Author Topic: Competition in Parkour  (Read 42970 times)

Offline DaveS

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2011, 04:36:25 PM »
I know that you feel my "actions" (I believe you're referring to my creation and involvement of Jump city) have been dishonest, however it was YOUR opinion of my motivation that makes you feel qualified to say that I wasn't being honest. I have not been untrue to myself, my views, and my stated goals when it comes to parkour, so I'm afraid in that area, calling me dishonest goes beyond what I would consider an "opinion" and I feel you have no real backing for that statement. Obviously you feel differently and won't be convinced otherwise.
Just to be clear, I have no problem with your motivation. I honestly think ultimately you're motivated by trying to make things better.
My opinion of your motivation had nothing to do with this. I think you were dishonest because you supported a programme that you knew to be spreading incorrect information. For this it doesn't matter why you did so, it doesn't matter whether you think that good outweighed the bad. What matters is that you chose freely to support a view you knew to be misleading. Whatever the motivation for it, however acceptable or 'professional' you think that is, it is still dishonest in my view.
If you did something like that while believing that it would have an overall bad effect, or just simply without caring, that would be more in the realms of immoral rather than dishonest. There are people connected to Parkour who have done that (I hesitate to call them Parkour practitioners), however I don't believe you are one of them. If I didn't think you were trying to do the right thing there would be no point in me having a conversation with you. To my knowledge we differ only over actions that are, from your point of view, debatable at worst.
Dishonesty's not a good thing, but I think we've all thought that it was necessary at some point in our lives. I see fault with some of your actions, but not your motivations.

Finally, you keep speaking for "large parts of the community" - I personally speak for myself, am accountable for myself and my actions, and I present the way I feel about things and the way I'd like or not like to see things in the parkour world go. I don't believe I've said at any time "this is what most people think, or this is how most people should think" - I believe that everyone can and should think for themselves and I believe that the ability to do so is aided by training in Parkour.

Well, without meaning to sound cold, the competitions exist already and they're created by some of the most prominent groups in America - Parkour Visions in Seattle and Apex Movement in Denver are well respected, hold two of the biggest national jams / events, and are at the forefront of advancing parkour,
Mark, you yourself are trying to speak for other people when you say that these groups are well respected, and you're also stating as fact that they are at the forefront of Parkour, which in a discipline without ranks can't be anything more than opinion.

Either we make sure to include the words 'maybe' or 'possibly' in every sentence we write, or else we accept that people can be sure of things that we are not and learn to have discussions with people who disagree. For me, all useful discussions are based on sharing honest opinions in an honest way. How you present a point should reflect how you yourself think of it. When learning about other views it is important to know how the views relate to the people themselves, and how those views are presented is our only means of doing so when we're communicating at long distances.
If someone is sure about a view, they should present themselves as being sure of that view. Nobody needs to be told that people might disagree with a view, least of all the people who do disagree with it.

I do find it annoying and frustrating that you have to bring up all those points in a thread about competition (because many are not related to competition but what you feel parkour is about and what you feel you can push on others that parkour should be about),
This is a discussion about competition in Parkour, and I don't think you can discuss how competition relates to Parkour without referring to Parkour.

However, I don't like to get rid of people's opinions (despite your claim Dave and your request to get rid of my opinion) and I don't like to erase conversations as they go, so Ryan I'm afraid you'll have to deal with this as it is. I do think it's a bit funny that you asked a mod to erase the forum owner's posts, but whatever ;P
It just seems like since you started on this subject we're not actually talking about competition in Parkour anymore in this thread. Maybe we could split these posts off into a new topic and you and I can have our own separate thread to argue about how best to argue.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 04:55:45 PM by DaveS »
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Offline Jordan Strybos

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2011, 04:50:02 PM »
It just seems like since you we're not actually talking about competition in Parkour anymore in this thread. Maybe we could split these posts off into a new topic and you and I can have our own separate thread to argue about how best to argue.

Agreed. Mark and Dave, if you need to have an argument about discussion guidelines, personal messaging would be nice. The topics that were being discussed in this thread and the ideas brought up by others are important and could benefit the community a great deal; I would hate to see potential discussions disappear because of a mainly-unrelated argument.

Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2011, 10:49:48 AM »
Right, a nice trap there Dave, actually 3.

1. I was dishonest because I did something that I knew misrepresented something. - No, I didn't. I feel that the TV show represented a professional parkour and freerunning competition just fine. So please, stop telling me what I think and whether I am honest with myself.

