Bay Area Parkour

Train Hard - Stay Humble

Celebrate Parkour Community Diversity

Tracers in the SF Bay Area are among the luckiest in the country. Not only do they benefit from an abundance of diverse training grounds, they also benefit from an abundance of diverse approaches to the discipline of Parkour. These practitioners are privileged enough to have two large distinct communities within the Bay Area that hold regular training sessions. Each community plays host to a variety of personalities and methodologies, and each caters to a different mindset. While the differences may seem subtle or even pointless to some, they are very important to the growth and enjoyment of many. The key is that different types of sessions provide different atmospheres. It is within these varying atmospheres that different types of progression can occur. Sure its fun to get big groups together once in while, but when we all train together all the time we eliminate several of those atmospheres. The benefits of diversified training are too great to ignore. Why eliminate something of value? We should celebrate our diversity. Bay Area tracers have the option of participating in one or both communities, and can glean valuable lessons from each. One of the great things about San Francisco is its cultural diversity. How fitting that the city be host to multiple culturally diverse groups of Parkour practitioners.

The idea that we all always need to be training in the same place at the same time is silly. It should not be taken as an affront when training sessions at different locations are held on the same day. It is a triumph! As a whole, both communities are providing multiple paths for the practitioners. Not to mention the fact that big groups attract more attention. By spreading out into smaller groups we lower our impact on the environments where we train and cause less of a nuisance to the inhabitants of the area. These are just some of many unintentional ways that these two communities are working together. These things need to be taken into consideration after the recent ban on Parkour in certain parts of New York.

Ultimately we are all sharing something together. This occurs whether or not two people are training in the same location. Why not celebrate the diversity we have, celebrate the options we have, celebrate the different atmospheres we create, and not get annoyed when one group decides to train elsewhere, but instead recognize that the differences in each community's training sessions can actually compliment each other. Such practices can only help the community grow as a whole.

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Comment by Nick Romero on September 15, 2010 at 11:42am
Here, here. Even as someone with relatively limited training outside of the area, it is easy to see the cultural robustness in reference.

In addition to what's been said, I feel it's beneficial for everybody to experience first-hand the variation among groups and communities, at least on occasion. (Especially since communities are dynamic and always changing!) While clearly some people are averse to this, in doing so we have the opportunity to deepen our insight of the parkour, or tracer, perspective, and further solidify our own views, connection with, and understanding of the practice - and each other.

Naturally we'll gravitate toward like-minded communities. Hopefully we continue reject the narrow-mindedness and antipathy towards others that can arise when we get too comfortable with ourselves.

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