on Sun 30 Oct 2011 11:16 GMT | Permanent Link
Parkour in very much an in-vogue activity at the moment, amongst certain groups that is. Last Friday, I had the opportunity to check-out the local scene and photo some young guns down in one of Sheffield’s city Park. It was nearly dusk when we kicked-off and time was limited but enthusiasm and energy was seriously high…
Parkour, as the name suggests, originated in France and was all about moving over, around or through obstacles with speed and efficiency typically by running, vaulting, climbing and jumping and rolling. Surprisingly, Parkour traces it’s history back all the way to before WW1 and to a formal naval officer Georges Hebert who ‘invented’ what was called ‘methode naturelle’ as a form of physical education. Hebert’s methods were adopted by the French military and became the inspiration for the obstacle course. In recent times parkour has been popularised in film with the antics of Jackie Chan although it was arguably Jump London with it’s urban scenes that really brought free-running to the fore. Free-running has never looked back since. For more on Jump London go here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jump_London.
As a climber used to operating with racks of dedicated kit I’m struck by how minimalist free-running is; nothing but a pair of trainers and liberal qualities of athleticism, commitment and imagination! Sadly, darkness came all too soon on Friday night swallowing us up and forcing an end to the session. I was pretty impressed with the lads and I sense that this won’t be the last time I shoot free-running. Meanwhile, here’s a few shots…