There is a new sport coming from France which perfectly illustrates what I meant by playful ↵appropriation by mastership. It’s called ↑le Parkour. From the ↑tutorial we learn:
Nevertheless the activities very much look like training for escaping fom the police as fast as possible—and indeed independent sources confirmed that this exactly is where le Parkour stems from. The gist of it is to run and jump through the city on new paths, whereby running and motion seems crucial. As I understand the matter, going up a building rockclimber-style would not qualify as Parkour. Dynamic movements are asked for [which of course are a part of climbing too, alas only since about the 1970s, some exceptions granted, like jumping from sandstone-needle to sandstone-needle in the Elbsandsteingebirge-climbers’ tradition/school]. Sometimes effectiveness is father to a move, sometimes aesthetics, even humour. The cityscape’s artefacts are stripped from its intended modes of use and are inscribed with a new meaning: gymnastic apparatus. Le Parkour is the impro-jazz of gymnastics—the formalized-for-competition gymnastic apparatusses in turn are seen as a means of training.
Check out le Parkour’s video-pages: ↑samplers, ↑specials—the samplers are ‘authentic’, the ‘specials’ refined, including television-features and commercials. In the clips you’ll see some moves which seem banal—but, while watching, imagine to do it yourself. Then there are some outright daring and dangerous stunts, performed high above concrete ground. And there are a lot of smaller tricks, real gems with surprising twists. My favourite is the fake jump over a handrail. At least some of the guys obviously have a background in gymnastics—and word has it that several of them already made it into Jackie Chan’s stunt team. But not only Mr. Chan can put le Parkour to good use—I urge everyone doing character-animations for gamemods to get inspired by those videos linked to above.
via e-mail from 2R—tnx