...unfortunately mainly freerunning (thus using a paraphrase: parkour in the minds, and freerunning in the facts...), but nevertheless interesting to see how they have been able to pull out a ("loved it!" or "hated it!"...) World Free Running Championships (read the somehow heated discussion atPKNA), and a Freerun Zone at the Mayor's Thames Summer Festival.
"Highlights" of the competition below (note the injury at 0:19)
Now aside of the PK/FR speculation, the pk-commercialization (w/o a sponsor like Barclay card, and a business like Ultra Freeflow, this wouldn't have happened... in a good and a bad sense...), and the anti-competition issue, I believe there's a lot that can be learned in terms of communication, presentation, PR and event preparation... one would hope with the right mindset and philosophy...
It's in this spirit (beside for your PK info) that I open this discussion.
"It's things like, "Pip's whole last run was on a sprained ankle" and, "THAT WAS SIIIICCCKKKK, NOW I HAVE TO STEP IT UP!!!!!" that bother me. Those are the real dangers of competition. It's getting caught up in the "go big or go home" mindset that leads to early retirement.
Like Animus said, it's just another loophole to exploit our art. How was this any different than a tricking competition? The difference is that they are calling it Free Running to ride the wave of popularity brought on by Parkour."
A strong opinion, but with a lot of good thinking behind...
So from this event what I learn is that freerunning is takes elements of b-boying, gymnastics and tricking, sucking at them, then making up a new "sport" to vie for some tv/internet notoriety and maybe some free clothes. If this were my introduction to freerunning and parkour, I would think it's lamer than triathlon.
The distinction in the Media between PK and freerunning it's a complicated one, also because -as it has rightly been pointed out often- "the crucial point is to get members of the community aware that PK and FR are two different practices. Otherwise, we'll just have members running around practicing FR and calling it PK, and viceversa...".
And my most recent -provocative- suggestion has been: "...let's stop talking about freerunning on ParKour [websites]; let's help hardcore, flashy, competitive freerunners build FreeRunning online forum, and then:
- talk PK here,
- FR there,
- friendship allover,
- while undecided attend both."
Through the years skiers publications saw the rise of snowboard ones, and windsurfing media shot off kitesurfing media.... road-biking "let" MBK have their space, a.s.o....
"Guess what? When there's an [equipment] market and commercial interests, segmentation happens "organically".
But Adidas with their "Traceur", or 5:10 with the "Freerunner" are not going to define and segment us, because they prefer to take as much as they can of the (still) little pie..."
As you noticed, "Foucan uses the two terms w/o distinction, even if performing parkour for the 007 chase, and freerunning for most K-swiss ads... I doubt that he can't tell the difference.". Nevertheless "Everybody (!) seems to agree that at the "World Free Running Championships", they are in fact practicing freerunning, thus, not and different from Parkour."
So, "maybe we will have to do it ourselves. Maybe it's happening as we speak..."
[whole thread at PKNA]
If you noticed, that's what's happening on THIS community forum...