The ADAPT (Art du Deplacement And Parkour Teaching) Qualification Programme is the world’s first and only recognised parkour coaching qualification, endorsed by the founders of the art and administered by Delivery Centres around the world on behalf of ADAPT Qualifications Ltd.
ADAPT provides the industry benchmark for parkour instruction, and has been formulated over several years by many of the founding figures and most experienced instructors of the discipline of parkour. It is accredited by the American Council of Exercise in the USA, recognized as a European vocational qualification and is part of the UKCC and QCF framework, endorsed and supported by the Youth Sports Trust (YST), the Association for Physical Education (afPE), Sport England and the world’s only National Governing Body for the sport, Parkour UK.
The ADAPT Programme of qualifications was created as a response to the rapid and widespread growth of the discipline of parkour around the world, which in turn led to people attempting to imitate the movements of the art without adequate training, understanding and/or preparation.
A body of highly experienced practitioners, including several of the founders of the art, gathered together to create a set of coaching standards by which practitioners could qualify to pass on the fundamental principles and movements of the art accurately, safely and competently. Parkour, if practiced well, can be an amazing vehicle for developing physical and mental fitness, toughness and all-round capability. As with any athletic discipline, however, if practiced poorly or without proper guidance the results can be negative and/or harmful.
The ADAPT qualifications ensure that any individual who wishes to coach others in the art will do so in a knowledgeable, professional, competent and safe manner. The global network of ADAPT coaches also gives a new coach an existing resource of highly experienced coaches and coaching bodies to support him or her in their development as a coach.
To receive an ADAPT Instructor Qualification is to be approved to teach the discipline of parkour/l’art du deplacement by the foremost practitioners and teachers in the world, including the original Yamakasi and the traceurs from Lisses, Paris – the birthplace of parkour.
DEFINITION : WHAT IS PARKOUR / ADD / FREERUNNING
The first name for the discipline, born in France in the 1980s, was Art du Deplacement; best translated in English as the Art of Movement. Over time other names were used to describe it, including Parkour – derived from the French parcours, meaning ‘route’ or ‘course’ – and later Freerunning. However, the name has never been as important as the methods and spirit of practise which remain at its core today. For the sake of convenience, these pages will refer to the discipline as Parkour.
Parkour focuses on developing the fundamental attributes required for movement, which include balance, strength, dynamism, endurance, precision, spatial awareness and creative vision. It is a way of training one’s body and mind in order to be as completely functional, effective and liberated as possible in the physical realm, and a way of thinking based on rigorous self-discipline, autonomous action and self-will.
Beyond this simple explanation, however, parkour is a discipline of self-improvement on all levels, an art that reveals to the practitioner his or her own physical and mental limits and simultaneously offers a method to surpass them.
A practitioner of parkour aims to be self-reliant and physically capable; fit, strong and healthy; honest and sincere; disciplined; focussed; creative and always useful and helpful to others.
ACHIEVING AN A.D.A.P.T QUALIFICATION
Each ADAPT Certification level is made up of a training course followed by a series of assessments, including physical, written and verbal tests as well as the logging of required live coaching hours. Only upon completing all components of the assessment can the candidate achieve an ADAPT Certification.
Passing an ADAPT qualification is to have achieved a level of physical and mental excellence both as a coach and as a practitioner. This is not something that can be assessed in one single examination or even several hours. The ADAPT Certification courses usually last between three to five days and are followed by an assessment period which is then supplemented by the candidate completing a set amount of supervised coaching hours in a live coaching environment.
Becoming an instructor of parkour is not easy. The discipline presents one of the most complete physical activities in the world, and if practiced or taught incorrectly can be extremely dangerous.
EXPECTATIONS OF AN ADAPT INSTRUCTOR
The ADAPT Qualifications are the standard qualifications an individual must possess before he or she is capable of teaching the fundamental principles, methods and movements or parkour, either in a class format or on a one-to-one basis.
An ADAPT instructor has to be well-rounded and competent in all aspects of the discipline: physically strong and durable, fit, healthy, and technically sound in all areas. He or she must also be capable of leading classes, both planned and unplanned, and well-versed in basic anatomy and physiology. The ability to lead a thorough warm-up in preparation for a training session is essential, plus he or she must possess good knowledge of how to develop the physical and mental attributes required of a traceur.
It is also expected of an ADAPT Instructor that he or she understands the necessity of a balanced and healthy diet, and the importance of good nutrition as essential support for sustained training.
The ADAPT Instructor must display self-discipline and a desire for self-improvement at all times, must practise regularly and demonstrate individual strength of character. It is not enough to be able to showcase good movement skills and be physically strong. The candidate must also be a capable and committed teacher; approachable and helpful to all who wish to learn; polite, courteous and attentive to the students at all times.
Upon receiving ADAPT Certification the coach will become part of the global network of ADAPT coaches and trainers, and will be expected to at all times act as a role model and example for the discipline of parkour / freerunning.
