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Parkour (from the French parkour, distorted by parcours, parcours du combattant - "distance, obstacle course") is a term that was initially used only in equestrian sports to name a special type of track, teeming with various complex obstacles. The same word was used in the 90s. of the last century, the French David Belle and Sebastian Fouquet for the name of a new extreme sport, which in fact is the art of the most rational overcoming of obstacles and passing the distance as fast as possible.
We can say that the main technical goal of this discipline was to acquire the ability to move as quickly and efficiently as possible in any conditions. In the process of training, tracers (from the French tracer - "paving the way" - as people involved in parkour call themselves) strive to increase strength, agility, endurance, coordination, balance - the main components of this discipline. In addition, the training teaches various methods of developing not only the body, but also the spirit.
In a broader sense, parkour is a lifestyle, the essence of which is moving forward and overcoming any obstacles and life situations that arise in the most rational way. The main idea of parkour is that there are no boundaries, there are only obstacles, and any obstacle can be overcome. This allows tracers to pave the way not where it is customary, but where they like best - along the shortest and most rational, although sometimes more difficult route.
Nowadays, parkour is practiced in many countries of the world. This discipline assumes individual improvement, since when performing tricks, no one from the outside can either help the tracer or insure him. However, parkour teams do exist. The most famous, collected by the "father" of parkour Belle - "Yamakasi" ("Ya makasi" translated from the Lingala language - "strong in body and spirit" or "strong body, strong spirit, strong character"). This team took part in the filming of Luc Besson's film "Yamakashi" - after this film parkour gained worldwide fame, and there was a split in the team, as David Belle and Sebastian Fouquet did not want to participate in the filming and left the team (although they continued to do parkour). Every year on July 20, in Lisse (a small town near Paris), parkour days are held, during which teams of tracers from many countries can demonstrate their skills.
Parkour was invented and developed by David Belle. Indeed, David Belle is considered the founder of parkour. However, in reality, this discipline was developed by the officer of the Navy, George Gebert. On May 8, 1902, the Mont Pere volcano woke up on the "Island of Flowers" (Saint-Pierre, Caribbean Sea) - lava flows and ash clouds threatened death to all living things. George Gebert led the evacuation of residents - thanks to his efforts, more than 700 people were saved. It was this event that inspired Gebert to create a new discipline designed to train the body and strengthen the spirit. Back in France, George Gebert developed his own training method "La methode naturelle" ("Natural method"), the basic principles of which are contained in the phrase "Etre fort pour etre utile" ("To be strong to be useful"). The exercises that were given in training can be divided into 10 fundamental groups: walking, running, jumping, movement on four limbs, climbing, balancing act, overcoming the obstacle course, throwing and the ability to lift heavy objects, swimming and self-defense methods.
The "natural method" (or "hebertism") was used during the First and Second World War to train soldiers in the French army, and also had a significant impact on the development of some sports in other countries. It was during this period that Raymond Belle (father of David Belle) was born, from childhood distinguished by agility and flexibility. He received an incomplete military education, but did not want to continue the service, preferring the profession of a firefighter to a military career. Over time, he became a member of the elite team of firefighters in Paris, took part in the most risky and difficult rescue operations, and received the nickname "force of nature", as he possessed strength, agility and unrivaled speed of reaction. For his son, Raymond has always been an example to follow. It was from his father that David learned about the "Natural Method", on the basis of which parkour was subsequently created. By the way, the name of the new discipline was also invented not by David himself, but by one of his close friends.
Acrobatics is the main component of parkour. This is not entirely true. Many elements of acrobatics (as well as gymnastics and athletics) are really learned in training. If acrobatic stunts are practiced outdoors, such exercises are called Acrostreet. However, the purpose of studying these elements is not at all to achieve gracefulness and refinement of movements. The main goal of training is to increase the flexibility, coordination, strength and agility of the tracer.
