Author Topic: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process  (Read 25660 times)

Offline Mark Toorock

  • M2
  • Administrator
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 3087
  • Karma: +302/-72
    • View Profile
    • American Parkour
Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« on: September 16, 2007, 03:23:49 AM »
I'm posting this here because the "College club shutdown" topic is already off-off topic :)

This is meant to get people talking about how this would best work ...

Yes. we are working on a certification process. It will involve several levels, firstly being able to demonstrate Parkour (and / or) Freerunning ability and knowledge. Then being able to demonstrate the ability to teach.

As a rough outline compare to Martial Arts belts (recognizing that there are flaws in ANY and EVERY grading system) and think of it this way, you'd have levels, however they are named, for now I'll stick with numbers

1. Beginner - has shown understanding of safety and proper training techniques, demontrates only basic PKFR skills
2. Demonstrates knowledge of history, understanding of various philosophies tied to PKFR, skills that match 8-12 months of the average practitioner practicing 3X a week (what is average anyway??)
3. Demonstrates ability to overcome obstacles, certain physical requirements (PKFR related exercises / topouts / muscleups)
After 3 someone can become a beginning level instructor, but doesn't have to
4. Mastery of basic parkour skills (can do 100 precision jumps with no falls, 100 vaults with no faults, about red belt level comparison)
5. Mastery of PKFR skills - compare to 2nd or 3rd degree black belt in most arts

Teaching level 1 - Beginning level instructor can train others in safety, has basic understanding of biomechanics, anatomy / kinesiology
Teaching level 2 - Instructor, can train people in PKFR up to about level 4
Teching level 3 - Head Instructor - can teach other instructors up to level 2, can train PKFR to level 5

Again, this is a very rough outline, intended only to start conversation, we have MUCH more detailed plans in the works.
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 Following Mortis

  • Oryctolagus Cuniculus
  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2007, 07:17:08 AM »
You may want, so that the certifications can spread from your location to everywhere. Have the top level also be able to certify people. That way it will spread further and quicker.
"Embrace the fear, feel it for what it is, learn from it, then let it go, and fly."

Offline Cody Beltramo

  • Patas
  • ***
  • Posts: 234
  • Karma: +10/-5
  • SSJ3500
    • View Profile
    • SSJ3500.net
Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2007, 08:08:03 AM »
I definitely like the idea of certification.  About how it works though, I'd suggest a sort of obstacle course instead of numbers.  Set up a series of obstacles for the traceur to overcome, have the obstacles range from basic to very complex and see how the traceur overcomes them (Or skips if they cannot), and depending on that, decide where they fall on the number scale.  I'm sure even the best traceur has a good possibility of falling after doing near 100 precision jumps.

One thing I was wondering about, I'm guessing to start off these certifications would probably take place at Primal Fitness? 

Offline Samuel96

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 593
  • Karma: +59/-348
  • Bear hunter-3rd in command
    • View Profile
Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2007, 08:10:01 AM »
Wow, thats cool, when do you think it will come in action?

Offline JumpOff

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 784
  • Karma: +52/-91
    • View Profile
Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2007, 10:23:40 AM »
Interesting. Im going to save this spot so I can post later.
_____________________________________

Peter Griffin's guide to weightlifting:
"The key is to put it all in your groin and your back, take your legs totally out of the equation, lift with your lower back in a jerking twisting motion"

Offline Alissa J. Bratz

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 2300
  • Karma: +525/-42
  • middle-aged man in mom's basement eating Fritos
    • View Profile
    • wisconsinparkour.com
Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2007, 10:55:04 AM »
"What is average anyway?"

This question gets answered by the establishment of standards. In education, every state has its own standards for each curricular area. These standards have been drawn up by top educators and administrators from all over the state, and they become the benchmark for all curriculum. So basically what parkour needs to do is establish its standards first and then build a curriculum off of that. In ballet, different schools (e.g. schools of thought, not necessarily the physical buildings of dance schools) develop their own standards based on their particular technical/artistic emphasis. In general, standards are largely philosophical statements about what an organizational body values as important in a discipline.

