Author Topic: Competition in Parkour  (Read 18226 times)

Offline Ryan Sannar

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #60 on: December 19, 2011, 08:52:21 AM »
I think that sounds great. So are we going to put this together. Or I guess we should wait on the community to agree they want to do it. Or maybe purpose this to M2?
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Offline Ryan A. Vetter

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #61 on: December 19, 2011, 10:37:11 AM »
I suggest forwarding this to M2, as most of the forum users by-pass this forum. Even if we did start planning this out now, it wouldn't be until mid to late 2012 that such an event could be launched.
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Offline Ryan Sannar

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #62 on: December 19, 2011, 02:19:21 PM »
That's true. I guess you or me to forward it?
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Offline Ryan A. Vetter

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #63 on: December 19, 2011, 06:25:57 PM »
I'll forward it just to bring it to his attention, of course then it's up to him whther or not respond.
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Offline Jiho Kim

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #64 on: December 19, 2011, 08:33:42 PM »
In Korea,

Choose one place and Plying parkour TAG.

Because feeling urgent sitation like a real parkour (David belle said). And NO competition.

But, weakness is dangerous. So experienced traceurs join in.

 Lots of traceurs against competiton. So, We imagine new formation of parkour playing.

As you know, Origin of parkour from children playing(Sebastien Fouan said).

How about make some parkour PLAYING system like a childhoood?

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Offline Ryan Sannar

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #65 on: December 20, 2011, 07:59:51 AM »
Ryan would there be a way to incorporate tag into the game as Jiho is saying (Thanks Jiho by the way)
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Offline Ryan A. Vetter

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #66 on: December 20, 2011, 12:17:55 PM »
Absolutely, I mentioned Palm Tag in the first post trialing this discussion. Which is much like tag, except participants run back and forth between two boundaries, those who are tagged become part of the collective it group. Without a doubt Tag is the best method to demonstrate one's ability to own up to low-to-ground skills.It's just a matter of not being tagged for the longest time possible.
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Offline Ryan Sannar

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #67 on: December 21, 2011, 07:37:49 AM »
That's a good idea, but I worry that if they get tagged that it could create the potential for animosity between practicioners, maybe with the judges being the people who tag we could avoid that.
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Offline Ryan A. Vetter

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #68 on: December 21, 2011, 07:51:00 AM »
Certainly could, but if the referee is the first to tag a traceur, then discrimination wouldn't be a possible factor.
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Offline Ryan Sannar

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #69 on: December 22, 2011, 08:30:13 AM »
Yeah that makes sense. What about a chase?
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Offline Ryan A. Vetter

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #70 on: December 22, 2011, 12:37:12 PM »
What about a chase?
Describe a "chase." Parameters for such events are general time constraints, such an event shouldn't be allowed to take all day; the fact that if one/more traceur manages to evade the "its" an event could last hours pending the physical abilities of said traceur and his/her endurance. As for boundaries, I think they're self-explanatory, you leave the "zone" you're "it."

If a referee cannot manage to tag a traceur, they can pursue a different traceur. For such an event onvolving tag, where the game doesn't normally end, a time constraint becomes mandatory of fifteen minutes (This would allow for an effective three events per hour with five minute breaks). In case of a tie, it boils down to sudden death races, the single-winner takes point. Also, particpant limits wouldn't matter, because in the case of say palm tag, two traceurs aren't going to be able to evade 20+ people forever, so the more the better. As for a minimum, obviously six people should be a good number.

Another item I just thought of is a cap of events a single traceuer can participate in under one event. It isn't ideal if a traceur strictly defines him/herself to races or horse, as this would allow a traceur to rack up more points based on his/her ability to run, or perform solely, and not both. Five full events in a spot would be reaching a cap.

I mention this because if a traceur is better practically and not aesthetically or vise-versa, this would help level the playing field. Therefore somebody who can perform every trick under the sun but isn't good at linking obstacles in a long stretch of cardio, can't claim more than 20 points in a day. This is granted they found a location for racing, won five events, found another racing location, won another five, relocated, and found a HORSE location but only won 2 of five, and found yet another location for Flag Tag, and only won 3 of the five.

Footnote: I also realise that by incorporating child-hood games this would eliminate a need for weight specifications or some other standard that would divide the community.

This would be blanced by their cardiovascular ability compensating for skills in movement, as for the tag event, it would boil down to not being able to evade efficiently enough. Long story short, most skilled traceurs registering for the "final" events wouldn't be able to do so until day five in the seven day strip.

