Author Topic: Competition in Parkour  (Read 40678 times)

Offline Mark Toorock

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Competition in Parkour
« on: August 15, 2011, 10:34:38 AM »
There are competitions which take place in the Parkour and Freerunning world both at a grass roots level and at a very well funded and organized professional level. We'll use these forums to discuss the competitions, what we think, how they can be improved, and how they affect the community in general.

It is inevitable that there will be arguments both for and against competition, we only ask that people present their views in clear and polite ways and have discussions instead of arguments, that is the only that that we can improve hat we do is if we are willing to listen to other's opinions and discuss ideas civilly.

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Offline Nick Briseno

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2011, 10:51:27 AM »
i think competitions for money is just dumb because you will have inexperienced traceurs trying stuff that they are not ready for because they want to make that $.

But, I think there is nothing wrong with some friendly competition in-between your friends. For example me and my friend that i used to train with would always say "if he does it that means I'm not leaving until i do it," we pushed each other to the best of our ability and i think competition like that is pretty healthy.
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2011, 12:50:21 PM »
Nick, do you see the same thing in Tennis or Golf? Inexperienced people who only start for the chance to win money in the pro circuit?? Why would it happen in Parkour?


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Offline Nick Briseno

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2011, 06:20:41 PM »
Nick, do you see the same thing in Tennis or Golf? Inexperienced people who only start for the chance to win money in the pro circuit?? Why would it happen in Parkour?



what do you mean?
i just don't think there needs to be competition in parkour because what would the scoring be based off of? style? flashiness? flow? cleanness of moves?
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2011, 07:13:32 PM »
Well there are already a bunch of competitions, some based on speed, some based on style, some with elements of both ... with these threads hopefully we'll gather videos and info into one place to discuss it all with more focus to make the events better.
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Offline Nick Briseno

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2011, 07:14:47 PM »
yeah i mean idk... i am sort of mixed about it but maybe hearing the opinion of other traceur's will sway my opinion one way or another.
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2011, 05:09:11 AM »
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, so it's not a matter of if anyone WANTS to have competitions in Parkour - they exist already, so whether you are for it or against it is not really the issue anymore IMO. Instead the issue is if you are against it, then state a good case as to why, and we can only hope that if you have valid points that these are considered by the people making the competitions. The same is true for people who are for competition - state your opinion on how to run them, how to make the better, how to make them reflect the skills and values that we believe that Parkour and Freerunning should foster, and hopefully those will be integrated with the way the competitions are run.
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Offline Evan Blanc

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2011, 10:39:39 AM »
I support competitions as long as they do not affect those that train solo/not in the comps.

Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2011, 01:22:07 PM »
Evan, can you describe a way that the competitions would affect those people?
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Offline Joseph Landholt

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2011, 04:11:11 PM »
Competitiveness is a natural part of who we are. Competition in parkour is bound to happen, whether it's an organized and sponsored comp, or if it's two guys driving each other to greater heights, like Nick and his friend.

There's no reason for there that there can't be competition in Parkour and Freerunning, just as there's no reason people can't compete in basketball, football, or spitting chewing tobacco.



Though I realize there is a philosophy to parkour, unlike most competitive sports. But just as in the martial arts world, those who want to compete can, and those who want to live the philosophy can do so.


As for the form of organized competitions, I like the idea of having it be akin to Gymnastics. Have a bunch of obstacles in an open space, and grade the competitors based on their tricks/movements, and stuff like their speed and flow, and the height at which they do those tricks/movements.
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Offline DaveS

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2011, 03:36:12 PM »
Just to correct a few common misconceptions.

Parkour isn't competitive. Parkour is about improving yourself as a human being, and that's got nothing to do with anyone else. Not only that, spending time thinking about how you compare to others makes it far harder to achieve useful things yourself.

Competition brings nothing useful to Parkour. There is nothing a competition can do to help Parkour that you can't do better without it.

Organized competitions introduce many other problems, such as artificial/useless obstacles, increased rivalry, motivation problems, conflicting goals, and the involvement of selfish and immoral corporations and individuals. These problems affect not just the people taking part in the competitions, but the wider community too.

The 'organized competitions' that have been labeled as Parkour by some people aren't in fact Parkour competitions, because they are competitions about how well someone moves past obstacles, not about how well someone uses it to develop themselves as a person.

The people that have organized them are only well-respected by people with little understanding of the nature or benefits of Parkour. Large parts of the community are strongly opposed to the actions of these people, and several of these organizers are widely considered to be immoral and unethical, as well as disrespectful to the Parkour discipline.

