Parkour: No more organized learning

I’m not giving up on parkour. Not by a long mile. I’ve worked for the improvements I’ve gotten so far, and I’m going to keep getting better. It may take five years, or more, but I intend to get good at this. I like it. It’s fun.

What’s not fun is the way the Israeli “organized” Parkour training is going. The superficial problems hide the deep problems, like with so many things. Superficial problems: it’s far away, at awkward times. Less superficial problems: it’s rife with the Israeli way, in the most stereotypical way. The teacher is often late, or cancels without notification. When he did arrive, one time he forgot the keys, and I had to actually drive him to the guy who had the keys. The teacher is not actually into parkour — he’s into circus and acrobatics. So he teaches some “basics”, much of which is irrelevant to Parkour, does very little work on actual basics like endurance and strength, and leaves “that Parkour stuff” to a student, who’s 16 years old with an unpleasant manners who yells at students, gives incomprehensible and vague instructions, yells when they are not followed precisely, and sometimes just does “stuff he feels like”. Little of that, of course, is honest to god Parkour. We did, oh, about 15 minutes of that. But there are many impressive flips, that’s for sure!

All of that, I could live with. What broke me was when they decided to turn it into a “formal class”, backed by the municipal authority. Now it costs 150 NIS (roughly 40$) per month, which is not a lot of money, granted, but it makes the whole egalatarian nature disappear. It comes with the person in charge telling us to “not do Parkour outside, this is why we have mattresses here”, which actually makes sense given that most of the class are kids 11-13. Of course, officially it’s for the lesson on Wednesday, the one I cannot make, with the lesson on Saturday “just a bonus”.  That was when I decided I want no more contact with these guys. I train well enough alone, and what few things I get from the lesson are easily outweighed by, well, everything else. Screw this, says I. I can do well enough without the aggravation, just training by myself.

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One Response to Parkour: No more organized learning

  1. I’m not exactly into Parkour, but I did spend about a dozen years in the martial arts. If you want to come over for a workout at some point, I do know a certain amount about developing strength, flexibility, balance and coordination — I imagine at least some of that is relevant to Parkour.

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