Free Running
January 11, 2005 2:51 AM   Subscribe

He flies through the air with the greatest of ease,
the only difference being he has no trapeze.
Past MeFi. QT plugin required for first link.
posted by riffraff (26 comments total)
Suddenly I feel even older and rather frail. Any of these jumps would kill me. Amazing.
posted by nostrada at 3:16 AM on January 11, 2005

posted by mr.marx at 3:24 AM on January 11, 2005

Where are the underground Le Parkour videos?

And do they got cool clothes?
posted by lacus at 3:57 AM on January 11, 2005

Reminds me of Prince of Persia. I've seen this and done this before, but never anything even close to the scope of some of these guys. I'm coming back to this later, when I have more time. Definitely some nice technique explained in the 2nd link.

And lacus, here you are.
posted by Eideteker at 4:45 AM on January 11, 2005

Jump London is a Le Parkour documentary (of sorts) that has been running in TLC's weekend schedule, but I no longer see it on the schedule.

Also, Warren Ellis put a Le Parkour runner on the Global Frequency back in 2003. (That was the first I'd ever heard of it.)
posted by grabbingsand at 5:01 AM on January 11, 2005

There was a follow up to the Jump London programme broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK last week. They did some amazing jumps around British Landmarks. There was one absolutely superb jump on the roof of the millennium stadium in Cardiff.

They're showing it again this Saturday apparently
posted by lloyder at 5:43 AM on January 11, 2005

Well, it's finally happened. Metafilter has finally spotted the art of parkour. ;) I've been wanting to post about this for a very long time but have held off as it would have been self-promotional. I help to run and also work as a photographer specialising in freerunning, as seen in the link provided by Eideteker. I also train, though not to the same degree of skill and strength exhibited by these guys.

I recently worked as researcher on 'Jump Britain' which was aired in the UK on Channel 4 on January 6th. This was another hour-long documentary about the sport, this time tracking its growth in the UK. Since the show aired, the response has been phenomenal and there have also been stirrings in the States over the last few months with an article from Associated Press doing the rounds and 'Jump London', the first Channel 4 documentary, finally being shown on TLC. (Having French roots, the reception to parkour is somewhat mixed.)

I strongly recommend watching the 'Making Of' documentary that will follow the second airing of Jump Britain on E4 on Saturday as it provides a fascinating insight into how shots like the jump at the Millennium Stadium were achieved.

One of the great difficulties with the art receiving media attention is that younger generations tend to assume that to take part, they have to climb on roofs and jump great distances. Every parkour website places great emphasis on learning the basics at low levels, slowly building up confidence and ability before attempting more dangerous moves.

I'm hoping that the growth of the art (those who practice it tend to regard it more as an art than a sport as it is non-competitive) will encourage people to get off the couch and go out and be more active with their lives. The great advantage of parkour is that to be able to do it, other than a half decent pair of trainers, all you need is the ability to identify an obstacle.

Happy jumping.
posted by Kiell at 6:04 AM on January 11, 2005

Yes, Kiell, I also have visions of young people leaping from tall ledges to emulate these people and breaking their necks. Such has been the history of mankind and there will always be people who kill themselves attempting to do what other people make to look easy. Let us all pray the damage is limited :)
posted by PigAlien at 6:41 AM on January 11, 2005

Um, Mucho Sucko is not exactly work safe. Thanks (not) for the warning.
posted by kalessin at 6:48 AM on January 11, 2005

I'll take the blue pill.
posted by kika at 7:10 AM on January 11, 2005

Very wow. Like Jackie Chan, but without the Asian.

Some of you might know Sam Barros of PowerLabs fame. He spent some time teaching himself how to do standing flips and other assorted crazy physical stuff. You can see a presentation of his good clips here.

More interesting, of course, are all the clips you don't see -- the spills, the faceplants, the injuries. Sam was kind enough to offer this fuck-up video to show that it's not all fun and games.

