Author Topic: Honestly, how would Parkour competition affect you personally?  (Read 9494 times)

Offline Jerry

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Hi everyone,

First, I'd like to say thank you to everyone for making this forum such a great place. I have learned a lot here.

To begin with, I am new to Parkour training. While I have been a casual fan for some time, I only recently decided to jump in (pun intended) and train.  For the most part, I am trying to get a handle on the sometimes strange subculture that is the parkour/freerunning community. I run a full time mma/self defense school in southern California and have 2 small kids which pretty much means my training time is limited and getting together with other traceurs is almost out of the question for now. I train Parkour for all of the reasons put forward by most of the PK community. I train for pretty much the same reasons I train in martial arts (although the ground can hit harder than any of my training partners). I want my training to be fun. I want to stay in shape and learn more about my body and its capabilities. I enjoy the freedom and creativity. The utility of the skills of PK with regard to helping others is not lost on me as I feel the same way towards teaching others to protect themselves.

I have read many threads regarding the topic of competition on many forums which many people on here visit and or post on. I see that many people feel VERY strongly against the idea of competition and some people have made very articulate arguements regarding their position.

This sometimes leaves me baffled as I sit back and ask myself, "How would this really affect me? How would this affect my training?" The only answer I can come up with is, "Not in the slightest." If there were suddenly a competition, I would check it out to see what its like. It would not affect my reasons for training, nor my approach to training. I am not a person with any interest in competing. It doesn't seem like those who are against competition would compete either. That's cool too. I understand that David Belle said, "...". I get it. Makes sense. that's why he doesn't do it. Fair enough.

What is strange to me is why there is so much focus on what other people do. How does this affect YOUR training?

If we look at the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as an example (don't worry, I'll make it short) Helio Gracie altered the traditional jiu jitsu he was taught to emphasize the grappling aspect and to utilize leverage, technique, and timing over strength and athleticism. The core of Gracie jiu Jitsu begins with fundamental self defense moves as Helio intended. With the popularity of competition, a lot of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools began emphasizing techniques that were less self defense oriented and more competition oriented. The Torrance Gracie Academy still teaches the core self defense moves to beginners. Some schools focus more on the competition approach to jiu jitsu while others more towards self defense.

At my school, my goal is to help those who are looking to learn self defense, stay in shape, learn about themselves, and have fun. Occasionally, I get people whose personality leads them to want to compete. If they want to compete, I help them prepare, however they still learn the same fundamentals that everyone learns. While I am not interested in competition, I have an opportunity to help someone to get to a competitive level safely. Who am I to tell them that they should not? Should I tell them that willingly going into a match, be it sub wrestling or mma, against a person who is going to try to hit or submit them goes against the idea of self defense?

Every once in a while, I get students who try to rush things and could possibly end up hurting themselves and/or others. If I am unable to get through to them then I suggest they find a school that has what they are looking for. My responsibility is to those who are sincere in their desire to learn and to guide them safely toward their goals.

I am sincerely curious how others would be affected by other people competing. I have learned from many people here and perhaps I will gain some clarity from your responses. I have no dog in this fight as, regardless of internet bickerings, my own training will not be affected.

Thanks for your responses,
Jerry




Offline Zachary Cohn

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Re: Honestly, how would Parkour competition affect you personally?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2007, 04:23:10 AM »
I think a big part, it won't effect how WE train. We [for the most part] already understand parkour, know the importance of conditioning, and of progression.

My biggest worry, and I assume others share it, is that newcomers won't understand. If we have some big competition, people might get into parkour FOR the competition, not go to the competition FOR parkour. The media would also gravitate towards this competition, and while if executed perfectly it could be a good thing, it's quite more likely that the core parkour ideals won't be conveyed as well.

That's my biggest worry. And I ASSUME others share this opinion.

Offline Sat Santokh

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Re: Honestly, how would Parkour competition affect you personally?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2007, 05:26:51 AM »
So you're saying it won't really effect you at all?

Offline TK17

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Re: Honestly, how would Parkour competition affect you personally?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2007, 06:01:29 AM »
There are three broad realms in which competition would affect my training - it would affect the structure, discipline, and public conception of parkour, it would change the quality of the communities around me, and it would interfere with my own motivations.

