American Parkour Forum

Parkour and Freerunning => Parkour And Freerunning => Topic started by: operation_jetpack on May 12, 2008, 05:28:37 PM

Title: Why spread Parkour?
Post by: operation_jetpack on May 12, 2008, 05:28:37 PM
why is the general opinion of the parkour community that we must 'spread' it as a discipline? why do we care if others practice it or not? this doesnt happen with sports or martial arts - people play/practice those regardless because theyre 'mainstream'.

i guess you could argue that those things are mainstream, and the goal of bringing parkour to others is to make it mainstream. but that doesnt tell us anything! what is the idea behind making parkour mainstream??

now i dont know the history of pretty much any sport, but im pretty sure the founders/first players werent as aggressive in 'speading the word' about their sport.

perhaps its the philosophy behind parkour. the whole 'you can overcome obstacles if you can overcome physical ones'. that seems plausible, but how many people will become serious enough traceurs to realize such a thing? is it worth the effort? and cant we assume that people who would take parkour that seriously would have found another way to the same reasoning?

OR perhaps the idea is to show the public that parkour isnt something channing tatum does to do crime, and that its just another physical activity. im not sure about this reason. even should someone see parkour as bad, if they do a little google search theyll find that the parkour community tends to be rather kind and level-headed...



so... why bother trying to tell the world about parkour?

Edited by M2: Edited Title for clarity "someone please explain this to me" doesn't tell anyone what the thread is about
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: Alec Furtado on May 12, 2008, 05:42:10 PM
My personal belief:
-It is a great thing that I will enjoy telling others about if they ask me
-If more people come to know about it, it will be more accepted which is good for numerous reasons
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: operation_jetpack on May 12, 2008, 05:44:16 PM
yeah man, but.... the thing is im not sure if its 'rejected' right now. sure, maybe security guards dont like it... but that comes with good reason. no matter how skilled someone is, parkour is rather dangerous compared to running, walking, rock climbing, etc. and what security guard would allow people to run up 12 foot walls and allow for a chance at a lawsuit (sp)? and what are the reasons ("good for numerous reasons")??

i dunno, i just think its a little weird. im not trying to say 'stop stop stop idiots!' but just curious as to why we should care at all! :) 8)
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: Alec Furtado on May 12, 2008, 05:51:23 PM
Well we are definitely doing things that are not anywhere close to "normal" so yes I guess it is sort of "rejected" by the common rules/guidelines/whatever of society. I want to be able to climb up light posts without people saying "wft are you doing!?" ;D

We all say "Oh being judged is just another obstacle!" but seriously, wouldn't it be nice to not be judged at all?

Also, the more people who learn about it and that it is a legit practice, the more people seem to want to do it. I keep finding more and more people at my school that want to join our club because of this. It is definitely more fun to do with others IMO...
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: Chris Kessler on May 13, 2008, 05:58:42 AM
I think Parkour isn't like any other sport. There is a complete philosophy behind it. It isn't so much spreading a sport, but spreading a lifestyle and even a calling. There are people who have seen movies like The Matrix and are like "zomg thats awesome I want to do it," but they don't because they have no idea that it is possible. To bring Parkour to those people would be amazing.

Security guards are just doing their job. I don't see them as the people who reject us. I see the people who own the property as the people who reject us. It is a trend among the upperclass to look down on anything extreme or new that could possibly be dangerous. Yes parkour is dangerous, we all know that. But, with parkour being properly done and having time spent on training it could be accepted worldwide. I just love making people aware of parkour, so that people can know about it and realize it isn't a bad thing.
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: ursasmaller on May 13, 2008, 06:02:01 AM
I for one would love to have just one person to train with, so I keep hoping that one of these people I tell about parkour will decide to give it a go.  The other thing is that practicing parkour has improved my health quite a bit, I see it as killing several birds with one stone..... weight loss, joint health, better mobility, more strength, a way to expend angst..... and I do all these things just by having a good time and doing what comes naturally to me.  There must be other people like me who would benefit from this,  but if they're never exposed, how can they?  Not that I get all evangelical about it, but I do always hope that someone who sees me training will want to join in.
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: Chris Kessler on May 13, 2008, 06:20:20 AM
Ursa, if I'm ever in Canada I'll totally hit you up for a jam!! But, I don't really go to Canada all that often.....as in.....at all
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: james2610 on May 13, 2008, 08:05:01 AM
if i tell people about it they dont care about the concept of parkour they just wana get on with it which i think is a bad thing. Some people just laugh at parkour aswell becuase they dont understand why you should kong something and not just jump over it which is much simpler. I think these people suck  ;D
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: Hombre13 on May 13, 2008, 09:59:20 AM
Alright, I tell people about Parkour because it is something I love doing.  Whenever you love something, it is natural to want to talk about it.  Give me half a second and I will just as willingly tell you about my experiences with wrestling, hockey, and football.  Let me tell you about how I have the greatest best friends in the world.  Shit, let me tell you about what my dog does (you can put a piece of steak in front of him and how won't move if I tell him to 'stay').  Or, let me tell you about that gap, or wallrun or kong.  It's not so much that I am trying to spread it, it's just that it takes a little more explaining than anything else that I love to do.

