Parkour is the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one’s path by adapting one’s movements to the environment. From American Parkour:
- requires consistent, disciplined training with an emphasis on functional strength, physical conditioning, balance, creativity, fluidity, control, precision, spatial awareness, and looking beyond the traditional use of objects.
- movements typically include running, jumping, vaulting, climbing, balancing, and quadrupedal movement. Movements from other physical disciplines are often incorporated, but acrobatics or tricking alone do not constitute parkour.
- training focuses on safety, longevity, personal responsibility, and self-improvement. It discourages reckless behavior, showing off, and dangerous stunts.
- practitioners value community, humility, positive collaboration, sharing of knowledge, and the importance of play in human life, while demonstrating respect for all people, places, and spaces.
One woman who practices parkour, Amanda “Panda” Holmedal says it gave her a pathway out of depression:
Parkour is my form of meditation, it is the one thing that I can do that lets me live in the moment and not focus on the past or what is upsetting me at the time. I want to share my personal love for the discipline of Parkour and free-running with everyone. Also to show that it doesn’t matter how old you are or if you are a man or a woman or what injuries you have experienced in your life, there is a place for Parkour in everyone’s life.
Read the rest of Amanda’s story here.
We especially enjoyed this video by Parkour Visions, in which Justin Sweeney demonstrates the practice and describes how it has effected his life.
Parkour for me is always changing. At first, it was just another way for me to play. But now I see it affecting so much of my life – my health, my confidence, my community. It’s become an essential part of who I am….My environment has changed because my perspective has grown. Now there are no ordinary places. Wherever I go, there are interesting challenges awaiting me.