American Parkour Forum

Competitions => General Discussions (Competition) => Topic started by: Mark Toorock on August 15, 2011, 10:34:38 AM

Title: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Mark Toorock 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.

Thanks - M2
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Nick Briseno 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Mark Toorock 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?


Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Nick Briseno 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?
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Mark Toorock 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Nick Briseno 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Mark Toorock 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Evan Blanc 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Mark Toorock on August 16, 2011, 01:22:07 PM
Evan, can you describe a way that the competitions would affect those people?
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Joseph Landholt 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: DaveS 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Mark Toorock 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Mark Toorock 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?
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: DaveS 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?
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Tom Coppola 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.

Grow up.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Gabe Arnold on August 23, 2011, 10:03:20 PM
In my mind, this is a Parkour competition in the way the Stihl Timbersports Series (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glkYEmtZl9c) 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: DaveS 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Mark Toorock 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).

Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: DaveS 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Mark Toorock 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
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: DaveS 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Jordan Strybos 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Mark Toorock 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: DaveS 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Mark Toorock 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: DaveS 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Mark Toorock 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Conrad Moser 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Anias Zig Zag Reed on August 30, 2011, 03:52:37 PM
This is why we can't have nice things  ::)
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ken PKChiro 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?"
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: 7Erik7 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Eric Reynolds 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.       
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ken PKChiro 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?
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Joe Brock 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: DaveS 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Shamas 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.


___

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?
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: DaveS 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan Sannar on October 11, 2011, 12:27:24 PM
Wow.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Shamas 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: DaveS 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Conrad Moser on October 19, 2011, 05:21:24 PM
Competiton does not have to be cutthroat, it can be fun and good-natured which by and large is how it's done in the pk/fr communities. Having a good time with some friendly cometition is not misinformation.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: 7Erik7 on October 19, 2011, 11:41:24 PM
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?

It's funny people that like these competitions always go on about how parkour only is about movements. While that isn't one hundred percent true, there is some truth in it, but no one can measure what kind of movement that is the best one simply because it depends on the practitioners goal. While I do agree that parkour has diffrent goal for diffrent people that doesn't mean it's competetive simply because in order to make parkour competetive you'll have to strip away a lot from It's core philosopy. In that way it becomes just another sport, the meaning gets lost, and the name doesn't mean anything. With damage I am not talking about people landing on their neck or breaking their leg. I am talking about longterm damage. For how long will this people have a functional body? Are their bodies prepared for what they're doing?

It's all about to be and to last, and if you train for 10 years in order to compete, and then your body fails you, you have failed. Parkour is about longterm training. Competition, on the other hand, is for shortterm training, and the reason why people compete is quite simple. People compete because they get sponsored, because they get famous, and seen as a profesional athlete - and they are profesional athletes - but as parkour practitioners they're more like clowns or something.

Quote
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?

This is exactly my point: we have to measure the physical discipline itself when in competition. This means that you remove a great deal of parkour simply because that's the only way to make a competition out of it. This means that it isn't parkour anymore. It becomes just a physical sport. A sport is a sport, and certain things has to be changed in order to make parkour fit into this category.

Humans like to impress. It's a drive inside us and it have existed for a loooong time. I don't care what people say but I simply refuse to believe that people go to parkour competitions just in order to have fun. You can have fun at a normal jam.

Here is the rub:

At competition there's cameras everywhere, there's a big shouting crowd, you may get sponsored, and It's a great way to show yourself as a profesional athlete - exactly like Livewire said - and that's mainly why people go to competitions. Sure - it's obviously fun for these people - but that's not the real reason behind it. The reason behind it is selfish. People do it in order to gain a certain repuptation, in order to make a living out of it, in order to impress etcetc. So how is it not selfish? How can people deny that humans are extremely drived to impress others?

If you want to make parkour into a sport you can't measure everything that parkour is about. We can all agree on that. Now, if you do try to measure this in terms of competitions, you'll have to remove everything that you can't measure. This means that it isn't parkour anymore.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan A. Vetter on October 24, 2011, 10:58:34 AM
Why should competition be litmited to a one-at-a-time basis? I've mulled the ideas over in my mullet-covered brain and have come to multiple conclusions, and ideas.

Speed Courses:
He/she who finishes with the fastest time wins, regardless of move implimentations.

Style Courses:
The idea is to have a set line of obstacles, where points are awarded for speed (finishing time), fluid motions (using moves that string together to keep momentum up), tic-tac combos being worth more, and astonishments (the application of a movement or move that wasn't thought of or wasn't originally intended for said obstacle.)

Points would be deducted for series repeats (repeating a move twice in row or more), not finishing at target time (say the end line must be crossed by 1 minute), back-tracking (a point for each obstacle that was backtracked.)

Colour Coding:
Why not? Most humans are not colour-blind, and those who are can still tell the difference.

How would you apply it?
You have a string of obstacles, so the following colours can be used to determine how each one should be approached, essentially forcing a traceur to slow-down or actually think instead of just acting based on impulse.

Red; A no touch zone, it can be any one side of the obstacle, all sides, or multiple sides, it can be the ground it self, forcing a traceur to vault the ground an d land just before an obstacle. Touching results in either penalty time, deduction of points, or disqualification based on competition, especially if the red zone is used to aid said person in maneuvers.

Green; A must touch zone, the very same applications as red, but it must be touched no matter what, or the same penalties for red zones apply. You're approaching a four foot abostacle and the top is green, you've got options, quadraped run, speed vault, kong vault etc. The point is it is indeed doable, even if it's just a stretch of green on the pavement, you have to run over it.

Blue: A must pass-through zone, whether it's over, under, inbetween, you have to pass through it, doesn't matter if you touch or don't, it has to happen, failure to do so results in penalties.

Yellow: A must pass-through no-touch zone, the exact same as blue, but no touching, approaching a rail, the left right and bottom rail are yellow, and the top part is blue, and under-rail or vault would be acceptable, failure to not touch results in penalties.

Black: Precision marks, the distance between Mark A and Mark B require the individual to close this gap in a single motion, failure do so has no penalty on the individual but accomplishing the effort rewards additional points. You might guess this would only apply to style competitions and you're right, but in a speed competition it's assumed as a must touch zone, not touching results in penalties.

White lines: Boundaries, passing outside of boundaries results in disqualifications for speed competitions, as the traceur is capable of sprinting around obstacles, although the option should be given on rare occassions to throw traceurs off. For style contests, no penalty is made but it is at sacrifice of the traceur.

Natural object colour: This obstacle or object can be approached in anyway a traceurs pleases. It is not mandatory to touch or not touch but based on the competition style it may be in your best interests.

Tag Competitions:
Multiple traceurs square off in a no-touch tag stealing match. Each traceur is given two tags fastens or places at waist level, the objective is to steal as may tags from opponents before your own are stolen. After both of your tags have been stolen your are benched, so as to not interefere with remaing competitors. In the case of a tie, the tied traceurs square off in a single tag match, where each participant is given one tag fastened at waist level, the objective remains the same, but losing your tag results in loss of points.

In the event of a second tie, again it will be a single tag competition.

The rare event of a third tie, the traceurs that happen to be tied, must square off in a mis-count match, where a ref/judge/official, must wear a single tag, and avoid the other traceurs, while whichever traceur steals the tag, wins the contest overall.

When a tag is stolen it must be returned to a 'depot,' where a judge/ref will tally the amount stolen by each individual. If both or the single tag are stolen from the player on his/her return to the depot, the player must drop all tags he or she is currently carrying, which can be picked up by any remaining traceurs.

In the case two traceurs steal eachother final tag at the same time, both traceurs must drop their tags and remove themselves from the contest area.

Team-tag Competitions:
All the same rules apply, but it's team tag, team with the last player(s) standing wins. Head-to-head matches only, single-elimination tournament. In the rare case of a tie, both teams elect one players for a head-to-head mis-count match, the player whom wins wins it for his/her team.

Mis-count competition:
Much like a Tag contest, players must steal tags, however this time, it's one loss at a time. A single official is given multiple tags to be fastened at waist level. It is up to each traceur to steal a single flag, the amount of flags the official carries is equal to that of participants minus one, so that each and every round a player is eliminated. There is no need for a depot, and in the case a player steals two or more tags by incident, the round will be paused, and all tags will be returned but one.

When a traceur steals a tag he/she will be benched until the next round.

