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Goodbye, Parkour.com; Hello, Parkour.com

Parkour.com, formerly one of the most prominent parkour news sites in the world (and the only one affiliated with Sébastien Foucan) has, as of April 16, begun redirecting visitors to Davidbelle.com/parkour. No more news. No more videos. No more useful links. Just a static page.

Worst of all, the content of parkour.com is not cached or saved, it is apparently gone forever. Try this link, or this one, or this one, and see what you get. Only a 404 page.

Parkour.com belonged to Sébastien Foucan, as of at least Jan 23, 2005. The fact that it’s now likely owned by Take Flight under the guise of David Belle is troubling. What will happen next?

[Tip from parkour-blog.com]

Update:

Well, that was fast. Parkour.com now directs visitors to a website that – oh so shockingly – has a very strong Take Flight influence. Not only does the website have the same design as davidbelle.com, but the content is essentially the same.

Take Flight and Parkour 91 are both owned by Adam Dunlap. Davidbelle.com, as I have noted already in great detail, is very strongly associated with Take Flight/Adam Dunlap. This site is obviously very, very Take Flight centric. Granted, it’s still being built, but for a website whose tagline is “The Internet home and resource for traceurs worldwide,” it’s strange that all of the links will lead to Take Flight’s website within at most 2 clicks. No links to learn parkour through video tutorials or relevant articles. (Hey, you know who provides a ton of links to learn parkour on the front page of his website? Me.) Nor are there links to parkour news sites or popular parkour YouTube channels. The video of the week is a Take Flight promotion. Take Flight seems to be Taking Center Stage on the new parkour.com.

video of the week

Another thing:

That “official” business really annoys me. Official clothing of parkour, official website of parkour, official Facebook page of parkour.

NO.

There can be no official anything of parkour, because there is no governing authority. While David Belle could have been a leader, but he decided a long time ago to let everyone follow their own path. The door to the position of official parkour leader is now firmly shut, and nothing can open it again. In parkour, nothing is official, nothing can be official, least of all clothing. What makes TF clothing “official”? Because David Belle is friends with founder Adam Dunlap? Because David Belle wears their shirts? David Belle also wears Novel Ways’ Reach/Escape shirts. Why isn’t Novel Ways the official clothing of parkour? Especially considering other prominent traceurs such as Shaun Wood, Alexander Zyulev, and Callum Powell who wear those shirts.

Take Flight’s in-progress domination of parkour is very disturbing. Those of us who have been following the parkour scene for any length of time will know that TF is essentially making it all up. They’re leveraging the positivity and general pleasantness of the parkour community in order to make unsubstantiated claims (because no one will call them out on it), use David Belle’s reputation to sell shirts (because David is friends with Adam Dunlap), and use their money/influence to buy multiple parkour-related domain names.

Be wary of Take Flight. They’ve been slowly, slowly building up a backlog of actions that in and of themselves are relatively innocent, but taken as a whole, point to the inevitable conclusion that Take Flight – a clothing company – is trying extremely hard to become the world’s dominant parkour organization.

Keep a sharp eye on them.

–Alan

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  • Xavior11

    So so messed up of TF…

  • Take Flight

    TF Rep here:

    Well written! And all good points! Definitely keep an eye on TF. It only makes sense! They’ve done good things and they spread a good message in a good way, but people and organizations change so you never know.

    https://www.takeflightapparel.com/true-to-parkour

    Some information to add that we are privy too: Parkour.com was owned by Sebastien Foucan. He gave it to David Belle in February 2012 (just two months ago). Adam Dunlap works as Belle’s business manager (through Parkour 91 – hence Parkour 91 manages Belle) and Dunlap has personally been put in charge by Belle to develop Parkour.com. With that in mind of course they are going to create the synergy between all the organizations and sites. Who wouldn’t?

    If you have questions I’d recommend reaching out and asking. Dunlap has always shown a willingness to answer questions when people are open and ask.

    • AlanSchex

      Hey,

      Thanks for responding and being polite.

