FISE Hiroshima Results and an Unfortunately Worded Tweet

I take a look at the parkour results from the latest FISE event in Hiroshima, and then look at the controversy caused by an unfortunately worded tweet by the Olympic Channel. A few weeks ago the first FIG organised ‘World Cup’ for parkour took place in Hiroshima, Japan. It was featured as a part of a larger FISE event which showcases various action sports on a global circuit. Most the athletes that were flown in were from Europe, but a few other continents were also represented. I believe it was the first international parkour competition to take place in Japan since the 2011 Red Bull: Art of Motion. The event featured a separate men’s and women’s version of both a ‘speed run’ and ‘freestyle’ competition. According to the FISE website, the event was a success and generated a lot of public interest. A 2nd FIG World Cup event is scheduled to take place in Montpellier, France in May. The podiums of each of the competitions were as follows: Women’s Freestyle Finals: 1st Place: Karla Castellano Gonzalez (21, Mexico) 2nd Place: Aleksandra Shevchenko (31, Russia) 3rd Place: Saskia Neville (26, Netherlands)   Men’s Speed Run Finals: 1st Place: Pedro ‘Phosky’ Gomez (25, Spain) 2nd Place: Jeremy Lorsignol (32, France) 3rd Place: Christian Harmat (26, Switzerland)   Women’s Speed Run Finals: 1st Place: Saskia Neville (26, Netherlands) 2nd Place: Hikari Izumi (22, Japan) 3rd Place: Anna Griukach (28, Ukraine)   Men’s Freestyle Finals: 1st Place: Pavels Petkuns (25, Latvia) 2nd Place: Waldemar Muller (Germany) 3rd Place: Kamil Tobiasz (25, Poland) Congratulations to all the winners, who all took home a considerable chunk of prize money. Despite a few issues with rain initially, it seemed like a fun and well-run event. The course looked decent, and a sizeable crowd turned up to watch. I’m sure getting to meet David Belle was an exciting bonus for many as well.  Of course, it is no secret that there is a lot of controversy surrounding the FIG organisation and its involvement with Parkour. With some arguing that FIG (Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique) is illegitimately appropriating and encroaching on the sovereignty of an established sport. Others argue that they are the organisation that can take parkour to the next level, and provide opportunities within the sport for athletes in less developed countries. Divides within the community surrounding this topic were further ignited recently after an April 12th Tweet from Olympic Channel - a secondary twitter feed of the official Olympics organisation. Many people took exception to the Olympic Channel framing Parkour as a new “gymnastics discipline”. Eugene Minogue - CEO of Parkour UK hit back with a tweet of his own, accusing the gymnastics federation of breaking the Olympic charter by encroaching on parkour: Parkour is NOT “the new #Gymnastics discipline”. Parkour/Freerunning is a recognised sovereign sport & community that @gymnastics is attempting to encroach & misappropriate in violation of the @Olympics charter https://t.co/qDTXT8Np5C #WeAreNOTGymnastics ✊🏼 @ParkourEarth pic.twitter.com/0FZvVYWQHQ — Eugene Minogue (@EugeneMinogue) April 14, 2018 Several other notable parkour community members shared similar sentiments across social media. Even Storror, who have historically tended to stay out of political debates within the sport weighed in with a status of their own: It’s a bit more difficult to find outspoken defenders of the FIG. But one person who has consistently argued on their behalf is David Nelmes, who competed in the Hiroshima event. He posted a status of his own regarding recent controversy, where he urges people to direct their frustration at the olympic channel, and not the FIG: Christian Harmat, who placed 3rd in the speed competition also had this to say, expressing some sympathy for FIG: As you can see this innocuous-seeming tweet from the perspective of the Olympics Channel has added more fuel to an already burning flame. It’s a very divisive issue, and the content of the tweet for many is evidence of everything they were worried about regarding the FIG’s involvement with parkour in the first place. Hence it struck such a nerve. An innocent mistake perhaps, but understandably inflammatory nonetheless. All this comes hot on the heels of another point of contention of a similar vein. Where Ryan Ford, founder of Apex Movement pointed out that the parkour athletes competing in the FIG world cup were listed as ‘gymnasts’ on the FIG website. In the following days, the website was altered so the athletes would be listed as ‘athlete’ instead of ‘gymnast’. - - - This is not a write up about the FIG situation at large - I still feel nowhere near qualified enough to do that justice right now. I’m just reporting on the issue flaring up again as a result of recent events. I have my opinions, but I’m trying to stay as neutral as I can for now. In the future, I will be looking into this topic a lot more deeply, and trying to write something about it. So feel free to reach out and talk to me about your perspectives.

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FISE Hiroshima Results and an Unfortunately Worded Tweet

I take a look at the parkour results from the latest FISE event in Hiroshima, and then look at th...

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The Unconventional Wisdom of Callum Powell

