Bay Area Parkour

Train Hard - Stay Humble

From the post in the "resources" section:

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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.

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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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The danger of putting categories of "right" parkour and "wrong" parkour (whether or not it exists) is that many people will argue that in fact there are no established rules in parkour. While I strongly disapprove of this new show, it will be a lot harder to represent our ways of practicing parkour due to the fact that we are not on TV. As "entertaining" this new show will be, and as much as WFPF "[tries] like hell" to do it right, I don't believe this show will be agreeable to many practitioners' philosophy.

And playing on definitions for words such as "compete" seems more like an excuse rather than a viable "plus" to their position.
...well put!
I couldn't disagree more...
I envision a world where lots of people of all ages, gender, ethnicity and status train parkour together according to their skills, possibilities, and parkour intrinsic safety, longevity and utilitarian requirements.

I would like people to revolutionize jogging by going over obstacles more various, fun and challenging than just "distance"... doesn't mean that we should all become ultramarathon runners...

Imagine if masses of people could all practice peacefully together at gigantic spots, crowded by only traceurs, like multitudes of Tai Chi Chuan practitioners, only harmoniously disorganized and celebrating Movement...
We are on our way to achieving this now in this community!
I envision the exact same thing, and I think that it is not too far off. But that world won't be possible if we "advertise" parkour, and let companies spread the wrong ideas about it. We should look to find new practitioners, but we need to make sure that they will add to our community, not take away from it. Let's face it: there are people who we don't want people to think of when they think of parkour.
...those people are NEVER going to be practicing parkour, that's only what they may call it.
And only if we allow it...

If they should really be interested in start practicing parkour, THEY are gonna change, not parkour, and then it would be fine for other people to think about them, when thinking about parkour...
;)
Ladies and Gentlemen!
And now, for the beginning of the end of this upcoming "show", please check with me the following First Delirium.
It's free and you will laugh, I promise...

"MTV is filming "PARKOUR" ULTIMATE CHASE Special in Los Angeles hosted by professional snowboarder Todd Richards and MTV's own Nitro Circus member Andy Bell-- Get FREE tickets to attend.

Are you a huge "Parkour" fan and want to attend MTV's Parkour Special "ULTIMATE CHASE" hosted by Todd Richards? As seen in the opening scene in JAMES BOND movie Casino Royal. If you love stunts preformed right in front your eyes and want to be a part of the actual set then this show will blow your mind. YOU CAN NOT BE AFRAID OF HEIGHTS TO APPLY. 2 teams of Professional Parkour stunt guys will complete in competition right in front your eyes

For FREE tickets go to www.ONSETPRODUCTIONS.com to apply. Click on the MTV Parkour logo and sign up. After you sign up, make sure to request tickets to the date you want to attend. MTV will NOT provide travel to this event. Read below the definition for Parkour.

WHAT IS PARKOUR?
PARKOUR- Parkour is a "movement" more akin to a religion (or martial art). And like many religions, most followers of Parkour take it fairly seriously. Part daredevil, Part Special Forces. Born in the suburbs of Paris and having evolved from Military training techniques Parkour turns the urban jungle into a playground. Moving as quickly and efficiently on, thru, over and around anything and everything in one's path. Walls, Stairs, cars, rooftop are all part of your course. Expanding from Parkour, Freerunning emphasizes the creativity and acrobatics of movement in the very same setting.
"
[source of the masterpiece: MTV!]

ROFL!
:D
Let's see what the people on SFPK who think that the mission of the WFPF is to advance parkour and freerunning have to say about this...
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We need some people over there to bring some "Pro parkour, against competition" signs or something. Jeez.....
I'll add one to my signature.

Maybe the websites shouldn't have split. We would have more sensible people over there. lol Of course I am just kidding, but I am really frustrated with how none of them seem to understand that the mission of the WFPF is nOT to advance parkour and freerunning.
I meant some people at the actual event educating people. The facepalm was directed at the MTV statement.
Oh. I see.

SFPK needs them too, though lol.

We do need some people to go and protest though! haha I might actually look into it. That would be pretty cool.

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