Parkour What is it? All You Need to Know

By the healthiergang writer Francesco Castellano, yoga instructor and expert in parkour and dance contact.

Parkour history

Parkour (or art du deplacement, the art of displacement) is a metropolitan discipline born in the suburbs of Paris in the early XNUMXs, which draws inspiration from the natural method of Georges Hébert, a French naval officer.

In the early twentieth century he developed a particular training method for the training of troops, called hébertism, whose motto is "To be strong to be useful". The underlying principle of the Hérbertian method is that the best way to train a man is to make him practice the movements he knows how to do, in the situations that nature presents to him.

Thanks to these principles, the same training model has also been taken up and used within the physical activities envisaged by Scouting.

The transition from this training practice to parkour is due to David Belle and the "Yamakasi" group, who from an early age experiment and play with paths and tracks invented and proposed by David's father, Raymond Belle, fireman and athlete, trained according to the training methods taken from Hébert's model.

What is Parkour?

It is the game you played as a child, that of climbing trees, jumping up and down walls, overcoming obstacles, trying to balance on a railing and rolling on the ground. Nothing more.

It is the search for that ancestral will to move freely (or by necessity) through and beyond every situation and obstacle that may be encountered.

The same will / play that is found in feline kittens when they experience the struggle and prepare to face nature, their surrounding environment.

Finally: it is an art of movement, of escape, which allows you to combine a considerable physical effort (linked to balance, dynamism, resistance, precision ...) with a great psychological commitment and a development of creative vision.

Fundamental principles

The first axiom of this discipline is graduality. The entire improvement process must proceed according to slow times and rhythms, respecting individual characteristics.

This is the basic principle and, although it may seem a paradox, considering the subject we are talking about, you cannot skip steps or take shortcuts.

In this sense it is essential to remember that parkour is a physical discipline.

Since to be as functional as possible the body must be strong in every aspect, much of the training will be dedicated to warming up and strengthening all muscle groups in order to build a good body armor that protects the body and allows you to train. insecurity.

We will then move on to the technical work dedicated to raising awareness of the terrain, falls, jumps, balances and climbing.


Parkour is a self-improvement discipline at all levels, an art that reveals to practitioners their mental and physical limitations and at the same time offers a way to overcome them.

It is also a poor sport, within everyone's reach, which teaches you to have fun with little, with what you encounter along the way.

Urban spaces are then re-appropriated, especially those on the outskirts, not necessarily equipped for recreational / recreational activities: therefore, the potential of one's own territory is rediscovered, which is transformed into a sort of immense playground.

Often the partner also becomes the one who ensures a particular passage with the help (the safe), thus building a collaborative relationship of trust.

Finally, in the social field, this discipline can well be combined with street education projects and be effective in real situations of emergency or danger.

Spaces and Equipment

Although parkour is to be practiced outside, in an urban or natural setting, it can be important to have a place indoors, protected, in which to experience the first steps and exercises in a safer and more controlled way.

For this purpose it would be ideal to be able to use a gym, already equipped with backrests, mattresses and equipment for artistic gymnastics. Other obstacles or tools to train balance, precision, agility, will be brought directly by the instructor.

As for the participants, it is essential to be comfortable dressed and with well-laced sneakers.



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