Author Topic: How can we work with as many parkour communities as possible?  (Read 6215 times)

Offline Mark Toorock

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How can we work with as many parkour communities as possible?
« on: February 22, 2010, 02:44:25 PM »
In response to they "why hate on UF" thread. Instead of pointing out flaws which all communities have, how about pointing out the things they do well and how we can work with each other's strengths (and weaknesses) to best work collectively to push parkour forward.

For one, I'm very excited that APK's "National Parkour Day" went from national to international in one year!! There are already over 1,100 people signed up on facebook. Nobody cares that APK started it and hopefully there isn't a discussion somewhere that "we shouldn't train that day because it was APK's idea" ... instead it should be that there was a good idea and we ALL work together to make it meaningful for the progression of Parkour.

Look at Sticky's charity run!

Look at PKGens and their events!

UF started teaching kids in schools before most of you knew what parkour was. Give credit where it's due!

PK Visions has some great non-profit efforts.

APK's Part of the Leave no trace initiative has made a huge impact on local parks.

There are a lot of great examples of good things people do with, through, and for parkour, let's see how many we can list.

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Offline EpicMovement

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Re: How can we work with as many parkour communities as possible?
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2010, 03:17:09 PM »
THANK YOU!!!!! I didn't be the one to have to say it but Mark is right. Stop the hate by being the first to reach out a caring hand. Thats the way I live my life, and hope that the PK community as a whole can embrace this.

Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: How can we work with as many parkour communities as possible?
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2010, 04:59:23 AM »
Bump / disappointment - the threads about "Hating on UF" and "Joining other groups" stay at the top of the forums, but a thread about getting along, working with everyone, and advancing parkour sinks to the bottom? And people wonder why they only show bad stuff on the news. WE are the ones to be different. WE are the ones to make a change. WE are the ones to reach out and work with other groups. Don't let me down.

What if everyone "from APK" emailed one traceur / freerunner anywhere in the world with two sentences about where they train and how?

What if everyone "from APK" went on a forum around the world and said "Hi, we'd like to be more connected with people around the world, here's where I train and here's how I train and who I train with" with a video or photo?

What would the affect of that be?

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Offline Mitch Hamilton

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Re: How can we work with as many parkour communities as possible?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2010, 05:21:36 AM »
I sir, Liek the idea. I will return after my nap and juicebox to write a more approriate repsonse. Until then.
I RESERVE THIS PLACE IN LINE FOR A WELL EDUCATED RESPONSE

Offline Skills

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Re: How can we work with as many parkour communities as possible?
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2010, 06:02:45 AM »
Mark with all respect due, I think that the idea of connecting with other communities is based on the the philosophy and definition of what we do. alot of our disputes within the community is based on philosophical ideas. Thats just my take on things. hope you take it for what it's worth.

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Offline DaveS

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Re: How can we work with as many parkour communities as possible?
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2010, 07:04:55 AM »
I was a little bit confused after your first post as to what the point of this thread was. I couldn't decide whether to answer the question in the title and suggest ways to work together, or answer the question in your post and try and list existing ways in which people do work together. The purpose seems clearer now.

I don't think there have been many examples of community action that haven't already been listed here. The only one I can think of is the "Pro Parkour, Against Competition" campaign, but I can see why you might forget that one ;)

People can only work together when they share similar aims, so lets see if we can agree on some aims first.

1. Help improve every practitioner's knowledge and understanding of what parkour is and how best to practise.

2. Help improve public understanding of parkour.

3. Help encourage new people to take up the discipline.

As Joseph said, the most fundamental issue regarding achieving those aims is the definition of parkour. If you believe that people within the community can work together then this is a necessary first step. So, maybe we could start by creating a separate discussion to improve all our definitions of parkour to the point where we can all agree.
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Offline Andy Animus Tran

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Re: How can we work with as many parkour communities as possible?
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2010, 07:55:59 AM »
Are people still arguing about useless stuff?  Man, nothing ever changes.  And here I thought we were moving past things.

PK Generations teaching kids for free is a great thing.  They also helped people to realize the vast importance of conditioning for Parkour.

