Culture

Le Parkour: The Art of Movement

by Lady Glock

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What do Madonna, krumpin' and an extreme sport started in France all have in common?

They're all in the video for Madonna's single “Hung Up”

We've mentioned Krumpin' here at the Couch Sessions. Miss Prissy from the movie Rize makes an appearance in the video, dancing with some other krumpers all the way from South Central to London.

But we haven't mentioned the Traceurs doing Le Parkour.

Le Parkour is the art of freestyle urban movement. Basically, it's an extreme sport like BMX biking or skateboarding except you use your body. Remember the Nike commercial where the guy is getting chased by the chicken? Or the Toyota Scion commercial where the two guys are racing the cars? That's it.

Started nearly 20 years ago by childhood friends David Belle and Sebastien Foucan, le parkour has now spread through France and to other countries like England and even Slovakia. It's more than just jumping from building to building though. There is a philosophy, one that teaches no obstacle is too great to overcome. Which is definitely a good thing to learn.

In 2003, there was a made for British TV documentary made called “Jump London” in which Foucan and fellow traceur Jerome Ben Aoues joined a team in London and literally jumped their way through the city. The doc was so popular that the made a sequal, “Jump Britain”

It should be stressed however that this is not something just anyone can do. It may look easy, but it's not (trust me…me and some friends tried it back in the day in high school…running across walls and jumping from high places is not a good idea if you don't know what you're doing. I have video footage to prove it). On most of the websites there are disclaimers telling you not to be a dumbass and jump off a roof.

But when done properly, it is a beautiful thing…it proves that maybe we can do more with just our bodies than we ever though possible.