American Parkour Movement

The start of Parkour started with a French naval officer named Gorges Hebert. During World War I Herbert when on a trip to Africa. While he was there he was rather impressed with one of the native tribes. “Their bodies were splendid, flexible, nimble, skillful, enduring, and resistant but yet they had no other tutor in gymnastics but their lives in nature. ”—Georges Hebert. This was the beginning of his idea that physical fitness combined with mental creativity are fundamental necessities for a living person.
While Hebert was stationed in Saint Pierre, Martinique, he was placed in charge of an evacuation of around seven hundred people because of the erupting of Mount Pelee. This event forwarded his new idea and he then began to apply it to his career. He started to incorporate this new idea to the training of French soldiers since World War II. One soldier that took a particular interest to this training was Raymond Belle. He continued with his training because it also later helped in become skilled within the Paris fire department.
He also began to teach his soon about this philosophy, that one must achieve strength and dexterity in order to be useful in life and that you must be able to see beyond society’s ideas of objects. Just because a group of people have place a permanent purpose for a particular object. For instance, most people are stuck to the idea that a rail or wall is a barrier. Others who can see around this could use these as vaults or ladders. David took this idea to heart and created Parkour, which rapidly spread throughout France.

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Eventually this traveled to other surrounding countries and even America. For a while Parkour had no real definition, it was just a wondering lifestyle heard by ear but the American Parkour committee, along with members outside of the committee, gathered together to discuss the definition based of it original philosophy and this is what was finally created: Parkour is the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one’s path by adapting one’s movements to the environment. 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.
* Parkour 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. Parkour training focuses on… safety, longevity, personal responsibility, and self-improvement. It discourages reckless behavior, showing off, and dangerous stunts. * Parkour 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.

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