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Le Parkour

Parkour (and its similar offshoot free-running) is a physical discipline originating in France, more specifically, a suburb of Paris called Évry (although it's worth noting that the inventor's father/teacher was born in French-controlled Vietnam). It can be summed up as either acrobatics meets assault courses or skateboarding without a board.

Parkour is based on general principles of survival: Should one ever need to get from Point A to Point B as fast as possible, the shortest distance is always a straight line. The goal, therefore, is to get past, over, under, or through various obstacles without wasting any time. And it just happened that Évry's central agora is an incredible mishmash of stairs, decks, catwalks and roofs at different heights — and thus, the best way to go in a straight line from A to B in Évry was jumping and running through obstacles.

Parkour practitioners (called by gender-specific nouns, following the original French; a male Parkour runner is a traceur, a female is a traceuse; referring to multiple practitioners uses traceurs) run their environment like an obstacle course: vaulting obstructions, leaping gaps, running up walls, Wall Jumps, and otherwise taking wild shortcuts. Although commonly associated with cities, Parkour can be used to navigate any type of environment. Traceurs will tell you their discipline becomes a mindset over time. They learn to unconsciously scan their surroundings for routes and movements. Think The Tetris Effect after playing Assassin's Creed or Mirror's Edge. Plus, it not only looks damn cool, but is practical, and may prove to become a more widely practiced discipline similar to martial arts.

The obvious example of Parkour usage is moving from point A to B, but the core idea is simply to make yourself more practically agile and more able to overcome physical obstacles. A mundane example is accidentally throwing something (e.g. a football) on a rooftop and needing to recover it. A practitioner of Parkour would be able to get onto the roof, get the object and get down safely.

The practice of Parkour actually predates the use of that term to describe it. It is a refinement of human movement rather than a brand new skill, the movements have been practiced in various ways for a long time. For example, stuntmen and martial arts film actors have been doing similar things for years, a good example being Jackie Chan.

The difference between Parkour and "Free Running" is similar to the difference between "function" and "form." One of the central "rules" of Parkour is that it is not a competitive sport, and emphasizes efficiency, self-discipline, and oneness with the surroundings, whereas "free-running" is based on display stunts and acrobatics that can be done in one location, just for the hell of it. Note that often, traceurs will be able to and will perform flips and the like and can be considered both a traceur and a free-runner. The main distinction of traceur and free-runner is in the mindset of the person.

Parkour has begun to appear more frequently in TV shows, owing to its growing popularity. Its moves are commonly employed by martial artists, notably Ninja and practitioners of She-Fu. With special effects and wirework, it becomes an even more impressive feat than it already is. That could be considered proof positive that movie producers are dedicated to missing the point, because Parkour is cool because it is real. Many new video games employ it to expand a player's platform hopping repertoire.

A realistic version of Roof Hopping — most Parkour is done at or near ground level, because that's where one encounters the most obstacles. If used well this can be a great help to a person running a Mobstacle Course.

For the use of parkour in combat, see Combat Parkour.


Examples

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    Advertising 
  • One of the first things to introduce Parkour to a mainstream British audience was a stunning BBC 1 ad featuring David Belle Roof Hopping home to watch his favourite show.
  • Austrian Army TV-Ad.
  • There was an old Nike commercial that aired around 2000-01 or thereabouts where a traceur blasted across rooftops to avoid... a chicken. Fucking amazing when it initially aired but likely a bit of a Seinfeld Is Unfunny moment nowadays.
  • A commercial for AT&T High Speed Internet shows a man learning Parkour via online videos.
  • The government of Mexico launched at the end of 2012 (not without some controversy) an spot featuring Parkour practitioners to emphasize the youth and strength of the new administration. No, seriously.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The characters Izaya Orihara and Shizuo Heiwajima from Durarara!! practice Parkour, or something very much akin to it. The former learnt it to avoid Shizuo's many attempts to kill him very much dead, and the latter in order to catch the former and kill him very much dead.
  • A much less flippy- and martial-artsy-version occurs in EyeShield 21. Sena, and a few other running backs, have the ability to foresee the quickest and safest abilities to get to the goal. Thus, it involves running in between people, cutting back, slowing your speed, etc. One of Sena's contemporaries, Patrick "Panther" Spencer, is fond of running across rooftops as his morning exercise.
  • In the Gundam 00 movie, Hallelujah uses Parkour to defeat alien-possessed vehicles. He knew he was screwed when the helicopter came after him, though.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: At fast enough speeds, Soujirou Seta is capable of running across walls and ceilings, though he mostly uses that as part of his deadly arsenal and not for getting from point A to point B.
  • Used in Attack on Titan as a means of fighting the Titans. Given their height and their one weak spot being on the base of the neck
    • With grappling hooks!
  • Kaku from One Piece is particularly skilled in this. Even his nickname that the people of Water 7 gave him, "Yamakaze" refers to this trope.
  • The opening of K implys that Fushimi Saruhiko is able to do this. It shows him jumping from street light to street light, with his sword between his teeth no less, and the anime proper shows him to be very quick and agile.