I revisit some of the funniest and most insightful Callum Tips, and discuss the wisdom of Storror athlete Callum Powell. Simple! Storror recently became the first parkour channel to cross the million YouTube subscribers milestone. With that amazing achievement in mind, I felt like it would be good to look at something at least loosely Storror related. Enter the unconventional parkour wisdom of Storror athlete Callum Powell! Back in early 2017 he started his Callum Tips series of instagram captions - more than 250 tips later, Callum’s instagram captions have somehow come to be amongst the most consistent and funny pieces of parkour content going. From witty and subversive social commentary, to the downright random and absurd. Each tip gives us a small window into the hilarious mind of one of the most powerful parkour athletes on the planet today! I’m going to go through some of my favourites and share my thoughts on them. Oh and for the roughly 0.3 people who don’t know who Callum Powell is, he’s one of the old school tracuers based in Brighton, UK who’s been training for something like 12 years now, and as I mentioned is a member of Storror. You'll often find him covered in sweat at all the big European parkour gatherings. Kicking things of with a random collection of what I consider to be some of his funniest tips; I wonder how many people have secretly done this one at an event? “Callum Tips no.138 - When training with friends, pretend to be really busy and invested in your own challenge so your friends are less likely to ask you to film their challenges.” Addressing something we’ve all seen happening here: Callum Tips no.121 - Guys, If you see a girl training and working on something independently, force your presence upon her and give her advice, a spot or just try to teach her something she didn't have any intention of learning. Sharing is caring and females need a strapping warrior to help them with their Parkour. Especially overly invasive spotting. Feel the burnnnnn…. Callum Tips no.158 - Parkour not only helps you overcome obstacles physically but also obstacles in life too. That's why most Parkour athletes are broke I guess This is actually so true! Callum Tips no.40 - Going to university was the best decision I made. The spots are great. This one made me laugh out loud! Callum Tips no.153 - Parkour is a free sport. You can practically train it anywhere. Except from on private property, council property, public property, playgrounds, skateparks, workout gyms, Joshua Tree, your mum's couch etc ‘Clutching at straws’ hahaha! Callum Tips no.169 - Parkour dictionary vol:2 - Creativity /ˌkriːeɪˈtɪvɪti/ [noun] To do normal flips but at some point tapping the obstacle with your hand or foot or grabbing your appendages followed by scrambling around on the ground. "My boy got this lit, creative combo down today. He created a new move called the beagle kicker." Synonymous: bitch moves, AOM runs, dancing, glitching out, clutching at straws, flow, super unique style We’ve all seen this guy one once or twice! Vortex Omnivium Tips no.192 - Parkour dictionary vol:4 - Professional /prəˈfɛʃ(ə)n(ə)l/ [noun] A person who says they are a professional freerunner in their Instagram bio because they got a free shirt once. "Yeah I'm a professional freerunner. Anyway can I take your order?" Synonyms: sometimes do photo shoots for free, helped my friend with his college media project, mum says I'm good, a company sent me some insect protein bars in exchange for insta post, work at Tesco. I’m actually guilty of this one myself haha! Callum Tips no.151 - If you're terribly untalented at Parkour, hang around and film people who are talented and upload them on your Instagram etc and reap the rewards. This has been going on since the dawn of time... Callum Tips no.136 - When you're at a jam and doing your biggest stuff make sure to look really disappointed at how you did it so people assume that you're better. A parkour twist on the schoolyard classic: Callum Tips no.185 - The age old rule - If your feet touch the ground on an arm jump, it doesn't count. But, on the scale of atoms, material objects never actually touch each other because the field of electrons surrounding atoms repel each other. So you don't actually touch the ground because nothing ever touches anything. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Callum is a bit cynical of some of the aspects of the current parkour culture. He often uses sarcastic humour to rant about those aspects. He often calls out some of those little things we’ve all noticed before, but have maybe never put into words. Perhaps they’re not everyone’s cup of tea, but as a fellow Brit, I find them hilarious! My favourite Callums Tips are by far the serious ones though. Yes every once in a while Callum will catch us all off guard with a straight-up gem of wisdom, forged by over a decade of hard training. Callum Tips no.100 - Fuck hucking shit becoming a part of Parkour culture. People launching themselves and hoping is not an admirable thing as we, differing from other sports that use wheels to propel themselves and land on to continue momentum, will not function if we're bolted together with metal or have torn meniscus, ACL, achilles etc. There's nothing noble about that fake courage. Those who are rushing their capabilities and throwing themselves at heinous, literal leaps of faith without any linear progress leading up should not be viewed as heroes as they're giving others inspiration and permission to do the same, adding to the huck culture and essentially what I see as a big dilution of the talent in the sport further down the line. I don't wanna tell anyone how to train but I don't fancy seeing Parkour practice turn into a mad sprint of people burning out after 3 years of intense stunts most of which you grit your teeth and