Emily Witcher Mississippi 0

Free Running & Parkour for Jackson, Mississippi

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I'm starting this petition to request the building of a parkour/free running site in the capitol of Mississippi, the city of Jackson.

What is Parkour?
There have been many disagreements over the years about what parkour is or isn't, but simply put, parkour is a training method designed to expand an individual's vocabulary of movement, allowing a skilled practitioner to "flow" efficiently and creatively through any environment, "over, under, around or through" the obstacles in his or her path ("KNOW OBSTACLES, KNOW FREEDOM!"). Derived originally from the French martial art, "parcours du combattant" or "the path of the warrior", modern parkour has grown beyond the goal of simply finding the most efficient path and now embraces elements of more creative movement as well (freerunning). Though there are distinctive moves that still serve as the foundation of parkour—the kong and other vaults, tic-tac, lache, cat, precision and wall run to name a few—practitioners will also borrow elements from other disciplines such as capoeira, martial arts tricking and acrobatics to add flair to their "runs", defining their unique personal "lines" from point a to point b.

Is Parkour Dangerous?
Two of the guiding principles of parkour, "Etre et durer" ("To be and to endure") and "Be strong to be useful" both discourage high-risk behaviour for its own sake. All physical activity involves some risk, but when taught and practiced properly, parkour poses no more risks for practitioners than gymnastics, football or other traditional sports. For spectators, parkour is far LESS dangerous than a sport like skateboarding or BMX, since there is no flying apparatus to injure bystanders.

What are the benefits of Parkour?
From a developmental standpoint, parkour offers many of the same benefits as gymnastics, e.g. coordination, balance, discipline, focus, body awareness, overall self-confidence and self-esteem. At an early intermediate level, however, parkour adds to those benefits the very valuable practice of problem-solving, "How do I get from point A to point B safely and efficiently using my current skills and strength?" The practice of parkour is nothing less than an ongoing physics lesson with a very practical application. Observe any parkour athlete figuring out his or her "line" before a run, and you see a mind at work! And as a parkour practitioner confronts the limitations of his or her current skill set, he or she is motivated to train harder to expand that skill set. Moreover, the culture and philosophy of parkour, both of which emphasize community and service to others, adds to a student's sense of connectedness and social well-being. Parents of parkour athletes often report of the improvements they observe in their child's school work and overall attitude as they confront the daily challenges of life.

Can Parkour be practiced as a Competitive Sport?
Parkour is fundamentally an inner discipline and so is not competitive in the way that football, baseball and basketball are at their very core. Parkour can be successfully practiced for a lifetime without ever participating in a single competition. However, as in martial arts, properly structured competitions can be beneficial to those students eager to compete to help measure and share their progress with friends and family.

Currently, no gyms in our area provide this program and this creates problems within our community with teens and young adults practicing free running in public places with high traffic, private properties, abandoned areas, playgrounds and parks that are not meant for this practice and could result to serious injuries.

Without the proper resources and equipment, free runners practicing in our area may experience problems with local authorities, serious injuries, or death.

We need to trainers, coaches, and experienced free runners to help our youth and community practice this sport in a safer environment with instructors for support and guidance.

A free running gym, park, or site would be ideal for our state, as it would promote our youth to express themselves in an active lifestyle and help relieve concerned guardians, officials, and our community of disturbances in the area with this sport. It also helps engage the youth in exercising, discipline, and goal oriented activities that improve physical health and emotional health.

This sport would also contribute to the overall health of the people of Mississippi with a new, fun, and practical activity that can help reduce the obesity problem that mainly plagues this state.

A Healthy long life is the main target of the inhabitants of Mississippi, young and older. Parkour and Free Running is an excellent way to stay in shape, build confidence, lose weight, build overall strength, creativity and agility. This project would be a huge benefit to the people of Mississippi.


American Parkour

APK University & College Club
For information on becoming an APK
University club | apku@americanparkour.com

USA Parkour
Community. Insurance. Development.
1.646.688.2977 | contact@usaparkour.org

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