    Comics Books 
  • Warren Ellis' Global Frequency centered one story around it.
  • Mirror's Edge, based on the video game of the same name.
  • Technically speaking, Spider-Man takes it Up to Eleven. Because when you can jump four stories, swing on webs, and stick to walls, the fastest route from A to B can change significantly. Doesn't change that parkour is essentially one of Spidey's powers.
    • There is a famous Spidey story where he is forced to track a villain to Suburbia and basically relies on free-running to get around because web-slinging doesn't work well on one-story houses.
    • The Spidey villain Screwball has no powers, but her skill in Parkour.
  • Spidey's pal Daredevil tends to do this kind of thing more, though.
  • Batman
    • Being Badass Normals, Batman and Co. essentially use parkour (with the aid of jump lines) when they're flying around rooftops.
    • And now Batman has selected Bilal Asselah, a French free-runner, to take up the mantle of "Nightrunner" as part of the Batman Incorporated program.
  • Captain America villain Batroc does this, combined with the French martial art Savate, as his shtick (he's called Batroc the Leaper for a reason). This is played up in the one-shot issue "Captain America and Batroc", where he comes to identify as a traceur after befriending a group of young practitioners.
  • A major talent of Jaeger, the protagonist of many story arcs in Finder.

    Fan Fic 

    Films — Animation 
  • Although the animators based it more on surfing and skateboarding movements, Disney's Tarzan movie has the title hero do lots of Parkour-style movement through the jungle.
  • Probably an example before this style, but in the stop-motion Rankin-Bass cartoon, Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, Kris Kringle uses some fairly sweet moves to escape the Burgermeister Meisterburger's troops.
    Burgermeister Meisterburger: Oh, look! He climbs like a squirrel, leaps like a deer, and is as slippery as a seal!
  • Resident Evil: Degeneration, a CGI movie based off the Resident Evil series, has Leon do an incredible Parkour sequence near the end of the movie to escape a Self-Destruct Mechanism.
  • Parkour seems to be the main mode of locomotion for the stray boys Black and White in Tekkon Kinkreet.
  • Batman: Under the Red Hood has some of this while Batman and Nightwing are chasing Red Hood.
  • Shows up, weirdly enough, in Toy Story 3, with Woody, Buzz and Jessie pulling off borderline ninja moves. When you're the size of a toy, you have to get creative to move in a human-sized environment.
    • A notable mention is Buzz's first flying sequence in the original movie.
  • Happy Feet has Boadicea (in the sequel) pulling off parkour moves to move swiftly across the landscape of Antarctica.
  • In the DVD commentary for Shane Acker's 9 — the feature film — it's stated that the movements of resident badass 7 were heavily inspired by this, as well as skateboarding and watching female athletes perform other various sports activities. It shows.
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles always had a bit of Parkour in them, but TMNT, the CGI movie, has them doing full-on parkour runs of the city. Even more impressive is that each turtle has his own preference and style of moving.
  • In Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Quasimodo pulls off a lot of neat parkour-style moves on the rooftops of the cathedral.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Blood and Chocolate, a seamless blend of werewolves and Shakespeare-style romance set in Bucharest, features a female protagonist and her wolf pack who uses Parkour to evade all pursuit.
  • Briefly seen, in an effects-exaggerated way, in the late-1980s feature-length adaptation of Mike Jittlov's The Wizard of Speed and Time.
  • The trailer for The Spirit shows him doing this over rooftops. Of course, he was also good at this in the comics.
  • James Bond
    • Casino Royale features a Parkour chase through a construction site. A bomb-maker runs from Bond using Le Parkour techniques, whereas Bond goes for a more straightforward approach of crashing through walls. They cast the co-founder of the movement (Sebastian Foucan, who originated the "free-running" branch of the discipline) as the bomb maker just so they could do that sequence with maximum awesome.
    • Quantum of Solace also has a Parkour chase with Bond chasing a man over the rooftops of Siena.
  • The French film Yamakasi revolves around a group of traceurs stealing from rich people's houses, in an attempt to pay for a young imitator's surgical operation. The film itself is a big showcase of Le Parkour — it starts straight out with the titular troupe climbing the Aubervilliers town hall with absolutely nothing but their feet and hands.
  • The French movie Banlieue 13 (dubbed as District B-13) makes liberal use of Le Parkour. David Belle, a co-founder of Parkour, features in the co-main role.
    • Brick Mansions is the US remake, with David Belle again in his same role, with the other lead played by the late Paul Walker. Walker doesn't do any Parkour in the film, there's a clear division of labor with Belle in the running role and Walker in the shooting and driving one.
  • Parkour on film is definitely Older Than They Think, with instances and influences traceable to at least the 1930s with the crowning backstage sequence in A Night at the Opera.
  • Buster Keaton was the master before Parkour was built. Climbing around buildings and jumping from ledge to ledge with no safety restraint was a big part of his Silent Films in the twenties. Ninja building climbing stunts in early martial-arts films are also Ur Examples.
  • Buster Keaton could be considered a comedic successor to Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., the first Hollywood actor to portray Robin Hood and Zorro. (Keaton even played a role originated by Fairbanks when the latter's 1915 film, The Lamb, was remade as Keaton's first feature, The Saphead, in 1920.)
  • There are a number of movies where Will Smith plays the main character, that have him showing off his Parkour skills — as an introduction to his character to show off just how much of a badass he should be thought to be. See: I, Robot and Men In Black, in particular.
  • Live Free or Die Hard has Gabriel's henchblond, played by Cyril Raffaelli, employ Parkour and bouncy dexterity throughout the movie. Rafaelli was also in Banlieue 13, in which he co-starred opposite a co-founder of the discipline.
  • All the mall thieves of Paul Blart: Mall Cop can do some Parkour tricks along with using bikes and skateboards to get around.
  • Bruce Banner shows off a little Parkour while running from General Ross in the The Incredible Hulk movie. A Parkour expert choreographed the Hulk's movements.
  • A trio of "traceurs" serve as couriers for mobster Billy Russoti in Punisher: War Zone. One of them learns the hard way that the discipline doesn't cover how to dodge rockets in mid-air. According to the DVD Commentary, this was meant as a Take That aimed at just about every movie on this list.
  • A staple of Jackie Chan movies, though outtakes show that being able to leap up a wall in three bounds does take just the right amount of momentum and angle, and failures range from hilarious to painful (or both).
  • Babylon A.D. Darquandier's men show these skills when tracking the protagonists through a Russian train station and refugee camp.
  • Shows up in, of all things, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, when Jacob climbs through Bella's window.
  • In the movie adaptation of The Crow, Eric Draven uses Parkour-like movements to cross the city rooftops.
  • Watchmen. Rorschach shows some skills in this area when infiltrating the Rockefeller Military Research Centre.
  • The 2010 movie Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time has Dastan doing Parkour, of course.
  • Featured in The Tournament focusing on a group of assassins, competing in an underground fighting tournament put together by The Omniscient Council of Vagueness. One of the characters, "The Frenchman" used Parkour to good effect.
  • Seen in Exit Through the Gift Shop, when an apparent graffiti artist in France escapes from two policemen by quickly scampering to the roof of a building.
  • In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Sam Witwicky does some Parkour moves as he's running through a debris-and-wreck-laden street near the climax of the movie. When being interviewed after filming the first movie, Shia LaBeouf revealed that he spend many months up to the shooting building up his muscles only to find out the hard way that agility was more important for the role.
  • During TRON: Legacy, Sam briefly does a few vaults over police cars near the start of the film. Attention isn't called to it, and it could easily be missed by someone who doesn't know what to look for. Parkour features much more heavily in TRON: Evolution, and may appear in TRON: Uprising.
  • In Colombiana, Cataleya (even as a little girl!) and a random mook chasing her use this.
  • In Resident Evil and its sequels, Alice uses this at times.
  • In Resident Evil: Afterlife, Claire runs up a wall (in a wet bathroom!) to evade the Executioner.
  • Spoofed in Johnny English Reborn when English is chasing an assassin with these skills; English runs him down by doing mundane things like squeezing between air-conditioner units instead of running over them, using a crane instead of jumping between buildings, and taking the elevator instead of climbing down the scaffolding. Some would argue that he's simply taking the pragmatic approach, which may or may not tie into the true spirit of the discipline (i.e. getting from A to B the most efficient way possible).
  • The Bollywood movie Tashan features parkour in a couple of action scenes, courtesy of star Akshay Kumar's fascination with the pastime.
  • In The Wolverine Logan uses a very messy variation, which is still very effective. One of the shirtless Yashida Yakuza uses this, as well as Harada and his Ninja, although it veers into Freerunning here and there. They're Ninja after all.

