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  • Writer's pictureMelbourne in Motion

Get to know John

Our series of blog posts introducing our coaches begins with John!

"Any comments, questions, stories, revelations, feedback or anything else want to say?" That's something you'll often hear John say when he is teaching classes or workshops. So, diving in, we asked... what is John's story?

What would you like to tell us about yourself?

If you haven't gathered already, I enjoy movement. I have a appreciation for movement beyond the normal execution of everyday activities. I've always been impressed with what people can accomplish. I enjoy watching and drawing inspiration from dance, martial arts and other forms of body performance or acrobatics. Outside physical movement, I have recently finished a degree in Animation. I like bringing things to life through animation. For me parkour and animation are parts of the same sphere: one part I am exploring movement physically, and the other through creativity.

I play with a range of creative endeavours. I can sometimes be found drawing, playing guitar (if poorly), making visual art (usually in form of video art), digital drawing, or using random programs to try and make stuff. For those that know me, it is no secret that I am a bit of a chocoholic.

How did you discover Parkour and when did you begin training?

I discovered parkour around 2003, from playing games - I was quite into the game Prince of Persia. I was drawn to the act of running on walls and the acrobatics within the game, which I found very appealing. While playing this game these actions made me feel like a hero. So being inspired from this game I wanted to explore the world more look into the behind the scenes go into the lore and character design of the game. Through this process I came across a post on a forum which said “People run on walls in real life.” Following this lead I came across early footage of the Yamakasi. "This is awesome" I thought, so began devouring whatever I could on the subject. I started training “Yamakasi.1’ I soon realised the group was called 'Yamakasi' and I was training 'Art du displacement' or 'parkour'. Started to refer to my movements as parkour.

When I discovered this, I was a active teen who enjoyed tree climbing and chasing games and just associated parkour with what I was already doing. I was in a small country hub town in NSW, so nobody was training where I was. I tried to convince some friends to join me but their responses were “You learn first then teach us.” I started by trying to incorporate parkour training into my everyday. I would often walk to school so would use this time to play on with balance by balancing on the curb or peoples fences as i walked to school. As i was inspired from the wall running from Prince of Persia; a lot of my initial training was playing with vertical walls.

In my early days of training i would go down to the local park after I finished work and slowly start experimenting with movement and teaching myself movements. I would do this by downloading whatever videos I could onto my camcorder, film myself then compare footage with the downloaded footage. Through this experimentation I grew more confident in my movements and started to set challenges for myself - like to keep off the ground at the park, or challenge myself in arena type activities where would hang from the roof for the majority of time at recess during school. Drawing some inspiration from Bruce Lee, when walking to and from school would run at any hill I came to. I was excited and driven to become a ninja-type through my training so a lot of my movements were focused on stealth.

It seems like you had passion when starting out. You mention you starting during school, did you do much e