The first broad realm: parkour itself.
Your example of a martial arts academy is far from being standard.  You seem to have an exceptional degree of integrity, and a desire to be true to your art while at the same time catering as best you can to others.  I am a martial arts instructor myself, though I don't own a school, and I have visited and trained at a dozen other academies in my lifetime.  Money and demand change everything for most people, and if competition became available and feasible for the average would-be traceur the way it is for the average would-be martial artist, the vast majority of newcomers would begin to learn an unbalanced and incomplete form of parkour for the sake of winning and fun-above-all-else.  Now, you can argue that it's not my responsibility to worry about other people, but as far as I understand things, that's completely contrary to the spirit of parkour to begin with.  I cannot in good faith call myself a traceur and allow inexperienced people to go down the road of chronic injury, if there's anything I can do to stop it.  Doesn't matter if I know who they are, doesn't matter if they live across the world - if I KNOW they're about to do something that will hurt them in the long run, I have to do my best to persuade them to change.  Now, I know that opens up a whole new question of how do I know what I know, and how far can I justify pushing others, but we can deal with that question somewhere else.  Parkour is misunderstood by beginners plenty as is - do we think competition will produce FEWER idiotic videos on youtube? 

Furthermore, in the eyes of the public ... parkour is already difficult enough to practice as it is.  I don't appreciate the fact that every time I see a cop car while training, I have to feel nervous or stop what I'm doing - I'm a law-abiding citizen and somewhat proud of it.  With the public attention of major competitions, likely televized, parkour will move from being an unknown and unquantifiable activity that someone may see and not like - BUT IGNORE JUST THIS ONCE - to a recognizable and stereotypable thing - NO RUNNING, NO BIKING, NO SKATING, NO PARKOUR.  I quite frankly don't want to be lumped in with a lot of the people who do parkour, I don't want to be blamed for others' irresponsibilities.  And while competition may legitimize the art to some extent, because people will understand that I'm not just messing around, it will also limit it.  If there's no skate park in the city, then even people who don't like skating will tolerate it to some extent.  But the second you have parks or academies or courses designed for parkour - the second you have "proper places to practice," and "officials who are in charge" of it, then the world shuts down.  I already get crap for doing parkour on the streets "when there's a park just down the road for you to go run around in, son."  Imagine how much worse it'll be once there are designated areas - step outside them, and you're immediately being disrespectful and not knowing your place and violating other people's "rights" ... even if you're on public property.  After all, how often do you take your swords and nunchakus outside to practice, even if it's legal in your area?  It's completely legal in my area, I've checked ... but even if I'm out in the middle of a field, not bothering or threatening anybody, I get yelled at for not practicing in "an appropriate place" - i.e. my school.  Same situation with parkour.

And lastly, competition means attention, and attention means advertising, and advertising means products.  What products do we need?  ABSOLUTELY NONE.  I wear a certain kind of shoe that I like very much, I think it improves my performance a bit and I big it up to other people.  But it doesn't REALLY matter - you can do parkour in any kind of shoe if you're smart about it.  Shirts, hats, logos?  Give me a break, parkour doesn't belong to the corporations.  Water bottles?  Crackproof phones?  Sweatbands?  In my personal opinion, these things are completely fine in general, but I don't want to see parkour whored out to sell them - PLENTY OF THEM GET SOLD AS IT IS.  I don't need a sponsorship to give me free t-shirts; I buy $5 black t-shirts and that's all I ever wear.  I don't need to tie myself to some organization - which may later turn on me, or drop me when someone better comes along - to get money for travel, I can just get a job.

Second major area - the communities
There's plenty of tension in the world of parkour as is.  Freerunners hating on "purists," traceurs pointing fingers at people "bastardizing the art," UK arguing with US arguing with France, huge debates over flips and spins ... it goes on and on.  But you know what?  There's still more community in parkour than just about anywhere else.  When people actually get together in person, all the tension seems to disappear.

With competition, though, people won't be getting together - except to fight one another.  Now, you can draw the parallel to the martial arts world again, where the majority of competitors love seeing their "favorite opponents" and competition builds bonds between schools.  But you also have to admit that rivalries and vendettas emerge, that people scream foul and fall out and never speak to each other again, that there's elitism and trash talking and all manner of politics.

