Parkour is a sport that fascinates people from all around the world. It is spectacular and stunning to watch athletic people jumping over walls, climbing or do somersaults. But it is even more fun to be the person who jumps, runs and makes stunts. It is hard work to perform well and not hurt yourself. The Parkour enthusiasts have to train a lot. But with enough training you will be able to use every underground to make your way – with a lot of fun, pride and an incredible feeling of freedom.
Adam Dunlap is 33 years old and was born in Portland, Oregon (USA). He has been practicing Parkour since 2006. He founded a Parkour gym in 2008 called Revolution Parkour, and started a Parkour clothing and shoe company in 2009 called Take Flight. Currently he runs Take Flight and manages Parkour.com. He spent 3 years in college where he got a degree from Oregon State University. He studied Business Administration with a focus on International business and also received a minor in Spanish. However he does not give any credit to the institution for his learning or capabilities. He was not challenged in his studies which is why he was able to graduate a year early. Upon graduating college in 2007, he pursued work at Nike. Their world HQ is in his hometown, and he landed a temp position there. However, he only stayed for about 2 weeks before leaving to “pursue Parkour.” He wanted to make a future for himself in the sport. He made a demo tape, acquired an agent to represent him, and then started a Parkour gym, Revolution Parkour. The rest is history.
For Parkour, he was self-taught from 2006 to 2011. Then he moved to France to learn Parkour from the founder, David Belle. He spent 3 years working closely with him and learning Parkour from him. It was a huge paradigm shift. After 5 years of self-teaching he thought he knew what Parkour was. Then when he learned from David he realized he was on the wrong path completely. To this day he was convinced that most practitioners don’t really know what Parkour is. In some ways, Parkour can be whatever you want it to be, so if you’re running and jumping and climbing and training and calling it Parkour, then that’s fine. But the original, real discipline called Parkour is not something you see very often in society or in the community. For five years he thought he knew what it was, and then he realized he didn’t. It was a strange experience for him.
Take Flight is a company that sells Parkour shoes around the world with sponsored pros in many countries that support the brand. That company is a bit complicated. But Parkour.com is less of a company per se and more of an internet presence. Parkour.com is a very simple entity that Adam Dunlap runs alone, as it is focused around social media with the occasional article post. He tried many times to recruit people to contribute to the site, and he has not been incapable of finding the right contributors. The site is a not-for-profit site, so with Parkour being more developed now and often focused in specific communities, he thinks most of the qualified candidates who could work for the site – experienced Traceurs who are professionally minded with a history in Parkour – have their own endeavors that they’d rather use their time supporting whether that be their own gyms, brands, podcasts and other things. In summary, the site is mostly Adam Dunlap himself, but he would love if there were other contributors and admins. If someone wants to be one, all they have to do is ask.
Parkour.com has a complicated background. In 2011 he moved to France to work with the founder of Parkour, David Belle. The main idea was to work together to promote Take Flight as well as support David in his aspirations to make films and spread Parkour around the world. They had some other projects planned to do as well but those were the main two. Through that relationship, in 2012, Adam Dunlap gained ownership of the Parkour.com domain and he quickly built a large internet following. They had 150,000 Facebook followers in 2014 along with a great website, a growing YouTube, and a great team of support from top pros around the world. They had a ton of momentum. Everything they posted on social media went viral and they were growing exponentially. However, one day a superadmin on the Facebook page didn’t like the direction of the brand and deleted the page. He also closed the YouTube account.
Problems ensued after that with the website which was taken down, and internal discussions stalled everything for 2 years while Adam Dunlap decided how to proceed. In late 2015 he reopened an Instagram page. With no momentum he decided to keep the endeavor a simple side project and let it grow naturally. It is now mostly focused on sharing good Parkour content with the world. The current trajectory is really a question of resources and collaboration from others which he is always open for. He doesn’t like being the boss. He would rather be the producer that gives the entity direction and focus while allowing other people to control the method.
