Tuesday, 5 March 2019

parcours du combatant

Building on the training regime developed by French naval officer Georges Hébert at the turn of the last century, which espoused people be above all limber and spry—as indigenous tribes hunting in Africa he observed whilst stationed there—father and son Raymond and David Belle codified a range of movements to overcome obstacles by the path of least resistance during the 1980s before proliferating into popular culture as parkour.
The philosophical component of reclaiming spaces and individual humility in practise and challenge surpass the athleticism of leaping (pylometrics are study of jumping and the like) and vaulting of the participants—a traceur or traceuse, as they trace a path through the course. It’s of course something that takes a lot of slow, deliberate training and not something one just dives into without risking injury, so be careful out there but it’s certainly something to fantasise about and work towards bouncing off walls and scaling buildings like a stunt-double.