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 About Competitions

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BeitragThema: About Competitions   Mo Nov 11, 2013 1:43 pm



*WHAT WAS THE RED BULL RECONQUISTA AND WHAT HAPPENED IN THE EVENT?

The Red Bull Reconquista was a week in Portugal during which “traceurs” from all over the world came together to train under the condition that everyone there (from all parts of the world?) had to participate in the event that was organized on October 12th, 2013 in which there would be: an open training session, a workshop and a COMPETITION.

So I made them believe that I would compete so that I could show my shirt with the message:

-"Traceurs" without values, dead discipline.-
-"Traceurs" sin valores, disciplina muerta.-

“Traceurs” was placed in between quotation marks because I wanted to emphasize that some of the people who called themselves traceurs were anything but that. For the words “without values” I wanted to say that one of the principal values of Parkour which is being non-competitive, something that captivated me when I began training, is not understood by them, so they might be jumping, but they don't do parkour. And “dead discipline” because their actions have killed Parkour, taken all of the essence that was there when I began and changed it into just another extreme sport.

The night before the event, after training the whole day, we met with one of the organizers of the event. They gave us a booklet explaining the event, a shirt, a sticker and some pastries from the area and explained to us what the next day’s event would consist of. Afterwards they asked us if someone had anything they wanted to say and my friend from the trip, Alberto Gomez, asked why it wasn’t possible to organize the event without competitions? He gave them examples of some events organized in Madrid like Mulafest. The organizer made it very clear that without the competition they couldn’t have put on the event but they’d keep his comments in mind for future editions of the event. Anyways, he said, that we shouldn’t worry too much about it because the competition would only be a little part of the event and it would be fine if we didn’t want to participate in it because there were a lot of other activities taking place.

On the day of the event we went to a castle where everything was being organized. They took photos of each of us alone, then group ones, and they recorded some footage of us training. They also gave out some food and drinks but only to the people who were going to compete (even though the competition was a small part of the event?). So, my friends who weren't going to compete were denied food and they had to leave. In that moment I knew that I had to give my message.

After eating we continued with the event. I was observing all the other participants and, the truth is, for not caring too much about winning or not, they kept preparing their runs.

When the workshop/guided training began there was only one word to describe it: SHAME. There were almost 20 experienced athletes who were not participating in the guided training because they were too busy worrying about themselves while Alberto and I helped all the people who wanted to learn. What’s even more astounding is the workshop only lasted 20 minutes because… you know… that little part of the event had to begin… a two-hour competition!!! Pitiful…

After this they named us one by one to present us as if we were superstars. When my time came I did what I had to do - give them my message and leave to train far from that circus.

If someone believes that I took advantage of the organizers who gave me a bed and some food then I’ll tell you this: I let them record me and I helped with the workshop both of which were worth a lot more than the miserable bed and plate of food. If you do not value yourself it's not my problem.

Interview of David Belle in 2005 by PK Cali
“When I asked about competition he said that his vision about them is very different from the general idea of competition. He said that they make competitions. But they shouldn’t be like a war in which everyone fights to be the best. Their competitions are about helping. They are about seeing who can help the most people and spread their knowledge. There aren’t any medals or prizes. These competitions happen when different people meet and share their points of view with the aim to teach and learn from one another. By doing this, if you teach from your heart, you’ll become the best. The more people you help, the more useful you’ll become and those people will go on and help others. In that way you win.”

*WHAT ARE THEY HIDING BEHIND?
Here are some of the reasons that people give me when trying to explain why they go to competitions. I'll explain you why I think none of them are valid.

"It doesn't say parkour anywhere."
If you are a reference for other people about parkour, and you claim to do it in your everyday, when you go there you can say you're not doing parkour as much times as you want or that is't not written anywhere, but you'll be linked to a parkour comp and that's how it works.

“If I go then I don’t go to do Parkour. I just do flips.”
If the event says parkour, although you say that you’re going to be in a Parkour event giving the public the impression that acrobatics and Parkour are the same thing. Behavior like this only serves to blur even more what people think Parkour actually is.

