Summary of survey results and future perspectives

First of all, I want to thank all of you who participated in my survey. In this post I’m going to analyse the answers and give you a short summary of the key results. Furthermore, I’m going to draw a conclusion and display some possible future perspectives of parkour and freerunning.


The results include twelve answers of experienced practitioners of the discipline. The first five questions provide detailed information about their background. 83% of the respondents are male while 50% are between 18 and 25 years old. It’s representative for parkour and freerunning that all of them are still between 13 and 34 years old. In addition to that, 83% of the respondents are students whether at high school or higher education and a great amount of them have been practicing for 1 to 2 years. Moreover 67% are already practicing in a sports club. It is not representative for the whole discipline because the majority of the respondents are fellow members of the Hellerhofer Sportverein. This fact caused experienced respondents to share answers and opinions about the topic.
The second part of the survey includes different questions about the preferences and opinions of traceurs and freerunners. The following bar chart shows that most of the respondents agree with the statements ‘Weekly and structured training units help me to stay motivated’ and ‘Practicing in a group is inspiring’. The other two statements don’t provide such a clear preference.

The question about what a sports club should provide was mostly answered with ‘Training halls’ and ‘Professional obstacles and gymnastic elements’ while ‘Outdoor parkour parks’ and ‘Regular competitions or tournaments’ don't seem that important.
Finally, the last section deals with some specific statements. The majority thinks that ‘Sports clubs restrict the freedom and independence of this discipline’ but some of them also agree that the membership fees (e.g. 12, 5€ per month) are worth it.


To conclude I compared the different topics and information of my blog with the key results of the survey. The construction of parkour and freerunning in usual sports clubs has some advantages, for example a training hall and professional obstacles. On the other hand, many advantages of clubs are already covered by the discipline and its practitioners itself. The majority of communities are well organized and have their own structured and motivating training. Above all, the open minded and friendly mentality of practitioners cause a great solidarity.
In the future the parkour and freerunning communities and individual teams will continue to grow and get more structured. But also the number of clubs which offer the discipline will slowly increase. The clubs are especially for younger children interesting who are not that independent. I’m excited about the future and looking forward to the next developments of parkour and freerunning.

Your opinion counts

In the last few weeks I over-viewed countless information and ideas about parkour and freerunning. I was thinking a lot about how the discipline could develop with the help of sports clubs. In this blog I've talked about the possible advantages of practicing in a club and I showed which possibilities there would be when clubs support the discipline. In the last post, I displayed what the increase of competitions would mean and how they could function. I think - all in all - there is a significant amount of information; however, to find a final conclusion, I need more opinions.
Therefore, I developed a small survey and want to collect your opinion! If you are a traceur, freerunner, or just interested in the discipline, please let me know what you think and answer some questions.

Click on the link below to get to the survey!

I decided to create a simple nine question survey which starts with some demographical questions, and then goes on to questions about parkour and the construction of the discipline in a sports club. The demographical questions are helpful to create groups of respondents; for example, they consist of questions about your gender, age, and occupational status. Furthermore, the important questions about the relevant topic are designed with several answer possibilities. You have the choice of how much you agree or disagree with a range of statements as well as how important different points are to you. Finally, there is plenty of space to add any of your own comments or ideas. I’m thankful for any contribution.

I’m going to analyse your answers and give you a summary in my next and last blog entry. Thank you.

Competitions in parkour and freerunning

While commonly parkour and freerunning is seen as a self-taught and non-competitive discipline in the last few years there is a growing number of competitions and tournaments. Most of the events are only for the experts and leaders of the discipline like for example the Red Bull Art of Motion or the North American Parkour Championships. But competitions can also have a positive effect on lower level and local practitioners. They are a place for comparison of talent and exchange of ideas. They are big meetings where parkour and freerunning is the only thing that matters. In a way these events connect people with the same passion and attitudes. Sports clubs are the perfect platform to make tournaments like that more regularly and easier accessible for all skill levels. To give a small insight into the structure of competitions here are explanations of the main categories…


The Speed category consists of a course which is marked by flags or tapes. They stand for the start and finish and as well for some checkpoints. The athletes are free to choose the fastest and efficient way along these checkpoints and at the end the fastest run wins. Take a look on this video example.


