Parkour practitioners see reality with different eyes. Overcoming obstacles always looking for new solutions becomes a philosophy of life. Louis Queraux, a young parkour athlete, taught us that. Louis is still afraid to take that leap but the desire to fly is stronger. The aesthetic component of the sport has become essential. Showing a graceful, elegant, clean, almost easy to see leap is the result of a great technique.
Each jump is a mental fight between this fear and the desire to make the jump.
Hi Louis, tell us who you are.
Hello, I am a young Frenchman of 25 years old, from île de la Réunion and passionate about parkour for more than 10 years.
When did you start parkour and how would you describe this sport?
I started #parkour at the age of 14, wanting to imitate my brother, who was my first coach (but who has now stopped parkour). Parkour is an urban sport that aims to learn to move and overcome obstacles with efficiency, safety and aesthetics. There are many styles and ways of training, more or less acrobatic, but the essence of parkour remains the same for everyone: to move using only your body.
You can overcome the fear of height, speed, jumps and running. But what is the biggest challenge in parkour, and which is yours?
The fear is still present even after my years of experience, and despite having managed to overcome it many times to achieve my jumps. Indeed, we are always afraid of falling, of not reaching the wall, of landing badly ... Each jump is a mental fight between this fear and the desire to make the jump.
The origin of parkour has a military meaning: it comes from the assault courses and escape situations. How has the meaning of parkour changed
Today, we are more in the search for control and aesthetics than efficiency, even if this notion remains present. As well as practicing how to mount a wall the fastest, we're going to try to mount it so that it looks easy from an outside view, without hurting ourselves and in style if possible.
Succeeding in this kind of jump does not give me the feeling of being invincible, but rather that of being able to do anything.
Those who practice parkour are called Traceur. In an urban space what is
traced and how do you choose the most suitable environments?
All urban environments are good for practicing parkour, there are always things to do, you just have to be creative. But obviously environments are more suitable. First of all, it must be on a 'human scale', so we favor places dedicated to pedestrians and not for cars. Then the more walls and barriers the better, we look for places with a certain height difference: stairs, disabled passages …
It reminds us of a superhero trying to go beyond his physical limits. Have you
ever felt invincible? Which was your greatest challenge?
Indeed, sometimes we make jumps that seemed impossible a few years before or even a few minutes before trying and succeeding in the jump. Succeeding in this kind of jump does not give me the feeling of being invincible, but rather that of being able to do anything.
Last year I managed a jump that had never been done despite everyone dreaming of doing it. But the height between the two walls and the void that had to be jumped made it very difficult. Succeeding in this jump when no one had seen it was the best feeling of my life.
Every Traceur must be creative. While projecting the routes, how much can you improvise?
I improvise very little. Before leaving, I imagine myself making each movement and then I try to reproduce exactly what I imagine. We improvise on details (put 3 feet on the walls rather than two, the angle of the feet or hands ...) but very rarely on the main movements of the line. Improvisation usually leads to a loss of control.
In our society, is parkour considered a real sport or, sometimes, just a dangerous “game”?
Unfortunately, it is still seen as a dangerous game for most people even though
mentalities are slowly changing. But it's hard to explain to people that it's a real sport that you seriously train for. But there is no doubt that mentality is changing.
You are member of the Parkour Karacter Gym, which is a professional organization. Who can be part of it and what skills are needed?
Parkour Karacter is basically a group of friends who are passionate about parkour. It's more professional today, but it is therefore important to be friends with us to be able to be part of it. Karacter means character, so we are looking for tracers with a way of moving specific to them, which gives off something different.
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