Having said that, I am actually against making Parkour mainstream.  I don't think the mainstream society would ever really get it.  There will always be little kids on top of buildings jumping off and breaking something.  The way I think about it is this:  Really extreme Parkour is like a professional sport.  You would never have a 14-year-old kid in the NFL, he would get his head taken off and be seriously injured.  You have to build up to that by many, many years of dedicated training.  Same thing with Parkour.  You can't just jump in and think you're invincible.  Problem is, people do.
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: Nik on May 13, 2008, 10:01:35 AM
My reason (and I think a lot of other peoples) for wanting to spread Parkour is that it can help people.  If our spreading Parkour helps to get one overweight person off the couch and outside, lets someone be useful in an emergency situation, or even just brings people together I think it was worth it.
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: David Glass on May 13, 2008, 10:04:05 AM
The more awareness, the less likely you are to be bothered for practicing.

30 years ago, if you saw a guy running in a park, you'd probably think he just did something bad. Nowadays, he's just jogging. That's because, by comparison, few people exercised at all, and "Jog"? WHat on earth for?

This of course is a personal view. If I didn't know about Parkour, and I saw a couple of 15 y/o vaulting, I'd probably think they were punks looking for trouble (seriously). Now, if people knew it was a discipline, that required structured training, a state of mind and awareness, it would be more likely to cause respect and admiration, perhaps as martial arts are seen today... or what would martial arts be today had it not been because Bruce Lee made it famous?

There's that, and the fact that you are more likely to encounter people who share your views and with whom you can practice

Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: sdwinder9x on May 13, 2008, 10:46:48 AM
If we as participants get the word of Parkour out, it will become more socially acceptable.  The same goes for any sport.  If the guys who invented football and basketball didn't want other people playing their sport, what would they have done?  You cant play a 6 on 6 game with the same people everyday for the rest of your life.  A sport should be an activity that you enjoy among friends, and it's also an activity that can help you make new friends.

From my experiences, people are less willing to give you trouble for doing something if they know they can approach you while you're doing the activity.  If you were practicing Parkour in front of some building and the owner comes out to ask you what you were doing, what do you think he'd appreciate more?  You being nice and explaining the world of Parkour to him, or being a dick and saying "I'm not doing anything wrong, leave me alone"?  If someone feels like they can approach you, they feel less intimidated by your presence and will more than likely be more willing to let you stay.

On the other hand, if you try to keep something under wraps, people tend to think you're being shady and won't like what you're doing.  Skateboarding is an awesome example.  When skateboarding first started getting big, skaters had this big ego-centric persona about what they were doing.  Professional boarders would tend to act like they could do something ordinary people couldn't.  When you pick up a skateboard, there is hardly any support from people willing to help out. You're either a chode, a scrub, or some other random nickname just because you couldn't pop a kickflip within your first 10 seconds of standing on a board.  You either learn on your own or don't learn at all.  But look at the sport now: pedestrians don't like skaters, cops don't like skaters, and everyone tries to do everything in their power to keep skaters away.

But the irony of it is that Parkour is doing essentially what skateboarders do: we manipulate our environment so it works and revolves around us.  If we show people what our sport is and how welcoming our atmosphere is, they'd be more willing to let us practice on their property.

Just my two cents.
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: operation_jetpack on May 13, 2008, 02:57:21 PM
hm well ok, so basically its just to let it be accepted.............. cool! just curious  8)
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: Nom on May 13, 2008, 03:51:55 PM
So far the reasons here are: to be accepted as a mainstream activity, to be acceptable in public, to teach a fragmented yet totally encompassing philosophy, and finding other people to train with.

Is that it? When considering the "acceptance" argument, I have this to say: Why? Suppose parkour becomes a mainstream activity. Then we end up with regulations, tournaments, sponsored events and corporate enterprises -- much of which we've already seen cropping up. This may be the direction parkour is to take, if so, then it is what it is. The public will find this hard to view as a discipline, which is part of the argument of sharing it with them, and consider it a sport. Even martial arts, while still disciplines, are considered "sporting" activities.  So what other view can we give the public to gain the acceptance of a mainstream activity without sacrificing our values? A few videos on youtube? Come on. Parkour isn't a game, parkour is more than just exercise and it's more than a state of mind. What we are sharing with people right now, honestly, is the fact that we can do things beyond average physical capabilities. This isn't what we want obviously, but it's what people are seeing and thinking about us. So, I propose that we share parkour to obliterate the ignorance of the common spectator. To let them know that what we do, we do for personal growth and development. What do we really want to gain by sharing with the populace, passive acknowledgment or do we want to prompt them to train/watch/like/buy t-shirts? For the most part, we as traceurs simply enjoy talking about parkour, that's why we share it.

Finding other people to train with is a viable excuse for getting the word out. Solo training can get pretty lonely.

The other argument I hear many times is that of sharing this blissful philosophy behind parkour. Overcoming obstacles in the physical plane will help you overcoming your life obstacles etc... etc... has become basically a staple for talking about this. That is not a philosophy. The idea that the ability to cope with the challenges of a physical world will help with the challenges of a "mental" world has very little to do with constructing a system of ethics, deciding whether or not God is real, or giving you a basis for action. Philosophy is the love of "wisdom." It's in the word. How then do we garner wisdom through parkour? We should be using our logic and reason to investigate truths, moral conducts even states of being or planes of existence when considering a philosophy. Can we do that with parkour? No. Try comparing the works of Hesse or Kant to our philosophy of parkour. Our philosophy is fractured in comparison. This philosophy is the least encompassing. The only wisdom I can see is the wisdom and knowledge gained from the self through experience. The experience of parkour can be very deep for some, and some rarely get in touch with this part of our discipline. This leads me to believe that our Philosophy works in a supplemental way and should not be a sole source of enlightenment. There's very little to share with the masses. Overcoming obstacles is just training for your body and your mind.

