I dunno if many of you would be willing to try this or not, but I figured I'd put it here just in case.
Martial Arts are the fight aspect of self defence. Parkour is the flight. Being able to run away from a dangerous situation or getting somewhere in a hurry is just as important as being able to defend yourself. It could be used to escape muggers, angry dogs, etc. Or could be used to get you somewhere(Like if you're late for work).
Reach and Escape.
(Parkour practitioners do discourage anyone to use these skills to run away from authorities.)
Here is a good definition of Parkour created by the parkour community:
Parkour is the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one's path by adapting one's movements to the environment.
Parkour requires... consistent, disciplined training with an emphasis on functional strength, physical conditioning, balance, creativity, fluidity, control, precision, spatial awareness, and looking beyond the traditional use of objects.
Parkour movements typically include... running, jumping, vaulting, climbing, balancing, and quadrupedal movement. Movements from other physical disciplines are often incorporated, but acrobatics or tricking alone do not constitute parkour.
Parkour training focuses on... safety, longevity, personal responsibility, and self-improvement. It discourages reckless behavior, showing off, and dangerous stunts.
Parkour practitioners value... community, humility, positive collaboration, sharing of knowledge, and the importance of play in human life, while demonstrating respect for all people, places, and spaces.
To create this definition, American Parkour asked the entire national community for their personal definition of parkour. It was edited into this final version by a committee of American Parkour employees and people outside of American Parkour to ensure that it was truly a community effort.
There are hundreds of sites that could help you with information and articles that I wouldn't be able to fit into a single post.
Some of my favorite sites are:
http://www.americanparkour.com/content/category/6/98/417/ (FAQ's Section)
To be able to see Parkour videos check out the sites above, or, go to Youtube.
Youtube videos aren't always pure parkour. Sometimes there with be a little bit of freerunning in there as well. Freerunning is not Parkour. Parkour is all about efficiency. Freerunning is about freedom of movement. So, instead of jumping over a wall with a ten foot drop then rolling, a freerunner might get to the wall, stop, do a backflip off of it, then roll. Freerunning is amazing and takes a lot of skill.. just not the best thing for an emergency situation. Try searching for Tyson Cecka or David Belle, they have some good videos.
Here are some parkour movements. To get a visual idea, search for these names on Youtube.
Common English Parkour Terms
NOTE: Some traceurs feel that the invention of many terms to describe different vaults and other movements creates a false image of Parkour - one where it is simply a list of moves you try to attain. The fundamental idea of Parkour is to overcome obstacles, not to achieve perfection in a specific set of defined movements. The terminology on this page is used for illustrative purposes to help convey a sense of some of the common techniques in Parkour.
Traceur: A practitioner of parkour.
Parkour Roll: Similar to the roll used in grappling martial arts. The body is rolled across the ground shoulder first, ending at the opposite hip. Arm placements differ person to person and school to school.
Vault: Any jump that incorporates the use of the arms to overcome the obstacle.
Cat Pass/Monkey/Kong Vault: A vault were the body passes over the obstacles with the legs in between the arms. This is called a squat over vault in gymnastics. One of the most versatile vaults; excellent for clearing long and high objects and getting extra distance.
Two-Handed Vault: Two hands are placed on the obstacle and the legs come over to the side. Known as a flank vault in gymnastics. This is a very simple fault and is often used to introduce beginners to some of the more advanced vaults.
Single-Hand Vault: Same as above, but only one hand is placed on the obstacle. Also called a flank vault in gymnastics.
Speed Vault: A variation of the single-hand vault, but as the name implies the key to the speed vault is speed. The form is similar to a hurdle over an obstacle, but with the body leaning sideways and the hand tapping the obstacle as you go over.
Arm Jump/Cat Jump: A jump were the traceur lands with his hands on the top of an obstacle and his feet on the obstacle.
Precision Jump: A jump where a traceur lands on a precise surface like a rail, or wall ledge. Genereally refers to a standard standing broad jump technique. Both legs jump together and the arms swing forward to help initiate forward momentum.
Gap jump: Any jump that clears a gap between two objects.
Wall Pass: Technique involving running toward a wall and then converting the forward momentum into a jump. A wall pass involves taking one or more running steps up a vertical surface and catching on the top with your hands in order to pull yourself up and onto or over the obstacle.
Wall Run: A run along the top of wall.
Tic Tac: A technique were the traceur pushes of of one object with her foot to gain height and reverse momentum in order to overcome another obstacle.
Lazy Vault: A type of vault were the obstacle is approached obliquely and the legs pass over the obstacle first; one or two hands can be used, and are placed on the obstacle as the body passes over it.
Reverse Vault: A vault were the body turns over behind the hands completing a 360 over the obstacle.
Dash vault: A vault were the traceur jumps over the obstacle and puts his hands down as his legs pass the obstacle to help push him off.
Kash Vault: A vault which begins like a cat/kong but finishes like a dash. A squat through vault in gymnastics terminology.
Pop Vault: A vault were a foot is placed on the obstacle first to pop the traceur up and give her height to perform another vault, typically a kong or two-handed vault.
Underbar: A move were the traceur jumps feet first through an opening and grabs a bar at the top to aid him through.
Reverse Underbar: Same as above except the body goes through hands first, then turns so the feet can land first.