Parkhour is a sport-like discipline which was born in France about 20 years ago, namely:
“Practitioners aim to get from A to B in the most efficient way possible. This is done using only the human body and the surroundings for propulsion, with a focus on maintaining as much momentum as possible while still remaining safe. Parkour can include obstacle courses, running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, rolling, quadrupedal movement, and the like, depending on what movement is deemed most suitable for the given situation” (source: Wikipedia)
Now just imagine 12 guys practising this spectacular but dangerous discipline in the “Sassi”, which no doubt is an ideal place to practice this sport, as Roberta Milano highlighted.
What did these guys exactly do in the Sassi?
Before showing you some pictures, I will try to explain to you something about the history of Parkour.
As already said, the discipline developed in France about 20 years ago. The forerunner of parkour was the French naval officer Georges Hébert who set up a special natural training and whose motto was “be strong to be useful“. He believed that the best training method consisted of using natural movements to overcome the existing natural obstacles.
The evolution of Parkour from Hébert’s military method is due to David Belle who developed the discipline on the basis of Hèbert’s natural training but with a little touch of creativity, fantasy and…uncosciousness. The Parkour gained popularity through internet and thanks to the massive amount of Youtube videos which increased the number of guys from all over the world who fell in love with this sport.
Now that you have a vague idea about what parkour is, just enjoy the amazing video of the Parkour Paris group performing risky stunts through the Sassi. They chose Matera for their performances to realize their best Parkour video-performance ever because the Sassi have the “ideal structure”.
P.S. if you come to visit Matera, please don’t imitate these Parisian guys, if you don’t want to end up visiting the hospital too. They are professionals, you are not.