    Gamebooks 
  • Toward the end of the first Lone Wolf book, Flight from the Dark, you can use the "Roofways" to reach the king's citadel while avoiding the crowded streets. It is mentioned the citizens of Holmgrad were familiar with this way of travel before a royal decree forbade it because of too many accidents. Indeed, an unlucky roll can result in yet another untimely death for Lone Wolf.

    Literature 
  • In the Discworld, students of the Guild of Assassins' school are taught this skill as a means of quickly and silently moving between points using unorthodox and unexpected routes. Combined with edificeering, best thought of as a sort of urban mountaineering, this is a major part of the student Assassin's Final Exam, and invariably incorporates an Emergency Drop - a moment where the parkour is engineered to go catastrophically wrong and the student has to rescue the situation quickly or die horribly.

  • '' In Spook Country by William Gibson, Tito, a member of a Cuban American crime family, practices la systema, apparently rooted in a martial arts sort of thing from Russia, and enriched by the presence of Afro-Cuban orishas. This makes Tito a recruit for "the Old Man's" plot to contaminate an illegal container (of truck size) by shooting it with radioactive bullets. To disguise the entry hols, Tito runs along a slack-rope, covering the holes with magnetic discs.

    • Tito has met some "free-runners" in Washington Square Park. They are university students and just in it for fun. Tito picks up some of their moves, but seems to think of them as less than serious.

  • In the Dresden Files book Skin Game, Harry Dresden takes up the sport. His friends are somewhat embarrassed by his habit of repeatedly shouting "Parkour!" as he runs and jumps.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Teen Wolf: Just about all the wolves use this, but Derek most commonly.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess uses Parkour acrobatics frequently.
  • A criminal uses it to evade Booth in an episode of Bones. Then when he tries it again at the end of the episode, Booth is waiting for him, and just smacks him in the face. "Not hoppin' around now, are ya?"
  • Figured in a CSI: New York episode.
  • Featured in one episode of Top Gear, where James May races a couple of traceurs (May's in a car, obviously) across a city. The traceurs win comfortably. Video here.
  • Subverted in one episode of The Unit, where Sam McBride, on the run after attempting to rape Bridget runs across a row of parked cars. One of them pulls out just before he reaches, causing him to fall and break his ankle.
  • Mocked on The Office when Dwight, Andy, and Michael have just discovered the existence of Parkour, which Jim describes as a fad from several years ago. The trio excitedly jump around the office shouting "Parkour!" and generally just knock things over.
    Jim: The goal is to get from point A to point B as creatively as possible... so technically they are doing Parkour, as long as point A is delusion and point B is the hospital.
  • Bryce Larkin uses this in the pilot episode of Chuck. Chuck picks up some Parkour skills in the intersect 2.0.
  • The mysterious "Super Hoodie" from Misfits.
  • Has also appeared in the opening of an episode of Rush and several recent episodes of The Bill. Needless to say, they were being chased by the police at the time. Not only that, the villain of the first episode is actually an instructor of Parkour in Melbourne. Part of the Australian Parkour Association.
  • An episode of ABC's The Forgotten focuses on this.
  • An episode of House opens with police chasing an unnamed fellow who navigates the alleyways using this technique. One of the cops pursuing him discovers Parkour isn't as easy as the suspect on the run makes it look.
  • In an episode of Covert Affairs, Ben Mercer and Jai engage in a short chase through a shipyard that has them both employing some parkour type moves including Ben doing recognizable vaults.
  • Ninja Warrior: Promoted Fanboy Levi Meeuwenberg is a professional free-runner, whose skills have made him one of the most successful non-Japanese participants in the history of the program.
  • Game of Thrones uses elements of this in Bran Stark's climbing in the first episode.
  • Callen is seen chasing a slippery traceur in the cold opening of a NCIS: Los Angeles episode. Then he wakes up, and it's revealed this a recurring dream of his.
  • Arrow gets around via Parkour.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • John Morrison and Kofi Kingston do this at times. Like when Kofi ran up a closed ladder at Wrestlemania 25.
    • Morrison did a Parkour training segment prior to a Falls Count Anywhere match with Sheamus. The match itself also made great use of Morrison's Parkour abilities, as he constantly stymied Sheamus by using the environment to his advantage. Sadly, Morrison did not yell "PARKOUR!!" each time he one-upped Sheamus in this manner.
    • Taken to CMOA levels during the 2011 Royal Rumble, where Morrison was knocked out of the ring, managed to cling to the security barrier, climb up it, leap to the ring steps, and get back to the ring without touching the floor.
    • Then there's Morrison climbing up the inside of the Elimination Chamber just so he land on top of Sheamus. Then later he climbs up on the sides of the chamber just to kick Punk in the face.
    • Kofi one-ups Morrison in the 2012 Royal Rumble. Miz has just thrown him over the top rope and Kofi's on his hands. So Miz just pushes him... only for Kofi to actually do a handstand and walk backwards until his feet touch the steel steps.

