PARKOUR / TRACEUR

The name parkour derives from the (identically pronounced) French word, parcoure, meaning course. The term traceur is the substantive derived from the verb "tracer". Tracer normally means "to trace", "to draw", but it recently (a dozen years) acquired a second, basilectal meaning of "going fast".

Freestyle Parkour (FSPK) is a misnomer sometimes used to describe free running, although Freestyle parkour, which was used by members of Urban Free flow, has recently been discarded. Use of the term is deprecated among parkour communities, as it implies that the practice is a type of parkour, which is not the case due to the fundamental differences in intention between the two activities.

It is a physical discipline inspired by human movement, focusing on uninterrupted, efficient forward motion over, under, around and through obstacles (both man-made and natural) in one's environment. Such movement may come in the form of running, jumping, climbing and other more complex techniques. The goal of parkour is to adapt one's movement to any given obstacle.

According to founder David Belle, the spirit of parkour is guided in part by the notions of escape and reach, that is, the idea of using physical agility and quick thinking to get out of difficult situations, and to be able to go anywhere that one desires. Free running, a closely related art emphasizing aesthetics, is most concerned with fluidity and beauty. For example, Sebastien Foucan, a free runner who trained with David Belle during the infancy of the art, speaks of being "fluid like water," a frequently used metaphor for the smooth passage of barriers through the use of parkour. Similarly, experienced traceur Jerome Ben Aoues explains in the documentary Jump London that:

The most important element is the harmony between you and the obstacle; the movement has to be elegant... If you manage to pass over the fence elegantly-that's beautiful, rather than saying 'I jumped the lot.' What's the point in that?

To some people (particularly non-practitioners), parkour is an extreme sport, to others a discipline more comparable to martial arts. Some consider it a combination of the two, recognising similarities between parkour and the stunts and techniques of Hong Kong martial arts star Jackie Chan, whose fight and chase scenes take place in industrial or urban environments. Still others see it as an art form akin to dance: a way to encapsulate human movement in its most beautiful form. Parkour is often connected with the idea of freedom, in the form of the ability to overcome aspects of one's surroundings that tend to confine; for example, railings, staircases, or walls. The practice of parkour requires considerable physical and mental dedication, and many adherents describe it as a "way of life."

LIST OF MOVEMENTS

Movements in Le Parkour include:

Demi Tour : Any kind of turn vault, literally half turn. This move is used to place yourself on the other side of an object, facing the direction you came. Equilibre : Walking or crawling along the crest of an obstacle.

Franchissement : Jumping or swinging through a gap between obstacles; literally "to cross."

Lache : Hanging drop, double grab, lather literally means to let go. When you hang (on a bar, on a wall, on a branch) and let go (be it into a saut de fond; or from swinging) and jump to the next obstacle or branch. Passement, Vault: Overcoming an obstacle by vaulting. General term.

Passe Muraille : Overcoming of a wall.

Planche, Muscle up/Climb-Up: To get from a hanging position (wall, rail, branch, arm jump, etc) into a position where your upper body is above the obstacle, supported by the arms. This then allows for you to climb up onto the obstacle and continue.

Reverse : The reverse vault are those vaults where the traceur leads with his back. Most of the time this is followed by a spin to get facing forward again. Good to create torque in combinations and to use when you are very close to the obstacle or at an angle to it.

Roulade : To roll on the diagonal of your back. Used primarily to transfer the momentum/energy from jumps.

Monkey Vault : To jump at an object place your hands onto it and bring your legs through. A kong vault being when the vault it over a wide object or a gap.

Saut de Chat :
To leap at a wall, usualy over a gap and land with your hands gripping the top of the wall and your feet against the side in a crouching position.

Saut de Monte Gap Jump: To jump from one place/object to another, over a gap/distance. This technique is most often followed with a roll.

Said de Fond, Drop: Literally jump to the ground / jump to the floor. To jump down, or drop down from something.

Saud de Precision, Precision Jump:
To jump from one object to a precise spot on another object.

Tic Tac : To kick off a wall in order to overcome an obstacle in the path or gain height to grab something.

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