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Messages - Sam Slater

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Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Is Freerunning Different than Parkour?
« on: February 22, 2006, 10:50:12 AM »
Also posted under news article.  Slight editing done after review.

I will not repeat what I said in the thread on this topic (referring to previous posts). I would like to ask if this "parkour philosophy" is needed to Parkour. Using a physical discipline as a vessel for a philosophical one does not create necessity in the other opposite direction. I am not stating that I feel that Parkour should be done without this philosophy intertwined within it, I am simply stating that the comparison or debate on these two activities seems to move more into comparing the philosophy that is behind these activities at times, and seems to me that it is possible to have the underlying philosophy without the specifically defined actions, or vice versa. If it were placed in a definition that the actions were dependent upon the philosophy then that would be different, however most definitions that I have read define Parkour as the method of escaping or reaching (or something along those lines), and not as "the method of escaping or reaching that is done in the pursuit of the following virtues/mindset/etc."

Not that the follwing statement is in any way a positive contribution, but I like Gear's comparison.

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: What's your current training goal?
« on: February 21, 2006, 07:51:18 PM »
1) Top outs: Working on this with upper body strength training, attempting to slim lower body, and actually practicing top outs.
2) Trusting left side of the body as much as my right.
3) Confidence:  This is my biggest flaw.  This one I have just been trying to tackle with mind games (psyching myself up, playing down fears, attempting to clear/calm the mind)

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Is Freerunning Different than Parkour?
« on: February 14, 2006, 09:35:11 AM »
I just went through this entire topic and I have read and re-read these definitions that are presented and I wanted to pose a question.

I agree that there must be a certain mindset that is had by persons who practice Parkour.  This I do not deny.  I do not however see this mindset in the definitions of Parkour.  Parkour seems to constantly be defined as performing a series of motions that will quickly maneuver the individual from A to B.

Sebastian's definition of Freerunning seems to be an attempt to define a mindset or a discipline that has it's foundations in the practice of Parkour.  When he says "Free your mind, Run over the world", I interpret that as saying that by practicing Parkour, you can reinvent the way you view your surroundings.

I am in no way saying that this is how the term is commonly used.  I am simply attempting to use the response that he has already given M2 to attempt to understand his logic. 

As a result, I find that this is almost how I use the term Freerunning.  I see it as a mindset that uses Parkour as a means to express said mindset, by unconventionally move from point to point through an environment that would otherwise have you move in a less direct manner.  It would seem that in order to further the notion of personal expression and freedom of thought, that the inclusion of acrobatics into this practice must be seen as conducive in some manner.  So yes, I see Freerun as Parkour with acrobatics, however as I am inclined to follow definitions from the person credited to have coined the phrase, I also include the mindset behind that practice. (Subsequently I think that this is what Deft is looking for, as it defines a mindset, however it does not restrict the practitioner to simply Parkour)

I would however like to see some quote from Belle defining parkour as not just physical actions.  The definition that he has created is very unappealing, in my opinion, as it does not, so far as I can tell.  I have hear and read that the practice of Parkour carries over into other areas of your life so that you are always looking to overcome obstacles in your way, however that is a result of the physical and not part of the definition.  (I suppose my martial arts background has me looking for him to create a system similar to what Foucan has where Parkour is either redefined as a means to an end, or where is part of a specific "way" that one is striving for.  Yes, I know that this "way" is there, however if he does not define it then situations such as this can and do arise)

This is me simply finding the need to type my thoughts on some notions brought up in this thread.  I have to warn those who dare to read on that there will more than likely be no resolution to this discussion found in the following.  You have been warned

In a response to the "is there a difference ..." question, I have to agree that common necessity of a word that combines the practice of acrobatics and Parkour have changed Freerunning to mean just that.  Now I know that people may say that simply changing the meaning of something in common language does not make what you have done is correct.  This logic is true with statements or notions, however with language it is the case that it is almost impossible to keep meanings from changing.  Languages are used to convey notions or describe things.  What seems to be the problem here is that the community cannot agree on a common language (which I am sure is M2's reason for this topic).  So how do we come to the concensus on what means what.  I can see three options:

1:  Defer judgment and definition to a higher authority - This seems to have been M2's initial attempt.  The problem that exists is that the current authority is ignorant of the scope of their judgement and wishes to take the path of rejecting the notion that there is an issue that needs to be resolved. 

2:  Consensus of the masses -  This very democratic approach seems to be where this thread is heading.  If a majority seems to use a term a certain way, then that is the way the term shall be used.  The problem that I am sure will arise with this is that people, despite the fact that they live in a system of government that is run this way, are so wrapped up in personal freedom that they will reject any attempt at creating definitions that are not the same as their own despite the will of the majority.

3:  Abandon new terminology - It is always an option to revert to more formal use of a common language to describe actions in more detail to avoid confusion.  For example, instead of using the term "Parkour" simply say that you are practicing a method of moving through an environment to quickly traverse a set distance from point to point.  The problem with this is that we are always in search of a way of communicating more efficiently, and as such spouting definitions for everything would be tedious.

