You may have seen people perform a dangerous stunt like jumping from one building to another, whether it’s on TV, on the internet, or around your neighborhood. If you’re wondering and curious to know what is it they are dong, they are doing Parkour. So what is Parkour? Is it dangerous? Is it hard to do? Let’s get to that in a little bit, because in this article, we’ll be sharing with you some cool Parkour facts that you need to know.
If you want to know more about this spectacular yet life-threatening act, then you are in the right place. In a bit, you’ll find out a series of interesting facts about parkour that we have collected for you. Perhaps after reading these facts, you are keen to try and experience Parkour yourself. Who knows, right?
1. It was Influenced by a Parisian Firefighter
The first Parkour fact in this list is how did Parkour was invented? Parkour was originated in France back in the 1990s by David Belle along with his friends from the Yamakasi group in Lisses and Evry. Back then, David was learning about the parkour concept from his father, Raymond Belle, who was a Parisian firefighter.
After his father’s death, and separated from his mother, Raymon Belle would use the military obstacle courses in secret every night. He created his own courses to practice his endurance, strength, and flexibility in order to avoid being a victim at the military orphanage where he lived. At the age of 19, he was joining the Paris Fire Brigade and his exploits were read by his son on newspaper clippings. After that, David really wanted to develop skills like his father ever since.
2. It was Originated from the Word “Parcours”
The next Parkour fact is a cool fact about how the name Parkour was created. The name “parkour” came from the word “le Parcours,” which was the term to describe the military preparation of David Belle’s father, Raymond Belle. “Parcours du combattant” is the classic obstacle training method utilized by the French. The word “Parcours” itself accurately means “The Way Through” or “The Path” in French. A person who is doing parkour is a traceur for male, and a traceuse for female. It is also a French word that means “tracer” or “plotter.”
3. It Actually Discourages Dangerous Stunts
Even though parkour seems like full of life-threatening tricks, it actually discourages reckless behavior and dangerous stunts. Instead, this non-competitive sport involves active movements around obstacles within the shortest path that focuses on safety and personal responsibility.
The difficult moves might seen as unsafe and risky by the spectators. However, it does need lengthy practice hours to do Parkour moves. There is no such magic here, it’s pure dedication.
4. The Moves of Parkour are Derived from “La Méthode Naturelle”
Moving on to the new fact in this Parkour facts list, now that we know David Belle got his inspiration from his father, his father also got his inspiration from another person. That person is Georges Hébert, who developed the physical education and training methods named “la méthode naturelle” that means “The Natural Method.”
This method has a more versatile scope than parkour. It was used as the basis of military training of the French armed forces at the beginning of the twentieth century. As if it is proof that nothing is original in this world, the Hébert was method actually inspired by the way of approaching daily life by some indigenous tribes he met in Africa at the dawn of World War I.
5. It was Made Popular by Films but Made Into a Sport by Workshops
Developed in France in the 1990s by David Belle, parkour became popular through films, documentaries, video games, and advertisements. Though there were already international parkour organizations including the World Freerunning and Parkour Federation that established in 2007, which produce parkour-related shows with MTV.
It was only until the initiation workshops at the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Games, led by Charles Perrière, sparked increased interest in the discipline. In 2017, the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) officially adds parkour into a formal sport. The first event in the FIG Parkour World Cup was held on 6-8 April 2018. The first Parkour World Championships was supposed to take place in Hiroshima on 3-5 April 2020, but was postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic.
6. It’s Different from Freerunning
Some people often confuse parkour with freerunning because the two look the same. But actually, they are two different things. Other than the difference in the inventors, parkour and freerunning have different focus and philosophy. The philosophy of parkour is to improve the mind and body connection, so it is more focused on overcoming obstacles efficiently and quickly. While freerunning’s philosophy is the art of movement and expression, thus it is okay to do unnecessary moves as long as it is showing someone’s skill and personal style.
7. Doing Parkour Might Get You Arrested
Many people asked whether parkour is illegal or not in America. In fact, it is legal. However, you can get arrested for that. Nevertheless, you don’t have to worry too much because it will only happen if you practice parkour on private property. The police will presume what you do as trespassing, and by trespassing, it means that you’re doing a crime.
There was a case in February 2017 in Denver involving firefighters who were about to free Dustin Hinkle, a man who was trapped in a chimney after doing parkour. Unfortunately, when he was finally rescued, Dustin and the two other traceurs with him, Mary McHugh and Jayce Anderson, were arrested for trespassing. So, be sure to practice parkour on your own space, public playgrounds, or at an open field. You can also join a parkour club that has special training areas.
8. Your Dog Can Parkour, Too
We already know that dogs are smarts. That’s why humans often train them, so that they can behave, act more sociable, and for the sake of their own safety. But have you ever imagined a dog doing parkour? Well, now we will tell you that your dog can have trainings for that. Combining elements of human parkour and dog agility, dog parkour creates an accessible activity for dogs and humans alike.
