It was born in the streets of France. It’s strange. It’s cool. It’s dangerous. It’s extremely impressive. And even the new James Bond endorses it. Don’t think so? Think again. That opening chase scene in Casino Royale, somewhere high above an African construction site, is Hollywood’s consecration of the recent sport of parkour. Some call it an art, others a way of life. They might say free running, or tricking. It all points to one constant: pushing the envelope of what the human body can accomplish, not on some theoretical or experimental field, but on the street, in our daily urban environment, by ordinary people. Well, not quite ordinary. They are the best at what they do. Parkour bridges martial arts, gymnastics, capoeira, acrobatics, skateboarding, climbing and a touch of non-conformism in one sweet package. But in the end, there are no secrets. Years of practice and discipline are required to get to the impressive stage. Same as cooking.
Here are a couple of links to videos on YouTube – I no longer embed them here, it slows down the page too much. The resolution is bad, the editing less than perfect and it’s all very home made. But parkour is still in its infancy, less than 10 years old. And my point is: those guys can jump!