you leap feet first instead of head first.

Climbing

Stairs are for chumps. Sometimes it’s just more efficient to use a direct route to get to a higher level. That’s where climbing comes in. Take it slow with climbing when you first start with parkour. You’re not going to have any safety harnesses, so a fall from a particularly high level can get you in the hospital or six feet under. General rule when climbing in parkour is “don’t climb higher than you can jump down.” Besides basic “ladder” style climbing, there are some other climbing techniques to be aware of.

Wall run

Wall runs allow you to climb up a really high wall, really fast. The wall run is a deceptively complex movement. It’s a prominent obstacle on American Ninja Warrior, but it’s the one that many competitors have trouble with. To successfully execute a wall run you have to run, jump, climb, and hang in one fluid motion – not as easy as it looks.

Cat leap

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Source: JB London

The cat leap is a combination of a jump and a climb. You’ll use the cat leap when you have to span a gap, but the landing point is too high for you to land on your feet, so you have to hang from your hands when you get to the other side. Once you’re dangling from the edge of the building or wall, pull yourself to safety by bringing your knees into your chest and pressing your toes into the side of the building. Push your legs up by your toes and pull your body up by your hands at the same time. Really push with those legs — they’ll have much more strength and power than your arms. When your shoulders clear the top of the ledge, move your hands so that your palms are flat against the surface of the ledge, straighten out your arms, and push your body up. Lean forward so that your center of gravity is on the safety side, so you won’t fall if you lose your balance.

Swinging

Swinging from a bar or tree is used frequently in parkour. You’ll often see traceurs use swings to pass through an obstacle when there’s a gap between a rail and the ground.

Besides the basic underbar swing, you can get a bit fancier with the spiral underbar swing. Basically, you grip the bar in a way that causes you to spin as you swing under the bar. Pretty cool.

Parkour Resources

Many thanks to Brian Orosco for taking the time to talk to us and show us some vaults. Make sure to check out his stunt reel. It’s pretty sick. If you’re ever in the L.A. area, I highly recommend stopping by the Tempest Freerunning Academy.

Have you tried parkour? If so, any tips for beginners? Share with us in the comments!

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Al July 19, 2013 at 11:56 pm

I’ll just skip the middle man and go right to the ER.

2 Luke July 20, 2013 at 3:01 am

This give me no end of surprised delight. Glad you posted this! I’ve used meetup.com to find parkour groups in my area and very much enjoyed my time practicing with them. Parkour is FUN, plain and simple.

3 SQUID13 July 20, 2013 at 11:14 am

Iv’e used to practice parkour as a kid with some friends. definitely the coolest sport that requires no equipment! this actually makes me want to get back to doing that. Only tip I can give to new comers is WATCH OUT. this cannot be stressed out enough. just because your friends can do some things doesnt mean you can, so know your limits.
(source : broken hand)

4 Joseph July 20, 2013 at 11:42 am

AKA the grown up version of “the floor is lava”.

5 Ben July 20, 2013 at 12:14 pm

I would reccomend avoiding drops above knee-level before you’ve been doing Parkour for a while. The drops definitely look cool, but they’re the easiest way to cause short term and unnoticed long term damage to your knees. A good metric I’ve heard is being able to squat your own bodyweight before trying anything head level or higher.

On that note, I definitely think keeping a journal and doing Parkour workouts in tandem with weight training (whether that’s push-ups and other bodyweight exercises or hitting the gym) can help you master harder techniques like doing chin-ups to help get the strength to finish cat leaps.

6 Erik July 20, 2013 at 1:55 pm

As I was watching the first video, I started thinking “Holy crap, Super Mario Bros. is all about parkour!”

And then it made me laugh that in the second video, their workout gym had a bunch of obstacles that looked the terrain in Super Mario Bros.

7 Cameron July 20, 2013 at 4:15 pm

I started parkouring back in middle school. I’m now going into my junior year of college. For the longest time, I never knew how to roll. Part of this was me being afraid to hurt myself from rolling incorrectly.

There are two points to my post:

1. Parkour is largely mental. I had to get over the wall of fear that kept me from learning something as simple as a roll.

