Train Hard - Stay Humble
[Note for readers new to Parkour, or who are just recently getting familiar with the discipline:]
Stephane Vigroux was born and raised in France, learnt Parkour in Lisses with David Belle [arguably the initiator of the discipline as such], beginning in 1998, and has been part of the early growth of the discipline.
He then relocated to London, UK where he co-founded Pakour Generations [arguably the most successful Pakour coaching -and performing- enterprise worldwide].
"...Let me explain what parkour really is: parkour is a movement-based practice aiming to help make individuals physically and mentally stronger, becoming balanced and rounded human beings who then help the community and others with those strong foundations.
It's a pretty broad definition and am sure many think; “yeah, that's me, I'm doing this”. But think again. Details make the difference. Parkour is a MENTALITY. A state of mind, a culture of hard work and effort, which is what made it possible to exist in the first place. Without this mentality, if it was only based on the terribly hollow and superficial events and message represented by the Redbull mentality, it would have never been created.
Again, it visually looks the same, but what is happening behind the jump in each practitioner's mind is for me what defines whether you are doing parkour or not. It is a mentality that you could find in many different activities or persons, and this is the essence of parkour. Not the damn jump!
Parkour should be more personal, focusing on the inner work everyone has to do to be a stronger being in a wide range of ways. This is a mentality. And you could find this mentality in painting, writing, boxing...etc. Pretty much in everything we do, in fact.
Having a conversation with my friend Ido Portal recently confirmed it to me. It is really not about what you do, but HOW you do things. With what intention and state of mind. I feel closer and relate more to any person who practices any activity with this similar mindset than to any Redbullion type I could meet.
When I look at Youtube and when I type parkour or freerunning, I can not relate or feel close to what shows up 99.99% of the time. Why? What we do is completely different from the inside.
While in parkour we are trying to understand more about ourselves, get more confidence, be a happier person, stronger on many levels of our life, the other sort are feeding their egos with short term performances that will only lead to more suffering and eventually the end of their movement and of their good health.
There is an obvious SPLIT between what we do now. The word parkour has been overused and misused. It has lost strength and meaning. The identity of parkour has been stolen and exploited.
These misportrayals are today actually representing everything we were fighting against at the early stage of the creation of parkour. Those big brands selling our own culture back to us, trapping us in the consumption of their products, trying to own and abuse the image of parkour to seel energy drinks, gambling casinos, indoor gyms... The more you follow this mentality, the less you are free and strong..."
If interested, read the almost contemporary letter to the Frerunning community by Sebastien Foucan, regarded in the community as the initiator of Frerunning, about the recent evolution of Parkour/Freerunning at the expense of their original values.