Initially, Parkour was known as an exercise drill used for training in military courses. History states Parkour training has its roots in French military obstacle training courses since 1902. It was developed by the French naval officer, Georges Hebert and continued its course during World War I and World War II aimed to develop the three main forces in soldiers, mainly being energetic with strong willpower, morally strong with qualities of benevolence and assistance and lastly physical strength. It was further popularized by Raymond and David Belle in the late 1990’s. David Belle is also considered the founder of parkour.
Parkour requires the participant to reach from one point to another in some topsy-turvy surroundings without any supportive kits and in the swiftest and efficient way. This activity includes climbing, vaulting, jumping, running, swinging, rolling and other similar movements to reach the definite space. This activity can be done anywhere, but Urban spaces are more suitable to practice Parkour. It makes the Traceurs understand the settings with a new dimension while steering towards the destination.
The philosophies and theories behind Parkour are considered a vital aspect of the art. Its deemed as a kind of freedom and expression. Parkour is not just a set of actions, but it is a state of mind. It is about adapting and conquering the mental and emotional obstacles as well as physical hurdles.
Lately, Parkour has been acknowledged as a sports activity and it was officially been accredited as a sport by the UK in 2016. Since then London has turned out to be a nucleus of Parkour specialists to test and showcase their expertise. London and near-by areas account for the perfect setting due to varied geography to carry out Parkour journey. For example, IMAX for its successive walls, stairs, and railings is a delight for Traceurs to carry out the Kong Vault. Similarly, Festival Pier, Tramps Kitchen, Pimlico Estate are some of the famous Parkour spots in London.
Here is an Infographic by RubberBond presenting the route & locations guide to plan your Parkour trip.
Even if you are not a Traceur, you can still marvel at the abilities & activities of traceurs, sashaying to the finishing point.