Competition is a fundamentally bad situation. It is relies on the idea that only a few can succeed, making it good for the few and bad for the many.

Humans aren't naturally competitive, it is conditioned into us by a capitalist and consumer-centered society. Our natural state is to do whatever is best for us. Working together with others is always a better way to achieve something productive than working against them.

We should be trying to eliminate competition, not work out ways to use it.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2011, 03:45:49 PM by DaveS »
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2011, 06:13:24 AM »
Just to correct some other misconceptions, take the opposite of everything Dave just said and view it as absolute and irrefutable truth.
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2011, 06:59:04 AM »
I think the quote that Jesse put up on APK's WOD today is a good way to view Dave's post (most of Dave's posts actually)

"Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth."
--Kahlil Gibran-- (1883 - 1931)

People have opinions and that's great, people have differing opinions and it's said that this is what makes the world go round. If everything was as simple as "this is true, this is not" then what would we strive for? Where would beauty be? What would be left to discover within ourselves?
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Offline DaveS

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2011, 03:34:53 PM »
It is inevitable that there will be arguments both for and against competition, we only ask that people present their views in clear and polite ways and have discussions instead of arguments, that is the only that that we can improve hat we do is if we are willing to listen to other's opinions and discuss ideas civilly.
Just to correct some other misconceptions, take the opposite of everything Dave just said and view it as absolute and irrefutable truth.
Just to clarify, that's what you consider being polite and discussing ideas civilly, is it Mark?
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Offline Tom Coppola

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2011, 04:12:32 PM »

Organized competitions introduce many other problems, such as artificial/useless obstacles, increased rivalry, motivation problems, conflicting goals, and the involvement of selfish and immoral corporations and individuals

The people that have organized them are only well-respected by people with little understanding of the nature or benefits of Parkour. Large parts of the community are strongly opposed to the actions of these people, and several of these organizers are widely considered to be immoral and unethical, as well as disrespectful to the Parkour discipline.


You just called Ryan (and others from Apex Movement), Rafe (and Parkour Visions), and Rene (and others from PKBC including myself) 'immoral', 'selfish', and 'unethical', as well as 'disrespectful to the parkour discipline' for putting together grassroots-style parkour competitions.  THEN, you criticized M2 for not being polite and civil when he suggested that maybe your argument is NOT necessarily based on absolute, irrefutable facts as you seem to present it.

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Offline Gabe Arnold

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2011, 10:03:20 PM »
In my mind, this is a Parkour competition in the way the Stihl Timbersports Series is real logging - one does not equate the other.

This a competition using the movements and skills learned in the practice of Parkour. It is not Parkour in and of itself, just like tree climbing and axe cutting are not the entirety of logging in and of themselves. It's a game, a fun way to challenge yourself.

I saw comradery, community, men and women pushing their abilities, and people conquering obstacles. I saw people who are now going to train harder to do better. I saw many of the ideals of Parkour in action.

It seems to me the only problem people have is with the name "Parkour Competition". Though I'd prefer that it was called something else, maybe "The Parkour Games" or something, I think it's a weak argument to dismiss all the good this event did and can do just to keep things 'pure'. Parkour is not a religion. It's a discipline to improve yourself. If someone chooses to use the abilities gained in Parkour to participate in a pass time such as this, I say more power to them. In my mind, this isn't Parkour - but it is a fantastic addition to what we do.

I still pretty much hold to this idea. To me Parkour Competitions are displays of skills and abilities gained during our Parkour training, NOT Parkour itself.

In that vein, I think competitions should reflect the broad goals of PK, such as fast movement and strong/able bodies and minds. I loved last year's (I think it was 2010) APEX Invitational, which included stuff like weight pushing and attacking an 'enemy'. I also liked the Parkour Youtube Magazine video that had the challenge of avoiding touching the ground and trying to find a safe route within a time limit.

If we could find a way to marry these diverse styles together I think you'd get a very interesting competition.
Round 1 - Pure Speed: Competitors given ample time to inspect the course and plot out the fastest route. Best time wins five points, second fastest gets three, and third fastest gets one.
Round 2 - Route Challenge: Given no preparation time, competitors must navigate a course in the fastest time possible. Competitors are kept separate during challenge so they can't see the course ahead of time or report back to the others. Top three winners receive same points distribution.
Round 3 - Strength/Endurance: While running a course, competitors must stop at various stations and complete tasks such as lifting 'logs', throwing 'stones', and pushing 'cars'. Same point spread for top three finishers based on time.
Person with most points at the end of three rounds is the overall winner.