    Music 
  • The music video for Madonna's "Jump" features two men performing this, but the Parkour is arguably overshadowed by Madonna's sort-of-creepy cosplaying of Mello from Death Note.
  • Three Doors Down's "It's Not My Time" video features this, and quite prominently at that.
  • Ke$ha's "Take It Off" video.

    Tabletop Games 
  • New World of Darkness has Parkour as a five-dot general "Athletic Style" Merit, not unlike the Fighting Style Merits, with each dot centering around a new technique or degree of mastery. Werewolf: The Forsaken likewise has the Lodge of Spires — a.k.a., The Lodge of Batman — that gains a discount to buying up dots in Parkour due to a mindset that treats the city as just another hunting ground to be mastered.
  • Mutants & Masterminds has a power called "Sure Footed" which reduces speed penalties from obstacles and other uneven terrain. Take enough ranks in it, and any gauntlet of traps, tripping hazards, handrails, obstacles, buildings, etc. etc., is as easily run through as a wide open field. Sound familiar?
  • Freerunning is the "acrobatics" equivalent skill in Eclipse Phase; justified as it's apparently quite useful when the majority of transhumanity is crammed into habitats, and since many of those habs are on Mars or spun to Martian gravity some rather impressive stunts are possible.
  • Dungeons & Dragons 3.5:
    • Any character with high scores in the Jump, Tumble and Climb skills can do some impressive stunts, especially at epic levels.
    • The supplement Cityscape introduces the tactical feats "roofwalker" and "roof-jumper", which are clearly inspired by Parkour.
  • Ironclaw has a "Parkour" Gift that enables running up, down, or along walls.

