Author Topic: Parkour and freerunning need a universal name.  (Read 9654 times)

Offline Gabe Arnold

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 900
  • Karma: +125/-6
  • Proud Founder of S.U.T.S.
    • View Profile
    • Gabe Arnold Fitness
Re: Parkour and freerunning need a universal name.
« Reply #100 on: August 03, 2010, 10:21:43 PM »
"The most interesting thing in the world is another human being who wonders, suffers and raises the questions that have bothered him to the last day of his life, knowing he will never get the answers."

"The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes rather than with their minds."
----Will Durant

A few pithy quotes that sum up how I view most of these quarrelsome things.

One of the best descriptions I ever heard about our current state of definition-affairs came when I interviewed Teige "Teghead" Matthews-Palmer. He said...
I like to take a descriptivist approach, meaning I'll try to descibe PK & FR as they are, not as they should be.

The only major difference between Parkour and Freerunning is the flips and spins. In both sports you're using bits of architecture to test your skills on, there's a creative element to both. We all accept Freerunning has nothing to do with usefulness or getting anywhere; but many of us still hold on to this idea of Parkour. As it is practised by most of my peers, and me, Parkour is just Freerunning using equally pointless but less fancy moves like precision jumps and wallruns on the grippiest wall we can find. The words behind Parkour are well-meaning, but most people either don't care about them enough to really think about whether what they do is useful, or they just aren't very bright...


Perhaps a bit harsh but it gets the point across. When I go to jams, watch videos, read forum posts, check out the community news, what I see being practiced is 99% NOT what the deep sounding words behind Parkour would have you believe. Even if you go with the idea that Parkour is predominently a physical-philosophy geared toward overcoming obstacles both in the world and in our minds, what we do most of the time is just messing around with cool scenery.

I don't think that's a bad thing; personally I embrace it. I believe in a three stage working of what I do. First I get good at it, meaning I train hard and research even harder. Then I look to understand it, the histories and subtlties and ever-changing debates. Then I try to forget all I've learned, allowing only that which smacks of personal "truth" to remain.

All those who came before showed me the path. None of them made me walk it. That was my choice and my choice alone. I will always question what I do and why I do it. But I no longer feel the need to define it in strictest terms, especially if those terms come from someone else. No singular movement can conquer all obstacles...and no singular string of words is going to define said movement. We can get close, but never perfect.

(Where do you think those definitions came from anyway? People who decided to take a stand and try to make forms out of the formless. Amazing how in less than a decade online those phrases became dogma. Question your roots - David Belle and friends started the ball rolling but why does it have to stop with them? Just something to think about.)

Offline NOS - from Parkour Mumbai

  • Mangabey
  • ****
  • Posts: 387
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Parkour Mumbai
Re: Parkour and freerunning need a universal name.
« Reply #101 on: August 04, 2010, 04:46:51 AM »
Good points Gabe.

And one of your paragraphs above reminded me of this saying from the Martial Arts -
"Learn the technique, then Master the technique, then Forget the technique."
:D

Offline Mark Toorock

  • M2
  • Administrator
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 3087
  • Karma: +302/-72
    • View Profile
    • American Parkour
Re: Parkour and freerunning need a universal name.
« Reply #102 on: August 04, 2010, 06:38:28 AM »
Indeed - as I said - definitions are useful for discussions - if anyone is running around training thinking "method of training to yadda yadda" I feel sincerely sorry for them.

I agree with what Teg said about parkour - but to me it is a training method - people don't use it to get from a to b, so I call it a training method - it could also be called a "playing method"

there is also a good point mentioned about describing - describing is different than defining - defining is the simplest and broadest form, where describing can be vastly different for different people and scenarios - if one person uses parkour strictly for play and fun - great! if another uses it strictly for exercise - great! - This is also where the subjective "what parkour is to me" comes in - however, I still believe there can be a definition - and that descriptions and personal journeys can still reference that definition.

Peace out :)
Be Useful.
If I don't try to make the world a better place, who will?
Every person has a choice - live by your fears or live by your dreams

Offline Austin"Yoshi"

  • Mangabey
  • ****
  • Posts: 366
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Parkour and freerunning need a universal name.
« Reply #103 on: August 04, 2010, 07:54:12 AM »
i think parkour is something special i think it deserves its own name :)

WoodlandGhillie

  • Guest
Re: Parkour and freerunning need a universal name.
« Reply #104 on: August 04, 2010, 08:16:39 AM »
I agree with what Teg said about parkour - but to me it is a training method - people don't use it to get from a to b, so I call it a training method - it could also be called a "playing method"

there is also a good point mentioned about describing - describing is different than defining - defining is the simplest and broadest form, where describing can be vastly different for different people and scenarios - if one person uses parkour strictly for play and fun - great! if another uses it strictly for exercise - great! - This is also where the subjective "what parkour is to me" comes in - however, I still believe there can be a definition - and that descriptions and personal journeys can still reference that definition.

This furthers the need for a definition that is adaptable as the discipline.

Offline Mark Toorock

  • M2
  • Administrator
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 3087
  • Karma: +302/-72
    • View Profile
    • American Parkour
Re: Parkour and freerunning need a universal name.
« Reply #105 on: August 04, 2010, 08:28:16 AM »
Debate is an important skill that does often set a precedent. I'm happy to defend APK's definitions at any time :) When someone comes up with a newer, better one, I'm happy to examine it, review it, regard it, discuss, dissect, or whatever. Until then we'll leave it as is.

I think what I'm starting to feel is that people are arguing OVER a definition not ABOUT a definition - and that just seems like arguing for the sake of arguing.

Facts:
Parkour is going to have a definition.
Freerunning is going to have a definition.
/ End Facts

Right now, they have two different definitions, at least as far as APK (and in my opinion most of the rest of the world) are concerned.

If someone wants to propose a new definition for either, please do so. Otherwise, please just let this die.

Be Useful.
If I don't try to make the world a better place, who will?
Every person has a choice - live by your fears or live by your dreams