I don't really care if anyone practices parkour or not. The point is that I practice it. I don't want fame or fortune, I haven't even put out a video yet. Parkour is just something I do, for fun, for excercise, for myself and if sharing parkour lets other people get in touch with something fun or healthy or introspective then I'd like to share it.

Obviously, I await the counter to this post. I'd like more insight than I've read on the philosophy of parkour.
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: Alissa J. Bratz on May 13, 2008, 04:33:06 PM
^^ What he said. :)

For me personally, parkour means a lot. I am attracted to the discipline on so many levels. I think it is a natural, universal, human way to move and approach one's environment. I am powerfully influenced by the "human reclamation" arguments made for parkour (I'm sure I'm using the terminology wrong), i.e. that this is how we were meant to move, how our bodies were designed to navigate our environment, and that modern structures (physical and societal) have hampered/constrained that movement, and parkour "reawakens" it in us.

I have always been passionate about movement, and about living in accordance with our body's natural design. I am also passionate about wellness and see no divide between body and mind. So for me, the "obstacles in the physical helping with obstacles in the mental" idea is not so much a philosophy as it is simply an obvious statement. If mind and body are one entity, then there's no need to even point out that training to over come obstacles with the bodymind will help one overcome obstacles. It just happens. But I like that with parkour it happens inherently. So much of what passes for "fitness" training these days is really a separation of the bodymind: people just zoning out on a treadmill or stairmaster. Yes, our bodies were designed to run and climb, but repetitively, and without variance or thought? No way.

I look around and I see so many people searching for ways to get healthier, to be more mindful, to get more balance in their lives, to reduce stress, to connect with people in a genuine and meaningful way, and I see them casting about for ways to do that: they go on Fad Diet X-2000, they go to spinning class, they go to yoga, and they join a scrapbooking club. And still they don't seem to be achieving what they'd hoped. To me, parkour is a way to gain access to these things in the most natural way possible. It's so natural, in fact, that you aren't even aware of it. It's not like, "Okay, now I'm in yoga, so I have to be balanced and meditative." It's that it just engages all of those bits and pieces at once, and all the time. I mean, we are not always in the yoga studio, but we are always in "an environment" and parkour can be practiced in any environment. The way I see it, telling people about parkour is essentially saying to people, "Hey, it's all right here, it's been with you all along. You don't need special equipment or a class schedule or anything. Just be where you are, and start from there."

Some will argue that parkour is not a "complete" discipline, for various reasons, and I can see the rationale there. But for me it engages everything that I see people searching for. IMO there is a reason that kids, when left to their own devices on a playground, will do "parkour" naturally. Because it's what our bodyminds were designed to do! So yes, I do actively try to "spread" parkour. Because I believe that it is fundamentally beneficial for everyone. I don't expect everyone to be as zealous about it as I am. People will try it, and the ones for whom it "clicks" will stick with it, and those for whom it doesn't will move on. No big deal. People have to find their meaning where they will find it, and it's not going to be parkour for everybody. But I definitely want to at least expose people to it, to see if it grabs them. If it does, great! If not, no worries. At least they have been exposed to it and kind of know what it is, and won't hassle me next time they see me out training.

Of secondary, but no less vital, importance, is the idea of having a community to train with. I think that solo training is important and has its place; however I don't think parkour, at this point, can exist without a community. Something about the discipline lends itself powerfully to community-building. No, one doesn't need a community to practice, but I feel strongly that parkour as an abstract is a community activity. Humans are social animals and we are learning animals. Therefore any navigation of our environment using only our bodies has to happen (at least in part, over time), in community. Even if we're training solo, we are still participating in the larger social community. At its minimum, inviting a curious passerby to join me when I'm training is simply a compassionate, welcoming, human gesture; an opportunity to connect--things we don't see often enough in modern society, IMO.

I don't even know if I'm making any sense at this point. :) But I liked your post a lot, Nom.
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: Gregg HIPK on May 13, 2008, 04:54:32 PM
Let's look at the flip side: Why WOULDN'T you want other people to know about parkour? Let's look at some of the basic human needs...

Survival/ safety: If you made your livelihood by catching or evading, you would not want your opponent to learn the skills. People can get hurt doing parkour, so maybe you'd want them to take up something 'safer'. If you owned property, you wouldn't want people wrecking it, or get sued if they got hurt.

Feel important: If your self-worth is tied up with being better than someone else, you wouldn't want anyone to be better than you. If they don't know about it, they can't be better. Also, it's cool to be part of something new, small and vital, and not so cool to be one of ten million.

Love/ be loved: This one's a bit harder... I love you, so I won't tell you about parkour. I didn't want my 3 and 4 year old nephews to get hurt, so I didn't do parkour in front of them. I want to be loved so I won't tell you about parkour.  It's still this dangerous fringe thing, and maybe you won't like me if you know I do it?

That's kinda a weird way to look at it...
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: Chris Kessler on May 13, 2008, 05:22:38 PM
btay's response is exactly what a lot of us don't like to see. We all know it's dangerous and that some people, alright most people, don't accept it. I want them to know that what we do is a lifestyle. It isn't just some stupid extreme sport fad. Like Nom I don't want it to blow up into competitions and all that crap. However, I do want it to grow. With growth comes evolution of course, just like with parkour came free running.

