Author Topic: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort  (Read 20905 times)

Offline Zachary Cohn

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Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« on: September 16, 2009, 08:01:20 AM »
Once you've been training for a while... you know what Parkour is. But getting that feeling into words is difficult. They never convey that feeling as well as you want them to. The longer you train though, the better you can explain it. You use new analogies, or more refined examples.

This is the reasoning behind APK's decision to rewrite our "What is Parkour" section on a yearly basis. However, we don't just want to dictate to the rest of the world what Parkour is, we want this definition to reflect the feelings and sentiments of the community. That's why we want your input.

Every September, for one week, we will repost this thread. In it, we want you guys to write YOUR definition of Parkour. After a week, we will take all of those definitions and combine them into APK's official "What is Parkour" definition for the year. No one person's definition is going to be the official one, but it will be a collaborative, community effort.

Keep the following points in mind:
  • Please keep it serious.
  • We're not talking to other traceurs, our "target audience" is the general public who has no idea what Parkour is.
  • No arguments in this thread. If there are conflicting opinions, we will sort it out when we're combining all the definitions.
  • APK has the right to include, or not to include, any content that people submit.
  • No individual will be credited with the, or any part of the, definition, but it will be cited as the community's definition.
  • We don't want just APK to be submitting definitions. Please pass it around to other communities and have them submit their opinions.

Submissions will close noon (EST) next Wednesday, September 23rd... so get to it!

Offline Salil Maniktahla

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2009, 08:31:29 AM »
Keep it serious? Awwww... :(

Ok, fine. My take.

"Parkour is the art of moving through your environment in an interesting and elegant way."

Offline Josh Simmet

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2009, 08:35:50 AM »
Movement for the sake and joy of movement. To clear your mind, hone your body or just for fun.

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2009, 08:48:58 AM »
Parkour is a new non-competitive sport from France, in witch you get from point A to point B as fast and efficient as possible using your body.

Offline Jeremy Osborn

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2009, 08:55:46 AM »
Parkour is everything, with or without the vaults, you use it everyday at school, driving to work, you use the most efficient way to get to wherever it is youre going, Parkour IS everything. Although, the base form of Parkour is using your hands, feet, strength, and endurance to get over obstacles both physically and mentally., and to look at things in a new and positive way.
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Offline max eisenberg

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2009, 09:05:45 AM »
re learning how to use our body for all its worth, parkour is the art of being able to cut through your environment much like an animal would. instead of using names like wall, gate, fence, barrier and other names commonly used to keep us in a constant state of confinement, we break through this mindset into one of vision. we see the world for what it is, structures for what they are and people for who they are. instead of being confined we are free to move where and how we want. the physical side of what we do can be compared to a cat running through its surroundings letting nothing stop it and overtaking its terrain like it is one long flat surface. we are animals and thus we decide to move like we are. instead of limiting ourselves to walking we allow our most fundamental movements to arise from our unconscious mind allowing us to move about with great ease and speed. we run, jump, crawl, roll, vault, climb and in some cases a mix of a few of these movements. some train to protect themselves and be useful to those around them, others train for freedom, to better understand their body and most importantly fun. parkour is the art of precision, power, agility, speed, fluidity, courage and understanding. you cant overcome what you do not understand so we as traceurs seek to understand before we break our boundaries. nothing we do is strange and out of the norm. those who feel this just cant remember how to move. they forget that it is deep inside them and a part of their being. we are on top of the food chain for one reason, VERSATILITY! our body and mind are great gifts that we seek a better understanding of.


my mind is constantly moving, one day my body will be strong enough to keep up.

Offline Talib Shively

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2009, 09:06:14 AM »
Parkour is the discipline of moving within one's environment by constantly adapting to changing conditions to find the most efficient path.  It is truly about the journey instead of the destination.

*edited for improper word choice*
« Last Edit: September 16, 2009, 09:55:44 AM by Talib Shively »

Offline bigninjapimp

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2009, 09:07:36 AM »
Parkour is the practice of developing the human body's gross motor skills.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2009, 09:41:06 AM by Max'BNP'Calder »

Offline max eisenberg

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2009, 09:11:43 AM »
Parkour is the martial art of moving within one's environment by constantly adapting to changing conditions to find the most efficient path.  It is truly about the journey instead of the destination.

martial arts are about combat... just a side note.


my mind is constantly moving, one day my body will be strong enough to keep up.

Offline Timothy Chen Allen

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2009, 09:20:58 AM »
I think we're running into a problem here.  Imagine someone has never, ever seen parkour.  Yes, there is a philosophy to parkour; all well and good.  But what actually happens at parkour jams? "Hey, let's practice wall runs!" "Guys, there's a great place to practice kongs here".  A definition that doesn't at least mention running, vaulting, and similar is incomplete.

