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PARKOUR is the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one’s path by adapting to the environment within your personal obstacle course. It’s a playground for building strength, freedom, courage and discipline. Parkour is an international discipline that is best described as the art of forward motion in spite of obstacles, or to put it simply: the art of purposeful movement. Parkour’s chief aim is to never move backward, but instead to overcome obstacles fluidly, with strength, originality and speed.

The Great Wall of China

It emphasizes the integration of the human mind and body to overcome obstacles, and gain victory over one’s fears and weaknesses. Friends can challenge each other to improve upon their most recent efforts, and feed off each other’s energy and achievements, as they seek new boundaries to break, within a loose and perfectly amicable framework. A mental form of parkour can be learned, practiced and utilized to overcome obstacles in one’s life and career!

Since the inception of parkour in 1997, it has been used in cinema to aid in great storytelling. Through the magic of editing, an entire sequence of moves can be cut together to look like one non-stop stunt sequence, often to breathtaking effect. Parkour founder David Belle has said the philosophy behind parkour is “You want to move in such a way…as to help you gain the most ground on…something, whether escaping from it or chasing toward it.” and this philosophy lends itself perfectly to the narrative structure of a great action film or commercial.

One of the first to leverage the spectacle of parkour in cinema was founder David Belle himself. In 1997 Belle created a group of traceurs (parkour practitioners), free-runners, and street acrobats called Yamakasi. Inspired by this group, Luc Besson scripted a heist film by the same name in which the Yamakasi clan rob from the rich to pay for a heart implant for a young boy injured, while imitating their stunts. There’s a couple of thrilling sequences where they’re being chased by Doberman Pinschers and over the rooftops (a popular parkour theme) by cops.

The success of Yamakasi led, understandably, to a sequel, Les Fils du Vent, in which the Yamakasi crew travel to Bangkok, Thailand to fight the Yakuza. In the opening credits, Yamakasi play a (highly competitive) game of capture-the-weathervane ball across the rooftops of the city.

One of David Belle’s fellow traceurs in the group Yamakasi was Sébastien Foucan. He’s also one of the founders of free running, a discipline similar to parkour, but with the focus being more on the movement aesthetics (although they are sometimes considered interchangeable). In the opening of Casino Royale, Foucan’s character, Mollaka gives James Bond a chase that would be an acrophobic’s worst nightmare up an unfinished construction site in the Bahamas.

As soon as advertisers realized they could make a buck or two by exploiting the panache of parkour they wasted no time doing so. To its credit however, Nike went one step further in its “Presto” campaign by approaching parkour with a much-needed humorous tone, proving it didn’t have to be pigeon-holed into the action genre.

Parkour info excerpted from an online article by msaleem,




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Read the many articles on successful filmmaking & screenwriting in


Gromit, by Aardman Films, UK


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Character & Characterization In Screenplays Titles & Loglines: 25 Words Open the Door
Character & Characterization In Screenplays
Titles & Loglines: 25 Words Open the Door
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