Parkour (or PK) is a method of movement focused on moving around obstacles with speed and efficiency. Originally developed in France, the main purpose of the discipline is to teach participants how to move through their environment by vaulting, rolling, running, climbing and jumping. Parkour practitioners are known as traceurs. They train to be able to identify and utilize alternate, more efficient paths. Parkour can be practiced anywhere, but areas dense with obstacles offer many different training opportunities.
In the film Jump London, Sébastien Foucan states that "Le Parkour has always existed, free running has always been there, the thing is that no one gave it a name, we didn't put it in the box. It is an ancient art [...] The Neanderthals, to hunt, or to chase, or to move around, they had to practice the free run." The latter was also an inspiration for the famous on-foot chase scenes of Hong Kong stuntman, martial artist and actor Jackie Chan. In Eastern martial arts such as Ninjutsu and Qing Gong, movements similar to those of Parkour have been taught for centuries and with a similar aim. In Jump London, Foucan does acknowledge the influence of martial arts movies on the development of Parkour: "We also climbed onto the roof of our school. We pretended we were Ninja warriors".
Profesional athelet parkour :)
Raymond Belle was born in Vietnam, at the time part of French Indochina. His father died during the First Indochina War and Raymond was separated from his mother during the division of Vietnam in 1954. He was taken by the French Army in Da Lat and received a military education and training that shaped his character. After the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, Raymond was repatriated to France and completed his military education in 1958. At age 19, his dedication to fitness helped him serve in Paris's regiment of "sapeurs-pompiers" (the French fire service).
David participated in activities such as martial arts and gymnastics and sought to apply his athletic prowess for some practical purpose. He trained extremely hard mostly to try to win the approval of his father Raymond. At age 17, David left school seeking freedom and action. He continued to develop his strength and dexterity in order to be useful in life, as Raymond had advised him