I have several standards models for movement education that I've been working with, which could serve as a good base for parkour standards. No sense in re-inventing the wheel. Let me know if this interests anyone. (I tend to really geek out on this kind of stuff). :)

She followed slowly, taking a long time,
as though there were some obstacle in the way;
and yet: as though, once it was overcome,
she would be beyond all walking, and would fly.
--excerpt from Going Blind, Rainer Maria Rilke

www.madisonparkour.com

Offline Andy Keller

  • Oh baby baby.
  • Administrator
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 2145
  • Karma: +9012/-9006
  • Lancaster, PA
    • View Profile
    • My Facebook
Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2007, 10:57:30 AM »
I'm very interested in certification.

What about any age reqs?
"Do it, do it well, do it well and fast."

Offline Mark Toorock

  • M2
  • Administrator
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 3087
  • Karma: +302/-72
    • View Profile
    • American Parkour
Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2007, 12:08:55 PM »
I don't think there would be age requirements so much as maybe age groups. Like a 6 year old doing 10 pushups is really good, a 30 year old only doing 10 is really bad, and a 60 year old doing 10 is pretty good, so instead of saying "you have to be this old" saying "if at this age you can..."
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 naroz

  • Patas
  • ***
  • Posts: 160
  • Karma: +5/-4
    • View Profile
Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2007, 02:49:08 PM »
... is this a joke?
Being 'as good as you can get' means you never stop learning.

Offline Andy Keller

  • Oh baby baby.
  • Administrator
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 2145
  • Karma: +9012/-9006
  • Lancaster, PA
    • View Profile
    • My Facebook
Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2007, 03:38:21 PM »
No, this is not a joke. Check the college club shutdown thread to see the roots to this one.

Is there an approximate time frame for certifications to be available? I mean how soon can they be available, not how long the process will take.

Have a great day!
"Do it, do it well, do it well and fast."

Offline Andy Keller

  • Oh baby baby.
  • Administrator
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 2145
  • Karma: +9012/-9006
  • Lancaster, PA
    • View Profile
    • My Facebook
Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2007, 03:52:13 PM »
PS: Will some people take this as competition?

Example-- "I'm a level three, and you are only a level two, therefore, I AM BETTER!"

It may be better to just simplify it to 'instructor' and 'instructor-of-instructors.' Or something like that.

Thoughts?
"Do it, do it well, do it well and fast."

Offline Alissa J. Bratz

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 2300
  • Karma: +525/-42
  • middle-aged man in mom's basement eating Fritos
    • View Profile
    • wisconsinparkour.com
Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2007, 04:20:22 PM »
IMO if some people take it as competition, it's *their* problem.

Example:

Imagine two kids on an elementary school playground: "I'm in third grade, you're only in second. Neener neener."  I mean, come on. The second grader will be in third grade eventually, so who the heck cares?

Every physical discipline has levels; it's a fact of life that, say, Mark Toorock is better at parkour than I am. Okay, okay... like, everyone on this board is better at parkour than I am. :P But the point is, we're all at different places in our training, and that's just the way it is. We all started at different times, had different access to training, have different physical abilities going in. I'm not at all surprised that there are people out there who are better at it than me. I'd be a little scared if there weren't! But the point of taking up a new activity is to learn, and everyone starts at 0. Eventually I'll be at level 1 and then level 2 and so on.

"If you compare yourself to others, you may become bitter or vain, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself." (from Desiderata).

There is no more glory in being at level 5 than there is shame at being at level 1. You are where you are, irrespective of where everyone else is. If you're at 2 and want to be at 5, well, then, move your butt and get training! But it's a waste of energy to bemoan the fact that other people are at level 5. It's equally ridiculous to look down from "on high" at level 2 people because you're at level 5.

