Friday, November 16, 2012

A Call To Arms

(Click to read this article in ItalianSpanish, German, Portuguese, French, Greek or Bahasa Indonesia.)

When did a 30 metre traverse with a kid hanging off your back become less important than some 18ft jump between two sheds with a 'sandpit landing'?
I don't give a damn about your long and loud strides, that 43 year old guy over there is twice your age, twice as strong.. and just dropped from 2 metres and didn't make a sound.




The things that should matter in Parkour, do not - and the things that are widely considered impressive are not, after you scratch the surface. Our value system is being corrupted. 

I try to look at Parkour from a neutral point of view sometimes, as if I had never heard of it before.

What would I think if I found it now as a 17 year old, in late 2012? I imagine I'd think it looked like fun and I'd probably find myself being drawn to a part of it but I'd see something very different from what I saw nine years ago and I know it wouldn't appeal to me as much as it did then.

If you finish this article and believe in the values I believe are to be found in Parkour then you will hopefully agree that if we don't make more effort to share them, then they will be lost. Newcomers will just see big jumps and not an accessible and extremely versatile practice for anyone with a desire to challenge, test and better themselves.


What I saw in Parkour in 2003, at 17:
  • An elite few with a quality of movement and attention to detail in every action that is only achievable through thousands of hours of deliberate practice and training.
  • An unyielding warrior-like spirit in training and in approach to any challenge faced, whether physical, technical or mental.
  • A flourishing, positive community inspired by those who went before them.
  • A system of training and a community that valued all aspects of Parkour equally, and a collective consciousness interested in the practice of Parkour for a lifetime, not just a few months.

What I see in 2012, at 26:
  • A massive increase in the amount of people training around the world.
  • Big jumps.
  • Bad landings.
  • Competitions.
  • A precious few holding on to the old ways and doubting their reasons for doing so...
  • and ultimately, a shift in what is valued in Parkour.

It is those precious few and the shift in what is valued that I care about most.

I'm responsible for letting this shift happen unchallenged, as much as everyone else is from 'my generation'. We all stood by and let Parkour evolve and change and grow on the Internet without standing up and saying, "Wait a minute, that's nice.. but what about all of the other parts of Parkour I fell in love with? Where are they?"

I try to coach with these values I'm talking about in mind when I work with others and I know a lot of experienced men and women do the same, but it's not really enough to keep these values that some of us hold so dear contained to some Parkour classes in a few cities around the world. There is a need to show this on a bigger scale if we are to keep them alive, and more importantly we need to make a big enough statement that we can be found by those coming to Parkour for the first time looking for more than big jumps.

In the past few years, instead of holding on tight and believing in what we valued and appreciated in Parkour when we first found it, day-by-day, video-by-video our value system is being corrupted and even those few people who still believe Parkour is for everyone can end up feeling like they're falling behind in their training, not as good as this new guy, or that new guy because they can make that jump and you don't think you can, or maybe you don't even want to.

But if you remembered what it is you valued in the first place then you wouldn't care about not being able to jump as far as 'that new guy'. Remember what you once thought? What is any jump, great or small.. without a good landing? When did improving your climb up, your handstand push-up, your max squat, your quadrupedie and your dead-hang record become less satisfying than improving your running jump..?

I've seen groups of people training together and giving funny looks to the one dude in the background busting his ass with a weighted jacket trying to make his pull-up stronger. When did what he's doing become an inferior part of Parkour?

Physical challenges are nothing new in the Parkour world. For as long as there has been Parkour, physical challenges have been a part of it. In fact, as some of you will be well aware, long before the jumps took the spotlight, physical challenges were Parkour.

Not so much any more. Physical challenges (and hell, even physical training) are the endangered species of Parkour.



With a shift in emphasis over the past few years Parkour is no longer the perfect testing ground for finding out what a person is made of physically, technically, mentally.. and emotionally.
It is no longer about seeing if you can run to another town and back on an adventure before sunset, no longer about whether you can push that old car up the hill with the friends you have laughed and cried with all day.. and no longer about seeing value in being able to jump in to a wet tree in case you ever had to rescue one of those friends who was stuck in one.

It is now largely seen as a stage for the talented, an opportunity for people to show the world how they can jump further than everyone else, and how they flew half way across the world to do the same jump that some other guy did in that video he made last year, but wait, you can side-flip out of it.