    Video Games 
  • The Prince of Persia series since Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.
    • In fact, Sands Of Time sparked a whole slew of games with more realistic platforming elements (as realistic as running on walls and endless wall-jumping can get, anyway) that rely heavily on parkour.
    • Even the original sidescroller sometimes had elements of this, such as a section where you need to rapidly navigate three rooms filled with traps, tricky jumps, and spikes (which you'd probably navigated in the other direction over the course of several minutes) at a dead run in the space of about ten seconds, then leap down to a door three screens below and dash through before it closes.
  • Assassin's Creed
    • Le Parkour-like moves appear in the action platformer Assassin's Creed I and are practically the game's main selling point. Which is sensible, given that it's from the team responsible for the Prince of Persia examples above. While it's called free-running (thus not making the distinction on this page's main article), in general the player characters practice Parkour whenever they need to get around quickly, and the game's racing/courier missions tend to enforce efficiency as the focus. Strangely enough though, somehow every Thief, Agile guard, Robber and Borgia Courier seems to practice Parkour, and Francesco de' Pazzi demonstrates amazing proficiency for a presumably non-athletic man, much less a non-Assassin. (It's implied that for the player characters, their physical aptitude is a "family thing.")
    • The third game introduces the ability to do this with trees instead of just buildings. However, your first controllable character, Haytham Kenway, can't do it, despite being trained as an Assassin. Only his son Connor can, since he couples the Assassin training with his skills gained growing up in a Mohawk tribe. However, at least one other character is shown to be able to do this, namely Myriam the Huntress. Later, she gets pre-wedding jitters and runs away by effortlessly navigating tree branches... in her wedding dress.
      • Haytham appears to have acquired this skill during his years in New England, however, as in later sequences he is able to follow Connor through the treetops without problems.
    • The official strategy guide's portions on free-running and climbing are clear on the importance of efficiency, suggesting that one adopt the ''traceur'' mindset to the game world, "appraise your immediate environment quickly, identifying all potential points of interactivity," and that "the real challenge lies in picking the most efficient route to your destination."
  • Resident Evil's character Leon seems to be capable of this to an impressive extent, almost always waiting for the climax of the Film/game to pull off some tricks. Check this out
  • The titular hero of Super Mario Bros.. was already the running and jumping master. So, when 64 came around and they decided to expand on his repertoire of feats of agility, it was natural that a bit of parkour was thrown in with wall-kicks, slides, long-jumps and the like. In more recent games, Galaxy especially, this trope is played very straight. Mario's mastered the wall-jump, hops over lower ledges to keep momentum, flips off of poles, scales walls, does more need be said, or is this good enough?
  • The whole point of Mirror's Edge is Parkour. The plot and other game elements are built entirely around it. It's also done completely in first-person. It even has the crane scene from Casino Royale.
  • Kingdom Hearts II has this to some extent with the reaction commands, but it's turned Up to Eleven with the new "flowmotion" mechanic in Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance. It's set make a return in Kingdom Hearts III.
  • Quite a lot of Sonic the Hedgehog characters can do this, especially Sonic himself. Wall Jumping, Roof Hopping and In a Single Bound are also invoked, but are much less capable in gameplay. Sonic certainly is a traceur in spirit. He wall jumps, wall-runs, runs and leaps at amazing speeds... all the while choosing the one path (among several choices per level) that may potentially get him to the finish line as quickly as possible. In some recent titles, Sonic will move forward on his own and will only stop if the player makes him, so you only have to keep him away from obstacles.
    • Invoked in Sonic Lost World, where Sonic gains some new gameplay elements that resemble Parkour, such as running alongside walls on the side and straight up walls facing him to get to ledges.
  • The Spider-Man 2 video game gives Spidey and the player plenty of moves to run around the city with. Aside from the obvious web-swinging and Wall Crawling, Spider-Man can run up walls, swing on poles and, with a combination of sprinting and his chargeable jump, easily leap from roof to roof without even needing to use his webs. The game actively encourages you to be creative with how you move around the city.
  • Speaking of Marvel Universe games, the Incredible Hulk can also pull the same wall-running/climbing, sprinting and jump-charging tricks in The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction to largely the same effects. He performs air dashes instead of web-swinging, though. And his variation of Le Parkour is more or less going through everything in his way.