plough on through the latest ankle injury while trying to one up the next big thing, your more experienced friend or idol. Rather than a marathon where you earn your achievements through grounded judgement on previous experience and smart training. And I don't necessarily mean conditioning and all that. I mean looking at a challenge and stepping back and saying "That would be sick. It's not something I think I could do today but I'll make it a goal to work towards." This is my final Callum Tip Luckily that wasn’t his final Callum Tip. You can feel the passion in that statement - and I think it says a lot about who he is as a traceur. I’ve always seen Callum as one of the more vocal, or at least higher profile advocates for this kind of ethos behind training. I think he still looks up to people like Blane, and the old guard from the early days of UK parkour who had that 'mindful warrior' kind of outlook. It’s not so trendy now of course, as the majority of people training won't know anything about that era. But I think the important observation Callum makes here is that unlike skateboarding or inline skating, we don’t have wheels to absorb kinetic energy. I think that alone makes ‘hucking it’ way less tenable for parkour in the long term. We simply can’t afford to emulate the mentality of other niche, or ‘extreme’ sports because of the much higher stresses it puts on our bodies. I think it’s an important insight!   Callum Tips no.114 - Half committing at the point of take off is in most cases worse than committing fully and just taking a bounce off or whatever. But the more dangerous thing is getting into a habit of not having full trust and clarity as you commit while running up etc. When you tell yourself this is the one before running up you'd better give it a 100% attempt. Otherwise this habit of mistrust gets worse and makes going for things, for example at height, all the more sketchy. Again, an important insight here! Most realise this very early on in their journey; you realise how much better situations tend to be overall when you commit 100% to the jump. But it’s also very easy to develop a sketchy habit of half-committing, which will hold you back massively. I think this is because we’re deeply used to life on the ground for so many years before we start parkour training. It’s not easy to develop the new neural pathways that allow you to ignore all those primal signals your brain is screaming at you when you go full sprint towards a wall. Accidently getting into this half-committing habit is something that can inadvertently happen in this process, if you let the fears get to you for too long yet continue to train without addressing them. Everyone loves to say that practice makes perfect, but it’s not that simple unfortunately. It’s more a case of ‘practice makes permanent’, that’s why it's so important to be smart about your training, and practice in a conscious and mindful way. Callum Tips no.144 - Create a list of goals. Whether jumps, strength things, flips, flexibility etc, create a list of realistic short term and long term goals and where necessary add some notes underneath of things you're going to work on for you to be able to achieve them and tick them off your list. Motivation is bullshit and for most a transient, extrinsic thing. Stop looking for motivation and get some direction, good habits and above all discipline. This is something I’ve been coming to terms with myself recently; that motivation ultimately won’t get you half as far as hard work. Lots of hard work. Having motivation is wonderful when it’s around, work stops feeling like work and the hours you pound into your craft of choice just evaporate. But when it’s gone, what are you going to do? A solid work ethic is something like the only insurance policy against the fundamentally whimsical nature of motivation. Callum Tips no.235 - The best way to truly find yourself is to emulate other people. I don’t know if this one is sarcastic humour, or one of the best insites he’s ever put out! The way I see it, is the only way to find out who you are is to initially explore paths that have already been laid out by others. It’s a bit like everyone starts from the same point in a centre of a circle, and leaves a path of their journey outwards. The first people; the pioneers - any direction they take is brand new, they have no choice but to innovate. But as more and more people start their journeys from the centre of the circle, the less untrodden paths there are. Any direction you go from around the centre has already been tried, its only at far distances from the center that unexplored territory remains. I think that’s why the best way to find your path is to to follow the path of others initially, take the known routes into the depths of the art, and then after making rapid progress, there will be more space to branch out from the known routes, and carve your own path. In that sense, it's absolutely fine to start out your journey in parkour by emulating other peoples styles. I’m pretty sure that’s how innovation happens in every domain known to man. Someone innovates, others copy and push it forward until a new direction is found. Rinse and repeat. So those were some of my favourite Callum Tips, I love them and hope Callum continues dropping his gems of wisdom for many years to come! I do have another favourite one which was way too long to quote in this article, but you can check it out here - he basically makes this big analogy between training and XP based RPG video games. It’s great! You can check out Callum’s Instagram here: @callumstorror And once again, big up to the Storror boys for reaching a million subscribers on Youtube! I hope you enjoyed the article. Let us know what your favourite Callum Tips are in the comments! Image Credits: Storror, PK-Generations, Callum Powell