“It’s good for spreading Parkour”
Yes, it’s an effective way to spread a misrepresentation. If I were a father and I saw one of these supposed Parkour competitions then I would never let my child practice this sport. We know that sometimes we take risks when we are training but, in a competition and with some people's ego grown-up they could make a tragic mistake and I don’t want to be involved in a bloodbath.

“You all have to stop being so close-minded.”
This excuse makes me laugh so much. What if it’s you who are the close-minded one? I usually accept ideas if they make sense. That is hardly close-minded. I am someone who has clear values and ideas that I don’t plan on selling for money, trips or a more comfortable life at Parkour’s expense.

“I’m not competing against anyone, I’m going to train like I always do.” “I’m only competing against myself.”
What you have in mind when going to a competition is great. But, what happens with all those people who are watching you having so much fun in a parkour competition? They'll understand that's the correct approach and they will try to be the best ones in the world, and we all know parkour is not about that.

“If I don’t do it someone else will.”
So what? What someone else would do is no justification for your actions.

“There is no going back.”
There always is. If everyone thinks that competition is bad for Parkour then we can bring Parkour back. No one would try to put on a competition if no one will take part of it.

“I’ve got to earn a living.”
There are a million other ways to earn a living with Parkour none of which require you to destroy your values and ideals. I’m going to give you all some examples: publicity specialist for movies, TV, theater, exhibitions, talks, classes and seminars for Parkour. But obviously all of these options are more difficult than attending a competition where you only have to jump and don't worry about anything more.

“The competition is a small part of the event.”
That’s what they told us during the chat that we had the day before the Red Bull Reconquista event and it was a complete lie. For them the competition is the most important and the rest is just a ploy to get more people interested.

“I’m going because they’ll pay for my trip and I want to see the world.”
Sebastian Foucan said ‘for those athletes who are happy because they travel around the world, that trip is worth nothing if you don’t know where to look. True freedom is within you! What we search for is different and closer to an art or way of life.' Nothing I need to add to that.

“Respect my decisions”
You must respect the definition. You must respect that what you’re doing when you’re tainting Parkour’s name. You must respect that this isn’t all about what you want. You must respect the people who practice this discipline and have to put up with the misinformed people. Above all you must respect what Raymond Belle, David Belle’s father, created.

Lastly, this is what people told me after the competition- “The government won’t let me spread Parkour and there is no other way to do it except for competitions. There are too many bureaucratic steps to create an association and there’s no place for me to give lessons with an insurance.”

To this I say that you will only achieve it with time, effort and sacrifice. You have to be really passionate about avoiding the easy route of competitions because it will only give a bad impression of Parkour. It’s much harder to fix something than it is to destroy it.

*THE SOLUTION?
Stop calling what you’re doing Parkour. Never mention Parkour again and then if someone is confused by what you are doing then it’ll be their problem, not yours. “Street Stunts” should be a fine replacement.

For those of you who think that I want to impose something… I’m sorry but no. Parkour is what it is. It has a clear definition. If you like it, great. If you don’t then go talk to the people who created it.

(Apart from that, we must not demonize those who do compete because we don’t know why they are there. The majority of the them are nice people and great to train with. Some of them started training long before those competitions were created. But there's something they need to understand, and it is that they have distanced themselves completely from PARKOUR.

*IN CONCLUSION
To those who have been training for years, don’t be deceived. You all are the people who have earned this gift and your way of doing Parkour is worth much more than you might believe. Respect yourselves and at the end you’ll stop being treated like kids, hooligans, crazy people, etc.

To those who are beginning your parkour training, do your research, read, think for yourselves and don't even trust this text you've just read before you believe it's true. We won’t stand here with our arms crossed while this discipline rots little by little because of a company’s greed and people who call Parkour what they do.

Thank you for digging deeper and not just wathing the video.

Miguel Espada.
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Marvin



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BeitragThema: Re: About Competitions   Mo Nov 25, 2013 8:15 pm

Smile cheers 
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BeitragThema: Re: About Competitions   Di Nov 26, 2013 1:06 am

Tja Marvin ich glaube das Reflexive ist noch nicht ganz aus der Szene verdammt worden...

Ich sag jetzt immer: "Besser Tracuere, die sich zanken als Traceure die nicht denken" flower 
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