Where does that leave the debate?  As of now, nowhere.  As most of us did when the "what is parkour" debate first erupted over on UF, we will have to wait and hope that this higher authority will save us from our dilemma.  I hope that you receive a productive response from Sebastian M2, as it would seem that without clarification from him, this topic could be for naught.

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Do you plan your training in advance?
« on: February 10, 2006, 02:05:25 PM »
Right now, my day is planned around my coursework and my martial arts. On my training day (the one day a week I take off work  to focus on academics and parkour, and yes I know that if I really loved Parkour I would find the time to do it more than once a week) I do stretch throughout the day to plan for what I wish to work on, and my mind that day is running in a different mode.  It is scanning the landscape, working on puzzles that I had left unfinished the week before.  I will not profess to being a Parkour athlete, however I do alter my behavior around Parkour on the days that I do practice.

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Workout of the Day - Survey and Rant
« on: February 08, 2006, 12:59:10 PM »
I do them with Akh when time permits.  I do not post results because I see not reason for me to do so, as I know what I am or am not doing and generally how far I am or am not progressing.  In my opinion, there is no fault in the Community for lack of participation in commentary on this particular forum.  The only way I see you getting a drastic increase in participation is through competition in the workout of the day, however I assume that that avenue would lead to debates on being able to trust people and such, not to mention the fact that it would have people doing the workouts not for personal development so much as for domination over others in the community, something I personally do not advocate.

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Attn: Traceurs Who have been in the news.
« on: December 22, 2005, 12:02:10 AM »
The Hill Magazine (McDaniel College Alumni Magazine)
Released Summer  Issue 2005
Westminster, MD
Brian Belida (Akh Horus) and Samuel Slater (Disciple)   
No internet copy available (if necessary send PM and I can type it up as I have a hard copy)

Associated Press Article
December 2004
Brian Belida (Akh Horus), Samuel Slater (Disciple), Mark Toorock (M2), Homer Azari
Photos and in person interview done with Akh and Disciple in Westminster, MD / Azari in Chicago / M2 - New Jersey (more than likely interviewed via email)

The Baltimore Sun
November 2004
Westminster, MD
Brian Belida (Akh Horus) and Samuel Slater (Disciple)
No working internet link available (pm if you would like it typed up as i have a hard copy)

Just a reminder that the American edits of both Jump London and Jump Britain have footage of American traceurs in them.  I do not have a list of every traceur that was in the footage that they aired, however I know that from the MD, DC, VA area Akh Horus, Gear, Disciple, and Quetzalcoatl are seen.

Pics & Vids / Re: Texas News Story
« on: December 12, 2005, 04:04:34 PM »
Mr. Willis, I do not consider myself a Disciple of Parkour.  I am not sure where you wanted to go with that question, however I appreciate the interest in my name. I think you and Mr. Deft need to take a breath and realize that nobody is attacking you and what you do personally.  We are only attempting to help and give advice for future reference.  The discussion was not Klaymen or myself or anyone trying to put you down for what you did, because when it comes down to it, getting information out to the public is a good thing.  The only thing that worries people is when the information is not correct.  As an individual in contact with the media you do not represent only yourselves when you discuss "Parkour", but you you represent all practitioners of the art.  Yes there are subdivisions of the art or off shoots or whatever you wish to call them, and it is fine to practice them, however one must be sure that they are represented as just that.  I enjoy doing flips, however when an individual asks me about Parkour, I am careful to describe the art just as David Belle describes it on PAWA's website.  I will tell people that flips are fun, and I do them every once and a while, however they are not part of Parkour.  I might mention FRPK and tricking if the individual insists on discussing flips, but I do not want to misrepresent Parkour.  Now there is a difference between footage that is given to the public and footage that is posted here on the forums.  Most footage here, as stated is footage of people training and it is usually not labeled as purely being of Parkour.  Even if it is and the actions therein are not of Parkour, the individuals here viewing them have already hopefully done a little research around the site and begun to formulate what Parkour is. Your footage was captured for the sole purpose of being shown to the public and therefor the definition of the images there in must be a clear and precise one.  For people watching that footage on television, that could be the only thing they associate with the word Parkour.

I am not sure if you have taken any martial arts, however I can create a parallel for you using them.  Currently there is a new sport martial art called Xtreme Martial Arts or XMA.  This new sport takes the traditional martial arts and adds to them gymnastics and breakdancing motions along with fancy costumes in order to create a more entertaining, exciting, and popular spectacle for the public.  The practitioners of this sport do not however confuse the XMA with a traditional art such as Wu Shu or Tae Kwon Do or Hap Ki Do.  Despite the existence of similar movements in both the XMA and traditional Martial Arts, they are not the same thing.  To say that what is done in the XMA competitions is what all Martial arts is would be detrimental to people who practice traditional martial arts because the XMA is competition oriented and has less focus on tradition and discipline and personal development, and many martial arts don't utilize gymnastic elements. This is why people have reservations about your news article.  Misrepresentation of something is detrimental to the advancement of it, because it creates false images for the public to latch on to.  It might seem silly to tell a reporter about the division and separation between Parkour and tricking and FRPK, but it is important because if you do not tell people about it right away, you will have a harder time explaining the differences to them later on, as they will already have these ideas and images in their minds.

