Mark: Within the parkour community, it’s no secret that there are different flavors of parkour there are different organizations out there that different people feel they align with best because of certain values or certain ideas. If you identify as a straight up free runner, then you may look at tempest and go, “Yeah, this is the way it should be.” And for whatever reason, I know there are people who feel very strongly associated with APK and I love that. But that’s not really what matters here if you’re part of parkour generations or you love the way that parkour visions operate or you have a strong connection.
Mark: So many people who have been touched by Apex and they’re teaching model is just so fantastic and strong and they’re led by great people and that you may feel that you’re part of the Texas community or that you’re part of the Midwest group and so maybe one of those larger groups you don’t necessarily feel aligned with. I think that that’s a critical part of this and I want to see all of those people at the table because that is what our parkour community is. Our parkour community is not complete without any one of those practitioners being represented.
Amos: And I think that is somewhat of a fear that I’ve noticed coming from business owners and people that work in the industry is that in some ways we’re going to mobilize and then create things that are going to compete with their products. But that’s not the plan at all. I’ve written a coaching certification myself, that’s part of the way I make an income, and there are many others out there who have done that as well. So instead, it’s more so a direction of recommended building standards, taking, for example, the collective knowledge of all the hard lessons we’ve learned through trial and error over the years and making sure that new people in our industry don’t make those mistakes. Not making some sort of certification but instead standards that people can follow. Same thing with coaching certifications, probably bring some legitimacy to some by creating some standards around them and saying, “Hey, these are actually safe certifications that are, follow these standards.”
Amos: That’s important because, again, as this discipline grows, entrepreneurs with a lot of money who don’t understand the culture and don’t understand the safety who like to cut corners and cut costs, they’re going to come in and they’re going to be like, “Oh, I could do better than these coaching certifications.” They’re going to start their own and potentially that could be very dangerous and cause harm to the industry and so there should be some legitimacy behind a coaching certification. But no, as far as I can see, there are no plans to compete with businesses. Maybe there might be some small crossover in the future that I’m just not seeing at this point but as a business owner myself, I see that. I have that voice as well. I don’t want that to happen. USPK really has so much potential but it all relies on if we can come together as a team. And that’s something that I’ve seen in my own experience running businesses and being an entrepreneur is that there’s nothing like a powerful team.
Amos: When people come together with diverse skill sets and everyone’s working for the greater good, magic happens. And that’s why I don’t want anyone to be lazy on this. The more people we have involved from different expertise, we can conduct studies that we would’ve never been able to conduct. We can have professionals come and inform our communities like doctors and lawyers and it’s amazing what we can accomplish with this structure if people come together as a team.
Frosti: I think one of the cool things about having a bunch of different people coming together to create this initial transition board, we had a lot of different ideas about the best way to do things. And it naturally became a mixture of all those things, a combination of all those ideas, and with the coaching certification, I think we all recognize each of us has our own beliefs about the best way to coach someone. In our own ways, we all have successes. They are our elite athletes coming from Tempest, from APEX, from Visions, from Generations Americas. There are athletes at extremely high levels coming from all sorts of different training backgrounds. Someone can be winning a speed contest after training at APEX for eight years or coming up through the freerunning program at Tempest.
Frosti: They’re totally different programs with completely different priorities in mind. I think one of the things that USPK recognizes is that our goal is not to decide for people what is best for them, but to give them the opportunity to choose from the best of the best. We are looking to protect our sport from people coming in and doing harm to it, from trying to propagate dangerous training practices. We do want to help create a safer, stronger parkour, but that also means accepting the diversity that it has.