      “They’ve done good things”
      Like what? What specific good things has TF done? You sponsor athletes, yes, but what do they get out of it besides free clothes which they wear when they make the videos which TF shares on their Facebook page?

      “They spread a good message”
      I’ll give you that one; the TF Facebook page is always positive, with the exception of a few questionable posts.

      The points listed in that link mean virtually nothing. I’ve already talked about #1, and it really does mean nothing. #2 lacks the details that would make it a solid point. Every single company on Earth puts the majority of their profits back into making more, so #3 means nothing. #4 is a good philosophical point, but in practice doesn’t  differentiate you much from organizations like American Parkour or the WFPF. #5 says you were first. Being first counts for a little, but not much. It’s better to be the best than the first.

      Perhaps you could add a disclaimer/information page to your website then? Instead of waiting for someone to call you out on these things, wouldn’t it be better to be up-front and honest about them?

      As for Adam Dunlap being willing to answer questions, not really. When I was writing the original Davidbelle.com and Take Flight Apparel piece ( http://www.flipyeahparkour.com/2011/10/david-belle-com-and-take-flight-apparel/ ), I emailed him at two different addresses his websites provided, the TF email address, *and* messaged him over Facebook. The only response I got was an email back from another TF rep saying he would pass on my message to his higher-ups. Nothing happened after that. However, I will be emailing him very soon to ask for an interview. Here’s hoping he’s as willing to respond as you have said.

      –Alan

      • M2

         Well, I have to say that calling themselves the first parkour clothing company is grossly not true. Urban Freeflow made clothes in 2003. All the other things they claim I won’t go into because they may be construed as opinion vs. fact.

  • Matthew Willis

    I think Take Flight calls themselves the first Parkour Clothing company because it was the actual first company dedicated solely to just clothing.  Not performance or anything like that, plus clothing…just clothing.

    I kinda think of Take Flight as Google.  Now of course, this will go anyway.  Google acquires a tool, then another tool, then another and another.  Soon enough, they have to make a tool box and put all of them in there.  Let it all work together and thrive together.  Whether you believe in Googles moto “Don’t be evil” I feel this goes the same as official David Belle line.  

    As long as David Belle is fine with this, I am fine with this.  I mean it sounds as though people are suggesting, someone with the highest metal and physical capacity here (David Belle) is being made to go along with all of these weird crazy, good for nothing ventures.  David Belle knows what is going on with him, his brand and his message.  He was never made to make the take flight brand official, he was never made to take over parkour.com.  These were decisions by David Belle.  That is just flat out the truth. Sometimes people get upset with their parents/mentors for making them a certain way…well we always have choices and we are always in charge of our life.
    I feel that David is making strong and important choices.  One, he has to monetize on what he has created.  I gladly payed for a TF shirt because I know I am supporting David Belle himself while doing it.  I am glad that David Belle is not officially in charge of the name he created online.  I think that was just down right Sweet of Seb to do that too.  Yes Parkour.com is gone, and that is def sad, I wish there was some type of archive but look at what Adam has been able to do with the image of David Belle so far?  He has been a voice with a mega phone lately with great incite versus a voice under the water.I think Parkour.com has a much bigger mission now that it is with David Belle, and I support that.

  • M1L3S

    Parkour = Training
     
    Everything else Bull$#!& (i.e. parkour clothes, websites, gear, vacation, contest videos)

    That is all! :)
     
     
     

  • Adam Dunlap

    FlipYeah, I’d be happy to do an interview, and answer any
    questions you have. You can contact me via the email I put on this comment.

    So that you know, and so that anyone else who reads this comment knows, I’m always
    open and honest, so please feel free to ask anything. Frankly I don’t think you
    or a lot of other sites will be willing to publish all the answers, but that’s
    up to you. I just want to let you know that for my part I am willing to answer
    any questions you can throw. There are some exceptions when it involves
    information I deem to be private which can be both in a business context and
    personal context, but most everything is fair game.

