Author Topic: Parkour in the Dictionary  (Read 2378 times)

Offline Patrick Witbrod

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Parkour in the Dictionary
« on: August 28, 2011, 07:22:02 PM »
     If you all recall a back in 2010 Parkour was added to the Oxford English Dictionary. At the time one could not find the definition given to it by the fellows at OED for free on line. To refresh your memory click http://www.americanparkour.com/component/content/article/1-latest/5825-parkour-added-to-the-dictionary                                                             

    Now the definition is available.  According to the OED Parkour is "the activity or sport of moving rapidly through an area, typically in an urban environment, negotiating obstacles by running , jumping, and climbing."

   Before you get to excited there is another definition that was recently added to Webster's dictionary. That definition is as follows "the sport of traversing environmental obstacles by running, climbing or leaping rapidly and efficiently."
 
    The questions I pose to all of you is simple. Do either of these definitions match what you think Parkour is? This shouldn't turn into a heated debate over what Parkour is just discuss what the dictionaries could have done better. Also, which definition, if any, follows what the founders wanted Parkour to be? Lastly, which definition do you think most closely resembles the APK community definition which is found here
http://www.americanparkour.com/learn/faq-english/faq/155/221-what-is-parkour

   So go ahead tell us what you think of the definitions. Or if you think Parkour even needs a definition.

(Note to Mods: Mark wants this topic hear just make sure that it stays about the questions above and that no one attacks anyone else for their opinions or for re-stating them. I'll delete the txt in parentheses after a day so that it looks clean.)

     

                 


Offline Gabe Arnold

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Re: Parkour in the Dictionary
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2011, 07:38:56 PM »
I kind of like the first definition, though I think the end should read "negotiating obstacles by running, jumping, climbing, or other useful movements."

The one thing I dislike is "activity or sport." Activity is sort of all right but I think sport is limiting in scope. Discipline, training system, or practice, I think they all would have been better used than sport. I know sport can used to define any athletic endeavor but the connotation most widely used, at least in America, is that of competitive games like football or baseball. There may be a sporting side to Parkour, but that is not what it is in entirety.

Edit: I also think the first definition is closest to the APK one. Though I think the APK definition could use a quick reevaluation since it's been 2yrs since it was first developed.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 08:56:04 PM by Gabe Arnold »

Offline Micah.

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Re: Parkour in the Dictionary
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2011, 07:41:44 PM »
I kind of like the first definition, though I think the end should read "negotiating obstacles by running, jumping, climbing, or other useful movements."

The one thing I dislike is "activity or sport." Activity is sort of all right but I think sport is limiting in scope. Discipline, training system, or practice, I think they all would have been better used than sport. I know sport can used to define any athletic endeavor but the connotation most widely used, at least in America, is that of competitive games like football or baseball. There may be a sporting side to Parkour, but that is not what it is in entirety.

Offline NOS - from Parkour Mumbai

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Re: Parkour in the Dictionary
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2011, 11:00:50 PM »
Parkour is the art of locomoting the human body and getting from one point to another by overcoming any obstacles in one's path, in any terrain, without the use of any external tools and using just one's own body.

Personally, I also feel we should limit this to land-based movement only, and not water-based locomotion, or at the max a very basic swimming from one point to another, because traversing through water and the myriad of locmotional challenges it provides in the form of its own unique obstacles, whether on the surface or underwater, makes water-based locomotion a separate discipline and study in itself.

Offline James Oliver

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Re: Parkour in the Dictionary
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2011, 09:13:56 AM »
I just dont like how Parkour is simplified into just the obstacles. Because there is a lot more to Parkour than just the aspect of moving through your environment.

Offline NOS - from Parkour Mumbai

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Re: Parkour in the Dictionary
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2011, 05:56:58 AM »
Wouldn't you say that whatever else there is to Parkour that people say there is, is more of a secondary layer, a subjective thing, that changes from person to person, and sits on top of the more bare-bones, fundamental, common-denominator and unchanging layer of Parkour, which at its core is about tool-less human locomotion? ;)

Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Parkour in the Dictionary
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2011, 08:03:02 AM »
To me parkour is the training that encompasses the activity -  just as you can't say a vault over a table "is parkour" or "is not parkour" without context, I feel that any set of movements even ones executed with flow and purpose, are in themselves whyat parkour is, I believe that parkour is the training that makes one better at the above stated activities.

To compare to what Gabe is saying, I feel that this makes it "a discipline" and not just "an activity".

I don't argue that the activity itself is not parkour, just that it is not complete. I do think someone can go outside, vault a rail, and it can be parkour, but again that is not the complete parkour, parkour is more than executing a move or moves.

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Offline NOS - from Parkour Mumbai

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Re: Parkour in the Dictionary
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2011, 10:14:34 PM »
To me parkour is the training that encompasses the activity -  just as you can't say a vault over a table "is parkour" or "is not parkour" without context, I feel that any set of movements even ones executed with flow and purpose, are in themselves whyat parkour is, I believe that parkour is the training that makes one better at the above stated activities.

To compare to what Gabe is saying, I feel that this makes it "a discipline" and not just "an activity".

I don't argue that the activity itself is not parkour, just that it is not complete. I do think someone can go outside, vault a rail, and it can be parkour, but again that is not the complete parkour, parkour is more than executing a move or moves.
http://www.americanparkour.com/smf/index.php/topic,30637.msg383599.html
But Mark, this is the same thing I tried to tell Dave in my other discussion with him last year (that he doesn't listen is another matter), that all these views people have on Parkour are all subjective and open to personal interpretation, aren't they? Everyone has their own views of what it is or what it should be, or what they think they get out of the discipline. I still feel all these views are a secondary, subjective layer above the core definition. What you feel Parkour is about or does for you, may not be the same as what I feel it is and does for me, and a third person may have another view. If you feel it is more of a discipline rather than an activity, a second person may not feel so, and he may find it more of an activity, and not be interested in the discipline part, and yet another person might be in it just for the philosophy part, and yet another person may not want to have anything to do with the philosophy. Does this mean these guys are not doing Parkour, or that any of these guys are wrong about it?
I feel that they are just bringing their own subjective views, and are tacking it on as a secondary meaning to the original meaning.

Also, the benefits you state you are getting out of Parkour - be it motivation, or discipline, or a philosophical way of living, or the mindset to apply 'overcoming of obstacles' to all parts of one's life, or serious training, or whatever - is it unique to Parkour? Can't these same things be obtained from other things, or other activities or disciplines? If in all this mess, you were to differentiate Parkour from other activities/disciplines (example Martial Arts, Gymnastics, Dance, Yoga, Bodybuilding, Lifting Weights, Pottery, Painting, Fine Arts, Spitting Contests, etc.) and identify it uniquely, what would you be left with? What would be its defining characteristic? Wouldn't it be the same definition I proposed in my post above?

Offline steve dahlin

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Re: Parkour in the Dictionary
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2011, 12:40:18 AM »
i wouldn't waste my time worrying about the public view of it, or what kind of media attention it gets,
But if I ever get the opportunity to tell the media that only about 1% of people that do parkour jump large roof gaps, and that most of our training is very safe and we don't get injured very often, i'll tell them that.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 12:48:56 AM by Grip »
I like Tricking and Free Running, i don't think i actually do parkour, because i do it for fun and self expression, which would change the term to free running.