Why are parkour jams even important? Parkour has been an outlier sport since its early days, with little to no formal governance (this is just starting to change), and with very little large scale organization. Jams have always been an essential aspect of parkour growth in every way. Jams provide a place for top tier athletes to demonstrate the newest moves and techniques they’ve been developing, for dialogue on movement philosophy, as well as a place for the exchange of miscellaneous parkour related information. Jams are a place where you can see your friend that lives far away, or where you can make a whole group of new friends. Parkour has always been a community driven discipline, and community led jams are an essential part of retaining the spirit of parkour. A fun focus on training, growth, and camaraderie, that in most instances, has nothing to do with competition.
Meeting like minded people that do the same thing you do, and to some extent think the same as you do, help build a solid communal foundation. For proper development of the sport we need to always be looking at ways to improve parkour jams/events. It is during jams/events that the community goes from being an online presence to seeing each other face to face and socializing. That person to person interaction is vital to grow smaller communities into much bigger and more active ones. It is through actively training with one another and trying challenges that are both fun and scary that build long lasting memories and laughs with one another that will only lead to much happier and healthier communities as time goes on.
Jams can also be a place where the sport is pushed to its limit, and new moves or challenges are created and conquered. Naturally having a group of like minded individuals in the same place leads to the exchange of ideas and techniques that other people might have never been aware of before. Such as using a simple breathing pattern to calm yourself down before a scary challenge, or a cue to fix a particular technique that you might have never heard before. All of these are bits of information that people normally would never find out about if it wasn’t for a jam setting. Sometimes being in a new spot with new people helps you retain new information better
Jams have been a key element in the overall growth of Parkour. They help bring distant friends together, while also pushing the sport to new heights. Jams may come and go but the memories made, such as being super silly with your friends and sharing laughs together or conquering that sick challenge together, helps solidify its importance in furthering our sport. In the end, jams are what you make of them. Don’t get too caught up if you can’t land the biggest trick, or do the hardest challenge. Just try and make the best out of each experience that you make with old and new friends alike.