For quite some time, we've been getting this question a lot : "How can I be a member of PKPH / Parkour Philippines?" It's been asked of us enough times that it compelled the current group of PKPH Core Volunteers to reflect on the matter. The issue of membership had to be thoroughly discussed as it's one of those issues that are so critical to the identity and core philosophies of Parkour in general and PKPH / Parkour Philippines - the value of camaraderie. In one of the discussions we've had, there was one very important value we were able to identify, and that was that PKPH / Parkour Philippines was NOT created for fame, or owning the Parkour scene in the Philippines. That it was NOT about a few people feeling cool and tough to reign supreme in the local Parkour community. PKPH / Parkour Philippines was created to POSITIVELY SPREAD PARKOUR in the country. The group was established in 2004 on the belief that the principles that Parkour was built on was valuable enough not only to help one become a skilled practitioner, but also to help one go through life with a positive, resourceful and curious disposition.
Again, let me reiterate this one important message : PKPH / Parkour Philippines does NOT want to own Parkour in the Philippines. In fact, Parkour can never be owned by any one person. While we can identify a few individuals whom officially started this global movement - Raymond Belle, David Belle, and Sébastien Foucan - we can only label them as 'founders', 'founding fathers'. To call them as 'owners' would be deeply troubling. The same philosophy applies for the local Parkour community in relation to possibly the first practitioners here in the Philippines Derek Sta Ana and Ira Villar - the founders of PKPH / Parkour Philippines - that every identifiable personality to progress Parkour are only mere conduits and agents, not 'owners'. Nobody owns human movement. Not now, not ever.
While it is important that the philosophy above is emphasized, there is a growing passionate urge to build a 'home' of our own. When we say 'home', we do not mean a literal space housed in four concrete walls and a roof. When we say 'home', we mean the emotional, mental, spiritual headquarters - the family. We find it necessary to build a family with members of like-minded individuals whom will carry on the Vision, Mission and Values PKPH / Parkour Philippines was built on, from this day on and until the spirit remains relevant. WE ARE LOOKING FOR OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN PKPH.
To become members, current skills are NOT PKPH's priority. Skills can be earned and learned. What we want are people with the passion for movement and Parkour, the willingness and persistence for self-improvement, and the appropriate mindset to be good leaders and examples as PK practitioners. As such, to be members, with consultation with the founders, current core volunteers and identified community regulars, written below are the formulated series of requirements we are confident will identify people whom share in the principles of PKPH / Parkour Philippines:
- EXPRESS to PKPH through the current group of core volunteers your aspiration to be a member. After such an expression, one is deemed as a 'candidate'.
- ATTEND sixteen (16) straight sessions of our regular Sunday training sessions, #PKPHBansay, with only two (2) allowable absences.
- Attendance is measured by strictly being there at the exact designated times. To control tardiness, candidates must make 'The Commitment' - an agreement that if late, one will undertake a set of physical exercises as a form of consequence. Details of what and how the consequences will be are discussed during #PKPHBansay .
- TAKE & PASS a required physical and oral test. PKPH does not want to sound boring, but if that's what it takes for us to ensure that we're all on the same page with regards to the Vision, Mission and Values of the organization, then we'll have to do it. Candidates will be screened by PKPH's current group of Core Volunteers on the following:
- Physical test - it will require minimum skills, but will focus more on one's 'heart' and perseverance. The specific physical tests will be kept secret under an 'honor code' only to be revealed during a candidate's last month of attendance requirement.
- Oral test - candidates must be familiar with basic PK and PKPH history together with PKPH's Vision, Mission, Values.
- LEAD one (1) session of #PKPHBansay after the candidate is deemed to pass the membership requirements 1 through 3. After leading a session of #PKPHBansay, a candidate will now become a Novice member of PKPH / Parkour Philippines. As a Novice Member, within one (1) year, one must be able to help...
- ORGANIZE FOR THE COMMUNITY a project that's in line with the Vision, Mission and Values of PKPH (e.g. a workshop for a community of underprivileged kids or fund raising event for disaster-stricken areas). After such project, a Novice member will now become an Honorary PKPH member.
As members, both as Novice and Honorary members, there will be perks. But we believe that at this point, perks should not be important. At this point, the only essential details to focus on are to find those who share in PKPH's Vision, Mission and Values and make the organization be their HOME.
So if you think you're up to it, let us know. We'll be willing to take on the first batch of aspiring members by April 2014's first #PKPHBansay, April 6.
Are you ready to BE PKPH?
*As discussed with the community, the PKPH Core Volunteer Group have been entrusted to uphold the integrity of the membership procedure. As such, the PKPH Core Volunteer Group reserves the right to accept or deny any person's process of or the membership itself.
**For questions, clarifications, suggestions, please don't hesitate to comment below. We appreciate any valuable insight we can learn from. Thanks.