In ballet, I can do lots of things that a level 1 student can't. Do my level 1 students look at me and think I am competing with them? Hopefully not! Instead they look at me and think, "If I keep working, I will be where she is one day." Furthermore I try to maintain an attitude of humility because heaven knows there is PLENTY I simply can't do, compared to other dancers who are younger/better skilled/better trained, what have you. I try to infuse my teaching with that attitude so that it encourages them rather than is seen as a competition.

Competition has become such a bugaboo in parkour that we're starting to see it where it isn't. Defining levels isn't about categorizing people into skill groups, it's about systematizing the learning process so that learners can understand the path they're on and the individual progress they're making. "If you don't know where you're going, you'll never get there."

Forgive me if this got a little rantish; this just hit a nerve with me. :) I'm glad you brought it up as food for thought, though, Jag.
She followed slowly, taking a long time,
as though there were some obstacle in the way;
and yet: as though, once it was overcome,
she would be beyond all walking, and would fly.
--excerpt from Going Blind, Rainer Maria Rilke

www.madisonparkour.com

Offline Andy Keller

  • Oh baby baby.
  • Administrator
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 2145
  • Karma: +9012/-9006
  • Lancaster, PA
    • View Profile
    • My Facebook
Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2007, 04:36:42 PM »
Yea, I didn't mean it as an argument, just to move along the conversation. You have a point though, and thanks for bringing it up, Muse! I don't think you realize how much we all love you, haha. I guess I am ok with levels as long as they aren't too limiting, like...'You aren't allowed to do that move/height since you aren't a level four.' That would be just too much structure for my liking.

blah.
"Do it, do it well, do it well and fast."

Offline Skinny

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 795
  • Karma: +42/-13
  • Owner of Fight or Flight Academy in Edina MN
    • View Profile
Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2007, 04:39:52 PM »
Quote
Defining levels isn't about categorizing people into skill groups, it's about systematizing the learning process so that learners can understand the path they're on and the individual progress they're making. "If you don't know where you're going, you'll never get there."

Muse, everything you said i could agree with (to an extent) up till that point.  Personally, I am against this idea because of exactly what you said, "systematizing the learning process".  I feel parkour is too personal a discipline to be able to be categorize with belts or levels or whatever system may be put in place.  Because there is no set form or specific moves (moves, not movements) to parkour, except to move with a purpose.  It is a difficult thing to teach or become "certified" in.  If there were some process to become a "parkour trainer"  I feel the person should have a good knowledge of basic movements and an excellent knowledge of conditioning and nutrition. 

I feel by creating levels for people to reach, it could stunt creativity, but then again, that goes against #2 on m2's list (who saw my train of thought shift?!). So maybe it could be a possibly helpful thing.  Still, it could remain just for people who want to be certified parkour trainers, and not have it for everyone, like what Jag said: instructor instructs wanna-be-instructor.  It is too widespread, as in people in tiny towns in the middle of nowhere practice it as well as in big cities, so how would those people be properly judged if they have sufficiently learned enough to move to the next level?
MNPK - Covered in snow most of the year but the ground is always lava

Minnesota's first parkour and freerunning gym www.fightorflightacademy.com

Offline Matt Hudson

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 1022
  • Karma: +95/-58
  • Paddy O'Hayes
    • View Profile
    • Myspace
Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2007, 04:53:32 PM »
Okay.
Disregard this if you don't believe in it.
Take it to heart if you do.

PKFR Levels? Are you serious? No!
It's not as simple as that from what I've learned.
From what I've read over and over and over again on these forums, that seems a little dumb.
I can't understand the whole belt system or the number system idea, and I'm sure at first it sounded good to the ear, but think about it, not as a competition, but as a way of classifying people, or their progress.
Why not just be helpful.
We are the USA for sure, and everyone in this damn country has their f#cking thumb up their butt, but oh well. We don't have to conform to their ideals, and way of things.
This is a chance to make a small decision, that could very well make a large impact on this nation.
We don't need certification to teach parkour.
This is our chance to help people, truly help people.
It was a good idea to get the word out there in a positive way, but it took a turn towards the bad.
Think of it this way.
let me count....
23 people have taught me 31 different things on here. Were they at all certified? NOPE!
But I practice safely, I spread the word about PKFR in a positive way, to anyone that wants to do it.
I had a talk with a 31 year old woman the other day when I was climbing up on the school.
She was so interested in PKFR(She saw Casino Royale with Sebastien Foucan) She wrote the correct spelling on paper(P-A-R-K-O-U-R) and went home to check it out for her 3-4 year old son and daughters.
I told her about safety, played with her son showing him vaults and rolls(I couldn't think of anything else he could do at his age.) And she was hella interested and loved it.

