TUEETOR CHATS with Tan Chi Ying from A2 Parkour
For most of us, our impression of parkour comes from watching videos of individuals jumping, rolling, running, and swinging effortlessly through obstacles on the street. We see parkour as pure physical agility. Parkour practitioners, or traceurs, would beg to differ.
Parkour, strictly speaking, is a training discipline. Developed from military obstacle course training, parkour develops in a person the mindset to overcome everyday physical and mental obstacles.
While traceurs aim to physically move from one place to another in the fastest and most efficient way possible, they also require the ability to think quickly and creatively. In parkour, physical agility has to be paired with mental agility.
To know more about the parkour scene in Singapore, we spoke to Tan Chi Ying from A2 Parkour. He tells us about his parkour journey and the “culture of effort” he hopes to cultivate in the next generation.
Hi Chi Ying, what’s your story?
I’m the founder of A2 Parkour. As a kid, I was very active, and like many others, I aspired to be a ninja and superhero. Hence, I trained hard and excelled at chase tag games.
My talents were very much put to use when I was selected as a physical training instructor. I spent two years coaching and testing. After which, I started A2 Parkour whilst I was still in university.
It was a gradual growth through the years. We held classes once a week and increased the number of sessions as the years went by.
In 2015, we took the leap of faith and started our own indoor space – Free Runner Lodge. With this, we hope to better train the next generation of practitioners.
Today we are looking forward to our own parkour event.
What excites you most about your industry?
We are certainly growing. As a discipline, the future of parkour looks positive these days. The general public is gradually understanding that our discipline is not about adrenaline junkies. Rather, it’s tactful training. It’s functional training that allows one to circumvent obstacles in life, both figuratively and literally.
Parkour is gaining more recognition. The positive message of our discipline is getting across to the general public.
Moreover, the succeeding generations are getting a better understanding of how our actions reflects upon our subculture. They have developed tactfulness. As such, there is a good chance that parkour will continue to grow holistically and be viewed as a fundamental life skill rather than a hazardous activity to be shunned.
What do you hope your students will achieve?
As a parkour academy, we’d like for them to get into the subculture of Parkour and experience freedom through movement. Parkour is an art of movement, a discipline with martial application of flight, and a sport where a lifestyle of healthy living and training is required.
Personally, the most important I hope to impart would be the “culture of effort”. I want my students to try not for the sake of trying but in order to progressively improve.
In A2 Parkour, as reflected in our logo, we’d like to encourage people to better themselves, to be a better person than they were yesterday. In their journey of growth, no matter what their endeavors are, their younger self would be proud of where they are now and where they are heading towards.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
I don’t think there is really one. Like the Bible or Sun Tze Art of War, knowledge is really just potential and wisdom is the kinetic energy to know when to put it all to good use.
Who inspires you?
Some parents of my students have actually become a mentor of sorts for me, especially if they had undertaken a similar business journey.
Needless to say, my dad would make the list. He ran his own business and manged to raise four kids with a pretty decent shelter over our heads.
Recommend us a book you think everyone should read and why.
Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. It allows us to better understand how we might innovate and create wealth through a value-based strategy rather than competing.
Shameless plug for your business:
A2 Parkour is Singapore first parkour Academy, and with an indoor gym – Free Runner Lodge.
We have crafted a training program catered to all age groups to get them started on their journey to becoming an urban ninja.
Beyond group and private classes, A2 Parkour also has specialised ladies class and kids classes for ages 5 and up.
How can people connect with you?
Follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/A2parkour), on YouTube, and on Instagram @A2movements.