    On another note, and this ties in because of the current state of affairs in
    the Parkour world concerning me/Take Flight/David Belle etc, I think you’re the
    only person to actually ever keep an open mind and pursue answers instead of
    simply assuming, jumping to conclusions, and spreading rumors. It is because of
    this lack of open mindedness that I think we are where we are today in the
    Parkour world with factions and animosity. I remember when I applied to be on
    the Tribe and Mark Toorock (M2) had a Take Flight sticker on his phone. Things
    have changed a lot since those days. Hopefully an interview will put things to
    rest. That depends on who is willing to publish it and how many people see it,
    but again, that’s not on me. For my part I’m willing to try.

    • M2

       Adam, I personally would be interested to hear what made you think it was OK to use my and other people’s images and likenesses without our permission to make people believe that we endorsed your clothing line, would you care to speak to that? When I emailed you about this repeatedly you did not respond until I had an attorney send a letter. Then you had bigger attorneys respond. How did you think that was OK??

      • Adam Dunlap

        M2
        - Even now your communication is full of assumptions. This is exactly what I
        was talking about above.

        It’s my personal policy not to respond to threats. Without asking me even a
        single question you threatened to sue me and Take Flight. That’s why you never received
        a response from me personally.

        The
        reason for my actions is that I wanted to work with you. And what you threatened to
        sue me over was your misunderstanding of a sign of respect: me trying to get your attention. But I don’t want your
        attention any longer. Because in spite of my success, you have done nothing but
        bring negativity to me and my endeavors. Furthermore, your demeanor, actions,
        and assumption-filled posts regarding me and my work through
        Revolution Parkour, Take Flight, and with David Belle
        have bred animosity and spread hate in the Parkour community. I don’t want to be associated with that
        As such I will not respond to any more comments or messages from you, whether they are public or public.
        If you still have questions for me then I recommend asking FlipYeah to ask them
        in our interview. If he does then I will gladly respond openly and honestly in an
        attempt to fill in any gaps that are still out there for you or others.

        You’ve
        done a lot to help bring recognition in the United States to the word Parkour,
        and I thank you. I also want to wish you the best in your endeavors and your future. I
        really mean that. With that said, I think we should finally put this
        conversation to rest. It is clear to me that we have chosen two very different
        paths, so I suggest now that you finally let us continue in those directions.

        • M2

          Unfortunately, I have to file what you are saying now under “not
          true” as the first email I sent to you regarding the matter said only:
          “Really??? (4/29/2010)

          4 Months later when you did not respond and were still trying to sell
          your clothes with my name, I sent you the “threat” asking you to
          surrender the domain name (my name) back to me. I threatened to request
          the domain name back (marktoorock.com) through proper icann procedures,
          and to file a suit for profits you had made in my name to sell your
          clothing, plus the filing fees for the dispute.

          Saying that it is an assumption that you used my name to sell clothing
          is not true- you used my name to try to sell your clothing (fact), if you now
          want to say that this was a sign of respect (!!!???) then I think that’s
          either funny or sad, depending on who you expect to believe that.

          An email to me would have done a lot more to get my attention than you
          blatantly using my name to sell your clothing. How you feel that would
          be a sign of respect when you know that I sell clothing is absolutely
          baffling to me. (anyone????)

          Saying that I am spreading hate in the parkour community is fairly
          ridiculous, you did something immoral and probably illegal, and expect
          me not to call you out on it when you make gross public claims? Right, I
          should just be quiet, that would be better for you wouldn’t it?

          I am going to continue trying to make the best resources available and
          make a community for practitioners to share info and have a community,
          and yes, run a sustainable business within those boundaries.

          I will not however stop pointing out when people do things I feel are morally and blatantly wrong. Sorry if that bothers you.

          I really don’t have anything to interview you about. It is clear that
          you have chosen to train with David and I commend you on that, I only
          hope that your training leads you to a path of better business practices.
           

           

          • Robert


            I will not however stop pointing out when people do things I feel are morally and blatantly wrong. Sorry if that bothers you. ”

            Mark Toorock, there’s dirt on you too, so don’t be the first to start pointing.