Offline DaveS

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2011, 11:38:44 PM »
You just called Ryan (and others from Apex Movement), Rafe (and Parkour Visions), and Rene (and others from PKBC including myself) 'immoral', 'selfish', and 'unethical', as well as 'disrespectful to the parkour discipline' for putting together grassroots-style parkour competitions.  THEN, you criticized M2 for not being polite and civil when he suggested that maybe your argument is NOT necessarily based on absolute, irrefutable facts as you seem to present it.

Grow up.
Tom, if you're going to attack someone you should avoid just making stuff up out of thin air.

The people you have named are not the only people who have organized competitions. I specifically said that it was only some, and not all, people involved in competitions that were considered selfish, immoral or unethical. I have no idea whether any of that applies to you, Ryan, Rafe, Rene or whoever else is in Apex movement, Parkour Visions or PKBC, but I can say that since I didn't know any of you were organizing competitions those comments were not directed towards you.  I do however think that all people who push competition are being disrespectful to Parkour and it's community, so yes, that part does apply to you all.

It's obvious to anyone that reads the post that Mark wasn't making a simple suggestion that some of my points might be debatable. He was flat out telling people to view all my points as being irrefutably wrong. That's not the action of someone who is willing to listen to other people's opinions and discuss ideas civilly, that's the action of someone who has no respect for others and wants to stifle discussion of ideas he disagrees with. He knows that I'm happy to discuss or explain any point in as much detail as anyone could require, but he chose to discourage it. That is why I asked for clarification, because his original statement was that he wanted people to present ideas and have discussions about them.
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2011, 05:27:03 AM »
Dave I do that because it is laughable to me how you present everything you say as fact and as the only possible viewpoint when it is not. My statements are no more correct or incorrect than yours, and I go on to explain that there are views and opinions and everyone is entitled to theirs. Hopefully everyone else would take my post with a sense of humor as it was intended.

I do feel the things you said are offensive to me and some of my friends, but not so much that I'm worked up over it.

Gabe - I agree - to a large extent.

I feel like you could be running on a course with obstacles and being timed and it could be parkour, but not that it IS parkour, in the same sense that the activities in logging are a subset - you can cut down a tree in a competition and you are in fact "logging" but that doesn't mean that you are doing everything that logging entails.

Rafe put it well in his intro in Seattle - (close but possibly not 100% accurate quote) - "We don't train for competition, we use competition as part of our training"

I think that what I said in Denver is true and important as well, I said that the competitions are "fun, but not important" (in the context of important vs pushing so hard you get injured, or you sacrifice your regular training, or your progress towards regular training goals).

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Offline DaveS

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2011, 07:54:25 AM »
Dave I do that because it is laughable to me how you present everything you say as fact and as the only possible viewpoint when it is not. My statements are no more correct or incorrect than yours, and I go on to explain that there are views and opinions and everyone is entitled to theirs. Hopefully everyone else would take my post with a sense of humor as it was intended.

I do feel the things you said are offensive to me and some of my friends, but not so much that I'm worked up over it.
Mark, presenting something as being true is not the same thing as saying that it is the only possible view.

I'm not the one trying to stifle discussion of opposing ideas. I have always discussed ideas in a calm and polite way and been open to discussion of both my own ideas and of other people's, despite what you have claimed.

It's no secret that I think that some of your actions in the past have been dishonest, just as it's no secret that you have no respect for my views. Even if your comment was intended as a joke, I don't think anyone would believe that it wasn't intended to discredit my ideas. The difference between us is, I have always shared my views with calm and polite explanation, whereas you have made your points with sarcasm, insult and, on occasion, threats.

If you're serious about wanting to allow other people's views, and you want to involve yourself in activities that large parts of the community are so clearly against, then you're going to have to accept that a significant proportion of those views are going to be critical of the actions of both yourself and the people you work with. I suggest that you learn to deal with that in a more civil way than you have in the past.

EDIT: I agree with Ryan. You should probably delete all the posts after the 22nd Aug apart from Tyler's, Gabe's and part of Mark's last post.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2011, 01:55:47 PM by DaveS »
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Competition in Parkour
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2011, 04:49:03 AM »
Dave, once again we are at a matter of opinion. I have never tried to stifle opposing views and in fact I invite them, so your opinion on that matter is different from mine.  I could in fact ban you at any second without notice if I wanted to stifle your opinion, so I feel the fact that that hasn't happened (and won't without notice, due cause, warnings which you will call threats) is very evident proof that I am not out to stifle your opinion.

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.

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.

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), I feel that if you stuck to either your opinion, or things which could be shown to be fact, that conversations here would take a much more direct path.

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
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