I see competitions where the world's 'best Parkour athletes' and 'world champions' manage 37 seconds of running around trying to do something more impressive than the guy before him before the time runs out, or before they run out of stamina. 37 seconds of mediocre performance? I've known and trained with men and women who could last 37 minutes at that level of intensity.

Who let this bullshit creep in uncontested? When did this become such a focus? When did jumping further than someone else hold such value in Parkour? When did going to a spot and trying to replicate a movement someone else did become the goal? I hate to say it but we let this bullshit creep in. The day we began to doubt ourselves and wonder whether having a big jump might be important.

Here is Jesse Owens jumping 26ft (and 5/8ths of an inch) in 1936, Berlin, Germany...



That is a huge jump even by today's standards and advanced training methodologies.. and that jump is far, far further than any Parkour practitioner has ever jumped between two walls. So why is the Parkour community (and indeed the world) so impressed when someone jumps 18ft between two sheds and crumples as if there was a sandpit like the one Jesse landed in on the far side? Is it because they were brave enough to do it over a gap? In too many cases their fear of falling is only defeated by the thought of being immortalised on YouTube in front of thousands of people in their pyjamas. Is that your idea of bravery? If it is, please close this page now for there is nothing here for you.

But having a personal and worthwhile reason to do a jump with inherent risks to prove something to yourself and to overcome your own apprehension and doubts, to act when everything inside you wants to shut down and go home JUST to improve yourself shows courage and resolve.. and these are some of the very values Parkour was built on. The very same values disappearing before our eyes. Running and pushing as hard as you can hoping to make the other side for the Internet or because your friend did it only shows recklessness and promises a short lifespan in Parkour.

I'd like to think that the majority of people reading this will agree that Parkour is just not Parkour without some of these values. Values like courage, resolve, endurance, strength, discipline, dedication and longevity. Values like humility, and altruism. Integrity.

There are many ways that we can help to positively channel the future of the discipline but refusing to allow values like these to be lost to the practice is a good start, and an easy place to start.

We can inspire the next generation of practitioners and allow them to see that Parkour is more than big jumps by not letting our opinions lie dormant.

Comment on videos, upload your own, write articles, coach, talk, travel and train the way you believe Parkour should be trained and let people see that side of it wherever you go. Represent it. Be it.

These values don't have to manifest themselves as challenges like those I mentioned earlier, but ultimately the only way we can significantly grow is to face hardship and adapt to overcome it. This might be in the form of 'breaking' a jump, in doing something that scares you because you believe it is worth the risk to overcome your fear and test your ability.


Maybe it will be technical. Maybe it'll be repeating a running jump to a thin railing and trying to land it perfectly 3 times in a row. 10 times in a row. 50.

Or perhaps it will be a physical challenge after all. Perhaps you will take one of your favourite exercises and test yourself and see how far you can take it. See how many repetitions you can do in 10 minutes or how much more weight you can lift after 6 months of dedicated training in it.


It doesn't really matter what the challenge is, what matters is that you face challenges regularly if you really want to test yourself and see what you are made of. This confrontation and will to overcome challenge is the heart of the beast that is Parkour and it is beating more slowly with each passing year in the community. But it is this regular exposure to challenges such as these that builds and instils these values in people.

What people don't seem to realise is that the 19 year old kid who can jump 18ft between those two walls after one year of training will more than likely not be here in a few years. Very few people last more than a handful of years in this game, either due to injury, fading interest or countless other obstacles. So whilst what he's doing is impressive, yes.. what you are training to do, 'to be and to last', for the next 10 years, 20 years... and more, still strong, still progressing, still training and enjoying Parkour.. is much more impressive to me. These are the values and the goals that impressed me about those elite few I mentioned before and these are the things I will not see lost as the years pass.

Don't apologise for the values you believe in and most importantly don't allow Parkour to lose them if you do believe in them. Parkour will evolve and become what it will in the public eye, but hold on tight to that which you consider important because you are not alone.
Don't let it die or the next generation might never see or experience what you saw and did when you found Parkour. Let challenge and longevity shape your training, your goals and your motivations. Set your own personal challenges, even some that might be impossible, for even in those you will learn a lot. Remember a challenge is not a challenge if you know you can make it. Push the envelope, invite doubt and disbelief in like old enemies and make them your friends. Face seemingly insurmountable odds, often.. and you will grow to be a stronger person.

