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Urban Movement Interview - Cameron Pratto

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Cameron Pratto
Executive Director, Urban Movement
A.D.A.P.T. (Parkour) Level 1, MovNat Certification Team Instructor

Q: How long have you been practicing Parkour / Art Du Deplacement?
A: Since mid-2008.

Q: How did you get started?
A: At that time, after a game of squash (distracted by the television at the gym) I noticed people in a Madonna video moving in a way I had never seen before. Later that day, I researched what I saw and I ended up on a parkour forum telling me of a local meet-up. It was everything I didn't even know I was looking for.

Q: Who are your influences?
A: In the parkour community, my friends and my main influences are Laurent Piemontesi, Chau Belle, Dan Edwardes, Chris "Blane" Rowat, Ben Odoyer, Tony Thich, Annty Marais, Julie Angel and Jereme Sanders. The Urban Movement team also inspires and motivates me. I may have missed a few, and there are definitely other influences outside of Parkour, but those can be saved for another time.

Q: How often do you train?
A: I'm kind of always training, but I currently teach 2-4 classes per week, and I travel around teaching movement workshops and certifications. I purposefully train myself 2-4 times per week.

Q: How do you deal with the fear experienced while training?
A: If it all possible, I make sure I know how to fall or bail from the movement that's causing the fear. If that isn't possible, then I ask myself why I'm about to do it. I usually think of a worse case scenario, or have the grandest of ideas, then make a calculated decision by whittling away at it until I'm confident I've put all the pieces together as best I can. I gradually decrease the danger, repeat, and come back to it when I'm ready.

Q: What do you do when you're not out training (or thinking) of parkour?
A: Swimming, yoga, research, creating, reading, writing, movies, video games, eating, resting, etc. Life.

Q: What foods can you not live without?
A: Bananas, peanut butter, and chocolate milk.

Q: What kind of shoes do you train in?
A: I think I've trained in almost every shoe. I kept them all, too, so that I can write articles/reviews on them some day. But, at the moment, I've settled on the Puma Faas 300 (V1).

Q: How do you explain parkour to people who don't know much about it?
A: It's a kind of exercise - running, jumping, climbing, crawling… We learn how balance, scale walls, jump properly, land safely and manage fear. "We teach people how to move."

Q: Parting words for the new practitioner?
A: Stop watching so many parkour videos. Fine tune the way YOU move. Be creative. Start slow and low. Allow for continuous, gradual improvement. Don't be in a rush. You have a lifetime ahead of you. Every move is a new move; don't ever get complacent. Smile.

Click here to read Cameron's bio on the team page.

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