Where am I

(Part 5 of 11 in A Tracer's Manifesto)

( In late 2016 I began a small discussion with a few friends about an idea. Eventually the project became a web site [now gone] and this series contains the posts from that site. The project continues in the Parkour Forum. )

Originally published Dec 22, 2016

Label

We’ve discussed a bit about the “identifier” component. Let’s talk about the other part. Is it a “code”, “code of conduct”, “ethics of”, “ethics for…”? And here I’m going to propose something specific, and grand: Let’s name it a…

Manifesto

In support of which I offer this definition and description which I’ve lifted from a web site. (When this all goes up on some web site/blog, I’ll attribute it. ;^)

The word manifesto traces its roots to the Latin manifestum, which means clear or conspicuous. A manifesto is defined as a declaration of one’s beliefs, opinions, motives, and intentions. It is simply a document that an organization or person writes that declares what is important to them.

A manifesto functions as both a statement of principles and a bold, sometimes rebellious, call to action. By causing people to evaluate the gap between those principles and their current reality, the manifesto challenges assumptions, fosters commitment, and provokes change.

edit: Here’s the attibution, How and Why to Write Your Own Personal Manifesto

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Down the rabbit hole

(Part 4 of 11 in A Tracer's Manifesto)

( In late 2016 I began a small discussion with a few friends about an idea. Eventually the project became a web site [now gone] and this series contains the posts from that site. The project continues in the Parkour Forum. )

Originally published Dec 14, 2016

Components

It seems clear to me that the name has two components: Let’s start with the part that identifies/associates with the communities. (The second part would be the “code of conduct”, “social contract”, “ethics”, verbage.) The order of the parts isn’t what I’m talking about; it could be “parkour code of conduct” or “movement ethics for traceurs” — both of those phrases have two parts, different specific examples for each part, and in reversed order.

Let’s discuss the “identifier” part…

Identifier

We can choose to omit this component from the name (and just call it “code of conduct” etc), we can pick an existing community’s word/name, or we can find a larger umbrella term.

[omit] ?
parkour ?
freerunning ?
mover ?
traceur ?
…some other word?

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A name

(Part 3 of 11 in A Tracer's Manifesto)

( In late 2016 I began a small discussion with a few friends about an idea. Eventually the project became a web site [now gone] and this series contains the posts from that site. The project continues in the Parkour Forum. )

Originally published Dec 13, 2016

“A Mover’s Social Contract”

I’ve been going down the “social contract” rabbit hole recently. (eg http://www.iep.utm.edu/soc-cont/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_contract ). Notably, the UTM.edu article highlights some Femenism-based criticisms of the classic formulations of “social contract.” Clearly “social contract” brings philosophical context, but I think that would ultimately be a good thing.

Stepping back a bit, my whole goal has always been to make people (those who stumble on this thing after it’s finished) think more and more deeply. The goal is not to simply “collect signatories”.

So I’m really liking this name…

“A Mover’s Social Contract”

“A” a political way of suggesting this contract is just an idea for consideration. Not some bunch of people who got together and think they’ve nailed down the One True Thing and named the thing with a “The …”

“Mover’s” singular and possessive so the reader immediately can associate with it (since the reader is self/singular). And “hey, I’m a mover…” is about as platform-agnostic as we could ever hope to be. There will be some challenge in finding the correct word in each language into which we translate, but I think this word/concept is so common that it would be doable.

…and “social contract” as I’ve already discussed above.

Thoughts? Love it? Hate it? Solid ‘meh’??

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The first hurdle

(Part 2 of 11 in A Tracer's Manifesto)

( In late 2016 I began a small discussion with a few friends about an idea. Eventually the project became a web site [now gone] and this series contains the posts from that site. The project continues in the Parkour Forum. )

Originally published Nov 29, 2016

I think choosing a name for “it” is the first hurdle we should clear. It’s obvious the name creates a huge first impression, so it should be chosen wisely. But we need the name asap so we can do things like create a more-public facebook group/page, register a domain name, and build a web site.

I’ve been actively thinking about this for weeks and the only useful idea [imo] that I’ve had is that it should NOT have any of the common terms Parkour/Freerunning/ADD in it’s name. Including those common names would instantly bring divisive baggage into the first impression.

So I’ve mentally wandered way into the weeds thinking of ideas like “Code of Conduct”, but so far they all sound too vague and pompous to my ear. I’ve been searching for some way to hint at the obvious tie to PK/FR/ADD, but there’s no reason the code has to be explicitly about/for that community. Other ideas I’ve had, include playing off of the “tracers” or “traceurs” words, or phrases like “Movers Code of Ethics”.

So, is this hurdle where we should start?
…and if so, any ideas for discussion?

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Seed thought

(Part 1 of 11 in A Tracer's Manifesto)

( In late 2016 I began a small discussion with a few friends about an idea. Eventually the project became a web site [now gone] and this series contains the posts from that site. The project continues in the Parkour Forum. )

Originally published Nov 28, 2016

[The following is a direct quote of what I initially wrote. Some of it is already supplanted as I write this.]

