the 10 best parkour videos in the history of parkour

the 10 best parkour videos in the history of parkour

Looking for the best parkour videos? Well we’ve got the best parkour videos. In fact, we’ve gathered together a list of some of the best parkour videos the world has ever seen – from the viral and acclaimed to the influential, important and most progressive parkour videos on the internet.

Parkour videos seem to pop up every other day now. Over the past few decades, as people began to ask exactly ‘what is parkour?’, the practise became somewhat of a modern mainstream sensation. Society’s sense of curiosity and wonder tingled as they watched practitioners leap across stunning urban environments, and parkour as a practise has leapt into the public eye as a consequence.

Basic parkour techniques turned into worldwide trends and parkour classes began to pop up around the UK, with people asking about parkour gear and parkour shoes.

Parkour fails became a source of constant cringing and comedy for the legions on YouTube, and in amongst it all, some absolute moments of genius were captured on camera from some truly inspirational athletes...

1) Various Athletes, Yamakasi, 2001

In the 1980s, a French friendship group with Yann Hnautra and David Belle at their core would form the ‘Yamakasi’, the first real parkour crew. They would grow the discipline first by themselves, and then take it to the world in an eponymous film directed by Luc Besson. Above is one of the most famous clips from that feature.

Parkour Generations, the largest professional parkour organisation in the world, describe the 2001 film as “a famous reference point" for parkour, but note that not all interest was positive after the film, with “two deaths attributed to copycat behaviour".

2) David Belle, Rush Hour, 2002

While David Belle wouldn’t star in the film ‘Yamakasi’, the man commonly accredited as the father of parkour would of course go on to make one hell of a name for himself around the globe.

In fact, his 2002 BBC commercial ‘Rush Hour’ is credited with bringing parkour to Britain to begin with. Parkour in London became a growing scene from then out, and it didn’t do too badly for kickstarting Belle’s film career either...

3) David Belle, District 13, 2004

District 13 was the first lead role of David Belle in a real blockbuster film. As you can imagine after watching the clip above, it wouldn’t be his last. Some of the stunts in the segment are absolutely surreal. He’s done stunts in various Hollywood films since and even worked as the ‘parkour choreographer’ for 'Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time'.

4) Sebastien Foucan, Jerome Ben Aoues and Johann Vigrouz, Jump London, 2003

This clip is slightly longer than the rest. It’s the third quarter of the ‘Jump London’ film which dropped on Channel 4 back in 2003, exploring urban culture and parkour. It followed French traceurs Sebastien Foucan, Jerome Ben Aoues and Johann Vigroux on their runs across some of the most iconic landmarks in London, from Shakespeare’s Globe to the Royal Albert Hall, bringing parkour to a much wider audience in the process.

So big was the impact of ‘Jump London’, that Parkour UK note: "it created the term freerunning," as  a translation of ‘parkour’ for the English audience. These words have since taken on many meanings to many people, but in essence, they remain a moniker for the same form of movement - click here for more on the difference between parkour and freerunning.

5) Sebastian Foucan and others, Jump Britain, 2005

So successful was ‘Jump London’, that it spawned a highly-rated sequel, ‘Jump Britain’. The action sequence above shows you some of the best bits from the feature, again directed by Mike Christie, and spans from the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff to Edinburgh Castle in Glasgow. Wait, that's not right, is it?

6) Jason Paul, Freerunning in 8bit, 2014

All of the videos on the list so far have been culturally significant in the parkour movement, but this awesome feature from Red Bull athlete Jason Paul, recreating a video game on a train shows just how creative you can get with parkour/freerunning.

The practise requires so much imagination and thought, and there are few better when it comes to this than Jason and his Team Farang. Jason shows time and time again how you can use it to make original art and footage like nothing that’s ever been seen before.

“Every time that you step out of your comfort zone, you get scared," Jason told us back in 2014. It’s about learning how to control that fear. When you get used to being calm when you’re risking your life, you can work with that."

7) James Kingston, POV Crane Climb Southampton, 2013

James Kingston is a modern day parkour genius, in everything from talent to brand. When asked why he went up there, he replied: “I didn’t go up there to die. I went up there to live." The guy has over five million YouTube hits on his top two parkour videos alone, including a monumental 3.78 million on the clip above, which tells the parkour story like it is told so often now in the modern day of GoPros – from the athlete’s point of view.

It’s stunts and stats like this that have opened the doors to the world for James, who has since gone on to make viral parkour videos of him climbing buildings from California to Dubai, and even climb the Wembley Arch in London. You couldn't do that with a skateboard or a BMX... Well, maybe Danny MacAskill could.

8) Devin Supertramp, Assassin’s Creed Meets Parkour, 2014

If Jason Paul is one of the freerunners putting parkour to insanely creative use, the guys at Devin Supertramp are right up there with him. They got Ronnie Shalvis to take to the streets to combine the sensation video game Assassin’s Creed with real life parkour, and it’s now one of the most viewed parkour videos in the world.

How many hits has it got? Oh, just the 50.1 million. It shows that even if you don’t have the skills of David Belle, some good basic parkour techniques and a big imagination can make one of the best watches on the internet.

This video spawned a series – with the follow up Assassin’s Creed in Paris getting 28.6 million hits, and the London Assassin's Creed parkour edition just dropping a few months ago already past the three million mark. Check them out below:

9) Various Athletes, Storm Freerun Vol. 1, 2010

Stunning cinematography, stunning movements, stunning music. This feature makes for an amazing watch. When you notice it’s eight minutes long, you may think of giving it a miss, but we challenge you to watch a few minutes of it and then quit before the end. Did we mention it's stunning?

10) Best of Parkour and Freerunning

Finally, what better to end on than the parkour video which has introduced so many new people to the sport. Going up on YouTube in December of 2012, this footage has racked up a massive 72 million hits on YouTube. It’s enough to get you inspired to go out there and try it yourself, and we recommend that you go and do exactly that.

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