Parkour: a 21st Century or Post-Modern Sport

Parkour is the new, urban, extreme sport of elegantly and efficiently overcoming obstances.This sport combines gymnastics and a tenacious flow along a course. Think of how Hong Kong martial arts star Jackie Chan chases someone through industrial or urban environments. According to Wikipedia::

Parkour is an art form of 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 practicing parkour is to be able to adapt one’s movement to any given scenario so that any obstacle can be overcome with the human body’s abilities.

The sport was largely invented by Frenchmen David Belle and Sebastien Foucan. Participants attempt to pass obstacles in the fastest and most direct manner possible, using skills such as jumping and climbing, or the more specific parkour moves. The name parkour derives from the (identically pronounced) French word parcours, meaning course. Participants are called traceurs, a French word meaning bullets, for their speed and directness.
For some video examples of parkour, see or or Focaun’s A parkour sequence opens the forthcoming James Bond movie Casino Royale. Foucan plays a villian chasing Bond.

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