Bay Area Parkour

Train Hard - Stay Humble

From the post in the "resources" section:


Dear BApk members,

We would like to inform you about an upcoming event that may shape the public perception of our discipline. This may affect current practitioners in their daily conversations about parkour, but more importantly it will affect the mindsets of would-be practitioners, general public, media and authorities. If you have been with us for a while or have read through our documents, you already have a good idea how we feel about this. However, rather than preach to you we thought it best to give you the details so that you can make an informed judgment.

This month production begins on a MTV television series called "The Ultimate Chase" that will attempt to portray parkour and freerunning. As the title describes, the series will set well known practitioners (Danny Illabaca, Ryan Doyle, Oleg Vorslav) as well as lesser known practitioners (Brian Orosco) against each other on an obstacle course. "The Ultimate Chase" which will be introduced by a one hour special will feature both man vs. man and man vs. course events.

The show is the brainchild of a few entertainment professionals who formed the "World Freerunning and Parkour Federation" (WFPF) by signing athletes from around the world who were trying to break into the entertainment industry. Televised obstacle courses have been around for some time, but this rebranding for English audiences will take advantage of the popularity of the disciplines of parkour and freerunning. The WFPF claims their competition remains true to the philosophies of both parkour and freerunning which were founded and defined as non-competitive disciplines.

While their audience will consist largely of non-practitioners, the WFPF has worked closely with practitioners to form a palatable marketing strategy for the existing community. It is their position that competition is the inevitable future of a discipline which is practiced by tens of thousands world wide in a non-competitive fashion. While this may seem illogical, their position comes into focus when considering the money involved. It is virtually impossible to make money off of parkour in its current non-competitive format. It cannot be argued that a competitive format is more lucrative. This 'inevitability' stance has been trumpeted for the past several years only by those interested in profiting off the community (i.e.: Mark Toorock of APK, and Paul Corkery of UFF), but was shot down by a global movement which popularized such slogans as "Pro Parkour, Against Competition" and "Competition is not inevitable, it is just another obstacle!" To further satisfy the non-competitive community the WFPF claims all competitors will strive together in a communal fashion. However, they diverge from the community theme when they claim on their website to be a "Federation for the teams". The global parkour scene is not made up of teams, which are generally viewed as a means to further careers in the entertainment industry, but rather all-inclusive communities that foster the utilitarian parkour philosophy.

While the WFPF has taken a direct page out of the APK/UFF playbook, they are not collaborating with the two organizations since initial discussions turned sour. Both APK/UFF and WFPF camps claim the opposition is taking advantage of their athletes. Although some WFPF signees are rumored to be unhappy with their contracts, for those willing to partake in a competition labeled as parkour the partnership with WFPF seems like a step in the right direction in terms of safety. The industry professionals will be using the UFF Barclaycard competition as an example of what not to do. At the aforementioned event there was only one medic on site when an athlete was seriously injured, and required emergency treatment. The entire event had to be put on hold until the medic returned to a jeering crowd and uneasy participants.

Here is the first press release from the WFPF. Hopefully you feel we gave you some intelligent insight on this upcoming event, and can make more informed decisions about it.


I'm willing to do everything in my power to fight AGAINST this. I will be starting a group soon for this purpose. Stay tuned for more details.

Let's at least try to minimize the effects of this problem.

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you have to remember that these guys are part of REAL communities and do REAL training all year long.


They do 2 weeks worth of filming during a gig to be able to live the lifestyle of Parkour to the fullest, and everyone jumps on them about how the dudes are ruining it.


TV shows and media build off progression just like anyone (communities included) else.  This may be a step towards that ultimate progression, even if it isnt the best.  


I think alot of it stems from the fact that the people that hate competitions and media also dont like tempest, tribe, pk miami.....  so of course they wont be fond of it.


and that full/screwdriver to roll was amazing.  nobody around us has that type of control or flow.

Is there any reason for this? Who does it benefit?

People who want parkour to become something larger than "14 year old kids jumping around in a park".


It introduced parkour and freerunning to more people in 30 seconds than you or I will our entire lives.  Completely clean performance.   


