Headway PArkour Blog
Headway PArkour Blog
We all know how the public perceives our discipline. They label us as “Adrenaline Junkies”, “Daredevils”, “Hooligans”, etc. The problem is, we allow the media to do all the talking and that is why we are left with this negative representation of Parkour. How can you accurately talk about something you have never experienced? I propose that us Traceurs stand up for our discipline. We should take pride in what we do and ensure that the public receives an accurate and hopefully positive impression of Parkour.
Dispelling The Negativity.
Before we can assimilate a positive view of Parkour into the public, we must vanquish the adverse conception they now possess; The only way we can do this is by making sure that each and everyone we talk to has the proper idea of what we do. Even if you only inform one person of our art, it’s still progress. To paraphrase something I heard as a kid: each one of us alone is equivalent to a raindrop but together we can create a wave. A wave of people who understand our idée fixe.
Different Viewpoints To Spread
There are many different views which we can spread, some being more beneficial than others. In the following paragraphs I will be covering what I believe to be the six primary notions. It is up to you to choose which to spread and which to suppress.
I will start off with a very vile view which some of us spread. The “Elitist” view portrays us as gods who can’t be touched. Only a select few can do what we do, you must be in top physical condition and you can’t start after a certain age, the young will survive and the old will fall behind. Only those who live in busy cities will have enough training spots. Competitions are great because they weed out anyone who is not the best of the best. This obviously goes against many essential Parkour principals. unfortunately I see many Traceurs spreading this view whether it is intentional or not.
Anyone Can Do It
This explanation is the polar opposite of the prior mentioned elitist view. I hope to see more people spreading this view that emphasises fun and ease of access. A basic description: Anyone can train Parkour at any age in almost any location. Parkour is meant to be fun and is a great hobby! There is no need to train at heights, it’s all about becoming a better person. This description of Parkour may not be ideal for a serious Traceur but it works for the general population.
This description is derived from David Belle’s philosophy. You train Parkour to be strong and useful, it is not meant to be fun. Parkour is a hardcore discipline that is intended to be trained for a max of two years, then you go on living your life and use the lessons you learned from Parkour to overcome challenges. It should not be the focus of your life, you should use it to help people out and to prepare for any situation. We focus on progressing slowly, starting near to the ground and eventually moving to height. Small injuries are a given; if you don’t like pain, don’t do Parkour. Once again, not an ideal explanation for a hardcore traceur who loves to be creative. The David Belle description is apt for the survival fanatic.
Like a Sport
If I was ever relating Parkour to a school sport I would make use of the subsequent exposition: Parkour is a fun sport! We train regularly to improve, which is akin to how kids who partake in “normal” sports progress. Many of us are part of a team, we train together and meet up with other teams to make friends. Parkour is a peachy pastime that will undoubtedly have positive consequences on anyone involved. Our discipline is just as safe as things like football or soccer. You should try it! This description promotes competition and structure. Competitions are a somewhat controversial topic, and so is structured training for that matter. Use your discretion when deciding whether or not to use this explanation.
We truly are adrenaline junkies who love the rush of defying gravity. Our aim is to perform the sickest trick possible, we always want to be better than our friends. Red bull fuels us. We are all rebellious teens who need an outlet for our gobs of vigor (which will someday deplete and lead to unhappiness plus stagnation). Our sport is extremely dangerous, this is why we love it so much. Our favorite thing is jumping from rooftop to rooftop. No genuine Traceur will be pleased with this description, it is not an accurate portrayal of what we do.
A decently accurate notion we could spread happens to be based around how Parkour is our life, it is not a hobby (as mentioned in other descriptions) it is a lifestyle. We love it! Most of us have a sick obsession with our beautiful discipline. We plan on training for many years to come, that is why we don't take unnecessary risks. We use what we learn in Parkour to overcome any obstacle. We lust for progress and will sacrifice almost anything for our passion. Parkour occupies our thoughts 24/7. We train in many different environments, we attend jams and spend a large amount of our leisure time watching Parkour videos. This is the description best fit for a harcore Traceur
The Ideal Description
In all honesty there is no perfect description of what we do. I'm sure you can point out a few negative aspects for each of the aforementioned conceptions. that is why I am obligated to hand the baton to you, it is your job to come up with your own description of Parkour to spread. Your explanation must be personal to you as well as beneficial to our community. Feel free to draw from the somewhat cynical descriptions I have provided you with. In a later post I will go into more detail about tactics for explaining Parkour, keep a lookout for that. But I digress, I hope you have learned a thing or two today and wish you the best. Never forget: you are the future, you dictate where our discipline will be in the coming years.