12.17.08 10 years ago 8 Comments

Parkour — the style of movement seen in chase scenes Casino Royale, The Incredible Hulk, and Live Free or Die Hard — officially got its start by David Belle in the mid-90s, with inspiration from French military and rescue training.  But this clip from 1977’s Gizmo! (via Kottke) shows footage from the 1930s that indicates David Belle is a big French plagiarist.

In a related bit of news, I found this section from Parkour’s Wikipedia page enlightening, yet unsurprising:

According to Belle, “the physical aspect of parkour is getting over all the obstacles in your path as you would in an emergency…” Thus, when faced with a hostile confrontation with a person, one will be able to speak, fight, or flee. As martial arts are a form of training for the fight, parkour is a form of training for the flight.

In other words, the French actually created an entire discipline dedicated to finding the most efficient method to run away.  Stereotypes are awesome.

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