Good luck with the SOLO training.

This was actually a response to the video a couple pages back (check the indentation)


as for jump city, i have no clue what it is, but it looks better than the ultimate parkour competition thing.


I don't train anymore. ;( Still plenty useful though. It looks like things are going pretty well around here too. Good luck.


Firstly, i want to clarify, that the original post was about mtv's show but now i'm assuming we're talking about jump city. Going on that assumption:

I think that a parkour competition would be very hard because many people share different definitions of what parkour is. Some say it's overcoming obstacles as effeciently as possible, while some say it's creatively overcoming obstacles, while others don't even bother with definitions and just go outside and have fun. With such variety competitions will always be making someone upset. I saw jump city and it seemed like they at least tried to please everyone.

If you strongly stand against competition then you may not appreciate it as i did, but i think that speed courses are incredibly interesting to watch and seeing how each person chooses to move due to their strengths, and which way is fastest is intriguing to me. I'm always curious as to how i would do it. So in that sense I think the speed round was really nice.

I think the other part of the competition was mostly for those others. The ones who want to see big impressive movements. That's the kind of thing they can put in the trailer to try to draw a crowd. I think that's their main purpose, but i enjoy watching those as well. It shows the way each practitioner see's his environment and it also shows a bit of how they train, sure they know they need to be "impressive" but i think that their individual style will always come out to a point, some more than others.

I think there is one thing common in all the definitions. We all love to set challenging goals for ourselves and achieve them. That is how we progress. Whether that goal is to do a simple movement smoothly and always without fail, or to do some sort of complex movement for the first time. I think that at least the people in these shows can be respected by their progress, they have clearly accomplished many of their goals, even if those goals are different from your own.

This show and the new version of ninja warrior have almost doubled the enrollment of CFM's parkour classes in the last month.


How many future members of BAPK do you think might be inspired to start for the same reason?


but you guys are right nobody but those who already know about it from the cool old school times should totally not share it with anybody else,  much less make a tv show that will get people interested and training.  


Stop pretending to be an authority and think back to when you were first inspired to start.


Thats why we support this, not because we are all fueled by the madness of competition.

I posted this on another forum already, but i was just watching a rollerblading documentary, and this was a quote about when roller blading first went into the x games.  Kind of a similar situation and i think it compliments what ryan's trying to say.  Also it's just interesting.


"there is no better recruiting tool than something that goes out to millions of people, it may not be the most credible thing, but that's our job. Once they get exposed to it we gotta be there to catch them, let them come into our culture, and then let them sort of get an education."

Thanks Christian,

you are right about trying to catch newcomers and support their real-world initiation to parkour; that's what PKNA, APK, PKCali, BApk and other forums suggested and started doing already at the the "Ultimate Parkour Challenge" times.

That is why we welcome "Jump City" viewers on the home page, re-routing them eventually here.


The reasons why the founders of this group don't support commercialized competition are listed here: BApk and competition.


Nobody needs to agree with the founders of this group to train parkour, train with them, or be a user of this website (of course!).

That is exactly my point- I don't think parkour is prepared for the growth that the spectacles may inspire.

Do you mean you don't think the communities are ready to take in many potentially "ignorant" people?

Cause I think if people ever actually do train with the communities they catch on pretty quickly.


@SafeNSure Thanks, I didn't see that page.  And sadly i haven't really trained with too many people on this site, maybe i'll make a post to one of the jams i've been going to, to see if anyone wants to come train.

I'm focusing more on whether the communities are ready than the state of those coming into the community. New and potential members are by their nature ignorant, but that's not a judgement- like developing a beginner's mind, ideally that means they come in without preconceptions rather than retain a mindset against learning.


Learning to teach and coach has inevitable missteps just like learning anything else, but I am concerned that in the rush to meet these newcomers, we look to anyone who is willing to teach instead of developing qualified teachers. That's not a call for a formal certification body, just for higher standards in understanding of parkour- the physical and mental aspects equally- and not ust willingness and having been doing parkour for longer or having bigger moves than the trainee.


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