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The Unconventional Wisdom of Callum Powell

I revisit some of the funniest and most insightful Callum Tips, and discuss the wisdom of Storror...

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Fresh Faces: Ed Scott

I had a chat with rising talent Ed Scott. He had a great 2017, making it through to the main event of the Red Bull Art of Motion despite being a bit of an underdog in the on-site qualifiers. I ask him about his training, who inspires him, and his aspirations for the future. So Ed, what did qualifying for the finals of the Art of Motion in Santorini last year do for your confidence and your profile? Tell the story behind that if you like! For me, the red bull art of motion was insane. It was probably the best parkour trip that I’ve ever been on - and it almost didn’t happen! I went out with Tim Champion, we booked the flights about 4 days before the actual event, just as a last minute thing. We’d always wanted to go, and we didn’t really have a reason not to this time. We got there and decided we would go along to the on-site qualifiers, just to have a look and see what was going on. I was quite keen on entering the qualifiers anyway, just so I could say “Oh, I’ve had a go at the Art of Motion”. I ended up managing to get through to the second phase of the on-site qualifiers, which for me was just unreal. To be competing with like… the best in the world, and to be selected to be in the top 20 was just unreal! It was such a buzz for me.  It gave me a big confidence boost, and a realisation that this is definitely what I want to do. But by no means did I think at that point that I would be able to get through to the top 5. That was completely not on my mind. I was like “I’ve made it this far, this is sick! I’m really really excited!” So I went back the next day for the next part of the qualifiers. We competed, I put down a clean run - which is all I wanted to do. The moves were fairly difficult, but nowhere near as hard as what some of the others guys were throwing down. But I think because I was consistently clean through the whole thing, it was deemed worthy of going through to the main competition, which absolutely blew my mind - it was unreal! From there my confidence just shot up. I was just like “WHAT?! How have I made it here?” Tim came over and congratulated me, and then everyone else there, all the British guys were there and buzzing so hard, it was insane! The following day we got to check out the actual course for the main competition. That was pretty much just like a dream really, man. I’d watched Red Bull Art of Motion for so many years, and then to finally come through and actually get to have a go on the course was UNREAL - absolutely mad. And obviously from there, went through to the competition, had an amazing time. Coming back to the UK, I don’t know if it really changed my profile too much… it was an amazing experience, and most of the people where I live got together and watched me on the TV, and it was really really sick! My confidence definitely went up after seeing that I could go up and compete with the best in the world, and like… do alright, put down a clean run and get through. So yeah confidence up high; profile… I don’t know if it went up a lot, but definitely more people knew who I was, which is really exciting to me because I live down in the South-West where nothing ever happens. It was quite exciting to think that people might be turning their eyes to the South-West, which is really cool. A post shared by Ed Scott (@edscott1) on Oct 12, 2017 at 10:49am PDT   You mentioned that where you’re from is a bit quiet, tell me more about how you managed to get into parkour, and what your local scene is actually like? The scene down in the South-West is pretty good! We’ve got a pretty good community down where I live in Exeter, with people consistently coming out training and stuff. There’s some really good cities around us too, like Plymouth - which is amazing for spots but no one ever seems to go down there, probably because it’s quite a journey for most people. The whole South-West is a bit cut off from the rest of the country like that actually. We’re like 3 hours away from London. I started training with my friend’s Steve Jehu and Tim Champion. We started training in Exeter and going to jams up in London every now and again when we could. But the spots in Exeter are pretty good, so it helped us all progress. The people are the main reason why the training down here is so good… guys like Tom Taylor, Charlie Havill, Joe Williams, David Blogg, they’re all great. It’s a really good community down here. It’s a really good place to be training. So what is a day’s training like for you? Do you like to just go at everything really hard, or do you like to just play around and explore new things? Or a mixture maybe? Because of the people down here, I’m really lucky with who I get to train with. So Tim won the NAPC skills competition last year, so he’s like really technical and skillful within parkour movements. We’ve got Tom who’s really good at speed, and then Steve and Charlie are super into their flips. So I’ve got such a good mix of people down here, which makes me try and do everything - I want to be a really good all rounder! I want to be able to like… If someone were to go “Can you do this?” I should be able to do it, you know? I tend to start at one of the local spots, usually this car park near where I live. Then we’ll head on into town. At the moment, or recently rather I’ve been working on more flip based stuff, and building as many lines as I can. Using flips in lines as like a preparation for competitions, where how fluid and smooth you are between skills is important. But then again I’m always really into the parkour challenges Tim is doing, I’ll do those with him. I know that if I can keep up with him on those I’ll be more well rounded. Although he’s not around so much these days, but when he is it’s really good! Tom is really knowledgeable with weightlifting too - 2 days a week we all go weightlifting with him, and that’s probably one of the most beneficial things I’ve done to help my parkour. I started with gymnastics and that was great for flip based stuff, but for developing my power and speed, that’s all come through the weightlifting programs we’ve been doing with Tom. It’s been really really helpful. I don’t think I would be where I am today without it, it helps with everything, even with taking impact. Oh and I try and scare myself as much as I can! I think the mental side of parkour is overlooked so much - like when people look at a challenge and get scared of it they just bottle it. So whenever I go out I try and do at least one thing that’s gonna scare me and push me out of my comfort zone. I think that’s a really important factor, to not just repeat the same stuff over and over, but to question your ability. I think it makes you better at doing stuff off the cuff too. If you get scared of a challenge you should be able to push through that barrier and do it anyway. That’s something I really try and focus on. A thing that strikes me about your movement style is your ariel awareness, did you have an athletic background before you even started training parkour? Before I started freerunning I had a gymnastics background. I started gymnastics when I was 2 years old. I got pretty good at it, I was in the South-West squad. I competed at the national finals, and I went to a team GB training camp and stuff - which was really exciting. I still coach 5 times a week at a gymnastics club now, I’ve been involved at the club I’m at now for 18 years. Which I’d say is a pretty long time. I’ve had a really great time with it! I’d say a lot of people don’t really like gymnastics, or at least not that style of movement in freerunning. Which I can completely understand, but I owe a lot of my skill to gymnastics because that’s where I first learned how to twist well, and double-flip, and round-off correctly and stuff. I think for me it was a really important sport to get me into freerunning. I still work on gymnastic based skills after work too, to keep my spatial awareness up. Wanting to be a