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What Is Parkour?

There are a few different definitions of parkour, but American Parkour’s is likely the best and most widely accepted.


Parkour is the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one’s path by adapting one’s movements to the environment.

  • Parkour requires… consistent, disciplined training with an emphasis on functional strength, physical conditioning, balance, creativity, fluidity, control, precision, spatial awareness, and looking beyond the traditional use of objects.
  • Parkour movements typically include… running, jumping, vaulting, climbing, balancing, and quadrupedal movement. Movements from other physical disciplines are often incorporated, but acrobatics or tricking alone do not constitute parkour.
  • Parkour training focuses on… safety, longevity, personal responsibility, and self-improvement. It discourages reckless behavior, showing off, and dangerous stunts.
  • Parkour practitioners value… community, humility, positive collaboration, sharing of knowledge, and the importance of play in human life, while demonstrating respect for all people, places, and spaces.


This definition was composed using the results of a nationwide poll of traceurs. It’s a bit wordy for everyday usage, though. These are some briefer explanations that might be useful for explaining parkour to passerby who are curious about your training.

Have you seen Casino Royale?

Funnily enough, this is actually effective.

Parkour is the fastest, most efficient way to move over obstacles. (And freerunning is the most creative.)

Simple, short, accurate, and easy to remember. Perfect.

Parkour is the discipline of training your body to be able to overcome any obstacle in your path.

Sounds a little more formal, it might be useful if you’re talking to a policeman or trying to get permission to train on someone’s property.