  • In Urban Dead, the Free Running skill lets you enter normally inaccessible buildings, and move from building to building without having to go outside.
  • Not necessarily used by Splinter Cell's Sam Fisher, who prefers silent approaches, but slowly added to the repertoire of the Shadownet spies throughout the series.
  • Prototype is the Spiritual Successor to the Hulk game and often involves running up whatever surface will accommodate you. While Alex can climb up on vertical surfaces Spider-Man-style, simply sprinting vertically upwards on the same surface is generally faster, even if he's carrying someone in one hand. He can even run sideways on vertical surfaces in complete defiance of gravity. Then there are the numerous smaller tidbits like backflipping off walls, vaulting over cars, dodging sideways in mid-air... And while the soldiers react to him playing Spiderman almost instantly, they don't even bat an eyelid while he's doing Parkour tricks, even if he's disguised. In fact, their reaction can be summed up as pointing in Alex' general direction and exclaiming "You seeing this shit?!"
  • inFAMOUS is largely realistic in its use of parkour, aside from Cole never taking falling damage and eventually throwing gliding, grinding and turbo-jumping into his repertoire. There are side-missions based around getting to a series of points in order as quickly as possible, and if you want to complete them you will have to hone your traceur-sense (and your reflexes).
  • The Xbox Ninja Gaiden series. It gets rather over-the-top when Ryu can chain wall-runs by jumping from wall to wall so that he can ascend a tall shaft, but hey, the titles are adherents of Rule of Cool. Also, Ninja.
  • N is nothing but this, since you play as a ninja whose only power is wall-jumping.
  • The Hunter from Left 4 Dead not only moves in this style and can even be made to do Parkour moves by the more skilled Versus player, but was given the duct tape on its arms and legs not just because it looked cool, but also because it was apparently based on Parkour style. (It's to eliminate the air pockets that would naturally occur in the jacket, making the person more aerodynamic, and prevents the jacket from getting caught on things.)
  • This is the main mode of travel for Sly Cooper, along with Roof Hopping.
  • Some of the swinging/roof-jumping sequences in the 3D Bionic Commando sequel have this feel.
  • Brink is a first person shooter with what's called SMART; "Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain". It has a dedicated "Parkour" button, as well as more precise manual controls. Look up at a ledge, hit the SMART button, and you jump and climb onto it automatically. Look down and press the same button, and you slide. Approach a railing and hit the button, and you climb over it.
  • The Hidden: Source, a mod for Half-Life 2, has the IRIS paramilitary team hunting an invisible, super-strong genetically modified human, Subject 617. 617 has the ability to pounce long distances as well as cling to surfaces, allowing him to easily bypass almost any obstacle and climb surfaces as long as his strength holds out.
  • A meta example is the art of Speed Running in general. The basis of Parkour philosophy, getting from one place to another as fast as possible, is precisely what Speed Runners do, and it's more prevalent in open-ended games like Castlevania and Metroid, or in old-school Platformers.
  • Speaking of Metroid, Samus herself can be can be considered a free-runner based upon he constant flipping. She also wall jumps, and does one-handed cat-leaps to get to where she needs to be. The physics of Super Metroid make it possible to do some actual Parkour stuff with what you have, especially with Mock-Balling which lets you get places really fast, especially really small places.
  • Beyond Good & Evil: Jade uses this frequently, but its most apparent in two instances when escaping from Alpha bases.
  • Champions Online has makeshift Parkour "tracks" on rooftops in Millennium City.
  • This is Monkey's primary mode of transportation in Enslaved: Odyssey to the West.
  • Hermes from God of War III. Kratos gains this skill after he kills him and steals his Boots of Hermes.
  • Dustforce is built off this, and has a clever mechanic whereby the dust you are sweeping hints at routes and what acrobatics are required to progress.
  • The Snorks from S.T.A.L.K.E.R. for a more mutant example.
  • Minecraft has entire adventure maps centered around this, up to and including at least one Assassin's Creed themed map. You can also try it during a normal game, though it's not recommended.
  • Fancy Pants Adventures has Fancy Pants Man preforming much of this throughout each stage, thanks to Benevolent Architecture.
  • Vector is built entirely around using parkour to move through a futuristic city and evade an armed pursuer, with special moves that are accurate reproductions of actual free-running tricks.
  • A bizarre variation occurs in Ambition: after Ted escapes police custody, he starts bouncing off the walls as he runs.
  • Sunset Overdrive has this as one draw to the game. You can scale buildings and navigate rooftops with ease.

