Interest in the discipline of parkour/freerunning has grown exponentially over the last five years, arguably eclipsing boys’ gymnastics as an organized activity, with scores of gymnastics and martial arts academies across the country offering parkour classes as a major part of their curriculum.
But parkour as a safe, teachable discipline is currently under assault. Certain organizations are now threatening to withdraw insurance coverage from these academies unless the parkour programs are rebranded as “freestyle gymnastics”. If parkour gets absorbed by traditional gymnastics, it will die as a discipline. At the same time, the future of parkour is also threatened by the lack of a progressive training program and established safe practices.
In response, the World Freerunning Parkour Federation, a recognized global leader in the safe advancement of parkour as a sport and lifestyle, has partnered with some of the most respected parkour athletes in the world to create a progressive curriculum/certification program that will ensure the continued growth of parkour as a transformational discipline. Over two years in the making, the WFPF Certification Program has been carefully constructed to continue to encourage the creative, grass roots nature of parkour, while also establishing safe practices and a common vocabulary of movement.What are the guidelines?
An adaptation of the Official WFPF Curriculum (all rights reserved) as developed by Ryan and Anthony Doyle of Airborn Academy, UK., in cooperation with Ben Jenkin, Daniel Arroyo and Robbie Corbett for the WFPF Certification Program but will be adapted for College WFPF and the college parkour community to provide support for groups to develop teaching and training of parkour at the college or university. The curriculum’s focus on progressive training and the safe practice of parkour will become the model for the safe and progressive approach to parkour training on a college campus.
How do they impact my group?
The curriculum will be used as a guide to help administrators, school officials, risk management departments and insurance providers understand parkour as an organized and legitimate physical discipline while providing a guide for the safe, responsible and progressive practice of parkour. For the purposes of College WFPF and the college parkour community and to ensure the preservation of the freedom of each group’s parkour training, the WFPF Curriculum will not be a mandatory structure or regulation for college parkour groups but will serve as a resource available to help organize training and ensure the safe practice of parkour at the college or university.
How can I get access to the guidelines?
Becoming a College WFPF Affiliate Team or Sanctioned School will give you access to the guidelines.
If we create a standard for teaching parkour and freerunning techniques insurance agencies and school adminstrations will look upon college groups with more legitimacy. This also promotes a common standard of safety similar to USGA (United States Gymnastics Association) certification online test. Each leader will be required by the terms of the Sanctioned College WFPF School Agreement to take a small online test that will certify the leaders as College WFPF leaders. Leaders will be tested on the curriculum and the WFPF Code of Conduct. Passing the test will certify that you are familiar with and understand the curriculum and the safe practices of training parkour and are fit to lead a college parkour group. This certification is not the same as a WFPF Teaching Certification but is specific to peer leaders teaching and leading a college group not for profit. This College Leader certification will also allow leaders the chance to upgrade their certification to an Instructor Certification after graduating.