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Parkour and Freerunning

What's Parkour and What's Freerunning?

This is a shortened and translated Version of the German article. I hope I could nail what I want to say in english, too.

„Is this Parkour or is it already freerunning?“ Some say this question is older than humanity itself, and it still seems to raise discussions on every jam I visit. So let’s have a definition of both and afterwards a few personal definitions and philosophies of myself and soon hopefully you, too. If you want to add on, just comment or write us a message!

Parkour

Basically, Parkour is the art of efficient movement (in terms of moving forward). Although it is often described as an urban sport, it is not limited to an urban environment.  In most cases this means crossing terrain that is not made for being passed. With jumps, leaps and swings, a traceur breaks those non written rules of how to move in our society.

Freerunning

Freerunning does not have a specific goal, the point of the movement is the movement itself. That makes it much harder to define, the whole sense and the kind of the movement is completely up to the one doing it. Many moves are inspired by Breakdancing, Tricking and more than those tumbling. However, Freerunning in many points actually is the opposite of tumbling: Tumblers have a very clear goal when it comes to execute their moves. There is a list of moves, every move has a value in points, the movement has a clear definition of how it has to look like. Thats because tumbling in its nature is a competitive sport. In freerunning there is nothing like the „one“ form, every freerunner can be as creative as he likes and vary moves and execution. Yes, there are Freerunning competitions, but there is no scaled system and „Creativity“ always is one of the criteria.

In General

In general you can say, that most focus there training on freerunning movement, especially the younger generation. In the last years much of the training moved from the street into the gym, which is why people learn to do much more and more complicated flips. But there still are enough traceurs that strictly commit to the philosophy of David Belle. However, most don't actually define themselves as pure freerunners or traceurs, of course one thing does not exclude the other

What Freerunning Means to Me?

I choose the word „Freerunning“, because I see myself more as a freerunner than a traceur. Creative moves and creative and fluid lines are the things that are important to me. My movement should not be like „Ok, he tried to stuff all his power moves into some kind of a run“, but more like „Hey, he really thinks about his movement, about the whole thing instead of focussing on single moves“.

Despite I see myself as a freerunner, I love watching parkour and I definitely prefer watching parkour over watching someone who is good in flips and nothing else (Dont get me wrong, I do not  mean people like Alfred Scott, whose difficulty combined with creativity and is pushing boundaries over and over again.)

This is a shortened and translated Version of the German article.