How to Do Parkour
This guide consists of THE best parkour training method as well as all of the best advice I've ever received. Enjoy. :)
To train: Pick a "Point A" and stand on it. From there, pick a point in the distance (preferably with some interesting landscape and structures in the way), and make that Point B. Do whatever it takes to get from Point A to Point B. Until you get really good, always train using the same Point A and the same Point B that you originally picked; you learn much better and faster when you're familiar with the obstacles and the area. Feel free, however, to take any number of routes between the two points.
Go slowly at first. Always be safe. At first it'll be more like climbing and scrambling over stuff than actual parkour, but as time goes on, little by little your transitions get smoother, your movements get more fluid, and you get better at crossing obstacles efficiently, until eventually, possibly without even realizing it, you're doing parkour like the pro you have become.
IMPORTANT: Forget about any sets of moves you've seen on Youtube or anywhere else. Real parkour never involves any sorts of moves with names, but instead consists of whatever sort of motion it takes to conquer the obstacle that is front of you right now. Such motion is unique to the individual performing it, and cannot be constrained to any set of moves.
ALSO NOTE: A true traceur (parkour practitioner) never attempts anything unless he's 100% sure he can do it successfully. If you have to wonder, even for an instant, whether you're capable of doing some trick or making some jump, you're not ready to try it yet - especially considering the kinds of painful or deadly injuries that can often result if you fail. But don't worry; whatever it is, if it's physically possible, you'll be able to do it soon enough.
ALSO ALSO NOTE: Try not to confuse parkour with freerunning. Although they are similar, there is one fundamental difference between the two: parkour is all about speed and efficiency - getting from point A to point B as fast as possible, like you're being chased by ninjas - while freerunning is more about the tricks and flips and such, the kind that would be frowned upon and considered unnecessary extra motion when practicing parkour. Freerunning, unlike parkour, doesn't necessarily have to involve a preset starting or finishing point; you can take your freerun wherever you like and change course on a whim. Basically, it's the difference between racing and freestyling, and both are incredibly fun once you get the hang of them.
But more importantly, you can learn parkour all on your own (if you want) in just about any somewhat urban location using only the steps above, whereas learning to do freerunning with all its extra tricks and stunts requires thickly padded floors and equipment as well as at least one good spotter to make sure you don't snap your neck or otherwise severely injure yourself while training.
EDIT: Ever played the game Mirror's Edge? If not, get it and do so. It is an excellent and inspiring example of parkour (not freerunning). Now, if it included a 'playground'-type level where you could have fun just messing around, then that would be a great example of freerunning.
Now for some awesome parkour pics yanked from Google!
Also, 10% of points go to 24paperwings for posing the question that prompted me to write all this.
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