2. That I am speaking for other people when I call Apex and Parkour Visions well respected. - They are, by many people, if you need me to get those people to state that here to believe, that's fine.

3. That you can post about whatever you want and say it is relevant, but then when I counter those points the discussion should be moved - that's bullshit. You yourself have accused me of stifling your opinion (which I haven't) and then ASKED FOR WHAT I WROTE TO BE DELETED.

I think the best solution will be for me not to address you anymore since I feel you don't discuss things on an equitable basis.

For anyone who agrees that Dave's points should all stand but anything I dissuss about his points should be moved to another thread, I feel that's BS.
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Offline DaveS

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2011, 04:12:00 PM »
Mark
1. I was dishonest because I did something that I knew misrepresented something. - No, I didn't. 
I didn't say that you misrepresented something, I said that you knowingly supported a programme that misrepresented Parkour.

I feel that the TV show represented a professional parkour and freerunning competition just fine. So please, stop telling me what I think and whether I am honest with myself.
Do I like everything the hosts say and the way those all come out in the final edit? Of course not
Which contradictory statement would you like me to believe?

Even if those two statements weren't contradictory, I think it's still obvious that you support the Jump City: Seattle programme. I think it's also obvious to anyone that has seen them that the portrayal by the programme in question does not match the explanations and demonstrations by David Belle and other hugely experienced practitioners.

2. That I am speaking for other people when I call Apex and Parkour Visions well respected. - They are, by many people, if you need me to get those people to state that here to believe, that's fine.
You're still speaking for those other people. Are we allowed to do this or not?

3. That you can post about whatever you want and say it is relevant, but then when I counter those points the discussion should be moved - that's bullshit. You yourself have accused me of stifling your opinion (which I haven't) and then ASKED FOR WHAT I WROTE TO BE DELETED.
I posted a discussion of some points about how competition relates to Parkour. You started a discussion of me, without mentioning even one of my points about Parkour and competition. Are you seriously trying to argue that some of your posts weren't even slightly off topic but my first post was?

Edit: Removed comments relating to a misunderstanding with Stevie.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 02:36:57 PM by DaveS »
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2011, 07:37:33 PM »
The only thing worth mentioning is that Stevie; while I appreciate the support, I don't want or need special status to have and defend my opinions, nor do I need backing of any kind except for polite discourse :)

Dave, I not only support the show, I am the creator, executive producer, and supervising producer. I didn't write the script and I am appalled by some of the things that made it in the final edit, if you can't get your head around that then I can't help you.
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Offline DaveS

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2011, 03:07:41 AM »
Thanks, but it seems I've got my head around it just fine. You misinform people but you're ok with that.
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2011, 04:26:35 PM »
I've told you many times that I didn't have final control over the show, now you're just being difficult. Again, I'm not going to argue with you, you will take what you want and spit it the way you see it, with no regard for reality.
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Offline Conrad Moser

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #27 on: August 28, 2011, 10:00:42 AM »
I see no problem with these "professional" "parkour" "competitions". Notice I'm putting all three words in quotes to indicate the varying authenticity of the terms from different points of view. If there are traceurs who believe that high-level competition can improve them, the practice and the community, then good on them. If the community itself supports it, then there's no reason not to. Sure, there may be some differing views given that might not be accepted by others - hell, I have certain feelings about the level of "professionalism" in the NBA, MLB, NFL, etc. - but that does not absolutely destroy the spirit of the sport/activity. Millions of kids still play little league baseball, pop warner football, street hoops, etc. without the express intent of going on to the pro level. Some do, of course, and if that's the path they want to take, then so be it. The same can be said of parkour. There will still be community-level jams, smaller gatherings, and solo traceurs practicing the craft at their own level for their own reasons and with their own goals. That doesn't preclude them from enjoying watching the "big names" on TV.

Maybe it does go against some of the ideals developed by David Belle, Sebastien, etc. I believe that their philosophies aren't necessarily immutable or even applicable to others on a global scale. When something gets this big there is really no way to make it all strictly adhere to the original dogma, or else everyone would all be doing the same thing. Part of parkour is being free to choose your own way. Let people have that freedom.
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Offline Anias Zig Zag Reed

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2011, 03:52:37 PM »
This is why we can't have nice things  ::)
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Offline Ken PKChiro

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2011, 04:30:46 PM »
All I have to say is that the parkour competitions I've been a part of have all been thoroughly encouraging and not "competitive."  Rather, they've not been NEGATIVELY competitive.  You cheer for your competition as hard as your friends, you admire technique and flow and skill and give respect to those who deserve it.

