Author Topic: The Devolution of the National Parkour Community.  (Read 2055 times)

Offline StreetPrince

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The Devolution of the National Parkour Community.
« on: October 28, 2009, 10:05:37 AM »
This is something that has been on my mind for a several months.

As parkour is expanding, local communities are growing, and as Corndogg stated in another thread,

"Whenever you add a channel, you dilute the existing ones."

I believe this is happening to the nation-wide scene of parkour in the United States. The local communities are growing in such an extent that many practitioners are losing their need for the national community. I have found this true for myself and many that I have trained with. Unless you are a recognized leader of the national community, there is little benefit to gain from contributing on sites like APK aside from critiquing videos and helping new practitioners perfect their rolls.

My point is backed by the lack of experienced, non-national leaders on the forum. Even a lot of known leaders are vacating the boards in order to put more time into their local community, and I can't blame them. There is much more to gain from contributing to local communities and instructing new practitioners than from bickering and complaining about television shows. I know that there have been recent efforts to revive the national community, but they have only reached so far. I appreciate the effort of Ozzi and anyone else involved with the Ask an Alliance Member threads. They are a step in the right direction.

I'm not saying that this "devolution," if you will, is necessarily a bad thing, however. It is just something that I think the community [whoever's left of it here] should be aware of. The more I think about it, the more I start to believe that it might be impossible to return to the tight-knit national community of the past. Maybe I just don't want to admit it, but it's gone. The community is too large and parkour has begun to run on it's own. The beast has been released, and there is no way to cage it up again.

Some of you may take what I'm saying as selfish, saying that I don't want to spread parkour, but merely keep it for myself. That is not the truth. I have always been an advocate of public awareness of the discipline and in no way would discourage others from beginning. It is just that I have realized the growth of parkour has not been wholly beneficial. Things were lost in the expansion. Many more were gained, but still, good things were lost.

That is all I have to say for now.
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Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: The Devolution of the National Parkour Community.
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2009, 12:28:17 PM »
Basically you're saying that since local communities have been getting stronger, the national community and this site have "lost value?" I can see this and I would agree. It's certainly not devolution though. It's actually still positive growth. It's only natural during development of anything that certain aspects will be lost and replaced with others. It's the way of life.

Unless you are a recognized leader of the national community, there is little benefit to gain from contributing on sites like APK aside from critiquing videos and helping new practitioners perfect their rolls.
And what would you consider benefit that comes from this site? I don't think much of anything has ever come from it except helping others and having them help you, i.e. critiquing videos and rolls. I'm not sure what you are suggesting should be happening here.



It's just like anything... something that is becoming too big must expand its boundaries. There's not really any other way to do it here except break into smaller, more manageable chunks, i.e. local communities. Besides, MUCH can be gained from training in person with another more experienced traceur. A lot an even be gained training with someone who isn't experienced. So in a way, the parkour community is evolving from a distant impersonal relationship (discussion forums) to a more personal one. I see that as a really good thing. While we may mostly reside in our local community, there are tons of people that travel to train with the national community in national jams. In my opinion, that's evolution, not devolution. I am glad you brought this up, though. It is certainly something important that I haven't noticed until now.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2009, 12:31:05 PM by Alec Furtado »
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Offline Adam McC

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Re: The Devolution of the National Parkour Community.
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2009, 06:37:42 PM »
I'm pretty much in agreement with Alec, on this. Definitely something that's happening, I can't really say its a bad thing. Its working well for me. I've helped 50+ people in person in major ways and significantly less in significantly less ways over a forum. I think its just become more of a 'reality'.

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Re: The Devolution of the National Parkour Community.
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2009, 07:17:17 PM »
I would say the national community hasn't lost value, its value has simply changed. It used to be a way of connecting traceurs around the world to help organize then and allow them to aid in each others' progress. But now it has changed into one large, collective group that can be identified by their shared values and goals, with the purpose if inspiring others to join in the art and to stress the philosophies parkour brings with it.

Offline Corndogg

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Re: The Devolution of the National Parkour Community.
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2009, 11:35:47 PM »
It all starts with individuals, then local communities, then outwards IMHO.  There is definitely a place for national and international communities though, for the exchange of knowledge and creating contacts at the least.  While there is a lot of bickering aka discussion on larger forums, its good that you can get a different, outside perspective.  If you are in your own little isolated world, then its hard to learn from others and validate what you're doing, and on the flip side share and teach others that may benefit.  But as you said, an online forum is merely a (pale) digital representation of the real community where traceurs meet and train and discuss things in person, face to face.  The local communities are definitely key!

