A Very Important Discussion

"Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES." That's what was echoing through my mind while reading this quick little blog recently published by Stephane Vigroux (one of the first practitioners of parkour): http://asia.parkourgenerations.com/news/split-stephane-vigroux

Unfortunately, I doubt that very many will truly understand the meaning of what he is telling us here. Even fewer will actually do something about it or speak up.

I've had a HUGE problem with the way "parkour" has been growing here in the USA. It has been TERRIBLY misrepresented, abused, and the spirit of the discipline is non-existent in so many "parkour communities" and events like Red Bull's "Art of Motion". This problem I have had with the way the discipline is being misrepresented is exactly the reason that I am thinking about changing the name of Parkour Ways to something that doesn't use the word "parkour" in it. These newer groups, younger kids and the media are all ruining what parkour once was.

Competitions have no place in this discipline.

Parkour is not a way to show off (and neither is freerunning).

Parkour is not a means to defy laws or to be anti-social in any way.

Parkour is not about taking risks just for the sake of taking risks or to impress others.

Parkour is definitely not a way of getting more "likes" with a damn YouTube channel, no matter how good you are at making videos or doing "tricks" or "stunts".

Parkour is not about starting a fancy gym to make money (and a fancier gym doesn't make your "team" better, either).

Parkour is not about "teams" or pointless sponsorship for monetary or materialistic gain.

The reasons that I do not "do a flip" for you when you ask are:

1. I'm not a dog trained to do tricks for you on command.
2. Because I don't care about flips much at all.

I do not train flips, teach flips, or plan to teach flips any time in the near future because the word "parkour" has lost so much of its meaning that it is appalling to me.

Parkour has become a JOKE in this country. "Hardcore parkour!" is insulting and as much as I loved The Office, I hate what they did to the name with that episode. People refer to parkour as an "extreme sport". It is NOT extreme and it is NOT a sport.

I leave you with a quote from the aforementioned blog:

I've had a lot of time to observe it growing and evolving, and I came to the conclusion, and I can honestly say today, that the Redbullion crowd (a term coined by Sebastien Foucan to describe the virus that is diluting our movement) and those looking to show off are NOT doing parkour! They are NOT training the same discipline that we created in France all those years ago.

UPDATE: My response to a response to this blog - /parkourwaysblog/2013/11/response-to-response.html