If you want to repeat that little jump at an angle to a moss covered wall all day until you can do it with your eyes closed.. well my friend, you are not alone. I want to repeat that jump with you. But let's do 50, just to be sure. And one more for the others who can't join us. That'll do us both more good than that big roof gap whilst you hold the camera.

We are the minority now, but together we are still an influential percentage of those who say they practice Parkour. We can still let our message be heard for all of those coming to Parkour now, and in the next few years.

This is a call to arms for those I still consider to be the vanguard of Parkour. The time is now. Make a difference by showing and sharing and being the other sides of Parkour that you know and love. The sides that some would see forgotten as the discipline grows.






Blane

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your inspiring words. It's nice to read that we are not alone with the idea.

ParkourSTUTTGART (GER)

Sean Rogers said...

Epic post Blane! Read it the moment I saw it pop up in my RSS feed. I need to train some more with PKGen next time I end up in London.

émon said...

Thanks for the reminder. :)

James Winter said...

As someone who used to be very interested in Parkour I have a question for you. Are you against competitions as a whole or just the current form? Is there any form of competition you would consider supporting?

tiamotiodio said...

humilty is lost. Money and fame did the bad jobs i think...

I really agree with your article! And I enjoy Parkour generation for sharing the old values.

Just a last thing, I would appreciate to see in traceurs a better warrior spirit, where a warrior is that kind of man that want to use his power (mental and physical)to help people and help this world with the right principles. This is a thing that is very rare, like see traceurs cleaning the spots.

I'm sorry for my bad english, I hope you understood. :-P

tiamotiodio said...

I really agree with this article.

I think that 2 are the things traceurs are loosing in the way:

1- Humilty: Money and Fame made the bad job about it.

2- Warrior spirit: I would appreciate to see more of this in traceurs. Parkour is seen more and more as a way to revolt to rule and not a way to "Rise and shine" in the world. A real warrior is he who use his power (mental and physical one) to help people and help the world with his good principles.

Sorry for my bad english.

Parkour Mumbai said...

Fully agree with you, Blane.

Ivan said...

Now that came from the heart. Nice text. Those ideas are shared by a few of us, but we're overwhelmed by the numbers.
Peace from France.
Keep training.

Parkour said...

Glad to see a fellow veteran. I too have been training since 2003 but only started taking it very seriously around 2005. I must admit at points I have given in to a few losses of values for sake of acceptance in the negatively changing community. For the most part though I have been growing increasingly depressed by and disappointed in the direction of the modern community and training methods. I remember when I began training much of the community was a proponent of learning to run 5 miles straight before learning anything more complex. I have gotten very tired of fighting this same fight for the values of parkour and finding myself fighting an uphill battle with hundreds of practitioners very loudly standing against me... and with strength in numbers the young ones tend to follow the majority. I am at least very glad to know I am not alone in my fight. Thank you for writing this, and best of luck in your training and spreading the proper art of parkour. Hopefully one day we will meet and I can shake your hand.

Geremy Davis said...

I'm with you.
-Geremy D

Francesco Caban said...

The values of which I started Parkour. I may be a performer but I respect the methodology you speak of. To this day I have not forgotten several of your teachings. The time you told me if I let go of the low balcony we were climbing I had to imagine I would die and trust me I did imagine that and I did not let go even though my hands felt as if the skin was being torn from the muscle. when someone told you that some other guy had done a plyo jump straight over a railing at vauxaul and precisioned the lower wall upon landing and said "want to go try it?" you're response was "no thank you, it's not for me, not yet" Without hesitation you stood by what you felt was best for you. As a teacher and Practitioner I always respect you.

Francesco Caban

Live
Love
Inspire

Anonymous said...

I am 16. I've been in the parkour community for two years or so and I never really knew the "original" parkour you described in your article.

But saying that, I love this article and the way the mindset was in 2003. I don't really agree with those competitions, but that's not a big part of it. I'm going to re-read your article and really learn from it, and then implement the mindset in my own training. I really like this point: So whilst what he's doing is impressive, yes.. what you are training to do, 'to be and to last', for the next 10 years, 20 years... and more, still strong, still progressing, still training and enjoying Parkour.. is much more impressive to me.

That's something that changed my views. Thanks for the article :)

Ryan Ford said...

Good reminders for everyone!

LukeMC said...

Blane,

Thank you for writing this article. It feels like the sequel to your Dilution article from 2007, and equally important for the times. I've felt for a number of years that we've become a dying breed, but your post fills me with hope that there may yet remain some solidarity between the old guard, and with it, hope for the future. I'll be sure to do my part and represent Parkour as it was represented to me in my formative years. I wish you well!

