Parkour is a method of physical training that develops one’s ability to overcome obstacles, both physical and mental.
It involves movement that will help if one is in a reach or escape an emergency situation. Underpinning this is a philosophy of altruism and useful strength longevity, self-improvement and self-understanding. It is not just the way you move that makes you a practitioner of Parkour, but the movement combined with the philosophy that defines it as Parkour.
David Belle credits the primary development of Parkour from time spent with his father, Raymond Belle. David’s father was a child soldier in Vietnam. As part of his training, he had to complete obstacle courses called ‘Parcours’. David’s father was determined to excel, to protect himself from abuse and to survive. Later on, Raymond was removed from this training and found himself in France. He fathered David and two other sons. But due to his traumatic childhood struggled to maintain his marriage and take on responsibilities as a father. David ended up being raised by his grandfather. But as David grew older he wanted to know, and to understand, his father. So he would seek him out and ask him about his experiences, and his father would spend time with him, training David and talking to him about life and about what David was doing and why he did things. It was through this relationship that Parkour was, over time, developed.
David Belles grandfather taught him about the principles of Hebertism, as David was learning from his father about what his father did in Vietnam he found many parallels with Hebertism . As David grew and learnt he adapted what he needed from what his grandfather and his father taught him to create something unique to him, something that allowed him to pursue his own needs and goals.
In turn, this has been passed on to other practitioners to act as an inspiration for self-development through the practice of Parkour.