The skill challenge proposes a dictated route or single movement and the athletes are awarded points for the number of steps, the connectivity and the movement quality. In the following video the task was a precision jump on a bar.


This category emphasises the development of a freestyle movement or combination and is judged on creativity, difficulty and execution. The athletes can whether move completely free or there are some key elements which have to be used. There should be two or maybe three attempts and only the best score counts.

Possibilities of a sports club

I already talked about different advantages of sports clubs but there’re still some important points left. I’m speaking about the possibilities only a club has because of his member and fees structure. Some people criticize the fees of a club because they think practicing parkour should be free and open for everybody. And in a way they’re right but on the other hand the collected money provides lots of possibilities like the following…


Even if parkour and freerunning are practiced outside most of the time, a sports hall is useful to start with more difficult jumps. For example, the use of mats make every first try of a difficult jump safer. The sports clubs have the necessary connections to the government and enough money to rent sports halls for weekly training units.


The collected money could also be used for new obstacles and gymnastic elements. Usually gymnastic elements should be part of every sports hall and can easily be used for parkour. If not the club can buy some. In addition, nowadays there is a range of different obstacles which are specified for parkour and freerunning. As you can see in the following pictures there’re single boxes or even complete systems of boxes and bars. The club can think about purchase something similar to that.


Another possible investment is an outdoor parkour and freerunning park. In the following video is shown an example at Wuppertal. You can see that it consists out of different obstacles such as walls, boxes, and bars. An important factor is that the obstacles are connected and can be used in a row. Everything else is up to the practitioner who has to show their creativity.

Advantages of practicing in a club

In this post I want to talk about the advantages of practicing parkour and freerunning in a sports club. Therefore, I’m going to compare the training in a club with independent training on your own. The following points are the main advantages…


One of the most important advantage is that the discipline has a positive influence on people’s physical health and fitness. The movement improves natural motor skills and the strength training supports important muscle groups. The advantage of the club is that there is an experienced coach who teaches the beginners how to practice. When beginners start on their own the risk of wrong and unhealthy movements is high. Especially for children it is important to have a structured instruction which is given in clubs.


Parkour in a club gives everybody the chance to be a member and supports the social inclusion. Practitioners learn how to practice together and support each other. Also comparing and challenging each other are important things to getting better and finding new ideas. As long as it’s on a respectful and friendly basis it gives you more self-confidence. In the following picture you can see that it's just more fun to practice in a group.


To practice in a group in general gives a lot motivation but in a club it gets even more because of the regularity of training units. In addition to that the structured course of the units helps to stay motivated of every single part like the warm up or the strength training. Another important aspect is the exchange of style and ideas. Every member of the group can get inspired by another one who has another style and different ideas of movement. It doesn’t matter whether you are beginner or expert everybody is moving in a different way and can influence other people.

Parkour in a club: an example

As mentioned in the first two entries parkour and freerunning is a growing discipline and a popular trend. Several parkour teams and communities already started their own training program and help beginners to become familiar with the discipline. The next step could be that existing sports clubs which usually offer football, handball and other popular sports get interested. To show how this construction could look like I want to introduce my own club: Hellerhofer Sportverein


The Hellerhofer Sportverein is located in Düsseldorf, Germany and was found in 1982. At its 30th anniversary in 2012 it had approximately 600 members out of every age. The club offers a wide range of 17 different disciplines including for example hockey, volleyball and tennis. There are also some more specific disciplines like archery, dog sport and parkour which are the club’s special features. Parkour counts in this case as an indoor discipline because the groups practice once a week in a hall. That means a fee of 12,5 € per month is necessary to be a club member and join the parkour groups. The fee consists of the basic charge for the club and the specific costs of the parkour hall and coaches. The training is weekly and right now there are three different groups for children and young persons.


The training units consist out of three major parts: the warm up, the main part and the cool down or strength training. The warm up is done by the whole group together. It starts with a small game like catching each other or imagine the floor would be lava. Then a really important thing is stretching the joints and ligaments. In the main body basic moves and techniques are taught and different runs are shown. With time and more experiences, the members are practicing more and more on their own and trying their own moves. So it’s a free and independent training. At the end there is whether a strength training or a cool down within a circle. So the members benefit from the structured group elements but still have their freedom to practice what they want.

