Author Topic: If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition...  (Read 8373 times)

Offline Corndogg

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If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition...
« on: January 07, 2010, 09:45:07 AM »
If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition, what would it be like?

From Rafe's article "Parkour and Competition" he states "I would like to see is us as a community finding ways to develop competitive formats that help us achieve the basic goals of this discipline, and take the future of parkour and competition into our own hands."  So let's take the bull by the horn and get it started!

What would a traceur-controlled parkour competition framework include, and exclude?  Should cover things like:
- Goals
- Values and ideals that should be supported
- Location requirements: indoor vs. outdoor, natural vs. man made vs. urban.
- Course requirements
- Length of course, including average time
- Competition rules
- Entry prerequisites
- Ranking or placing of contestants
- Awards, if any
- Things that should be excluded

Let's hear your suggestions!

There's also a thread on SFPK "If you were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition..." (from Oct. '07 no less!) that is worth reading to give you some ideas to get started.
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Offline DevintheNinja

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Re: If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition...
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2010, 10:26:49 AM »
i say no competition. we have good exposure as it is no need to get this turned into "business"
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Offline Corndogg

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Re: If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition...
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2010, 10:49:47 AM »
i say no competition. we have good exposure as it is no need to get this turned into "business"


Thanks for getting that out of the way.  Hopefully you've already read Rafe's article?  The purpose of this thread though is to define a competition framework with the competition happening as a given, so any "no competition" comments are off topic and should be posted elsewhere.  Thanks!  ;D
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Offline Adam C

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Re: If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition...
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2010, 12:42:57 PM »
I'd have real lava.  :)
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Offline Rafe

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Re: If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition...
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2010, 01:07:57 PM »
Here is my suggestion start experimenting with it in your training, do time trials, do small races, play tag, etc.

Personally I think time trials have the best potential for showing all of the elements of parkour while still saying fairly safe, I would something very like the ninja warrior challenge but with the obstacle more directly like urban and natural terrain not as gimmicky and with more of focus on speed, and flow and less on climbing. More complex series of obstacles less one big movement.

I also think that doing a type of parkour border cross would be extremely fun and beneficial to training though the danger level would have to scaled down, when we have done this type of training we have done it out in the woods ala tegheads Rage froobling super fun.

I don't think we need to spend hour discussing it on the net that misses the point, guys like Ryan Ford at Apex are already putting the ideas I purposed into action. We will be doing something similar at Parkour visions soon, just start pick a date make it small group of trusted and skilled traceurs and try it out.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 01:14:23 PM by Rafe »
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Offline Zachary Cohn

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Re: If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition...
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2010, 02:30:43 PM »
Rafe - I don't think we NEED to spend an hour discussing it on the internet, but I think it really helps develop people's thoughts and ideas who aren't located near Parkour Visions or APEX.

Offline Gabe Arnold

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Re: If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition...
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2010, 03:17:27 PM »
I'd like to get this out of the way, I posted it in the Spam Thread but I wanted to make sure Rafe and others saw it. Yes, the letter form is satiric, this was just my compliments to Rafe.

To Rafe Kelly,

Your article on the front page was excellent. It's great to hear an influential name in the American scene, and someone I admire, talk about competition (in some form) in a positive way. I've believed in the good side of competition for over a year now and have been almost universally shot down when I try to talk about it in a positive light.

I believe that ignoring competition shows a weakness on our parts. It's like someone with an addiction. An alcoholic can abstain entirely from liquor or they go way overboard. They can't find a happy, moderate medium - they abuse it or they cut it out entirely. I think we as a community have been acting in a similar way for a long time now. We either embraced a bad, dangerous form of competition or we shunned it like a plague.

True power and discipline is shown in having control.

Sincerely, Gabe

Now, my ideas on competition. I posted this six months ago in August when I tried to get others to come up with competition ideas in this thread.

The decathlon is a track and field event in which athletes compete is a series of ten contests, ranging from running to jumping to throwing. The goal is to accumulate the most points by placing highly in all events; the athlete with the most points wins. I believe a similar system could be used to great effect to create a Parkour "competition". Rather than a singular event, such as an obstacle course of run, the athletes would have to compete in a series of singular events, "challenges," with the most well-rounded athlete being crowned the winner. It would show a certain level of mastery in many aspects of Parkour, but wouldn't be "Parkour" itself. (The Woodsman contests, which include tree climbing, axe cutting, and log rolling, show off the skills of a logger, but not logging itself. Same idea in a sense.)

