If you are one of the many people that have discovered the sport of Parkour through a random YouTube video, congratulations! Perhaps you have come across a lovely Storror travel video, or a really action packed GUP video, or maybe even a really old school video such as Olegs, Out of Time. In some way, video and media have played a role in how you discovered the sport, how you view the sport, and how you train because of it. The current trends of today’s world revolve around media, mainly social media, in ways that people a few years ago did not have access to. The speed at which information can be passed along makes ideas now more than ever easier to share. This speed and almost immediate feedback, in the form of video comments, or social media debates, shape the way we move forward in our parkour journey.
For starters without the cell phone cameras attached to our smart phones we would not receive the immediate feedback to further develop and progress our training. Immediate feedback is vital to any aspired student who wants to make progress towards his or her training goals. In an article written by the Center for Development of Teaching and Learning (CDTL) in Singapore says, “An important dimension of feedback is its immediacy. The longer the time gap between the completion of the work and it’s feedback the less effective it's feedback becomes. Ideally, feedback should be provided within minutes after the completion of the task.” Now anyone can set their phone down and get a quick clip of their movement so that they can then view and analyze it. The athlete can almost seamlessly shape and improve upon their skills right after the skill has been performed.
The aspiring athletes who also seek a creative outlet through the sport can now post a video one day and get views and some attention the very next day. With today's current social media platforms an athlete or creative can promote themselves more easily than before. Part of being an athlete and a creative is the need to create content for others to share and enjoy. Before the boom of social media it would take weeks for a video or an athlete to be discovered. Now it is as simple and easy as putting up the right clip on Instagram, or a well time YouTube video upload. Internet virality and current social media platforms make it so almost anyone can have a voice in today’s age of internet memes.
Whatever is currently trending on social media is unfortunately what most people are looking at. In return this shapes what our media consumption looks like, and also shapes the current image of what parkour might be to someone discovering the sport for the first time. Someone might think parkour is all about jumping on skyscrapers in Asia if they watch any of Storror’s new videos lately. Someone can also think that parkour is all about performing the hardest, most difficult move to win a freestyle competition if they were introduced to parkour by watching the most recent Red Bull Art of Motion. The bottom line is parkour is whatever you want it to be, and that personal definition needs to be created on your own. If certain videos inspire you to travel, then go travel. If the movements are what inspire you then learn as many as you can. Train safely, make cool content, and always find ways to improve upon your training and your mindset. Parkour is for everyone, but it doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone.