I’m Kurt Gowan, I have always lived in the Chicago area. I have been training since 2009 and teaching since 2010 (yes, I got into teaching early!). In 2011 I started on plans to create Parkour Ways (also known as Art du Déplacement Chicago now). I am often teaching 7 days out of the week for the past 2 years or so. Teaching Parkour/ADD with the original spirit and values is my passion… because I want to show other people how strong they can be and that they can really train to do anything they desire.
Greatest advice you’ve ever received in Parkour?
I don’t know if there is one single piece of advice that stands out as the “greatest”. I have met and talked with many people from around the country and around the world and I believe everyone has some good advice and thoughts on the discipline, on the movements, or just on life! My friend John Conway played a big part in me becoming who I am today though, so if I have to mention just one person, it would be him. I was more like the young kids, I didn’t really know what I was doing (or perhaps more importantly, why I was doing it) until I met him and began training with him back in 2010.
For people in motion
Take… your… time. Everyone is in such a rush. They crave the numbers! Some think that they NEED to get a bigger jump, they think they NEED to get the next new trick. We don’t need it! To me, the movement and sharing it with others is all just a way to work on what’s inside, what lies behind the physical work: confidence, courage, honesty, empathy and compassion, control of the ego, control of the emotions, decision-making, fear management, creativity and more. And of course, enjoy it! Enjoy the process, because there is no end destination to the discipline.
What is your focus at the moment and what do you want to achieve in next 5 years?
I don’t really have any particular focus for my training at the moment, I am very focused on teaching. As I said, I am currently teaching 7 days per week and have been busy scheduling some summer events. In the next 5 years I am hoping that I will have some more financial freedom (I do not mean that I want to be rich – I just want to have zero debt!). I think the financial freedom will ease my mind a bit and I will be able to have even more fun with my training. Those are my personal focuses. With Parkour Ways & Art du Déplacement Chicago: I hope that we can grow the organization and the small community we have so that we can reach more people. There are a lot of people around Chicago asking if we have classes in their area, and it just is not possible right now. It takes time to make sure we have some quality coaches and all that, I don’t want to spread or grow too fast and have it be low quality.
Besides training where else would you wear our clothes?
Haha! This is a funny question, because everyone who knows me and sees me regularly knows that I wear Skochy pants literally every day, even if I will not be training or teaching. I wear other types of pants (jeans, dress pants) only maybe 3-5 times throughout the year! I wear these everywhere, even if I have a meeting with a school administrator or a park district official, I show up in my Skochy pants and sometimes one of my Skochy shirts too. They are too comfortable for me to want to wear anything else and I love the way that they look. 🙂
Big thank to Kurt Gowan founder of Parkour Ways
ph: David Gall of Eighty Five Studios