Luke.

Anonymous said...

All this years Your articles give me more strengh to stay focused on our first viosion of Parkour, not to follow a wave of youtube superheroes who treats Parkour like another extreem sport, where good sampler is main goal... Good to see that there are more of us there. (Bart/Poland)

Chocco said...

Gracias por recordarme que somos pocos pero no estamos solos y podemos cambiar el panorama actual. Saludos desde Mexico

Erik Liljefors said...

I really liked reading your text, though I have to admit that I wouldn't have done so if not for Robin French of Uppsala Parkour directing us to it and recommending that we read it.

I have been training a bit more than two years now and am quickly progressing, but I also want to be able to do this until I'm old (40-50 and up). I guess there comes a time when I won't get better anymore, because of old age or something else, but that doesn't mean I will quit, it just means that I will have to change how I train. Instead of increasing my current records at that time I could try to maintain as much skill as possible and practise to become better in other ways that won't endanger the life of an old man. Luckily, Parkour is so diverse that won't those other ways won't be a problem.

What I like most about Parkour is the many uses it has. It makes you stronger, more dexterous and increases your stamina, but above all it gives you a multitude of choices. There is no use in doing the same few moves over a certain obstacle, it's better and more fun to mix it up. There is also no use in doing something in a way that can't be repeated hundreds of times with no bad results. I've come to realise that a 8.5 feet precision with awkward and loud landing is worse than doing a 6 or 7 feet precision where you land silently and are in control the whole time. If you're gonna do something, do it right.

Charles Messina said...

I love this article, your message is so true. I'm a 19 year old who started parkour with the original intentions of self improvement and gaining great strengths from parkour. before parkour I loved working out to develop my strengths and always will. But sometime throughout my training I got reckless, fearing that I will not be as good enough as the next guy, that I had to make that next jump. so a became really reckless and ended up injuring myself badly twice. Now i have grown out of that mentality and i believe in the "older generation" mentality. I love your message and hope help to bring back and keep the original mentality in parkour.

Anonymous said...

Great article! I stopped watching parkour videos quite a while ago, I just lost interest. Every new video was just about how this new guy can jump little higher/further than the one in the last video. Because of this I lost interest in parkour for some time, but the time away for parkour did me good in a sense, it kept me away from this wave of competition in parkour and now I still have the mindset I had when I first discovered parkour: improving yourself (and having fun while doing so). Also I never liked being filmed because I felt I was training for myself not for others to see. Anyway, keep up the great work and spread the word!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for saying what needed to be said...I miss the old Parkour...

What I find interesting, is the guys center stage right now (GUP, Storror, Farang, etc.) all are excellent in their technique (GUP have some of the best landings I've seen), I'd love to hear your opinion on that...They have the big jumps without the bad landings etc.


Love from Australia

Jump Squad said...

Respect Blane, keep holding it down.
While we embrace and foster the ridiculous talent of the new generations, we are with you in preserving Le Parkour.

Cristiano 'Glorfind3l' de Nunno said...

Wise words, and I agree with every words you said. I'm very happy a lot of new guys who start training with us are understanding the true values of Parkour as we teach them, as you thought us and we grew up with. We're with you, all of you.
Be strong, to be and to last.

Cristiano
MilanMonkeys/A.S.D. Parkour Milano
Italy

David Jones (D_Jones456) said...

I know it is contradictory to your priorities in training Parkour, but one of the biggest downfalls to the transformation was you and many others completely disappearing from the online community (in specific, videos).

If you truly believe that Parkour is taking a major step in the wrong direction, why don't you put out films like you used to, that inspired us "to be and to last".... It is seriously a great way to go about this, fight fire with fire if you must. It will reach the target audiences that are just getting started in PK, and will show them the proper way of training, etc.

Jean said...

I kind of feel in the "precious few holding on to the old ways and doubting their reasons for doing so...". Nice to see a post from you again Blane, specially these great words.

DPudds said...

Kia kaha my friend.

As an individual, it is very important to live out and pass on those values.

However...

The predominant method of coaching ("technique coaching" we'll call it) is ineffective in passing on the core values that you speak of, as it is concerned with positioning of the body, not key values that underpin the movements, bring motivation and keep momentum.