If you are signing your dog with this training, it means that you are introducing your dog to the world of jumping, climbing, balancing over, crawling under, and going around different obstacles in their everyday world. Besides, parkour is a good activity for dogs of all ages, shapes, sizes and personalities. It can strengthen the bond between the owner and their dog. Moreover, twenty minutes of dog parkour is equivalent to an hour run, so it is more suitable for the owner who is living a busy life and has no time to go on a really long walk. Interested in trying parkour with your beloved dog?
9. Rolling After Jumping From a High Building is Not for Style
You must have often seen people who jump and land by rolling on the ground. Some even call it falling with style. But don’t get it wrong, it’s just one way for traceurs to land safely. Let’s talk about science here. When you jump without rolling, you will produce a greater pressure than if you roll afterwards. Why? Remember about Newton’s Second Law, which says force equals mass times acceleration.
From this, we know that we should increase the time it takes us to stop accelerating in order to decrease the force on our bodies since we cannot control the gravity and our bodies’ mass. So now, don’t just see parkour as a guts’s test as there’s a clear science calculation in it too.
10. The Longest Standing Jump Between Two Objects Record Holder is a Ninja Warrior in 2 Countries
The holder of the parkour record for the longest standing jump between two objects is Lorenz Wetscher, an Austrian as well as German ninja warrior. He successfully jumped at the length of 3.40 meters (11 feet 2 inches) to break his own previous record from 2015 of 3.15 meters. He did it in Hall in Tyrol, Australia, on 8 October 2021 and performed a celebratory fist pump along with a full-twisting side somersault from the height of the second block after completing the action.
11. Nepali Police Officer Holds Five World Guinness Records in Parkour
Dinesh Sunar, a Nepali police officer and pro traceur, who holds five prestigious records in parkour. He made his latest Guinness World Record by performing the most standing full twist backflips in 30 seconds, which was 12, in Akron, Ohio, on 7 March 2021. Before this, he already achieved the world record for the twist back somersaults 12 times in 30 seconds.
On 5 January 2020 in the United States, Dinesh set a new Guinness World Record for the most backward somersault against a trampoline in an hour by doing it 460 times, which broke the record at an event in Virginia. He set his first record in 2017 when he was 24. At that time, he succeeded to complete a staggering 18 flips during the event in Kathmandu and soon became the record holder for the most twisting backflips off a wall in one minute. No words, just mad respect! What a cool Parkour fact, isn’t it?
12. Parkour Inspires Numerous Architecture Designs
As the popularity of parkour keeps thriving, it becomes the inspiration for many architects as well. There are numerous buildings or urban architectures specifically made to invite people to treat the building as a gymnasium or a playground.
Parkour makes architects become more aware of humans’ physical capabilities and the importance of designing for the challenge of movement. One of the incredible parkour architecture is Mount Mitte in Berlin, which has a construction that allows people to do parkour.
Opened back in 2010, this park offers you six courses named after notable mountains with different levels of difficulty. The high rope course has nearly 90 thrilling climbing exercises ranging from 3 to 15 meters high. But if you are new to parkour, don’t sweat it because they also have a short training class. Have you been there?
13. Many Accidents Caused by Parkour But The Exact Number is Unclear
The news about accidents or even death caused by parkour is everywhere, but no one knows the exact number of it. The reason is because many injuries go unreported, said the executive director of the American Sports Medicine Institute, Lanier Johnson.
Aside from that, it is quite difficult for authorities to determine the cause. Suicide attempts or deaths related are some of the cause, as most of the cases occur from tall buildings. When there are no witnesses, people usually will simply assume they fell rather than associate it with parkour activities. This is because parkour is an individual sport, which makes it dangerous for some. Moreover, the fatality rate is higher if someone who is doing it is still an amateur.
14. Parkour (Skill) Can Save Your Life
Parkour is an extreme sport. But it got that name not for nothing. To become a traceur or a traceuse, you need to master several extraordinary moves. Plus, you also need to practice the basics such as running, jumping or climbing over obstacles. It also forces you to constantly improve your coordination, sense of direction, strategic thinking, and concentration. As you are improving your skill, it won’t take long until you are facing the very common moves to traceur, like jumping from rooftop to rooftop, that seems unworkable for others.
In addition, parkour is also a form of self-defense, too. For instance, someone attack you in a dark alley. If you are a traceur, you will have a better strategy and immediately think of ways in which to get away from them. You’ll have the energy and type of mental calculation involved in parkour. In conclusion, saving your own life from a wretched physical condition is not an impossible thing to do with parkour.
15. You are Never Too Old to Learn Parkour
Regardless of how risky parkour is, apparently there is no age limit on when you can do this sport. So far, what we know is that the younger a person is, the easier it is for him to do certain sports. Yes, it is true. But now you have no more reason not to start. Why? because parkour opens up equal opportunities for everyone, no matter how old you are.
To tell you the truth, there is a ninety one years old who is a member of Parkour Generations. It was one of the biggest parkour organizations in the world. Since Parkour is like a fun activity that keeps everyone fit and healthy, you just need some willpower and recognize your own limits to do this safely. So, now that we have come to the end of this Parkour facts list, are you convinced enough to start doing parkour?