Free running is a form of urban acrobatics, in which participants, known as free runners, perform movements using the obstacles in the environment around them. It incorporates efficient movements from parkour and adds aesthetic movements, such as those seen in tricking or gymnastics, or variations on the original parkour movements. Flips and spins are examples of movements which are very rarely efficient, so wouldn't be classified as parkour, but would be used often in free running.
Free running movements are commonly performed in urban areas with obstacles or interesting architecture, or sometimes practiced in gymnasiums with padded equipment.
Free running was originally founded by Sébastien Foucan, after he split away from David Belle and the rest of the Yamakasi to concentrate on his discipline which he saw to be different from parkour.
The release of Jump London, a documentary on free running, of national television in September 2003, which featured Sébastien and Urban Freeflow team members, was one of the main ways in which many people became aware of the discipline and began to train it.
While there are a large array of well-known and named movements, free running is about creating any aesthetically pleasing movement, so many people will have different styles and contrasting techniques for the same tricks. This also means that the boundaries of free running are constantly being pushed with new revolutionary moves, which are either entirely new and original movements, or extensions on previous movements which may have previously been considered impossible.
- Main article: List of free running moves
While there are mixed views in the free running community over whether free running should be competitive, there have been competitions organised around free running, such as the Red Bull Art of Motion, and the Barclaycard World Freerun Championships.
Combination with other sports
William Spencer, an american skater from Denver, mixes free running and skateboarding. Mathieu Ledoux, a stunt man from Quebec, Canada, mixes inline skating with parkour and acrobatics.
- "Jump London (2003) (TV)". Imdb.com
- "3RUN Forums • View topic - Competition in Parkour". 3run.co.uk