The simple fact is that anti-competition is a part of parkour and we won't let it come to the competition "sport" level. I think we'd all agree that it would be a perversion of our art.
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: operation_jetpack on May 13, 2008, 07:07:40 PM
So far the reasons here are: to be accepted as a mainstream activity, to be acceptable in public, to teach a fragmented yet totally encompassing philosophy, and finding other people to train with.

Is that it? When considering the "acceptance" argument, I have this to say: Why? Suppose parkour becomes a mainstream activity. Then we end up with regulations, tournaments, sponsored events and corporate enterprises -- much of which we've already seen cropping up. This may be the direction parkour is to take, if so, then it is what it is. The public will find this hard to view as a discipline, which is part of the argument of sharing it with them, and consider it a sport. Even martial arts, while still disciplines, are considered "sporting" activities.  So what other view can we give the public to gain the acceptance of a mainstream activity without sacrificing our values? A few videos on youtube? Come on. Parkour isn't a game, parkour is more than just exercise and it's more than a state of mind. What we are sharing with people right now, honestly, is the fact that we can do things beyond average physical capabilities. This isn't what we want obviously, but it's what people are seeing and thinking about us. So, I propose that we share parkour to obliterate the ignorance of the common spectator. To let them know that what we do, we do for personal growth and development. What do we really want to gain by sharing with the populace, passive acknowledgment or do we want to prompt them to train/watch/like/buy t-shirts? For the most part, we as traceurs simply enjoy talking about parkour, that's why we share it.

Finding other people to train with is a viable excuse for getting the word out. Solo training can get pretty lonely.

The other argument I hear many times is that of sharing this blissful philosophy behind parkour. Overcoming obstacles in the physical plane will help you overcoming your life obstacles etc... etc... has become basically a staple for talking about this. That is not a philosophy. The idea that the ability to cope with the challenges of a physical world will help with the challenges of a "mental" world has very little to do with constructing a system of ethics, deciding whether or not God is real, or giving you a basis for action. Philosophy is the love of "wisdom." It's in the word. How then do we garner wisdom through parkour? We should be using our logic and reason to investigate truths, moral conducts even states of being or planes of existence when considering a philosophy. Can we do that with parkour? No. Try comparing the works of Hesse or Kant to our philosophy of parkour. Our philosophy is fractured in comparison. This philosophy is the least encompassing. The only wisdom I can see is the wisdom and knowledge gained from the self through experience. The experience of parkour can be very deep for some, and some rarely get in touch with this part of our discipline. This leads me to believe that our Philosophy works in a supplemental way and should not be a sole source of enlightenment. There's very little to share with the masses. Overcoming obstacles is just training for your body and your mind.

I don't really care if anyone practices parkour or not. The point is that I practice it. I don't want fame or fortune, I haven't even put out a video yet. Parkour is just something I do, for fun, for excercise, for myself and if sharing parkour lets other people get in touch with something fun or healthy or introspective then I'd like to share it.

Obviously, I await the counter to this post. I'd like more insight than I've read on the philosophy of parkour.

hm, it seems youve said everything i wanted to say with my first post!
i definitely agree, the philosophy behind parkour is more pseudo than anything and i usually have a hard time finding parkour to reveal any truths about anything, including myself.

i think you said it best with 'i dont really care if anyone practices parkour or not' and that is why i posted this in the first place - to find a good reason why so many people feel the need to turn parkour mainstream. so far ive received reasons why, but nothing that i feel is sufficient! sure, being accepted is great... but as i said, if anyone gets curious enough they'll ask or research on their own, and if they just think we're weird.. who cares?  no need for us to preach about it!


as for muse's post.. that human reclamation argument seems pretty nice. but im not sure if i buy it quite yet..............  ........... ... i mean, im not sure if modern structures at all have hampered any of our movement. i dont see how buildings and rails really prevent us from doing anything.

your other point of it being 'human nature' to simply move this way seems pretty good too. so maybe the purpose to preach about parkour isnt so much about fitness or any other reason, but more like activism?

by preaching parkour, are you trying to say boundaries on what is normal and what isnt are rediculous? that there is no true human nature, so all of these social boundaries really have no basis? that moving in such a way is something we used to do, and just because theres no real survival use for it anymore, its still valid? is that more along the lines of what youre saying?
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: Paul Leon Mederos on May 13, 2008, 07:42:40 PM
I get people into it cause I like and enjoy it. I also try to get people in Halo 3. Nothing fancy except the love of it  :)
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: operation_jetpack on May 13, 2008, 08:22:16 PM
i love halo 3  :) lets play over teh internetz with xb0x live!!1
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: misstanyamae on May 13, 2008, 09:03:37 PM
The more awareness, the less likely you are to be bothered for practicing.

30 years ago, if you saw a guy running in a park, you'd probably think he just did something bad. Nowadays, he's just jogging. That's because, by comparison, few people exercised at all, and "Jog"? WHat on earth for?

This of course is a personal view. If I didn't know about Parkour, and I saw a couple of 15 y/o vaulting, I'd probably think they were punks looking for trouble (seriously). Now, if people knew it was a discipline, that required structured training, a state of mind and awareness, it would be more likely to cause respect and admiration, perhaps as martial arts are seen today... or what would martial arts be today had it not been because Bruce Lee made it famous?

There's that, and the fact that you are more likely to encounter people who share your views and with whom you can practice


This is a little OT, but your post made me think of Anchorman where he's telling them about taking up "yogging."

