Risks

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Risks

PostPosted on Tue Oct 14, 2008 12:04 pm

The practice of parkour is not without risk. Whenever there is an element of the unknown there will always be an element of risk alongside. Consequently there is an element of risk inherent in every action because as humans we can never predict what will happen in the future precisely. Through parkour, by seeking to explore our boundaries and understand our capabilities, we are making a conscious decision to journey into the unknown in search of answers. Such is the case with all learning and the fact that the answers that we seek are to questions concerning ourselves does not change this.

How much risk there is depends largely on how deeply we venture into the unknown and untested. If we stay relatively close to our known capabilities and push the boundaries of only a small number of skills at once then our journey involves few unknowns and little risk of encountering a serious problem. If a high jumper raises the bar a few centimetres when training then that is the only thing that changes, that is the only thing he needs to adapt to overcome because he is comfortable with the rest of his situation. However, when we move way beyond our known limits or try to push the boundaries of many skills at once the risk increases. The same high jumper trying to raise the bar by a metre in training, or trying for a new personal best at his first jump in his first international competition where he needs to deal with the noise and pressure as well, will create a much more dangerous situation. Even if we can cope with all of the challenges individually, when they are combined it becomes much harder and this increases the risk.

The best way to minimise these risks is by advancing slowly, making sure as we push ourselves that we take care not to push too far or too fast too soon. If there is advice available then we should listen to it so that we might understand situations more clearly and further reduce the number of unknown elements.
If we are careful as we train then the consequences of something going wrong are nothing more serious than small scrapes or light bruises. These things might be inconvenient, but our bodies can repair these things easily with time. They are also a clear indicator that you are trying to advance too quickly, and thus clearly quite useful when trying to determine where your limits are for if there were no indicators they would be impossible to find. When practicing something like parkour, where you are challenging yourself all the time, it is important to recognise that the minor setbacks like these are helpful, even necessary, in the long-term process of learning.
It is also important to recognise that in parkour, as in many areas of life, the difficulties lie not only in the physical element of a movement, but in the mental challenges that are associated with it as well.
~ Dave

Trying to be a helping hand from NorthernParkour and the British Parkour Coaching Association
Dave
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Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 11:57 am
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Re: Risks

PostPosted on Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:12 pm

Dave wrote:The practice of parkour is not without risk. Whenever there is an element of the unknown there will always be an element of risk alongside. Consequently there is an element of risk inherent in every action because as humans we can never predict what will happen in the future precisely. Through parkour, by seeking to explore our boundaries and understand our capabilities, we are making a conscious decision to journey into the unknown in search of answers. Such is the case with all learning and the fact that the answers that we seek are to questions concerning ourselves does not change this.

How much risk there is depends largely on how deeply we venture into the unknown and untested. If we stay relatively close to our known capabilities and push the boundaries of only a small number of skills at once then our journey involves few unknowns and little risk of encountering a serious problem. If a high jumper raises the bar a few centimetres when training then that is the only thing that changes, that is the only thing he needs to adapt to overcome because he is comfortable with the rest of his situation. However, when we move way beyond our known limits or try to push the boundaries of many skills at once the risk increases. The same high jumper trying to raise the bar by a metre in training, or trying for a new personal best at his first jump in his first international competition where he needs to deal with the noise and pressure as well, will create a much more dangerous situation. Even if we can cope with all of the challenges individually, when they are combined it becomes much harder and this increases the risk.

The best way to minimise these risks is by advancing slowly, making sure as we push ourselves that we take care not to push too far or too fast too soon. If there is advice available then we should listen to it so that we might understand situations more clearly and further reduce the number of unknown elements.
If we are careful as we train then the consequences of something going wrong are nothing more serious than small scrapes or light bruises. These things might be inconvenient, but our bodies can repair these things easily with time. They are also a clear indicator that you are trying to advance too quickly, and thus clearly quite useful when trying to determine where your limits are for if there were no indicators they would be impossible to find. When practicing something like parkour, where you are challenging yourself all the time, it is important to recognise that the minor setbacks like these are helpful, even necessary, in the long-term process of learning.
It is also important to recognise that in parkour, as in many areas of life, the difficulties lie not only in the physical element of a movement, but in the mental challenges that are associated with it as well.
So parkour isn't fundamentally dangerous? I heard that free running (Not, technically, the same thing, but they have similar elements) is actually quite unhealthy- people have obtained and suffered head trauma, brain damage, broken necks and even death during crazy stunts, such as building hopping and freefalls from high objects. Obviously, i'm not looking to front flip over a building, but the risks are still moderate, no? I'm fifteen, and I don't want me future to collapse because, say, I made a mis-timing one saturday and knocked my head a "little" too hard, you know what i'm saying? Basically, is it safe enough for a fifteen-year-old school kid to be free running or parkouring around Manchester?

I worry about these things :?
Urban:Hurricane
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Re: Risks

PostPosted on Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:18 am

Life is fundamentally dangerous. Whatever you do, if you aren't prepared for it then you risk negative consequences.
The most dangerous activities are the ones where you yourself do not control what you experience. For instance, no matter how careful a footballer you might be you will still get injured if you're playing against someone who likes to make dangerous tackles. Driving is dangerous because you rely on other people not to hit you, as well as your own ability to avoid objects. Parkour is much safer than these activities because you have the control. Parkour involves only the environment and yourself.

There are a lot of crazy people in the world who have suffered all kinds of injuries doing crazy stunts. However, parkour doesn't involve crazy stunts. It involves improving human capabilities at a natural, steady rate. There is never any reason to try something where you think you might get seriously injured.

If you watch a video and immediately try jumping between buildings then what you're doing is dangerous, but it's not parkour.
~ Dave

Trying to be a helping hand from NorthernParkour and the British Parkour Coaching Association
Dave
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Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 11:57 am
Location: Dore, Sheffield

Re: Risks

PostPosted on Sun Jun 21, 2009 2:14 pm

Thanks, that helps.
See, i'm really into urban stunts and various activities related-to. I just though, you know, maybe its a bit TOO dangerous. I've seen a lot of negative feedback, so I wanted to check it out.
Thanks, i think that now I can really get into with no strings attatched. :)
Urban:Hurricane
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Traceur
 
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Location: Manchester

Re: Risks

PostPosted on Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:14 pm

I really like this page, and all the references to pace of advancement and being in control of your own actions. There have been many times where my nerves have built up, and there has been insufficient information about the situation for me to make a decently formed decision (not in parkour as I'm new to it, but in life). Before, I have hidden from these situations, and passed the buck. Now I am increasing my decision-making ability, by challenging those situations and calling these shots - largely learning from my mistakes so far but improving none-the-less. This page has helped me see that if these situations arise in parkour, I am simply not ready to launch full throttle at the obstacle. More thought, planning, training and possibly advice is needed - and there is plenty of information here to educatedly make the decision 'not now'.

As an aside, now that I have re-discovered the existence of parkour, and my longing to live by its philosophies, these situations will probably not appear so daunting, as I learn to extract useful little things from my surroundings, in places I would otherwise not have searched...
fuzzy
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:45 pm
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