Parkour (sometimes abbreviated to PK), l'art du déplacement (English: the art of displacement) or sometimes freerunning, is the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one's path by adapting one's movements to the environment. It is a non-competitive, physical discipline of French origin in which participants run along a route, attempting to negotiate obstacles in the most efficient way possible, using only their bodies. Skills such as jumping, climbing, vaulting, rolling and swinging are employed. Parkour can be practiced anywhere, but areas dense with obstacles are preferable, and it is most commonly practiced in urban areas.
The term freerunning is sometimes used interchangeably with parkour. While parkour aims to enable the practitioner to be able to move quickly and efficiently past obstacles, freerunning has a greater emphasis on self-expression within the environment. Freerunning includes tricking moves such as aerial rotations and spins, while the purist definition of parkour founder David Belle would not consider these part of parkour because the moves are merely for show, not efficient, and do not help the participant to get from place to place. Although Sébastien Foucan is considered a co-founder of parkour, his philosophy differed and grew to become known as freerunning .
Even the police sometimes force Parkour practitioners to move on at times, thinking they might be vandals, yet these are the same young blokes who give up their time every week to train as SES volunteers, and who risk their lives in emergencies to save others.
You’ll often see the PK artists these days in movies, leaping across skylines and doing incredibly dangerous things - though these are really just the show-ponies of the discipline, and few reach that degree of skill or want to tackle that level of danger.