To overcome obstacles, tracers sometimes use special devices. Completely erroneous opinion. In parkour, neither means nor devices are used - only one's own body is used to overcome any obstacles, armed with knowledge, skills, and abilities. Reaction speed, the ability to assess the situation and their own capabilities, coordination, strength, agility, endurance are factors that help tracers to easily cope not only with any obstacles of the "urban jungle" (trees, walls, parapets, railings and roofs of houses), but also to overcome any adversity in life.
To practice parkour, it is enough to regularly attend training and develop physical strength and agility. Of course, strength, agility, reaction speed are the main and most important components of this sports discipline. However, for the successful development of parkour, a person must also know himself, correctly assessing his capabilities, noticing shortcomings (after all, only in this case they can be successfully eradicated), fighting fears, striving to achieve harmony between body and spirit. In this, the tracer can be helped by oriental martial arts, which educate the fighting spirit and teach the desire to win. And you can improve your movement skills by doing acrobatics and gymnastics, rock climbing, athletics.
You can achieve perfection in parkour very quickly. Any sport requires a neophyte to exercise regularly over a fairly long period of time. Parkour is no exception. Only after many years of training, the tracer achieves complete control over his body, acquires the ability to realistically assess his capabilities and use the acquired skills and abilities without risking life and health. A person who has been practicing parkour for less than 5 years is considered a beginner. Only after the aforementioned period has expired can we talk about real achievements.
Parkour is pretty monotonous. Indeed, at first glance it may seem that tracers use only jumps to overcome obstacles. However, upon closer examination, it can be seen that the jumps themselves are quite diverse (there are more than 10 types), and in addition to jumps, the tracers perform flips, rolls, rolls, handstands, pushing off with legs and arms from various objects, etc. After all, parkour combines several sports, therefore, elements of gymnastics, athletics, martial arts, acrobatics are characteristic of it.
Any sufficiently dexterous teenager can jump over various obstacles, sometimes in dangerous or forbidden places - and, therefore, play parkour. Tracers claim that they are fundamentally different from adolescents who simply know the limits of their capabilities, put themselves above the law and do not think about the consequences of their actions. Inexperienced teenagers often just don't think about the harm they can do to themselves or other people. Unlike them, tracers set themselves a very specific task - to develop a route of movement from one point in space to another with minimal risk to themselves and others, spending a minimum of time and effort. To do this, they work out each movement for a long time, so that in a given situation the acquired skill would work at the reflex level. In addition, tracers do not put themselves above the law and do not commit acts that could harm them or their loved ones, destroy their business, etc.
Parkour is best practiced from childhood. This is not true. Until the age of 17, it is not recommended to master this discipline, since only after reaching this age the skeleton is finally formed. After all, parkour provides for quite large loads on the musculoskeletal system, especially on the joints, therefore it is desirable that all the processes of body formation have already been completed.
Only those who want to assert themselves through parkour are injured. People who do it seriously don't get injured. Unfortunately, this is not the case. At first, everyone who practices parkour has injuries, even minor ones. Another thing is that those who strive for the fastest possible result and universal recognition have much more injuries and the severity of injuries is higher. In addition, it should be borne in mind that parkour has a strong effect on the joints and the skeleton as a whole, even with properly constructed exercises, these problems cannot be avoided. Therefore, people suffering from diseases of the musculoskeletal system should abandon the thought of mastering this discipline.
During the annual parkour days, teams of tracers compete with each other. Tracers really gather in teams, but not in order to prepare for rallies or competitions, but in order to train with like-minded people and get expert advice on how to perform a particular trick. Competitions and championships in parkour are not currently held, as the criteria for assessing the skill of tracers have not been developed. The teams do gather annually on July 20 in the French town of Liss, but not for competitions, but rather for demonstration performances. Racers have the opportunity to demonstrate their own achievements in mastering this difficult discipline and admire the achievements of other parkour fans.