Step-up contests:
In this type of competition a series of obstacle are presented, the following always being more difficult than the prior. Example:

Step-up contest is based on Kong vaults, each following obstacle either gets taller or longer, with a maximum of six feet length and four feet in height.

Traceurs attempt to kong vault each one, if a traceur is incapable of or is afraid to kong vault an obstacle he/she is eliminated, the same results occur when a traceur is injured.

If more than one traceur is capable of kong vaulting all obstacles, it breaks down to a speed competition of strictly kong vaults. He/she with the fastest time wins.

---------------

Disqualification for injury, poor conduct, or attempt to interfere with other competitors or obsructing obstacles.

---------------

I honestly don't think such competitions are hard to implement or gain interest but perhaps they are. It just seems that everybody feels that all competitions breaks down to speed or style, and in fact while the other three suggestions are more childishly based, they do in fact require a form of strategy. At least that's my personal take on the whole matter.

In response to the current disscussion, chess too is a sport, and yet even grand-masters down't make as much as NFL athletes. Can you say WTF? because even a rookie make more than a Grandmaster.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: 7Erik7 on October 27, 2011, 11:24:24 AM
Why should competition be litmited to a one-at-a-time basis? I've mulled the ideas over in my mullet-covered brain and have come to multiple conclusions, and ideas.

Speed Courses:
He/she who finishes with the fastest time wins, regardless of move implimentations.

Style Courses:
The idea is to have a set line of obstacles, where points are awarded for speed (finishing time), fluid motions (using moves that string together to keep momentum up), tic-tac combos being worth more, and astonishments (the application of a movement or move that wasn't thought of or wasn't originally intended for said obstacle.)

Points would be deducted for series repeats (repeating a move twice in row or more), not finishing at target time (say the end line must be crossed by 1 minute), back-tracking (a point for each obstacle that was backtracked.)

Colour Coding:
Why not? Most humans are not colour-blind, and those who are can still tell the difference.

How would you apply it?
You have a string of obstacles, so the following colours can be used to determine how each one should be approached, essentially forcing a traceur to slow-down or actually think instead of just acting based on impulse.

Red; A no touch zone, it can be any one side of the obstacle, all sides, or multiple sides, it can be the ground it self, forcing a traceur to vault the ground an d land just before an obstacle. Touching results in either penalty time, deduction of points, or disqualification based on competition, especially if the red zone is used to aid said person in maneuvers.

Green; A must touch zone, the very same applications as red, but it must be touched no matter what, or the same penalties for red zones apply. You're approaching a four foot abostacle and the top is green, you've got options, quadraped run, speed vault, kong vault etc. The point is it is indeed doable, even if it's just a stretch of green on the pavement, you have to run over it.

Blue: A must pass-through zone, whether it's over, under, inbetween, you have to pass through it, doesn't matter if you touch or don't, it has to happen, failure to do so results in penalties.

Yellow: A must pass-through no-touch zone, the exact same as blue, but no touching, approaching a rail, the left right and bottom rail are yellow, and the top part is blue, and under-rail or vault would be acceptable, failure to not touch results in penalties.

Black: Precision marks, the distance between Mark A and Mark B require the individual to close this gap in a single motion, failure do so has no penalty on the individual but accomplishing the effort rewards additional points. You might guess this would only apply to style competitions and you're right, but in a speed competition it's assumed as a must touch zone, not touching results in penalties.

White lines: Boundaries, passing outside of boundaries results in disqualifications for speed competitions, as the traceur is capable of sprinting around obstacles, although the option should be given on rare occassions to throw traceurs off. For style contests, no penalty is made but it is at sacrifice of the traceur.

Natural object colour: This obstacle or object can be approached in anyway a traceurs pleases. It is not mandatory to touch or not touch but based on the competition style it may be in your best interests.

Tag Competitions:
Multiple traceurs square off in a no-touch tag stealing match. Each traceur is given two tags fastens or places at waist level, the objective is to steal as may tags from opponents before your own are stolen. After both of your tags have been stolen your are benched, so as to not interefere with remaing competitors. In the case of a tie, the tied traceurs square off in a single tag match, where each participant is given one tag fastened at waist level, the objective remains the same, but losing your tag results in loss of points.

In the event of a second tie, again it will be a single tag competition.

The rare event of a third tie, the traceurs that happen to be tied, must square off in a mis-count match, where a ref/judge/official, must wear a single tag, and avoid the other traceurs, while whichever traceur steals the tag, wins the contest overall.

When a tag is stolen it must be returned to a 'depot,' where a judge/ref will tally the amount stolen by each individual. If both or the single tag are stolen from the player on his/her return to the depot, the player must drop all tags he or she is currently carrying, which can be picked up by any remaining traceurs.

In the case two traceurs steal eachother final tag at the same time, both traceurs must drop their tags and remove themselves from the contest area.

Team-tag Competitions:
All the same rules apply, but it's team tag, team with the last player(s) standing wins. Head-to-head matches only, single-elimination tournament. In the rare case of a tie, both teams elect one players for a head-to-head mis-count match, the player whom wins wins it for his/her team.

Mis-count competition:
Much like a Tag contest, players must steal tags, however this time, it's one loss at a time. A single official is given multiple tags to be fastened at waist level. It is up to each traceur to steal a single flag, the amount of flags the official carries is equal to that of participants minus one, so that each and every round a player is eliminated. There is no need for a depot, and in the case a player steals two or more tags by incident, the round will be paused, and all tags will be returned but one.

When a traceur steals a tag he/she will be benched until the next round.

Step-up contests:
In this type of competition a series of obstacle are presented, the following always being more difficult than the prior. Example:

Step-up contest is based on Kong vaults, each following obstacle either gets taller or longer, with a maximum of six feet length and four feet in height.

Traceurs attempt to kong vault each one, if a traceur is incapable of or is afraid to kong vault an obstacle he/she is eliminated, the same results occur when a traceur is injured.

If more than one traceur is capable of kong vaulting all obstacles, it breaks down to a speed competition of strictly kong vaults. He/she with the fastest time wins.

---------------

Disqualification for injury, poor conduct, or attempt to interfere with other competitors or obsructing obstacles.

---------------

I honestly don't think such competitions are hard to implement or gain interest but perhaps they are. It just seems that everybody feels that all competitions breaks down to speed or style, and in fact while the other three suggestions are more childishly based, they do in fact require a form of strategy. At least that's my personal take on the whole matter.

In response to the current disscussion, chess too is a sport, and yet even grand-masters down't make as much as NFL athletes. Can you say WTF? because even a rookie make more than a Grandmaster.

I quote my earlier post which pretty much describes the problem with having competitions in parkour.


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.
[/b]
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Cory Finch on October 27, 2011, 06:11:35 PM
I have to say, I really don't like competition.  It often results in good training only being available to those with talent or the time for incredible amounts of practice, it can introduce rules that place artificial constraints on the techniques and plans used by athletes, and it often brings out the worst in people (see, cheating, raging assholery), and encourages things that are downright bad for the participants health (see steroids, playing while injured, dehydrating to meet weigh ins).

That said, there are sports where competition doesn't create these problems, or at least restricts them to the people who choose to compete.  If parkour can follow the same path that many endurance and extreme sports have, then it isn't really a problem, if it ends up looking like gymnastics or many team sports?  Huge problem.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan A. Vetter on October 30, 2011, 11:28:15 AM
So what you're saying that Parkour is to be kept underground? That just sounds like some sort of punk rock hype, if it's mainstream it isn't okay. You do realise that it just one over-bloated rich person, to start up an "official" Parkour league, then everything goes south.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Cory Finch on October 30, 2011, 02:44:32 PM
I'm not sure if you're referring to me or Erik but:
What makes you think competition is the only way to get people involved in parkour?  Roughly a quarter of Americans do martial arts at some point in their lives, and before MMA came along I doubt 1 in 20 had watched a match that their kids weren't in.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: DaveS on October 30, 2011, 03:28:21 PM
So what you're saying that Parkour is to be kept underground? That just sounds like some sort of punk rock hype, if it's mainstream it isn't okay. You do realise that it just one over-bloated rich person, to start up an "official" Parkour league, then everything goes south.
That's already happened. The difficulties we are currently facing are a result of precisely that.

The problem with Parkour becoming mainstream is that the rules by which popular culture operates are different, and contradictory, to the rules by which Parkour operates. To popularize Parkour now, in the short term, would require Parkour to be changed to fit in with current pop culture rules.