sick all rounder is such a good aspiration to have. I guess I what I wanna ask now is - are you training with competition in mind? Do you have aspirations to do a lot more competitions? When I’m putting lines together and stuff, I’m kinda thinking about competition. At the moment I’m mostly thinking about how I can put my hardest movements into a line that has other sections. Like, I’m getting pretty good at double-corks now, and I’m really trying to integrate them into the middle of a line. I see a lot of people doing like a ‘banger’ move right at the end of their line, but in my mind I’m thinking “If I can fill a line with bangers then I should do well”. So yeah, I’m trying to link my hardest skills together so they get easier and my stamina gets better and stuff like that. So which competitions do you wanna get out to this year? At the moment the plan is to compete at the Katalyst competition in Rotherham. I went to it last year and managed to win, so I’d like to go to it again and hopefully do as well as I did last year. It’s pretty soon actually. I’d love to go to the America competitions like the NAPC, but I might be a little busy with something non-parkour related around then so we’ll see. If the opportunity arises I will though. I’d say the main one for me is probably going to the Air Wipp Challenge. I think it’s probably the biggest freerunning competition, although its close between the AoM and the AWC. I’m definitely going to get out to the Air Wipp Challenge and hopefully get to compete on that course, because it looked insane last year. Such an amazing course. I noticed how you like to mention people who inspire you, so I want to ask outright - beyond the names you’ve already mentioned, who inspires you the most? In terms of style, or maybe even attitude? Oh man! Inspirations… I’ve got so many. Because I want to be an all-rounder I get inspired so easily by loads of different people. So for like parkour kinda stuff, and for how powerful they are, I like watching Darryl Stingley, and Jimmy Perreira, oh and obviously Callum Powell, he’s a G! Kie Willis as well for his precision of movement - I was training with him not so long ago, and he’s just so on point. Really like watching Joe Hendo train because he just goes so fast, and for just like how skillful he is. Benj Cave, he’s like the style lord! I watched the latest Cavemen video and it blew my mind the amount of style both Cave brothers have, and the amount of effort they put into their videos. Bringing it back to Darryl again, I watched his new video 16 Barz and some of the stuff in that is next level! I’d love to recreate as much of that as I can - I know I’ll never be able to because that guy can swing so well, but I think having an aspiration to be able to do stuff like that is important. I think that’s what I’m trying to do at the moment, take a little piece from everyone that I meet. Do you have any big aspirations for your time with parkour? A full-on career perhaps, to create new movements, win loads of competitions maybe? I think I would like to be a DK-like figure - like going to competitions and consistently placing well. I think being consistent is a really good aspiration to have. But hopefully I’d also like to, if I can get creative enough some day, to bring out some new moves. Just some things that people never thought of, or thought would be possible. I’ve been thinking recently that I’d love to be like the first person to hit a tsukahara with a full twist in competition. I dunno I just think it would be really cool to do that, it would be a really big milestone for me. I’d be really happy with it. Then with like clothing and stuff - at the moment I’m not really knowledgeable at all about that kind of stuff. But I think I would like to get involved with that side of things, along with cinematography. I just want to branch out as much as I can so that if something were to go wrong, I’m still able to participate and be involved in this amazing sport. Obviously I want to be a full time athlete, and train every day, so if the opportunity comes along I’ll definitely be doing that as soon as I can. Hitting a Tsukahara-Full in comp a really cool aspiration! That’s got me thinking, what movement did you feel the most proud of landing after doing it for the first time? There’s been a couple that have been a real struggle to get. Probably the biggest one recently that I’ve had to work really hard for is the double-cork on flat. I still can’t do it on grass or anything like that, still only got it on sprung floor. But that trick took me so long to get, it was so annoying! I had to work so long on that one, constantly falling over and biffing it onto my side. I want to do wall double-full as well, I haven’t done that one yet. I really need to get that one, and there will be so many others down the line I’ll want to get eventually. So what has parkour and freerunning taught you about yourself that gymnastics never did, or anything else in life ever did? What unique lesson has this sport given you? I think the main thing for me personally that I didn’t really get from gymnastics as much, is the sense of community. Gymnastics has it of course, but nowhere near as much as in parkour. As you know, the community in parkour is something else. It’s something I’ve definitely never experienced before - the ability for people just to invite other people to stay with them even though they’ve never met them before, and travel through countries together. There’s always a friendly hand, like a place to stay. Oh and how the community can pull together on issues and topics, I think that’s like the best thing about parkour! How everyone can come together and share the love of a sport, and act as if we’ve all known each other for ages. That’s really the main thing I’ve learned through parkour. Hopefully as the sport grows we can stay true to that, because it’s what sets us apart from a lot of other sports. Outside of parkour and freerunning, what is your biggest passion? Outside of freerunning I like doing lots of different sports; I really like doing Taekwondo, I used to do a bit of high diving, I’m trying to do a bit of stuff for the stunt register so I need to do loads of different sports for that which is really fun. Outside of like, sport in general, I’ve got some stuff I wanna learn more about… I wanna get good with the camera, like photography, cinematography, editing, that’s the main one at the moment.   What’s your parkour pet peeve, or perhaps something that just generally grinds your gears? What annoys me is when security guards come out just screaming and shouting straight away. They often just assume the worst, when we’re clearly just jumping between walls… so that kinda annoys me. But other than that, there nothing really. I just try and be chilled out about everything, and that sort of works for me.  I often get annoyed with myself though, like if I can't get a line or a trick how I want it to be. But I think that’s a healthy thing to be doing. I often take far too long to film a line, which makes me feel really bad if I’m getting someone to film it for me. But I think that’s all healthy, because it means you care about what you’re doing. This was the first article in a series of spotlights onto fresh faces in the community, who do you think would be a good person to do an interview with in a future edition? A guy I’d like to read about is Charles Luong. I met him out in Santorini, and he was in the exact same situation as I was. He didn’t really know anyone there, he was kinda like an underdog that came through and managed to get a place in the main competition. I really rate him, and I think he’s going to do so well. I think he’s got a sponsor now actually, but yeah he’s a super cool guy, similar age to me so I can relate to him a lot. - - - As you can probably tell, Ed is a really down to earth and humble guy despite being an absolute beast! I think he's got a bright future ahead of him, and I'm sure you'll all join me in wishing him luck in future competitions. Thanks for doing the Interview Ed!  Check out Ed's Instagram: @edscott1 Feel free to leave suggestions for future 'fresh faces' editions down in the comments! 