This is unique to parkour, in my experience, and IMO pushing yourself to overcome obstacles IS the spirit of parkour--thus, if someone else is to push you, encourage you, challenge you in whatever the format, why not?  In fact, what distinguishes a competition from a mere gathering of fellow traceurs?  The reward?  The excitement?  The attention?  Because in it of itself, the competition really is no different than a challenge or obstacle course placed in front of you by your peers.

Our goal of discussing competition is only to establish the safest and fairest medium to challenge each other.  That's all were doing, really.  So the big question is this:

"How do we format a challenge that every traceur/ess can find useful to his/her personal training?"
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Offline 7Erik7

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #30 on: September 19, 2011, 08:08:17 AM »
I’m personally not very fond of competitions mainly becaue I’ve seen friends of mine leaving their hockey team, for instance, because they didn’t want to go for 100%. In my opinion, sport should be focused first on the inviduals, to engage them and keep them active, and second on the competetive nature. But in overall competitions are great in other ways.

However, when someone says that parkour, or freerunning if you wish, is competetive I’d like to burst into a deep old laugh. It’s like claiming that It’s possible to hold a competition Jeet Kun Do. It’s simply not possible because everything in parkour can’t be measured.

You can’t mesaure what kind of move that is better than someone’s else. Because the end goal is to find your own invidual way to move.

You can’t specifically say what kind of goals he or she have

You can’t measure whenever the competitor are doing their movement to impress or not (impressing people is a drive which is in our minds)

You can’t tell how much damage a certain movement do to he or she

You can’t tell whenever the person are doing his or her movement to impress or not.

You can’t tell how helpfull he or she is to other people in his or her daily life.

You can’t tell how creative someone have been in their lifetime by letting them go through an hour of competition.

Because parkour, or freerunning, Is not about following pre-defined physicals goals like in gymnastics. It’s about your personal goals, you own hapiness, and your own journey. For instance, how we could tell how much a person have progressed in their mind? Because parkour have always been as physical as It’s about mental progress which means that if you wan’t to measure how good someone is in parkour you’ll have to look at it for what it is. Denying this is like denying parkour’s existence on mother earth.

Competitions is something you do for play. You have rules and restrictions that automaticly will  remove a great deal of parkour until the only thing that is left is the physical side of it, and then, It’s just a physical dicipline.

In overall, It’s sad that this site promote something like this, aswell as other sites do, and It’s either due to lack of knowledge or selfishness.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 08:16:01 AM by 7Erik7 »

Offline Eric Reynolds

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #31 on: September 27, 2011, 05:45:01 PM »
my opinion is this. as long as these competitions are friendly and used as pretty much like a worldwide jam, i don't think its wrong to compete wit one each other. however, if it gets to the point where the competitions turn parkour into something like skateboarding, which,no offense to skateboarders, but all the ones i have met are only worried about being better than other people, and are unwilling to help each other further their skills. i have found that this is no the case with parkour, i train with a friend who is sponsored, and he is always willing to help me with a certain move. i fear that parkour competitions may turn newcomers into selfish people only helping themselves. as parkour becomes more prominent in teens, we may see this happen.       

Offline Ken PKChiro

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #32 on: October 09, 2011, 03:58:15 PM »
I’m personally not very fond of competitions mainly becaue I’ve seen friends of mine leaving their hockey team, for instance, because they didn’t want to go for 100%. In my opinion, sport should be focused first on the inviduals, to engage them and keep them active, and second on the competetive nature. But in overall competitions are great in other ways.

However, when someone says that parkour, or freerunning if you wish, is competetive I’d like to burst into a deep old laugh. It’s like claiming that It’s possible to hold a competition Jeet Kun Do. It’s simply not possible because everything in parkour can’t be measured.

You can’t mesaure what kind of move that is better than someone’s else. Because the end goal is to find your own invidual way to move.

You can’t specifically say what kind of goals he or she have

You can’t measure whenever the competitor are doing their movement to impress or not (impressing people is a drive which is in our minds)

You can’t tell how much damage a certain movement do to he or she

You can’t tell whenever the person are doing his or her movement to impress or not.

You can’t tell how helpfull he or she is to other people in his or her daily life.

You can’t tell how creative someone have been in their lifetime by letting them go through an hour of competition.