This appears to be the aim of those who are involved with promoting the idea of competitions and media-friendly demonstrations and performances. Those ideas are important for pop culture, but they are not at all important for Parkour. What myself and many others would prefer, is for Parkour to continue to maintain it's own current set of values, and all of us to work together to change the values of pop culture. We want pop culture to accept and adapt to Parkour, rather than Parkour to change to fit in to pop culture.

Ultimately pop culture can't win, because Parkour practitioners will always be able to become stronger than any obstacle they are faced with. All we need to do is work hard. The gist of this argument is, we think some people are taking the easy path instead of the difficult path, and the difficult path is always better in the end.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Eli on November 02, 2011, 09:18:49 AM
what if there was a competition where it was like a mix of capture the flag and tag. like there is one big area where it is all being played (play zone). you have one flag in the middle of the arena and to win the team has to get the flag back to there starting zone. you would where flags from flag football and if you have the flag and are getting chased and loose a flag then you have to stop and give the main flag to the person that "tagged" you and you have to walk back to you starting zone.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: 7Erik7 on November 24, 2011, 02:58:13 PM
So what you're saying that Parkour is to be kept underground? That just sounds like some sort of punk rock hype, if it's mainstream it isn't okay. You do realise that it just one over-bloated rich person, to start up an "official" Parkour league, then everything goes south.

Parkour have had a global impact on everyone. Something that started out in a place like Lisses spread through the whole world. It won't be underground just because you don't have competition. It wont fade away. It's here to stay and it will keep growing. It's such a shame that a great site like this promote rubbish such as competitions. Not only because competition gather the worst kind of people, which cheat in order to win (we've all seen it before) but also because you can't measure someone's parkour in a competition. You can measure movements, but parkour, no.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Tom Coppola on November 25, 2011, 02:48:02 AM
Parkour have had a global impact on everyone. Something that started out in a place like Lisses spread through the whole world. It won't be underground just because you don't have competition. It wont fade away. It's here to stay and it will keep growing. It's such a shame that a great site like this promote rubbish such as competitions. Not only because competition gather the worst kind of people, which cheat in order to win (we've all seen it before) but also because you can't measure someone's parkour in a competition. You can measure movements, but parkour, no.

Shut up.  Seriously.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: 7Erik7 on November 28, 2011, 04:26:00 AM
Shut up.  Seriously.

That's a rather harsh opinion. Now, where's the argument that actually could make your statement sound reliable?
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: 7Erik7 on December 02, 2011, 03:47:14 AM
/second that

It's very easy to have an opinion but a lot harder to have an argument.

Try to explain why you second that.

If you can.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan Sannar on December 02, 2011, 07:11:05 AM
There are so many other ways we could take this argument instead of the way we have for years on this forum.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan Sannar on December 13, 2011, 07:48:13 AM
Well for example. What alternatives to competition could we do. I know I saw a post on here a little while ago regarding a showcase that was non competitive. How would we organize and run something like that? What about if you had to be competitive what ways could we get it as close to the art of parkour as possible.

It just seems to me like there is either yes or no, which seems very narrow minded to me. I get that "parkour" is non competitive, but I think that has been made very very very very clear. To be honest I bring it up when I'm explaining parkour to others more than once just because its pounded into my head here so often. So acknowledging that very obvious fact, if we did a "competition" with parkour, how can we make it as close to non competitive as possible. While of course still making it something that would pull traceurs and freerunners from all over the world?
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan A. Vetter on December 15, 2011, 10:06:58 AM
Well for example. What alternatives to competition could we do. I know I saw a post on here a little while ago regarding a showcase that was non competitive. How would we organize and run something like that? What about if you had to be competitive what ways could we get it as close to the art of parkour as possible.

It just seems to me like there is either yes or no, which seems very narrow minded to me. I get that "parkour" is non competitive, but I think that has been made very very very very clear. To be honest I bring it up when I'm explaining parkour to others more than once just because its pounded into my head here so often. So acknowledging that very obvious fact, if we did a "competition" with parkour, how can we make it as close to non competitive as possible. While of course still making it something that would pull traceurs and freerunners from all over the world?
A parkour convention, entry fee, show up, base the competitions off more-or-less childish events, ie: "palm" tag, hide and seek-tag, horse, and even races. Winners get scholarships, Grand winner gets an esteemed title, like 'Grand Parkour Pubah.'

Competition is as follows; Each traceur gets a special wristband, upon paying a "competition fee," traceurs compete in games of their choice. Each game won (Being tagged last, or winning a race, or not getting horse) tallies one point. Each contest must be sponsored by a referee. First X traceurs to 100 points or those with the most within seven days (events can only take place during specific hours, during daylight) go to the finals, then it's all roulette. Final events are chosen at random, 1 vs. 1 competitions, single-elimination. Scholarships really aren't much for money, and a title is only something you can claim, not sell or spend.

This makes it unneccessary for camera crews to show up and big sponsorships, because the games take place at various locations making it very difficult to track all of the events happening. Viewer focus won't be maintained so people will stop watching and it would be taken off the tele anyways. As for the finals, if say it were a race, it would be in a location difficult for camera crews to set-up effectively to capture all the desirable angles. Even games like tag etc. would be difficult to track effectively without a literal gross number of cameras.

The ideal location for such an event would be a metropolitan area, ie: Chicago, Amsterdam, or even Moraco. Which could change up every year... At least, it's competetive on a traceur level and keeps the alure of big money sponsors out of the picture. Because who is going to see a shitty Nike logo on a shoe of a traceur who is doing a handspring out of an under bar.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan Sannar on December 15, 2011, 02:45:31 PM
Brilliant, any other ideas?
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan A. Vetter on December 15, 2011, 04:26:11 PM
Brilliant, any other ideas?
I can't help but feel like this is an undeterminable expression, due to years of sarcastic conversations you'll have to tell me if this is earnest or sarcasm.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan Sannar on December 16, 2011, 08:05:49 AM
No sarcasm. Sorry I never meant to cause any problems. I sincerely think this is a good idea. Funding is the only real difficulty I see here.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan A. Vetter on December 16, 2011, 09:27:52 PM
Funding isn't really an issue, it's just a matter of collecting a group of ideal volunteers, the processing of a wristband, competition fee should cover the cost to manufacture and authenticate the wristband. Referees are obviously just volunteers, just ask them to wear an "official tee-shirt," and assign them to a specific location, it's the traceurs' job to find these locations and share their locations or not, some strategy involved too. Referees report the number of tallies for the traceurs at the end of the day. The finals would be pairing names out of a hat, letting them know, and letting them meet-up with the referee on-time, their responsibility.

Sponsorships for the event to be a cause for funding could be as simple as bring up their names so many times during announcements etc. Say if it were in Milwaukee, Bartolotta's Restaurants could be a sponsor. As for a metropolitan location there is literally hundreds of them. Weight groups/heights/gender would not be exclusive or inclusive, it would be a mass mesh of every type, whiach saves dangerous practices and/or diets. Scholarships could be for ADAPT, or a lesser known certification.

Volunteering and out-of pocket payments will drop the need for alot of funding. Again it's a "convention" type deal, like Comic-con, without all the desperate people. People, who are trying to sell books, or parkour related material could rent out a kiosk or stand to cover the costs of renting out a center or even something else. Which would leave sponsoring the cost of the scholarships and miscellaneous. I'd volunteer two weeks of my time to cover the costs of such an event.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan Sannar 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?
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan A. Vetter 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan Sannar on December 19, 2011, 02:19:21 PM
That's true. I guess you or me to forward it?
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan A. Vetter 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Jiho Kim 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?

Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan Sannar 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)
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan A. Vetter 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan Sannar 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan A. Vetter 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan Sannar on December 22, 2011, 08:30:13 AM
Yeah that makes sense. What about a chase?
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan A. Vetter 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?
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: 7Erik7 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Mark Toorock 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.

Happy Training!


Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: 7Erik7 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Shamas 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Mark Toorock 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Chad Zwadlo (Zwadloc) 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
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: 7Erik7 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.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan A. Vetter 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.

