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An existential phenomenological examination of parkour and freerunning


Clegg, J. L. & Butryn, T. M.



Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health

Publication type

Artículo de revista




embodiment; lifestyle sports; parkour; phenomenology; risk


The purpose of this investigation was to explore the embodied experiences of practitioners of parkour and freerunning. Phenomenological interviews were conducted with 11 (9 male and 2 female) intermediate-to-advanced traceurs (parkour practitioners) ranging from 18 to 33 years old. Specifically, MerleauPonty’s phenomenological approach, which focuses on bodily perspective, was used to uncover and describe the meaning of these experiences. Following lengthy in-depth phenomenological interviews, two dimensions emerged: bodily experience and interactive experience. Several supporting themes also emerged, including play, movement and risk within the bodily experience dimension, and community, public and world within the interactive experience dimension. The findings of this study provide new perspectives of the experiences and meanings associated with participating in parkour and freerunning, and both support and contradict previous academic work on parkour.


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