“exceptionally well written and captures the spirit of parkour beautifully.” Steve Nagy, Artistic Director, Breathe Parkour
Parkour, the Art du déplacement or freerunning: whatever the name, this new discipline born in the Paris suburbs is rapidly being adopted by people throughout the world. These athletic artists or artistic athletes want to take back the urban environment. Not satisfied to suffer through urban life, they want to thrive in it, all the while earning dignity by daringly reappropriating three fundamental motor skills, running, jumping, and climbing.
Vincent Thibault approaches parkour as an attractive solution for rival gangs, a force against the overwhelming inertia, and an occasion to challenge one’s own fears. Reflecting on the culture of effort, he also avoids the media-based trap that depicts Parkour as just another of those elitist extreme sports. This book is a philosophical and lyrical adventure into martial arts and chivalry in an urban setting.
“There are very few relevant books on our discipline. … This is one of the rare books of quality. It is not a manual but instead a clarification on Parkour philosophy in which the author addresses themes like freedom, effort, fear, pride, solitude, courage, humour, and important social and community aspects of the art.” Dan Edwardes, Director, Parkour Generations and Parkour UK
“Parkour and the Art du Deplacement is a must-read for any beginners looking to get into parkour and find out more about the discipline, and a highly recommended book for anyone else (traceur or not). There are not many books about parkour available at this time, and it is important to have a text that summarizes who we are, what we do, and why we do it in such a concise, interesting, and enlightening way.” Thomas Dolan, NYParkour.com
“This is a completely refreshing and inspiring point of view. Thibault opens up a big door for us and new ways of thinking about moving through the world. Not only can we talk about parkour as the physical act of freerunning through an urban environment, we can now begin to talk about entirely new disciplines such as “cognitive parkour,” “psychological parkour,” “social parkour” and even “spiritual parkour.” This is the new horizon for our physical disciplines and whole-life training. Many thanks to Vincent Thibault for this insightful and groundbreaking work.” Frank Forencich, Chief Creative Officer, Exuberant Animal
“The book is exceptional in that it details many of the spiritual aspects of parkour … if you’re looking for a new perspective and a deeper connection to your discipline, this is the book for you.” Patrick Witbord, American Parkour
** For an interesting guide with practical tips and videos see Nick Catlin’s guide.
“Parkour boldly affirms that you can find art anywhere, even in the most unsuspected places; that an original poem can emerge at any time from the banality of everyday living. A moment of inspired creativity can suddenly explode from what seems to be nothing but grey walls and slabs of concrete. Ideally, the parkour artist is a warrior who is intimately aware that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, who is not just an observer, but importantly, an active participant.”
Vincent Thibault is a writer and cofounder of the Académie québécoise d’art du déplacement. He teaches and has led workshops locally in Quebec and internationally. He is the author of several books in French including both fiction and nonfiction.
Casey Roberts is an award-winning literary translator (John Glassco Prize) who lives in Montreal. His translations include the Break Away series of YA novels by Sylvain Hotte.
Cover photo by Andy Day
Foreword by Dan Edwardes of
Translated by Casey Roberts
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