M2, that was I who sent the PM, and it's fine if it gets past you, I've let bigger things get past me.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Mark Toorock 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 :)







Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Shamas on January 23, 2012, 10:59:16 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 :)

   This is very true. You can not only find it in his tennis example, which he has been forced to repeat over and over. These validations can be found in other practices, too. Martial Arts is a great example of how a Discipline has been utilized from all of its aspects. You can be a practitioner for health and wellness purposes, for competitive purposes, or just as a character building tool.
   If parkour is used as a competition for some sort of gain, so be it. It shouldn't affect you to the point of you being upset or angered or downtrodden. Like M2 said, "...you need to check your own motivations..." 
   On a further point, if parkour gears toward competitive nature (where all aspects are utilized like some of the martial arts) what could you do to stop it?
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan A. Vetter on January 23, 2012, 12:08:53 PM
Is that what you're getting from what I've said? Sorry, but I'm trying to keep the sport more of down-to-earth. I don't mention scholarships for the sake of just replacing money, I mention them because they would be easier to obtain rather than a cash/check prize. When you take something like Parkour and turn it into a league based sport, this attracts the big name sponsors, ie: McDonald's. These are the types who make televising and huge prizes possible, I was hoping to keep it to a sort of local sponsorship level, small business, but that's me.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Mark Toorock on January 25, 2012, 10:42:00 AM
Ryan, if I've misunderstood you I apologize - the "three fears" are what I've gotten over and over, and your statements do seem to justify my first paragraph of response.

As for keeping it local, RED BULL (estimated 2011 valuation 9.2 Billion USD) is already running competitions. SO I'm afraid that your wish is just not realistic.

What we can do is work to make the local and grassroots efforts great, and make them the preferred venue of traceurs (if that's your preference, it will not be everyone's) - This is where people like Parkour Visions and Apex come in, and already Apex has corporate sponsors.

It seems to me that this is the way things gravitate, when they become "successful" then they attract money, then they become more successful and attract more money. I am not saying this is good or bad, right or wrong, just simply "how it is".

I personally feel it is natural for people to want to be rewarded for their hard work, and there are several things that people find rewarding, the largest "reward" system that our society has is called "money" and if you run a successful business then you get more of it. That doesn't preclude people from doing it for good reasons, helping others, helping parkour grow, running a gym to help people get and stay fit, etc.


Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan A. Vetter on January 25, 2012, 01:15:49 PM
It's cool man, I'm misunderstood all the time. I understand the monetary value of money is more alluring than anything else, it's flexible, can be put into any little peg hole you like. Scholarships, was lack for a term I couldn't recall, which is 'grant,' a parkour grant that is, which could be implemented for further success and growth of the parkour community.Foot-Note

Yes, when something is or does become successful it seems the only viable option is to gain huge corporate sponsorships. That's because whomever was in charge of whatever organization wanted that, personally if I were in charge of such a group, I would gladly keep it to the core base mainstream society loses track of.

Foot-Note
Parkour related expenses would be purchasing of apparel for parkour, charitable donations relating to parkour, building a parkour facility, upkeeping or adopting an area from a park for parkour, certifications, etc.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Mark Toorock on January 25, 2012, 04:04:04 PM
Well, hopefully the people involved in these ventures will give back to the roots and help get other people into parkour and help provide opportunities for people to train and learn!
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: 7Erik7 on January 27, 2012, 01:42:08 AM
To be frank with you, competition is exactly that - competition. People go to competitions in order compete against others. I do doubt that people do all this for money. I think money is just a small part of it. Competition is a way to show other people what you have achieved through hard work and practice. It also opens up the doors to show yourself as a professional athlete and this will greatly help you especially if you want to live by doing what you love. In another sense, you're being applauded by crowds of people. Cameras are at you. You meet and socialize with the same people as yourself and you're awarded for all this. Of course it will make some people interested in it. Its nothing weird, really. But then, its all in the ego really. I think very few people go to competitions only to have fun and socialize. Because otherwise a normal jam would cover that. Ego is in the human nature. Remove the cameras, the crowds, and the award, and fobid showoff, and less people would attend, because the whole concept of competition would be lost.

Competition has no place in parkour and its never had that. First because its not only a physical sport but also because its about being strong. Ego isn't a strength. When and if you show of you do it because of a weakness in the mind. You do it to feel good about yourself. I am not only speculating here. I have read psychology so I know it. The ego is something that is inside everyone. Its a human drive. The whole division and debate whenever parkour or freerunning is competetive is completely irrelevant.  It goes agianst the values and principles of parkour. The Yamakasi created the sport. The evidence is in the history.  Its all fact that parkour isnt competetive - not an opinion - because you can verify it. If anyone come up with a diffrent  conclusion this invidual have lack of understanding of l'art du déplacement, parkour, or freerunning. The proof is right there.

Then, I am not saying competition is wrong. I am just saying it's not a part of parkour. This ultimately means that if you market parkour as competitive you're not representing it in the correct way. While this doesn't hinder me to practice and train myself I do not only care just about myself. I care about the art, to preserve it, and to teach it to future generations. Not to dissolve it into nothing or something completely different, like just another physical sport,  because of my own ego not to care more than about myself. Parkour isn't just physical movements that allows you to do what you want. Its a method of training, there is principles and values in it. This is what was developed in France in the 80s by the Yamakasi.  This is what got the name L'art du déplacement, parkour and freerunning. There are many well written books on this subject; The Parkour & Freerunning Handbook, Ciné parkour, and there are various interviews with the Yamakasi, there are great documentaries such as The Monkey Is Back, there are loads of articles, and the whole A.D.A.P.T certificate process the Yamakasi and Generations developed. The National Governing Body for parkour / freerunning also speaks openly against competition. Since this body is endorsed by the founders its as justified as it can be.  Its not up to debate. Either you understand or you don't.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Shamas on January 27, 2012, 05:49:48 AM
7Erik,
    I am kind of over you saying, "Competition is just that-competition". You said it in our private conversation, and you're saying it here. You can not offer competition as an automatic negative for all people, as you have essentially done. Competition is a noun which is subjective to the percipient. This means that different people will have different experiences and schools of thoughts on the noun and can not be lumped into your, seemingly, negative school of thought just by you saying, "Competition is just that-competition".

    Competition may have a place in parkour. While you say that it does not have one, this being your rightful opinion, people have found positive placements for it.

    Ego is a strength. It is a necessity to our mental and physical health. Arrogance is not a strength. Confidence is. All of these can be found within our ego. Parkour has boosted my confidence in my ability and in my capability to achieve, as well as progress.

   You have read psychology, so you know it? Do you have a Ph.D in the subject? I am not trying to be harsh, but you can't make statements such as this (implying that we should just bow down to your authority on the matter or trust your experience and word on the subject), not expecting some scrutiny or resistance.
 
   Once again, I revert to our previous conversation. Parkour is not a sport but a discipline. A discipline which should be molded to the individual's life as a way of living, much like the martial arts. No one sat down and said, "Okay, I we're going to make this sport, and here are the rules." That isn't how Parkour evolved at all. I do not believe I lack any of the knowledge which is required for this assessment, and I find your eagerness to throw facts around as if you're an authority on the matter quite arrogant and disturbing.

   Wow, after reading your last paragraph there I am just blown away. You come off as too stubborn and too self righteous for me to continue direct debate with you. You're closed minded arrogance troubles me. The sheer inability to see Parkour as a discipline and a way of life to the individual, and the full dependency on others to instruct you step by step on what Parkour should be and how you should apply it in your life borders religious shadowing. I know this isn't on their part, but it seems that you, personally, are relying on them in the same way. I sincerely hope that you find your own way, finding and knowing yourself above all.

   I feel that you have no real backing for the kind of pull you're demanding. I feel that you have a skewed perception on the progression and evolution of Parkour itself. These are my opinions. I am not forcing them on people as fact. I am not demeaning anyone or deeming anyone ignorant for not being align with myself. I am just stating my observations, my opinions, and my utter shock as a response to your post.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: 7Erik7 on January 27, 2012, 08:26:32 AM
7Erik,
    I am kind of over you saying, "Competition is just that-competition". You said it in our private conversation, and you're saying it here. You can not offer competition as an automatic negative for all people, as you have essentially done. Competition is a noun which is subjective to the percipient. This means that different people will have different experiences and schools of thoughts on the noun and can not be lumped into your, seemingly, negative school of thought just by you saying, "Competition is just that-competition".

    Competition may have a place in parkour. While you say that it does not have one, this being your rightful opinion, people have found positive placements for it.

