Saturday, July 24, 2010

Parkour Visions Summit and Talk

On August 13-15th, my friends Rafe Kelley and Tyson Cecka are hosting a parkour summit at their Seattle gym Parkour Visions. For those of you not familiar with the sport, here's a description from the Parkour Visions site:
"The essence of Parkour can be stated simply: it is the art of overcoming obstacles as swiftly and efficiently as possible using only your body. The fundamentals include running, jumping, and climbing, and we build on these fundamentals to improve our ability to pass over, under, around and through obstacles with more complex movements. Parkour is a system of fitness training that improves strength, speed, agility, co-ordination, stamina, endurance, and precision. It offers a full-body workout at any level of experience, and improves your ability to move, to harness your confidence, to change how you see the world. Parkour practitioners are called traceurs."
The summit will include seminars on strength training, injury prevention and rehab, and nutrition, as well as parkour jams, a roundtable and a dinner. I'll be giving a talk titled "Natural Eating for Sustainable Athletic Performance" on Saturday, August 14 from noon to 1:00 pm.

Registration is $40 for the whole summit. You can read a description of it here, and find a link to the registration system at the bottom of this page.


Matt Stone said...

I jumped over a parking cone once. It was pretty awesome.

Parkour is only rivaled by breakdancing as the coolest thing ever.

Jeff Consiglio said...

I certainly enjoy watching Parkour as much as anyone...but as a full time personal trainer who deals with a lot of long-time fitness enthusiasts suffering from various orthopedic and soft tissue injuries, related to high impact exercise modalities, I have real concerns about how such an activity will "impact" people in this regard.

Though perhaps not as much of an issue if performed on grass, or other surfaces which are a bit more forgiving than pavement and concrete.

What kind of injury rates do you see among our fellow Parkour practitioners?

Stephan Guyenet said...

Hi Jeff,

Injuries are pretty common. It's a high-impact sport.

That being said, I have yet to try another sport that trains functional athleticism as quickly and to the same degree as parkour.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephan,

where is the video of your Parkour performance? Did I miss it?


Pretty amazing sport !!!

Jee said...

Hey Stephan,

It's a riveting sport to watch! It would be cool to see you in action.

Any chance you could post a summary of your "Natural Eating" talk on your blog?


Stephan Guyenet said...

Hi Jee,

I'll give you the Powerpoint if you e-mail me afterward.

Jee said...

Thanks Stephan,

I'll do that. Have a great time and talk at the summit!


"Guppy" Honaker said...

Hey Stephen - you have a wonderful blog.

A summit on strength training and other health issues is great. But how will the information be disseminated? (It's been my experience that great information is to be had, but it's not shared with the public nearly as well.)

A final note, I have Marfan Syndrome. For people like me, strength training and health issues such a nutrition take on a whole different angle. I'd love to see a summit on people with unique physical challenges.

- David

Aloe Vera 101
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Ned Kock said...

Some call it "free running". Actually there is some debate as to what is "parkour" and what is "free running". Two of my fav clips are linked here:

Natural Athlete said...

I am going to have to disagree with Stephan, injuries are not common in parkour.

Doing a quick calculation, Parkour Visions has taught approximately 7000 class hours(hours of class x student in class) in the last two years. In that time we have seen two broken arms, one fractured rib cage, five sprained ankles and one bruised heel. This breaks down to an injury rate of about approximately 1.3 injuries per thousand hours of training time. This is a rough calculation but it fits right in the range seen in similar sports like rock climbing and gymnastics, and is much lower than team sports like soccer which has a rate of injury of around 7.5/1000(practice) or american football with a rate of 16/1000(practice). Apex Movement, the Monkey Vault and Primal Fitness all have similar records.

In addition, I have personally witnessed only three other serious injuries in the many open training sessions I have attended in the last 5 years, one of which was my own.

Parkour has elements of risk when training at heights, taking impacts on concrete, etc., however it also lacks the major risk factors in most other popular sports. Compared to team sports and combat sports, parkour lacks the element of contact. We do not injure each other because of tackling, undercutting, striking, grappling, or accidental collisions.

Compared to other individual sports parkour lacks an accelerator; there is no skateboard, snowboard, skis or motorbike to take us to speeds beyond the nervous system's ability to respond to in a crash.

If you miss a technique doing parkour you can usually control your fall without getting hurt, because you're only going maybe 15 miles an hour, and airborne for gaps of 6 to 15 feet. Compare this to skiing where you might be going 70 miles an hour and be airborne for gaps of 60 feet.

I think the idea that parkour is particularly dangerous is a misunderstanding caused by people only being exposed to videos of high level practioners and not understanding the ground work that goes into developing that level of ability

Billy Oblivion said...

Parkour is the French Martial Art of running away and looking REALLY COOL doing it.


Seriously though, I'm jealous of people able to move like that.

Unknown said...

good friends we can expect from the law, unfortunately the law does not care about the pain of others but, the economics of these big companies left to each government to their health care is not important.

Billy Oblivion said...


Can you point to any reasonably scientific resources relating to marfan syndrome and diet and exercise? Preferably something double-blind etc., but anything with a bias towards rational and tested would be good.

My daughters boyfriend/fiance has Marfan, and comes from a rather depressed area (economically, scholastically and medically) so he hasn't had access to reasonable care.

HCA Toronto said...

Parkour should never be organized and should live on the streets.