2003 was 15 years ago, That’s more than half of your life! Back then, you were active on the parkour.net forum. Can you TELL us how that affected beginning of your parkour journey?
It was one of those placse on internet which you could call home – hahaha! But seriously, it was one of the first forums (it began as “speedairman” forum) “made by traceurs for traceurs” where people all over the world could share their views about that mystic stuff called Parkour. I feel that it was first real Parkour community (I don’t count Urbanfreeflow here because UF was more like a company… also Tracers.RU was there but only in russian). The name of the guy who ran the Parkour.NET forum was Jerome Lebret. He lived in Lisses and he really gave a lot information about Parkour from some of the originators (David Belle and Yamakasi). It was really important to have that place where people could share their views, ideas and work worldwide . There was no definition of Parkour so everyone was discussing with each other, and it was very critical. I think asking myself at that time, “What is Parkour, what is not?”. We were exploring the meaning of Parkour and questioning everything really helped me to evolve into what I am today.
There aren’t many people that have had the opportunity to train with David Belle. What was that like? Can you share any insights with us? What did you learn?
I asked my friend Charles Perriere from Yamakasi if he (Charles) could take me through an old school training session for me while I was in Lisses. Charles said, “You know, I think it would be better if David does do it.” I was happy because I really wanted to be trained by David and not just to train with him. Training was hard and intense. But honestly, I used to train in that way before I met David. For me, the concept of hard work (both mental and physical) wasn’t a new thing. It was proof that I was going in the right way. I got the same proof from training with Yann, Laurent, Chau, Charles… On the other hand, I was surprised at how David was still moving well and also how he plays keyboard.
I’ve often heard you say, “that’s Mickey Mouse stuff.” What’s the philosophy behind this?
Haha! A few years ago I was in Switzerland and friend of mine showed me a video of Arnold Schwarzenegger saying this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekxNCQTJfpg). It started as an inside joke but now I use it to describe something like: if you do something, then do it seriously. 100%.
You recently taught a 24-hour workshop with ParkourONE! Wow! Tell us what you wanted to deliver to practitioners. What was this workshop about from a coaching perspective?
I was travelling a lot over the last 10 years, delivering all kind of workshops but the 24-hour workshop with ParkourONE was one of my favourites. My concept was colorful and here are the topics:
– Efficient methods (techniques and challenges)
– Movement expression (flow state of mind and how to apply it in movement)
– I vs I method (hard work means fight between two of you. Learn always to choose “I” who never gives up)
– Parkour de nuit
– Training for real Parkour (water as an obstacle)
– New ways (expanding your training with a new approach – using sticks, ball…)
It would take me a lot of time to explain every topic so I will just give you a general idea: I wanted to show people the key points of my experience and how it can help them. There was something for everyone and I was happy how they understood it.
Thirteen years ago, you founded Parkour Srbija with the help of a few others. Where is Parkour Srbija thirteen years later? And in which direction is it going?
I always look at the statistics and it’s improving from year to year. A lot of lives have been influenced and changed. We have regular classes in Belgrade: we organise workshops, (free) jams, and other Parkour stuff / work. On the other hand, we are not about the numbers. Honestly, I miss a little bit of initiative inside our community and that’s why I am thinking for some time about reformation of Parkour Srbija. It is hard to keep everyone under one umbrella with all of their different goals or opinions.
Can you make a living from parkour in Serbia? (And why not? haha 😛 joke)
Haha! Those Balkan people, always thinking about survival :D. I can as I don’t need a lot for living, plus I am doing workshops regularly abroad.
Between these two: “To have or to be”, I choose to be. Great book by the way.
Competition in Parkour?! How do you see that in near future?
I’ve been invited to a few competitions but I never went. It’s not my thing. It will come and this sporty side of Parkour will come. But, I am not afraid because wherever I go I meet wonderful people and communities who are taking care of Parkour and people.
What’s your secret of being strong and to last long?
To me, the secret is in knowing why you do it. Always question what you do. Explore also other areas – philosophy, art and religions – not just movement. And the most important thing: SHARE.
From physical perspective (training), always change what you are doing because adaptation is important in training / movement process. And keep in mind that after 5-10 years of training, you will need to start treating body much more seriously and directed so you can avoid chronic injuries. Train hard and SMART.
Is there “must read” parkour literature for all new generations of parkour people? Also Is there something that you will recommend for old school boyz?
Yes. First David Belle’s book, Max’s book and Julie Angel’s book. History is important. Who are we without our past, without roots? Also, I like when people talk in articles and interviews about their experiences, so anything like The Monkey is Back. Generation Yamakasi is always good and it’s important to watch at least once. For “old school boys” I would recommend exploring movement outside of Parkour. As we are not meant to read one book or to paint one picture for our whole life, we are not meant to move only in one way for our whole life.
You knew about Skochy from day one! Give us some feedback. And is there something that we can make that every traceur needs?!
I had the pleasure of seeing Skochypstiks grow, from the first day. It’s amazing where it is now. I am proud of my good friend Saša and for all that he has done. Why I respect him even more is because I know his past and what his family went through. He channels this “zvrk” energy into something which nowadays inspires hundreds of people. This pure and wild energy is transferred to Skochypstiks. Keep doing what you do and I am sure you will give traceurs what they need (maybe sometimes not in the form of product / equipment).
Thank you Boki for awesome talking and training day. We had very sunny and warm February here in Belgrade. I was having fun interview you, and remembering the old days. Wish you all the best with Parkour Srbija and with German lessons.
Stay in Motion and keep sharing!