Because parkour, or freerunning, Is not about following pre-defined physicals goals like in gymnastics. It’s about your personal goals, you own hapiness, and your own journey. For instance, how we could tell how much a person have progressed in their mind? Because parkour have always been as physical as It’s about mental progress which means that if you wan’t to measure how good someone is in parkour you’ll have to look at it for what it is. Denying this is like denying parkour’s existence on mother earth.

Competitions is something you do for play. You have rules and restrictions that automaticly will  remove a great deal of parkour until the only thing that is left is the physical side of it, and then, It’s just a physical dicipline.

In overall, It’s sad that this site promote something like this, aswell as other sites do, and It’s either due to lack of knowledge or selfishness.

You CAN measure what kind of move is better than someone else's because the end goal is whatever we want to make the goal as.  ie, speed, technique, etc.  The goal determines how to measure "better" or "worse."  Now the individual's goal, sure, that's his/her to determine, but you're not discussing the topic by establishing that parkour has different purposes for different people.  If the goal is to be a hottie in soccer, doesn't mean that competitions can't happen is soccer. (based on your logic)

You CAN tell how much damage a certain movement will do.  This should be obvious and I don't need to defend this beyond the idea than if someone lands on their neck, they CERTAINLY did more damage than someone who landed on their feet.

All your other points address the person, not the competition, so--I don't see what you're saying.  Again, pertaining to soccer, if someone plays soccer to "be helpful to people" in his or her daily life, it doesn't mean that competitions can't happen or shouldn't happen.

We aren't narrow mindedly saying that parkour has no benefit beyond the physical discipline, but obviously we have to measure the physical discipline itself when in competition.  Again, soccer or tennis or anything, there are points to determine the winner.  By eliminating points just because we aren't addressing how much the person trained or how hard they tried in their daily life--how does that make a competition or those who promote competition selfish?
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Offline Joe Brock

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #33 on: October 09, 2011, 09:18:27 PM »
A correlation:
Parkour isn't competitive. Parkour is about improving yourself as a human being, and that's got nothing to do with anyone else.

Within my lifting team, we have multiple ranges of skill and physical makeup.  The concept of "competition" is related to personal improvement, and the ranges of improvement can be seen within a "total."  It's not fair of me to expect "Little Mike" (who is about #165) to lift exactly what "Big Mike" (who is #280) is lifting, but that doesn't stop us from competing with one another.  At 90% of a 1RM, we'll have "Rep Contests" of sorts.  If Big Mike OHPresses #285x5 and Little Mike lifts #165x6, then Little Mike is the victor.

It's designed for the purpose of promoting physical improvement, because in the end we are all hoping to make progress.  Parkour CAN and SHOULD be treated similarly.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2011, 09:22:28 PM by Joe Brock »
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Offline DaveS

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #34 on: October 11, 2011, 05:21:47 AM »
This is unique to parkour, in my experience, and IMO pushing yourself to overcome obstacles IS the spirit of parkour--thus, if someone else is to push you, encourage you, challenge you in whatever the format, why not?  In fact, what distinguishes a competition from a mere gathering of fellow traceurs?  The reward?  The excitement?  The attention?  Because in it of itself, the competition really is no different than a challenge or obstacle course placed in front of you by your peers.
Being pushed by others is not the same as pushing yourself, it is in fact the opposite. Pushing yourself means taking control of your life and choosing your own direction, being pushed by others means losing control of your life and doing things you don't want to do.
The desire to follow your own path is one of the most fundamental principles of Parkour. You need no push from someone else to do something you want to do anyway.

In life, what matters is how your capabilities compare to the demands of the challenges you face. It is important to be strong enough to get past the obstacles that would otherwise stop you from succeeding. These challenges in life often involve other people, but the difference with a competition is that it treats other people as being part of the obstacle rather than part of the solution. It positions you against your peers instead of alongside them, and that limits potential achievement to what one person can do on their own instead of what we can all do together. We always achieve more when we work together than when we work separately.

A correlation:
Within my lifting team, we have multiple ranges of skill and physical makeup.  The concept of "competition" is related to personal improvement, and the ranges of improvement can be seen within a "total."  It's not fair of me to expect "Little Mike" (who is about #165) to lift exactly what "Big Mike" (who is #280) is lifting, but that doesn't stop us from competing with one another.  At 90% of a 1RM, we'll have "Rep Contests" of sorts.  If Big Mike OHPresses #285x5 and Little Mike lifts #165x6, then Little Mike is the victor.