Anyway...
Sometimes I tell people, sometimes I don't. It depends on how enthusiastic I feel that day. I'll tell someone if I think both the discipline and they will benefit by joining.
I'm not compelled to spread it, but I don't really keep it under wraps. I have informed a lot of people about parkour. There was a lady looking for fun ways to work on ".....strength.....cardiovascular fitness.....flexibility.....balance." Right up her alley!
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: Gregg HIPK on May 14, 2008, 01:54:53 PM
btay's response is exactly what a lot of us don't like to see.
Exactly. That was the point.

Why turn parkour 'mainstream'? “Obesity is the most common nutritional disorder in the developed world, and the second most preventable cause of death after smoking.” Dr. Jennifer Zebrack, Medical College of Wisconsin. And it's prevented by eating properly and exercise.

Parkour for the masses? I like to call it sub-parkour: A watered-down, lower impact, less extreme version of parkour. You've got the QM, the balancing, the climbing, some of the jumping, leaping, vaulting, bar work, small precisions. Most of the fun, hopefully none of the pain.

Let's face it: people don't exercise, because they don't like it. Running and jogging aren't much fun. Weight lifting can be repetitive and boring. Parkour doesn't need equipment - other than enough clothes to keep you from getting arrested, and probably some shoes. Little kids can do it. Overweight office workers can do it. It uses the entire body. And it's fun.

It can be structured, or unstructured. You can spend hours in intensive training. You can toss in some foot placement practice in walking from the couch to the fridge. Methode Naturelle if you want.

Parkour philosophy? I think it's half-developed in the minds of some fairly young French guys. [Belle, Foucan, Yamakasi, etc.]. We get it as catch-phrases, slogans, and sound bites. "Be strong to be useful." "Live and endure." It's still changing, and it's not really written down. What is written is often badly translated, taken out of context, or not clearly thought/ expressed in the first place.

Can it be written down and still remain 'alive'? Williams Belle seems to think not: "I do not want to have this experience, and just write it in a book, it would become a dead experience! I want it to be alive! I want people to use it, to live it and to experience it."
Title: Re: Why spread Parkour?
Post by: Alex Melusky on May 14, 2008, 04:02:28 PM
i dont think that any traceur/traceuss wants the discipline to die out. thatis why we spread it :P
Title: Re: Why spread Parkour?
Post by: Nick Kelly on May 14, 2008, 05:00:34 PM
Personally I don't think its "Spread parkour or don't spread parkour." Parkour has no problem spreading on its own. I think the real question is do you want to actively spread parkour. My answer is definitely yes.

If people do not try to actively spread parkour, parkour's image will be formed by the wrong people--those who go out and sensationalize parkour.
Title: Re: Why spread Parkour?
Post by: Stav Bendor on May 14, 2008, 05:24:36 PM
I must say I respectfully disagree with the view that there is no philosophy in parkour or that it is pseudo-philosophy. I understand the skepticism of philosophy in parkour guessing that it comes from reading about philosophy submitted by people with little credibility in the subject, as in forums, etc. Which is precisely why I suggest going to the founders and experienced people for this matter. Look and listen to the Yamakasi along with other very experienced and skilled traceurs and I think you'll see some philosophy. What about the view that we are all students and can all learn?

"Another thing I would like to note is some words I exchanged with Laurent when I first met him the day before. I told him I was here to learn everything that I could from those who were more experienced than me. He said thank you and then explained to me that we can all still learn something from everyone. If I had anything to teach him, he would love to learn it as well. The mindset that we are all students is a great one to have. When we think we are the best or that we have learned enough, our progress becomes stagnant and we fail to keep growing." -That is taken from To Learn, To Grow by Ryan Ford (Demon)
"On Plato's scheme we are all students, ideally engaged in a cooperative pursuit of truth and wisdom." Taken from http://www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/Teac/TeacReid.htm

Or this article regarding human potential and transformative practices http://parkourgenerations.com/articles.php?id_cat=2&idart=16#def

Alas, this is neither the time or place to have this discourse. Perhaps we can all meet at the Parkour Generations Expo in Ohio and be able to discuss this subject more with some very experienced traceurs present.  ;D Also, I would like to note I do not have any official or professional background in philosophy and my views are subject to change over time, seeing as I am currently just a junior (senior next year) in high school, which is why I try to use credible sources.

That's off-topic, so to contribute to the thread...
Reasons to spread parkour:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4001097277208720031

Dangers of spreading parkour, or why it's important to spread correctly (like Nick said, who's comment appeared while I was typing):
http://parkourgenerations.com/articles.php?id_cat=2&idart=30
Title: Re: Why spread Parkour?
Post by: Nom on May 14, 2008, 09:27:48 PM
In Plato's scheme there should only be 10,000 people; we should be killing infants. In Plato's scheme 10 year old boys are sent off to the countryside :P. I have no doubt that he was an interesting guy, but what this has to do with parkour directly has yet to hit me. You could argue that the philosophy of parkour has something to do with always learning, but again, that's not a philosophy. You can't just spout off states of mind and offer them as a philosophy. If I eat only bread and cheese, my mindset is that of a simple man. Is being simple a philosophy? No. When David Hume attempted to tidy up the realm of philosophical thought from the Middle Ages to 1600, he approached the task with the mind of a child. The way he went about it was hardly a philosophy, it was the answers derived from his path that became his philosophy.

