The parkour philosophy: art beyond sport

The parkour philosophy: art beyond sport

Parkour is born with movement. It is an ancient art that takes shape with the birth of man himself, who inevitably feels the need to move for the achievement of goals.
What today differentiates this discipline from the simple and pure movement is the evolution of the same.

We are in Lisses, in a small Parisian suburb, and it is here that parkour takes its first steps. The one who is considered to be the founder of the discipline today is the French David Belle and approaches it towards the end of the eighties. Proceeding backward, however, we can quote Georges Hébert with the motto: "Be strong to be useful", which was used to define the military training devised by Hébert himself in the early twentieth century. The training wanted the soldiers to train in their natural movements, in situations that nature presented to them.

parkour Philosophy

Making another leap in time we find ourselves in 2003, precisely in June, when in some cinemas around the world comes out the film produced by Luc Besson: "Yamakasi - The new Samurai" (in the original language: "Yamakasi - Les samouraï des temps modernes "). The Yamakasi are seven boys: William Belle, Chau Belle Dinh, Malik Diouf, Yann Hnautra, Guylain N'Guba Boyeke, Charles Perrière, Laurent Piemontesi. In the film, the boys are perfect actors of themselves, of what they really are in life: "traceurs", or path creators, acrobats of the same suburbs in which the discipline has come to life.

But in addition to being acrobats, those who practice parkour rely on a real philosophy, which is developed in a clear and innovative way by Daniel Ilabaca in the video: "Choose not to fall" (Link video eng:, in which the artist states that:" If you are afraid of falling, you fall because you are afraid ".

In addition to the "doctrine" of Ilabaca, parkour is also based on other principles, but above all it rests on three fundamental pillars: strength, such as the energy and physical strength; the touch, such as lightness both of movement and of mind; the spirit, which emphasizes the lack of competition within this discipline in which, on the contrary, there is aggregation.

Hébert's motto: "Being strong to be useful" is still relevant to the philosophy of parkour, with the only exception that today it does not refer to war, but to exceed its limits.