It's designed for the purpose of promoting physical improvement, because in the end we are all hoping to make progress.  Parkour CAN and SHOULD be treated similarly.
What you've done there is to create a task that they have equal ability to complete in (reps) by changing other aspects (weight) that you have chosen to care less about in this situation. Parkour involves a lot of abilities that are all very important. Which ability would you choose to compete on? Whichever you choose, the competition would not be about Parkour but about that one particular ability, and so it would not be a Parkour competition.

We achieve more when we work together than when we compete against each other.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 08:57:19 AM by DaveS »
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Offline Shamas

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #35 on: October 11, 2011, 06:51:29 AM »
We achieve more when we work together than when we compete against each other.
I don't necessarily agree. I am not going to jump into sides on your personal debate that has splattered all over this thread, but I will say this; I do not compete with the attitude "in it to win it". When I train alone, I am not motivated enough to push myself. When a friend comes and trains with me, even though we don't race or the like, I am always competing with the friend(s) around me. I want to be able to do what they do but better. If I can't it motivates me to get in the right position to do so. Once we (my friend(s) and I) have mastered a skill, technique, etc... I focus less on competing with them and more on making it my own.
Steve Zavitz and I trained all the time together and even though we didn't go testosterone over load, we saw each other progress and wanted to do equally/greater than each other. This is going to happen.


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On the original topic,
   it IS human nature to compete. This isn't a bad thing. We do need to watch out for the corporations and greedy individuals, but don't we have an obligation to do that with EVERYTHING we do? From finances, mortgages, sports, television, news, to politics and everything surrounding you. The things that would pollute Parkour are the same things that pollute everything else we as humans create. Get over it.
  Parkour won't be "ruined" because the philosophy will remain. Even if a portion of the community wants to capitalize on their abilities, so what? What about those playing piano, playing chess, programming computers, or singing songs. They do what they love and try and find a way to make a living doing what they love.
Get
Over
It.
   It is fine to be cautious of the change, but it is ridiculous to complain and throw a fit about it. You're going to look really silly when Parkour takes off as an Xtreme event like BMXing and skateboarding, the Parkour community is still as badass as it has ever been, and you're still sitting there pouting.

If this is offensive, I apologize. But really, no matter your arguments for or against it will happen. What will you be doing when it does?
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Now this is happening!
http://www.americanparkour.com/smf/index.php/topic,14576.180.html

Offline DaveS

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #36 on: October 11, 2011, 10:22:46 AM »
I do not compete with the attitude "in it to win it". When I train alone, I am not motivated enough to push myself.
The obvious question, then, is why aren't you motivated enough to push yourself?

There is always a reason for everything you do, and everything you do not do. People need to stop thinking of themselves as just their conscious thoughts and recognize that who they are is a combination of both their conscious and their subconscious, how they feel as well as how they think. Both of these things affect what you do. If you don't feel motivated to do something then it is because a large part of who you are does not want to do it. Consciously you might want it, but you, as a complete person, do not desire it.

Having different parts of you desiring different things is a problem, because the part that isn't being fulfilled will always feel frustrated and that will hinder any progress you might make. The only way to remove that inner personal conflict is to integrate your different desires to create one strong set of desires. A person needs to accept the links between conscious and subconscious and work and learn to make sure that each part understands the role played by the other.

When you are a functioning, integrated human being then motivation just isn't an issue. When you want something you pursue it, and when you don't want something you don't. It never gets more complicated than that. It takes a bit of work to get there, but it's the only way to live your life as a free person.

it IS human nature to compete.
No, it is not human nature to compete. There are many people with no competitive desire.

It is human nature to do what is necessary.

When we are forced, when we're put in a situation where we have to work against others to survive then we do compete. When there is not enough of something to meet everyone's needs then we do look out for ourselves. Outside of those specific instances, however, our natural instinct is to work together. It is human nature to adapt to the situation we find ourselves in, and in situations where there is enough for everyone working together is most beneficial. If your needs are met then expending the time and effort fighting against others just doesn't make any kind of sense. All over the world, where humans have found a way to meet the needs of the community, they do not compete against each other.

A competition, i.e. a situation where only a few can succeed, is a fundamentally bad situation to be in. If you're going to create artificial situations, why not make situations where everyone succeeds and benefits rather than just a few?

Parkour won't be "ruined" because the philosophy will remain. Even if a portion of the community wants to capitalize on their abilities, so what? What about those playing piano, playing chess, programming computers, or singing songs. They do what they love and try and find a way to make a living doing what they love.
As far as I'm aware, there has never been any objection to someone making a living by doing something they love. We all need money, and if we could earn money by practicing Parkour that would be great.