The article was very nice, but explained nothing about philosophy again. So far what I've gathered about this Parkour Philosophy is this:

It's Empiricist and Rational, kind of a mix. It has a vague idea of "individual progression." (into what? the self? sounds like metaphysics based on physical training.) Apparently it's revolutionary because it's so open to everyone. There are allusions to "freedom," which I suppose can mean both in the sense of being free of external and internal constraints. Shall we even bother moving on to free-will from here? What does parkour say about that?

With only that level of detail, how can I make any positive claims that it even exists at all? It's rough, honestly. So please, if you can link me to something do. Nothing about this should be considered inflammatory, I don't mean to push buttons or shove people into defensive postures about it. But everything I hear and have heard is so incredibly vague, I see people walking into parkour and magically being gifted with this insight into some parkour philosophy they can't ever explain to me and it just doesn't make sense. I too like to believe that what I do has an innate purpose. You can use the children excuse for that, it's natural to run around on stuff. What I think I've understood is that every action, every movement you perform teaches you more about how your body moves. Reactively, in your environment, you learn how your mind works in conjunction with your body. You understand why you default to certain techniques. You learn to understand what holds you back from something and then objectively you can address it. This still doesn't seem so much a philosophy as a point of view.
Title: Re: Why spread Parkour?
Post by: operation_jetpack on May 15, 2008, 11:19:05 AM
I think one of the problems with philosophy of parkour is that it isn't clear what it aims to answer, if there is anything to answer, period. Philosophy traditionally tries to answer problems such as the mind/body relation, free-will, personal identity, God, what is justice, etc. Any philosophical speak I hear regarding parkour tends to be pseudo-eastern philosophy; I hear a lot of stuff which gives parkour philosophy a bit of a spiritual touch which means its going to be vague! Like Nom said, it's pretty vague and appeals to even vaguer things such as freedom! What? Physical freedom? Political? Spiritual? Just too many questions left unanswered with parkour philosophy!

But this does relate to the topic at hand! I originally posted about the philosophy of parkour given as a reason to spread it, but felt that the philosophy isn't strong enough to do such a thing! So I think it may be safe to say at this point that trying to get the word out to share the all enlightening philosophy of parkour isn't a good reason... So that can't be why people are so passionate about this!

The other reasons that I've seen so far are pretty much to be accepted, and then I tried to maybe turn that into something a little more plausible. That it's not so much spreading parkour, but just sending a message out that all of these social boundaries on how we should act in public are silly since there is no true human nature! But I think that's stetching it, and most likely not what people have in mind when they get featured in the local news (though maybe M2 has something to say on this bit??)

Just acceptance in general doesnt seem very good to me. It makes the PK community look like a bunch of teenage high school girls who care what others think of them. Honestly, most people aren't going to bother or care when they see us running around. Sure they may think it's strange... But maybe they'll stop and ask! And then you have security and police, but it's their job to worry about such things. As long as we're respectful, I really doubt they'll have a problem with us.

And then we have the comparison to the skating community and how no one likes them. But that's just because the skating community is generally comprised of a bunch of hormonal and rebellious teenagers who feel the need to call others chodes! The problem started with them - they didn't have respect for anybody. The PK community is a little different, from what I see, we're pretty mindful of others and public property. Don't forget TK's painting experience in Lisses (sp) after all! And the Leave no Trace thing too.




The reason I find the passion to spread parkour to be a little odd is because I can't see why the PK community can't be satisfied! People will come and go on their own... We really shouldn't care about it. What we should care about is parkour itself, and practice it as much as we can! Why can't we be content training with a few friends and meeting up for some big jams?
Title: Re: Why spread Parkour?
Post by: james2610 on May 15, 2008, 01:04:28 PM
my idea is spread parkour properly, with the full concept and the discepline. or dont spread it at all
Title: Re: Why spread Parkour?
Post by: Stav Bendor on May 15, 2008, 01:05:03 PM
Nom that post was very informative. I think I understand what you are trying to say about the aspect of philosophy the way it is defined, like I mentioned I have not researched or learned philosophy yet. Maybe philosophy is just a word people use because its a well-known word and seems to work. Whatever ideoligcal thing it is I definitely enjoy and believe in what can be acquired through parkour, as long as it is positive and/or contributing to my improvement. Perhaps, it is not that a “parkour philosophy” exists, but that parkour is an optimal host for philosophy. The idea of philosophy in parkour as opposed to philosophy of parkour. Or it could be all this stuff that some of the community classifies as philosophy is just thinking and ideas. I can't really tell for sure, but with time I hope to expand my knowledge in this subject and hopefully contribute to this area.

Anyhoo, operation_jetpack I'm not sure if you watched the video I posted or not (that being Jump Westminster by Julie Angel), but I believe that it shows reason to actively spread parkour to help others. I don't think many people really have acceptance in their mind when it comes to spreading it, but more to legitimize it. The hope is not to be accepted by random people off the street but by official institutions such as universities, and hopefully to achieve what is shown in Jump Westminster in many other places. Also, maybe the philosophy isn't strong enough to spread, but there is so much positivity in parkour that spreading some ideas is a legitimite reason. Why be content training in my own little world when I can help improve the community around me?
Title: Re: Why spread Parkour?
Post by: Gregg HIPK on May 15, 2008, 01:22:38 PM
[Jump Westminster is one of my all time favorite pk documentaries. Thanks for posting it.]

Sebastien has a bunch of philosophical slogans at www.Foucan.com. There's more, but this is enough for a start. I don't agree with all of it, but I'm including it here for your reading pleasure.