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Fresh Faces: Ed Scott

I had a chat with rising talent Ed Scott. He had a great 2017, making it through to the main even...

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The Evolution of Parkour Videos (Part 2)

I conclude my journey through the history of parkour videos by looking at what happened from 2012 onward. Things start to diverge into long and short form content, and I look at how different social media platforms changed the way we consumed parkour content. So last week I went over how parkour videos evolved - from the pre-youtube days, right up until the end of 2011. This week is about the rest of the parkour video story, right up to the present day. Specific points along the ‘evolutionary path’ get a bit tougher to pin down after around 2012. More and more content was being produced, and people were innovating in multiple directions at once. However, there are a couple of clear threads that I can talk about. So as I mentioned at the end of part 1, Chaps On Tour inspired a wave of new content that was longer in form than we were used to. In fact, you could almost say it started a whole new sub-genre of parkour videos: perhaps the ‘summer video’. Both teams and individuals would throw all the clips they had accumulated over the summer into one long and fun montage, broken up into sections and punctuated by raw footage of some of the more memorable antics. There are plenty of examples of great videos in this sub-genre, like some of the work from Street Media, and Joel Eggimann. But I think the genre came full circle and reached its pinnacle with 2014’s Chaps On Tour USA - Storror’s last real venture into this style of video making. With its choice of songs and tight editing, it really captured the infinitely good feels of a parkour roadtrip with a bunch friends.  But things were changing on the technology front. Youtube was becoming more popular, and monetization of videos as an income source was becoming increasingly viable for the bigger channels. Even though videos like Chaps USA were so popular among dedicated freerunners, they weren’t efficient uses of footage in terms of maximising youtube views. The platform’s attention span was getting shorter and shorter. There was pressure to tap into more of the mainstream audience by releasing the content in shorter edits. That’s where episodic content started to come in. But there is a bit more back story to fill in before I jump into that. While the whole ‘summer video’ trend was going on between 2011 and 2014, there was another growing trend of ‘documentary’ style edits. Like I said in part 1, one of the first videos to introduce ‘piece to camera’ narrative elements to parkour videos was The City by Farang in late 2011. The documentary trend can be traced back to earlier in 2011, with Tim Shieff’s Livewire Goes series. It was centred around Tim traveling to spend time with high profile freerunners, and featured an audio of Tim interviewing that person whilst the video featured training clips from that trip. While a little rudimentary compared to today, it was super fresh at the time. The Livewire Goes series eventually went on to form on of the flagship pieces of content for the Flow network, of course re-branded as Flow Goes. In its brief heyday the Flow channel was a decent hub for parkour content, with several different creators working together on various different projects. But It never really took of in the way they hoped, and the channel eventually died off. Check out the Flow Goes: Thailand episode featuring Team Farang in 2013! Other people started to explore the documentary style of filmmaking around this time. In 2013 Storror experimented with a ‘Behind the Storrors’ format, which featured a lot more pieces to camera mixed in with their usual antics. But probably the next jump forward in terms of where the direction of content would eventually go, was Jesse La Flair and Cory DeMeyers’ Off The Edge web series in 2014.   Jesse and Cory commissioned Visive Productions to produce what was (I believe) the first of its kind. Giles bought all his experience from working on the Flow documentaries into this new episodic endeavour, essentially producing multiple mini documentaries, which contributed to the overall arc of Jesse and Cory training to compete in Santorini. This allowed Jesse’s channel to have frequent content releases over the course of a few months. I think a lot of people noticed how much further you could stretch your content with this technique, whilst keeping it entertaining to watch. It was the documentary trend that eventually carried the first wave of feature length parkour films. In 2015 both Team Jestion's Reach the Horizon and Storror’s Supertramps Thailand were released. Both were parkour travel documentaries, both happened to be shot in Asia. Although I should say the very first feature length parkour documentary that I’m aware of was People in Motion in 2012, made by Cedric Dahl and Bennett Hoffman. Which kind of doesn’t follow this narrative, as it was produced from a more outside perspective. 2016 rolled around, and you still had episodic documentaries being produced like Storror’s Genesis - Parkour in the Holy Land. But the YouTube game was shifting slightly. Vlogging was on the rise - many of the platform’s biggest stars were growing their channels through producing frequent and longer form Vlog style content. Channels like Casey Neistat and Jake Paul. Strangely the platforms attention span was suddenly growing after getting shorter for so long, but the users were looking for a more relaxed style of content. One of the first people to capitalise on this shift was Jason Paul. in mid 2016 he started consistently vlogging about his life, and all the parkour adventures therein. It worked - his channel has been growing consistently ever since. Of course it helps to have a really interesting nomadic lifestyle and a certain kind of personality, not to mention be willing to put in the hours of work! Of course the Youtube landscape of today reflects this. So many freerunners put out consistent Vlog style content; Dom Di Tommaso, Storror, The Farang channel itself, Nightscape, GUP, The Motus Projects… the list could go on. The format has really tightened up too, it’s sort of becoming a science. It’s interesting to think where longer form parkour content would have gone without this shift in Youtube’s culture and algorithms. Of course the argument exists that this ‘playing the youtube game’ is diluting the quality of the content. I definitely agree with that too an extent; the videos are somewhat tailored to perform better under what is ultimately an arbitrary website’s algorithms. Even to the level where you have to name the video in a certain way. But it’s probably a trade off worth paying. While we all miss those long glossy summer epics, the advantages of playing the game have facilitated the growth of the sport through increased mainstream exposure. With that exposure parkour channels have grown significantly, which translates pretty directly into them having more money to make better content. It’s all part of the process. If we want more projects on the scale of Roof Culture Asia, then I think we have to do the Youtube thing - and learn to embrace it. Of course the vlogs are getting better all the time as people start to figure out the format. But that’s not the end of the story! What about the other end of the spectrum - the shorter edits? While changes in Youtube pushed longer form parkour content in a certain direction, it was changes in Facebook and Instagram that would eventually push shorter form content to where it is today. Rewinding back to 2011 again, a few things were going on. Freerunners were starting to get their hands on GoPros, so a lot more POV shots were making their way into videos. Some of the first people to explore making POV themed videos with GoPros were James Kingston, Will Sutton, and Giles who I mentioned earlier. I think it was Will who really pioneered the now ubiquitous ‘roll cut’ that keeps POV videos flowing. It took a couple of years to catch on but by 2013 The POV was really becoming its own subgenre of parkour video. It was Scott Bass who seemed to really perfect the POV formula, consistently going viral with his variously themed POV projects. It proved to be a really popular format that has stuck around to this day; Storror’s two most viewed videos on Youtube are POV’s, and eight of the nine most viewed videos on Scott’s channel Ampisound are POV’s. If you're looking to go viral, it’s probably your best bet! Another hugely influential video that came out in 2013 was Boss Mode. What set this video apart from a lot of the others of the time was the higher proportion of arty ‘B-roll’ shots. Which might sound like a negative, but it’s definitely not! The guys figured out a whole new type of flow for their video content, which gave it a very distinctive personality. Farang continued to be champion this style over the next few years, with videos like Pasha’s Day in NY, and Jason’s Tokyo Drift. In my opinion, the perfect embodiment of this style dropped in early 2016, with Pasha the Boss. It was game changing on several levels. Foremostly because no one had ever seen movement like it before. Now I think if Pasha the Boss came out a few years earlier then it would have been even more influential than it was. But the way we were consuming short form content was changing. Right around the same time in early 2016 the instagram video limit was raised from 15 seconds to 1 minute. In terms of these shorter edits there had already been this graudal drift away from youtube, as it’s algorithms started to favour longer form content like I discussed earlier. The shorter form content was moving onto platforms which seemed to offer more exposure, like Facebook. After a few Facebook videos went ‘super-viral’, everyone was looking for a peice of the action. The views on Facebook are heavily inflated because of the way their view count system works, but it still seemed to be working out better than youtube. Instagram going to one minute was the final nail in the coffin. People started working to this new one minute parameter. The one minute instagram compilation quickly became one of the most common ways the community consumed parkour content. It’s a no brainer, they’re less effort to create, and often end up reaching more people. Of course there is still a healthy enough market for the three to four minute banger! I’d imagine there will be for quite some time. I’ve just been talking about some general trends. For example, Brewman put this out at the end of summer last year, and it’s well on its way to clocking up 100,000 views. A view count no one would even dream of 10 years ago, when the three to four minute format was being pioneered. It’s cool how you can see the influences of the generations before it, like the steezy b-roll shots and glitchy editing. But also how they’re taking it in their own direction. - - - - - That’s roughly how I see things anyway. It’s obviously a really complex topic and you could go way deeper into it. I think changes in social media platforms will continue to direct the flow of changes to what parkour videos look like in the future. I’m hoping that over time the sport grows to a point where feature length film projects become more common. Let me know what you think of this article, and what you hope for in the future of parkour content in the comments.