Parkour's ALREADY GOT all the goodness of community that comes out of competition, we don't need competition to foster our bonds of friendship.  And parkour's political problems AREN'T NEARLY AS BAD as the ones that come out of competition.  So we stand to improve very little, and while we MIGHT not make anything worse, there's a good chance that we will.  Not to mention that little detail that anyone who makes a breakthrough or a new discovery is unlikely to share that with everyone if it means weakening their shot at a $10,000 sponsorship

Furthermore, I DO have difficulty training with certain people, just because of my own predilections and beliefs.  I stay on friendly terms with everybody, but some people just aren't dedicated enough for me, and I get bothered when I try to drill something and they're itching to move on.  Similarly, I'm too uptight for them, and they don't want to be held back.  These kinds of differences will increase tenfold when competition becomes commonplace, when half the world thinks the way the other half trains is stupid and reckless, and the other half thinks the first half is boring and repetetive.  There's no way I'd feel as comfortable walking right up to someone I'd never seen before training if I knew there was a 50-50 chance that they were going to think that training fingertip endurance is unneccessary and that you don't need to condition to do a 6-foot drop.  The world of parkour would just fragment one more time, with most of the people who've trained up until now going one way, and just a few - along with the majority of the next generation - going the other.  That would be a tragedy.

Third hemisphere - myself
I touched on this in the other thread, I don't know if you've read it.  I agree that most of the people who argue against competition focus too much on the other and never talk about themselves - although I repeat my earlier conviction, that a focus on the well-being of others is CRUCIAL to calling oneself a traceur.

I am not a perfectly responsible individual.  I WAS one of those idiots who got started copying moves straight off of videos.  I DID get myself hurt, I AM focused on building a trick list of cool techniques.  I've gotten over some of these predilections thanks to the support of the communities - people who've reassured me that I'm cool enough even if I can't do Move X, people who've guided me through injuries and opened my eyes to philosophy, people who've met me to show me their knowledge.

But if I'm honest with myself, I still like a little attention.  I still like to feel cool.  I still like flashy moves.  It's hard work to limit those tendencies, to balance myself.  In a competitive world, it would become even harder.  Even though I wouldn't compete myself, others would, and I would be hard-pressed not to step up if I saw a crowd of people surrounding my town's "regional champion."  I would be hard-pressed not to show off on the street to people who saw me training and asked if I was doing parkour.  Ultimately, competition would leave me with only two choices - succumb, unbalance my own training, and give in to the urge to show off and look cool (which is a genuine possibility), or isolate myself even more, separate myself and avoid people involved with competition who are receiving "expert" (impossible) advice and engaging in "innovative" training and doing things I'm really, really envious of.  Not a good choice, to me.

I hope you've read the other thread, because while I've repeated myself, there are some other details in that conversation that are applicable and I haven't mentioned here.

-TK17

Offline Skipper

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Re: Honestly, how would Parkour competition affect you personally?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2007, 07:04:49 AM »
Simply put, it wont affect MY training. But even if it does affect MY own personal training, it would only be in a good way. I would train harder to keep up with the other motivated people that decide to compete. Its all just petty internet boo hoo for the most part.

Offline Yixin (pronounced ee-shin)

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Re: Honestly, how would Parkour competition affect you personally?
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2007, 07:06:05 AM »
Dude, that was brilliant.

Anyway, I don't think competition would affect me. I train alone for the most part, and I don't train to show off to anybody in any case, given that I practice Parkour for its functional aspects.
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Offline Laurie Jennifer

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Re: Honestly, how would Parkour competition affect you personally?
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2007, 08:16:36 AM »
Wisdom is not just to look to yourself, but the future and those who will come after you.

"How will this affect the long-term direction of Parkour and future aspiring Traceurs?" would be a better question.
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Offline Andy Animus Tran

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Re: Honestly, how would Parkour competition affect you personally?
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2007, 08:39:25 AM »
To take the last half of the famous Hebert quote... "...to be useful, not only for one's self but for others, as well."  Quite honestly, I don't want to screw up Parkour for the future generations.  I don't want to start teaching a Parkour that involves a competitive aspect.

TK17, I applaud you taking the time to write out such a well-thought out response.

I'd reply a bit more usefully, but I've got two exams starting in under an hour.
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Offline Zachary Cohn

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Re: Honestly, how would Parkour competition affect you personally?
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2007, 12:25:50 PM »
Sat - if that was directed at me, then correct. It won't effect me at all.

Offline Gregg HIPK

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Re: Honestly, how would Parkour competition affect you personally?
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2007, 03:43:23 PM »
I don't have the time or drive to train to a competitive level. I probably wouldn't do elite competitions.

In running, you have races that are all about competition [ie organized track and cross country]. Then there are races that are strictly for fun [5k fun runs. Everyone gets a ribbon]. In between there are races that can be competitive, or can be just for fun. It's up to you. Anything from 5k to marathon and beyond. There are big purses for some races, cheap trinkets for others. Some draw international runners, others are only local.

I can still run along the beach, or local roads, or through a parking lot. I don't have to join the organized competitions at all.

For PK, yeah... I like the attention of pulling off a good vault in front of people. In running, I liked that I was fit and fast.

PK community - competition isn't the best option. I had someone email me the other day. My first impulses were "I'm probably not half as good. I'm old. I'm the Crypt-keeper!" but as I talked with him, I found that I could help, by pointing out good information, good tutorials, and being encouraging.

The community's not perfect. There are a lot of people who write before they think. There still aren't good, easy to find tutorials for even basic landings and rolls. There are still too many kids doing big jumps and drops, and they don't know how to roll. We can change that.

Offline Jerry

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Re: Honestly, how would Parkour competition affect you personally?
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2007, 05:04:11 PM »
Thanks for the responses guys.

TK17,

I really appreciate your position and you taking the time to share a personal point of view. I'd like to address some points that you brought up. I'm not merely playing devils advocate. This is how I feel right now. Please know that tone and intent can be very difficult to discern over the internet. I am not being arguementative but striving to understand.

With regard to PK itself:

You are correct that there are many different schools out there now and each one has it's own personality based on the instructor and their focus and philosophy. Indeed, there is a lack of balance as you stated in some of these schools. However, there is also a growing community of instructors who strive to maintain that balance. My responsibility is to share with as many people as I can provided they are sincerely interested in learning this balance. If people just enjoy competition and that is their only focus, I have know problem with that providing they have no illusions about the differences and where the lack of balance is.

This doesn't seem much different from the current PK community. You have "purists" (for lack of a better term), freerunners, people who "are all about the money", self absorbed detached people (is this me?). Competition would just add another category. People seem pretty cool with eachother as long as everyone knows the difference.

As far as training safety is concerned. I hear this a lot (more than once on this thread). The idea that there is a responsibility within the PK community to make sure that the "future generations" don't jump the gun on training progression and injure themselves. As I understand it, competition would lead to more exposure and more people attempting things that are well beyond their current ability or will lead to chronic injury due to lack of proper conditioning.

We all started somewhere. If there is a lack of information out there, we are individually responsible for not making more of an issue out of safety. If we are sincere in our desire that new people understand patience and progression, then why aren't there more videos out on youtube and the PK websites demonstrating and stressing proper training and safety? There is a notion that a competition would stress the fancy eyecatching moves over simplicity and the "message" of PK. Why then are almost all of the videos out there, including those by well respected famous traceurs, just highlight reels of things that beginners might go out and try. Where is the disclaimer? Where are the people saying, "we shouldn't be making videos that might lead beginners to hurt themselves?"

I find these videos inspiring and they are how PK first caught my attention. They inspired me to research and find out more about the training, philosophy, and techniques. Why wouldn't competition fall into this category?
Yes there would be more people trying things and getting hurt. There would also be more people who would discover the path to proper training and all the pleasure associated with doing PK the "right way".

As far as the public image is concerned, part of this will be determined by how traceurs carry themselves and present themselves. Skateboarding has enjoyed a love hate relationship with society and authority that they embrace and are absolutely responsible for. Now that said, as a business owner and a biological "grown up", I watch PK videos and shake my head thinking these property owners must freak out. It's just a matter of time before someone injures themselves and sues the business owner. If we are training on public property (and not causing damage to the property) or endagering others, then no big deal. If we choose to go onto private property (and a lot of places we think are "public" are owned by somebody) then the owners have the right to do as they wish. If we want permission, it's up to us to foster friendships and a sense of trust and community.

" the second you have "proper places to practice," and "officials who are in charge" of it, then the world shuts down.  I already get crap for doing parkour on the streets "when there's a park just down the road for you to go run around in, son."

