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Join New England's largest and oldest community-run network of traceurs and traceuses to coordinate training sessions, share pics and vids, and discuss parkour.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Parkour?

Parkour is a non-competitive natural method to train the human body to be able to move forward quickly, making use of the environment that’s around us at any given time. This ‘art of displacement’ requires neither specific structure nor accessory for its practice. The body is the only tool. It’s an athletic discipline accessible to all, because it combines all the natural skills of the human body: running, jumping, climbing, etc. It’s a utility sport that permits exploration of the potential offered by your body. It’s about being able to face the obstacles with which you are presented, whether they be in the natural environment or in the urban environment, in a search for movement that combines effectiveness and control. -Paraphrased from parkour.net

Who is David Belle?

David Belle is not only the founder/creator of the discipline of Parkour, but also a man we all look up to very dearly on this site. David Belle was born on the 29th of April 1973 in F├ęcamp, the Seine-Maritime departement of Normandy, and later moved to the Parisian suburb of Lisses, just outside of Evry. Running, jumping, vaulting, climbing, hanging, balance, surpassing himself, developing his self-confidence, being able to overcome obstacles so he could continue to advance… For David, all these things became an obsession. An obsession to release himself from all obstacles, constraints and fears, and to be able to go wherever he chose to go; achievements owing as much to mental development as to physical prowess. At the age of 15 he found others that would eventually share this passion with him and further develop Parkour with him. Today he can be seen on television and in the movies further promoting his ideals and the art he helped thousands in the world start. David Belle wanted to carry on the spirit of his father, grandfather, and many other firemen & soldiers who had dedicated their lives to helping others. In that spirit, a traceur’s only competition would be to see who can help the most people. -Paraphrased from parkour.net

What is Freerunning?

Freerunning is a discipline similar to parkour founded by one of David Belle’s old training partners Sebastien Foucan. Foucan combined parts of parkour with his own philosophy to create a new discipline called Freerunning. Freerunning incorporates flips, spins, and any other movement the practitioner deems beautiful. The main difference between parkour and freerunning is the intention. A freerunner intends to move beautifully whereas a traceur intends to move quickly and efficiently.

Is it dangerous? I’ve seen videos of people jumping from roof to roof…

Parkour is only as demanding as you make it. Practitioners generally make a slow, safe progression, so that they do not try any techniques that are beyond their limits. Community members will help you at jams with techniques to progress safely. Furthermore we discourage roof jumping as it can easily lead to injury or arrest. The large majority of techniques can be practiced at a ground level.

I’m not sure if this is right for me. I’m worried about [age/weight/gender/fitness].

Although our average age over the 6 states is 17, we have had people from 12 to 40 join our jams. Our community welcomes anyone willing to learn with open arms. We have boys, girls, whites, blacks, traceurs, and freerunners all jamming in harmony. Also since there is such a wide range of techniques to practice, weight and fitness is not an issue. Parkour is great because there is no ultimate goal to accomplish, no set paths, no set difficulty level; it is fully scalable to whatever you are capable of or however hard you want to push your limits. You are not required nor pushed to do anything at meets and pending on what you want to do, you can be given small tasks in order to build your skills up. All in all, you are free to just watch the first few times as well while getting accustomed to what we do.

How do I get started?

You can start by signing up to our forums and introducing yourself. You will find that community members are welcoming and eager to teach. Or you can browse our Events section, find the date and location of the next jam near you, and just show up! Just bring a good sturdy pair of shoes and a positive attitude. If you want to train on your own at first, take a look at this map for places to train. You might want to read through some of the articles in the Resources section before trying parkour for the first time. Browse our forums for more info on getting started.

What do I do if I see police, security, or property owners?

Keeping a positive image for a parkour is very important to us. The most important thing to remember is DO NOT run! If someone asks you to leave then do so respectfully. Apologize and leave immediately. If they ask for an explanation, then do your best to describe parkour briefly. You can mention that traceurs have the utmost respect for other’s property, and do not mean to cause any harm. Remember that the way you act when confronted with authority figures reflects on the entire community, so please be respectful no matter how rude they may be.

Announcements

If you like parkour and you like to read, NEPK's resident traceuse and librarian Angie has got you covered! Head on over to the forum for her comprehensive list of books that have parkour in them, including plot summaries and reviews. Take a look, (in a book)...

 

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