(Photo obtained 6th October, 2014 from http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-26/brisbane-parkcour-crew-push-local-limits/)
For teenagers who are into Parkour, everything! Wikipeadea describes Parkour as “a holistic training discipline using movement that developed from military obstacle course training”. The past time is becoming so popular in Brisbane, that the City Council has recently dedicated a section of a Spring Hill park for these young dare devil athletes to practice their human body propulsions including running, vaulting, jumping and rolling. The Parkour ‘playground’ was funded by Energex. The Brisbane City Council is hoping it will give a place for youngsters to practice, instead of trespassing onto private property which is unsafe and illegal.
The aim of Parkour is to get from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible. Practitioners say that Parkour is much more than a method of physical training. It develops one’s abilities to overcome physical and mental obstacles. It is used if one needs to help others in an emergency or if one needs to quickly escape an immediate danger – being chased by an aggressive dog or dangerous human. Underpinning all of this is a philosophy of altruism, useful strength, longevity, self-improvement and self-understanding (Parkourpedia.com, 2012)
The founder of Parkour is Frenchman David Belle, who in 1988- aged fifteen- started teaching his friends how to jump, climb and clear obstacles. Belle attributes many of the movement’s used to the ones his father – a child soldier in Vietnam- taught him and the principles of Herbertism taught to him by his grandfather. George Herbit developed a holistic training method developed to emphasise the integration of the human mind and body to overcome obstacles. His work lead to development of the French military obstacle course (Lawrence, 2011).
The ABC recently showed a segment on Parkour: “Brisbane teens turn city into Parkour playground”. It is definitely worth a watch if you are interested in understanding what motivates these teenagers to follow this high energy passion. (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-26/brisbane-teens-turn-city-into-parkour-playground/5773186)
After viewing the clip, I wondered what other physical activities do teenagers pursue that also have a strong philosophy that is integral to the practice? Here is a short list that I came up with. If you can think of any others please let me know via a comment.
Yoga – various influences depending on the school: Hinduism, Buddhism & Jainism
Kung Fu- Discipline, respect and correct interaction with others
Tai Chi- Taoism, living in harmony.
Capoeira- Understand the futility of fighting with force instead uses creativity to get around the established rules of a system.
Ballet – discipline to give you control over your body and a way of conquering it’s limitations.