Author Topic: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process  (Read 26095 times)

Offline Paul Leon Mederos

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Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #40 on: September 17, 2007, 12:48:49 PM »
I don't think traceurs will have literal belts  ;)

It would be best if we stuck to a system like Crossfit - it should be oriented towards teaching. No one would need a certification just to do parkour, thats pointless. But to teach in an official, legal, structured manner, one should be able to present a teaching certificate.

Level 1 - Teach basic movements - Anything from basics vaults to proper landing and rolls. The teacher has a firm grasp on fundamentals and has displayed an adequacy to teach properly.
Level 2 - Teach advanced movements - drops, jumps, wall manuevers.
Level 3 - teach teachers - firm grasp and understanding of aprkour as general, plus at least 2 years of experience.

of course we would have to find a classification for what movement falls under basic and what falls under advanced. I don't think a person should be allowed to teach if he has less than 2 years of experience simply because it doesn't matter how fast you progress - experience is experience. Maybe there are exceptions to those who have done gymnastics/acrobatics or martial arts all their lives or some sort of mixture like that.
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Offline Alissa J. Bratz

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Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #41 on: September 17, 2007, 01:43:21 PM »
Just, erm... for the record... many of the concerns that have been brought up in the last page or two, I addressed in my big honkin' long post. ;) I don't doubt it was probably unclear, I tend to babble; but there are counterpoints to many of these concerns in there.

I need to be more concise. ;)

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she would be beyond all walking, and would fly.
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #42 on: September 17, 2007, 01:46:30 PM »
What, you expected people to READ what you took an hour to write? Welcome to the interwebs :P
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Offline Skipper

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Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #43 on: September 17, 2007, 01:49:55 PM »
Muse, Im sure I am guilty simply 'skimming' your post. Im in class right now so Ill read it when I have time.

You wouldnt be the same Muse if you were concise. We just need to pay more attention :)

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Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #44 on: September 17, 2007, 02:27:39 PM »
I dont think we need to certify traceurs. I just think parkour should stay an unofficial activity. This goes back to the whole competition because creating a certification process will put us on a slippery slope that will eventually lead to official martial arts esque competitions and training, and i really really dont like that idea. Also what if you arent certified what cant you do?
Will people not want your help? My final point is parkour isnt nearly big enough for you to easily be certified i mean there will probably be two places in the country where you could be certifed (Colorado, Primal fitness). What do you think the european traceurs will think about it?(i bet they will be mad)














Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #45 on: September 17, 2007, 02:43:10 PM »
Moa, there is goingto be a competition anyway, so that really is a separate issue, not a slippery slope, the competition goes ahead with or without this.

What you may not be able to do without certification:

Get insured as a Parkour instructor

Run an official club (school, state, whatever)

This is not a definite, just some possibilities, this subject was recently brought up because of the "Schools shutting down PK clubs" thread.


As for Parkour staying an unofficial activity, do you not wish you could have had a Parkour gym class in 5th grade? I sure wish I did!!
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Offline FreeStyleFox

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Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #46 on: September 17, 2007, 02:51:12 PM »
How would and Instructor get certafication?  I mean I am in the middle of nowhere and rarely get to go to national jam. *this is changing as I speak* 
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #47 on: September 17, 2007, 03:30:24 PM »
Most likely they would need to travel to wherever certifications are held. I know this sounds like a lot, but it is actually normal for almost any kind of certification.

Jesse has gone to California, and then both of us to Boston and North Carolina for CrossFit certifications, well worth it! Jesse recently went to Florida to instruct at a certification seminar for the SPEAR system, so anyone wanting that cert had to go to Florida. Fro my business, I got certified to repair a certain kind of digital networked telephone system, I had to go to the middle of Connecticut. If you want to be certified in Cisco, you go to an authorized center. The more mature things become, the more centers there are. At one point if you wanted to learn Jeet Kun Do you had to go to Bruce Lee, then his disciples teach, then their disciples.

