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Parkour Vs Freerunning – Definitions

Parkour and Free running – Real Definition
There is much debate around the definition and category of Parkour versus Free running. This is due to their likeness to other sports activity training and their uniqueness each in its own way. The two physical activities are closely linked with each other and are often misunderstood due to their resemblance.
Parkour
While observing early Parkour videos, we learn that David Belle and Hubert Kounde were the first ones to use the term “Parkour”. It originates from the French term “parcours du combatant”, which loosly translates to obstacle course of military training.
Parkour is a physical training activity wherein Traceurs (term that refers to practitioners of Parkour), go through certain obstacles laid down in the environment to reach their goal in the most efficient manner possible. Movements are supposedly the simulation of the reaction of a person in an emergency. This is the reason why Traceurs are permitted to do their own movements such as running, hopping or rolling. Achievement of the goal in a parkour activity is not structured because there are no set of rules that govern the journey and goals are set individually. Although the training activity is individually set, there is no competition among the participants.
Free running
The term “Free running”, on the other hand was derived from the film Jump London. The term was first used by Guillaume Pelletier. The term Free running was used in order for the English-speaking people to understand parkour more since it is a French term. However, this term should not be construed that Free-running and parkour are one the same thing because they are two distinct and separate activities. This mistake common mistake occurs often because of the similarity of movements in the two activities.
Free running was seriously affected by Sebastian Foucan and was influenced originally by Parkour. It is often the incarnation of what is called “urban running” wherein participants would go around their environment (such as a city) while performing acrobatic movements – an activity that has gathered quite a following due to the very popular Freerunning videos. In free running, the aim of the participants is to create movements that are aesthetically inclined. The movements are normally practiced with gymnastic equipment or in areas where obstacles can be readily placed.
Parkour and Free running: what is the difference?
Looking at Parkour videos and Freerunning videos, an inexperienced observer may easily fall into the trap of thinking that they are the same activities because of the similarity in the movements that they make. However, their difference can be easily pointed out if we know the eventual intention of the two activities. Parkour is meant to train traceurs to move in an environment to quickly access areas; hence, the quick and efficient movements. The intention of free running on the other hand, is “self-expression;” hence, participants are free to do any movement that they want regardless if it is efficient or not.

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