Finnish Parkour Community

Craig: You said to me randomly at one point, the Finns disprefer confrontation and you actually presented it as if it were a bit of a flaw or blind spot for them and I would say that Americans are probably really good at confrontation and I’m wondering what your thoughts are how that reflects into the parkour community. So I’m guessing that the Finnish parkour community would be colored by that national aspect. I know our parkour community is clearly colored by that aspect here, so I’m wondering, you have a unique perspective on those two points of view, those two communities? I’m just wondering what your thoughts are on that.

Ville: I’m not sure if it’s a nice thing to say about my own culture, they try to avoid confront, but it is true in a way. The unique thing about the Finnish Parkour community is the minute that people started training when they first saw videos of David and the Yamakasi and got inspired to go out and train, immediately within just a few months or the first month, we created a national association.

Craig: That explains it. I’m like, why is the Finnish parkour community so far ahead of everybody else in terms of cohesion and organization. That’s interesting.

Ville: That’s the reason but that’s also what we do in Finland. There’s something new that pops up, let’s do an association around it. That’s the mindset we have to kind of create some organization around it and maybe that comes from the cultural thing. We’re not competing against each other. We don’t want to create a system where we have these groups that are …

Craig: Pulling in different directions?

Ville: Pulling in different directions. Figuring out who’s going to be taking the leadership role in the bigger picture ’cause like everybody, all the different groups, so there was six different groups who started around the same time, they all came together and formed the association and that I think has left a unique stamp on the Finnish parkour community because of the history that we had the association right from the beginning, and that’s kept the community pretty unified. But sometimes, you need to have conflict.

Ville: This is my personal take. You have the difficult questions and I think we’re getting better at them because if the way to avoid conflict and confrontation is to be quiet about it, which is the way sometimes we Finns go about things, which may not be a positive way to go about things, it’s just to avoid the hard things that’s in front of you, but I think our community has learned to also, like over the years, to face those more difficult situations and still have that unity and that sense that, okay we don’t need all the different groups and local communities don’t need to agree with everybody on the different organizations. They don’t need to be identical.