If the previous trends that make up the Parkour Evolution interest you, and you want to learn how you can improve your own training, learning from the previous generations of practitioners, you’ll have the greatest benefit if you take a couple of minutes for reading it. Maybe save it for later, or read it right before going to bed to gain inspiration for your next trainings.
Please share your opinion about what you read so we can grow together as a community.
Parkour has come a long way…
since it’s beginnings, rooted in the Methode Naturelle, which was developed over a century ago.
The name of our sport, art and culture has endured many definitions – and each one brought a new understanding with it.
Parkour became the sum of global influences, short-circuited by the ever evolving age of internet-connectivity – on the tip of that, the Parkour Evolution Trends predicting the growth of our culture and the individual.
Today, the guy who trained alone in his backyard for years has now the chance to be as influential as the corporate brand.
Storror and Team Farang amongst others with their cinematic video productions and their truly fashionable clothing lines are two well known examples, of how passion and endurance of a few can influence what the majority of us watches, listen’s to or wears to our Grandma’s Birthday (- “Harem Pants and a Roof Culture Shirt, anyone?”).
Besides that, and what is maybe even more important:
“Other Freerunners influence how You move, how Your personal style evolves and what movement aesthetic You strive for.”
- You will naturally find satisfying challenges, when you train what is most appealing to you.
- You will learn most efficiently when you are in the flow state of “this is neither too difficult, nor is it too easy to be fun”.
- Your preferences in aesthetic, your environment, your previous experiences and your physique all merge in your ‘movement personality‘, in your own style of moving.
Having spoken about individuality of movement – be aware that you are also subject to various movement trends in the Parkour scene, besides just clothing or the taste in music (- or wasn’t there a time when you listened to French HipHop or Drum and Base?)
Some certain moves just grasp our fascination more than others. Suddenly everyone tries to master the same move. Some phenomena are local, others nationwide or globally. I believe there is a reason to these patterns.
“Recognising trends calls for individualism. Does this move really reflect Your style and Your being, or are You just falling for a trend?”
Sometimes there seems to be an initiator – sometimes it just happens like all of us around the world have a silent agreement about the urgent sense of accomplishment for one particular move.
Of course, we progress as a whole community. Individually, sometimes an outlier pushes the boundaries, but not until it’s obvious that not only a chosen few are capable of doing the move, is when suddenly the masses master a move that has been thought of as impossible only a few years ago.
Remember this, the next time you are about to create a new move, or master a difficult one. If you pass it on to others, or not, can affect the whole community. Globally.
The list below is an example to show that certain trends have influenced our movements – not to say that these were the only trends taking place in our scene.
Did you experience something different in your own community? What is your opinion? Let us know in the comments below.
Parkour Evolution in a List with the Main Trends of the past 7 Years:
2009 Monkey Gainer
After Daniel Ilabaca throws his legendary Monkey Gainer in 2007,
it takes another two years for Bjarke Hellden to be the first one to make his Monkey Gainer look easy. Well, kind of.
At least he took the level of fear for the move down to a level where suddenly a lot of practitioners gained the confidence of trying it for themselves.
Today, we can seen a multitude of kong-gainer variations, which I still believe are impossible.
*cough* Alfred Scott *cough*
2010 Swing Double Gainer
Back in 2010 most people shrugged off Erik Mukhametshin’s double flips “because he is Russian”.
“It’s in their blood, you know?”
“Double-Flips? Me? No, I’m not Russian”.
This time it seems to be Jason who establishes double-flips in competitions without being called crazy, due to his perfect execution at the Art of Motion in Vienna.
2011 Swing Gainer Catch
Again Jason pulls of his move at the Art of Motion, this time in England in 2011. Suddenly all the nations practiced for Swing Gainer Catches.
I’ve heard that Obama declared to hold in ObamaCare for a couple of months until Hillary Clinton had mastered Swing Gainer Catches. Not sure if my sources are liable though.
2012 Castaway / Palm Drop
Besides Lucy Romberg having nailed this move since forever, I feel Pip’s Tutorial had some impact on the scene. The tutorial has been watched over 74.000 times – a few dozen times might have been on me – yet the Cast Away spree hasn’t ended. Lower and lower it goes.
2013 Ginger Flip
Haha, sorry Toby, I can’t help but think this flip was named on your account. At least after having seen the video “Toby Segar is Berzerk” people got more and more familiar with both, the movement and the name of it.
Am happy for any other evidence pointing in another direction. If you know something else, let us know! ;)
Storror did it once again. At least in my own community the move was shown everywhere after Storror’s Roof Culture edit. This time it’s Drew Taylor (have a look at Drew’s Travel Articles here on Urban Freeflow!) with his Roofgap 360-Dive-Roll. No wonder everyone got so hyped about it.
2015 Worm-Flip / Webster Precision / 360-Dive Frontflip?
It becomes more difficult here.
Parkour Trends become more difficult to define. Even though the list above has been a very subjective recording of what Parkour Trends of the past years were – it is obvious that the diversity and the difficulty of moves is increasing.
Where 2009 a run with a couple of big moves, walking from one take-off platform to the next, was enough to win the judges for a first place
– today creativity and style are exceedingly important.
The skill-level is rising – the newer generations don’t have to make the mistakes the older generations made, and they become more daring simply because many practitioners have paved the way to achieve new heights.
Our Biggest Obstacle Is Our Own Mind
As most of you know, no one can really tell the limit of what the human body is capable of. We get shocked a couple of times a week by seeing another new video involving some Freerunner, gymnast or circus acrobat, who by far exceeds what you thought was possible for a human being.
Now, that more and more people of the scene come to a point of mastery, finally we can spend more time refining and celebrating our own uniqueness.
Simple Definition of mastery
: knowledge and skill that allows you to do, use, or understand something very well
: complete control of something
This is how we get others and ourselves excited – we have to get really good in the style of movement that we personally seem to be made for.
And I dare to say – you can “reverse engineer” this enchanting idea!
First find out what you might be really good in. Is it fluid, or explosive motions? Do you prefer the gymnast, or the skater style? Then find out what is unique to the styles you aspire after – and get the basics of this style down first. But I’ll cover this topic in more depth in another article. Stay tuned!
Style is what will matter most in these upcoming years It’s not the one big move that will dominate and it’s not “just the power moves”. People will become better in what is unique to their personal styles – and they will impress in their very own way.
It won’t go unnoticed, I promise.
I want to leave you with 3 different examples of mastery – where several athletes took uniqueness to the next level. This is, where we are going.
Future competitions won’t be judged by the biggest tricks, they will be won by those who are the best at being themselves.
Endijs – Weird Movements Upper Body Beastliness
Weird Tricking Combos
(The Featured Image for this Article is a Screenshot from Storror’s Video Breaking Dawn.)