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The Evolution of Parkour Videos (Part 2)

I conclude my journey through the history of parkour videos by looking at what happened from 2012...

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The Evolution of Parkour Videos (Part 1)

I take a walk through the history of parkour film making, identifying the video traits that get passed down through the generations. While some traits stick around, some die off, and through random innovation new traits form. I explain all! The original idea for this article was to do a rundown of some of the most influential parkour videos - influential in the sense they forever changed the way people made videos. As I started going over some old classics I kind of saw a pattern. So I thought I would instead try and write about an ‘evolution’ of parkour videos. Sorry if it’s a bit Eurocentric, I can only really go off what I know. Hopefully I didn’t miss anything too obvious though! *But just to clarify, this isn’t an exhaustive list of influential or important parkour videos, It’s kinda just some videos where I see things shift in a new direction for the first time. There's not a linear progression of parkour videos, it’s probably more like a tree!* So taking it right back to what I perceive to be the beginning; before YouTube was around and parkour was a far more obscure activity than it is today. Sometime in early 2004 a group of British lads who went by the name of ‘Team Evolution’ (Now 3run of course!) put out their first proper showreel ‘Evolution’. It was distributed via direct download from their website, and then later picked up traction on popular video sharing platforms of the era like ebaumsworld. At the time there was barely anything to compare it to, it was fresh and mind blowing. The video itself was basically just a compilation of singular movements, often shot from two angles and featuring a lot of slowmo. You can see lots of inspiration from the Matrix trilogy. There had been other videos that had featured parkour doing rounds on the internet before this, but this was different. It was pure - it wasn’t a gimmick or a side project of some stuntman or martial artist, it was a video of what these guys actually spent their time doing. As such it instantly became the template for making parkour videos. For a while it was only the 3run guys and perhaps Urban Freeflow who were putting out solid videos; like the sequel to Evolution called Evo-Ex, and then of course Brothers Journey. Then somewhere around early 2006 a team of guys from Belgium came out of the woodwork: The Speeders. Their showreel ‘R-évolution’ dropped onto both the 3run and UF forums, and began to make waves. You can clearly see the influence of the 3run videos in the Speeders showreel; from the editing style, the movements, even the song choice, not to mention the name. But as the video goes on the movements start to getting increasingly impressive. Some of the stuff in there, especially towards the end was way ahead of its time. 3run finally had some competition on their hands! The video itself did add something to the video making zeitgeist of the era too - they spend the first minute of the video introducing the team one by one. It was something not really seen in parkour videos before that point, and gave the concept of a parkour ‘team’ a bit more legitimacy. Something funny to notice was just how many huge height drops are in videos from around 2004 right up to 2006!  The Speeders’ contribution didn’t go unnoticed. The following year 3run put out another video that would go on to become a classic. ‘3run Family 07’ featured an introduction of all the team members, plus some other people who would go on to become hugely influential in the community; Daniel Ilabaca and Ryan Doyle. The production quality had come a long way in just a few years. Better cameras were becoming more affordable, and 3run were becoming increasingly successful. It captured that jovial and chill vibe of an evening training session really well. It was very different in quite a few ways from video’s before it; it was a full edit but all filmed over one evening and split into different sections. For me, there were two main ‘innovations’ here… breaking up the action with some more personal and fun moments before resuming again. And secondly, and equally consequential, the use of a Hip-Hop track. By 2008 things were starting to look a lot more like this video here, by Chris Ilabaca. Hip-Hop tracks were by far the most popular choice. The ‘density’ of movements had come down a bit, but what was in there was getting better and better. Quality over quantity perhaps. You can see the influence of 3run Family 07 in how the clips are more chronological. Chris Ilabaca pushed the ‘fun’ aspect of parkour film making forward a lot. He made an effort to capture the sense of humour of the emerging subculture. It was a step forward. Mostly in how seamlessly he achieved that - constantly switching back and forth between showcasing cool movement, and just fun antics between friends. People were really loving it - so many new people were starting to train around this time. I think the apex of this style of parkour video making came in 2009 with Ampisound’s Are You Some Sort of Idiot?! Hip-Hop was still going strong, Cambridge was still going strong, and as you can see the community was thriving. However videos like this had been coming out for almost 2 years now, and while I think this project represents the most polished form of videos from this era, it was Scott Bass himself who would go on to push things in a fresh direction. 