The acrobatic move itself traditionally consisted of a vertical leap with a completely straight stature, followed by a head-over-heels roll in mid-air to allow the one performing it to land on their back.
The move could also be performed by simply walking off of a high ledge or beam, and leaning the entire body forward. This method was used by Roman Assassin recruits after their initiation ceremony.
An alternative Leap of Faith could be performed while hanging from a ledge, and dropping down backwards onto a safe landing spot that was directly below. Areas from which a Leap could be performed were often marked by bird droppings with small hay patches, or with pigeons perched upon the respective ledge.
In Assassin's Creed: Origins, the origin of the Leap of Faith is revealed: one day, while Bayek was hunting with his son, Khemu, the latter expressed his doubts as to being able to live up to his father as a Medjay (due to the fact that he frequently got scared). As a response to that, Bayek took him to a cliff near Siwa (overlooking a lake), and told his son that, when he was his age, he too, got scared, but his grandfather took him to that very same spot and told him a single word ("Jump") that forever changed Bayek, letting him overcome his fears; Bayek attempted to help his son, as his father helped him, but Khemu was too scared to jump.
In 1191, during the defense of Masyaf, Al Mualim ordered several Assassins to perform the Leap of Faith before the Knights Templar gathered before the fortress, both to proclaim that the Assassins did not fear death, and to successfully trigger an ambush that would rout the attackers.
In the field, the Leap of Faith was mostly used to descend from viewpoints, each of which always provided a suitable safe target for it. However, it could be used to descend from anywhere, provided a safe spot was situated underneath. The Leap could also be used to escape pursuing guards on rooftops, since they were unable to perform the maneuver.
Upon traveling to Rome, Ezio made use of the Leap of Faith to quickly escape from the Borgia towers he had climbed and set aflame. As per tradition, whenever Assassin recruits were initiated, they performed a Leap of Faith, signifying their new rank. Ezio himself performed a Leap of Faith from atop a bell tower in Venice, and his Roman recruits performed the act from atop the Tiber Islandheadquarters, into the Tiber below.
During the 18th century, the pirateEdward Kenway was also able to perform Leaps of Faith from high points. However, many of Edward's jumps were often directed into pools of water below - provided the water was deep enough - such as those he executed while defending Tulum or while chasing Charles Vane during their marooning on Isla Providencia. It was also possible for Edward to perform diving leaps from the crossmasts of ships, landing safely in the sea.
When Masyaf was attacked by Templars, three Assassins displayed their devotion by performing Leaps of Faith from a cliff. This was based on a historical incident involving the Hashshashin, in which their leader proclaimed that his followers were more devout than any and would follow all commands he gave.
There was nothing coincidental about the placement of the piles of hay in the Animus. It was explained that the bales of hay and the birds indicating them were programmed into memories by Lucy Stillman, as a way to help in navigation.