This seems a little silly. I live in southern CA and there are skaters everywhere. There are also skateparks everywhere nowadays. Yes there are places with signs posted prohibiting them, skaters are responsponsible for that because of littering, vadalizing, etc.

"After all, how often do you take your swords and nunchakus outside to practice, even if it's legal in your area? "

I'm not sure if that was a serious question but it did make me laugh out loud ;D I don't know if you've ever heard of the Dog Brothers, but before I started teaching, my training partners an I would get together in a park somewhere, put on masks and hockey gloves, and do real contact stick fighting. People would watch for a bit and move on. Cops would pull up in there cars and watch. Sometimes they would ask what we were doing. They NEVER asked us to stop. Often times, and I'm not saying this is how it is with you, but the reason for cops "hasseling" people has less to do with the cops and more to do with the peoples attitude. If we care about helping others and community, it needs to extend to everyone, even cops.



While it sounds like you and I have a similar fashion sense, I don't see why you care if other people wear "Parkour" gear. It has nothing to do with you.


With regard to community:

"With competition, though, people won't be getting together - except to fight one another.  Now, you can draw the parallel to the martial arts world again, where the majority of competitors love seeing their "favorite opponents" and competition builds bonds between schools.  But you also have to admit that rivalries and vendettas emerge, that people scream foul and fall out and never speak to each other again, that there's elitism and trash talking and all manner of politics."

This example does not exclude the PK/freerunning scene from what I have seen. I completely disagree about people not getting better. I don't think your average traceur will be affected at all. As in any sport, only a few select few actually go pro, but that doesn't stop others from enjoying the sport. Same with martial arts. The only secret moves are the ones that haven't been done yet. As soon as they are performed, someone else will learn it and then it's out there. I think if you happen upon traceurs who are acting secretive and unwelcoming, chances are they probably were like that without competition.

"These kinds of differences will increase tenfold when competition becomes commonplace, when half the world thinks the way the other half trains is stupid and reckless, and the other half thinks the first half is boring and repetetive. "

It seems that way now if you read the forums. Let's not even get into other countries views on the US PK scene.

"There's no way I'd feel as comfortable walking right up to someone I'd never seen before training if I knew there was a 50-50 chance that they were going to think that training fingertip endurance is unneccessary and that you don't need to condition to do a 6-foot drop. "

"Furthermore, I DO have difficulty training with certain people, just because of my own predilections and beliefs. "

vs.

"I cannot in good faith call myself a traceur and allow inexperienced people to go down the road of chronic injury, if there's anything I can do to stop it. "


I really do respect your opinions but there seems to be a contradiction here.

As far as your third reason, I really do applaud your honesty and insight here. I would wager that a large portion of the people against competition share your feelings and either lack the insight or the honesty to say what you have said. Everybody wants to look outside themselves and talk about hypothetical fufure events rather than express what is going on inside. You have my respect for this.

I have a class to teach right now, but I'd like to address some other things later tonight. 
« Last Edit: April 26, 2007, 11:35:04 PM by Jerry »

Offline Alex \"Ace\" Scott

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Re: Honestly, how would Parkour competition affect you personally?
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2007, 11:05:03 PM »
Tk17, that was a brilliant post, would you mind if it were published as an article on the California site (Pkcali.com if you wanna check first)?
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Offline TK17

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Re: Honestly, how would Parkour competition affect you personally?
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2007, 03:19:47 AM »
trACEur, you guys (and everybody) are welcome to anything I ever write, anywhere.  I put up my thoughts in the hopes that they'll help people, so if you find them useful I'm honored.   :)

Jerry, your tone was obviously NOT argumentative, and I wasn't offended by any of the things you had to say.  Here are my responses ...

Just as there is a growing community of responsible, balanced instructors, so too is there a growing community of responsible, balanced traceurs.  There's no question that more traceurs recognize the words "methode naturelle" or "yamakasi" than five years ago, or that more traceurs are engaging in conditioning and slow progression.  But the people who don't care truly DON'T care, at least as far as I've seen, in my personal experience - the ones who are unbalanced DO have illusions about the differences, and they don't acknowledge where they're going "wrong" and they pass on their views to newcomers with an air of authority.  Competition would legitimize a lot of those people, especially the naturally athletic ones, which scares me.

