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Safety and Parkour

Safety and Parkour



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Published by dude02135
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Published by: dude02135 on May 27, 2008
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Safety and Parkour
Rafe, Thursday 20 September 2007 - 01:00:10Safety and ParkourOne of the first questions someone asks about parkour is "but isn't that dangerous?". The question of safety is a good one, and thetruth is that it depends on how you choose to practice. Parkour is potentially among the safest athletic activities possible, but whenpracticed recklessly or incorrectly it can have horrible effects on the body.There have in fact been very few reports of serious injury due to parkour and the original traceurs from France are exceptionallyhealthy for top level athletes. David Belle, the founder of the discipline, has said that he has never suffered a serious injury frompracticing parkour.Parkour is dangerous, only when techniques are practiced without the necessary fitness and skill level. It is very important that newtraceurs do not attempt to jump from building to building or to drop off of heights. Beyond that, major dangers of parkour are overuseinjuries due to the pounding of the body on concrete. A smart and progressive training program will prevent overuse injuries, whilereckless, inconsistent, and thoughtless training will cause it.Parkour can be significantly safer than many other popular sports for two reasons: it is done only with the use of the human body, anddoes not involve contact with other human beings. Compared to sports that involve boards and wheels, parkour does not have thesame potential for speed (excluding large drops). With wheels, skis, and boards surf, skate, or snow one can attain speeds thehuman body alone is simply not capable of. For this reason it is much easier to save yourself from a fall while doing parkour than whileskiing or skateboarding. Quite simply, a crash going down hill at 60 miles an hour is more dangerous then one going 15 miles an hour.Skateboards and snowboards also have the tendency to slip out from under the body, resulting in a fall that has to much momentum toallow for a recovery roll. Anyone who has ever caught their front edge on a snowboard or had a skateboard slipout from under themcan tell you how fast and painful those crashes can be. Such slips can happen in parkour because of wet surfaces and unsturdy orbroken obstacles, but they are far less pervasive a worry. In parkour you are always on your own two feet interacting with theenvironment using only natural human movement capacities. This allows parkour to be practiced with great safety.The major dangers in team or combat sports involve interference from another player, whether a tackle in football, slide tackle insoccer, or being undercut in basketball. The primary dangers in these sports involve the momentum of two different individuals andsudden changes in movement forced by player interaction. The litany of common injuries caused by player-on-player impact in teamsports is very lengthy and goes all the way up to spinal injury and death. In parkour the only impacts are from inanimate objects, whichare generally not moving themselves, making them far more predictable than multiplayer interactions and therefore much safer.Parkour can be very safe, safer then most sports in fact. The originators of the discipline have had a very strong history of safety.However, as parkour has spread via the internet through the passing around of videos, showing only the highest level movements andnot the years of hard work that allowed them, more and more people are becoming injured because of their training.It s important for the practicing or perspective traceur to understand that it takes a great deal of time and dedication to develop theskill levels that allow the types of movements seen in the most popular videos. The jumps at height carry a huge amount of danger and

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