In summary, an ADAPT certified coach is expected to have sound knowledge of:
ADAPT SESSION STANDARDS
All instructors must adhere to and fulfil the ADAPT standards when running any session. Any class must be geared towards the students, and as engaging and enjoyable for the students as possible. Classes should be student-centred, which means after necessary demonstration by the instructor the students are then encouraged to practise the exercise as often as is required for their optimal benefit.
The minimum ADAPT session standards are laid out here:
Each session should consist of a warm-up, a cool-down, and adequate training content for the level of experience of the participants. Health and safety guidelines must be always adhered to, and the session should be of appropriate length while maintaining a good learning rhythm and teaching best practice at all times. All students must be included in the exercises.
At all times the instructor must maintain control over the running of the class and never delegate control to an unauthorised individual. In the event of a persistently disruptive student within the class, that student should be asked to stop participating in the class.
ADAPT sessions run at a ratio of 1 instructor to 8 students maximum in an outside environment, and 1 to 15 in an indoors environment that utilises equipment and safety materials.
Instructors must carry out risk assessments prior to every session and must maintain a constant level of dynamic risk management during the session.
Coaches must understand and implement all measures outlined in the ADAPT Programme’s Child Protection Policy. This includes possessing a valid CRB check, obtaining parental consent if necessary, and providing for adequate substance monitoring.
BECOMING AN ADAPT INSTRUCTOR
To be awarded an ADAPT Qualification the following process must be undergone:
LEVEL ONE: ASSISTANT COACH
An Assistant Coach is expected to work in a supportive role to a Coach or Master Coach
To become a Level One Assistant Coach, the candidate must attend and complete the ADAPT Level One Assistant Coach course.
Upon being accepted on to a Certification Course, the candidate will receive the necessary documents outlining what the assessment will consist of, and what will constitute a passing mark for a Level One Assistant Coach qualification.
A Level One Assistant Coach should have good knowledge, or be in the process of acquiring sufficient knowledge, in the following areas:
- Definition, history and principles of parkour
- Parkour terminology
- Parkour ability
- Body management: stretching, preparation, maintenance
- Teaching skills and awareness of best practice standards
- Basic injury management and rehabilitation knowledge
- Available resources
The candidate must complete the Certification Course, which involves practical assessments as well as a written assessment, and can then begin logging the required minimum 10 sessions of supervised coaching with a certified Level 2 or above coach, the last of which must be assessed by an ADAPT Assessor, and if successful the candidate will then receive the ADAPT Level One Certification.
LEVEL TWO: FUNDAMENTALS COACH
The Level Two ADAPT Fundamentals Coach is the standard certification an individual must possess before he or she is capable of teaching the fundamental principles, methods and movements or parkour, either in a class format or on a one-to-one basis, unassisted and unsupervised. A Fundamentals Coach is considered capable of teaching the fundamental aspects of the discipline in any situation and to anyone who wishes to learn.
This level of trainer has to be highly competent in all aspects of the discipline, and able to demonstrate all of the basic movements and principles encapsulated within parkour.
To become a Level Two Coach, the candidate must first have been training regularly and consistently for a minimum of three to five years. The candidate must have a full, up to date First Aid certificate. He or she must have completed all of the modules required of the Level One Assistant Coach Certification.
LEVEL THREE: MASTER COACH
The prime function of a Master Coach is to plan, recruit, develop, deploy and retain the right coaches to coach in the right environment. They have this responsibility to all coaches under their direct management, and often head up coaching organisations or clubs. A Master Coach is the focal point of knowledge, physical ability and experience within his/her coaching community and is expected to be a role model to others at all times.
- A Master Coach is expected to lead sessions and be responsible for supervising Coaches and Assistant Coaches and be able to delegate tasks accordingly.
- A Master Coach should be able to deliver a high level of session planning and implementation, and be able to plan year-round courses and manage large coaching events.
- A Master Coach should have skills and experience to supervise a number of individuals and work collaboratively with Coaches and Assistants to deliver a quality coaching experience, including event management.
- A Master Coach should have an excellent knowledge of coaching combined with significant levels of experience, i.e. more than 3 years as a level 2 coach
- A Master Coach is able to begin the Tutor Pathway to deliver the coaching certifications on behalf of a Delivery Centre, which include possessing an independent teaching/training qualification such as PTLLS or PGCE in the UK and full authorisation by ADAPT Qualifications LTD.
Must provide evidence of at least 3 years as an active Level 2 coach.
In the UK and Europe the ADAPT Qualifications are administered via the National Governing Body, Parkour UK. The qualifications are in line with the national sports coaching framework and are awarded by 1st4sports Qualifications.
Parkour UK is a non-profit organisation and is overseen by a board of directors and a council, who are responsible for regulating instruction within the sport.
Along with the support of Sport England and the City of Westminster, Parkour UK acts as the National Governing Body for the rapidly growing discipline and works in partnership with government bodies, local councils and other agencies to develop and spread parkour across the country.