Given the reference to David Belle’s famous fall in the article No Obstacles by Alec Wilkinson, it seemed appropriate to include a video of David’s fall soon after. The most important lesson that comes from this is not from the video itself but from David’s verbal response to the fall in the No Obstacles article. David said:
I was a bit tired. It was the end of the day. I was just doing stuff with a bunch of kids. I fall all the time—I fall like the monkeys—but it never shows up on film, because they just want the spectacular stuff.
The two important things we learn from David’s response is this:
#1. Everyone falls. Even David Belle.
#2. Many Parkour accidents come largely as a consequence of the Tracer being tired. Tiredness leads to a lack of concentration, alertness, and focus, and when these attributes are combined with Parkour, a physically and mentally demanding discipline, falls happen much more frequently. David Belle blamed his fall primarily on this, sighting the fact that it was the end of the day (which is obviously no coincidence since any Tracer will become more fatigued the longer they train). As a note, ‘being tried’ and ‘end of the day’ were the two most prevalent factors that lead to Stephane Vigroux’s first major injury as detailed in Urban Freeflow Vol. 3. (http://www.misterparkour.com/?p=33)
Here is a superb Parkour mix tape from professional Tracer Adam Dunlap. In addition to being a very entertaining video filled with an incredibly diverse set of skills and Parkour techniques, there are two noticeable things that separate Adam’s demo from others. These two things are:
#1. Adam was somehow able to get a cameo appearance from the “Oregon State Women’s Gymnastics Team.” We have never seen a demo with any sort of cameo appearance before, much less from such a prestigious group of athletes (albeit not from the Parkour community so to speak).
#2. Adam shows a lighter and more playful side to Parkour by including rarely showcased bloopers at the end of his tape.
With great editing and an applicable musical accompaniment there is much to both enjoy and learn from this video. Both versions of the video are included below.
As the first post in the Training category we believed it was appropriate to address rolls. Rolls are arguably the most important technique in Parkour because they serve many important purposes. Two of the most critical purposes are as follow:
#1. Rolls allow Tracers to jump from extraordinary heights by distributing forces throughout the body.
#2. Rolls allow a Tracer to maintain momentum when jumping from an obstacle (unlike sticking a landing which almost always takes away all momentum).
This video features David Belle rolling after a variety of jumps, in both regular and slow motion. The best way to learn rolls is to practice. But no matter how good you are at rolling, watching this video will give you insight into David Belle’s flawless technique that will help improve your form.
The following post includes one of the first ever news features made on Parkour. Produced in France by TFI News (included here with English subtitles), the French news team follows David Belle and Sébastien Foucan around Lisses as they demonstrate and explain Parkour. The feature also spends some time with the Yamakasi.
Features like this provide a lot of information about Parkour, including insights into the arts origins and philosophy. But it won’t be possible to glean all the relevant information from this news feature in one sitting. As you start learning about Parkour this film will continually teach you new things about the art. As you grow in your knowledge of Parkour, you will start to recognize some of the intricacies and background detail that give even more insight into the beginnings of Parkour.
No Obstacles, an article written for the New Yorker by Alec Wilkinson in April 2007, is probably the most comprehensive news piece to date regarding Parkour. This piece goes in depth, revealing David Belle and his personality for the first time, as well as explaining David’s view of Parkour like no other article before. No Obstacles uncovers insights that you will not find anywhere else and gets one-on-one with David exposing the true philosophy behind his art. The article also spends a considerable amount of time with Ryan Ford who is considered to be the most skilled Tracer in The Tribe. Some of the highlights of the article include…
A long interview/conversation with Ryan Ford
George Herbert’s Natural Method of Physical Culture (arguably the single biggest influencer on the development of Parkour)
A running conversation with “Jeff Belle”, David’s brother
Insight into why David Belle founded Parkour and his passion and intentions for it
The beginning of the Yamakasi
Insight into David’s personality
A visit to the Dam de Lac with some commentary on David’s experiences with it
Details of David’s philosophy behind Parkour, including the origin of Parkour technique
David commenting on his fall at the UCLA campus and his thoughts on wearing gloves
This article is 12 pages long and is well worth reading every word.
The following is a link to the article The Born Samurai written by Paul Boakye and featuring Sébastien Foucan
When the Parkour community was new to the U.S. there was confusion over who started it. Some people said David Belle started it and some people said Sébastien Foucan did. Now no one questions it because everyone knows it was David, although many still call Sébastien the “co-founder.” But regardless of his Parkour title, Sébastien is seen as the pioneer of Free Running, and he is one of the most influential Free Runners/Tracers in the world today. His view on Parkour becoming competition based is just one of many profound things he says concerning Parkour in this article.
This first Parkour link is quite possibly the most accurate and well done Parkour movie to date. And it should be. It’s Urban Freeflow Vol. 3 featuring one of the original and most skilled Tracers in the world Stephane Vigroux. Filmed in 2005 Stephane talks about how he found Parkour and how it changed him and taught him to work hard. In the film Stephane, as Urban Freeflow puts it, “For the first time, Stephane speaks openly about parkour and his experience. He describes how he trained extensively with David Belle, and the methods employed; his cruciate ligament injury, how it affected him, and the long process of rehabilitation and the importance of having the right approach; how a person should find his or her own goals; his new home in Thailand and dreams for the future. From beginning to end this is a fantastic piece and a must see for anyone wanting to learn more about Parkour, beginner or advanced. You can watch the embedded video below, follow the second like to the Google video, or follow the third link to the Urban Freeflow website where you can download the movie for yourself.
Hello! My name is Adam Dunlap and I am the creator and primary administrator of MisterParkour.com. I am a professional Tracer and a dedicated activist of spreading the knowledge of Parkour to others. On this site I will be doing my best to provide the worldwide Parkour community with the most succincet compendium of the most accurate and relevant Parkour vidoes, articles, and information in exisistance today.
If you ever have any questions pertaining to Parkour feel free to contact us and we would be happy to share our knowledge and experiences with you as appropriate. Also, if there is anything you would like to see added to the site or changed we would look forward to receiving your suggestions as well.