(yes, things get lost and diluted along the way, I am not arguing the dilution of things over time, which is natural, I'm just stating how most things progress)
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Offline FreeStyleFox

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Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #48 on: September 17, 2007, 05:48:14 PM »
Then then the people who should start certifying people are going to be David and Sebastian's Students.  Which makes it really hard for us here in the USA.

But Certification is clearly against Sebastian's YOUR WAY philosophy.  To quote Seb "it's better to train alone."

The two progressions as a whole Tend to diverge a lot in the the way you train.  Free running to me still seems to be a lot more exploratory and exploration of ones self if you will.  Where as Parkour is much more goal driven.  So shouldn't the teachers be at least at the point where philosophies are concerned?
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #49 on: September 17, 2007, 06:19:16 PM »
A good point ... when we teach at Primal we make sure that people understand the difference, and really we teach very pure Parkour in the Parkour classes. There are separate tricking classes available, and people are allowed to do whatever they want (within safety reasoning) at our open sessions. We teach SOME of the philosophy of Parkour, but not very much, telling someone what they should believe is outside of my beliefs :) What we can tell them is what "some people" say are the philosophies of Parkour.

There would be as much FACTUAL history of Parkour as possible in a certification, but even that really gets very muddled depending on whose point of view you consider to be valid. Once there were splits in Yamakasi / with David Seb, etc, there becomes more than one viewpoint, each most probably has validity form the individual's viewpoint, but that doesn't make them the same.

My dad (A2) always used to say "There's three sides to every story - yours, mine, and the truth" ... since everyone sees things from their own perspective (this is literally unavoidable) it would be hard to teach one philosophy or Parkour. There are basic tenants just like there are basic movements, but one can practice the physical without the mental. It would be (in my opinion of course) sad for someone not to get the mental benefits, but that can't be forced, only suggested.
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Offline Yixin (pronounced ee-shin)

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Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #50 on: September 17, 2007, 06:34:26 PM »
Then then the people who should start certifying people are going to be David and Sebastian's Students.  Which makes it really hard for us here in the USA.

But Certification is clearly against Sebastian's YOUR WAY philosophy.  To quote Seb "it's better to train alone."

The two progressions as a whole Tend to diverge a lot in the the way you train.  Free running to me still seems to be a lot more exploratory and exploration of ones self if you will.  Where as Parkour is much more goal driven.  So shouldn't the teachers be at least at the point where philosophies are concerned?

It might be against Sebastien's YOUR WAY philosophy, however, Sebastien's YOUR WAY philosophy doesn't take into account America's overly litigious society. When people stop slinging around lawsuits like dog shit, maybe Sebastien's philosophy would work.
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Offline FreeStyleFox

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Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #51 on: September 17, 2007, 06:51:14 PM »
Well even with the Tricking completely removed from free running its still a completely different school of thought was my point I guess. 

And yli I wasn't trying to say it shouldn't be I honestly think its a great idea.  Just with something so vague as free running now does one rank and certify the abstract?

Thanks for you wonderful impute thus far!
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Offline Yixin (pronounced ee-shin)

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Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #52 on: September 17, 2007, 07:00:25 PM »
Essentially, what Mark's trying to do is to make a little slip of paper saying that you're competent enough to teach others PK/FR/T. You may teach in your way of course, but in order to inform other people that your training is safe and won't cause injury to other people, there must exist some certification that can properly appease lawyer-ish types.
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Offline Iamfree07

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Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #53 on: September 17, 2007, 07:09:02 PM »
I understand this certification idea. And granted i think it is a good idea. Its just i fear that it will breed competition. And freerunning/parkour in my opinion isn't a competition. It is a mindset, a way of life. If people compete then i believe it will take away from the whole teaching eachother bit. I could be wrong but that is my opinion.

Offline FreeStyleFox

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Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #54 on: September 17, 2007, 07:39:45 PM »
Yli I understand this completely!  I just want to reach the barriers that are facing it head on and work with mark not against him.