I agree with you about almost all of the videos out there, and the lack of disclaimers and things like that, and all I can say is that I'm doing what I can, on my own, to help - I can't make other people do the same.  I've only gradually begun to recognize my responsibility, so this isn't true of my older videos, but my newer ones all contain conditioning and slow, repetitive practice; my largest article on my home site of 3Run is an Ultimate Beginner's Guide that contains cautions and tutorials and ideas on progression; and none of my videos show drops of more than six feet, period.  So I'm trying to live what I preach in that respect.

Apparently, the situation in Southern California is VASTLY different from the situation here in North Carolina ... I've tried training in seven different cities here, and I've always run into the police problems I mentioned, eventually (where eventually is measured in hours, not days).  And I wasn't joking about the weapons thing, I've tried that too.  Maybe BECAUSE skating is such a presence where you live, it's carved its own legitimacy ... around here, the options are severely limited.

"if you happen upon traceurs who are acting secretive and unwelcoming, chances are they probably were like that without competition." - true, but now these people are exactly the ones who will hoard knowledge, and at least a few of them will become "famous" and this behavior philosophy will start being passed on to others.  This is perhaps a farfetched fear, and may be my weakest point, but I still want to make it.  Everyone talks about how amazingly kind and open the best freerunners and traceurs are, how friendly and encouraging and willing to help out - I'd like it to stay that way 100%.

And as for the last bit of your reply, the contradiction ... it's not really a contradiction ... I didn't say I DON'T or WOULDN'T approach people, I didn't say I NEVER train with or reason with these other people ... it's just uncomfortable, it's just difficult, it's just awkward.  I still do my best to share whatever insight I have, but it's hard and socially draining, and in the end I feel competition would make it even worse.

Hope that clears up some of the holes in my statement ...

Offline Jerry

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Re: Honestly, how would Parkour competition affect you personally?
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2007, 09:49:47 PM »
TK17,

I'm glad you read my post for what it was. I usually stay away from internet forums because of the tendancy for people to treat eachother differently than they would in person.

Good point about legitimizing the unbalanced instructors. I need to let that one rattle around in my noggin' a bit. Do you think that, ultimately, these instructors will merely attract the types of knuckleheads that train poorly anyway? It seems that this kind of thing is inevitible and that a stronger course of action would be to provide a louder voice aimed at smart training to counter the shortcut approach.

Is the ultimate goal of all these cyber debates to inform more and more people of the ramifications to future athletes, or is it to somehow really prevent anyone from implementing some kind of PK competition?

I'm going to check out your website. I'd like to see your videos. What is your name so I know who to watch?

I think it's cool that you are practicing what you preach with regard to safety. It seems a step in the right direction. One thing that seems weird to me is that there are people all over trying to "protect future traceurs" by going to lengths to prevent a theoretical PK competition from happening (in the future) while remaining really quiet about what knuckleheads will be doing after watching all of these highlight clips (that are all over the place right now). Why not make a bunch of threads about that as well? Why do so many people ignore that aspect do you think?

Please unfderstand, these questions are directed at you because you seem to be the only one interested in engaging in this conversation right now.

It sounds like SoCal does have quite a different environment than NC. Sorry to hear that. :(

You're right about the contradiction part. It's not a contradiction. I feel a little sad after rereading  your post. You sound torn between genuinely wanting to help less experienced traceurs and a difficulty training with people who have different beliefs or training approaches. That sounds rough.

Personally, I'm not too concerned about the whole competition thing. As I stated, I don't know that it would affect me or my training at all. I hear what some people say about their concern about future traceurs etc, but this tends to ring as hollow to me when there are things that are actually happening right now that have the potential to (if they haven't already) cause the same kinds of problems that people seem to wring their hands over. I think i would bring these topics up to whomever I discussed these areas with even though my lack of experience does not give my input much weight.

I have seen this same stuff throughout the martial arts business and community for a long time and it was going on before I started. It's the same stuff with just a different uniform. If they tried to regulate martial arts training or movies for every goofy kid who hurt himself trying to be Bruce Lee (Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Donnie Yen, Sonny Chiba, Chuck Norris, Chuck Liddell etc.) there would be no more martial arts industry (and I'd have to go back to doing massage therapy).

It seems like this whole issue is really starting to become an us vs. them thing.