Check out this video of the weekly parkour training at the club...

Development of parkour and freerunning

To explain the absence of parkour and freerunning within sports clubs, it is necessary to take a look inside its history and development. The birth of parkour and freerunning is not easy to pinpoint because mankind has been moving around different natural obstacles since year one. In the past it was used to hunt or to escape. The question is when the functional moving went into a sports discipline.


The general opinion is that it originates in France in the south of Paris. In the 1980s a small group of young children started to use their urban environment as a playground. Right in the middle of the group was David Belle whose father, Raymound Belle, taught the children military training methods. These methods were developed by Georges Herbert who got inspiration from the natural physical conditions of indigenous people from Africa. For him it was important to use the whole body in a fluid motion to get over obstacles. The group of children used this influence and developed their own style over the course of a decade. Round the age of fifteen they called themselves Yamakasi and gained the attention of the media and the mainstream.


In 2001 parkour’s popularity exploded because of the movie ‘Yamakasi: Les samourais des temps modernes’ which showed the impressive skills of the group. Furthermore, TV commercials brought the discipline to London - For example, the BBC1 commercial with David Belle and the Nike commercial with Sebastian Foucan, two important members of Yamakasi. Dangerous copycat behaviour began to emerge. Many people tried to imitate the masters but didn’t have the necessary experience. In 2003 the ground-breaking documentary ‘Jump London’ was produced, featuring Sebastian Foucan among other professional freerunners. This documentary showed the philosophical aspect and the physical discipline of the sport. The number of parkour crews exploded and the understanding of being a freerunner changed to self-challengers instead of risk takers. In 2006 the first services for learning the discipline were started by the Westminster Council in inner city schools and community sports centres. Two years later the ADAPT coaching program was founded by Yamakasi and Parkour Generations to give coaches a higher and standardised qualification. Since then, the discipline has been brought into schools as an element of physical education.



Nowadays parkour and freerunning is still growing and evolving. There are many professional teams and crews which are very well presented in all medias. It’s common for action movies to include elements of parkour or freerunning. It can no longer be called an underground discipline, however it’s a young discipline and needs to developed by the people. The emergence of parkour and freerunning into usual sports clubs and the creation of periodical competitions appear to be the thriving future of the sport.

Hello and welcome!

Welcome to my blog about parkour and freerunning, and about how you can bring it into the sports clubs. First of all, here is a short definition of parkour and freerunning for all of you who don’t know what it is…


Parkour is a sports discipline using fluid movement to get from one point to another through urban environment in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Practitioners are called traceurs, and use running, jumping, climbing and other movements which are suitable for the situation. However, freerunning is an inclusive form of parkour and is like an acrobatic and athletic way of movement. For freerunners, efficiency doesn’t matter, but they express themselves by moving creatively in their environment. At the end of the day, the border between this two disciplines blur and you can be both - a traceur and a freerunner.

Even if both disciplines are trendy sports and getting more and more popular, they don’t find their way into the regular sports clubs. Some practitioners say that the clubs would limit the freedom and independence of the sport, but I believe that there are a lot of advantages of bringing parkour and freerunning into regular sports clubs, so this is the mission of this blog…


The goal of this blog is to promote the construction of parkour and freerunning in sports clubs in order to open this unique discipline for a wide range of people and especially younger children. In the next posts I’m going to show you how it could work and what advantages a structured practice within a club has. To illustrate my arguments, I’m going to use a lot of examples from my own experiences and you should know who I am…


My name is Jonas Müller and I have been a traceur since 2011. I started training for parkour in my lovely community - and hometown - of Düsseldorf, Germany. Click here for the community’s Facebook page. After a while some friends and I founded a working group at our school to practice parkour together. Then, when we had left school, we got the chance to become a parkour-team within the sports club ‘Hellerhofer Sportverein e.V.’. The club has been trying hard to develop the range of possibilities currently and today there are two more groups in which we introduce and coach younger children in parkour. Until now I’ve had amazing experiences as a parkour member and coach of a sports club and want to share them with you through this blog…