Good advice is worth its weight in gold. There is nothing more valuable than wisdom from those who have experience. You can learn from their mistakes, success, and insight.
A while ago, famed Parkour team Rilla Hops did an AMA over on Reddit. They dropped some serious wisdom on there, and it is something that every up and coming traceur should read.
With that in mind, we have consolidated that AMA into an easy-to-read format for everyone to enjoy. Keep in mind these are not direct quotes and are edited for readability.
If you don't know about Rilla Hops, they are a Parkour and freerunning group based in Orlando, FL. The group includes six members (Caleb Iuliano, Gareth Norvell, Daniel Ortiz, Niki Whalen, Lorena Abreu, and Jimmy Parreira) and is most well-known for its YouTube channel.
If you haven't checked out their work, you should do so now. If you have, scroll down and enjoy the wisdom.
We all train Parkour almost every day, but none of us does this for a living. We all have part-time jobs to pay the bills – except for Lorena because she is still in school. Niki has a stunt job at Universal, and Caleb used to have a job there as well. Stunt jobs at theme parks and other various gigs are as close any of us has gotten to do Parkour for a living.
1. How many members of Rilla Hops practice Parkour full-time?
2. What kinds of workouts would you recommend for someone who is just starting out in Parkour?Training Parkour, in general, is a long process, and it is important that you don’t do things your body isn’t ready for. With that in mind, strength training will greatly improve your overall performance. You want to focus on compound workouts (squats, deadlifts, and sprinting for the lower body). For an upper body workout, focus on muscle ups, pull-ups, dips, and handstand pushing.
3. What is your end goal with Rilla Hops? How would you like to see the group grow?The end goal of Rilla Hops is to collectively create the lives we want as individuals. We want to create something that will allow us to do what we love to do, instead of what it takes to survive – and get a taste of what life is meant to be. On top of that, we want to push as far as we can go in all aspects of life. Rilla Hops is a tool that helps us to live life, and push as far as possible to experience as much as possible.
4. What would you say to people who become discouraged because they watch others improve their game faster?It is important to understand how bodies work, and why they work in different ways. Everyone is born with advantages and disadvantages, and these allow them to succeed and grow at different rates.
Parkour has never been about being the best. There isn’t even a real way to define “best” in this sport – that’s a huge reason why we love it so much. The sport is about pushing yourself, and making yourself the best person you can possibly be. The most important advice we can give is this: never stop progressing, and never stop having fun.
It is important to use other people around you to inspire you and challenge yourself. You do not want to be comparing yourself to other people all the time. Some people are born with genes that allow them to jump higher/further early on, but hard work is the only way to become great. Focus on improving yourself, and the rest will come.
5. What are some other training techniques you would recommend?Anything that pushes you mentally is a good start – and we mean anything. It is important to do things that make you feel alive. That doesn’t just mean traditional Parkour training either. You could go rock climbing to increase your climbing ability. You could go kayaking to increase your sense of adventure. Do martial arts or gymnastics to improve your overall sense of awareness and body control. Sprints and lifting make you faster and stronger.
You can do anything that helps make you a better person and athlete. As long as you are pushing yourself, you are improving the skills you need for Parkour.
6. Can you explain your “Falling is Living” video? Why do you show your failures while most other groups cut those moments out of their videos?Failure is a part of life. If you are going to do anything well, you need to learn how to fail along the way. In terms of including those moments in our videos, none of us are very serious people, so it would be silly to leave those parts out.
Bails can be a source of laughter, and as such, they are a source of life. They can also help you progress physically and mentally. Moments when you fail are moments when you realize what life is about, and they are the moments when you learn about yourself. It is important that you accept failure and make the most of it.
Falling is Living (Rilla Hops):