    Ego is a strength. It is a necessity to our mental and physical health. Arrogance is not a strength. Confidence is. All of these can be found within our ego. Parkour has boosted my confidence in my ability and in my capability to achieve, as well as progress.

   You have read psychology, so you know it? Do you have a Ph.D in the subject? I am not trying to be harsh, but you can't make statements such as this (implying that we should just bow down to your authority on the matter or trust your experience and word on the subject), not expecting some scrutiny or resistance.
 
   Once again, I revert to our previous conversation. Parkour is not a sport but a discipline. A discipline which should be molded to the individual's life as a way of living, much like the martial arts. No one sat down and said, "Okay, I we're going to make this sport, and here are the rules." That isn't how Parkour evolved at all. I do not believe I lack any of the knowledge which is required for this assessment, and I find your eagerness to throw facts around as if you're an authority on the matter quite arrogant and disturbing.

   Wow, after reading your last paragraph there I am just blown away. You come off as too stubborn and too self righteous for me to continue direct debate with you. You're closed minded arrogance troubles me. The sheer inability to see Parkour as a discipline and a way of life to the individual, and the full dependency on others to instruct you step by step on what Parkour should be and how you should apply it in your life borders religious shadowing. I know this isn't on their part, but it seems that you, personally, are relying on them in the same way. I sincerely hope that you find your own way, finding and knowing yourself above all.

   I feel that you have no real backing for the kind of pull you're demanding. I feel that you have a skewed perception on the progression and evolution of Parkour itself. These are my opinions. I am not forcing them on people as fact. I am not demeaning anyone or deeming anyone ignorant for not being align with myself. I am just stating my observations, my opinions, and my utter shock as a response to your post.

Its irrelevant what people think about competition. Parkour isn't competetive. Its never been. This is not my opinion. Its a fact, because the dicipline is like that.  Parkour isn't some kind of do-what-you-like-blabla to justify some kind of hablaha training method. There are already values and principles in it that partly defines it. Either you understand this or you dont. By the way, you're wrong. The A.D.A.P.T certificate was mainly developed by the founders. They are the true authority if anyone, because they created it, so they sure have a better idea of what they developed than you.  The founders created parkour; its philosophy, its values, and the method of training. You're simply saying that the founders created it in the ''wrong'' way. I am not an authority, I am just presenting facts. I have already found my way in parkour. I have a path to follow aswell; my own path, but that doesn't mean that I go around spitting bullpoo such as parkour being some kind of competetive sport. I try to keep a clear mind of what they created instead of misrepresenting it.

According to the national governing body (which are developed by the yamakasi and generations)

''Parkour / Freerunning / Art du Deplacement is the non-competitive physical discipline of training to move freely over and through any terrain using only the abilities of the body, principally through running, jumping, climbing and quadrupedal movement. In practice it focuses on developing the fundamental attributes required for such movement, which include functional strength and fitness, balance, spatial awareness, agility, coordination, precision, control and creative vision.

• It is a sport that encourages self-improvement on all levels, revealing one’s physical and mental limits while simultaneously offering ways to overcome them. It is a method of training one’s body and mind in order to be as completely functional, effective and liberated as possible in any environment.

• The sport aims to build confidence, determination, self-discipline and self-reliance, and responsibility for one’s actions. It encourages humility, respect for others and for one’s environment, self-expression, community spirit, and the importance of play, discovery and safety at all times.

The description above is to describe Parkour as a sport and does not fully describe the art / discipline / philosophy of Parkour as a whole.''

Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Shamas on January 27, 2012, 08:43:12 AM
     I am not saying that they "made" it in the wrong way. I am saying that it is an adapting and personalized organism.

     No matter what you recite, people will and have advanced the philosophy and "sport" to fit the various walks of life, personalities, and social interests. You can say that Parkour is not competitive all you want, but people will use Parkour for competition soon or later. You can protest and complain all you want that it isn't the true nature of Parkour and that it is a perversion, so on so forth, and you may be right in some aspects. But the fact is, people will take this growing organism, that is Parkour, and use it to fit their lifestyles and society to as they know it.

     Instead of accepting this, as the highly probable scenario as it is, you spend your time arguing it ferociously. Calling people's intelligence into question and taking some sort of authoritative stance on the matter. When Parkour moves from the terrible scenes like MTV to the more widely accepted areas such as X-Games, Olympics, and so on, what will you're rants and your insinuations have accomplished? What will your time and efforts on this thread ultimately result in?
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Mark Toorock on January 27, 2012, 09:41:14 AM
Guys, I must applaud both of you for keeping your arguments well presented and mostly non-attacking. I think you have both clearly laid out your points of view and the things which you consider to be facts.

It is an interesting side topic alltogether as to what may actually be "fact" - there is a whole branch of psychology devoted to the human experience, can anything be a fact if it can only be perceived by an individual? Anyway - back to the topic.

Erik, you make some great points about the values instilled by the founders and their adapt program. The books definitely came later and at least the parkour handbook has some glaring errors, but that's another topic.

What I would request of you (Erik) is this:

Can you please give me a rough timeline in your understanding of the history of parkour. When the Yamakasi formed, when it was active, who was part of it, when the name parkour was applied, please be sure to include details like Stephan, Forrest, and Dan all being part of Urban Freeflow, Dan wrote some great articles while he was there. Also include the separation of David and Sebastien - even the parts they don't like to discuss, because it happened and it too is part of history. The formation of parkour.net, the original french forums, I feel it is all important and relevant to the things you are discussing. Finally, when the national governing body was formed, when their definitions were created, etc. I feel that a timeline would answer many things which you keep trying to illustrate for people without you having to repeat the same thing over and over. I've wanted to make this timeline myself to have as an informational piece here on APK. - What do you say?


As a side note, I can say that you are incorrect about one nature of competition, I am trying out for Ninja Warrior this year, I do not like attention from crowds, I do not like to "perform" or show off, but I want to be with all my friends who are doing it. I am fairly certain that I won't win or even do all that well, but I want to be there for the sheer experience of being with the people who I care about and I'd like to be part of the experience. So, even though it is a competition, I am not going for all the reasons that you seem to think are unavoidable, I am going just to have fun and be with people, so it might as well be a jam for me, and it being a competition doesn't stop me from being able to attend it with my own goal of having fun and being with people. 

Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Shamas on January 27, 2012, 10:51:28 AM
Guys, I must applaud both of you for keeping your arguments well presented and mostly non-attacking. I think you have both clearly laid out your points of view and the things which you consider to be facts.

It is an interesting side topic alltogether as to what may actually be "fact" - there is a whole branch of psychology devoted to the human experience, can anything be a fact if it can only be perceived by an individual? Anyway - back to the topic.

With this being said, I lay my current arguments and points aside to leave it as is.  It seems that I have been properly understood whether the audience agrees with me or not.

Thanks so much.
 ;D
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: 7Erik7 on January 31, 2012, 02:20:52 AM
Guys, I must applaud both of you for keeping your arguments well presented and mostly non-attacking. I think you have both clearly laid out your points of view and the things which you consider to be facts.

It is an interesting side topic alltogether as to what may actually be "fact" - there is a whole branch of psychology devoted to the human experience, can anything be a fact if it can only be perceived by an individual? Anyway - back to the topic.

Erik, you make some great points about the values instilled by the founders and their adapt program. The books definitely came later and at least the parkour handbook has some glaring errors, but that's another topic.

What I would request of you (Erik) is this:

Can you please give me a rough timeline in your understanding of the history of parkour. When the Yamakasi formed, when it was active, who was part of it, when the name parkour was applied, please be sure to include details like Stephan, Forrest, and Dan all being part of Urban Freeflow, Dan wrote some great articles while he was there. Also include the separation of David and Sebastien - even the parts they don't like to discuss, because it happened and it too is part of history. The formation of parkour.net, the original french forums, I feel it is all important and relevant to the things you are discussing. Finally, when the national governing body was formed, when their definitions were created, etc. I feel that a timeline would answer many things which you keep trying to illustrate for people without you having to repeat the same thing over and over. I've wanted to make this timeline myself to have as an informational piece here on APK. - What do you say?


