Headway PArkour Blog
Red Bull Art Of Motion has come and gone and we are left with another chapter in the history of Parkour. This year was quite interesting and I would love to tell you all about it, but I recommend you check it out here and come back after you finish. The point of this article is not to recap the details of the event, instead I will be analyzing AOM (Art Of Motion) as a whole and sharing my thoughts on competitions in general.
I am assuming that you now hold a basic understanding of AOM and how it operates, for this reason I will not bore you with the all of the info that can be conveniently found on the event page of Red Bull’s site. I was not a participant in this event (clearly) so I can not give an accurate description of what it was like for the athletes. From what I have heard, they all had loads of fun and think it was all fair and just, I agree. I am going to try to keep this conversation unbiased by revealing both sides, positive and negative.
The aim of AOM could be argued for an entire fortnight and we still wouldn't come to a decisive conclusion. To some it is a way to publicize Parkour, to others it is simply a form of entertainment, and for many of the athletes, it is a reward for all of the hours of training which they have put in over the years past. In spite of all the different sentiments I think we can all agree that these athletes are phenomenal, they provide true inspiration for any upcoming Traceur. I think you should form your own opinion about the motives of this event, after all I am not here to preach to you. Truly, It all depends on which angle you observe it from. Case in point: the motives of a greedy businessman who helped to plan this event will be much different than the motives of someone like Ryan Doyle who is doing it for the love of the art.
Are competitions proper for Parkour? In some ways, yes; In other ways, no. Competitions are exceptionally fun for the athletes, the viewers, and the event planners, a win win right? Competitions will surely move the community forward by inspiring many kids and adults alike. But are they being inspired for the right reasons? I’m not so sure. The aim of Parkour should not be solely competitions. Unfortunately, to the untrained eye events such as AOM make it seem like these athletes have waited their whole lives for this one moment. Which just isn’t true; It’s about the journey not the destination. Occasions like AOM may be the highlight of a Traceurs career, but they are not the focal point (at least in the mind of the Traceur). If a Traceur isn't enjoying the journey, he will surely be disappointed with the destination. Post Olympic depression illustrates my point quite nicely. These athletes train their whole life with one goal in mind: The Olympic Games. After devoting their entirety to being the best they can be, they reach their destination. Of course they are ecstatic, they finally made it! But after the event is over and the crowds have disseminated they lose all purpose, sad isn’t it? It goes without saying that the comparison between AOM and the Olympics is largely exaggerated; Yet it is decidedly important for you to grasp that this is an immensely accurate comparison. Never has there been a single event that has fully paid off years of painstaking sacrifice. This is not to say that years of painstaking sacrifice are a waste of time, in fact it is the exact opposite. Years of sacrifice are exactly what you need if you intent to reach your life goals, just make sure your goals are sustainable and are not summed up in a single definitive event. All of the participants who took part in this year’s AOM have many more goals aside from this one occasion, they continue to be hungry and foolish, you should too. It’s worth mentioning that 90% of all famous Traceurs we know today began their training when there was no possibility of a career from Parkour. This means they were doing what they loved simply to enjoy the journey, they were not focusing too much on the destination. To sum up: I think competitions are great as long as they are not the cornerstone of the Traceur’s career.
AOM is the ideal event to showcase the beauty and miscellany in our community. There are so many different styles out there and it is wonderful to see them all come together. From capoeira to martial arts to gymnastics, it’s all there. There is somewhat of a dance going on between the Traceurs and the course, it is in perfect harmony and is delightful to watch. If you are a regular viewer of AOM you get to see the progression with these athletes, every year they get better and better, their styles also become more unique as time goes on.
I always try to impart a positive message to you through my articles; The message in this article is simple: do what you love, enjoy the journey, and make it last as long as possible. Live life to the fullest with your friends and don’t worry too much about the details. There are always going to be those people who think what you are doing is wrong, don’t pay them any attention. Chase your dreams and don't ever back down.
Photographers: Predrag Vuckovic, Stefan Aufschnaite, Samo Vidic