When I discovered that the daring jumps and leaps over walls higher than those on Alcatraz made by James Bond, in the movie Casino Royale, were actual moves from an extreme sport, I had to know more. As I dug deep into the origins of Free Running, I came to realise that it_s more than just an adrenaline-charged sport, it_s a way of defying both physical and mental boundaries and like most things in life: It_s all in the mind.
So the story goes like this: There was once this incredibly intuitive French naval officer, Georges H_bert, who went on a voyage to Africa. Upon noticing the exceptionally robust physique of the African warriors, H_bert realised that when ites to physical strength, agility and fitness, there is no better gymnastics coach than nature itself. And so it began _ a physical method of military training based on energetic, natural movementsbined with the altruistic virtues H_bert considered to be so essential. He called it, _m_thode naturelle._
From there, it_s simple. An architect came along and created a kind of obstacle course which would serve to further the strengths of the French soldiers. These methods later influenced the life of a young boy called, David Belle, a high-school drop-out, who developed these methods into an extreme sport, known as parkour. What parkour became was a way of getting from point A to point B by negotiating tricky obstacles and overcoming urban structures with death-defying leaps and dashing vaults. But what most traceurs, or practitioners of parkour are most interested in, is _human and urban reclamation, _ _ overcoming both the physical and mental obstacles of modern society and defying the fear that causes hesitation and makes a hurdle look more threatening than it really is. It_s about moving the way people were meant to move _ relying on instinct, thinking on their feet, and using intuition rather than logic. Very cool indeed. It is on this foundation that Free Running found its basis _ taking freedom of movement to its most extreme level.
As a way of presenting the extreme sport of parkour, to English speaking society, the film Jump London, featured David Belle_s partner in crime, Sebastien Foucan performing nail-biting dash vaults, cat passes and balances on The Royal Albert Hall and Shakespeare_s Globe Theatre to name but a few. But while parkour is a sporting discipline, Free Running has developed into complete freedom of movement, urban acrobatics and self-expression through movement. Free Running is about, _finding your own way, _ _ no imitations, no limitations; just pure freedom of movement.
It is not surprising why Free Running has spread like wildfire and is now an internationally acclaimed extreme sport. South Africa boasts some of its very own Free Running hotspots and a rapidly growing society of free runners. Cape Town tops the charts with the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University Campus, thepany Gardens, Muizenberg Beach and the Cape Town CBD being popular Free Running destinations. After all, who ever said you have to take the stairs, when you can just jump down to the next level? Ever asked yourself that question? Then you_ve simply got to try this.