2. LEARN TO ROLL. It’s been about 6 years since I started parkouring. I’ve been a waiter at a restaurant for 2 years. I’ve noticed that my inability to roll for such a long time (coupled with my flat-footedness) has lead to some extreme discomfort of the knees after working for a few hours. I feel fine while at work, but when I get home to go to bed, my knees cannot get comfortable. Because of my experience, I would say that rolling is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for ANY drops at all.

And some encouragement: This has been some of the best fun I’ve ever had. The confidence boost is unparalleled, and IT’S PRACTICAL. I met loads of friend and I wish there were more parkour-able structures at Tarleton State University so I could start up a jam. Because of parkour (and puberty), I lost 4 inches in the waist and gained a great amount of upper and lower body strength. I haven’t been able to parkour as much as I used to, but I can still pump out 10 pull-ups easily. I suggest coupling parkour with some distance training to achieve a well-balanced fitness.

8 Josh July 20, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Maybe you should have Brian Orosco make some more Parkour videos for AFM?

9 Cliff B July 20, 2013 at 8:26 pm

THe local news paper did a video about our Parkour club in Longivew, it was pretty cool: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90KGedFRj_M

10 Ty July 20, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Im friends with Brian, and a number of my buddies actually own/run Tempest. The Los Angeles parkour community (PKLA on Meetup) has a lot of really talented people, always willing to teach anybody who is interested. The basics can never be rushed. Been a practitioner myself since 2008. It sure beats paying for a gym membership :)

11 Ted Vailas July 21, 2013 at 1:33 pm

This is awesome!!! I would say someone should be in excellent physical shape before even attempting this though. I just imagine my arm or leg twisting in some horrible way. Awesome article though. Thank you.

12 Ian July 21, 2013 at 9:17 pm

One thing I’d like to add to the benefits of parkour: It builds a TON of confidence. When I first started, something that was told to me over and over was “Parkour is 90% mental and 10% physical”. It definitely gets you in shape, but a lot of it is simply staring down a gap that seems too big, or balancing on a bar that’s too thin, and doing it anyway. Yes, your brain comes up with terrifying scenarios that may be fatal, but part of parkour is pushing past that. It’s done wonders for me outside of physical training, because I’ve learned how to ignore the possibility of catastrophic failure at every step.

Also, gotta second the comment about rolling. I dunno about other places, but where I go (Apex Movement in Boulder), there’s an entire class called Ukemi. It’s all about how to fall correctly.

One last thing: If you’ve ever gotten into martial arts or dancing, you may see a lot of similarities. I can list off at least 3 techniques that I learned in kung fu that are the exact same in parkour.

Did it for a little while last year, just getting back into it now and I forgot how much I missed it. I highly suggest wearing pants!

13 Uncle Mike July 22, 2013 at 3:18 am

Thought this was neat – Parkour circa 1930
http://youtu.be/Bb_C__xFeeE

14 Rory O'K July 22, 2013 at 5:07 am

How old is too old to start this, realistically? If the majority are teenagers I can imagine they wouldn’t really like a novice adult trying to join them, even if I am only in my twenties!

15 Debbie M July 22, 2013 at 10:06 am

I do extremely low-level parkour–I walk on the bed instead of around it, I don’t need a ladder to get out of the pool, I’ll go over or under a railing instead of going around, and I’ll jump across puddles to keep my feet dry. Basically just one step up from normal grown-up behavior.

As a fifty-year-old, I’m afraid to get into this because I don’t think I heal so quickly anymore and I don’t like hurting. However, I would like to learn some easy (but cool) things like some of those vaults. Plus learning to jump farther, just practicing on flat land, sounds pretty safe.

Rory, the college I work at has parkour groups and surely some of those guys are in their twenties. I’d say just check out your local group(s) and see how it works out.

16 Greg July 22, 2013 at 10:08 am

Gotta agree with Al, it looks like a one way ticket to the ER to me. Then again, I’m old and brittle. I’ll leave that to the young’uns.

