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Yamakasi are a French group of practitioners of parkour, l'art du déplacement, free running, street stunts and other types of acrobatics. But, the term 'yamakasi' is also used to call a particular form of a performance in order to distinguish it from other similar activities mentioned above.

[edit] Overview

The art originally termed Art du Deplacement, now also referred to as freerunning or parkour, was founded in France in the 1980s by a group of nine young men who called themselves The Yamakasi. Yamakasi is a Lingala word meaning loosely 'Strong Man, Strong Spirit', and summed up the original and still core aim of the discipline - to be a strong individual: physically, mentally and ethically.

The Yamakasi founders were Yann Hnautra, Chau Belle, David Belle, Laurent Piemontesi, Sebastien Foucan, Guylain N'Guba Boyeke, Charles Perriere, Malik Diouf and Williams Belle.

[edit] Etymology

The word yamakasi is taken from the Lingala language, which is spoken in both Congo states. Ya makási can mean "strong body, strong spirit, strong person"