At Red Path Movement, we believe in providing more than just physical education. Our programs foster physical, mental, social and even spiritual development.
By combining parkour training with activities that build everything from upper-body strength to leadership and self-awareness, Red Path Movement students develop skills that will benefit every aspect of their lives. The following ideas and principles are at the core of what we teach here at Red Path Movement:
[Pahr-Koo r, -Kawr, -Kohr]
- The sport of moving along a route, typically in a city, trying to get around or through various obstacles in the quickest and most efficient manner possible, as by jumping, climbing, or running.¹
In a basic sense this definition is correct, but we would like to expand on it, as Parkour has developed a rich history and distinct philosophy over the past 30 years, and it is important to understand the foundations of our art form.
¹ Definition by dictionary.com: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/parkour
History of Parkour
Although it could be argued that Parkour has been practised throughout the ages, Yamakasi, a group of French Treaceurs from Lisse, France, are credited as the first group to develop a method of Parkour training and were among the first to popularize the sport through local and international media outlets. At the time, the group referred to the sport as l’Art du déplacement. Their practice was inspired by training that one of the group member’s fathers had received in the French military. This training was in turn based on Georges Hébert’s Méthode naturelle, which combined training in a wide variety of physical capacities, (often using acrobatic elements similar to modern Parkour techniques), with the training of courage and morality.
David Belle and Sébastien Foucan would eventually leave the group to pursue their own development of the practice. David would become known as the founder of Parkour and continue to popularize the name globally, while Sébastien would become known as the founder of Freerunning, when he and others were featured performing Parkour in the British documentary Jump London. This confused many in the international community of movement, as the documentary had used the term “Freerunning” as an English translation of the word Parkour. It was eventually concluded that Parkour was the aspect of movement that focused more on moving through a space with speed and efficiency while Freerunning focused more on aesthetic movements within a space. Today, many practitioners find a healthy balance between both, as both practices come with their own advantages.
At Red Path Movement, we respect the difference between the two art forms, however we often incorporate elements of Freerunning within our Parkour programs, as Parkour is the most consistently used term for the two activities.
Philosophy of Parkour
The Yamakasi valued certain principles in their practice. These included honesty, respect, humility, sacrifice, and hard work.
- Honesty: Always be truthful with yourself, your fellow practitioners and others.
- Respect: Honour your space, your peers and yourself. Recongnise the unique value of each of these things.
- Humility: Leave your ego out of training, you don’t practice to show off, you practice to get stronger and to help others get stronger.
- Sacrifice: Give your time and energy to the practice and to your fellow members.
- Hard work: Give all you can to become more then what you were when you started.
These fundamentals are consistent to many forms and practices of Parkour and are held dear here at Red Path Movement. These values are a core reason why athletes are able perform the heroic feats you’ll often see on many forms of social media.
The Medicine Wheel
In many North American Indigenous cultures, the Medicine Wheel is a representation of the self and one’s connection to the world. It teaches us about staying healthy in mind, body, spirit, and emotions. Red Path Movement students learn how to apply the Medicine Wheel’s teachings both in Parkour and in their everyday life. Red Path Movement received the permission of the Circle of Indigenous Nations to use the Medicine Wheel in our logo and in our teachings. Michael Garvey, of Cayuga Nation decent, advises Red Path Movement on its use of the Medicine Wheel.
East: It all begins here. The east represents our spirit, and taking the leap the faith.
South: This direction relates to our emotions and feelings, understand what they do for us and how they strengthen us.
West: West represents our body. It encourages us to respect, nourish, and exercise our physical body.
North: Mind is connected to the North. As we develop we increase our capacity to stop and think. We have learned much on our journey.
Another unique aspect of Red Path Movement’s teachings is our use of experiential learning. When we coach our students, we want them to leave with skills that can have application outside of the gym space. Learning through experience fosters and understanding that is far more transferable than studying a specific skill in a more traditional way.
Experiential Learning is cyclical and requires: Action, Reflection, Understanding (Conceptualization), and Experimentation. As a result we are encouraging students to learn through their own experience and analytical processing of said experience. The figure below demonstrates the cycle of Experiential Learning:
Experiential Learning is about encouraging a process of learning through doing. This process often pushes participants outside of their comfort zone, but once they are able to process and develop on this level, participants grow both in their skill set and their ability to take initiative in order to further their own learning.
No one should expect their experience with us to be easy. We are an organization that believes in moving down the Red Path, which means that there will be obstacles. These Obstacles will challenge your body and heart, some will challenge your mind, and a small few may even push your spirit.
Red Path Movement is here for people who really want to be challenged, enjoy themselves, and test their limits. We’re here to help you get started on the journey of a lifetime!
Learn more about how we teach our students, check out our RPM Development System.