'Live On' was the third video of Ampisound's ‘Progression’ series in early 2010, where he was deliberately experimenting with different styles of video making. The Hip-Hop soundtrack is still there, the community is still there, but that’s where most the similarities end. The movement had taken centre stage again. All the fun stuff is still there, but in Live On the balance is shifted back towards capturing the most impressive movements possible. The innovations here are in the camera work; very close fisheye shots, and rapid camera movements to track the increasingly long lines taken by the athletes. This video had such a different feel to all that had come before it. There was more and more multi-athlete action, and flow to the shots. Even some experimentation with flipping the camera during flips. There was a vibe to it, like it was greater than the sum of its parts. It made a huge impression on the community as well, and for me kinda marks the start of a new era of parkour video making. Storm Freerun - Volume 1 came out at the end of 2010 after much hype and anticipation. This video stands alone in many ways. While it has some of the hallmarks of some of the old parkour videos, like the introduction of the team members, it took that and everything else to a whole new level. It stripped away all the chill, jokey stuff and presents something a lot more serious. It was the start of an era where the sport wanted to take itself more seriously. The lines are longer than ever, although done over several takes. But each shot is nigh on perfect, thanks to the cinematography of Claudiu Voicu. (Who I beleive does commercials for companies like Nike now?!) The parkour community had never seen anything like this level of production before. So whilst it doesn’t really follow the trajectory I’ve been laying out here, it just has to be included for its influence in subsequent video projects. It injected a wave of seriousness back into the scene, and inspired people to take their video production up a notch. Enter 2011, and enter GUP. You can see the influence of Live On throughout this video; with the close fisheye shots, and even the camera flips. But where our Spanish friends pushed things forward was with the long flowy lines, accentuated of course by their even more flowy sweatpants. They carried on with the increasing trend of the balance shifting back towards showcasing movement instead of antics and fun. The song choice as well - although the track was still Hip-Hop based, it was starting to branch out into different kinds of music. Which also reflected a more general trend by around 2011. You had Giles working as Visive productions moving away from Hip-Hop tracks on his edits around this time as well. Overall I think Swim or Sink is another one of those videos that has an amazing feel good vibe to it. Film makers were clearly figuring out how to capture this elusive 'vibe'. I think it’s around this point, towards the end of 2011 where a fork in the evolutionary tree of parkour videos occurs: The first part of this fork in my opinion was the original Chaps on Tour. Now there had been several other longer length videos that came out before this (like Out of Time), but none made quite the impact on parkour video making itself as this one by Toby Segar. I think due to the quality of Toby’s editing, and his uncanny ability to capture the positive emotions of training. Probably also that he seems to have an innate sense of pacing too - knowing what clip to put in to keep the video engaging. Toby ramped the antics part of the equation back up again, but through the longer length managed showcase both elements more thoroughly than ever before. It had such a huge influence. Before we knew it, there were so many longer videos coming out featuring multiple sections of fun training montages, punctuated by timelapses and shots of silhouetted figures dancing on rooftops. It’s a trend I definitely noticed, and something I directly attribute to Chaps on Tour. The second part of the great fork of 2011 was Team Farang’s new content. Both The City and The Temple contained something that I had never seen before in a parkour video - narrative elements. The voice overs at the beginning and throughout add a whole new layer and quality to the videos. For the first time there was overt storytelling mixed in with the action, and it was a pretty huge and influential breakthrough. The themes in the video were obviously foreshadowed by the Thailand Tour video of the previous year. But with this new narrative element, combined with a sharper edit and production quality, the new Team Farang channel started with a bang. Obviously this kind of film making has worked out really well for Team Farang, and many other channels have started using similar techniques as a result. - - - - -  So that’s how I see the rough evolution of parkour videos from 2004 right up to the beginning of 2012. You see how massively different 3run's Evolution is compared to Farang's The City. But you can kinda trace the ‘genealogy’ right the way back, through looking at what traits transferred and changed through the years, which I think is really cool!   At some point in the next few weeks I’ll release the final half of this journey through the evolution of parkour videos, and look at where things went after Chaps on Tour and The City, right up until the present day. There’s shifts in technology to talk about, as well as a re-convergence of that fork in the road. I’ve got a lot of research to do!

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The Evolution of Parkour Videos (Part 1)

I take a walk through the history of parkour film making, identifying the video traits that get p...

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A Turtleneck Sweater with a long silhouette.

Apart from making clothing that is perfect to wear for high intensity movement, we also want to create pieces for the lifestyle that comes with our sport. With the Discretion sweater we added a more refined touch to our Farang collection.

It's our favourite piece to wear for a day of travel, cold weather or layering with other pieces.

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Jason is wearing a size Large. He is 5'10 (178cm) and weighs 176 pound (80kg).

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