As a side note, I can say that you are incorrect about one nature of competition, I am trying out for Ninja Warrior this year, I do not like attention from crowds, I do not like to "perform" or show off, but I want to be with all my friends who are doing it. I am fairly certain that I won't win or even do all that well, but I want to be there for the sheer experience of being with the people who I care about and I'd like to be part of the experience. So, even though it is a competition, I am not going for all the reasons that you seem to think are unavoidable, I am going just to have fun and be with people, so it might as well be a jam for me, and it being a competition doesn't stop me from being able to attend it with my own goal of having fun and being with people.

I think a timelime of the history is quite hard to write in a a post. Its a quite delicate task to do that requires quite a lot of time and effort. And I don't expect many people to read this wall of text. Its funny what you mentioned it though because I am actually writing an article like this at the moment.

But a very brief history as I know it:

Georges Hérbert -> Raymond Belle -> Raymond explains parcours to David. Raymond take Chau, Williams, Katty etc. to Sarcelles to climb around, jump etc. David inspire his friends n Lisses, his friends inspire David. (ca 1987)  They start to play games such as 'dont touch the lava'- like games. The group become bigger (roughly 30-40 people). They start to train serious with purely physical and mental training; doing huge amounts of repetitions, inflicting pain on themself by training with lack of sleep, food and water, doing  monkeywalk in long distances, quadrupedie topless in the snow, lifting up heavy objects, throwing objects, playing volleyball with rocks etc.

Practise later became more about actucal movements (jumps vaults) especially since Williams joined since he influnced them a lot in fluidity/flow/grace. In -97 they (Yann Hnautra, Chau Belle, David Belle, Laurent Piemontesi, Sébastien Foucan, Guylain N'Guba Boyeke, Charles Perriere, Malik Diouf and Williams Belle) were asked by Davids brother to perform at the public fire service in Paris. They called themself Yamakasi. They called what they did L'art du deplacement. The French tv opened up their eyes for them and actually presented it in a positive way for once. They were asked to perform at Notre Dame De Paris, in Paris. They were concerned how the show would demostrate add, as acrobatics, performance etc.. another problem was that it wouldnt demostrate the values and work behind it. David and Sebastien left the group. Not only because of this but also because they wanted to walk diffrent paths: Seb wanted to teach more than training, and David wated to become an actor. After the show Luc Besson opened up his eyes for the group.

David changed the name to parkour and Sebastien changed it to freerunning under the development of Jump London. It was never a separate dicipline. The principles, philosohy and values was really the same. It was basicly other names for 'art du deplacement.  For Seb, freerunning was his 'parkour evolution', a name for doing parkour and incoperating break dance, capoiera, acrobatics, martial arts - his way, everything he did, was freerunning. It was a name for his way. Quite diffrent than freerunning today that seems to be more like acrobatics brought outdoors.  For David, parkour was a certain method of training he got from his father (very particular according to Steph), but at the same time, he also told people it was important to have fun besides the really hardcore training, and to do other things than that. For instance, he received a black belt in Kung Fu in India. He was also into acrobatics but it was never the focus. For Sebastien, it was never the focus either, for the rest of the group it was never the focus either.

David released Speed Air Man as a showreel for Spiderman. Debates started about 'efficient 'movements. . (funny enough, no one ever stated it was ''forbidden'', David just stated that its not really a part of parkour in one of these early 97 (i think) 10min documentary hence it was never the focus, for either Seb or anyone else in the former Yamakasi group. It was stricly there for fun.) Parkour vs freerunning debates started.

Stephane was trained by David for 4 years. Dan came in contact with parkour via Ez, and forrest via Seb Foucan. Le Singe est de Retour documentary with Steph was made by Julie Angel. Steph wanted to influence the parkour community and Ez.  Positive Feature Programme; Jump Westmister is created with Eugene Minogue. Steph moved to Thailand for a while because he was concerned with UF and the general development of parkour. He thought that it didnt represent parkour properly, and that it was to much focus on the brand UF than the actual dicipline. He wanted to represent the true practising he learned from David. He left UF. Dan and Forrest left UF aswell.  Julie Angel (slamcamspam at youtube) left aswell.  Parkour Coaching was created. Then renamed to Parkour Generations. Jump Westminster became highly successfull. Sport England and Westminster Council became involved. A parkour park in Westminster was built, and the National Governing Body was created. Some of the members of the Yamakasi were impressed by the documentary. They showed it in Lisses. Autorithies started to coporate. Majestic Force was born. Major of Lisses started to coporate with Majestic Force.

An even more brief documentary with Steph:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_d1AxUPPcF8


Regardings whats fact and not, I am not including experience. Everyone experience parkour diffrently simply because its not a completely defined pattern to follow besides the principle and values that defines it. Its an invidual way that gives people freedom to express themself. Therefore everyone experience it diffrently, its means everything sometimes and nothing at other times. But thats another story. Its more phycological. What I defines as parkour, and not something else, is what was  founded in France by the Yamakasi and got the name parkour, add, or freerunning.  This include their principles and values. This is what (if anything) that defines it, and not something else. I may seem like a stubborn, but really, I try to keep as close as I possible can to the real practising, and in that, competition doesn't have a place and it never had. This is a fact because it can be verified. It was simply developed in that way. If people go agianst the very core principles I can't simply say its parkour, and def inly not that they represent it in a good way.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Mark Toorock on January 31, 2012, 04:59:19 PM
Erik, this is really a great job thanks!!

What I feel is really important is for as many people as possible to contribute to the timeline, a collections of various sources that may become regarded as "fact", since not all the input will agree, the more input it has from more participants, the closer it would likely be to the truth.

I personally feel it would be very beneficial to have  a much more detailed breakdown of '97 to present, especially what happened between 97-2003 When Rush hour aired and UF was born, and especially when Parkour Coaching started, when Majestic force was formed, and I'd personally be interested to know more about what the members of the Yamakasi were doing during the time before Majestic Force. I would really like to go learn from them directly as well. When I originally contacted people in 2003 there were not a lot of people who seemed willing to teach to others, Sebastien was open and helped teach at our (UF's) PK Seben event which was our 7th indoor training and teaching session. I met with Thomas in 2004 and got to train with him just for a day at his house in Tours. Unfortunately I wasn't able to meet many other people back then, so I personally don't have a really good idea of what was going on outside of London.  I think the first time I met Stephane, Johann was at "Electric Storm which was November 6 2003. We all trained together after their performance, they were amazing, just years ahead even back then!

While recounting some memories, I found this interview - which was EZ talking to Seb in a hotel room while we were meeting with Eidos for the Freerunnig video game. Kiell, EZ, Seb, and I were all there. http://parkourpedia.com/about/interviews-and-articles-of-interest/interview-with-sebastian-foucan

The other thing I'll say about history is that it changes, I know that is not logical and should not be correct, but things change, people's opinions even of their own actions change, so if I ask Sebastien in 2002 what he felt about an event in 2001  and if I ask him today, his answer may be different, even though he is the same person.

 






Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: 7Erik7 on February 01, 2012, 08:56:13 AM
Erik, this is really a great job thanks!!

What I feel is really important is for as many people as possible to contribute to the timeline, a collections of various sources that may become regarded as "fact", since not all the input will agree, the more input it has from more participants, the closer it would likely be to the truth.

I personally feel it would be very beneficial to have  a much more detailed breakdown of '97 to present, especially what happened between 97-2003 When Rush hour aired and UF was born, and especially when Parkour Coaching started, when Majestic force was formed, and I'd personally be interested to know more about what the members of the Yamakasi were doing during the time before Majestic Force. I would really like to go learn from them directly as well. When I originally contacted people in 2003 there were not a lot of people who seemed willing to teach to others, Sebastien was open and helped teach at our (UF's) PK Seben event which was our 7th indoor training and teaching session. I met with Thomas in 2004 and got to train with him just for a day at his house in Tours. Unfortunately I wasn't able to meet many other people back then, so I personally don't have a really good idea of what was going on outside of London.  I think the first time I met Stephane, Johann was at "Electric Storm which was November 6 2003. We all trained together after their performance, they were amazing, just years ahead even back then!

While recounting some memories, I found this interview - which was EZ talking to Seb in a hotel room while we were meeting with Eidos for the Freerunnig video game. Kiell, EZ, Seb, and I were all there. http://parkourpedia.com/about/interviews-and-articles-of-interest/interview-with-sebastian-foucan

The other thing I'll say about history is that it changes, I know that is not logical and should not be correct, but things change, people's opinions even of their own actions change, so if I ask Sebastien in 2002 what he felt about an event in 2001  and if I ask him today, his answer may be different, even though he is the same person.

