While in London I saw the following clip on one of the most famous shows that has been created in the United Kingdom, Top Gear. I could not believe my eyes and watched in amazement at the dexterity and agility of these two men. Parkour starts approximately 2 minutes into the video.
Did you watch it? Amazing eh? The goal of the process is "the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one's path by adapting one's movements to the environment." (Quoted from Wikipedia.) I was astounded as I watched this episode on TV, and then I had a chance to see a live Parkour performance at a weekend festival in London along the Southbank, near the Thames River. A stage had been set up with various bars, platforms, climbers, and crash mats as 20 - 25 young 'traceurs' and 'traceuses' demonstrated their phenomenal skills. The way they climbed vertically climbed like sticky bugs up the walls; jumped, arms and legs spread out like flying squirrels from the top of the platforms; then rolled, flipped, grabbed and spun all over the 3D objects; it was physical work that boggled my mind.
Here is some Parkour, also called Free Runnning, in Canada, all collected by Recreation Canada. If you know an energetic child who needs a focus, try signing them up for a group or class near you. If they become very serious about the sport, direct them to the Sports and Lifestyle Magazine titled SPIKED Extreme Sports, Parkour articles in the February 2010 issue. (May I suggest you skip the boxing articles. I have always despised boxing.)
I am going to try grabbing the edge of my bed, jumping enthusiastically into the air, and landing gingerly using a tuck and roll move onto my bed. That is the extent of my Free Running abilities.