The discipline of Parkour.
For some readers, this may be the first time they come across the word Parkour, and by now, many are wondering what is the nature of the word and what does it really mean. At the same time others already know the true nature of the discipline behind Parkour, this article is not made for the latter...
In every given moment on any given "route" or path you will come across obstacles, the main goal of the discipline of parkour is to teach you how to tackle these obstacles both mentally and physically.
This can be achieved through the correct use of running, jumping, climbing and balancing (which are all considered natural abilities of the human body).
What can I expect out of training Parkour?
The main benefit one can extract from training parkour is an increase in core or body strength and resistance to effort. More specifically this translates as an increase in anaerobic capacity (fast muscle movements without oxygen intake, for example, climbing) and aerobic capacity (slow muscle movements with oxygen, for example, running). Its other contribution to the body is an increase in balance and proprioception (the ability of the body to assess it's own position).
It has also been credited as a path to self discovery and self knowledge leading it's practitioner to examine his own limitations and fears when facing an obstacle hard to overcome.
Other beneficial aspects related to its practice are increased spatial awareness, different perspective on the environment and a sense for new uses and purposes of structures that usually go unnoticed for the majority of population of any city on any given day /night.
So I want to start training, what should I do?
A good guideline to take into account when starting and approaching training for the first time is to start at ground level and work your way up to bigger obstacles. Also it usually good to try to find someone from your community who may already be practicing it, sometimes, all it takes is a walk around the city to find them...
Also it's important to note when starting that it only takes a pair of sneakers and some imagination? It's a gym open 24/7 with no admission fees, no special implements (such as a bike) and an ever growing community of people ready to share and help you find your own way.
Ok, so I guess I am joining a low key discipline, right?
While its origins may take you to the suburbs of Paris in France it's now gone global and can be seen displayed across many mainstream movies and internet video channels.