There is a new buzz word in the world called “parkour” that started in France. A man named David Belle who studied gymnastics, martial arts, and other forms of physical disciplines began to develop a series of movements that were designed to overcome physical obstacles in the most efficient way possible. Now parkour is an accepted discipline nearly everywhere. Some people have heard of the phrase “freerunning” but freerunning is slightly different from parkour. The original term for parkour was L’art du deplacement or the art of movement.
I have been interested in the philosophies behind parkour and the movements for some time now. Recently a parkour club was organized locally and I joined and have since begun practicing more seriously.
I don’t want to go into all of the ideas behind parkour right now but one of the principles that are taught in the discipline is the importance of developing proper techniques to prevent injury. Although the typical stereotype of parkour is that it is dangerous it can be safe if practiced properly. Although Youtube videos show young people leaping 20+ feet off of buildings, the majority of practitioners train safe and develop proper technique and adequate skill before attempting anything potentially dangerous.
I was recently reading an article about the proper techniques in running on the American Parkour website, somebody posted a link to this very interesting article about shoes and sitting: http://www.eatmoveimprove.com/2009/11/shoes-sitting-and-lower-body-dysfunctions/
It is a long article but worth the read. It goes into detail about running, walking, and the biomechanics that are at work in our feet and legs.
If you are interested and would like to learn more about parkour I recommend watching this documentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Poph6Jmc688
Make sure to watch all for parts as they are in sections on Youtube.