Other movement arts

Parkour is quite often mis-understood or confused with other forms of movement. The following descriptions are provided to assist you in understanding what the similarities and differences are when it comes to these variations of movement and ideals.


This is a term used to describe Parkour at times, but has come to be represent a broader idea than what Parkour entails. The spirit is still the same as Parkour, there is still the aim of being strong, to be useful and the need to overcome fears but the movement is less concerned with speed an efficiency and more to do with the aesthetic of the movement. It is the term the Yamakasi give to what they do.

The «Art du Déplacement»
The art of moving from one place to another using the  obstacles in the environment and appropriate physical technical to put all these possibilities into a sequence with the single aim of producing the most  beautiful, spectacular,individual or group choreographies in urban or natural  settings.

The practice does not require any particular accessories, but some may prove useful with regard to physical protection, comfort and training. There is no competition but there are rules of conduct  when it comes to practising freely (alone or in a group) a discipline that helps to develop great physical and mental strength.

Practising  the «Art du Déplacement»:
ADDIn theory, it does not  require any essential equipment.
In absolute terms, nature  and the city are the only equipment.
There is no competition, no  first or last.
In fact, it is an effort  that you make for yourself: there are certain stages and certain technical or  mental barriers to go through.
The person who is the most  advanced in his practice should seek to help the others: “Be strong alone to  be strong together…”
The «Art du Déplacement»  could be summarised in three words: Running – Climbing – Jumping.
Training is based on an  ongoing programme of general physical preparation and muscle strengthening.
The major difficulty is to  avoid doing too much physical work to the detriment of technical and mental  work.
It is vital to seek the  correct balance.
The essential aim is to  achieve a heightened awareness of your body and its resources.
You then need to confirm  and put into practise what you have learned, and overcome the fears that  certain obstacles might generate. The result, with
humility, is greater  confidence and self-esteem.
This work on oneself and in the company of others is  highly useful in a World that is prey to doubt, in which you need to be strong  in order to keep to a “good citizen” line of conduct and avoid “bad  temptations”.
Going beyond your limits and overcoming your fears is  a daily battle in which nothing is won for ever. Just like life, you need to  train, improve or bounce back in all weathers and conditions.
In addition to  the “demanding and rather martial” effort, the «Art du Déplacement» also has  its recreational side. Once you have acquired certain physical and technical  basics, you can find your own freedom and add your own movements; the «Art du  Déplacement» becomes a creative activity.
Though similar to sport, it is also a genuine artistic  activity. We often say that the «Art  du Déplacement» is a bit like a barren plot of land on which you need to  maintain a high level of enthusiasm, perseverance, determination, courage,  respect (for yourself, others and the environment), solidarity and a sense of  sharing…
These values are inherent  to this activity and help to compensate for its constraints and dangerous  nature; but, above all, these are essential, basic values for all of us.[1]


The term Freerunning was first used during the documentary ‘Jump London’ as an English translation of ‘Parkour’. The term has since grown to describe most parkour-like movements that include acrobatics and tricks that trade efficiency of movement for flair and aesthetics. Because of its original use as an English translation, the terms Freerunning and Parkour are often erroneously thought to be interchangeable.

However, as Freerunning departs from much of the philosophy and efficiency of Parkour they are considered to be two separate forms of movement. Any Parkour-like movement that includes acrobatics and/or visually impressive but non-efficient moves is usually termed Freerunning. Although plenty of traceurs dabble in Freerunning, there are many dedicated practitioners of this sport within Australia.

Sebastien Foucan has taken the term Freerunning to describe his own personal philosophies on what he has developed over the years.

Freerunning is an evolution. Move like an animal. be fluid like water or find your own balance with a certain philosophy. This is the path of the Freerunner. Be focused within yourself more than the outside world.

The most important Freerunning advice is to follow your own path, your intuition – Make progress step by step. Don’t forget to find the path towards your own balance – Your own rhythm is essential to enjoyment and understanding Freerunning”.

Sébastien believes in the concepts of:
No violence
No violence, no destruction! Be focused on Passion and Creativity

No competition
Do not seek a prize, don’t compete against others! Competition is an illusion, where only the winners are remembered and losers forgotten you can learn from it, but it’s not The Way. In the Freerunning philosophy there is no Loser. The journey is more important than the goal.

No group
Just be one community, we can share with others,some people have more experience but we are all different and you need to find your own path.

No chief
No Leader, follow your way!
People can inspire you and you should respect them,but you have to follow your way![2]

The term Freerunning is also increasingly being used to describe any kind of acrobatic trick done outdoors.


Going out on the street and performing a flip of a building or wall is not Parkour, it is not Freerunning, it is not L’art du deplacement. It is someone going out and doing a flip off something, they are simply doing acrobatics. Doing single tricks and flips in an Urban environment is just that. Don’t confuse it with Parkour or any of the other activities above. Remember that most of those activities have a spirit, or philosophy that go with them, that they are more than just a set of moves and are done for reasons other than showing off and looking good to others.


When it comes down to it. The spirit/phiosophy of all the different movements are the same. Whether its David Belle and Parkour, the Yamakasi and L’art du Deplacement or Sebastien Foucan and Freerunning. They are all telling people the same thing. Understand yourself; understand what you want to do. Then do it to the best of your ability. Work hard, but be safe. Don’t follow blindly, find your own path. Learn to be a strong human being so that you can help other people.
Should you wish to learn Freerunning, or L’art du Deplacement one of the best methods is to learn Parkour and at the same time go to a gymnastics gym to learn acrobatics. By learning from professionals in both fields you learn the safe and correct technique, and you learn the right spirit, from there you combine the two to create your own form of movement.


  1. Majestic force (Yamakasi)
  2. Foucan.com

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