APK did something (in my opinion) even better: they helped people to realize the vast importance of strength training for Parkour.

Majestic Force (or whatever they're called now) managed to get the government to support ADD in Evry.

Every group out there has helped to foster more awareness, more knowledge, more and more an emphasis on safety.

And to all you nitpickers on Parkour "philosophy"...  I was there, believe me.  "Preserve Parkour in its original form, blah blah blah."  I bet M2 can recall all the years I spent arguing against his philosophies, approaches, and ideas.  Hell, we led a friggin separatist movement.  Here's the big secret, though.. the one thing you start to figure out after years and years in the community, even as a separatist..  And I want you to really think about this:

1) Is there an "original" or "pure" Parkour?  Go back to the very first media clips.  What was Parkour back then?  How has it changed since?

2) For all the arguing, debating, etc. over what is what, has it ever changed the way you train (Parkour itself, not the supplemental strength and conditioning)?  Look at someone with a vastly different philosophy than you as to what Parkour is.  How do they train?  Is it, at all, any different from the way that you do?

I'm willing to bet quite a bit that there isn't a real difference between any two traceurs or freerunners out there.  The methodologies are pretty much exact.  Leon might bust some flips out more than I do (considering I don't/can't), and I might squat with a few hundred pounds on my back..  But when it comes to Parkour (or freerunnining), we pretty much do the same thing: jump, climb, vault, run... over and over again.  Drill drill drill.  Play around.  Goof off.  Have fun.  Challenge each other.

Honestly, I was hoping that the days of animosity, of differing opinions somehow creating the illusion that they mattered, of separation over tiny little petty things.. was long past.  Why not one community?  Why not solidarity?  Cause I guarantee you that it exists out there.  We can all be together.  We can all play nice.  It really doesn't matter what we believe in or how we approach things.  We're all doing the same thing, in the end.

Ugh.. sorry about the rant.  This is why I've avoided General Parkour for so long.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 07:58:35 AM by Andy Animus Tran »
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Offline DaveS

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Re: How can we work with as many parkour communities as possible?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2010, 08:19:56 AM »
I think that might have been more usefully posted in the discussion thread on 'other organisations' where those issues were actually being discussed, but anyway I think that the reason things haven't progressed is because those of us who have been around for a long time still haven't found a way to work together. I think that's what's needed to get any kind of consistent message across. At the moment there are as many different answers as there are practitioners to even the most basic and fundamental issue in parkour, and I think the only thing that will solve these perpetual problems is for more of the global community to work together.

It does get boring to keep saying the same things over and over again, but that's the nature of teaching. The help has to be there for every student that needs it.

So lets get back to the positive stuff.
~ Dave
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: How can we work with as many parkour communities as possible?
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2010, 08:45:08 AM »
DaveS - we worked on a definition for parkour and invited the whole world to participate - that's the definition we use now.

It seems really that some people would just rather perpetuate arguments - like for one, telling him where the thread would be more useful? Think big picture here Dave.

I did two things in this thread (sorry if I confused anyone)

I asked us as a group to list good things that people are doing, and I asked us as a group to reach out and help people that are doing good things, and join them in doing them.

At no point did I say "for APK" in fact the opposite, I said reach out to other communities - if you are reading this, well, then you are already here.

I also said that in the other communities thread - if you see a group doing something you like, HELP THEM.

As traceurs we SAY we are active, we SAY we are making a difference.

Don't argue on the internet, instead use it as a tool to reach out and work with people.




 
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Offline Andy Animus Tran

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Re: How can we work with as many parkour communities as possible?
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2010, 12:03:20 PM »
The Australian Parkour Association was the first not-for-profit organization dedicated to the education and awareness of Parkour.  I think that in itself was a great accomplishment.  It also paved the way for the Pacific Northwest Parkour Association (I think I got the name right) that Tyson and Rafe started.  Hopefully, a lot more in the future will come of it.

PKNA (before it went under) had a very successful podcast that was extremely informative for both newcomers and other community members.  Someone should start another.

UF brought us nearly all of our terminology, spread Parkour like wildfire in the early days, and were essentially the first ones to begin to foster a "family/community" atmosphere within our community (as opposed to the super competitive nature of something like the tricking community... which we could've easily fallen into).

