One of the biggest misconceptions about parkour is that it’s an extreme sport for daredevil athletes. One quick Google search and 10 minutes browsing YouTube will likely confirm that assumption.
But as is the case with any advanced skill, the internet only showcases the end result, not the process.
Which video is likely to get more views, the one of the robot built by a team of college students as it interacts with a human? Or one that records countless hours in the lab, crunching numbers and brainstorming theory after theory?
Parkour videos are no different. If you want people to watch, you had better fill them with advanced techniques that show danger and risk and near-impossible feats. People don’t get to see all of the learning and training that comes before.
What does a child learn during parkour training?
6. Self-reliance and motivation
At Fusion we teach children how to set achievable short-term goals and set them on the path for reaching their long-term goals. We teach them how to look at a problem from all angles to find their own way of solving it. This means that any obstacle we lay in front of our students could have limitless solutions and is determined by the student in a way that is most natural for him or her.
Because of this, no child is ever the “D student” and no particular student has an advantage over another, which puts everyone on the same level and encourages individual success in a team-motivated setting. Children are taught the math and science involved in conquering obstacles and use that knowledge to better understand their own bodies and how to move fluidly through a 3-dimensional environment.
What does a child gain from parkour training?
Martial arts are known for instilling children with respect and discipline. Gymnastics rewards dedication and perseverance. Team sports teach cooperation and unity. Parkour does all of these things in one!
Class structures are formal but fun, with the focus being on encouragement and boosting self-confidence. As the challenges increase, much of the curriculum revolves around breaking down obstacles and techniques, and creating a methodology for achieving goals, all the while improving every aspect of a student’s health and fitness.
What are the long-term benefits for a child studying parkour?
The skills learned through parkour training translate to any other sport or physical activity. Traceurs (parkour practitioners) learn to be in complete control of their bodies. They learn not only how to land properly, but also how to fall properly. That way, they have developed conditioned reflexes that help to keep them safe whenever something goes wrong.
We have helped dancers, gymnasts, runners, rock climbers, gym enthusiasts, and players of virtually any team sport. All of them have learned skills through parkour that helped to raise their overall abilities in their other endeavours.
And the benefits aren't just athletic!!
When a student learns to overcome fear and self-doubt, they begin to strive for greater things in other aspects of their lives.
To be confident in what they can do leads to being confident in who they are. Getting into college, interviewing for a job, safety behind the wheel of a car, avoiding and protecting themselves from dangerous situations... there is no limit to how many benefits there are for a child learning parkour!
What does all this mean?
Parkour is FUN. It’s engaging. It rewards individual success in a team environment and rather than punishing failure, it teaches students how to overcome and succeed.
It teaches safety that stays with a student outside of the classroom. It allows the student who might be overlooked by a coach or who might be last picked at kickball to discover that they are far stronger and skilled than they ever dreamed possible.
This is what we do.
We help our students find something within that is strong, talented, amazing and beautiful. As soon as we stop trying to cram a child into a specific mold, we realize that not a single student needs to fail. Ever. With the right teachers, and the right map, every student can reach the mountain top.
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