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Karakour Nation

Parkour & Martial Arts Coaching

Be Free & Find Your Way

Unspoken rules of Parkour, Freerunning, and L'Art du Déplacement

'Leave No Trace'

One motto of parkour is 'Etre forte pour etre utile', meaning 'to be strong to be useful'. It encourages athletes to take responsibility and to get strong in order to be able to help others and themselves. Therefore, tracuers and traceues are not rebelling, they aim at a good relationship with other people instead. A good relationship with others has the added benefit that spots remain available and that traceurs and traceueses are welcome.

'Leave No Trace' means that traceurs and traceueses avoid damaging something and clean spots up. This means for instance that traceurs do not walk through gardens or use fragile obstacles. Some obstacles look sturdy, but are not. Therefore they have to be checked before. After training they don't leave any trash laying around and may clean up trash from other people, too. In, for example, Lisses traceuers re-painted a wall, removing shoe scuff marks from parkour.

Be polite and respect others

In addition to not leaving a trace, traceurs and traceuses are polite and respectful. They strive not to hinder or endanger non-practitioners and take their concerns seriously. If a non-practitioner expresses curiosity or concerns, tracers and traceuses explain what they are doing, gladly. Should concerns remain, tracers and traceuses usually leave the place for the time being and come back when they expect not to bother anyone. This applies in case of security, too. Depending on the situation and mood, traceurs and traceuses may leave immediately.

Train save & responsible

A central motto of parkour is ‘Etre et Durer’, meaning ‘To be and to last’. It is about practicing parkour for a lifetime, not just a few months. Therefore, it is important to train in a safe and responsible manner. Injuries and accidents are seen as once failure to evaluate the situation properly. Among other, this means that you have to get to know and respect your limits. You can find further tips about training in a safe and responsible manner on the page about injury prevention. This also means that parkour is about self improvement, not being better than someone else. Everyone is on his/her own journey and level, which is respected.

Supportive community

The parkour community is very supportive. Everyone is welcome to join and all traceurs and traceuses are supporting each other. There is no judgment as everyone is different and on his/her own journey. Some are new while some are more experienced. Some are taller and/or stronger than others. Everyone has a unique background, goals, interests, and so on.

What is started together, is finished together

Another unspoken rule is that something that is started together, is finished together. Among other, this applies to challanges and training sessions. It also implies that training sessions and group challenges are usually started together.

Be on time

Often tracers and traceuses meet at one location from which they visit different spots. The meeting location can be a spot or another location. Usually, a timeframe for gathering is set, and/or they wait a few minutes. Then they may spontaneously decide which spots they want to visit next. If you are late, you may miss the warmup or even the group. Several groups have rules, such as that you have to do extra conditioning for every minute you are late.

Once is never

Parkour is about consistency. That's why doing something once doesn't count, it can be luck. You have to do it successfully three times in a row. After that you can say that you have done it and can do it. Of course there is no guarantee after three times and it takes a lot more training to master something completely. You want to keep practicing to improve further and not lose it. As Bruce Lee said aptly, "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

Compleet in one go

Similar to "once is never", many challenges only count if you completed them in one go from start to finish. If the challenge is to climb along a wall of a certain length, you have to start again from the start, each time you fall off. This does not mean that you should not challenge yourself. In fact, long before the jumps took the spotlight, physical challenges were Parkour. Also, keep in mind that a challenge is not a challenge, if you know you can make it. Challenges are meant to test you.

Bring your bag with you

It is commone that one plans to invesigate a near by challenge and ends up training there for half an hour or longer. If you train alone, it just means that your bag with your valuables is unattended and at risk of getting stolen. However, if you are training with others, they are likly going to join you. The last person moving to the new challange will take the responsibility to bring all remaning bags. That is why, as a courtesy, you'll want to take your bag with you when you visit another spot, even if it is close by and you don't plan on staying long.

Just one more time

This one is different from the previous points as it is not a rule, but a well known phrase among traceurs and traceuses. If a traceur or traceuse sais "Just one more time", it means that he or she feels to be close to acheving a challange. It also means that he or she is going to keep trying it till either the challange is achiefed or he/she is too exausted to walk.