Author Topic: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort  (Read 23397 times)

Offline Clinton Swaim

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #100 on: October 18, 2009, 10:19:06 AM »
But parkour and freerunning are the same. It's all just a matter of whether you want a French name or English name, right? lol



Offline John Conway

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #101 on: October 18, 2009, 11:23:54 AM »
No, American Parkour does not view Parkour and Freerunning as the same thing.

Wrong. Americanparkour.com....com does not view Parkour and Freerunning as the same thing.

Offline noxteryn

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #102 on: October 18, 2009, 11:33:16 AM »
Noxytern, please read this thread, if you can make a valid argument that Parkour is efficient we're all ears, but efficient really is a crappy word because it can mean so many different things - speed, economy (rest) safety, etc could all be factors of efficiency and THAT is vague :)
Actually, that's exactly what it means, and it's not vague at all. It means that you're supposed to balance among safety, speed, energy consumption, etc, and decide what to do according to the situation.

For example, if your house is on fire and you're about to burn alive, a saut de fond that is higher than your skills is okay, because in cases of survival: Speed >> Safety. Who cares if you damage a few joints, as long as you're alive? On the other hand, if you're just going to the corner to buy groceries, there's no reason to jump from the balcony. Come on, this isn't new at all; it has been discussed many years ago on Parkour.NET.

Efficiency is not a vague or "crappy" term; it's just that it's not as straightforward or simplistic as people expect, and definitely not as vague as "overcoming obstacles" or "adapting to the environment". Yes, efficiency is complicated, but only because human movement itself is complicated, and I don't see how this is solved by throwing more vague terms in the equation.

Anyway, I do not plan to promote this new definition, as I am quite pleased with the one that is already used here in Greece.

Parkour: The practice of systematically developing one's locomotive skills.

I'll break it down, if you like:
It's a practice, meaning that it's something you do.
You do it systematically, meaning that you follow a certain non-random methodology.
You develop a skill, which is pretty much self-explanatory.
That skill is locomotion, which in itself means purposeful efficient movement (gaiting, jumping, climbing, etc, in order to reach something or move away from something).

I prefer this definition because it is solid, without subjective terms and pseudo-philosophical notions. I disagree that a physical (as your very definition states) activity requires one to be humble and altruistic. Sure, these are good values, but so is volunteer work and giving to charity. What do they have to do with movement?
« Last Edit: October 18, 2009, 11:37:35 AM by noxteryn »
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Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #103 on: October 18, 2009, 12:24:25 PM »
Funny thing is, even though we all complain and worry about how to phrase it, we all end up doing the same exact thing anyway. Why? Because their are numerous resources that all show the same thing about how to practice/train... books (not many), forums, other websites, and of course Youtube.

At that point, does it really make all the difference to say "Parkour: The practice of systematically developing one's locomotive skills." or "Parkour is the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one's path by adapting one's movements to the environment."?

Nooooot really.

Because in the end, where do they come? They come here. They come to Parkour.net. They come to their local discussion board.

As discussed in a previous thread, language is only a big deal if you make it one. Will people honestly go through and analyze a phrase like that? It's pretty darn vague STILL, so where do they go for more? Here.


In conclusion, just settle on something decent and move on. It's not worth the hernia.


And by the way, the link on the home page doesn't work since it is written with caps. The redirect is registered in all lowercase.
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Offline Zachary Cohn

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #104 on: October 18, 2009, 07:38:31 PM »
noxteryn - I'm not going to get drawn into an argument, but your definition is pretty vague and doesn't mention efficiency either...

I would argue that the definition is not vague. It's not super specific because there was no way that would be compatible with our goal. That's why we included the four bullet points, to help describe it more. When the rest of the "Getting Started" section is launched, it'll be explained even more.

Alec- Crap. Good catch! That always screws me up...

Offline Corndogg

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #105 on: October 19, 2009, 11:40:39 AM »
Yes, this isn't over yet, it's just the first step.  Clarification between parkour and freerunning is coming, and in it's current draft it does mention efficiency.  So with that coming, and agreeing with some of the points made here, IMO in the big picture of things the new definition fits quite nicely.


@ Noxteryn - It is amusing to me that you talk about efficiency over and over again, then refer to a definition that not only doesn't talk about efficiency but is even more vague than the APK definition.  "Locomotive" does not imply efficiency in the least.