As a collective, (Parkour Generations for instance). Will you make the necessary changes to your methods of instruction so that those values are passed on to the following generations?

Will you amend your coaching qualification so that it also reflects this?

Power is nothing without control. Hundreds of people through your doors means nothing if you can't pass on the things that are important.

roojumpinman said...

AMEN BRUTHA. Parkour shouldn't ever be about taking risks, it should be about eliminating risks through progression/repetition. Thanks for the affirmation.

Jonathan Wright said...

So true, as an area organiser in South Africa, I see so many new people coming to practice, but no dedication. They want impressive big jumps without the detail and finesse and they want it within weeks. I have been training for 4 years and I still am no where near where I want to be. There is so much to learn, and not just physical, but also the mental side. And I see an elite few, and I some times wonder, are we alone? Unless we do some thing we will be alone and parkour will look alot like my government: corrupted to the highest levels as the "old guard" begin to die or fade out.

Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree with everything being said.

I too remember when big groups of people would group around that really small but tricky and technical and strength demanding jump or movement instead of trying to watch that one reckless kid do crappy stuff with crappy form and even crappier intentions.

But I think there is hope, especially some of the older (new) practitioners that are wise enough to forsee how a certain way of training will play out over time prefer to train for longevity versus short time gains and pains.

Greetings from Hamburg!

Piotrek Reczyński said...

"Comment on videos, upload your own, write articles,[...]"

Can't wait for your video, Chris... :)

Piotrek Reczyński said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I'm glad you're sticking up for this Blane but I think you're undervaluing the role of teachers and competitions in creating the shift you want to see.

If the current generation of early big jumpers isn't going to last long, where do you think the majority of the next generation with a longer view will come from? I feel it has to be from the experienced parkour instructors and leaders. As you've seen it's pretty rare for people to get a deep understanding of the parkour spirit just from watching videos and reading websites like you might have when you started. But with good guidance from an instructor it's not hard to reach that point. The most direct and sure transfer of good parkour values is going in a teacher-student type relationship.

Competitions are also a powerful force in that it's how a lot of people are being exposed to parkour nowadays and big money is started to be invested. A competition does not have to suck and be about pushing big moves, you can craft equally interesting competitions that test the physical and mental challenges you appreciate. Our popular ones here in Seattle are simple timed obstacle courses that reward speed, control, and smart decision making.

Boyan Tonkov - Bulgaria said...

Hello old friend.

Its been a while and this is exactly how i feel. When i was reading i felt you like captain America and the avengers. We should make "Traceurs Assemble" community. Just a thought. I got my sports club and yoga is my main thing along with qi gong, tai chi and some martial arts, but everyday i find an hour and a half to practice parkour like we used to back in the days, 300 precision jumps and all that. Thanks mate, keep it up, good luck with your training.

Frederik Agge Ronex said...

Working on it several times a week while instructing.
I'll be there for this call to arms.
Thank you for the inspiring call.
-Peace Out.
/Ronex.

Anonymous said...

I started training Parkour when I was 7 I'm now 12 and pretty good. When I started I was one of the first few people to join the group and because the group was small I learnt the values and disciplines. I'm a respected member of the group and friends with everyone and when I come to class they're all like hey look and catpass this wall and backflip out and I'm like cool story. Now I don't train with the class anymore but instead I train with my mates and I teach them the values and the true meaning of Parkour. One day I hope to go back to the class and become an instructor and teach the real meaning of Parkour :)

Mateus Cardoso said...

Perfect!!!
Great to know I'm not alone in the fight for the principles of Parkour ...
I live in Brazil and I know very well what is currently happening with parkour, with respect to this misunderstanding with what really matters and is useful in parkour... its values ​​and ideals that are being lost ...
I loved what you said in this article

Mateus Cardoso said...

Perfect!!!
Great to know I'm not alone in the fight for the principles of Parkour ...
I live in Brazil and I know very well what is currently happening with parkour, with respect to this misunderstanding with what really matters and is useful in parkour... its values ​​and ideals that are being lost ...
I loved what you said in this article...

Imran Ghani said...

Wow, this is such a huge eye-opener. I feel so bad now. The main reason I wanted to do Parkour was because I was always inspired by video games like Prince of Persia, Assassin's Creed, Mirror's Edge, etc. I always wanted to better myself and be like them someday. Now I feel like my values are corrupted :'(

Obsidian said...

