Bay Area Parkour

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Traceurs Fighting Commercialization


Traceurs Fighting Commercialization

We know what parkour is, and we want to keep it true. Members of this group will be expected to TAKE ACTION against competition and commercialization.

Location: World
Members: 24
Latest Activity: Jun 21, 2012


From the BAPK "RESOURCES" section:

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 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.

It is the responsibility of anyone and everyone in this group to TAKE ACTION against this!!!

Here are some things that we can do:

1. Send messages to MTV about "The Ultimate Chase" (Contact information to come).
2. Send messages to contestants of "The Ultimate Chase" (Contact information to come).
3. Send messages directly to the WFPF (Contact information to come).
4. Add anti-competition and anti-commercialization slogans to signatures on parkour and freerunning forums. ("Pro parkour against competition")
5. Help direct brand new practitioners to accurate information about parkour and freerunning.
6. Don't watch "The Ultimate Chase", don't support practitioners who are on the show, don't purchase items from parkour and freerunning companies.
7. Get people to join this group!
8. Crate accounts on many parkour forums, then post information about this problem.
9. Post anti-competition and anti-commercialization comments on internet videos that promote or involve competition and/or commercialization in parkour and freerunning.
10. Don't compete, and don't support companies who want to take over our discipline!


Discussion Forum


Started by hillexallen. Last reply by Kirill Mar 4, 2009.

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You need to be a member of Traceurs Fighting Commercialization to add comments!

Comment by Bay Area Parkour on September 30, 2009 at 1:10pm
We would definitely recommend to send them to this website and specifically here, no?

But also talk to them, in a non dogmatic way, just based on the info you have.
If they are into it they will make an effort to patiently understand... and remember that they may very well decide they'll prefer another direction, more 'flashy', stronger backed up by pop-culture and mainstream ways of thinking.

That's ok... it shouldn't offend or affect anybody.
Comment by COMPLEXproductions on September 30, 2009 at 12:28pm
Okay, how about "all those interested"?
Comment by SafeNSure on September 17, 2009 at 4:39pm
...not only the people "we see attempting", but also the ones that talk and write about Parkour.

(As this article proves, showing a quite accurate understanding of the latest whereabouts...)
Comment by COMPLEXproductions on September 16, 2009 at 12:48pm
All we can really do is inform people we see attempting pk
Comment by hillexallen on September 16, 2009 at 9:53am

no more tryign to change sfpk

lets expand our own community, and continue to stay away from commercialization.
Comment by Chris on September 15, 2009 at 10:57pm
@ Alex - Do you aim to change SFPK? You will fail. There is no point anyways. They are allowed to have their site/group with their own goals.

A natural evolution has occurred in SF. A new group emerged that has a preference for training without commercial distractions.

Both types will always what is the best way for you to spend your energy?
Comment by Anthony on September 15, 2009 at 10:31pm
.. I agree that instead of pointing fingers we should focus on what we can do... Extreme is hardly ever positive, especially when the terms and issues are rather "new" and have not been firmly established. (I mean look at the colonial Puritans.. they couldn't even feel happy about doing a good deed lest they let satan into their heads... I mean it was really hard to be a Puritan at that time)
Comment by Bay Area Parkour on September 15, 2009 at 11:54am
While understanding where everybody comes from and why, we would really like to see this group's activity focused on what this group ("our", BApk...) -which is quite strong, in terms of numbers, organization, passion and commitment-, can proactively achieve without necessarily pointing fingers, or worrying too much about others.

We believe we owe it to ourselves to make every possible effort to convey and transforms all frustrations and disappointments in positive action and support for what we modestly, or ambitiously, can do on our own, or in valuable collaborations with others.

Not passing sterile judgments, simply pointing out disagreements -even among us-, or condemning issues, but analyzing topics together, looking for common ground, backing our ideals with action or even simple support.
Comment by Fyrel on September 15, 2009 at 9:20am
Are you right? Truth is in the eye of the beholder. But I can tell you, with all due respect, that you sure as hell aren't helping the situation by attacking SFPK like that. I may agree with your cause, but I think you tend to be a little brash when talking about it; true, it is an important topic to us and can get a little emotional, but that's no reason to call people out like you constantly do on SFPK. We need to realize that we can't prevent ALL commercialization, and keep what we have. IMAGE is an important thing to us, no doubt, and us anti-commercialization traceurs are starting to seriously look like a cult. How are we going to remedy this?
Comment by Kirill on September 14, 2009 at 7:52pm
Yeah, It is becoming mainstream, and is viewed an extreme sport.

I don't know what to do. I send everyone to BAPK that I meet practicing Parkour.

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