About

The Fédération Internationale des Arts du Déplacement:

acting for the good of parkour / freerunning worldwide.

Founded by the leading global parkour / freerunning communities and pioneers of the discipline, it is the official international federation supporting the growth, health and accessibility of this groundbreaking transformative practice.

What are Les Arts du Deplacement?

In English, les arts du déplacement is literally translated as the art of moving oneself from one place to another and includes parkour / freerunning and other related forms. Les arts du déplacement represent far more than a sport for our community. They are a holistic practice based on training the body, mind and spirit to be as functional, effective and liberated as possible in any environment.

The practice aims to build confidence, determination, self-discipline, self-reliance, and responsibility for one’s actions. It encourages humility, respect for others and for one’s environment, self-expression, positivity, a healthy lifestyle, community spirit, and the importance of play, discovery, fun and safety at all times.

The sporting aspect of parkour / freerunning is a principally non-competitive physical discipline. This discipline consists of training to move freely over and through one’s surroundings using only the abilities of the body: running, jumping, climbing, quadrupedal movement and more. Parkour / freerunning focuses on developing the fundamental attributes required for such movement: which include functional strength and fitness, balance, spatial awareness, agility, coordination, precision, control and creative vision.

It is a sport that encourages self-improvement on all levels, revealing one’s physical and mental limits while simultaneously offering ways to overcome them.

Ethics

Parkour / Freerunning was born with a strong set of social and ethical values which are upheld and carried by the communities all around the world. These values, embodied in the creed ‘to be strong to be useful’, include:

  • Humility
  • Respect for all
  • Self-mastery
  • Discipline
  • Friendship & Community
  • Self-reliance
  • Helping others
  • Safeguarding the environment
  • Non-competition

Origins

The activity originally termed Art du Deplacement, now also referred to as Parkour or Freerunning, was founded in France in the 1980s by a group of nine young men who called themselves The Yamakasi. Yamakasi is a Lingala word loosely meaning ‘Strong Man, Strong Spirit’, and summed up the original and still core aim of the discipline – to be a strong individual: physically, mentally and ethically.

The Yamakasi founders were Yann Hnautra, Chau Belle, David Belle, Laurent Piemontesi, Sebastain Foucan, Guylain N’Guba Boyeke, Charles Perriere, Malik Diouf and Williams Belle.

The term ‘Parkour’ was first introduced by David Belle in 1998. Parkour derives from the French word Parcours meaning ‘route’ or ‘course’

The term ‘Freerunning’ was the creation of Guillaume Pelletier, a representative of a group of French practitioners involved in the production of a Channel 4 documentary, Jump London, in 2003. This term was used in order to communicate this amazing new sport to an English-speaking audience

The terms are now used interchangeably but continue to refer to the same original activity founded in France.