 In response to the on-line community not "flaming" the office parkour pictures, that is because those pictures were not circulated to the public stating "this is parkour".  If they had been then I could all but guarantee you that there would have been even more people saying that those images would be detrimental to spread of the image of Parkour because they promoted inappropriate use of private property as well as techniques that were "not parkour".

 Nobody is saying that people can't do these techniques, they are only asking that people who do them call them what they are so that they are not associated improperly with other arts.

I apologise to the members reading this post, as I know that I have been rather long winded. I feel that enough has been said on this topic, and it is clear that you are not going to change your stance on what you do, and I do not feel that anyone wants you to.  I simply hope that you realize that the name that you use to describe what it is that you do is important because the ramifications of your actions will not only be associated with you, but with what you profess to practice.

Pics & Vids / Re: Texas News Story
« on: December 11, 2005, 10:38:59 PM »
Matthew, I think you need to calm down.  You are reacting a little to personally to the comments made by Klaymen. He brought up some good points that were not meant to be harsh, but were for both your benefit and the benefit of any other individuals who might be approached by the media.  It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to brining attention to this art, especially when it is in its fledgling stages here in the United States.  That point made, I would also like to comment that for someone who frequents the boards as frequently as Klaymen does, to assume that he has not read or was not aware of your posts and topics on flips was rather pompous, and the way you invited him to read about your posts was rude and uncalled for.  Anyone who has been in the on-line Parkour community has been a part of or at least seen people discuss the topic of flips in Parkour.  Personally it seems to me that this "flip debate" is not really a debate.  When the originator of an art states that despite his use of acrobatics (flips) they are not considered "Le Parkour" then I would have to say that debating the topic is pointless personally.  It is for that reason that FRPK was created, for lack of a better word, by those running the Urban Freeflow website.  Therefor I am inclined to agree that a distinction must be made when speaking with the media.  In regards to your comment on telling one of your training partners that he could not do a certain drop, which from watching the video it seemed he shouldn't have, it would be in the best interest of the art for any practitioners to be sure that their friends did not perform any techniques for the media if those techniques and the images of them can be viewed as harmful.  If you are going to show someone fall, or if someone does during an interview, then show them how to perform the technique properly while the camera is still filming.  While the image may still be used, as you put it, to illustrate the danger of the art, the images of fellow practitioners taking the time to ensure others safety could speak volumes about the care and consideration taken within the Parkour community.  I am also shocked that you allowed other individuals who do not commonly practice Parkour to come to an open filming as there is obviously an elevated risk when they are practicing.  They will feel more pressure to do something that they are not prepared for than an avid traceur, especially if it could get them on television.  Yes, the spill shown was nothing too bad, i agree with you there, however its existence in the promotion of Parkour is counter productive to introducing the art to the community in a more positive light.

I apologise for taking up space on this tread on this topic, as I would applaud you for the piece and your attempt to advance Parkour in the eyes of the public, however when you decide to take an aggressive stance towards any constructive criticism that would not only help you in the future, but help others as they are approached by local media, I feel that something has to be said.

Parkour And Freerunning / Re: Future of Parkour story
« on: November 27, 2005, 07:05:47 PM »
I think the story already went a little too far.  Gear's ending did an excellent job of rounding it out, and I think that the story got to the point where we were trying far too hard.  There were too many characters introduced after a while, the story kinda jumped around (A LOT).  Generally, people wanted to take the story in too many directions, something I admit that I was guilty of.

In so far as publishing it, I think there was some effort made to do something along those lines, however I don't think that it was ever followed through with.  The problem with publishing is that it would have to be re-written and every contributer would have to be contacted to gain permission to alter any of their work, as well as to gain permission to use their characters and writings.  Although I don't think anyone trademarked any of the characters or had their work copywritten. 

My personal opinion, anyone who is inspired by this collection should start writing something.  Be inspired.  This collection already exists for those of us who care to read it, so lets just leave it be.

And if anyone should get that dollar, it should be Gear.

But I want the ice cream.

Welcome! / Re: Welcome Thread - New Members please announce here!
« on: November 14, 2005, 04:11:58 PM »
Handle: Disciple
Location: Glen Burnie, MD / Westminster, MD / Salisbury, MD
Affiliations: Train with Akh Horus of the MD/VA Band of Merry Men
Alias': UF - Baram Shin (status:inactive) / VA-Parkour - The Disciple

For those of you that know me, you know that this post is more than likely both a first ...

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