Scared Parent's FAQ
I created this section to alleviate the fears of all of the parents whose kids have told them they want to do Parkour, but have no idea what it is, or already have a bad vision of Parkour thanks to poor media attention and idiots on YouTube.
So let’s be very clear about a few things:
BUILDINGS: We don’t jump off buildings. We don’t tell your kids to jump off buildings. We don’t allow building climbing at all. Having kids jump off buildings is a terrible business model...
FLIPS: I don’t teach your kids to do flips on anything but a foam pit for a long, looooonnnnnnng time. Not until they’re ready. Only in a safe environment. With lots of mats, spotting, and progression.
LEGITIMACY: I’m certified and insured. Not just as a World Free Running and Parkour Federation instructor, not just as a martial arts instructor in 5 different arts, but also as a high school math teacher. My goal is not for your son/daughter to learn cool things to show their friends, but to help them grow up to evaluate and manage risks, be physically fit, and contribute to their community. I not only teach students Parkour, I tutor many students outside of class in study/homework skills and chaperone them at community events.
STRUCTURE: It is not a free-for-all. Every class is structured, every activity is supervised, and every new movement is chosen based on the skill level of the student.
SURFACES: Our gym is not cement. Our structures are wooden, our floor is coated in rubber, and we have lots of mats. We like mats. Dare I say, we love them. They are our friends. Concrete is the distant cousin that we put up with from time to time outside.
SUPPORT: Parents love it as much as the kids. I can’t tell you how many parents love watching their kids get involved in Parkour. It’s active, it’s fun, and it creates actual changes in personality. Positive changes. And some parents like that their kids get a scraped knee every once in a while. You know, like you used to…
COST: It’s not expensive. No really, I’m not here to take all of your money. Some of it. Enough to pay the bills and get me gas to get there, but there are no registration fees, testing fees or other hidden fees. There is no uniform to buy (but lots of shirts if you want them!). No special equipment is necessary.
CONTRACTS: No long term contracts. And there are no corporate sponsors trying to secretly infiltrate your brain. Just a drop-in price for each class or a slightly larger price for a month. Done! (Please understand, this is not for lack of business savvy. I run other businesses. I know the amazing effect of long term contracts, upgrade programs, required gear, and all of the other things you can do to make a profit. Parkour is a passion, and it is a hobby. I will not sell it’s soul for my personal gain. Some people think that’s naive. I’m okay with that).
SAFETY: I have a very, very good safety record. It is my priority, first and foremost. After seeing the injuries of other sports like ACL tears, broken bones, severe concussions and facial injuries that are found in sports like soccer, football, wrestling, cheerleading, and every other conventional sport, I happen to think that we’re doing pretty well for ourselves here. With that said, your child will probably get scrapes and bruises. We have bandaids for that…
I’m sorry if that was blunt. I did not mean to be curt, or rude. But these are the prejudices I have to deal with on a daily basis and I find that brutal honesty is the best policy. But don’t believe me, I could very well just be trying to take all of your money, in ineffectually small portions. Why don’t you listen to some of the parents of our students?
“AM Parkour offers each student the opportunity to challenge and improve their physical strength by learning something new in a structured and safe environment, while at the same time encouraging personal expression and growth.
It is apparent each instructor loves what they are doing. AM Parkour also provides a positive and motivating atmosphere that is created by the instructors and by the students themselves as they enthusiastically recognize the attempts and successes of each other.
During the sessions students focus on developing fundamental parkour skills. Once those skills are achieved, each student advances at their own pace, increasing the level of difficulty and learning more advanced skills without unnecessary risks to themselves and other students.”
-Jen Fahey (Jen’s children have trained at AMP since 2010)
“AM Parkour is so much more than a place to take classes once or twice a week, it’s a club, a place to meet others with similar interests, a welcoming, encouraging, fun environment and that’s all thanks to the owner, Scott Hoffman. Scott’s an amazing instructor and an all around awesome guy who truly cares about his kids in and out of the gym.
When my son first showed interest in parkour and I watched the videos of people jumping from rooftop to rooftop I was naturally hesitant. Scott instantly put my mind at ease. He teaches the kids the correct and safe way to do each move and knows just when to introduce his kids to the next level of difficulty. My son is very athletic but wasn’t into the traditional sports offered in our area.
When he found parkour – he found himself and his place."
-Paula McLaughlin (Paula’s son has been training at AMParkour since 2010)