I don’t recall who (if anyone) I discussed the following idea with, but it has again bubbled to the surface of my brain: Let’s create a Code of Conduct for parkour/ADD. I’m envisioning a very simple web site; Just a sort of billboard that says this is the Code of Conduct. Then we start grass-roots spreading the word and expecting that every group/team step up to support this CoC by mentioning/linking to the CoC.

At first I thought of making it more complicated by having individuals register (with a closed loop email signup), or having people contact us (uh, me I suppose) to add back-links when they link… but then I thought. Nah. All it needs is to be a bit of a community discussion to settle on the Code (many such codes already exist, shouldn’t be too different for parkour/ADD). Then we enlist a few people to translate it into a few languages, and we put it up.

Thoughts? I know it’s doable… but I’m wondering if it’s *useful*…

META

In late 2016 I began a small discussion with a few friends about this thought. The discussion went — roughly — in three directions, and I wanted to lay this out here to begin a history of the project:

Goal – Discussion of what are we trying to create with this project; What is the concrete, objective thing we are creating? How do we define success; Is it creation of some artifact (a “code” of ethics/conduct?), or is it to reach some level of “adoption” of it?

Code – The most difficult part of the project. Statements of ethics are inherently complex and there is an enormously wide range of scope available. Part of this project will involve sorting out the “height of the bar”; The more complex a social/moral concept embodied in a statement, the more discussion and dissent will be evoked. We will have to balance the desire for achieving wide-spread, grass-roots adoption of the “code” against how far onto the moral high-ground the code sits.

Technology – What technologies, formats and forums are we to use for this project. We’re beginning in a “secret” Facebook group, but I expect to quickly outgrow this forum. I expect we’ll ultimately have to produce a web site to house the finished product, and I hope that can also include a narrative (aka “blog”) capturing the discussions and process. The later point being another reason I want to move “out” of a Facebook group asap, so we can capture as much of the discussion, permanently outside of FB.

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A terrible mistake

http://julieangel.com/be-brave/

Suddenly, a decision I hadn’t even been aware I had made – giving up the thrill of movement for movement’s sake – seemed like a terrible mistake. I felt the same as if I had thrown out my entire music collection by accident.

~ Julie Angel

I completely agree with this sentiment. By the time I realized how much I had given up, it was far too late for me to recover what I had lost. These days everyone says complementary things about how much I’ve changed, or how well I’m doing. All I’m thinking is, “if only I hadn’t . . .”

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Novice and Expert Learners

http://skochypstiks.com/novice-and-expert-learners-the-impossible-rift/

There are two important takeaways from this idea. The first is that this is a sliding scale not a pair of absolutes. Almost everyone sits somewhere between. Secondly, by virtue of their position, teachers coaches and educators will always be experts. They have deep domain specific knowledge about an issue and understand it in a very different manner from the novice learners they are invariably teaching.

~ John “Hedge” Hall

I am not a parkour coach. But John most definitely is. He gave a wonderfully lucid and thought-provoking discussion at the last Art of Retreat which has left a permanent idea/mark/lesson in my mind about the “journey” each of us goes through in our learning process. (Just because I feel I learned the lesson, doesn’t mean I’m necessarily any good at passing it along.)

Anyway, John has a lot of really good thoughts on inclusivity in practice!

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A lifetime of successful training

(Part 67 of 74 in My Journey)

https://gmb.io/episode-92/

I had to change my expectations of how much I trained because I was in that mindset, the more training, the better. You can’t do more intense training, so now I probably train, if you look at it, still, I train maybe four or five hours per day, but three of those hours or four of those hours are watching video, or reading books, and researching because I can do that without damaging my body or going too far. For me, it’s not saying, “Well, I guess I’ll never be this good. Well, I’m just not going to have the expectation that I can get on the mat and grind it out with the 20-year-olds for five hours a day.” That’s not going to happen.

~ Burton Richardson

If you don’t know who Burton Richardson is… uh, think: Direct student of Bruce Lee, and 30 years of training with many of the greatest martial artists in history. Also, zero ego.

This interview with the legendary Burton Richardson is life-changing. My pull-quote does not do this interview justice. This 45-minute interview contains an insane amount of insight into training and practice for the long-haul.

…yeah, how many hours a day do I train?

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You Need People

http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/08/you-need-people/

When you’re stuck in a black hole where it’s impossible for you to reach escape velocity, your only hope for escape is to find an even stronger gravitational field to pull you out. People act a lot like gravitational fields, and when you put enough of them together, all tugging at you in a consistent direction, you’re going to move.

~ Steve Pavlina

This is a vastly better version of the old adage, “you are the average of your five closest friends.” I very intentionally use the people I find and train with in the Art du Dèplacement universe in this way. (Semantic detour: I may have you plotted in the ADD space even if you would say you are in some other.) If I’ve trained with you, you now know why I am sincerely appreciative of _your_ contribution to my journey.

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Day 100/100 – precision

(Part 103 of 104 in 100 Days of Training)

one. hundred. days. (with one miss.) Worst part? …the photos. Shout out to Miguel on this one for catching me as I stuck a sequence of strides across the wall to a precision (on a wall, that’s not a flat-top box.)

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