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 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.
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.
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.