The urban sport known as Freerunning originated in France in the late 1980s. It is often referred to by its French name, Parkour, although today these terms are not exactly interchangeable. Deeply influenced by different cultural reference points, including stunt depictions in movies such as The Matrix or Jackie Chan's comedies, video games, break dancing, and martial arts choreography, Parkour/Freerunning has become a lifestyle and philosophy among younger generations. In its orthodox form, Parkour is a strictly individualistic, non-competitive and non-commercial activity, with the ultimate aim to cross physical thresholds of urban space. Freerunning is taken more liberally, and it is simply the art of movement, practiced out of love or professionally. It embraces elements of tricking and street stunts, creating an athletic and aesthetically pleasing way of moving.
The UK-based Urban Freeflow, the first ever professional organization set up within the Freerunning and Parkour world, has continually been the driving force behind the movement, and has developed into an international brand. The UF athletes work as stuntmen, choreographers, actors and live performers, and have been involved in several movie productions. In the pictures, Ash, Blue, Cali, Asid, and Chima, together with their soon-to-be colleagues at UF – Brazilian Pedro Thomas and Mexican Eric 'Daer' Sanchez – show their extraordinary skills in different big cities of the world: New York City, Hong Kong and Mexico City, and on the Maho beach on St. Martin (Netherlands Antilles), a cult destination frequented by airplane watchers.