Introduction

Photo courtesy of Jeremiah Washington

Photo courtesy of Jeremiah Washington

 

To aid in your journey, I’ve provided you with links to hundreds of sources at relevant points in the text. These sources - YouTube videos, documentaries, interviews, blog posts, archived forums, news articles, podcasts, and books - are drawn from my own journey. Many of these invaluable resources would be impossible to find for practitioners starting today, and I hope their inclusion and content inspires you in the same way they inspired me. I would encourage you to delve into these links as deeply as you dare...while a map can be used to get straight to a destination, its true value lies in its ability to take you safely off the beaten path. So please, get lost. Ramble. Roam. Explore. And remember, Parkour can’t be taught, but it can be discovered!

“Parkour can’t be taught.”

I remember reading that on an old forum years and years ago. I didn’t really understand what the author meant then (hadn’t they seen all the tutorials and how-to posts??) but now I think I get it. Parkour - real Parkour - can’t be taught...it can only be discovered.

 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned after almost ten years of training, it’s that Parkour is a personal journey. This is as true today as it was twenty years ago, when the founders of the discipline split to pursue their own training under the names Parkour, freerunning, and Art Du Déplacement. To practice Parkour, you sacrifice time, sweat, and blood. It takes effort and a heavy dose of willpower. Parkour training is an investment in yourself, and you are rewarded with new levels of self-confidence and self-knowledge. This type of training requires the student or practitioner to explore themselves, and can be guided but never taught.

 

That’s not to say that the techniques of Parkour can’t be taught, or that the only way to train Parkour is to isolate yourself and train in the woods for ten years. If that were true, I’d be out of a job! But this book is called The Parkour Road Map for a reason. Without a bit of wandering, without having to search and roam for information, Parkour loses some of its luster...it loses that vital sense of personal investment. I have done my best to create a guide that introduces you to the world of Parkour without stealing your ability to explore. The concepts in this book are outlined, but I’ve left you room to fill in the gaps.

 

Photo courtesy of Jeremiah Washington

Photo courtesy of Jeremiah Washington


 
 
 

Table of Contents:

 

Introduction

Chapter 1: A Brief History of Parkour

I. Before Parkour

II. The Founding Fathers

III. British Invasion

IV. The Rise of Freerunning

V. Where We Are Now

Chapter 2: Getting Started

I. The Basics

II. Getting in Shape

III. Equipment and Gear

IV. Training Grounds

V. Athlete Reference Table

Chapter 3: The Next Level

I. Alternative Training Methods

II. Basic Programming

III. Safety

IV. Jam Etiquette

V. Travel

Chapter 4: Mind of a Traceur

I. The Philosophy of Parkour

II. Parkour and Public Space

III. Parkour v. Freerunning v. Art Du Déplacement

IV. Parkour and Competition

V. Required Reading

Chapter 5: The Advanced Athlete

I. Tips and Techniques

II. The Mind Game

III. Advanced Strength Training

IV. Recovery

Chapter 6: The Future of Parkour

I. Learning Parkour

II. Parkour Gyms

III. Coaching Parkour

IV. The Parkour Industry

V. Competition

VI. Keeping the Spirit