Still in its developmental stages, parkour is a sport that is heavily dominated by male traceurs. Although the sport has seen few female athletes thus far, as it becomes more popular, a marked increase in female participation and training is expected. Despite anatomical differences between men and women, both genders are able to excel in parkour when a solid basis of adequate physical training and mental conditioning is applied.
Although several male traceurs have had the opportunity to carve their name in the histories of parkour, very few female traceurs have established a name in the sport. Indeed, there has been much acclaim in recent years for parkour in films like Luc Besson’s Yamakasi (2002) and many movies featuring Jackie Chan, however, all of the main characters practicing parkour are men. Despite the fact that women have not been popularly portrayed as parkour practitioners in the entertainment industry, video sharing websites like YouTube have seen a rise in home made videos of female traceurs. This speaks heavily to the fact that although women are not well known in parkour as of yet, there has been female interest in the sport and it is becoming increasingly popular.
So what is it that attracts a woman to parkour? The same things as attract men: the adrenaline, focused mental state, and honing of inherent instinctual abilities. Instead of being discouraged by the fact that women have not yet been highlighted in parkour, many may see it as an opportunity to act as frontiersman, promoting the initial growth while creating an opening for other women who are interested in the sport.
Even now, female traceurs are overcoming the stereotype that their weight distribution may not be ideal for parkour. The idea that male traceurs may be ideally physically suited for certain commonly used parkour moves is perpetuated by the logic that women carry the majority of their weight in their lower half while men hold most of their weight in the upper body. Although there is certainly truth to this conviction, it is also known that many moves can be adjusted according to body type. So long as the traceur, whether male or female, has physically trained for the task, most maneuvers are possible.
Not only do women find the physical aspect and the room for growth in parkour attractive, it is also engaging for the mental concentration required to carry out extended or difficult moves. Since the mental focus is not based on any physical difference between men and women, this is certainly an area where anyone may excel without physical bias.
The interior psychological event that occurs for each traceur during parkour is a battle that occurs internally, and many consider it to be a factor that heavily influences performance. Having enough confidence in oneself, a certainty of skill level, and a good source of mental flexibility can mean the difference between a practitioner who is able to do basic moves like landing, balancing and cat crawling to those intermediate traceurs who can kash vault, rotary jump, or reverse vault.
Even though women and men are built differently, with correct bodily, mental, and personal development, women may excel at parkour just as men do. More women are seen in parkour around the world every day, which will continue to open the playing field for female practitioners in the sport.