17 K. Liske July 22, 2013 at 11:43 am

Damn my aging. If I were 30 years younger, I would be all over this. As it is, I still do the manly rail vault instead of climbing over.

18 Rory I July 22, 2013 at 11:58 am

RORY O’K

You can start at any age. I began practicing parkour at age 33, and my regular practice partner just turned 50.

19 MJ July 22, 2013 at 12:32 pm

I like the idea of having such skills to save my life and avoid enemies, but this is really a young man’s game. Not to mention it looks quite dangerous — one wrong move and it’s Game Over.

20 Shane Rounce July 22, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Parkour is not a sport, by the very definitions of both ‘Parkour’ and ‘sport’.

Parkour is all about self improvement, not competing against others. Teaching yourself to overcome both mental and physical obstacles, in all aspects of your life. It’s a discipline, a way of living.

The moment at which Parkour becomes a sport through any form of competition it loses it’s discipline and ceases to be Parkour. This is where I’d say the line where freerunning and parkour blur can be used to separate the two, outside of flips and acrobatics.

Now, I’d say I practise both Parkour and freerunning. Though I make time for training both and always make a point of separating the two, I do use them in conjunction with each other. Overcoming the mental block that was stopping me try a gainer outdoors, that’s Parkour, while the gainer itself wasn’t.

Just remember, Parkour is as much of a state of mind as it is a physical activity. And although it’s easy to slip straight into freerunning without taking much of a thought for Parkour’s philosophies and discipline, I’d recommend really taking the time to train and study both properly to maintain a healthy body and mind.

– Shane (Training for 9+ years)
@sheffparkour
@srounce

21 Brett McKay July 22, 2013 at 9:27 pm

@Shane-

Depends on your definition of “sport.” According to Merriam-Webster, sport is defined as:

a : a source of diversion : recreation
b : sexual play
c (1) : physical activity engaged in for pleasure (2) : a particular activity (as an athletic game) so engaged in

Competition isn’t a necessary ingredient of sports, and as parkour can definitely be a “physical activity engaged in for pleasure” I think calling it a sport is a-okay.

22 JB July 23, 2013 at 8:59 am

I believe the first key is being under 25 with no history of knee of back troubles. Also accept injury is almost unavoidable in this sport.

23 Jonathan July 24, 2013 at 11:56 am

Good article, Brett. I admit I was initially worried, as many parkour articles tend to focus on stuntman-like activities and thrill-seeking. But, the guys at Tempest steered you pretty well. I’m a parkour coach, so I’m passionate about it.

To those who see it as dangerous and a young man’s game, that’s not true. You don’t look at an Olympic runner and decide that, because you can’t run like them, that you can’t run at all. It’s very scalable. Parkour is about moving through your environment, overcoming obstacles in your way, and “environment” is much broader than “rooftops”.

Injury is no more common than other outdoor activities. It all depends on whether you’re being stupid or not. If something feels like a bad idea and beyond your abilities, don’t do it! Use your judgement.

For a practical example, let’s look at just a couple of really useful skills:
1 – learning how to get up a wall higher than you can jump
2 – quickly get over an obstacle at waist height
3 – safely get down from something at head-height without hurting yourself
Learning just those would open up the majority of parkour to you, and don’t require risking life and limb at all. To draw another parallel, just because I love to rock climb doesn’t mean I am obliged to climb Everest without oxygen. It’s more fun for me just to pop down to the gym. Scalable. Start small and incrementally improve.

And I know what I’m talking about. I’ve been practicing for 7+ years, have learned from the founders in France, and have been coaching for several years. We’ve had all manner of people safely learn some parkour, from 5 year old boys to 50 year old women; athletes to couch potatoes. If it tickles your fancy, try it out! The only thing stopping you is unrealistic expectations.

Be strong to be useful,
Jonathan

24 Z2 July 25, 2013 at 9:07 am

There is a lot of social stigma against things like parkour and breakdancing. Both activities give off the vibe that you are trying too hard to be cool even if you really are passionate about it for other reasons. I try not to judge but to be honest, my first reaction when I see someone doing parkour is laughter and ridicule.

