Simply put, Parkour is a method of training the body and mind through movement. There is a misconception that parkour is an extreme activity best suited to young people and that it is about taking risks and performing stunts in an urban environment, commonly at high levels. This is far from the truth! Parkour is a physical discipline and non-competitive activity which focuses on efficient movement around obstacles. Parkour or freerunning is a fun and creative activity in which people of all ages, genders and abilities can participate. Practitioners explore their capabilities using any architecture available, constantly exploring to find new challenges and ways to adapt to their surroundings.
No. No more dangerous, statistically, than any other athletic discipline. In the UK, rugby and horse-riding are far above parkour in terms of injuries to participants. Data from the Parkour Generations Academy in London – the world’s first and largest parkour coaching establishment, shows that the injury rate in parkour training is extremely low and that the first order of training for a new practitioner is to develop the strength, agility, balance and coordination necessary to move safely through any environment. Good parkour training makes you safer.
Parkour practitioners are typically highly respectful of their environment and will make great efforts to take care of their training spots, and will remove themselves quickly and quietly from a public place if asked. It is important to note that while we all have the ability to learn through movement, understanding and using parkour takes a great deal of practice and can be incredibly difficult to grasp without the guidance of a qualified Parkour coach. The NGB Parkour UK now administers the OFQUAL and QCF parkour coaching certification developed in collaboration with the official international parkour coaching certification body, A.D.A.P.T.
Parkour was started in France in the 1980s by a group of young men who called themselves Yamakasi. This group of friends took their childhood games and blended them with influences from the martial arts, military training, natural methods of physical fitness, etc, to develop parkour over a number of years. It had a wide and varied set of influences, but its core principles were to challenge oneself always, physically and mentally, to discover one’s own true potential.
We don’t think so… With a new British Standard for parkour facilities, a UK governing body for parkour and the fact that Parkour is one of the UK’s fastest growing activities, we can see it being around for years to come. It is the most searched for type of sports video on YouTube, beating skateboarding, BMX and surfing combined, and has appeared in every form of media and mainstream advertising known to society.
The global growth of parkour is largely attributed to a combination of the simplicity of the activity, the broad range of benefits it carries, and how easily accessible it is. Its international exposure through high profile television programs and films has brought some of the most spectacular movements to the living rooms of millions. In 2002 the BBC advert Rush Hour was aired, featuring David Belle racing across the rooftops of London to avoid congestion on his journey home. In 2003 channel 4 released a documentary called Jump London, this featured a small group of French practitioners exploring the architecture of London and telling the story of how it began. The combination of Rush Hour, Jump London and the expanding reach of the internet meant that people from all over the country were able to learn about parkour, arrange meetings and publish videos of their progress easily. The UK was fast to respond to this and although parkour originated in France and is now practiced worldwide, a majority of the world’s top practitioners have emerged from the UK.
Since this early stage in the international exposure or parkour, the growth of its popularity and practice has remained consistent and steadily expanded in the UK. Even with the global appeal of parkour and recent fast growth in countries like America, Russia and China, the UK is still widely regarded as the world leader. Many of the most able and respected practitioners began their journey in the UK and their regular training videos made architecture in cities like London, Cambridge and Brighton some of the best known. Many foreign practitioners travel to the UK with the aim of training with these people and using the architecture they have seen.
Parkour is a highly advanced form of physical activity and therefore assists in combating cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancers. Physical activity in combination with a healthy balanced diet has a direct relationship with helping to prevent obesity or persons being overweight. The effect of physical activity on psychological wellbeing has been well documented to show a positive relationship. An increase in self-confidence and overall wellbeing can also have a positive impact on learning.
Parkour is proven to have a direct impact on reducing antisocial behaviour, with the Metropolitan Police reporting that the work of Parkour Generations in the borough of Westminster was directly related to a 69% decrease in crime amongst 8-13 year olds.
A Parkour Training Facility is a positive use of an existing space and can enhance any existing facilities whether it is a play or fitness area. Parkour encourages community building, social inclusion, breaking down cultural barriers and gender stereotyping. With the risks and legal implications involved in practicing parkour on private property a Parkour Training Facility provides a space for practitioners both new and experienced to practice parkour in a controlled and safe environment.
Constructed from steel and concrete, a Parkour Training Facility should offer as much variation in physical challenge as possible. Designed to recreate urban environments, they generally consist of a mixture of steel frame elements, steel bars, concrete walls, concrete platforms, rubber step posts and natural elements. By providing the opportunity to work with our design partners and parkour specialists, Parkour Generations, who understand the value of the practitioner’s input, we have an unrivalled consultation and design service that creates unique Parkour Training Facilities specifically tailored to the needs of the local community.
We encourage all to express their needs, share their vision and apply their creativity through group conversation, drawing and photography. Using the information gained in these sessions, our designers suggest ways of maximising opportunities within the facility.
We use our vast experience in safety, leisure and Parkour to provide the industry’s leading consultation, design, manufacture, installation and Parkour education services. We develop facilities that cater to all levels of ability, providing everything from simple balance and co-ordination challenges though to high end complex movement opportunities whilst maintaining the emphasis on safety.
All Freemove Parkour elements and bespoke Parkour Training Facilities are designed to comply with the official British Standard for Parkour and every product is independently risk assessed. Freemove aims to expand on our already impressive and pioneering capabilities to produce the best training environment to suit any need and want. We are setting the example for others, and we have an extremely strong team drawn from the world-leading parkour experts at Parkour Generations along with our independent Health and Safety advisors enabling us to ensure each site is safe to use and built to the highest specification ensuring the longevity of your Parkour training facility.