That said, those rooftop jumps were in-croy-ableh.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:26 AM on January 11, 2005

That first video has so many edits, it doesn't really show the best part of the parkour performances: How they string jumps together to create what looks like a kind of ballet. That and "Prove Yourself" by Eminem really kind of ruins it for me.

But thanks for pointing it out anyway. I remembered being wowed by the stuff in the old link, and am glad to see more.
posted by fungible at 7:36 AM on January 11, 2005

Sam doesn't seem to be a patch on Joe Eigo (who has appeared on MeFi several times) along with his "special" Noni juice.

Kiell, Parkour first appeared on MeFi back in early-mid '02 so it's not like we've "finally spotted" it. I remember it from the first time round. It's just another instance of pop-culture*1 catching up with the internet*2 and being presented as "new".

posted by longbaugh at 7:50 AM on January 11, 2005

Previous Jumping Jack flashs:
Saltomortalez and Joe Eigo's Multi-level Moves
posted by growabrain at 7:53 AM on January 11, 2005

these guys also appeard in a scion ad campaign (and at least one other i thought, although i can't find it anywhere.)
posted by howling fantods at 8:00 AM on January 11, 2005

posted by mrs.pants at 8:01 AM on January 11, 2005

Nike used them to pimp sneakers.
posted by O9scar at 8:21 AM on January 11, 2005

There was also the little known Luc Besson produced "Yamakasi" from 2001 which was the first time I heard of Freerunning/Parkour. It's not a brilliant film from what I have heard but it was the first really major outing for the sport. It's never been released either in the UK or the USA and it's pretty tough to get hold of but there are some clips here.
posted by longbaugh at 8:38 AM on January 11, 2005


even when he fails in the fuckup video, it looks good.
posted by destro at 8:42 AM on January 11, 2005

Banlieue 13 is also well worth checking out. David Belle (as featured in the muchosucko video) is widely regarded as one of the founders of the art and is hugely talented. He also featured in the BBC ident 'Rush Hour'.
posted by Kiell at 9:55 AM on January 11, 2005

Sam doesn't seem to be a patch on Joe Eigo

This is a engineering geek who plays around with hazardous chemicals and builds working railguns. I think that your statement goes without saying. It's still impressive in the "Well, shit, I can't do that," kind of way. And, like Jackie Chan, sometimes the fuck-ups are more interesting than the good takes. They remind you that these are still human beings, and even people who've been training for quite some time still screw up. It puts things in perspective for the "Hey, I'm gonna try that!" crowd.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:06 AM on January 11, 2005

Dead Like Me had an episode where a guy got killed doing a dumbed down version of this...
posted by glider at 10:56 AM on January 11, 2005

For such a young sport (or art, if you prefer), it seems to have gone through a lot of name changes. I've heard of it referred to as "Yamakazi", "Freestyle Walking", "Free Running", and "Parkour".

Or perhaps they're all subtle variations that I, the lame uneducated observer, am oblivious to.
posted by VanRoosta at 4:16 PM on January 11, 2005

My apologies, Kalessin.

In comment to Kiell, I do agree that ignorance plays a big part with kids who think that parkour is leaping near impossible distances and jumping from one building to the next. Unless you take it seriously (and I do mean seriously), that crap can get you killed. Seeing the video of David Belle warming up in the gym shows just how much control you have to have over your body in order to do the things they do. I think it's safe to assume that until you can safely master the art of falling gracefully you should stay away from thrusting yourself from your apartment balcony.

What I figure is, unlike many other highly-physical "sports", PK isn't something you can do half-assed and still walk away from.
posted by riffraff at 5:11 PM on January 11, 2005

Dead Like Me had an episode where a guy got killed doing a dumbed down version of this...

And it was the basis for a CSI:Miami episode, which generally means that the motorcycle is rapidly approaching the shark for any given fad.
posted by milovoo at 9:49 AM on January 12, 2005

Finally found the link I wanted to post here, un-fucking believable!
posted by page404 at 4:26 PM on January 19, 2005

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