Another thought that occurs is do we give the locations of the referees out, or do we leave out the information and leave it up to the traceurs to locate the referees on their own, and distribute information as part of self-strategy? I personally feel that not giving this information will force a traceur to rely on his/her ability to socialize and navigate, and at the very least track/follow other traceurs to a location.

Also to ask is how should poor sportsman conduct be repremanded?
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Offline 7Erik7

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #71 on: January 04, 2012, 03:09:18 AM »
In Korea,

Choose one place and Plying parkour TAG.

Because feeling urgent sitation like a real parkour (David belle said). And NO competition.

But, weakness is dangerous. So experienced traceurs join in.

 Lots of traceurs against competiton. So, We imagine new formation of parkour playing.

As you know, Origin of parkour from children playing(Sebastien Fouan said).

How about make some parkour PLAYING system like a childhoood?

Great idea, I think Its sad to se how parkour is spread in some parts of the world.

I think anyone understand that parkour isnt what it was when it was created.  I believe many people misunderstand parkour, as with Bruce Lee's Jeet Kun Do, which some people see as some kind of unstructured, approach of training with no directions at all, where its all about a collection of techniques and imitations of others movements. I didn't believe this, because I read about Bruce, and I read about Jeet Kun Do, and  realized that everything I read on the internet was just opinions, while whats been said by Bruce was a fact because he developed it. If we go back to the roots, there already is 'rules' for what parkour is and what it isnt. Its really easy to understand for someone who have made their research, read interviews, seen interviews, or other events such as the Rendevouz meetings, or spoken to david or anyone in the yamakasi in person. Still some people deny all this because it doesnt suit them. Anyone that apply the spirit in parkour would realize that competition would be a problem in many ways, and in other ways not even possible.

For instance, it was (as jeet kun do) never supposed to be used for show off, competitions and to boost the ego of the practitioners. It was rather the opposite: being mentaly strong and capable. It was highly personal and very much focused on ethics and personal goals. Its funny to see kids talking about ''following their own path'' and ''expressing themself'' and ''the ultimate truth about parkour'' when they in fact just follow tutorials on the internet and copy people like Danny or David in order to make their next video.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2012, 03:17:24 AM by 7Erik7 »

Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #72 on: January 20, 2012, 08:10:41 AM »
HI guys, someone sent me a pm and I missed it, but thanks for the heads-up.

Here's what I see, and I'm sorry to use a harsh term, but to me this whole thing is simply ridiculous.

People are saying they are against competition so instead we should play a game of tag - in which there is a clear winner, and which is based on being the last surviving person, to outrun the tagger and all the other tagees.

How on earth is that not competitive?

I am not going to say parkour is competitive, that's just old now and tired and people will quote me for eons.

What I will say instead is that TO ME people are competitive, kids play games, there is a winner. In "Duck, Duck, Goose" there is a chaser and a chasee - these games all mimic real life, where 100's of years ago you either caught your food or you died and became food.

This is why all baby animals play, chase, and wrestle, these used to be survival skills.

I am perfectly happy to have people say and believe and feel that parkour is not competitive, but how they can feel that people, mammals, and life itself is not competitive in many ways is simply beyond me, and calling it "tag" or changing the prize structure does not change the nature of a competition.

I personally do not feel competition is bad, I enjoy watching some forms of racing, from downhill skiing to snowboardercross to auto racing to swimming and all of the COMPETITIONS in the Olympics. I do not watch expositions very often, and the ones I do are usually partof a competition, such as cheerleading or break dancing.

I have said many times that my wish is always that people treat each other with respect and this goes to competition as well, I would not personally allow someone to be in my competition if they had a crappy attitude, I think that is very apparent in Jump City where the competitors, even the ones who goad each other on, hug and high five and are in fact all good friends and very respectful of each other. This did not change at any time during the competition. There is no doubt that it was a competitive format.

Again, people are welcome to their opinions, I am not trying to change anyone else's simply share my own.

As for whether there are competitions in parkour, if you look at the parkour community in the US there certainly are, that is also undeniable. Ryan Ford of Apex, Rafe and Tyson of Parkour Visions, we here at American Parkour Academies, and all the traceurs and freerunners that take part in Ninja Warrior all feel that there is a place for competition in Parkour training. You are welcome to feel we are wrong in that, however it will not change our opinions, we have enjoyed and seen benefits from the competitions we have held, and the people who took part enjoyed them as well. I have not seen a single instance of unsportsmanlike conduct in any of the events I have been to.

The thing that I will suggest to people is this: Follow your passion, take what you do seriously, and be the best you can be. Don't be easily swayed by the opinions of others and at the same time don't be closed and miss the lessons held within.