Here's my criteria: could your definition apply successfully to regular old running?  "Moving from A to B efficiently": yes-- running does that.  So the definition is incomplete.

The philosophy bit is good, but it is not the only thing.  A pedestrian is going to totally miss the point if we start right into the philosophy.

To be perfectly honest, I generally tell people this: "I do parkour, and it's kind of like some sort of crazy urban street gymnastics/acrobatics that came over from France.  We run and jump over stuff.  It's a lot of fun.  Did you ever see Casino Royale?"  I know you purists probably hate me right now.  But it gets the point across.
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Offline Pilou

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2009, 09:22:34 AM »
"Parkour is a training method to overcome physical obstacles using your own body"

Good points, Tim. I guess any definition that would work for known sports should be avoided or completed.
I don't think it's really good to include the specific moves (vaulting, wall runs, tic-tacs, etc) in a definition,
as no specific technique is mandatory, and the move names are mostly a convenience after some point, imo.
Taking the same logic you used for running, if you can do any Parkour without doing vaults, and it's definitely
Parkour and nothing else, then vaults shouldn't be in the definition, right?  :P
« Last Edit: September 16, 2009, 09:32:07 AM by Pilou Bazin »

Offline Tom Coppola

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2009, 09:27:17 AM »
I'm quite partial to Blane's definition:

Quote
Parkour is a method of training your mind and body to quickly find ways of overcoming physical obstacles in a safe and efficient manner. The skills learned through the discipline can then be put to use in a range of circumstances, from aiding you in simple daily tasks to the more extreme possibilities of needing to escape from danger or reach and rescue someone in need of help. It is a pursuit to become strong in every sense of the word in order for the individual to become more useful to themselves and the people around them.
We are each given an amazing tool that is the human body and can choose to do with it whatever we wish but I feel an overwhelming obligation to use mine to better the lives of the people I care about and I feel this can best be achieved by practicing Parkour.
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Offline Timothy Chen Allen

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2009, 09:45:13 AM »
"Parkour is a training method to overcome physical obstacles using your own body"
...
Taking the same logic you used for running, if you can do any Parkour without doing vaults, and it's definitely
Parkour and nothing else, then vaults shouldn't be in the definition, right?  :P

Aha!  *OBSTACLES*.  That was the missing element.  Yes, what distinguishes parkour from regular old running is that in parkour, you are overcoming obstacles.  You aren't using anything else to do it (no pole vaulting).  And it is a training method.

By george, I think you've got it!  This looks like a very good start.
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Offline Talib Shively

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2009, 09:57:57 AM »
I like Blane's definition, and it would be perfect if you had the space to write it, but most people you will meet will not listen past the first sentence if it is spoken.  We need an abridged version for everyday use.

Offline max eisenberg

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2009, 10:20:58 AM »
I like Blane's definition, and it would be perfect if you had the space to write it, but most people you will meet will not listen past the first sentence if it is spoken.  We need an abridged version for everyday use.

i find it hard to condense such a vague art form. at least in a way in which someone who has no knowledge will understand.

even if we say "overcoming obstacles". what in the hell does that mean? jumping over stuff? i think we need to be more specific in our wording to include all the ideas and movements we use, otherwise people cant really see the difference between a kid jumping around and a kid jumping around with a goal.


my mind is constantly moving, one day my body will be strong enough to keep up.

Offline Talib Shively

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2009, 10:31:44 AM »
Maybe something along the lines of navigating through the environment, which would give it a sense of purpose.

Offline Prancer

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2009, 11:23:28 AM »
Parkour: A discipline, much like a martial art, that focus on movement from one point to another instead of combat.
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Offline cementandsteel

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2009, 01:11:17 PM »
Parkour is a discipline of motion that blends aesthetics and practicality into a seamless dance.  it can be both harsh and elegant, and at times you can get pretty beat up.  It's thrilling, but that's only part of why traceurs practice it.  For many it is an opportunity to move through and live life in a way that most people never experience.  It's about drawing new lines through your environment, and moving through, over, or around an object in a completely new and unique way.  Ultimately, it shifts your perspective so that you look at an obstacle such as a wall or fence and see not a barrier but a stepping stone for a path.  Parkour is about stepping off the well worn road that mainstream society takes and forging a new path through the wilderness of cement and steel. 

Offline Grayson

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2009, 02:13:35 PM »
Parkour is movement. Whether that be for the sake of joy, fitness, efficiency, etc. is your own choice.

I know it's not to explanatory, but This has been my take on it for a while.
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Offline Jake Mathew

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2009, 02:17:07 PM »
A discipline focusing in the utilization of one's body to physically overcome obstacles in the most efficient way possible.
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