Unfortunately, you are right about the way in which the general practice of parkour has changed over the last few years. The majority of people I see training now are doing something quite different to what I first started when I got into parkour. The image of parkour is being corrupted by the wrong people, who represent it through Youtube videos as being about big, impressive movements and crazy jumps. It's up to us as dedicated practitioners of the original art, to promote parkour in its true form, with a focus on progression through hard work, dedication and training. Long term goals, steady improvement and solid technique are what it's about. For many now, it has turned into a video making contest: 'let's see who can make the most impressive Youtube video, with crazy jumps and massive distances'. This is the opposite of what it should be about.

We can change the way parkour is practiced, for the better. It needs to start now!

Anonymous said...

I first learned of parkour from an internet video, and I thought parkour was a huge joke. I took my first parkour class with a friend so we could go do something silly as a one time only thing. We were wrong! That class was filled with so much conditioning, we walked away saying, "That is not what we expected! But man that was a great workout." Everything we did was aimed at personal growth and improvement and getting stronger. I signed up for weekly classes and I can say my coaches live by the principles you speak of in this article. And it is because of those principles that I continue practicing. I study parkour to see how much I can do, not to be better than the person next to me. My coaches foster such a supportive community. They balance challenging each person to push a little farther with encouraging people to do things at their own pace or level. I feel sorry for others who do not have the same experience.

Aramice said...

That's awesome Chris. These words and other actions will inspire the community and soon we will see great chsnges. I have to translate your message into russian
Thanks a lot

Rafaela Cappai said...

Thank you so much for this!
So much needed.
So inspiring!
Miss you guys!
A kiss to you and Shirley!
Rafa

Rafaela Cappai said...

Thank you so much for this!
So needed. So inspiring!
Thank you!
Miss you guys!
Kisses to you and Shirley from Brazil!
Rafa.

JJ said...

Thank you Blane!

Belle and you are my inspirations!!!

Att JJ from Brazil.

Toby Milington said...

Just read this and being part for the 'new' generation of Parkour this has totally changed my mindset when I train from now on, it's not about the biggest jumps, it's about knowing yourself.

Duddu Rocha said...

We have never met each other, but I want you to know you have my complete respect and a safe shelter in Brazil.

As you said, this was a call to arms. And I can assure you that a lot of people in brazilian parkour comunnity answer it.

Thank you for be what we believe in. We will try to keep up the good work and make you and everyone who believe in real Parkour proud of.

If you want to spread the portuguese version, make yourself at home: http://duddupk.blogspot.com.br/2012/11/um-chamado-luta-traducao-do-texto-do.html

See you in a hope-so-close future.

Pedro Santigas said...

Thank you for this Chris. I'm really happy right now.

Anonymous said...

I agree totally. Parkour is not about looking cool. Thanks Blane. (SA)

Rafe Kelley said...

I have to disagree, I think this is a case of lionizing the past and ignoring positive change.

I started in 2005 but looking back at videos and forum debates form earlier then that I feel confident assuming what I saw then was broadly true in 2003 as well

When I came into the scene

Terrible landings were very common, go look back at early UFF videos

People taking stupidly dangerously large jumps they weren't prepared for again common

A vague definition of parkour, parkour vs free running debates, communities splits and feuds(david vs yamak, seb vs david, UFF vs everbody, etc etc)

Its not say there were not special elements about that some of which have changed the people in parkour are different now more diverse which means in some ways the community ends up less tightly knit the flip side is that so many more people can benefit from parkour now. I am happy to be able share parkour with people who will never train with the same commitment as I am because it does touch their lives just like it touched mine even if not to the same degree.

I look at parkour community in 2012 and I see people pushing the limits of our movement capacity so far and far more safely then I thought possible a good climb up was the rarest of skills in 2005 in 2012 there common viewed as prerequestite to having a decent level. You talk about people not valuing squating now but when I trained with you 4 years ago you thought it was nonsense as did almost all of the parkour community where as know intelligent strength and conditioning is becoming more and more common.

You mention instilling values like courage, resolve, endurance, strength, discipline, dedication and longevity. Values like humility, and altruism and Integrity. I see those values being much more clearly articulated by leaders across the parkour community and I have people coming to me and taking about how parkour has helped them or their child develop those qualities every week.

I can't speak for whats going on in the UK but here in the Seattle parkour in 2012 feels like fruition of the potential of 2005 on level far greater that we could have even imagined.



Alex May said...

