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Freerunning, the youth craze which involves daredevil leaps from buildings and acrobatic stunts from lamp-posts, has emerged as the Royal Marines' latest weapon of urban warfare.
A squad of professional freerunners going by the names EZ, Livewire, Sticky and Spidey has begun training marine commandos in gravity-defying moves such as the "kong vault", "running cat" and "crane" in an effort to improve troops' street-to-street fighting ability.
The jumping techniques - in which the walls, stairs and bollards of urban landscapes become an assault course - were showcased in the opening sequence to the last James Bond film. The rising popularity of freerunning, also known as parkour, means it rivals skateboarding as a street craze.
t's hardly likely the enemy is going to expect you to be leaping across rooftops, either.
I also found these awful special forces training videos of guys running around, doing close-quarter battle. It was ridiculous. These yellow words would flash on to the video: 'BRUTALITY! REMEMBER BRUTALITY! SHOCK! DOMINATION!' You're thinking, 'Oh my God!' It was like Batman." I tell Gary that I've seen videos like that - incredibly fierce special forces training videos - when I was researching my book about US psychological operations.
Originally posted by Ste2652
Think of it as another weapon (a physical one) in the Royal Marine armoury. I'm sure the Marines have some ideas about how this can be used otherwise they wouldn't have bothered teaching it in the first place (and let's face it, these guys know more about warfare than the vast majority of us on ATS). I'm not expecting them to go freerunning everywhere, but I can see how it could be useful in some situations. Tactics have to be adapted as the enemy changes, and we are presently fighting something that we've never really fought before. The dynamics of conflict have changed a great deal, and if we simply stick to the tactics that worked in the last war then we'll lose. Just look at how Napoleon managed to defeat the Prussians.
And no, I hardly expect them to recreate the Casino Royale scene... that was just the most prominent example of freerunning I could think of!
[edit on 14/1/08 by Ste2652]