There are numerous types of challenges that can be set-up, all drawn from real-world challenges found in daily training. For instance, a wall climbing event in which the competitor starts at the bottom of what is essentially a stack of over sized building blocks, and, at the signal, race up the vertical sides until he reaches the top. Best time wins. Another event would be precisions, with athletes given various "problem" jumps to perform, and the athlete who completes them in the shortest time with the fewest falls wins. One of my favorite ideas is an event in which a course, similar to the one used in the Barclayard contests, is outfitted with numerous lights that can be turned on and off at will. With the athlete starting at a central location, a light will be randomly flashed on and the athlete must reach the light as fast as possible. Once there, another light, always random, will flash on at another location, and so on and so on, until five or so lights have been extinguished. Best time wins. If that doesn't force athletes to use the fastest, most direct routes possible without flair (practically the definition of parkour) I'm not sure what will. The difficulty of course is making it fair and even for everybody but that's why it's an idea, not a fact.

A finale event could be an obstacle course, where the athletes show off their combined skills to conquer the ever changing course in as little time with as few mishaps as possible. At the end of the day, the overall champ can be crowned. This way someone who is excellent at precisions but only so-so at climb ups can win some events but not the whole comp. Only the truly "rounded" place highly. All the events would be scored equally (or roughly equally).

Offline Corndogg

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Re: If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition...
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2010, 03:48:42 PM »
Rafe -

I think discussing it is totally relevant.  Its my belief that it was the lack of discussion years ago as people tried to hold on to the "no competition" mantra that got us to this place now.  Just think if we had discussed this years ago and developed the framework and already had it in place, would we have seen all these recent competitions run the "wrong" way by corporations today?  Instead the traceurs involved would have been able to use our resource and push a better competition framework to those running the competition.  This thread is trying to address a more structured, larger competition framework that could be adopted on a large scale, ie by one of these sponsored corporate competitions, yet still upholds the ideals we are trying to support.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 05:17:16 PM by Corndogg »
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Offline Tom Coppola

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Re: If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition...
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2010, 03:57:16 PM »
Well to build off of Gabe's idea, I think the separate "decathlon" type events should include simulated situations, but avoid the compartmentalization of skills.  For example an escape from a simulated threat or a race to "reach" an object and carry it back to the starting point or a "locked out" event in which the athlete must climb to find another way into an area.  This format can have several routes (or no actual routes, it's the participant's job to find it) to the goal, all requiring varied skills to complete.
  
I don't exactly agree with the decathlon-type segmentation of different parkour skills (though its an interesting idea) like the precision jump event.  I think it gives the competition too much of an obstacle course feel and encourages too many limiting rules (ie you have to complete this only doing precisions).  I'd rather avoid displaying parkour as running through obstacle courses like ninja warrior and embed the skills we develop into actual situations in urban and natural environments while keeping the man vs. self ideal.  This will show audiences the purpose behind parkour not just the skills of the athletes.

Competitions like Ninja Warrior and the Worlds Strongest Man do a great job of displaying the abilities that the athletes have, but a parkour competition should extend further into the application and utility of the movements.

What do you guys think?
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Offline Casquinha

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Re: If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition...
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2010, 04:32:12 PM »
Here are three individual competitions:

1)  Skillset course -- More like an Ironman competition with skill challenges intermixed throughout the course

2)  Long course -- There's a start and there's a finish.  There are plenty of obstacles in between.  good luck!

3)  Short course -- A small course in which a traceur runs multiple laps.  There are a few obstacles.  A traceur cannot use the same technique on the same obstacle more than once.


Here are ideas for team competitions:

1)  Capture the flag -- Either tag-out or flag football style elimination

2)  Elimination -- (See Capture the flag)

3)  ... Ah who am I kidding?  Pretty much any game that can be done with paintball markers at range can be done flag football style with Parkour at close distance!
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Offline Chris [.5gibbon] Stevenson!

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Re: If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition...
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2010, 05:15:25 PM »
i don't have time to read everyone's comments right now, but they already have the perfect parkour comp.  have you never herd of ninja warrior? haha  its perfect
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Offline Grayson

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Re: If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition...
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2010, 06:09:51 PM »
I agree, ninja warrior or just an obstacle course where your racing against yourself and the clock, not against other people. There should be able to be multiple winners so it is shown that is isn't a competition of people but of an individual and time.
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Re: If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition...
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2010, 06:45:52 PM »
I really like Gabe's idea with the lights. For whatever reason, that sounds like something that would be fun to watch and participate in, and could also be incorporated with what everyone else has said about the different kinds of obstacles.