Freerunning is the art of expressing yourself in your environment, with no limitations.
It's not about being beautiful, it's about feeling and being connected.
Deeply influenced by martial arts, the philosophy behind it is to unify body, spirit and environment.
It can be compared to moving like an animal or being fluid like water. [Home page]

Freerunning Philosophy
Freerunning is an evolution. Move like an animal. be fluid like water or find your own balance with a certain philosophy. This is the path of the Freerunner. Be focused within yourself more than the outside world.

The most important Freerunning advice is to follow your own path, your intuition - Make progress step by step. Don’t forget to find the path towards your own balance - Your own rhythm is essential to enjoyment and understanding Freerunning”.

Sébastien believes in the concepts of:
No violence
No violence, no destruction! Be focused on Passion and Creativity

No competition
Do not seek a prize, don’t compete against others! Competition is an illusion, where only the winners are remembered and losers forgotten you can learn from it, but it’s not The Way. In the Freerunning philosophy there is no Loser. The journey is more important than the goal.

No group
Just be one community, we can share with others, some people have more experience but we are all different and you need to find your own path.

No chief
No Leader, follow your way!
People can inspire you and you should respect them, but you have to follow your way!


Freerunning Lifestyle

Life is full of obstacles and challenges - to overcome them is to progress.
The more you Freerun, the more you gain.
Understanding the philosophy of Freerunning is to look further than just the simple move or a performance.
Internalize the philosophy.
Find the best balance for yourself.
Improving is more important than being the best.
Use the environment to develop yourself and to find your weaknesses.
Title: Re: Why spread Parkour?
Post by: operation_jetpack on May 16, 2008, 12:19:25 PM

Anyhoo, operation_jetpack I'm not sure if you watched the video I posted or not (that being Jump Westminster by Julie Angel), but I believe that it shows reason to actively spread parkour to help others. I don't think many people really have acceptance in their mind when it comes to spreading it, but more to legitimize it. The hope is not to be accepted by random people off the street but by official institutions such as universities, and hopefully to achieve what is shown in Jump Westminster in many other places. Also, maybe the philosophy isn't strong enough to spread, but there is so much positivity in parkour that spreading some ideas is a legitimite reason. Why be content training in my own little world when I can help improve the community around me?


yeah i watched it a little while ago  8)
Title: Re: Why spread Parkour?
Post by: Jaycee123 on May 16, 2008, 12:31:35 PM
I agree with you sir  Mr. Jetpack. As traceurs we should focus on oneself and how better we can apply certain scenarios to our training, stop worrying about others coming along to train and such. In my opinion parkour is not for everyone. In the past (which is why this post may seem tension related) I have trained at least ten other people and they all stopped parkour for reasons such as work, school, girlfriends. When if those things were faced to me, i do attend school, I continue to do parkour! To some it may seem as a hobby or past time so they wont really want to "look into" what parkour really is. It saddens me that so few are actually motivated to get up and run in my area. Plus I have asked others to join in here and there saying its an effiecient form of movement and they threw in my face this: "So is taking a car I dont feel like risking my life just to jump around like a fool". It may be just that people at the location at which i reside are ignorrant who knows. All i know is that i love to train alone, i understand the general concepts of pk and it is my passion 100+ percent!!!

~jaycee~
Title: Re: Why spread Parkour?
Post by: Kyle Rudolph on May 18, 2008, 07:38:21 AM
I agree with you sir  Mr. Jetpack. As traceurs we should focus on oneself and how better we can apply certain scenarios to our training, stop worrying about others coming along to train and such. In my opinion parkour is not for everyone. In the past (which is why this post may seem tension related) I have trained at least ten other people and they all stopped parkour for reasons such as work, school, girlfriends. When if those things were faced to me, i do attend school, I continue to do parkour! To some it may seem as a hobby or past time so they wont really want to "look into" what parkour really is. It saddens me that so few are actually motivated to get up and run in my area. Plus I have asked others to join in here and there saying its an effiecient form of movement and they threw in my face this: "So is taking a car I dont feel like risking my life just to jump around like a fool". It may be just that people at the location at which i reside are ignorrant who knows. All i know is that i love to train alone, i understand the general concepts of pk and it is my passion 100+ percent!!!

~jaycee~

Yeah man. I totally get you. When I started PK I got a bunch of people into it. Like 20. But a lot of them just quit after two week because they got "bored" and just didn't want to commit. It isn't for everyone. There are probably about 7-9 truly dedicated people around here that Parkour. Personally I don't know how I ever lived without it.
Title: Re: Why spread Parkour?
Post by: Jaycee123 on May 18, 2008, 09:01:08 AM
I agree with you sir  Mr. Jetpack. As traceurs we should focus on oneself and how better we can apply certain scenarios to our training, stop worrying about others coming along to train and such. In my opinion parkour is not for everyone. In the past (which is why this post may seem tension related) I have trained at least ten other people and they all stopped parkour for reasons such as work, school, girlfriends. When if those things were faced to me, i do attend school, I continue to do parkour! To some it may seem as a hobby or past time so they wont really want to "look into" what parkour really is. It saddens me that so few are actually motivated to get up and run in my area. Plus I have asked others to join in here and there saying its an effiecient form of movement and they threw in my face this: "So is taking a car I dont feel like risking my life just to jump around like a fool". It may be just that people at the location at which i reside are ignorrant who knows. All i know is that i love to train alone, i understand the general concepts of pk and it is my passion 100+ percent!!!

