We’re back with another roundup of the most important Parkour videos you can find on YouTube. These are my personal selections that have helped shape the way people see Parkour today.
Owen and Jin were two Traceurs from Cambridge, UK. When Parkour was still in its fledgling state in the UK, these practitoners paved the way for the modern parkour video. The earliest of their films, you had visit the cambridge traceurs web forum and actually download to watch on your computer. YouTube didn’t exist back then. Considering this video is over six years old at the time of writing, its amazing to see how far the community has come, but also how high the skill level was even back in 2006. Were this video to be released today on a modern HD camera, it would easily stand up to current offerings.
On Avance Toujours was another of the videos you actually had to download to watch. Arguably its the best of David Belle’s montage style videos, and shows that his technique was unparalleled in his day. The most important thing to note here is how unique this video still feels. While the movements have since been filmed and refilmed, there is still a lot of stuff in here that is either huge, or stuff that people seem to train less and less these days. My favourite thing to see is how David exhibits an atypical ‘original french’ style of movement that a lot of the earliest traceurs show and has also since become less common.
Though David is widely credited as the founder of Parkour, when I give someone an example of it, I use my good friend Sebastien Foucan’s chase sequence in Casino Royale. This set-piece trumps the one from B13 in every way, combining the over the top notion of a 007 movie with some completely original and fun ideas for a chase sequence. While it doesnt stay quite so grounded in reality as B13, the visual spectacle is undeniable. The choreography is tight and actually allows for some moments of humour, which has a nice Jackie Chan vibe to it.