I will also say that I don't believe that most things are 100 percent good or bad, most things have a time and a place, and the ability to see the other side of an argument is a sign of intelligence.

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Offline 7Erik7

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #73 on: January 20, 2012, 08:54:15 AM »

As for whether there are competitions in parkour, if you look at the parkour community in the US there certainly are, that is also undeniable. Ryan Ford of Apex, Rafe and Tyson of Parkour Visions, we here at American Parkour Academies, and all the traceurs and freerunners that take part in Ninja Warrior all feel that there is a place for competition in Parkour training. You are welcome to feel we are wrong in that, however it will not change our opinions, we have enjoyed and seen benefits from the competitions we have held, and the people who took part enjoyed them as well. I have not seen a single instance of unsportsmanlike conduct in any of the events I have been to.

The thing that I will suggest to people is this: Follow your passion, take what you do seriously, and be the best you can be. Don't be easily swayed by the opinions of others and at the same time don't be closed and miss the lessons held within.

I will also say that I don't believe that most things are 100 percent good or bad, most things have a time and a place, and the ability to see the other side of an argument is a sign of intelligence.

Happy Training!

You're right - competition do exist. Anyone who deny this is either blind or have lack of knowledge. But there is another side of the coin; Its just a purely physical competition where there are judges and rules that people have come up with. Its physical; its only a part of parkour, its not parkour. It doesn't present parkour or freerunning in any sense and it certainly doesn't change the principles of it. Bruce Lee's Jeet Kun Do is a fine example of this. Some claim its suited tournaments, some claims its this or that, but all this is just opinions people have. It doesn't represent Jeet Kun Do, it represents peoples opinion about Jeet Kun Do. Because Jeet Kun Do if founded by Bruce Lee and it already have principles and definitions regarding it. Thats what defines it.


With this said, there is a diffrence between subjectivity and objectivity.

If we're looking at it the objective way, e.i the facts we get this:

- Parkour / freerunning isn't about impressing people in order to boost the practitioners ego
- Parkour / freerunning is not only a collection of of movements
- Parkour / freerunning isn't purely physical
- Parkour / freerunning isn't competetive

These are all objective facts because you  can verify it by looking and the origin of parkour; how it was developed, how it was born, the spirit, ethos and principles of it. This is what partly defines it not something else. It's simply a name for what the Yamakasi developed in Lisses back in the 80s. You have the proof right there. Its not up for debate simply because the history proves it, the principles of the diciplines proves it, its an objective fact. You can't change the reality no matter how much you try.

All this boils down to that what you - and other inviduals present - isn't parkour or freerunning, and you're certainly presenting it in the incorrect way.

Now, my subjective opinion - which is just that - an opinion is that you like competitions because its in line with your own personal agenda. I doubt it only has to do with only having fun. I think its also about money, but most of all fame and glory and boosting your own ego. Because ego is already in the human nature and we all got drives to impress. You could just have as fun at a normal jam with no rules, crowds, cameras or spectators. When someone speak agianst competition you don't like it because it goes directly agianst your own enjoyment of it. Its really a shame that people are using a name such as parkour, or freerunning, or add,  just for personal success. I really don't mind people who live of parkour as long as they're passionate about it and represent it in the correct way, instead of doing it like the persons you mentioned above. Especially since this site isn't bad - its very good - but it really have its flaws with all this competition bullpoo its trying to pass on as parkour or freerunning.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 09:01:24 AM by 7Erik7 »

Offline Shamas

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #74 on: January 20, 2012, 10:20:34 AM »
HI guys, someone sent me a pm and I missed it, but thanks for the heads-up.

Here's what I see, and I'm sorry to use a harsh term, but to me this whole thing is simply ridiculous.

People are saying they are against competition so instead we should play a game of tag - in which there is a clear winner, and which is based on being the last surviving person, to outrun the tagger and all the other tagees.

How on earth is that not competitive?

I am not going to say parkour is competitive, that's just old now and tired and people will quote me for eons.

What I will say instead is that TO ME people are competitive, kids play games, there is a winner. In "Duck, Duck, Goose" there is a chaser and a chasee - these games all mimic real life, where 100's of years ago you either caught your food or you died and became food.

This is why all baby animals play, chase, and wrestle, these used to be survival skills.

I am perfectly happy to have people say and believe and feel that parkour is not competitive, but how they can feel that people, mammals, and life itself is not competitive in many ways is simply beyond me, and calling it "tag" or changing the prize structure does not change the nature of a competition.

