REVIEW: Parkour and the Art du Deplacement
“Parkour and the Art du Deplacement” is a newly published book by Vincent Thibault. Written originally in French, the book has been translated to English by Casey Roberts- a translation that is very well done and I’m sure does the original author justice. Including a forward by Parkour Generations director Dan Edwards, the book is a total of 163 pages packed into a nice small, coffee-table sized softcover.
First, a little bit about the author himself. Vincent Thibault is obviously a writer and the author of several other books, but he is also a long time parkour practitioner. He has trained with the Yamakasi and is the co-founder and director of the ADD Academy of Quebec, and was the first certified parkour instructor in Quebec. His experience training in France and in the US, including with many of the founders of our discipline, have given him a broad perspective of the discipline’s many aspects.
The subjects covered in this book range from the physical and mental parts of training to much less talked about aspects, such as ego traps, fear, and respect for others. Not everything in the book is specific to parkour, and many of the quotes and ideas are drawn from martial arts and Buddhist texts. But everything in the book certainly does apply to parkour and how traceurs carry themselves. A quick look at the Table of Contents should give you a general idea of what is covered:
This book was much more philosophical than I had expected going in to it, but I enjoyed the ideas and questions that it brought to mind, and it made me reevaluate my own style of training. Although it is certainly a good read for veteran practitioners and complete non-traceurs, I think the best audience this book could reach would be beginning traceurs. People who have heard of and seen parkour but are not aware yet of the complexity of training, importance of safety, and the philosophical ideas behind its history. That being said, I enjoyed the read as a seasoned practitioner myself, and have certainly been opened up to some new ideas.
I would go so far as to say Parkour and the Art du Deplacement is a must-read for any beginners looking to get into parkour and find out more about the discipline, and a highly recommended book for anyone else (traceur or not). There are not many books about parkour available at this time, and it is important to have a text that summarizes who we are, what we do, and why we do it in such a concise, interesting, and enlightening way.
To order your copy of Parkour and the Art du Deplacement and find out more about it, click here.
Written by Thomas