I agree that while the "values" bullet is a good model that I think are some best practices we are trying to inspire in others (does anyone not like these or not want to do these?), it is a cultural thing and the wording should probably be changed to make it seem more "optional".  I've received this same feedback from several others on SFPK as well.
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Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #106 on: October 19, 2009, 02:36:54 PM »
Alec- Crap. Good catch! That always screws me up...
Well now you've got some other messed up link... haha

"http://www.americanparkour.com/whatisparkour%20title="
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Offline Zachary Cohn

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #107 on: October 19, 2009, 04:03:04 PM »
Shoot me in the face.

Okay, I fixed it, double checked it, switched browsers, double checked again, and then rebooted and double checked again.

If it's still wrong first person to report it gets a hand written "thank you" note mailed to them. For serious. :p

Offline noxteryn

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #108 on: October 19, 2009, 11:48:51 PM »
It is amusing to me that you talk about efficiency over and over again, then refer to a definition that not only doesn't talk about efficiency but is even more vague than the APK definition.  "Locomotive" does not imply efficiency in the least.
Locomotion, as described by Evolutionary Biology, implies efficiency by itself. It would be redundant to mention it twice. But anyway, I don't really care, I'm just throwing my opinion. After all, many people I know plan to simply ignore your new definition, just like me.

However, since you're talking about amusing things, it is amusing to me how Americans find the need to redefine and rewrite so many perfectly functional things. Parkour wasn't broken; no need for you guys to come along and fix it.

 ;)
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Offline Adam McC

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #109 on: October 20, 2009, 02:23:34 AM »
Its not about fixing Parkour. Its not about changing Parkour. Its about making it easier for us to communicate to the general public. That is all.

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Offline Andy Keller

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #110 on: October 20, 2009, 07:53:52 AM »
Its not about fixing Parkour. Its not about changing Parkour. Its about making it easier for us to communicate to the general public. That is all.

Yes. We're refining a way to define it. The "new" definition was created for ease of communication between traceurs AND the general public, who may or may not have any prior knowledge or understanding of parkour.
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Offline John Conway

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #111 on: October 20, 2009, 03:42:54 PM »
it is amusing to me how Americans find the need to redefine and rewrite so many perfectly functional things. Parkour wasn't broken; no need for you guys to come along and fix it.

 ;)

How long have you been training? I don't think a practitioner of any "seasoned" length of time would go and smoosh all Americans into
one thing, I mean stereotyping. Parkour pushes against such things, to know the truth, and not generalize about such things that are
clearly faulty and just plain incorrect.

Let me see, all Americans are fat, all Americans are dumb. Yea...I think that's true.

However, regardless of how long you have been training, I want to requote what I posted earlier
No, American Parkour does not view Parkour and Freerunning as the same thing.

Wrong. Americanparkour.com....com does not view Parkour and Freerunning as the same thing.

Americanparkour.com does not represent parkour in america in it's entirety. practitioners are part of parkour in america (american parkour) but just because the internet site has a geographic name does not mean that we all agree with what is posted here.

And the definition of parkour is universal, I believe that apk.com,( I guess I'll say M2??) wants there to be a definition for not only
to make the website more complete but because he also believes that if something exists we should be able to define it.

Offline Zachary Cohn

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #112 on: October 20, 2009, 07:12:48 PM »

And the definition of parkour is universal, I believe that apk.com,( I guess I'll say M2??) wants there to be a definition for not only
to make the website more complete but because he also believes that if something exists we should be able to define it.

I honestly don't think you've read this thread. If you had read the thread, you'd know that the community (not just APK, we also reached out to other websites that are not affiliated with APK to post their definitions for us too. We wanted them to post them here so we could have a centralized place to see them, but we reached out to the WHOLE community) had the most involvement. After that, a committee refined all of those definitions and all of that discussion into a few sentences. Mark did have some input toward the end of that stage. Some of his suggestions were included, others got overruled.

Due to the way this process was structured, this written definition of parkour is probably probably the most accurate to the most number of people of any definition that is out there. We didn't make it up, THE COMMUNITY made it up.

I don't see how this makes APK more complete either - we already had a definition. This is simply a revision

I also don't see your argument in "believes that if something exists we should be able to define it." I don't feel like getting into some sort of existential argument, I have too much real work that actually needs to get done.

But I will tell you that we did this for you. Maybe not you personally, but for every traceur out there who has ever needed to explain parkour to their friends, their teachers, their parents, or law enforcement... but wasn't able to find the words. We did this for anyone who sees an episode of The Office or House, hears that the "awesome jumping thing that was on it is called parkour" and wants to find out what parkour is. We did this for the principal who wants to find out what this "parkour" thing is after a student asks her if he can start a parkour club.