The tracer's diet does not matter - while mastering this discipline, you can eat whatever you want. Misconception. After all, it depends on nutrition in what form the tracer will be, and therefore, how successful the training will be or the application of the knowledge and skills gained in practice. A person who practices parkour should not be distracted by anything, therefore, any discomfort in the physical body is a hindrance to classes. The tracer's diet is designed to ensure a low body fat content and maintain a constant (and rather small) body weight, as well as to achieve a combination of not very large muscle volume with plasticity, flexibility, and mobility. Also, the food consumed should help strengthen the bones of the skeleton and high functionality of the joints. Based on this, a special diet was developed for those involved in parkour, which ensures the intake of 65-70 g of protein (mainly of animal origin), 20-40 g of fat and 700-750 g of carbohydrates with a caloric value of 3500-4800 kilocalories for young people and 3000-4000 calories for girls. To avoid the main mistakes in choosing a diet when doing parkour, tracers should observe the aforementioned ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, be sure to introduce vegetables, fruits, seafood, herbs (parsley, dill, basil, etc.) into the menu, try not to exceed the calorie content diet, eat food regularly and in no case in a hurry. You will also have to give up all kinds of fast foods.
The tracer can dress as he pleases, the best form is a jacket, a T-shirt and jeans. Indeed, in this sport there is no specific form for practicing. However, when choosing clothes for parkour, you should consider some recommendations. Firstly, any jackets are not suitable for this discipline - some of them limit mobility, others are excessively voluminous. In addition, there is a high risk of tearing this type of clothing with a sharp movement. Jeans are also not suitable for training, as the fabric from which they are made, for all their strength, is not heat-resistant enough and does not have the required degree of elasticity.
There are many deaths in parkour. No, there are not so many fatal cases, and they did not happen with professionals, but with inexperienced teenagers who were just trying to imitate tracers. Most often, such cases were associated with a fall from a great height - when a person tried to overcome a relatively short distance between the roofs of neighboring buildings or jump over an elevator shaft. Professional tracers, on the other hand, rarely get injured incompatible with life. Such cases are especially rare on the territory of the post-Soviet states, since, according to construction standards, buildings are so far apart from each other that it never occurs to anyone to jump between them.
These days, mastering complex elements of parkour is faster, thanks to the experience of the previous generation of tracers. This is really so - young tracers are in a hurry to master complex tricks, and they succeed. However, this state of affairs is fraught with a great danger to the health of athletes. Indeed, in order to master the most complex elements without harm to the body, it takes several years in a row to practice simpler movements in order to hone them to automatism and accustom the body to increasing loads. Otherwise, an unprepared musculoskeletal system can be seriously damaged, and even if the tracer manages to avoid dislocations and fractures, after a while he may begin to feel constant pain in the joints (especially in the knees) - a sign of wear and tear and chronic diseases. As a result, some tracers can get injured not even during training and parkour, but in everyday life.
Parkour practitioners most often injure the legs and knees. This is true, but, unfortunately, the list of injuries is not limited to this. Since this discipline is aimed at identifying the abilities of the whole body, almost any part of it can be injured. And since parkour combines the features of athletics, gymnastics, martial arts and acrobatics, during classes it can show injuries characteristic of any of these sports. Indeed, in parkour, knee joints and limbs are most often injured, but other injuries also occur, for example, a fracture of the clavicle (when falling on a straight arm / elbow or unsuccessful roll), fracture of the radius, injury to the wrist joint (when falling or leaning on the arm ), injuries to the muscles and ligaments of the thigh (and some may only appear the next day), injuries of the lower leg and foot (typical for those who train on concrete or asphalt surfaces and in bad shoes), broken heels.
Girls don't do parkour. Girls also learn parkour, but there are much fewer tracers among them than among the stronger sex.This state of affairs is explained by the specifics of this discipline, which requires well-developed musculature of the arms and shoulder girdle, which ladies cannot always boast of.
In everyday life, parkour is completely useless, especially for girls. Parkour allows you to move extremely quickly in a big city, for example, during rush hours. Also, this discipline will allow the tracer, if not to repel the attack of hooligans, then at least to easily leave the pursuers behind. This skill is especially important for girls who by nature do not have wrestling skills. Plus, parkour is a great way to maintain shape and muscle tone.