Meeting new people is always enjoyable. When people first hear the word Parkour the reactions are usually the same. Those are; confusion, wonder, and fear. Being an instructor for the growing discipline of Parkour you tend to expect these reactions. Generally, people don't know what parkour is, but for those who do the most common follow up question is "Do you jump of Buildings". Unfortunately no, but there lies the fundamental issue with parkour. Although, Parkour has a misrepresented view of it, in actuality it's a very safe and progressive discipline that can also be very satisfying.
How does this happen, well when you hear someone say Parkour people tend to look online for a description. The definition you find when looking at Wikipedia is:
"Parkour is a holistic training discipline using movement that developed from military obstacle course training. Practitioners aim to get from A to B in the most efficient way possible. They do this using only their bodies and their surroundings to propel themselves; furthermore, they try to maintain as much momentum as is possible in a safe manner. Parkour can include obstacle courses, running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, rolling, movement, and the like, depending on what movement is deemed most suitable for the given situation"(Wikipedia).
Parkour practitioners are commonly known as Traceurs. Wikipedia mentions vaulting, rolling, running, climbing, and even jumping. Individually you have an idea of what these things are, but the definition doesn't help you get a visual to understand what Parkour is. Again, when a definition isn't enough, people tend to go to Youtube to get a better idea. Many videos tend to have certain things in common after watching enough of them you'll tend to build a set association between them. That association is: Parkour is an activity where young males perform reckless and dangerous stunts with a high probability of injury and/or death. Another factor that tends to play a part in the misrepresentation of parkour is news media. Very rarely do you hear Parkour specifically mentioned on the news, but when you do they usually refer to parkour when "The accident happened when she was trying out the sport which requires participants to jump, climb and roll across buildings"(MailOnline). With the combination of social media and news media parkour ends up receiving a fairly negative reputation. Unfortunately, jumping off building's isn't what parkour really is.
What is Parkour? Parkour is a method of training the human body to become stronger, agile, and more efficient. These results are achieved through dedicating yourself to unyielding challenge, unending progressions, and constant adaptation. More simply we overcome obstacles, we scale walls, we vault over barriers, we leap from place to place. Sometimes training can develop at superhuman capabilities. These are what we see in Youtube videos. But more commonly the obstacle we overcome is our long...