Just because you're satisfied with a surreal, existential, zen-like understanding of parkour doesn't mean everyone is.

[edit - Also, in response to your constant declaration that parkour and freerunning are the same thing: They aren't.

Yes, I know the history. The producer of Jump London wanted a catchier word that was easier for people to remember, so they coined "freerunning" for the same thing. Back then, okay, it was the same. But it has split off and is widely accepted that it has become its own thing.

And before you say that "the founders" say it's all the same - no they don't. I've talked to people that that live there and have visited, and who tell me that those same "founders" call what they do now L'art du deplacement, and refuse to call it parkour.

They came from the same place, but it's similar to how apes and man share a common ancestor, but are no longer the same. Just how political parties are formed by people branching off from a pre-existing party. Parkour was once all there was, and then Freerunning came to be, and the paths split. A new art was created, and the other one was refined into what we now know as parkour.]
« Last Edit: October 20, 2009, 07:22:46 PM by Zachary Cohn »

Offline John Conway

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #113 on: October 20, 2009, 08:15:56 PM »
When I said (M2?) A. the reasoning behind creating a def. was not important in my post at all. B. because I had already started that statement
I figured I would end it with some sort of justification. I'm not putting all this on the shoulder's of M2 and I know that all of the community has come together to help with this def. And I feel that a definiton is required and a positive thing.

Existential stuff: M2 posted himself that he feels that if it exists why not be able to define it? Zack we're on the same page. Sure, zen-like, whatever you wanna say, regardless of it that works for me or not the def. IS universal and SHOULD and DOES apply to everyone in the same way, def. wise. We're arguing for the same point Zach, I think you really misunderstood my entire post.

I think you saw my post as an attack on M2 of somesort and that is not the case at all.

As for pk/fr being different, I did not bring that up in my last post.  :-\

Since your bringing it up, I'd like to point out to you that Blane holds the same argument you do. Congrats to you. And I already know that all the founders do not call them the same, or do they? Actually, I started a thread about that on pkgen's forums. Chau says in the ADAPT video they are all the same, then in another interview with a Finnish traceur, he says he does not do the parkour, but l'art du deplacement.

I had asked why this was on the pk gen forums, and many responded. Blane had come out to say that the reason behind that is chau's story. Chau was involved with the word add, not parkour. So, although they are all the same, he prefers the word parkour over l'art du deplacement.

They are all the same, it's just that he prefers to be called one over the over, one word over the over word of the exact same meaning.

So now you can either hold to your side, and say they are different, or you can switch. Either way, whole thing is still unresolved....right? No. Seeing as how the only change that would come about is through the founder's saying it, and that since they have never openly declared a separation, only which word one of them prefers over the other, well...do I realy need to finish?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2009, 08:27:48 PM by NoRush »

Offline Andy Keller

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #114 on: October 20, 2009, 08:18:43 PM »
Zach, I did not read all of your post...

Why not? I don't think it is fair to respond directly to his post without... reading it. :P
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Offline Zachary Cohn

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #115 on: October 20, 2009, 08:20:03 PM »
Zach, I did not read all of your post...

Check please, I'm out.

Offline Everett McClain

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #116 on: October 20, 2009, 08:20:33 PM »
  • No arguments in this thread. If there are conflicting opinions, we will sort it out when we're combining all the definitions.
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Offline John Conway

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #117 on: October 20, 2009, 08:28:50 PM »
Zach, I did not read all of your post...

Why not? I don't think it is fair to respond directly to his post without... reading it. :P

Yea I modified that and both of you posted while I was posting, I went back and read it before, that's why my post is edited.

So uh...check back in.

Edited after Keller's post:
I'm sorry this turned into an argument. Goodbye.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2009, 10:20:32 PM by NoRush »

Offline Andy Keller

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #118 on: October 20, 2009, 08:40:15 PM »
Can we just lock this? People have different opinions.
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Offline Corndogg

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Re: Rewrite APK's definition of Parkour: A Collaborative Effort
« Reply #119 on: October 21, 2009, 09:08:54 AM »
I'd like to keep it open, but would like to remind and refocus people to discuss the new parkour definition, provide feedback, and ideally provide constructive suggestions in addition to any issues they may have with it.  If we can move forward, that's a good thing, else it's just arguing.
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