    Web Comics 
  • Kareem and Ciro's movements in Project 0 are based off of Parkour moves. Ciros' character bio even describes him as a traceur.
  • Briefly demonstrated in this Achewood strip.
  • Jane attempts to get her start as a Parkour master in this strip of Nobody Scores!.
  • Rhiys of Woo Hoo! demonstrates Parkour skills throughout the comic and is identified by others as "Vegan Parkour Guy".
  • Wren of White Noise uses a Parkour Tic-Tac to leap from one wall to the top of another, amongst other Parkour movements.
  • Robot S13 of Gunnerkrigg Court does this in his temporary body in Ch 25. The author's comments lampshade S13's outfit's resemblance to the Hunter from Left 4 Dead (see Videogames, above), though this was unintentional.
  • Schlock Mercenary features a martial art called "Parkata Urbatsu", which is described as a descendant of Parkour, free-running, and "Youtubing". It appears in "Mallcop Command". However, since it's on a space station, you have to take into account the fact that the station is rotating whenever you jump. Inevitably, to catch their targets (who turn out to be pro Parkata Urbatsu enthusiasts illegally filming their stunts), the mercenaries have to master it via a crash course by Commander Shodan. With emphasis on the crash part. Schlock got really good at it, and now he sometimes uses it just for general moving around. Shodan actually asked one of the Mallcop Command perps to help him "un-teach Schlock Parkata Urbatsu" (she declares Schlock an artist and refuses).
  • This strip of Sinfest.
  • Last Res0rt: "If real zombies ever learn Parkour, we're doomed."
  • In Rusty and Co., Gelatinous Cube knows Parkour. No, really.
  • In Snow By Night, Blaise does this to evade three disgruntled rooks. His pursuers are rather taken aback.
  • In The Zombie Hunters, at least one "hunter" zombie is depicted in this way. The author described them as "urban ninjas" but without human inhibitions, like pain, tiredness, or fear of death.
  • This page of Acrobat.

    Web Original 
  • Survival of the Fittest
    • Guy Rapide and Montezzo Valtieri of version three are described as having been avid Parkour practitioners, Guy as a sport while Montezzo does it to work on his speed.
    • Many v4 characters, for some reason, also tend to have an interest in Parkour. It's reached the point where it's starting to become a profile cliché right alongside knowing martial arts and having fired a gun before.
  • Seen in the Whateley Universe story "Parkour Jam Hooligans", where a small group of students from Whateley Academy into this (plus their Badass Normal instructor) take a trip to an actual public Parkour event in the neighborhood.
  • In Dept Heaven Apocrypha, Seth is a traceuse. She demonstrates the sport as it is, and discusses it on a few occasions.
  • Parodied with Pourquoi.
  • In 5 Second Films' "Quick Moves", a guy and his girlfriend are held up by a robber. He then reveals to his relieved girlfriend that he knows parkour, and then uses it to get away himself.
  • In Enginesof Creation, the character of Boomer is quite adept at Parkour.
  • Mentioned a couple of times in Joss Whedon's heartfelt 2012 endorsement of Mitt Romney here.

