Parkour is an art of movement, efficiency, fluidity, which is all about being as fast as possible while going from one place to another. It has to do with training, training and more training, to get your body to the level of going from one place to another. This is a very specific way to train and requires lots of effort and concentration to do the things you set out to do. Parkour is all about finding your own way to overcome the obstacles, while working on your form and physical conditioning.
Competitions are about winning, being better than the other competitors. It is also about getting the applause, getting the prize. In parkour, the prize is getting from place A to B and not falling, not getting injured, but rather, being extremely fluid on the way, and comfortable, to an extent.
Here is why you shouldn’t visit parkour tournaments, if you are a parkour practitioner.
It is Against the Philosophy of Parkour
To compete in a parkour tournament means that you are no longer training parkour, but rather some form of free flow movement. Parkour, in its entirety, has everything to do about being creative in the way you overcome obstacles. In order to compete, you have to be impressive, not creative. Creativity doesn’t get you applause or judge points, but rather, your own personal satisfaction.
Parkour was defined to be a training method, by its founder, David Belle. As a training method, you are supposed to train and achieve a goal, for your own personal development. Parkour shouldn’t even be called a sport, because of the requirements it needs to meet, the only one it meets is the physical one.
It Can Be Very Dangerous
Parkour tournaments, even though they shouldn’t be called that way, often have various styles in which you can compete. All of them can be dangerous. If you look up the World Parkour Championships and their styles of competition, speed, alive after 5, skills round and freestyle. All of these put stress on the competitor, because they need to be the fastest, or have the best tricks, which they need to perform under pressure. Parkour is also about sanity. If you are not feeling ready, if your gut is twisting when you start thinking about performing that one jump, you will walk away and work your way to that jump by going through a series of smaller ones. It may take you days, weeks or even months, but you should never rush it.
Even though this seems like a bait and switch, it is worth learning the differences between parkour, freerunning and other forms of movement which are called that way by the sponsors and tournament organizers.