I personally do not feel competition is bad, I enjoy watching some forms of racing, from downhill skiing to snowboardercross to auto racing to swimming and all of the COMPETITIONS in the Olympics. I do not watch expositions very often, and the ones I do are usually partof a competition, such as cheerleading or break dancing.

I have said many times that my wish is always that people treat each other with respect and this goes to competition as well, I would not personally allow someone to be in my competition if they had a crappy attitude, I think that is very apparent in Jump City where the competitors, even the ones who goad each other on, hug and high five and are in fact all good friends and very respectful of each other. This did not change at any time during the competition. There is no doubt that it was a competitive format.

Again, people are welcome to their opinions, I am not trying to change anyone else's simply share my own.

As for whether there are competitions in parkour, if you look at the parkour community in the US there certainly are, that is also undeniable. Ryan Ford of Apex, Rafe and Tyson of Parkour Visions, we here at American Parkour Academies, and all the traceurs and freerunners that take part in Ninja Warrior all feel that there is a place for competition in Parkour training. You are welcome to feel we are wrong in that, however it will not change our opinions, we have enjoyed and seen benefits from the competitions we have held, and the people who took part enjoyed them as well. I have not seen a single instance of unsportsmanlike conduct in any of the events I have been to.

The thing that I will suggest to people is this: Follow your passion, take what you do seriously, and be the best you can be. Don't be easily swayed by the opinions of others and at the same time don't be closed and miss the lessons held within.

I will also say that I don't believe that most things are 100 percent good or bad, most things have a time and a place, and the ability to see the other side of an argument is a sign of intelligence.

Happy Training!

/agreed   especially that this is debate is getting Old and Tired.
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #75 on: January 20, 2012, 11:30:12 AM »
Erik, I don't mind at all when someone speaks against competition, as I said, people are all welcome to their opinions.

When Rafe made an article against competition, I posted it on the front page of American Parkour and gave it equal billing with other people's opinions. He has since made an article against his article against competition, that is also available somewhere on the site.

People not thinking parkour is competitive or not wanting competitions in parkour doesn't change my enjoyment of parkour at all.

You should also know that I host the Beast Coast jam, the largest national gathering in the US, and to date there has been no competition (except a video competition / festival). To me, adding a competitive course would increase my enjoyment, however not having one for the last 5 or 6 years has not hurt my enjoyment of the event at all.


I personally disagree that parkour being non-competitive is a fact, I won't go into my reasons again. There are many things in "history" which are considered facts from one point of view and not considered facts at all from another point of view, this won't change.

I also personally feel that an obstacle course with a timer is a good indication of a person's ability at the physical side of parkour, which is the part that CAN be tested. It would be silly for anyone to think that a competition in any artform / discipline would be a complete measure, as you pointed out with martial arts, I have never seen a "breathing and relaxation competition" however those things are undeniably part of martial arts. You said yourself, it's only part of parkour - which to me isn't completely logical to follow with "it's not parkour"  - perhaps "It is part of parkour but that is not complete parkour" would be more sensible?


Again, I am not trying to change your opinion, only sharing mine.
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Offline Chad Zwadlo (Zwadloc)

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #76 on: January 20, 2012, 12:37:25 PM »
I just had the best idea ever that should keep all the parkour purists happy!!  We get a group of traceurs together to surround a random building...then we light the building on fire!  The traceur who saves the most people is the winner.   :-Sarcasm

Offline 7Erik7

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #77 on: January 20, 2012, 03:14:59 PM »
Erik, I don't mind at all when someone speaks against competition, as I said, people are all welcome to their opinions.

When Rafe made an article against competition, I posted it on the front page of American Parkour and gave it equal billing with other people's opinions. He has since made an article against his article against competition, that is also available somewhere on the site.

People not thinking parkour is competitive or not wanting competitions in parkour doesn't change my enjoyment of parkour at all.

You should also know that I host the Beast Coast jam, the largest national gathering in the US, and to date there has been no competition (except a video competition / festival). To me, adding a competitive course would increase my enjoyment, however not having one for the last 5 or 6 years has not hurt my enjoyment of the event at all.


I personally disagree that parkour being non-competitive is a fact, I won't go into my reasons again. There are many things in "history" which are considered facts from one point of view and not considered facts at all from another point of view, this won't change.

I also personally feel that an obstacle course with a timer is a good indication of a person's ability at the physical side of parkour, which is the part that CAN be tested. It would be silly for anyone to think that a competition in any artform / discipline would be a complete measure, as you pointed out with martial arts, I have never seen a "breathing and relaxation competition" however those things are undeniably part of martial arts. You said yourself, it's only part of parkour - which to me isn't completely logical to follow with "it's not parkour"  - perhaps "It is part of parkour but that is not complete parkour" would be more sensible?