For the record, I think a lot of us have figured out how to work together.  It's the newcomers with their young idealism and need for "philosophical/spiritual depth" that tend to nitpick.  I don't really know if the rest of us care that much anymore.
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Offline Gregg HIPK

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Re: How can we work with as many parkour communities as possible?
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2010, 01:06:11 PM »
Parkour.net -- especially look at http://archive.parkour.net for the older stuff... before the site is sold.
Try to understand some of the international traceurs [especially if you can read the other language forums], and some of the history.

Working together with other communities... this applies on both a large scale and local scale. It's not just the US scene working with the scene in other nations, but regions working with regions, state with state, county with county... traceur with traceur. So try to work at as many levels as you can.


Offline Matt Nerosky

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Re: How can we work with as many parkour communities as possible?
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2010, 01:27:57 PM »
I didn't start the why hate uf thread because I wanted people to rip on uf I was just wondering why
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 01:41:08 PM by Matt Nerosky »

Offline DaveS

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Re: How can we work with as many parkour communities as possible?
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2010, 04:16:04 PM »
Sorry Mark, I never got to hear about your efforts to define parkour. When did you send the invite out to me?
The APK's website definition is pretty good and it's fairly close to the BPCA one we decided on 18 months ago. The only real problem with it is that describing parkour as a 'physical discipline' is misleading since it's a discipline with both physical and mental aspects. I think it's an important difference, so either change that one bit, or help me understand why the word 'physical' needs to be there, and I'll happily work with you.

Ignoring the problems and hoping they go away doesn't help anyone. That's the attitude that's left us answering the same questions and having the same discussions since discussions began. You have to keep learning and discussing until the issues are solved.

Even if I agreed with you about everything, the fact still remains that presenting different views and challenging opinions is the best way to help people that already have a basic ability to solve problems. People improve in response to challenges. If you can't explain your point of view to me when I'm here asking you questions then you've got no hope with most of the rest of the worldwide community.

What do you want to do? What is your suggestion for working with other people who want to work with you but who disagree with you on what parkour is? That's the question you asked with your thread title and it's the one I made a suggestion for. If you don't want to talk to people on an equal basis about your parkour definition how else can you work with other parkour communities?
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 04:19:51 PM by DaveS »
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: How can we work with as many parkour communities as possible?
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2010, 04:31:23 PM »
Dave, you are a very clever guy. Your post is so full of suppositions that I'm not going to reply to it. If you'd like to try again I'm all ears. I'm not here to play games, I am here to help people learn and learn about parkour and freerunning.
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Re: How can we work with as many parkour communities as possible?
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2010, 04:38:16 PM »
I asked us as a group to list good things that people are doing, and I asked us as a group to reach out and help people that are doing good things, and join them in doing them.

I think research is a great way to bring communities together on issues.  Like Hannah's project about women in pk and how it affects them.  That's an issue to effects all communitys (assuming they have women in them) and provides a starting point for things like...how to be more inclusive to women, or even subgroups who don't really see themselves as people who can do pk (like some people out of shape).  No matter your philosophy I think it's safe to say that we want pk to be accessible to everyone who wants to join in. 

I think understanding how pk communities large and small develop is another very important topic to look into...and one that all communities can add to by sharing their stories/histories.  Pk is a young "sport" and sucessful community development and sustaining this development is in need as more and more people get interested.  As far as I know, there are no models out there that people can refer to help them build a community.  Apk has some great articles that help point people in the right direction...but that's just apk.  There is no specialized support system for community development...and maybe more importantly sustaining this development.  I know we talk about it on the forum all the time...but how do we actively help each other out?  I think one way is through research and having a source of info that people can go to help them with the challenges facing community leaders as they start building a community, as people start moving away and leaving vacancies that need to be filled for the community to keep going, as we as a collective try to keep some control over how this sport develops....

Okay rant over
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 04:41:08 PM by Ryan F. HIPK »

Offline DaveS

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Re: How can we work with as many parkour communities as possible?
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2010, 05:23:58 PM »
Sure Mark, I'll try again. What's the worst that can happen by continuing the discussion? We continue to not work together?

