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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I dont mean to sound like a di*k wad but, i dont know if any of you remember how it was for the first skateboardes. Having met some of the early on "Pros" (pre tony hawk era) i have understood that originally that sport was meant just for fun. But just like the human spirit competition is part of it. We all as humans thrive to be better and bolder. Its just part of our nature. Had we not wanted to be better and survie we would still be cavemen. And had we not want to be better there wouldnt be internet or cell phones with coverage in the freaking desert! Back to my main point commercial advertising and sponsering of skateboarding was initially rough. People getting hurt and sometimes killed from the crazy ass stunts being done. Any one know what the leap of faith is? its a 2 story drop that only one person has ever been able to walk away from. But now skateboarding is just old news. People dont even talk about it. i remember when the news had so many stories about how poor Dustin fell down and and craked his head or how poor Reece broke an ankle (dont even get me started on how its always a disaster when a WHITE kid gets hurt but not a latino or black kid) and now no one cares. How did the Skateboarding community benifit? I remember when i was skating we had one skatepark in the city. by daly city. And now they built one in the mission and theres many places where police wont harras skaters. Does any one stop to think "hey maybe we can benifit from media attention and commecialization? maybe in five or ten years there will be places for us in the world?" NO. You guys dont. All i hear is bitching and wyning about how the media is making us look bad. BOO freaking HOO! has enyone ever seen bowling for columbine? if you havent go and watch it. if you cant ill get it for you. DOsent it show us how the media in the US is always negative? how there is always an agenda between the news channels to fit? dont get me wrong i cringe at the sight of people getting hurt and the media playing it off at the fault of PK. I know how competition can damage our reputation. But thats evolution for ya. Did you all really think that PK was always going to stay the same as it was before. Id you did thet you arent as smart i thought you were. I ask you, how did you find out about PK? was it a friend? did you read this? did you watch it on youtube? cuz hey i proudly say that i found out because of youtube. And people heard it off the internet and the COMMERCIALIZATION! and that i first when to the SFPK community. I found out what they were about and then i saw BAPK and found out what we our about and i joined BAPK. Granted i feel like a part of you guys wether you want me here or not. Ive made quite a few friends here. And because i know im intelligent enough to realize the dangers and to weigh the outcomes i know this is a sport for me. I say let the media portray us as dangerous. Let dumb as kids come in and get hurt. Theres only one way to find out if your going to stay. Thats if you get hurt and get up again. I have and im still here. You have and your here. The media is only going to let our numbers grown and let them be cut. and eventually there will be some one thinking "lets get these crazy ass people somewhere to train that is slightly safer than where they are now." I doubt many of you will agree with me. But i do know that some of the people that will disagree have been know to talk about others in a demeaning way like "man he or she sucks. im way better" so i wouldnt really be hipocritical about things. Hate me if you want. kick me out if you want but ive finally said wat ive wanted to say for a long time. BTW if there is anything wrong with this post just remember its 6:30 and ive been working since 11pm last night and im very very tired since i only ever get 4 hrs of sleep max and work this shift 5 days a week.
quick reply:
- Bonez, I LOVE you! (seriously... I would have said "we", but who am I to talk for others..)
- dumb ass kids coming in shouldn't get hurt, because we should watch over them (we do that... YOU do that!...)
- dumb ass kids will hurt themselves being "dumb ass kids" by themselves, and screaming "PARKOUR!", and we are going to get blamed for it (it's happening...)
- you got hurt on your first day, because you were pretty much by yourself (you never got hurt again...knock on wood); I don't think that was particularly brave or hard-ass...
- you don't say why when you "saw BAPK and found out what we are about", you then "joined BAPK"... what did you find out?
- the point is that this discipline is for everybody and can be enjoyed by everybody, not only by wanna-be-rad male teenagers (exactly how many girls, or peeps in their 30s and 40s can you find in Skateparks?)... we WANT it for everybody!
- nice post, for being 6:30AM (which I call 6:30 in the night...)
;)
*applauds*

I really appreciate your just coming out and saying it - with this many people getting into it, there's going to be and there's going to be bad. Luckily we as individuals and as a community get to choose what to take from it.

Great entry, I love it.
Finally, and for the records, the last chapter of this painful, dividing discussion (not so much here, but around the national pk community).
For all those who were reserving their judgement, it's time to cast their vote now: thumb-up, or thumb-down?

Ladies and G., we give you:
Ultimate Parkour Challenge
The newest sports craze to hit America crashes at MTV!
i knew daniel ilabaca was gonna win off the bat... im glad a real tracure won not just a trixster...
He literally killed it in the (frankly not dangerous, and quite awesome) speed circuit... also Piptrix did.

Too bad somebody else almost killed himself, lol...

That happened only because of the pressure to outperform himself:
IMO, 'Danny' had still 5/10% of extra margin (which is what you need in parkour, since it is supposed to operate within "safety"), the other guy instead had to push himself 5/10% over his standard, to have any hope in competing... result: head/neck concussion.
The worst part of that show was the speed round. Not only was it the most unsafe, I honestly thought it wasn't very good tv. The vid section was a creative take on how to make pk/fr competitive and therefore more interesting. And the "open floor" section was way more fun to watch.

I decided they if they called it the Ultimate Freerunning Challenge, thereby removing the speed element, it would be significantly safer and still be a pretty entertaining show.


Anyway, that's my opinion, but I guess I'm not really your average sports spectator. I just hope that pk doesn't join the ranks of Nascar and hockey where most people watch to see the crash and burn, haha.
Oh! I was also really curious as to who was judging this thing.
Well... if you think about it the speed round was the most parkour nature of the whole show... all the other parts were both pk and fr mixed... i love the speed round... you have to think quick and just try and execute... in the real worl you have no time and you have to be quick... had you been the tracuse in the begigng of the stage and i was injured in the end of it and needed your attention i would hope that A) you called paramedics first. and B) you got there quick... as i would do for you.... lol LOVE YA!!!! (i would do this for everyone... with the exception of Gorgio... he can wait for the paramedics... no need to risck MY neck in saving him... LMAO love ya man!!!!)

From the looks of it JumpCity looks like it has way better production than the MTV BS. I saw the first 10 minutes of the MTV PK Challenge and it was soooooo bad.
i personally think this might be awesome.  heard rafe (PKVisions) consulted on alot of the judging and formatting.

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