This means we can provide you with a complete, integrated service, right from the first contact to the handover. Our design process means that each park can be completely unique. Every park we design can have its own individual appeal and therefore we can continue to help Parkour progress in the most positive way.
All Freemove Parkour elements and Bespoke Parkour Training Facilities are designed to comply with BS 10075 the British Standard for Parkour Training Facilities. We are taking an active part in the creation of the new British standards for Parkour facilities, having a member of our team on the steering group contributing to their conception. This ensures that every product we produce complies to the latest version of the standard. We are also producing a living document – the ‘Freemove Parkour Design Risk Assessment Guidelines’. This design guide takes into account the foreseeable use of different ages and competencies, and using data from relevant legislation, standards and publications lower the foreseeable risks by utilising tried and tested control measures.
The design of our Parkour Training Facilities and elements within them takes into account the foreseeable use of different ages and competences, and uses recommendations from relevant publications to lower any foreseeable risks by utilising tried and tested control measures. All Freemove Parkour elements and Bespoke Parkour Training Facilities are designed to comply with the British Standard for Parkour facilities.
Freemove are the leading provider of pre-fabricated and bespoke Parkour Training Facilities. We use our vast experience in safety, leisure and parkour to provide the industry’s leading consultation, design, manufacture, installation and parkour education services. We develop facilities that cater to all levels of ability, providing everything from simple balance and co-ordination challenges though to high end complex movement opportunities whilst maintaining the emphasis on safety.
All Freemove Parkour elements and bespoke Parkour Training Facilities are designed to comply with the British Standard for Parkour and every product is independently risk assessed. Our aim is to cultivate a wider understanding of parkour and champion the development of Parkour Training Facilities. We also aim to connect practitioners and authorities and support them in working together to develop safe Parkour Training Facilities and help practitioners establish respectful, safe and active communities, encouraging them to learn through movement
While a Parkour Training Facility is open to anyone, Parkour UK, the UK national governing body for parkour, recommends that children under the age of 8 years should not use an outdoor parkour facility without correct supervision by a qualified coach.
Freemove parkour elements are usually maintenance-free. We do recommend however that a routine visual inspection is carried out Monthly, Operational inspection carried out quarterly and an Annual main inspection is carried out to ensure the safety and longevity of our Parkour Training Facilities.
Freemove offers Parkour coaching through our global partner Parkour Generations who will be able to help you. Parkour Generations provides a team of ADAPT Level 2 Qualified coaches that we bring along to the opening and Roadshow events we attend to assist anyone who wants to have a go on our equipment and learn some basic skills. These coaches are the best there are, coming from the original and world’s largest international teaching organisation.
Should you require funding or additional funding for your Parkour Training Facility, through the Funding Doctors service we offer assistance and advice on where and how to receive funding for your project.
Freemove Parkour Training Facilities mainly consist of a mixture of steel frame elements, steel bars, concrete walls, concrete platforms and rubber step posts. Other materials and natural elements may be used in the construction of a Parkour Training Facility.
Freemove have sourced all of our products from UK based companies reducing the delivery mileage of the elements thus reducing our overall carbon footprint. We also strive to ensure that the materials and processes used in the construction of our elements are as environmentally friendly as possible sourcing recycled materials where possible.
For up to 3.0m high elements we recommend the following specifications of surfacing to comply with BS EN 1177 as long as it is not in conflict with the usability:
Other surfacing can be used but may be in conflict with the overall usability of the Parkour Training Facility.
Signage is optional in a Parkour Training Facility, however Freemove can provide you with examples of signage and suggestions of what to include in one.
You can contact any member of the Freemove team at any time, however we suggest with general enquiries you e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no definitive list of “moves”; each obstacle is approached individually. In many cases effective parkour techniques depend on fast redistribution of body weight and the use of momentum to perform seemingly difficult or impossible body manoeuvres at great speed. According to the founders, one aim of the practice is to move in such a way that will help you gain the most ground as if escaping or chasing something. Despite this, there are many basic versatile and effective techniques that are emphasised for beginners. Most important are good jumping and landing techniques. The roll, used to limit impact after a drop and to carry one’s momentum onward, is often stressed as the most important technique to learn.
Freemove offer a range of guarantees on our products and are always willing to assist our customers in any way we can whether it be through offering additional services, product or Parkour advice, maintenance or inspections.
Freemove have a large portfolio of Parkour Training Facilities they have installed throughout the UK ranging from the world’s largest managed Parkour Training Facility at Westminster Academy to smaller installations in Nottingham.
Freemove have a created a database of practitioners and groups throughout the UK and have a partnership with Parkour Generations, who can also provide information on groups throughout the UK and abroad.
Contacting a member of the Freemove team at the start of your journey will mean you can drive your project forward efficiently and with confidence that the most experienced Parkour Training Facility developers are behind you. You can contact us in various ways:
Freemove offer the Freemove Parkour Roadshow as a tool for gauging the interest in parkour in certain locations as well as a great activity to offer at various events. Due to the cost involved in running this we do unfortunately have to charge for this although this can be recouped in a variety of ways. If you or your organisation is interested in having the Freemove Parkour Roadshow please contact us to discuss what we can offer.
The Freemove Parkour Roadshow is a selection of our outdoor concrete and steel products that we can take to any event in the UK. We have numerous packages that we offer that including parkour coaching and giveaways.