That's not the issue. In fact, the issue is in many ways the reverse. The fact is, nobody gets paid to practice Parkour.

What people want to pay Parkour practitioners to do is entertain people, or advertise products.

Parkour has no need for any products, so although there's an issue there the answer is at least obvious. The problem, in many ways, is the entertainment part. It's not that Parkour itself isn't often entertaining to watch, because it can be very entertaining. The problem, is that despite Parkour being very good at entertaining people, entertainment isn't really the point of Parkour. Bit are entertaining, but a lot of the most important parts are not.

What we have are practitioners being put under financial pressure to concentrate on the parts of Parkour that are entertaining as opposed to the parts that are useful and important. It's when practitioners succumb to that pressure that Parkour gets misrepresented, and it's misrepresentation that's the main issue at stake. Not just because it makes it harder for people to understand us existing practitioners, but also because it makes it harder for them to become the practitioners of the future.

Parkour isn't badass. Parkour is strong, responsible, caring.
~ Dave
NorthernParkour and the British Parkour Coaching Association

Offline Ryan Sannar

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #37 on: October 11, 2011, 12:27:24 PM »
Wow.
10 push ups.

Offline Shamas

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #38 on: October 12, 2011, 05:09:45 AM »
The obvious question, then, is why aren't you motivated enough to push yourself?
    I don't think you should phrase this as the opinion of the entire community, as it seems. This may be an obvious question for you because it allows you to pose a point leading away from the actual topic. The topic is Competition in Parkour not Shamas' reasons for not being motivated. I realize that I use my experience as an example to back the competitive spirit, but neither of us should be using a personal behavioral example to divert from what is really being discussed.

There is always a reason for everything you do, and everything you do not do. People need to stop thinking of themselves as just their conscious thoughts and recognize that who they are is a combination of both their conscious and their subconscious, how they feel as well as how they think. Both of these things affect what you do. If you don't feel motivated to do something then it is because a large part of who you are does not want to do it. Consciously you might want it, but you, as a complete person, do not desire it.
    There is always a reason for everything a person does and does not do. Agreed. However, no one stated that we are thinking of ourselves a just conscious beings. No one stated or acted like they don't realize they are a combination of their conscious and subconscious states. That is a presumption you have made and have acted on. It irks me that you would respond to me with this because it seems to me that you believe you have me figured out. There are many things that I would love to say to you in a heated retort (civil of course) so I offer a friendly PM conversation if you'd like.
    For clarity sake, I am not torn between wanted to do parkour and not wanting to. My personality which helps determine my behavior (both conscious and subconscious actions) is one which is passionate about a great deal of things. The reason that I am not motivated is because I get distracted. I want to do it all with the same amount of passion and dedication, but I only have so much energy and time to sacrifice. I paint, I write, I draw, I sing, I am a traceur, I am an activist, I am a martial artist, I am a debater, I am a graphic designer, I am a film maker, and I would love to continue learning the piano, guitar, and maybe start learning the violin. These are all hobbies, save for the graphic designing. I have other obligations such as raising my family, furthering my education, and working toward a better future for all of my responsibilities and treasures.
    So, yes, I am a little unmotivated when I get back into something, and I do need someone there to help me stay focused and progressing. Yes, it does utilize a behavior in me where I positively compete with those around me so that I may achieve this.
And this....
Having different parts of you desiring different things is a problem, because the part that isn't being fulfilled will always feel frustrated and that will hinder any progress you might make. The only way to remove that inner personal conflict is to integrate your different desires to create one strong set of desires. A person needs to accept the links between conscious and subconscious and work and learn to make sure that each part understands the role played by the other.

When you are a functioning, integrated human being then motivation just isn't an issue. When you want something you pursue it, and when you don't want something you don't. It never gets more complicated than that. It takes a bit of work to get there, but it's the only way to live your life as a free person.
No, it is not human nature to compete. There are many people with no competitive desire.

.... is all irrelevant to me and the topic. I am sure that people reading it will think you're being insightful, but learned people will realize that this pertains to no aspect of either the main point or my personal behavior, especially the last line.
   Everyone has a competitive nature about something by design. Whether it is academics, sports, life styles, possessions, or whatever. If a person claims that they are competitive about nothing then they are fooling themselves or have trained themselves to do so, which is unnatural.

It is human nature to do what is necessary.