Offline Sam Chin

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Re: If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition...
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2010, 06:54:35 PM »
You guys have probably seen MTV Ultimate Parkour Challenge, am i right? And we all know how horribly it went. so hopefully we don't come up with an idea like that. :P
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Offline Chris [.5gibbon] Stevenson!

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Re: If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition...
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2010, 06:55:04 PM »
i have since read rafe's article and everyone's post and i still think ninja warrior is perfect.  i even like the fact that it isn't marketed as parkour. haha  like a wise/crazy man once said parkour is lame. but thats off topic.
mtv pk challenge was stupid no doubt, but the part where danny dominated in the speed course was pretty cool. immagine if all those athletes speciallized in real parkour instead of acrobatics! no one would have got hurt (most likely) and the times would have been much quicker.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 06:58:28 PM by Chris [.5gibbon] Stevenson! »
"Be like water making its way through cracks.  Do not be assertive,  but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it." - Bruce Lee

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Offline Chris [.5gibbon] Stevenson!

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Re: If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition...
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2010, 07:01:24 PM »
oh and tag in an obstacle dense location is pretty perfect competition for parkour too, but not as easy to film and sell as an obstacle course
"Be like water making its way through cracks.  Do not be assertive,  but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it." - Bruce Lee

"There are few things graven in stone, except that you have to squat or you're a pussy." -Mark Rippetoe

Offline Hazim Salem

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Re: If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition...
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2010, 07:37:58 PM »
I read Rafe's article, and one conclusion is: Competition shows what really works.

Since "what really works" is what applies to real life, certain competition types will have to cover real-life situations; and those situations are TIRING.

That's why I suggest an "ultimate comprehensive endurance course." It could be a very long course (kind of a equivalent to a marathon), or it could be a short course done while being exhausted. I was inspired by MCMAP, where the students perform exercises until they are exhausted, then put to fight. If a person needs to escape for a long time, they need to know what are the best and safest techniques done with lack of energy. The goal is to reach the end with the shortest time.

For a long course, the participant just starts and ends. For the short version, each participant (not against each other) is put through the same tiring exercises (100 push ups, run in a circle, etc), which they must complete in a short time (to make sure they are doing them with the same intensity) or else they are excluded. That will guarantee they are all subjected to the same amount of torture.

As for safety, this is hard. To simulate real-life, the course has to be as real as possible. Real hazards combined with poor tired technique can be dangerous. On the other hand, the course could be gym-style padded. I think this can be choice.

Overall, this is my contribution to this topic, and criticism is welcome. Obviously, those who train for endurance will have the upper hand in this course. One final and important fact for this course: to make sure this doesn't turn into a marathon, incorporate as much climbing and hand-involved techniques as possible.

Offline Corndogg

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Re: If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition...
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2010, 07:41:29 PM »
where your racing against yourself and the clock

And against the course itself, which changes!
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Offline Casey Boatwright

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Re: If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition...
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2010, 07:54:46 PM »
aside from the fact that i think there shouldn't be competitions just because the media will get it and warp it,        i feel if i had to choose something i would say a large portion of like i guess penalties or something idk    but like a lot of it should be based on whether or not they executed the move on their first try,   like thats what bother me with peoples showreels,  they only show their successes   and act like thats exactly how they do it rather than it really took them 30 tries,     


and if there is a competition i don't think it should be scored on who did this the prettiest or the fanciest type of thing,  i think it should stick with time trials and races and stuff like that,   and parkour sports,   like parkour idk football   lol,  because those they will be using their skills in a purest sense which i think is how it should be,   efficiency  not appearance    it should spawn from the philosophies of parkour,     there should be "real life" situations they have to act in,    like get somebody something in an alotted time or they person "dies"   or maybe  they have to carry something or they use the use of an arm.  or one eye is blindfolded,    or to pass on the next challenge they have to make this 12 foot gap somehow.   but the whole point of it is,  it's up to them how they get somewhere  (within certain paramiters).   i think it should truely match the art.
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Offline Dan Elric

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Re: If YOU were in charge of creating a Parkour Competition...
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2010, 08:53:49 PM »
Emphasize safety as a large contributing factor.  If someone does something risky they should be docked points.