    Western Animation 
  • Kim Possible, used occasionally by friends and foes alike.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
    • Aang commonly rides on a spherical column of air to accomplish it, though he is capable of executing it with his own swiftness and agility.
    • Azula is quite agile on her own and with the help of some of her minions from the Dai Li, she was able to elevate it to the level of She-Fu. A little while later, she invents a way to use firebending to launch herself around like rocket.
    • "The Boiling Rock" shows us that Suki is the Parkour champion of the Avatarverse when she runs across the heads of a bunch of people in a crowd, and climbs up several walls in just a couple seconds.
    • Zuko's used it a couple of times, notably in "The Firebending Masters" when he ran along a wall to avoid a spike pit.
    • Also, in one episode during the Ba Sing Se arc, the Gaang make a straight run toward the Earth King's Palace, using bending to clear some obstacles, namely the palace guards.
  • Sequel Series The Legend of Korra takes place in a "steampunk metropolis" and uses a lot of parkour-style fighting and chase scenes. This helps represent the way the Avatar world's societies have begun moving away from more traditional, form-based bending styles as society industrializes. And as with the martial arts in both Korra and its predecessor, they've hired a parkour expert to assist them.
    • However, the more traditional martial-arts based forms of bending are still practiced, especially by Tenzin, the last real practicioner of Air Nomad culture on the planet until his three (soon to be four) children grow up. This helps set up the "tradition versus progress" conflict that forms part of the story's core.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man has finally added this to Spider-Man's repertoire, making his Roof Hopping and Wall Crawling action sequences a lot more interesting. Meaning Parker can now Parkour?
  • Heavily parodied in the Bounty Hunter episode of The Simpsons. Flanders chases Homer across Springfield, leaping over obstacles. Homer gets into an elevator and bounces off the walls as he waits to arrive at the top. Then the two steal horses, which proceed to practice Parkour themselves, jumping off cars and springing off walls.
  • In Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale, this is one of the hobbies that Barbie's aunt Millicent considers taking up after her fashion house closes.
  • The various Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series has just about everybody pulling this every time they go up on a rooftop.
  • Wakfu's season 2 features some good examples with Evangelyne and Remington chasing each other over Rubilaxia, a magical Traveling Landmass covered in damaged buildings that keep soaring or crumbling without warning.
  • Used in a chase scene from The Amazing World of Gumball.
  • Done in an episode of American Dad! where Stan and Francine start hanging out with a younger, more active couple and pretend to be young themselves to maintain the friendship. There's a pretty neat scene where they go free-running; Francine does quite well for a first-timer, while Stan (despite his CIA training) messes up, gets his head caught in a banister, and ends up landing so hard on his leg that it makes his shin bone protrude through his skin. Ouch. Played for Laughs later in the episode when Stan and Francine's attempt to make their friends slow down goes horribly wrong. After a fight, the wife throws her ring into the husband's face and free-runs away, screaming angrily.
  • One of the trademark talents of the hero of Æon Flux, although her movements are more step-by-step than the free-flowing use of momentum that Parkour encourages.
  • Lance does this in the second episode of Sym-Bionic Titan to catch up with Ilana, believing that she needs someone to protect while she goes to the mall. He actuals does building hop, car hop, etc.

    Real Life 
  • Some examples for your entertainment.
    • And for the crueler of us (Or for those who need to see why you need to be careful doing this), The top 10 Parkour fails.
  • Older Than They Think? This article talks about how knights would practice "wall running", which means running and leaping through various obstacles at the same time.
  • Daniel Ilabaca. Has been called the most complete Parkour athlete.
  • Banned in parts of great Britain because it may be a cause of concern and duress to people who see it in action, as well as for the more mundane reasons that a) it's technically trespassing if you're doing it in most urban areas, and b) people can and frequently do injure themselves while doing it, and retrieving maimed traceurs from improbable places several storeys off the ground gets old quite quickly.
  • Cats don't seem to care about the law of gravity that much.
  • Parkour Dog from Ukraine will give them a run for their yarn.
  • Squirrels are also naturals at Parkour, which makes sense for tree-dwelling rodents. If anything, they put most species to shame at it since they can wall-run indefinitely on rough enough surfaces.
  • Goats, whose wild ancestors lived on rugged mountainsides, can clamber up canyon walls, climb trees, and jump up to perch atop slat fences with an agility that's almost unbelievable, particularly in an animal with hooves.
  • Draco volans, the Flying Dragon, is a lizard that can climb up surfaces, then glide across gaps by unfolding skin flaps, like a flying squirrel. Geckos are also decent at wall- and ceiling-running, but don't do much jumping.


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