Blane, so true. I'm a practitioner of 2.5/3 years experience now coaching a small group at my university (I assisted with one of my ADAPT L1 hours at a class of yours this September) and I've been coming towards this realisation myself, influenced by your blog and PKGen. It's a good reminder not to worry about all the videos doing crazy stuff because they don't matter, we're each ourselves. I'll try to pass on these values to the guys I train with.

Thanks very much,
Alex

Rafael Barros said...

In my point of view, the values are not getting worse over time. Each person reflects his values in everything he do, and with Parkour, wouldn't be different.

So, what can each one do? We can be what we are. Everyone's attitude affects everyone else, and there is only one way we can go: to the better.

Anonymous said...

Greast post, as always. :)

Paul d.C. said...

Thank you for sharing such a good article. Inspiring and very thought-provoking.

Oh, and you are not alone. There's a lot more traucers that believe the same thing, but you're right in what you asked. These type of traucer should share more, talk more, say more, "show" more. The internet is big and still growing, so we need to let people know of strong values like these in every way it is possible, not just for the good practice of Parkour, but to let others know, that there's more to Parkour than a fancy move.

Thank you =)

2Gui said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAt4fKw_XjY

Damien said...

enough reading and thinking lets go training ;)

Venco said...

Last part of the article made my eyes wet. Lately I often doubted myself due to a slower progress. It will never happen again. Thank you.

Arktur said...

I always wanted to learn parkour partially because I would like to challenge myself to fly like a bird through our metropoli, but mostly because one day, a very bad day, I may really need it to help someone.

I always liked the mentality of it, to not let any obstacle defeat you. So I will start learning, but first I have to condition myself for the long road ahead.

Timur Nurutdinov said...

Thank you. Cant explain more.. Have to think it up.

You don't know me, and seems like will never know, but you are my friend because only friends can tell your the truth of yourself.

EastPhilly said...

I agree on many views. So many people not ask why people won't do certain things. Climb the side of a building, jump a roof gap, try some ridiculous movement. All I can say is, "what is that going to help me do?" and "The risk is too high... I'd rather have fun doing this small gap on the ground with almost 0% of injury rather than try something that has no real merit to parkour besides the 'I did that' factor that gets a lot of people hurt".

Mr.Happy said...

Wow, so nice to read this article, codus to you!
I'ma 50+ man who feel like 30 and try to live that way too, and I just started out with PK two years ago. It took me just a couple of months before I got my first serious injury (mostly because of wrong mindset), and that took me away from training for almost a year...
Getting well enough again to train and get in shape for action, I now a second time got some small injury in the same place as the first time. And that's what it took to get back on the ground, to find myself, to not compete anymore (with 14 year old kids...) and try to actually find and keep that balance of slow and safe improvement for myself, that indeed can let me keep doing this for the rest of my life (because it's the most fun thing I have found in my life (next to skateboard) that keeps al my senses alive and kicking!
I'm learning sooooooo much from doing PK, it's like the best personal development course ever, so I applaude you and your attitude and will keep the same and spread it. Thanks for all the reminders!!!
Greetings from Sweden!

Jiho Kim said...

Yes. Old school remain protector of original parkour training.

Adam Dunlap said...

What’s missing most of all is the warrior spirit. This is the rarest thing in the Parkour world today. It’s like an endangered species that is going extinct and there are only a few people left that understand it and can pass it on in the context of our discipline.

Some want “Parkour” to evolve and this is fine in a sense. Let people follow their own inspirations and desires to take and do with their movement what they want. The truth is Parkour hasn’t evolved and unless we learn to levitate it never will. The BBC jump approached the limit, and until someone does a front flip across that gap all the flips and twists with the label “Parkour” are the endless examples of a different spirit and a lack of understanding which has been brought under the same title. Obviously it’s confusing. Luckily there are a few, like Blane, who can still see through the fog.

Thank you for the article.

Alessandro Pennella said...

Hi Blane, this is the right link for the italian translation: http://www.rhizai.it/2.0/index.php?sezione=Blog&art=135

I hope to see you soon.
Thanks for all and take care of you.
Ax

SofianeCauseDestin said...

Thank's for article.

When I have beginning Parkour with Yamakasi founder (Yann Hnautra), i remember this values, this mental and i'm proud that people like you is always here and to keep real parkour.

Nb : Sorry for my english i'm french , i hope you understand

Anonymous said...

Yes, Blane. Thank you.