Author Topic: How do you describe Parkour to someone?  (Read 10128 times)

Offline Skipper

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Re: How do you describe Parkour to someone?
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2005, 07:56:24 PM »
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parkour is free-running

Oh man, its like explaining one term with another equally confusing term....

also, there are a few people that might have something against such a direct comparison  ;)

Offline Altimot

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Re: How do you describe Parkour to someone?
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2005, 09:17:12 PM »
i am usually asked this question in the middle of my math class, so i don't get a lot of time to tell about philosophy and stuff. So, i usually just say, "to the untrained eye, it is just a bunch of running, climbing, jumping, and spinning; but if you actually practice it, there is a much more deep meaning and way of doing it. And since we are in the middle of problem 22 i will tell the philosophy of it later, if anybody is interested." and then 2 or 3 kids ask me about it later, i give them a brief description and tell them about good web sites, and usually 1 or 2 start doing pk.

That is usually what i do. It works pretty well, because it keeps the ones that aren't truly interested from doing pk and it gets the ones who are truly interested into doing pk.

Offline Alex Steadman

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Re: How do you describe Parkour to someone?
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2005, 09:27:36 PM »
I have a paper on my binder that says "The Factory Brigade, Arizona Parkour" (TFB=our PK clan) and people are always asking, so I usually just end up saying skateboarding without a skateboard, and say that we jump around and climb walls and stuff.  Also I say sorta like urban gymnastics. 

I know that's not really what it is, but whatever.  It's easier to explain it that way.

Offline Skipper

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Re: How do you describe Parkour to someone?
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2005, 09:52:52 PM »
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so I usually just end up saying skateboarding without a skateboard, and say that we jump around and climb walls and stuff.  Also I say sorta like urban gymnastics.

three of the worst ways of explaining parkour to someone, i would advise to not use those explanations anymore. there are plenty of good ones in this thread, just take a look  ;)

Offline button

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Re: How do you describe Parkour to someone?
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2005, 12:03:25 AM »
Gymnastics without the gym. :P

It takes so long to explain to people the bus thing, I actually find it easier to explain the history of parkour (parcours du combatant)* and lead on from there into the movements, and then onto the mindset & the theory behind it. If it turns people off - then parkours not for them, no need to make it out to be something that its not or gloss over crucial elements in order to 'sell' it to them - otherwise people will be disappointed, confused and quite possibly a little angry later on if you suddenly turn around and change what you originally said to them.

If they're interested and you're outside, mabe look around you and pont out a run you'd take, or better yet, go ahead and do the run.

Sometimes, it's also useful to explain it as more akin to running rather than gymnastics - for a start, it communicates its nature of simple, effective movements, it gets people to think of a course or route rather than a series of tricks, and it makes people forget about the wow factor and focus on the practical aspect.

"Taking an inefficient route, and travelling along it efficiently"**is (I think) about as succinct as one can get when trying to summarise parkour. Maybe kick off with this, then lead into parcours du combatantt and then on from there, as I stated above.

Depending on how interested they are, maybe mention something about the eventual aim of parkour - flow (kids, its a noun, not an adjective ;)).

It's a pick and mix really, it's up to you, as long as you don't mis-represent things (hardcore roof flipping, etc) then I don't think there's a 'correct' way, as people's minds work differntly and so they will latch on to different things. As ever, its much more useful to demonstrate than explain though...


Maybe this thread leads on to the question, once you've explained what parkour is to them, and they want to do it, how do you get them started? How do you explain vaults to them, and what techniques do you have if they're having trouble nailing something?

~~~~~~~~~

*French for 'obstacle course', although the term is only useful as a visual metaphor. If you use 'urban obstacle coursing' interchangibly with parkour, I will punch you in the ovaries :)

**Quoted from Dave, Blackpool, UK (find him on parkour.net)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2005, 12:28:37 AM by button »

Offline Bachelarius

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Re: How do you describe Parkour to someone?
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2005, 12:52:29 AM »
I usually just say something along the lines of being able to move through any environment in the quickest way possible, so say I am here and I want to get over there, I just go, and if something happens to get in my way, I'll simply move over or under it or whatever, without needing to think about it. So basically flips and tricks aren't really a part of it, as they don't really get you anywhere.

People who are not already confused seem to get that description pretty easily, managed to explain most of the basics to someone I know in under 5 mins lol.

Alex Steadman, please do your research. There are no tricks in parkour, and any given vault should not be seen as one, as it's simply a way to get over an obstacle efficiently. Imagine Button's bus analogy (your running for the bus because your late. while doing so you happen to vault a few things, jump a puddle etc.) that would be parkour, but there are loads of other scenarios other than escaping or chasing or whatever. The important part is that your running and have a purpose behind it, not simply doing tricks to look cool... .In a proper fight, you do not think of every technique and you tend to use only the most basic movements. Parkour is based on that basic concept of always using the simplest technique, for your body. It's a very subtle art ;) Take a look at some of the article on www.parkour.net.

(You see? With misinformed people it takes so many more words!!)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2005, 04:28:22 AM by Bachelarius »
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Offline Rafe

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Re: How do you describe Parkour to someone?
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2005, 01:10:51 AM »
This what I say. "It's basically obstacle course running, except we don't build obstacles we find obstacles in our enviorment and train ourself to move over them as swifty and efficiently as possible. We run, jump, vault and climb with eventual goal to be able to move through any complex enviorment as swiftly and efficiently as possible."
I shall not fear, fear is the mind killer the little death that precedes total obliteration

I will face my fear, I will let it pass over and through me and were it is gone, I will turn the inner eye and see its path, and only I will remain.

Offline button

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Re: How do you describe Parkour to someone?
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2005, 01:27:46 AM »
consider yourself punched in the ovaries  :P

nah, what i meant was using 'urban obstacle coursing'* as a substitue name for parkour is silly, but I always refer back to parcours du combatant when explaining it to someone because its the best visual reference for parkour, much better than gymnastics or (shudders) skating without a skateboard.


*and yes, i have heard someone say 'hey, do u do that urban obstacle thing?'
« Last Edit: December 12, 2005, 09:34:02 AM by button »

Offline AldenGlaf

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