~jaycee~

Yeah man. I totally get you. When I started PK I got a bunch of people into it. Like 20. But a lot of them just quit after two week because they got "bored" and just didn't want to commit. It isn't for everyone. There are probably about 7-9 truly dedicated people around here that Parkour. Personally I don't know how I ever lived without it.

Yea brother true that and even if I do find someone who is slightly commited, what if we dont have the same views. Cause i happen to take it very serious and the others were like wow, why take jumping around like a monkey serious. It made me mad and in the end i stopped running with them. And another case where there was a guy who did it ocasionally, then he got a car and stopped running so frequently. Its whatever. i love training alone its more tranquile and allows me to see self-faults!
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: shadow1234 on May 18, 2008, 02:45:04 PM
if i tell people about it they dont care about the concept of parkour they just wana get on with it which i think is a bad thing. Some people just laugh at parkour aswell becuase they dont understand why you should kong something and not just jump over it which is much simpler. I think these people suck  ;D

I've said this alot before but I'll say it again. You don't kong over things you could easily jump over. Just speed vault that. Kongs are for things are to high for you to jump over.
Title: Re: Why spread Parkour?
Post by: shadow1234 on May 18, 2008, 03:16:40 PM
Personally, the whole spreading parkour thing to me seems like nothing but self righteous activism. I personally don't care whether there is a community or not. It's cool, but completely unnecessary. I actually prefer this to be an underground movement because it remains purer that way. Acceptance is a terrible argument because you shouldn't need that. Trying to save America from being fat is kind of weak too. Parkour is probably one of the more demanding disciplines if practiced properly so I can't see why any obese person wouldn't move on after a while. Its more related to that person's mindset and personality than parkour itself. I don't agree with the human reclamation thing either because the most natural thing to do for humans is walking.

I won't even get into the philosophy stuff since it has been pretty much debunked already.

Sorry if I sound so blunt, but I would prefer that this community stay true to parkour instead of turning to this into some charity foundation; not that I believe that there is anything wrong with helping people. There are plenty of other institutions for that.


Title: Re: Why spread Parkour?
Post by: thehoodedsanghelian on May 18, 2008, 07:55:23 PM
This is how I think of it.  Parkour for me isn't just a physical activity.  It's a way of life, and that includes everyday discipline, attitude, respect for others, self improvement and discovery, and more.  Applying my life's challenges to the discipline of Parkour allows me to overcome them and grow stronger in all aspects of my life.  So why spread Parkour?  Frankly, I think the more traceurs we have in this world, the more stable our communities would be.  Maybe some of the mean cops would be friendlier if more people in their districts were respectful, well-forged people driven by the traceur spirit.  If Parkour finds its way to an individual, catches his interest and drives him to shape up his life, then Parkour has done good for this world, and spreading it to others would only increase this good.
Title: Re: Why spread Parkour?
Post by: Ozzi on May 19, 2008, 04:56:07 PM
Because we are gonna take over the world and we need as many people as we can.  ::)
Title: Re: Why spread Parkour?
Post by: operation_jetpack on May 19, 2008, 06:19:48 PM
Because we are gonna take over the world and we need as many people as we can.  ::)

AHA! I KNEW IT! I WAS ON TO YOU AND YOUR SCHEMING WAYS OZZI!







....






















count me in!  8)
Title: Re: Why spread Parkour?
Post by: shadow1234 on May 20, 2008, 09:45:52 AM
Lol! If that's the case then I'm down!
Title: Re: Why spread Parkour?
Post by: Kyle Rudolph on May 20, 2008, 12:00:32 PM
Yeah I'm in too.

Seriously though. We could do it. =D
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: Adam McC on May 20, 2008, 01:21:22 PM
if i tell people about it they dont care about the concept of parkour they just wana get on with it which i think is a bad thing. Some people just laugh at parkour aswell becuase they dont understand why you should kong something and not just jump over it which is much simpler. I think these people suck  ;D

I've said this alot before but I'll say it again. You don't kong over things you could easily jump over. Just speed vault that. Kongs are for things are to high for you to jump over.

Nah man, kongs don't need to be used for high things. I've used a kong efficiently on a long low obstacle. Hurdling uses up way more energy, you gotta lift your center of gravity higher. You can't go calling specific vaults only for specific things. It's all completely dependant.

Anyways... we get great joy in our art. We simply want people to A. understand our joy and B. experience it themselves.
Title: Re: Why spread Parkour?
Post by: Important Somebody on May 20, 2008, 03:45:04 PM
it would be selfish not to spread what we enjoy doing
Title: Re: someone please explain this to me
Post by: shadow1234 on May 20, 2008, 05:17:10 PM
if i tell people about it they dont care about the concept of parkour they just wana get on with it which i think is a bad thing. Some people just laugh at parkour aswell becuase they dont understand why you should kong something and not just jump over it which is much simpler. I think these people suck  ;D

I've said this alot before but I'll say it again. You don't kong over things you could easily jump over. Just speed vault that. Kongs are for things are to high for you to jump over.

Nah man, kongs don't need to be used for high things. I've used a kong efficiently on a long low obstacle. Hurdling uses up way more energy, you gotta lift your center of gravity higher. You can't go calling specific vaults only for specific things. It's all completely dependant.

Anyways... we get great joy in our art. We simply want people to A. understand our joy and B. experience it themselves.

Woops, forgot about that situation... I was mostly thinking about thin obstacles like low rails or benches that would be best approached with a speed vault (given there is enough room); and yes, although I don't think that there are hard fast rules with vaults, there is general theory that should be kept in mind for preserving speed.