            • M2

              Robert, I’m happy to address any behavior of mine you feel to be out of line, immoral, or a unfair business practice.- Response may be delayed, on my way to a weekend of camping.

        • David Benjamin Jones

          You’re absolutely ridiculous. Stop trying to portray this innocent, altruistic ego. 

          P.S: Making assumptions is what finally got us to this point, if it wasn’t for certain people becoming suspicious and coming to certain conclusions, we would have never built up the momentum to actually get a statement from you or TF  (e.g You owning David’s domain since 2007?).

          As Mark said, I hope your training with David teaches you to be less shady…

        • Joe

          It’s really quite sad that things like this are going on in the parkour world. It’s only to be expected – this is the real world, after all, and not a wonderful, peace-centered, obstacle-overcoming, solution-finding philosophic group — oh, wait. It’s supposed to be. But, clearly, each of you “leaders” of the community has something more important on his mind: business. Which is understandable. How silly of us to think that the furthering of the parkour discipline in its true would be more important than business, influence and money.I do thank you both for what you have done in the interest of the parkour community. Adam, you’ve got some nice shirts. M2, thanks for teaching, etc.But really?Adam, I’ve been following TakeFlight’s actions for at least as long as FlipYeah has been covering them, and I have not been impressed. I’ve been disappointed, then disturbed. It may aall be “good business,” but it does not match the spirit of the community.

          Also, clamming up and refusing to discuss things with M2 does not make you look mature or like you are in the right. You actually look immature, and like you are running from him because you know he’s right.

          It would go a LONG, LONG WAY for you to publicly come to terms with him.

          I might even buy a shirt.

          M2, based on various videos of you and comments I’ve seen by you, I haven’t always been impressed by you, either. On occasion, I think you could probably learn to relax a little, and in general just use more tact (and proper grammar). I understand you are trying to be truthful and blunt, but you sometimes come off sounding kind of self-centered. Sort of like Adam does, minus the machinations.

          Sorry about your trouble in dealing with Adam.Here’s to the future of parkour, and the peaceful reconciliation of all parties therein.

          -Joe

          • Joe

            Note: the above written with positive intent, ready to be congenial, but somewhat frustrated.

            “Here’s to the future….” should be on its own line, separate from my response to M2. Formatting self destruct.

            • M2

               Joe, I completely understand where you are coming from. Because these particular discussions are centered around the business aspect, it does seem like that is the highlight, and that’s really too bad. People who know me personally would (hopefully) tell you that my intentions and actions are not centered around business, but centered around the cause with business as a second. I also realize how I sound sometimes, it is hard to try to state facts about things which I am not happy with without sounding like “I think I’m right”. I in fact feel that one of the greatest signs of intelligence is to be able to hold two opposing views and to actually understand the benefits and pitfalls of each simultaneously. I do not believe that many things are “black and white”, “right or wrong” but that most things have opinions and sides and views, and I do my best to listen to and respect other people’s views, even when they do not represent my own.
              I appreciate your feedback, and welcome you to email me any suggestions on how I might come across more positively in these situations. You should know at least that I saved my response last night, edited it three times today taking out more negative and accusatory things, and sent it trying to be strictly factual and to the point. I realize I am not the best at that, and not only my grammar, but my typing sucks as well :)
              Happy Training!
              M2

               

              • Joe

                M2,

                Sorry to take so long to respond.I really appreciate your response. Thank you. I know everyone else that I’ve spoken with was very happy with it, too. Know that it has engendered a great deal of respect in me (and others!) for you, on top of what I had already.If I have concerns in the future, I’ll take you up on your offer. I don’t expect to need to, but if I do, I guess that will become the true test of your response. ;)

                With regard to the grammar and typing: don’t worry too much. I, and I think the more conscientious of the community, appreciate any real effort in the right direction. I appreciate the care and thought you put into your post. I’m aware that my original post had a typo or two, not to mention the glitched formatting. Mistakes will happen, but it’s good to keep in mind that the more tense or important the discussion, the more important grammar becomes – for bilateral respect, and clarity.