But like previously said, if someone viewed this thread as a competition thing, it's their problem, so I indeed agree that my opinion about this is my problem.
I was only hoping that the freedom I found with PKFR was gonna stay free from government, and social standards, I thought that was somewhat the point.

By the way, I read a post the other day about PKFR being the same damn thing and someone saying that FR is about freedom, and fun, and PK is about a to b as fast, efficient, and fluidly as possible.
I thought the mentality of PK was very enticing, but I must admit Ladies and Gentleman.
I'm in it for the freedom, so....

I AM A FREERUNNER!!!!
But regardless, we are all traceurs.
And I am proud to have gotten to know a few of you!

-Matt

Offline Matt Hudson

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 1022
  • Karma: +95/-58
  • Paddy O'Hayes
    • View Profile
    • Myspace
Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2007, 04:56:11 PM »
Quote
Defining levels isn't about categorizing people into skill groups, it's about systematizing the learning process so that learners can understand the path they're on and the individual progress they're making. "If you don't know where you're going, you'll never get there."

Muse, everything you said i could agree with (to an extent) up till that point.  Personally, I am against this idea because of exactly what you said, "systematizing the learning process".  I feel parkour is too personal a discipline to be able to be categorize with belts or levels or whatever system may be put in place.  Because there is no set form or specific moves (moves, not movements) to parkour, except to move with a purpose.

Along the lines of what I was saying, I don't think I was too clear.
My apologies

Offline Andy Keller

  • Oh baby baby.
  • Administrator
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 2145
  • Karma: +9012/-9006
  • Lancaster, PA
    • View Profile
    • My Facebook
Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2007, 05:01:08 PM »
I think this thread originated from ideas to get schools to allow parkour clubs. My reasoning for certification is that it will be a way to prove to schools that Parkour can be safe. It would help us convince them that we aren't just kids that want to jump off stuff.

My new preference:  I think there should just be one 'safety certification' where you have knowledge about safety, nutrition and conditioning. That way it's not about your parkour skill, just your knowledge.

Thoughts?
"Do it, do it well, do it well and fast."

Offline Matt Hudson

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 1022
  • Karma: +95/-58
  • Paddy O'Hayes
    • View Profile
    • Myspace
Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2007, 05:04:32 PM »
For that thought Jag I completely agree.
:)

Offline Andy Keller

  • Oh baby baby.
  • Administrator
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 2145
  • Karma: +9012/-9006
  • Lancaster, PA
    • View Profile
    • My Facebook
Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2007, 05:05:58 PM »
Thank you. Safety certification is my ideal situation.

Where do we start?
"Do it, do it well, do it well and fast."

Offline Ryan Ford

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 2423
  • Karma: +3/-1
    • View Profile
    • APEX Movement
Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2007, 05:30:38 PM »
For those of you asking why we need parkour certifications, the schools issue is one thing, but more importantly is another.

What happens when people who are unqualified to teach parkour safely and effectively decide to teach others? Gymnastics coaches thinking that they are just as capable to teach parkour even though they haven't even seriously practiced it. Personal trainers who want to teach parkour because it will be another thing to add to their list of marketable skills. Gyms who heard parkour as a buzz word and want to offer it to make more money. You may not realize it or have heard of it yet, but every single one of these problems has actually already happened, and will continue to happen more and more as parkour grows.

The safety and integrity of parkour instruction and development depends on having a certification to make sure only the most qualified people are the ones teaching and leading the development of future traceurs.