Again, I am not trying to change your opinion, only sharing mine.

True, history isn't always correct, but I don't think that justify the competition aspect.
 I personally think a lot of people confuse their own, personal principles with the principles of parkour. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of speeches of what parkour is, what it isn't, what it should be, and what it shouldn't be, what it has to be, if its like this, if it can be like that blabla - its in articles, its on forums, its on youtube, its in IRL conversations.

The point that is missed here is the simple question: What is parkour for me?
When any traceur ask this question another question pops up: What isn't parkour?

Now, here is the paradoxal part of it. Parkour is by no doubt extremely free and liberating. There are no rules or restrictions. Its not a collection of techniques, its not a mindset, its not an experience, its not a complete training method, its not copying others. Its more like selfexpression. But all in all, these are just parts of parkour, its not parkour alone.

What defines it is what the Yamakasi developed. Competition, showoff, or anything like that, doesn't define it, its not a part of it. What defines it has already been said by the founders so many times. They clearly made their point with the A.D.A.P.T - which - the Yamakasi are responsible for, not Generations as many people seems to think. Why did they do it? Because they wanted to preserve what they developed for and refined for over 15 years. We can all define things our own way but its not always realistic to do so. We can't simply question everything. You can't say that it isn't a fact that USA is called USA, you can't say that it is a fact that Jeet Kun Do is developed for tournaments.

Parkour defines a certain way of thinking. Parkour is a name with a meaning behind it. If there isn't any principles, then parkour is anything; beating people up, breaking into houses, competition, short-term training, e.i. you can throw away everything you know about it. It sounds really rediciulous but its completely justified if we ever was to think that parkour doesn't define anything more than yourself and your own definition of it. Some things are defined by what they are meant for and not by what you think they are meant for simply because the history is already there in the puddle,  along with the principles of parkour, or the principles of ethics, or the principle and/or definition of anything.


I may sound like a definition nerd, but really, its simple. There are objective and subjective things in parkour. Thats the simple way I see it, and in that way I dont need to question everything.

I just had the best idea ever that should keep all the parkour purists happy!!  We get a group of traceurs together to surround a random building...then we light the building on fire!  The traceur who saves the most people is the winner.   :-Sarcasm

I don't think there are any ''purist'' traceurs. I have never understood the whole concept of ''pure parkour'' or a ''pure'' practitioner.
 Either you understand it or you don't.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 03:21:20 PM by 7Erik7 »

Offline Ryan A. Vetter

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #78 on: January 20, 2012, 10:05:42 PM »
Competition draws out unhealthy attitude, putting a playful spin on it draws out the friendliness in people. It doesn't work universally but it works quite well. anyways, the idea behind the prizes is that money naturally brings out the greed, the spin on the prizes is to supress any "ugly" greed, drawing a blank. The idea of "covering" or "dubbing" all these inherent aspects of competition is to deter any negative desires during. To ask a question that cannot be answered solely on opinion:

Is an individual more inclined to compete for sponsorship, money, and recognition, or scholarships and titles of esteem?

Naturally the prior is the selected answer because greed is what drives nations, but to fall back to that "purist" ideal that so many claim to follow.

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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #79 on: January 23, 2012, 08:06:33 AM »
Ryan, I understand where you are coming from, but you're really just assigning values for other people. Saying that competing in a competition that has a money prize is only done for greed but that competing in a game that has a recognition prize is a noble venture for esteem - I really don't feel you can say what everyone's motivations and intentions and level of greed or not greed are.

I'll go through my main examples (ugh) once again comparing to tennis.

Fear #1 - competition will bring assholes to my sport whose only goal is to smash people down - this is not true in tennis. Nobody got to Wimbledon just to make someone else feel bad, I don't see any reason it would become true in parkour.

Fear #2 - if there is money, people will do it only because they are greedy. Nope. Wimbledon prize money is over $20,000,000 - but people don't decide "geeze, there is a big tournament, if I can learn to play tennis (even though I hate it) I could be greedy and get that money". Nobody is going to learn parkour to pick up the prize money.

Fear #3 - If parkour is competitive then it will change the way I practice. - If this is true then you need to check your own motivations, not those of others.

To me, that's all very clear, that's because it's my opinion though :)







Be Useful.
If I don't try to make the world a better place, who will?
Every person has a choice - live by your fears or live by your dreams