His self-motivation feeds his curiosity for movement and adventure. Through patience and commitment he is technically prepared to take on the ranging challenges parkour has to offer - making massive climbs, descents and jumps look easy. This guy is skilled and highlights the thrill and enjoyment of deciphering the maze of his surroundings. Making training and travel fun with his realness, approachability and an element of craziness. Look out for Ben as he continues to move forward. If you catch him on his travels it’s an opportunity to be inspired, share skills and experiences and may leave you looking differently at the world around you.
2017 December Edition
How did you start training in parkour / freerunning?
“I had always loved climbing as a child, it wasn't until the age of 13/14 I found parkour. A documentary called Jump London was playing on TV, I managed to buy a DVD copy days after seeing the original and ever since then I was hooked. At first it was just me and a few friends I showed the documentary to copying what we saw and trying to recreate as best as possible. A few years later I met a group of people in Leeds that had been practicing for years, they told me when and where they meet and to come practice with them one weekend. All the people I met where very good and eager to teach me everything, eventually I started to take it more and more seriously. Most of the people from back then no longer train but there are always new people coming and going. Now I'm the one helping people new to parkour.."
What does the movement mean to you?
“Parkour means a lot of different things to me. For 9 years all my life decisions in some way have revolved around it, whether it being following a healthy diet or choosing to do things over and over until it’s perfect. For me parkour is more of a creative outlet than a sport, its clears my head and gives my life balance. Conquering mental barriers through rational thinking while training, whether it’s been completing a jump / climb that I am scared of or repeating the same run over and over until its done right helps to remind me there’s so much more to everything just outside your comfort zone. I honestly believe without parkour I would not be who I am today it has been my release from falling into the motions of daily life and my escape from the norm.”
What skills are needed to practice freerunning/parkour?
“Anyone can start parkour/freerunning with little to no skills. Over time skills such as fitness levels, overcoming fears and general appreciation for progression becomes second nature. They become habit and all the skills you pick up become very useful in everyday life. I try to keep a high level of fitness, lift weights 3-4 times and train parkour/freerunning 2-3 times a week. I also stretch as often as possible and work on general mobility when I find time, anything that will help me progress and push myself without injury"
Is there a stand out memory from your training experiences?
“Over my 9 years of training, I have experienced and made so many memories. I have met so many people which I am thankful for. One of the most memorable was a recent 8 month trip around Australia and Asia. I visited 8 countries in total Australia, Bali, China, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Singapore. Over the course of 8 months I had the opportunity to meet and train with communities from all over the world, I got the chance to train places I had only seen in videos. I received so much help from other freerunners along the way. It was humbling to know no matter where I went there was always a friendly face with the same passion for movement as me.”
How do you manage risk and challenge?
“In my opinion the key to healthy progression is to listen to your body and mind. Concentrate on perfecting skills low down, repeat the movement over and over until it is comfortable. Managing fear is important, by listening to your body you get use to the different levels of fear you face while training. This helps you rationally assess if you are ready, taking in a variety of factors such as similar movements, previous jumps accomplished and the risks behind not making a particular jump or making a mistake all play a big role in deciding whether the task at hand is pushing through your comfort zone or pushing yourself to hard for something you're not ready for”
What are your thoughts on the role of social media and movement?
“I think social media has slowly become part of the culture around parkour, its help us all connect, share videos and opinions but I also believe it has had a negative impact in other ways. It has helped create a generation of people that don't enjoy what they do unless it is going to impressing others. A lot of people have stopped enjoying the process of getting better and want to skip to the end result, often doing crazy jumps they are not ready for to attract the most attention on social media.”
Where would you like to explore?
“There are so many new places I would like to visit and old ones to revisit. America, South America and Canada are 3 countries I plan on visiting next year. I have recently booked a one way ticket to America for September. I am hoping to visit as many parkour communities and people passionate about parkour as possible and maybe teach some work shops along the way.”
Catch him next at:
Training in Leeds, on Insta or travelling the world..