25 TJ July 25, 2013 at 11:13 am

Thanks for posting. Me and some friends would freerun around our university campus. Great because there are old big buildings close to each other. Plus lots of rails, dumpsters, stairs etc. Would love to find a group now that I have graduated

26 Micah August 11, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I’m only 9 years old but I love parkour. I really like Jonathan taps tutorials.

27 Ry Guy August 21, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Parkour is so awesome! I think I have the perfect body type for it so I’m really interested in learning. The only problem is I live on a small, isolated island in the Bahamas, and there aren’t enough sites to properly parkour on in town.

28 Will August 23, 2013 at 6:14 am

The best part of parkour is becoming more human. We sit a desks all day while out bodies wither away and we are losing our mobility. If you don’t lose it you’ll lose it people! ;)

29 Kodo September 9, 2013 at 2:01 am

If you all haven’t tried this i highly reccommend you do! very fun way to get into shape and learn more about the movement of your body, if your in southern california look up SDPK and if your in virginia beach, look for virginia traceur association :D

30 Micah Chandler October 2, 2013 at 12:56 pm

I LOVE parkour. I’m only 10 but it is still my favorite hobby by far. My two favorites are Jonathan Tapp and daniel Samek. I’m actually taking work out’s from Jonathan online!

31 Viktor October 19, 2013 at 8:47 pm

I’m 14 starting parkour, teaching my self the art and skill of parkour.Loving every move and trick. I’m learning of web site and family.

32 Desmond December 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm

I started doing parkour when I was about fourteen, been doing it for about five years now, and I can honestly say that a person (once they get into it) will be hard-pressed to find a more social and engaging physical activity. On safety though- I was a bit stupid during my first year of training, I instantly began going off fifteen foot drops, and luckily I knew how to roll. If there’s one thing that’s essential to parkour it’s rolling and falling, as that’s the only thing preventing you from becoming a broken mess on pavement. Another great idea if you don’t have a group nearby to join up with is try to convert some of your friends or find some people you know , and just go out training in pairs. But it’s a good idea to always be with another person. Anyways, great article! And I never actually knew about the distinction between parkour and freerunning…

33 Falcon December 9, 2013 at 4:12 pm

i started trying parkour last week. first thing you should know is the pk roll and do it on grass for crying out loud, trust me when i say it hurts on concrete. secondly you’ll want to toughen up the hands and strengthen your arms. your hands will be hitting brick, concrete and dry metal bars/poles a LOT in parkour and wear shoes that have a LOT of grip, but aren’t chunky. i almost broke a toe TWICE by accidentally kicking a concrete wall attempting the cat.

34 Conrad Carpenelli December 12, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Remember that Parkour and freerunning are both art. Why we look down on competition.

35 Rook January 8, 2014 at 3:25 pm

@Z2, the reaction you describe is called a “defense mechanism”. This quote from Mahatma Gandhi might offer some perspective: “First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they try to fight you. Then you win.”
Sounds like perhaps you’ve reached stage two there.

36 Alexandra March 2, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Anything that makes us more *surefooted* is needed. I see this as a legitimate sport, and not so much a way of showing off or being cool, even though Hollywood makes good use of portraying it that way. When I was in college, I took a “tumbling” class as part of a Phys Ed requirement. It was an excellent class, and actually turned out to be a basic kung fu class that focused on the rolls and tumbling.

37 Fox Richard April 4, 2014 at 12:58 pm

I think Parkour is not a sport, just because is closer to to an active meditation training like martial arts. Also sport rule #1 id to compete and win, but Parkour has nothing to do with that, as the post said ( and also a few comments ) its about moving in harmony with your surroundings, is something you do because its feels good to do it, is taking your mind focus in the present moment and forgetting about work or grey clouds in the future….I think for beginners the most important thing is to master the basic moves, and work out the strength and agility at the same time, so when you finish learning the basic moves you can take the next step towards harder moves and also perform the basic ones much easier and in a fluid manner.

If you want you can check out my basic Parkour moves here at: http://goo.gl/hMlByu

I think you can learn a lot from just watching those simple videos, so check them out and don’t forget to comment!
Good luck and have a great one!

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