I think that agreeing on a definition is the first step towards anyone working together to further education about parkour. It might be the only step, because the definition contains the essence of the whole discipline and will effectively determine everything, but it is still the major obstacle stopping us from working together and presenting a clear message to remove ambiguity from the parkour community.

Since this clearly hasn't happened yet, despite what you might claim with the APK definition, this is still the stage that we are at.

I think we need to talk to each other and share ideas in order to understand the various views that are present in the parkour community as a whole. No one's perfect, but each person has unique ideas and can add something to the community. Communities work best when each person contributes, and not so well when a few people contribute and everyone else relies on them. Lets get the most out of the community by taking to each other, talking to everyone, about the issues. Even if it means repeating things that we've said before. I think that continuing to share our ideas is the best current answer to the question of how we can work together with more than just our own local groups.
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Offline DevintheNinja

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Re: How can we work with as many parkour communities as possible?
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2010, 06:17:08 PM »
here was my idea that may help the locals be recognized.

Since most of the big organizations travel to different locations and showcase their talent. wouldnt it be nice if they did a local spotlight reel featuring locals from the area they are in. an idea i had in mind
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Offline Corndogg

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Re: How can we work with as many parkour communities as possible?
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2010, 07:18:24 PM »
I don't think that a strict definition of parkour should be the basis on whether communities can collaborate or not.  SFPK has our own version.  APK has their own.  BPCA has their own.  Why does everyone have their own?  Because there is no strict definition of parkour!  If there was, we'd all know it by heart by now.  But there isn't.  So what you're left with is individuals nitpicking over words. 

Instead, who we choose to collaborate with is based on things like - Do they have a good sense of what parkour is?  Are they a positive, proactive, constructive community?  Are they welcoming to new members?  Do they try and educate others and share parkour knowledge?  Do they promote safety?  Are they active both offline and online?  Are they down to earth or elitist?  Those kinds of things.  If you say that 2 groups can't collaborate because the disagree over a single word, that just seems silly to me. 

If there is knowledge to be shared and gained on both sides, then egos aside and in the interest of growing the discipline that we all know and love, we should be able to find common enough ground to begin collaboration. Right?  Sure, some may want to keep their intellectual property for commercial purposes, but I'm sure there's still other knowledge that can be shared freely.


SFPK would love to collaborate with others on:
- How best to promote safety.
- How to run classes for beginners.
- Defining core infrastructure and resources needed to develop a community.
- DIY obstacles.
- How to create a parkour park in your city.
- How to start a school club related to parkour.
- Exchanging contacts to facilitate travel to new locations.
- Media interaction.

We have a guides and resources for a few of these with more under development.  We have shared everything we can, like our class agenda, forum rules, media interaction guidelines, guide on setting up jams and more.  Others we only have discussion threads, or just ideas in our heads.  We are looking forward to collaborating with you all more, the more feedback the better!
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 07:54:18 PM by Corndogg »
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Offline DaveS

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Re: How can we work with as many parkour communities as possible?
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2010, 02:02:10 AM »
However strict or relaxed you think a definition might be, I think parkour clearly is 'something'. If there are different descriptions which all describe parkour then we simply need to work out what they have in common and put our finger on exactly what it is that makes parkour parkour. If we're trying to practise parkour and teach it to others we need to be clear what it is, and as I mentioned before I think that sending a consistent message is essential in generating consistent understanding.
I agree that "Do they have a good sense of what parkour is?" is the first place to start when deciding who to work with, and at the moment it seems like each community fails that in the eyes of another.

Start a thread on a collaboration topic and we can start working on it. I think that if we disagree on the basics of what parkour is then we're not going to agree on most of those subjects either, but maybe we can use the discussions to improve our understanding of the basics. Pick one and give it a shot. :)
~ Dave
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Offline Seth Horner

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Re: How can we work with as many parkour communities as possible?
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2010, 05:25:25 AM »
Dictionary says "A sport or athletic activity in which the participant seeks to move quickly and fluidly through an area, often an urban locale, by surmounting obstacles such as walls and railings and leaping across open spaces, as in a stairwell or between buildings." Err.