State/National/International communities should be broad, Region/City communities should be deep.

I will continue to make myself as a traceur stronger, and inspire others to do the same.  I will continue to make my local community stronger, and inspire others to do the same.  I will continue to make my ties with other traceurs and communities stronger, and inspire others to do the same.  I will continue to welcome all newcomers with open arms, and inspire others to do the same.  And I will continue to be inspired myself.

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Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: The Devolution of the National Parkour Community.
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2009, 09:22:54 AM »
But you have to remember, this forum is the only connection to any community for some people. "Losing" it can be somewhat scary.
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Offline Gregg HIPK

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Re: The Devolution of the National Parkour Community.
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2009, 11:16:09 AM »
Hawaii moved our forums from hawaiipk.com to APK. In theory, as our local scene(s) get stronger, it should strengthen APK, also.

In practice, only 40% of our top posters made the transition. Other people [like Adam McC] moved from Hawaii to the Mainland. So even though we see them in the forums, it's not like they're hanging out with us for long periods of time.

Still, our posts are about the same, or maybe more than in July, before we moved.

If you're looking for community, put in the effort to develop it in your state or local forums. If you find one useful idea per day, and make a couple decent reply posts, it will make a difference. Community only grows by what you put INTO it.

If your state or local forum is dead, try a nearby state that's active. You can always drop by Hawaii to talk story, say "Hi", or whatever.

Offline Shae Perkins

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Re: The Devolution of the National Parkour Community.
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2009, 02:03:19 PM »
I agree with you my man. I would admit, that I spend much more time on my local scene than the national scene. Are you saying this is a bad thing? This comment is not meant to be rude btw, just curious.
This post was based off of my personal gatherings. Enjoy:)

Offline Stephanie Belle Hagan

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Re: The Devolution of the National Parkour Community.
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2009, 02:19:01 PM »
I dunno man, I agree with you... to a point, that is.

I remember going to a lot of jams and having people reconize me from the forums. I'm not sure that I would've connected with them the same way without the forums.

 
But you have to remember, this forum is the only connection to any community for some people. "Losing" it can be somewhat scary.

This makes sense too, heck when I first began parkour I didn't know anybody else who had even really heard of it. I was afraid I would have to start my journey alone, but I found the APK forums which helped my training A LOT. Although a bunch of screen names and videos can never replace the actual physical presence of another traceur, it's definitely better than nothing.  :)
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Offline Scared Doggy

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Re: The Devolution of the National Parkour Community.
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2009, 03:23:05 PM »
So I just finished my U.S. history homework, and is it me, or is what Streetprince suggesting is a parallel to the American Revolution?
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Offline Stephanie Belle Hagan

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Re: The Devolution of the National Parkour Community.
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2009, 03:42:32 PM »
So I just finished my U.S. history homework, and is it me, or is what Streetprince suggesting is a parallel to the American Revolution?

By golly I think you're right.

(ironic man... I just finished my us history homework too haha!) 
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Offline John Conway

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Re: The Devolution of the National Parkour Community.
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2009, 09:14:50 PM »
Devolution is good.

The more smaller communities gather members and create their own websites and forums, that is
where those members will discuess topics with each other at. Something on a bigger national level, maye APK.com could be seen as this,
would be frequented less and less, or maybe only visted for world news, meaning news will become more important than the forums here.
Forums on a national level will be had to speak to others in other states, while local discussions are now had in their
own locality websites.

America is too big to have one website dominate the scene.
Which is good, because people have their opinions about this and that,
and to think that one website represents an entire nation is just silly.

Offline Rafe

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Re: The Devolution of the National Parkour Community.
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2009, 01:28:49 PM »
I see a different kind of dilution there are so many more traceurs that online forums are drowned in the same topics and questions over and over which drives the experienced traceurs away from forums which means there is less good new information and discussions in the forums which makes them less attractive overall. At the same time I think the online communities in general are dying to some degree as experienced traceurs find themselves occupied with real life parkour Demands. Three years ago there simple wasn't the level of grassroots stuff that needed doing there is now I find for myself and other scene leaders I talk to there simple isn't allot of time for forums.
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