As for competition thats unavoidable.  It will happen period.  And is due to happen next year some time.  As well as eventually in the Olympics (sp) and if all the hear say is true David Belle is trying to make that a reality.  A ranking system would clearly help Olympic competition vers back yard media competitions.  So Jerred which would you rather see come into focus Olympics or X-games?
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Offline Matthew Lee Willis

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Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #55 on: September 18, 2007, 04:42:34 AM »
Competition WILL NOT HAPPEN IF WE TRY.  Come on guys.  Do not lay down arms and give up.  I dont care i there's free running competitions...NEVER LET PEOPLE CALL IT PARKOUR!! Don't stop the fight because you think it is inevitable. Geeze.
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Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #56 on: September 18, 2007, 04:52:47 AM »
I'm going to ask right now that people not talk about competition in this thread, this thread has a very useful purpose, there are plenty of other threads to dicsuss competition. I you want to discuss certification as it relates to competition, please make a new thread.
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Offline Tyson Cecka

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Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #57 on: September 18, 2007, 05:09:21 AM »
I think people need to focus less on the theoretical aspect of this and more on the practical. Groups all over the world are setting up their own certification processes for many different reasons, and if APK develops one it isn't going to have the devastating impact some on here think it will. A cert system is only as good as it's members and reputation is, as in what they are doing after being certified. I could tell you that I'm a level 4 foobar instructor, but no one will take me seriously unless they have heard of it before or know why it exists.

For instance, the PNWPA (Pacific Northwest Parkour Association) is developing a certification system (safety knowledge based) to control who gets insurance coverage for our "official" parkour classes (as opposed to the volunteer ones I'm teaching now in highschools and at some jams). Now, the cert and the "officialness" of the classes is only going to matter if people can recognize the positive work the PNWPA has done in the community, otherwise no one will take us seriously.

So I think worrying about the negative possibilities is getting ahead of the point, as it is assuming that the process is already up and running with credulity. Rather I'd like to talk more about what good things we could use a cert system for, and how we could set it up to work with the widest range of people.

Offline Nik "Nik" Horvat

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Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #58 on: September 18, 2007, 06:18:48 AM »
One thing that I think should be tried, regardless of how it eventually is structured, is attempting to get the cooperation/approval of some international groups.  The bigger the base this starts with the more credibility it "should" have.
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Offline Cliff Boz

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Re: Parkour / Freerunning Certification Process
« Reply #59 on: September 18, 2007, 06:25:20 AM »
...
CrossFit who has been certifying people for a few years now has just changed the way they will certify level 2 and level 3 instructors (they only have 3 levels, "CrossFit understanding" "Crossfit Teaching" and "CrossFit Teacher Teaching") ...
...

I really think that a cert system designed similar to this CrossFit one will be the most useful. What would not be useful (and it doesn’t seem like this is what anybody is pushing, although some might be taking it this way) is a system that specifies one individual as mo’ betta’ than another.

What are we talking a/b making a cert system for? I mean it really kind of lifted off the ground with the "University shutting down our PK club" thread. Let’s define a set of standards that:

- ensure any established institution concerned a/b an individual’s ability to teach and teach safely, that this individual has a whole community of experienced, skilled and knowledgeable traceurs backing him/her.
- creates credibility of someone who teaches Parkour for those who want to learn; that is, it would make it easier for people new to the discipline to be able to recognize “reliable” sources of instruction.
- could allow one to become insured to teach

Cert is a traceur being able to say:

- I display knowledge, attitudes, behaviour, and ability in line with these standards
- these standards are in line with the Parkour community’s beliefs on what a traceur should be in terms of physical ability, ability to instruct, and mastery of what to teach
- these standards are agreed upon by the (experiencd and skilled?) Parkour community at large

It's like Muse said in her megapost (which was clearly written), train w/ or w/o cert! Just b/c a system of recognition is in place doesn't mean you have to adhere to it. The idea should be to allow individuals the chance to be more easily validated by the “outside world”…

What kind of standards do you think would ensure some of these points?
What other points should some sort of certification cover?
Do you think the purposes I have delineated here are what we need? What more or less is needed?

Also: ncparkour.com
North Carolina Traceurs