The history of parkour is clearly intresting and as far as I know, there aren't any articles that really goes to the bottom of it. The article that I am writing will be based on various books, authors, and interviews. The maingoal is to keep each statement to have a source so it can be tracked.

Regarding competitions; if course we can question it. We can also question if it is a fact that the United States is called the Unites States. We can question whenever 1 + 1 equals 2 with the argument that everything is changing, that the history always change, and that each invidual experience and see things diffrently. We can question whenever parkour is based on movements or not. We can question whenever it competetive or not. But that points to a very unrealistic and dilusional view on life and that you're far removed from the actual reality. Whenever parkour is competetive or not cannott be answered with personal opinions, such as how each invidual experience parkour. Parkour has principles. Many people seems to forget that. Principles that were defined by the nine founders. The reason its called parkour is because it defines a certain way of training and thinking.  When I say that it isn't competetive that's an opinion. What decides if this is a fact or not is whenever its in line with the reality or not. In this case its a fact because you can verify it in the history of parkour. You can study and understand the principles of it. These principles goes directly agianst competition and rather reinforce cooperation and personal training. You can also study it, understand it, and then ignore what you've just learned because it isn't in line with your personal agenda. That changes your personal principles, in doesn't change the principles in parkour.

I know that people hate that I am discussing this (my karma have dropped) but I really don't care. Must people would say its a waste of time, that you should practice and be positive instead. These are the kids who don't know what they're talking about. If people can take actions such as ''parkour'' competitions they should also be able to discuss their actions. They should be able to explain it. Especially when they label themself as Parkour / freerunning Champions, when they in reality, don't even practise the real dicipline that was born in France, or have any real clue of its history. But competitions do open up the doors for more commercial shots and boost the ego quite well. Like Livewire once said; its a way to show yourself as a professional athlete.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Jason C. Astor on February 01, 2012, 11:33:52 AM
I honestly haven't read the last 100 or so posts. So I'm just throwing out an opinion on competition in  Parkour.

Alright, on one side I have to say that Parkour "as I've grown to see it" is in fact very uncompetitive. To move past, over or around obstacles to get from point a-b quickly and efficiently and more importantly, to grow physically and mentally to achieve goals. This paradigm of Parkour is not the only one but it is my favorite simply because of my Taoist mentality.

On the other side, Humans ARE naturally competitive!! In order to establish Packs, Tribes, Governments or to have the Dominant female choose your DNA (giggity) man would always compete. This is simply evolution for us to want to compete. As well, competition helps practitioners of any activity discover weaknesses they formally were un aware of.
Example: I did Martial Arts for many years, got into plenty of little school fights and sparred people at my Do Jo. I thought I was a Serious Bad ass, That is until my first real fight against an actual Bad ass. I think you can guess how things went.
Another point worth making. Skateboarding was some kids in back yards having a very pure fun good time (which is awesome) But if skate boarding never turned competitive no one would ever believe a 720 could even be done or a double flip or such huge air.

The competition puts that extra drive in people which in fact helps the World. I say World because, once people see others achieving these amazing things they believe they can do it. Then everyone grows because of it.

I personally will never compete. Just not my thing, not Zen. But for anyone that does, you guys are awesome and you impress me with your crazy moves
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Mark Toorock on February 02, 2012, 07:15:28 PM
Quote
Regarding competitions; if course we can question it. We can also question if it is a fact that the United States is called the Unites States. We can question whenever 1 + 1 equals 2 with the argument that everything is changing, that the history always change, and that each invidual experience and see things diffrently. We can question whenever parkour is based on movements or not. We can question whenever it competetive or not. But that points to a very unrealistic and dilusional view on life and that you're far removed from the actual reality. Whenever parkour is competetive or not cannott be answered with personal opinions, such as how each invidual experience parkour. Parkour has principles. Many people seems to forget that. Principles that were defined by the nine founders. The reason its called parkour is because it defines a certain way of training and thinking.  When I say that it isn't competetive that's an opinion. What decides if this is a fact or not is whenever its in line with the reality or not. In this case its a fact because you can verify it in the history of parkour. You can study and understand the principles of it. These principles goes directly agianst competition and rather reinforce cooperation and personal training. You can also study it, understand it, and then ignore what you've just learned because it isn't in line with your personal agenda. That changes your personal principles, in doesn't change the principles in parkour.

Erik,
that's one of the most clearly written and well thought out presentations I've seen on just about any subject on here and I commend you for it.

I feel that it solves one problem, yet may bring another.  If you are correct (and I have no reason to believe you are not) then Parkour is not competitive.

I can agree that this aligns with what the founders have said.

Now, the problem it brings about is this: Many people who do parkour are competitive and parkour skills are used in many competitions and there are competitions based around parkour.

So, parkour itself is not competitive, and I feel that this is best for practitioners of a discipline, it is more open and inviting to many more people that way. However on the flip side, and also reality, is that there are competitions which use parkour and competitions involving people who do parkour. So to me, BOTH seem to exist in reality. Perhaps this is why these discussions are so difficult to "solve".
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ryan A. Vetter on February 02, 2012, 07:27:26 PM
Now, the problem it brings about is this: Many people who do parkour are competitive and parkour skills are used in many competitions and there are competitions based around parkour.

So, parkour itself is not competitive, and I feel that this is best for practitioners of a discipline, it is more open and inviting to many more people that way. However on the flip side, and also reality, is that there are competitions which use parkour and competitions involving people who do parkour. So to me, BOTH seem to exist in reality. Perhaps this is why these discussions are so difficult to "solve".

In philosophy and practices of confusionism, in an idealogical sense parkour competition cannot exist. In reality it's by nature we will force things to work, albeit trial and error eventually all problems will be handled. If it's to save a practice any face the contest format could be given a different name, to avoid any form of detestation.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: 7Erik7 on February 03, 2012, 01:24:31 AM
Erik,
that's one of the most clearly written and well thought out presentations I've seen on just about any subject on here and I

commend you for it.

I feel that it solves one problem, yet may bring another.  If you are correct (and I have no reason to believe you are not) then

Parkour is not competitive.

I can agree that this aligns with what the founders have said.

Now, the problem it brings about is this: Many people who do parkour are competitive and parkour skills are used in many
competitions and there are competitions based around parkour.

So, parkour itself is not competitive, and I feel that this is best for practitioners of a discipline, it is more open and
inviting to many more people that way. However on the flip side, and also reality, is that there are competitions which use
parkour and competitions involving people who do parkour. So to me, BOTH seem to exist in reality. Perhaps this is why these

discussions are so difficult to "solve".

Thats true. In fact, most of what we learn is often used for a competitive sake in life or in sport. For our own best, or for others or both. But if I would take my skills to Ninja Warrior, or anything like that, I don't consider it as a parkour competition. Its just a competition of movements really. Its the same thing when I compete with people in school. Its just that, a competition. When I see Art Of Motion, its not the competition itself that is the problem. I have no problem with watching it. I have no problems with competitions in general. The performance of aspect is interesting. But the problem is that its not developed for parkour. If its used in parkour, its not parkour anymore, because it becomes purely physical with pre-defined rules. The essence gets lost. The reason for its existence is parkour. I doubt art of motion, parcouring, freerunning championship would exist without it. Parkour is misrepresented for commercial reasons. They're not telling the truth. They're not representing what was born in Lisses. They represent themselves and use whats around them for personal gains whenever its money, fame, or because they have fun at the competition.  Any other name could be choosen, and they could have explained what they were really doing, but the commercial success by doing this was obviously to great to miss.

While competitions exist in the reality, its doesn't exist in its principles. I can do the same thing. I can take any name and definition, any sport, and do what I want with it. I can be a part of an organization and do completely the opposite of what the organization expect of me. But this doesn't change the organizations principles, the sports original principles, and so on. Its the same thing with the 'traceurs' who did a commercial shot for tobacco. Its obviously for personal gains, Because we're often free to do what we want. I could talk bad about you and  (if I knew you) but it wont change you, no matter how incorrect I represent you, no matter if people would believe me. I could just around  training 'parkour' and with a can writing tags, and damage private property. Its completely the opposite of what parkour is about but I don't have to care. No one can stop me to represent things in my own way. I could just say I do it because I feel good about it, because I have diffrent views, blabla.  Its just a question whenever we do it or not and for whats the real reasons. But I wouldn't necessary consider it as very ethically to do so. While parkour isn't competitive by fact, not everyone in the world is there to live up its principles, my principles, yours, the founders or anyone else. I could eat all kinds of stuff before going into a competition in the olympics, stuff that arent allowed. But I do it because its good for me. No matter if its against the principles (and even rules) in the olympic games I can do it. But my view on this wont change the obvious facts: its not allowed. With parkour. its just a matter of representing it in a good way. Thats life I guess. While most people would say its against parkours principles to damage property, the competition aspect is really the same - and at the same time - practially impossible due to the fact that more than the physical part has to be considered. Its also against it but people can get personal gains from it really easy. Its good for them. So of course some people choose to use it.


