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Parkour should be free to practice

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/17/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 968 times Debate No: 65278
Debate Rounds (3)
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Parkour today is largely misrepresented with movies and youtube videos as a way of showing off and a form of competition. Even today parkour is as a sport, which is against the original philosophy of parkour, which endorses self-development. Because people see parkour as less of a way to train the self it is abused. Parkour is just as much as a philosophy as it is a form of training much like kung-fu; therefore, there should be better informed practitioners to start a movement of free practice.


Actually for a great number of people practicing Parkour can be a way of showing off and a form of sport competition. I will not deny that Parkour shares some similarity with martial arts in its philosophy.
However I do not agree with your assumption. Parkour being Philosophy as much as Sport do not justify its free practice at all.

Freedom of thinking is one thing, Freedom to act is quite another thing.
Parkour being a kind of "philosophical current" doesn't give you the right to act according to it without any others basic considerations (Law, Compromise with others, wrong risk assessment etc...)

I will use an example of a sport I know very well which also has a deep cultural and philosophical background : Fencing.
You see in fencing we have to abide to certain rules (like wearing special mask and clothes, or legislation concerning carrying weapons etc...)
My point is that it has not always been like that. In 19th century Germany people fought to first blood, and sometimes even died or lost and eye from it. .
In some ways Fencing has managed to adapt to modern society safety standards without loosing its philosophical background.
Wouldn't you consider a bit absurd, for instance, to allow free practice of fencing in public land (even with protective masks) ?

There is no difference why this cannot also apply for parkour. I assume "free to practice" signifies that there should be no restrictions to practice parkour in urban areas. I specify "urban areas" because in the countryside parkour benefits the facto of a reasonable amount of freedom.

Now let's address some basic issues why allowing total freedom for parkour in urban areas is a bad idea :

1) Trespassing : In many countries trespassing in private property is a civil offence.
Rational argument : The law is the law, either you like it or not. Besides, private property can also be a philosophical issue and there are many people not wanting others "parkouring" on their roof without even asking.

2) Potential damage to public and private property : Although it might not be intentional, parkour practice can cause some damages (scratching paint, deteriorating rooftops, or constructions sites etc... etc... ).
In some cases it could also damage fragile historical buildings or sites.

I will not accept any argument stating that damage to property is close to zero unless you quote an external expert source : People practicing parkour tend to minimise the risk of damaging property (cognitive bias, deviation in judgment).

3) Injuries : Activities such as jumping off high building can be highly hazardous (regardless of how professional an athlete is). Hazardous enough for city authorities to prohibit it. Remember they are the ones who have to send an ambulance to save you if you are wounded to death.

4) It is reasonably impossible to make a different set of regulations do distinguish "personal" Parkour from competitive Parkour if the premise is that Parkour should be totally free to practice.
However I am still interested in factual evidence showing that competitive parkour is more risky than "personal" parkour.
In general for most sport the opposite is true : Competitive athletes are generally able to calculate risks better than amateurs and thus injures themselves less often.

In any case, while fully acknowledging and respecting the philosophical dimension of parkour. I do believe there is enough factual evidence to restrict and regulate it's practice in urban areas. Perhaps one way could be to create Parkour parks where everybody can freely and safely practice it.

Debate Round No. 1


infrasonictoultrasonic forfeited this round.


Pro forfeited so i will not be adding more arguments for the moment
Debate Round No. 2


infrasonictoultrasonic forfeited this round.


Pro forfeited without giving any strong arguments or refuting my arguments . Please vote Con
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture