Jimmy Allen | Freerunning


Freerunning is a form of often-urban acrobatics that range from jumping, climbing, running, and flipping. There are several distinct sub-disciplines of freerunning, the two most common being parkour and tricking. Parkour, often misunderstood, is strictly getting form point-A to point-B as quickly and smoothly as possible whereas tricking is more of what we see most today.

Parkour does not incorporate flips as it would inhibit the flow of movement, tricking on the other hand is akin to a skateboard or extreme sports mentality of doing the best trick over the best obstacle. Backflips off roofs, frontflips down stairs are the kinds of things we see from tricking, not parkour. My team and I were Trickers.
A good definition and distinction of freerunning can be found here. What is Parkour!?

When I first started doing flips in the backyard when I was 13, I had never heard of freerunning and certainly not parkour. My friend down the street was the gutsy one who encouraged us all to try new things. I got my very first little digital camera and we started shootling little 30 second to one minute videos. We compiled all of them together and made our first freerunning video in 2002.

I come from a skateboarding background, for years I grew up skateboarding stairs, ledges, and rails. That mentality stayed with me when I started doing flips outside of the trampoline. We had some gym mats that were being thrown away and we would use them to do flips off the roof on the trampoline.

In 2004, Jacob Powell and I, along with my little brother Ricky Spencer set out to start a new freerunning video. Shortly after we met Matt Hearne and old friend Kyle Bowles joined our video and we became, Team Defy