From almost the beginning of Parkour, the sport has existed in community. The groups of Traceurs that trained with David Belle in the 90s become legends that still resonate in the Parkour community today, and when I began training in 2006, it was still very common to form training groups and have group names and consistent training meetups.
When social media came about in the mid-2000s, Traceurs around the world connected online. First it was YouTube, then it became Facebook, and now it’s mostly a mix of Instagram and YouTube. Although there are some intellectual elements, to Parkour. The sport is not an intellectual endeavor. The sport is about movement and training and spirit. Because of this it is transmitted most efficiently visually and auditorily, through media, and through teachers. Because of this it makes sense that the sport gravitated to an online community where videos, information, and resources can be shared.
The simplest question is that explains the entity is, what is the purpose of Parkour.com? And the purpose is to play our part in spreading Parkour around the world, promoting the sport, promoting the athletes in it who are doing great things, and sharing resources that can help people train while keeping the sport connected to its roots and its history. In todays’ world the most efficient way to do that seems to be online, so that’s where we are. It makes sense from an organizational standpoint. It also makes sense from a community and sport-specific-historical standpoint. I wouldn’t call Parkour.com a “community.” I’d call it a resource.
For me the most important topics for Parkour are the basics, and that means:
· Parkour equipment
The Parkour.com site has not grown to a place where we have the resources to cover topics and stories that aren’t highly sought after. My time has to be spent on the most important elements of the discipline that apply to all Traceur – beginners and experienced Traceurs alike. Additionally, the content we produce must be timelessly relevant such that an article written today will still be worth reading in a year or two or 10. With limited resources, we have to focus on the essential, and that’s what it reduces to.
The history of Parkour will always be important because it gives context to where the sport is today, where it is headed and where it comes from. Also, Parkour is evolving constantly and people forget the history, so the history must be ever-present.
Training methods, ideas, workouts and other information are also essential. Those resources help everyone.
Parkour equipment is what people need to practice Parkour. So a large part of the site focuses on this as well, including promoting what we believe to be the best Parkour gear.
I hope that one day we can expand to include the full services of a media type enterprise that covers live events, creates videos, does interviews, and all the rest. But for now, we have to stay focused on what is most important, what is most desired, and what is timelessly relevant.
The essential is the basis of Parkour. So perhaps it is fitting that the site is so simple. David Belle once told me something like, “I have given more to the world to understand Parkour with than my father gave me. So if I can become what I became than anyone else can, too.”
The essential is what is important.
The main equipment you need for Parkour is a good pair of shoes. Everything else takes care of itself when you have the right spirit and the right vision for your training. The only shoes we promote on the Parkour.com site are shoes by Take Flight (TKFLT.com). That is the company I started in 2009, and we make a really great product.
I have reached out to other brands in the Parkour world to become a part of the site, because there are some other great products and brands in the Parkour community. But they have all expressed being too busy to contribute to the site. Of course, everyone wants free advertising, but I really value the effort and emotion that comes with sharing with the community. So when brands aren’t willing to contribute then there isn’t a synergy to promote their products.
We share content indiscriminately from brands and Traceurs around the world via the Parkour.com Instagram page, but we only bring attention to causes we are passionate about and people who contribute to the site. I’d love to see that change, but you can’t force others to join you.
Good Parkour equipment is affordable to everybody. The most important thing is for someone to be training in a pair of shoes / training in clothing that makes them feel comfortable and unrestricted. Take Flight sells great shoes ranging in price for $49 to $97, and they have clothing that ranges from $5 for discounted tees to $60 for their best pants. Whether you are shopping on a budget or whether you have the money to get the best products available, Take Flight is the best place to look.
The purpose of Parkour.com is to play a part in spreading Parkour around the world, promoting the sport, promoting the athletes in it who are doing great things, and sharing resources that can help people train while keeping the sport connected to its roots and its history. Further, Parkour enthusiasts need the right shoes. On Parkour.com you can read about shoes by Take Flight which are designed especially for Parkour. Their prices range between $49 and $97. Take Flight also offers clothing for affordable prices. Just check out the page!