Jerry
« Last Edit: April 27, 2007, 09:51:38 PM by Jerry »

Offline Zachary Cohn

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Re: Honestly, how would Parkour competition affect you personally?
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2007, 08:15:43 AM »

Good point about legitimizing the unbalanced instructors. I need to let that one rattle around in my noggin' a bit. Do you think that, ultimately, these instructors will merely attract the types of knuckleheads that train poorly anyway?

I don't really think so. I've seen a good number of martial arts schools. Some have FANTASTIC teachers, and others have teachers that don't deserve a white belt, let alone a third degree black belt.

If people have no experience in something, they won't KNOW if the person is crap, until they see someone better.

Same with parkour, even more so infact. You won't KNOW your landings suck unless someone calls you on it. If no one ever talks about the proper way to roll, and you don't do the research, how are you supposed to know?

I don't think that knucklehead (i love that word) teachers attract knuckehead students. In the long run, those who are serious will recognize the teacher for what they are, but to begin with, I don't think they attract anyone too different.

Offline Jerry

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Re: Honestly, how would Parkour competition affect you personally?
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2007, 01:55:37 PM »
I agree with you happydud.

Attract is not the right word. You're right people who don't know any better will just jump in where they can.

The point I was trying to make was pretty much summed up in the rest of your post. I was trying to say that there tends to be a natural weeding out where those who sincerely care about the training will continue to educate themselves regardless of where they started (eventually moving on to a better instructor) and those that are knuckleheads will just stick with the knucklehead instructor and won't bother trying to evolve.

To bring things back to martial arts; A lot of instructors out there are terrible about how they coach sparring. Regardless of the amount of technique shown in class, once it's time to go live, the reigns are basically removed and it's a free for all/ "survival of the fittest" attitude. The idea here being to gut it out and if you "can't hang" go train somewhere else. The people who you find in these places who stick around are the knuckleheads. They basically chase off the hardworking sincere students or hurt them so that they don't come back. The saddest part being that the ones who get chased off are the ones who most need the instruction as opposed to the thick headed natural fighters. To my experience, they also become the most skilled due to their patience and maturity in their approach to training. These are the people I prefer to work with. Sometimes you can get a knucklehead who will change and I try to help be a catalyst for that, but never at the expense of the others. Most of the time the knuckleheads  don't stick around as they don't find what they're really looking for (an outlet to victimize people or cover their fear).

Make sense?

Jerry

Offline jose.delarosa91

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Re: Honestly, how would Parkour competition affect you personally?
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2010, 09:06:06 PM »
Ok, I'm against competition that is based solely on difficulty of maneuvers. Parkour is not skateboarding or snowboarding. I am, though, a fan of race based competitions, where a traceur must get from point a to b faster than his opponent. Such an event would require a competitor to focus on flow, accuracy, timing and focus; the main points of parkour in general. Currently, I am trying to find local traceurs to participate in such an event.

As far as affecting me, I agree it would not change me much. I got into parkour to push myself, competition is just an evolution. 

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Re: Honestly, how would Parkour competition affect you personally?
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2010, 09:16:11 PM »
Ok, I'm against competition that is based solely on difficulty of maneuvers. Parkour is not skateboarding or snowboarding. I am, though, a fan of race based competitions, where a traceur must get from point a to b faster than his opponent. Such an event would require a competitor to focus on flow, accuracy, timing and focus; the main points of parkour in general. Currently, I am trying to find local traceurs to participate in such an event.

As far as affecting me, I agree it would not change me much. I got into parkour to push myself, competition is just an evolution. 

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Offline Happy Fries

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Re: Honestly, how would Parkour competition affect you personally?
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2010, 10:55:34 AM »
*coughs from dust*

Brother, you do realize this topic is three years old?

Well, at least this thread has some great responces and perspectives, particularly from TK17. I probably wouldn't have strolled across it weren't it not for the new post.

That said, do check the dates on posts. This thread was a good one, but there are many others that should just be left alone :).
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Re: Honestly, how would Parkour competition affect you personally?
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2010, 12:46:25 AM »
Well, at least this thread has some great responces and perspectives, particularly from TK17. I probably wouldn't have strolled across it weren't it not for the new post.

That said, do check the dates on posts. This thread was a good one, but there are many others that should just be left alone :).
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