What is most interesting with is discussion in my opinion is that people often get upset when you question what they do regarding competitions, if its right, wrong, and why etc. Its easy to go with the flow I guess but harder to question it. If people think this discussion is  repetitive, look at the competition. Its repetitive aswell. Because its also a form of communication.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Shamas on February 03, 2012, 05:25:21 AM
Thats true. In fact, most of what we learn is often used for a competitive sake in life or in sport. For our own best, or for others or both. But if I would take my skills to Ninja Warrior, or anything like that, I don't consider it as a parkour competition. Its just a competition of movements really. Its the same thing when I compete with people in school. Its just that, a competition. When I see Art Of Motion, its not the competition itself that is the problem. I have no problem with watching it. I have no problems with competitions in general. The performance of aspect is interesting. But the problem is that its not developed for parkour. If its used in parkour, its not parkour anymore, because it becomes purely physical with pre-defined rules. The essence gets lost.

     I agree with you in the sense that Parkour as its pure form/ pure entity is, in and of itself, not competitive. I do believe that it can be used competitively, and there is nothing wrong with that. I believe that there shouldn't be any real debate further than this, as it clearly states that both are able to exist without conflict. It stands to reason that if events use Parkour in their competitions there shouldn't be an issue. On the flip side, we need to point fellow practitioners of Parkour to the principles of Parkour and (more importantly) clearly define the established criteria of debates such as this one.
     For example, people should be able to look at this thread and not debate whether it is good or bad to compete with aspects of Parkour, but they should rather be focusing on whether they want to train in the Pure Parkour sense, Competitive sense, or Both.

     As for the representing and misrepresenting, we have to do as any community or fellowship would and show our fellow traceurs what the discipline actual signifies. I believe that doing this with patience and clarity will allow more people to be open to the true values of the core principles themselves. For those who misrepresent Parkour, I don't believe that tagging, disruptive, sloppy, and vulgar people who chose to skip the core training are really traceurs. I believe that they are tricking fools who are going to injure themselves in the long run, either by accident or by wear and tear. So, they will get theirs. Parkour will live on as it should through all of those who practice it as it should be/as it is.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Ted Heistman on July 31, 2012, 03:13:37 PM
I am new to this forum. I am kind of a Free Spirit. I've been doing some thing similar to Parkour for over 20 years off and on. I started when I was 15 running in the woods by myself, just feeling alive, jumping over logs, weaving in and out of trees, balancing on rail road tracks and fences, crossing streams jumping from rock to rock, scaling walls.

Later I did free Rock climbing. I also like to bushwack through wilderness areas and go on really long runs in the woods.  I am not highly skilled or anything. I can't do flips. But for me this was like a Spiritual practice.  It helped me build confidence and self reliance.

I just learned the name "parkour" from the internet and I think that French guy Belle seems like a cool guy. I agree with his philosophy.

I just recently lost 25 lbs and have gotten in really good shape. I would like to do this with some people for fun in a casual way but get serious about it. I think competition is the wrong way to go.

I also would hate seeing it be like something with a bunch of rules where you need to pay to learn how to do it and get "certified"

People try to do that with everything fun like kayaking even. I went on a 150 mile canoe trip the day after I bought a canoe. That's how I learn.  I am not a big fan of beurocracy.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Austin Morrow on October 27, 2012, 07:22:09 PM
While I am more on the part of participating in Parkour and Freer Running while "jamming" with my friends, I do find competitions to be very fun as long as they are done the right way, and for me that's...

•With friends and local Traceurs, not some gigantic event.
•Absolutely NO money, companies, or sponsorship whatsoever.
•For me, not judged on who's style is better, but who is unique, adapts to the environment well, and flow and fluidity.

And, it's all for fun and the passion.  :)

EDIT: Oh, and I mean competition for the Free Running side of Parkour, not actual Parkour itself for competition.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: 7Erik7 on April 12, 2013, 02:47:11 AM
Well, there is one point here I'd like to add.

M2 started this discussion as 'argument for' and 'arguments against' competition. Naturally, we see a whole bunch of people claiming '''I believe'', ''in my opinion'', ''because..'' ''for me'' and so on.

But if we are to determine the truth, then none of this matters.

First off, I don't care what people personally believe. It isn't interesting to hear what people personally believe about this. It is completely irrelevant. The fact that you believe something does not make it true. What matters in a factual question is the evidence, and there is no evidence that parkour is competetive. As a matter of fact, all sources points to the completely opposite if we're about to look at its origins. David Belle did by the way state this recently on his facebook. The founders have stated it various times. An objection to this may be 'what the founders says is also an opinion'. Not necessary. If anyone here were to take Bruce Lee's Jeet Kun Do and start teaching it, there is a way to teach it incorrectly, no matter what your opinion about that is. I could say that Jeet Kun Do is about acrobatics instead of martial arts, but that does not make it true. I could say that parkour is not based on movements but that does not make it true. Jeet Kun Do is already a defined training method. Exactly like parkour. Parkour is a name for a training method exactly like Jeet Kun Do.

Secondly, on a philosophical level, it is extremely difficult to measure humlity, how many people you've been helping, or even harder, all the many other aspects; creativity, ability to adapt, ability to push yourself physically and mentally of the course of your whole training. Neither can you measure 'to be and to last' by a competition. You can't measure peoples training method. There are so many variables that is very difficult to measure. It doesn't make it easier by the fact that parkour has no rules not any end. Because that is also a fact - parkour is a training method, not simply an action of doing x (whatever x may be). People who say otherwise - give evidence for that then.

Therefore, I would like to know how it is practically possible to be a world champion in parkour.

This has to be solved before we can accept ''parkour is competetive'' as true. And if ''parkour is competetive'' is false, as it all points to now, then all the people who have these competitions are actively misrepresenting parkour horribly out of ignorance, and this seems to fit well what this site, American Parkour, does.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Bossanova on May 03, 2013, 12:30:42 PM
Hey there!

I'm super new to parkour but it seems really cool and I have a lot of fun. I tried looking around the competition bit of the forum, but there've been few recent posts  :(

I was wondering if anyone know of any competitions or big gatherings happening in the next few months. I'm not really up to competing yet or anything, but I'd like to watch in person and see what top notch dudes are like, preferably somewhere in the North East.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: DaveS on June 07, 2013, 12:28:04 PM
Hi Bossanova

The reason there have been few recent posts is because, as Erik suggests immediately above your post, Parkour is not a competitive activity. That makes it very difficult to talk about the competition aspect of Parkour, since there isn't one. Various people have tried to force competition and Parkour together, but the end result is invariably something that is meaningless to Parkour practitioners, and harmful to attempts to educate people about Parkour.

If you are interested in Parkour then it's worth bearing in mind that Parkour is a training discipline. It's a holistic way of developing your abilities in order to meet the challenges you face in life. It deals with things that are far more important than a competition about who can jump over a wall in a pretty way.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Nick Holmes on June 07, 2013, 10:23:16 PM
Dave, I just want to say I know we can agree on something ;D
I really agree with your statement and they make me think of Chris Rowat whose views I appreciate as well, expecially in the competition "controversy".
That is all.
Title: Re: Competition in Parkour
Post by: Dick Stapleton on June 08, 2013, 06:26:33 AM
Bossonova you'd be better off looking for parkour jams happening somewhere near you. Competitions are something that a lot of traceurs don't agree with but more importantly in this case you'd only be a spectator. At jams you can get together with traceurs from all over and interact with them and learn from them instead of just watching. I wish I had seen your post earlier as the Beast Coast jam just took place in D.C. a few weekends ago.

Keep an eye out on the home page and in the national jams section of the forums and maybe ask around a little, hopefully there will be something happening near you that you can take part in.