                Thanks again. =)

                Adam,Did you see Mark’s response? It would be worth your time to take note of it. Honor, listening, response, willingness, openness and honesty — these are all important. Clamming up does not display these actions and attributes. You may  very well be right, or have valid points – but I and we will never know if you won’t really, really be open to talking about it. I would love to change my opinion about TakeFlight. :-)
                For anyone who cares, a major point in how to garner respect and appear professional is to be gracious. That’s something I could take a lesson in, too. It is not easy to be gracious. You won’t always look “right,” when being gracious. You will, however, most always have respect, the higher ground, and a good chance at making peace and agreements happen.Gracious: Courteous, kind, and pleasant, esp. toward someone of lower social status. [Don't respect someone? Be even kinder.]Synonyms:kind – merciful – kindly – benignantJoe

                • Joe

                  Alan — is the formatting problem something I’m doing wrong, or is the software just unhappy?

                  • AlanSchex

                    Not sure what you mean – the steadily decreasing widths is a Disqus function, but the dropped spaces seem to have been included in your original comment.

                • M2

                   Joe, I totally agree with the points you have stated, one thing I’m proud to say fairly often is that I treat “the guy sweeping the floor” the same as I treat “the owner”, they are both people and both deserve courtesy and compassion. There is a great quote that integrity is what you do when nobody is looking. In any case, my goal is as stated, run a website that is primarily a useful and helpful resource to the community and especially to those seeking to get into parkour and freerunning, and also to run a sustainable business within those parameters so that I and the Tribe members and sponsored athletes can do that and hopefully help and inspire people. Call us out whenever you see us not doing that, and also help us out when you can!
                  Thanks!!
                  M2

  • Mrwiddim

    David Belle isn’t associated with this, f*ck take flight.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Djones456 David Benjamin Jones

      Hahahaah I <3 you

  • Caelan

    Haters gonna hate.

    Stop picking on people who are more successful than you, just because they use different tactics than you, and maybe learn something instead.

    If you don’t like the way the parkour movement is growing, lead it positively in a different direction. Taking shots at other leaders slows down the momentum of everybody.

    • Joshfish

      Lol, “Leaders”.

    • Callum Aus

       There aren’t ‘leaders’, silly. And what ‘momentum’? All Alan’s trying to do is point out some shady practices, which would be just as shady in any other context, really. I try to separate myself from bullshit and politics in the Parkour and Freerunning communities, but stuff like this genuinely just shits me.

      • Callum Aus

         Plus he charges $35 for tracksuit pants. Da phuq?

  • Pingback: Adam Dunlap: Public Interview. You’re the Boss. - Take Flight

  • Dan

    It used to be one of the best website for parkour videos that inspires me. I really don’t like how it turned out!

    • Michael Sibe

      Being in the Parkour community for many years I have to say that Parkour.com was a great site and TF should’ve just left it the way it is. I don’t like the fact that they use David B. as one of their very few responses to everything. Yes people look up to him and sure was the “creator” of Parkour or “founder” but they really shouldn’t use him to back their product. Its wrong to do that. I miss the old days of Parkour when everything was about training and having fun and not caring about having an “Official” parkour product or anything like that. I really do. It used to be like “Hey look! He did a massive Cat Pass to Precision” and now it’s “Whoa… did you see that wall climb? And what kind of shirt is he/she wearing? UFF? or TF?” It shouldn’t be like that and I know many other people out there agree with me too.

      • MsundrstdKdd

        I agree.

  • Pingback: Interview with Take Flight Founder Adam Dunlap

  • Derma

    There are worse things.

    Such as competitions and the smelling people involved in it.

  • thor

    awesome site! this is my newest video! if anyone wants to check it out! or share it around and show some love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S29VTVQfWE4&feature=relmfu

  • http://twitter.com/Dig_Gil Dig Gil

    There’s always the WayBack Machine of the Internet Archive! It doesn’t have it all, but might have just enough: http://web.archive.org/web/20110430205735/http://www.parkour.com/