Urban Jungle

From The New Yorker:

In this issue, Alec Wilkinson reports on parkour, “a quasi commando system of leaps, vaults, rolls, and landings designed to help a person avoid or surmount whatever lies in his path.” Part extreme sport and part martial art, this urban pursuit was founded in France by David Belle; practitioners are called traceurs. Spread mostly by videos posted on the Internet, it is growing in popularity in the United States and Europe. Here is some footage of traceurs in motion.

“If parkour has a shrine,” Wilkinson writes, “it is the climbing wall in Lisses, called the Dame du Lac, where Belle played as a teen-ager.” In this clip, Belle and Sébastien Foucan, a childhood friend, demonstrate parkour on the wall and elsewhere.

Footage of David Belle taking a spill illustrates both the danger of the sport and the art of falling well.

To learn more about parkour, visit AmericanParkour.com. For pictures of parkour around the world, visit UrbanFreeflow.com.