When we are forced, when we're put in a situation where we have to work against others to survive then we do compete. When there is not enough of something to meet everyone's needs then we do look out for ourselves. Outside of those specific instances, however, our natural instinct is to work together. It is human nature to adapt to the situation we find ourselves in, and in situations where there is enough for everyone working together is most beneficial. If your needs are met then expending the time and effort fighting against others just doesn't make any kind of sense. All over the world, where humans have found a way to meet the needs of the community, they do not compete against each other.

A competition, i.e. a situation where only a few can succeed, is a fundamentally bad situation to be in. If you're going to create artificial situations, why not make situations where everyone succeeds and benefits rather than just a few?
    Taking into account that the human race has a surplus of food and housing, yet denies or hasn't found a successful social solution so that there is no hunger or homeless anywhere; the survival competitive spirit is indeed where our nature may begin, but in this day and age (knowing it is still in our nature) we have made outlets for it to be properly utilized. There is no problem with your scenario where a group sets a standard and works together to have each member reach that goal. However, there is also no problem with a group competing for the same goal and a few who achieve it within standards getting rewarded.
   The survival competition usually means someone dies....
   The modern competition usually means someone's pride is hurt but oh well. Try again next year. To the same respect, in your scenario would the members who took longer to get up to the group's goals not feel the same hurt pride? Knowing that they were the weaker link of the group? There really is no definable difference when seeing the two side by side, save for the competitive winning few getting a reward. In history, has competition resulted in better quality results or social effort? I think that you could make a case for both, but ultimately through out history competitions (in my opinion) have resulted in the better of the two.

As far as I'm aware, there has never been any objection to someone making a living by doing something they love. We all need money, and if we could earn money by practicing Parkour that would be great.

That's not the issue. In fact, the issue is in many ways the reverse. The fact is, nobody gets paid to practice Parkour.

What people want to pay Parkour practitioners to do is entertain people, or advertise products.

Parkour has no need for any products, so although there's an issue there the answer is at least obvious. The problem, in many ways, is the entertainment part. It's not that Parkour itself isn't often entertaining to watch, because it can be very entertaining. The problem, is that despite Parkour being very good at entertaining people, entertainment isn't really the point of Parkour. Bit are entertaining, but a lot of the most important parts are not.

What we have are practitioners being put under financial pressure to concentrate on the parts of Parkour that are entertaining as opposed to the parts that are useful and important. It's when practitioners succumb to that pressure that Parkour gets misrepresented, and it's misrepresentation that's the main issue at stake. Not just because it makes it harder for people to understand us existing practitioners, but also because it makes it harder for them to become the practitioners of the future.
    Parkour doesn't need products. Parkour doesn't really need anything but the traceur. As far as the entertainment part goes, people are paying traceurs to do Parkour because it is entertaining. If they capitalize on the flashy parts of it, so what. You act as though the traceurs are being forced to do something they don't want to do. The traceur is their own person. If they don't want to flip off of stuff all day, don't get into the business. Just practice parkour and get a 9-5 job. Oh, K-Swiss and Gatorade are paying Mr. So n So to do a webster off of a car for a crowd 6days a week. Boo hoo. That guy chose to utilize his abilities to gain money doing flashy moves. That doesn't affect those of us who train for our own reasons.
   You claim that it will shed poor lighting on parkour and give the wrong impression? Look at anyone who sees someone doing parkour in the streets. When someone approaches you doing parkour do they not ask, "Hey, man. Can you do a flip off that?"  The misrepresentation is there already. It has been since people started watching Belle and Foucan. It has been, is, and always will be the responsibility of a true traceur to educate those who want to train or know about parkour. It isn't flips, but after you learn the basics and condition yourself you will find you can do all sorts of things you never imagined. Nothing will change, save for a few getting richer and more famous, as well as, more coverage of parkour.
   
Parkour isn't badass. Parkour is strong, responsible, caring.
   Parkour IS badass, This is my opinion. Parkour is strong, responsible, and caring. It is alot of things. You're not allowed to tell me what Parkour isn't to me. You aren't able to deny me my opinion. I would never deny you yours.

