A young man rounds a corner in time to realize that he is about to miss his bus. Most people would search for the nearest coffee shop where they could wait for the next one. This man isn’t most people. Rolling back his sleeves he takes off, vaulting over tables and sliding under railings before leaping over the bus stop bench just in time to bang on the bus’s closing doors.
This man is a traceur, an athlete trained in Parkour.
The concept is to get from Point A to Point B as quickly and efficiently as possible, using only your body and your surroundings. Rather than avoiding obstacles, traceurs acrobatically surmount them. Parkour can be compared to some martial arts; intense training is required to perfect technique. It requires clarity in the mind and is an expressive artform with a focus on freedom, specifically in terms of physical awareness.
The practice has become popular amongst young people in major cities. It is often considered a rebellion against the urban environment. It has gained further popularity more recently as it has been featured in various films, music videos, and video games – ‘Casino Royale’, ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’, Madonna’s Jump’ and ‘Tomb Raider’.
Apparently, everyone can benefit from the physical and mental demands of the sport and classes are run at various studios, with small workshops conducted throughout the world.