Remember, if you want to discuss personal beliefs, aspects, and behaviors related to but not on topic of this thread you may PM me. I am always down for a good conversation.
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Offline DaveS

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #39 on: October 12, 2011, 03:10:57 PM »
    I don't think you should phrase this as the opinion of the entire community, as it seems. This may be an obvious question for you because it allows you to pose a point leading away from the actual topic. The topic is Competition in Parkour not Shamas' reasons for not being motivated. I realize that I use my experience as an example to back the competitive spirit, but neither of us should be using a personal behavioral example to divert from what is really being discussed.
That's fine. We'll refrain from discussing these things on a personal level. :)

Motivation is one of the most common reasons given for supporting competitions though, and it's an issue which is at the heart of the discussion surrounding competition. The motivation problems you describe are a common problem in the Parkour community (and being distracted from your goal, being torn between the options, and not being motivated to take action is all the same issue). However, because many other people have faced the same problem, we know that there is more than one way to solve it. We also know that different solutions ultimately produce different results, so we should pick the solution that suits our goals best. For the goals of Parkour, for lifelong development and the ability to get past all the obstacles that are blocking us, I think it has been shown that competition is not the best solution. If you disagree, that's cool, we'll discuss it, but as long as motivation keeps being used to justify competition it's an important topic for discussion.

Everyone has a competitive nature about something by design. Whether it is academics, sports, life styles, possessions, or whatever. If a person claims that they are competitive about nothing then they are fooling themselves or have trained themselves to do so, which is unnatural.
See, here we have a problem, because that's an unprovable statement (also a little insulting). You believe it to be true as a result of your personal experience. Me, I believe from my experience that that statement is false because I believe that I am not competitive, I believe I have never been comfortable with the idea of being competitive, and I believe that there are many other people who as long as I've known them have always felt the same way. However as we've already said we can't really base our discussions on personal examples, so this isn't a line we can really pursue. If other points refer back to this one we'll have to agree to disagree on them for now.

To the same respect, in your scenario would the members who took longer to get up to the group's goals not feel the same hurt pride? Knowing that they were the weaker link of the group? There really is no definable difference when seeing the two side by side, save for the competitive winning few getting a reward. In history, has competition resulted in better quality results or social effort? I think that you could make a case for both, but ultimately through out history competitions (in my opinion) have resulted in the better of the two.
There's no issue with pride if you take care to know yourself and to judge yourself honestly at all times. Pride only gets wounded when people have a false impression of themselves, and people only create a false impression of themselves when they are conditioned to think that they can't be happy with who they are unless they compare favourably to other people. Being weaker or stronger than someone else it simply not an important issue. It's a natural part of life that people develop in different ways, and that's another way in which you can make your life far more simple and easy.

Personally, I can't think of any example where people competing against each other has achieved more than they could have done had they worked together. To me it seems impossible that one person can achieve more than two people. Could you give me an example you're aware of?

You act as though the traceurs are being forced to do something they don't want to do. The traceur is their own person. If they don't want to flip off of stuff all day, don't get into the business. Just practice parkour and get a 9-5 job. Oh, K-Swiss and Gatorade are paying Mr. So n So to do a webster off of a car for a crowd 6days a week. Boo hoo. That guy chose to utilize his abilities to gain money doing flashy moves. That doesn't affect those of us who train for our own reasons.
Well no, it does affect all practitioners. You said yourself that the public have existing misconceptions, and those exist precisely because the public have been presented with bad representations of Parkour. This is not a theoretical problem for sometime in the future, it exists already, as a result of all the poor portrayals of Parkour in the past. Yes, that includes some of those involving David Belle, Sebastien Foucan, and many other practitioners. However, that the original practitioners accidentally allowed Parkour to be portrayed badly does not mean we should now be doing it knowingly. Those original practitioners, and all other practitioners who practise with the original spirit, have been forced into a position they didn't want to be in, and are forced to do things they don't want to. Who enjoys being insulted, ignored, persecuted because people believe you are something you are not? Who wants to spend every other training session explaining to newcomers and passers by that Parkour is not about showing off? The training system of Parkour is a fantastically useful and beneficial discipline, but at the moment we are having to use the energy we could be using to help others battling obstacles to our own training. Obstacles that the Parkour community has had a hand in creating itself. Obstacles that we can see being created and strengthened even now.
We're all walking adverts for Parkour. When someone comes into contact with Parkour they react based on all their previous experiences with Parkour, and if most of their experiences have presented Parkour as entertainment or competitive then that's what they'll treat Parkour as. The more times Parkour is portrayed as those things, the more strongly people believe Parkour to be those things. Of course everyone should follow their own path and make their own choices, no one is saying they shouldn't. However, we can't say that spreading misinformation is a good thing. A person can do it if they truly want to, but it carries consequences both for them and for other people.
~ Dave
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