We’re super proud of Moroccan Affiliate Didi Alaoui; he scored the most votes in the online qualifier for the Red Bull Art of Motion, earning himself a free travel ticket to the onsite qualifier in Santorini! Best wishes at the competition Didi!
The GCA Parkour Games on June 21st marked WFPF’s first ever sanctioned competition using their own gameplay. Day 1 of the event featured 26 athletes age 15 and up from across the East Coast and Canada.
The first round, a speed round designed to incorporate the entire gym, quickly divided the playing field based on each athlete’s confidence at height.While the majority of athletes’ times hovered between 25 and 35 seconds, Greg Eckels (18 s), Murphy Betancourt (17.5 s), and Sam Blattner (15.2 s) tore through the course to grab the top 3 speed round positions. The next round, based around a timed, target-oriented freestyle round, was dominated by Boston native Alfred Scott. Alfred started his run with a sitting gargoyle gainer and kept that difficulty level up for the entire 25 seconds, earning a perfect 10.0 in the difficulty/creativity and execution categories. Greg Eckels threw down an equally massive run with a huge, techy drop pre and some consequence-laden sideflip pre’s. Both earned spots in the finals alongside Murphy Betancourt, Sam Blattner, Curran Ferrey, Sam Velasquez, Mike Gonzalez, Kyle Hutson, and Shay Subramanian.
The finals started with another running of the speed course. Fan-favorite Sam Blattner sped through the first half on pace to beat his own record but tweaked his ankle on a cat leap toward the end. He decided to play it safe and pull out of the finals, leaving GCA’s own Murphy Betancourt with the fastest time on the speed course. London via Australia via New Yorker Greg Eckels and Hub Freerunning’s Curran Ferrey were a close second and third and chose first for the “Challenge” round. This round, based loosely around the game HORSE, gave each athlete the opportunity to choose a challenge that the other athletes would have to replicate. Group B (Mike Gonzalez, Shay Subramanian, Alfred Scott, and Curran Ferrey) put on a serious show during the challenge round, pushing each other to try unfamiliar movements and combinations on the spot to stay in contention. The challenges (including a barefoot running crane at head height) were matched only by the amazing feeling of camaraderie as each athlete fed off the others. At the end of the challenge round Greg Eckels, Murphy Betancourt, and Mike Gonzalez were in the top three positions. Alfred Scott decided to pull out of the final round due to knee soreness and the running order for the jam round was decided. Kyle Hutson (Massachusetts) went first and stunned the crowd with a huge run that blended high levels of difficulty with excellent execution. While Shay Subramanian, Murphy Betancourt, and Greg Eckels also had fantastic runs in the final round, Kyle won the jam round and overtook Mike Gonzalez to finish third overall. Murphy Betancourt threw down some ridiculous tricks and won the speed round to come in second place, but it was Greg Eckels’ consistency, technique, and power that brought him first place in the GCA Parkour Games.
After grabbing a few photo ops and their respective prizes, athletes were given the opportunity to offer anonymous feedback on the judging system and gameplay. Overall, the event was fun for both the athletes and spectators and a great beginning for WFPF’s new gameplay!
Mission: To spread peace, love, joy, and freedom through the art of movement.
Run Faster Jump Higher (International Peace Movement) began as a dream to united Parkour and Freerunning communities from around the world. A United States tour has always been on our hearts to do. As we Traveled through the United States we met some amazing people and visited some of the nation’s most iconic landmarks. All the Parkour communities have been so inviting and made us feel right at home. Spending so much time together with the tour group has helped us grow together as a family. We have been carrying a very inspirational message everywhere we go (Follow your dreams)
This adventure has been filled with days of overwhelming joy. At the same time we have faced adversity throughout the tour but embraced it as a challenge. These moments brought us together and in the end made us a stronger team. Along this journey we have been reunited with old friends and family members. The entire tour has lifted all our spirits aswell as those around us. All the people we have encountered have been so encouraging and happy for us. We have also gained a lot of support from Parkour companies and Christian companies from all over the world. With everyone’s combined help, this tour was made possible!
Tour members: Michael Hartwig, Aaron Burns, Tony Phomduangsy, Grant Kistenbroker, Kevin Noyola, Leann Schwarz, Steve Dahlin, Dustin Langsdorf, Brian Doyle, and Jon Ferrer
Tour Route: Milwaukee, St. Louis, Denver, Utah, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Temecula, Santa Monica, San Diego, San Francisco, Folsom, Redwoods National Park, Portland, Seattle, Missoula, Yellowstone National Park, Sylvan Lake, Minneapolis, Ledge Park
WFPF NOTE: This is a letter to the community from James Gallion. We’ve decided to frontpage this to bring attention to his cause.
My name is James Blake Gallion but people call me “Rooster”. I have Cerebral Palsy. I was never supposed to walk. Not only did I learn to walk, but now I also do Parkour! I am an affiliate athlete of the WFPF (World Freerunning Parkour Federation). Several months ago the WFPF reached out to me and told me about Tosia, a little girl from Canada who also has Cerebral Palsy and who could not walk. I was instantly excited at the thought that maybe I could do something to help her out. In the spirit of “paying it forward” I put together, with the support of the WFPF and Parkour athletes Kenny Chamberlin from Texas and Johnny Korthuis from Canada, a Parkour fundraiser event to help raise money for the surgeries that Tosia needs.
I want to share a short documentary video about myself and maybe you can understand after seeing my story, why I just had to try to help Tosia.
It has been quite a journey with a lot of twists and turns and we still have not raised all the money needed to help Tosia and her family pay their medical bills and get her final surgery that she needs to be able to start to live a normal life. It would be so helpful for Tosia if we could get this message out through the Parkour community, friends, family, and the media. I would appreciate everyone’s help to help me pay it forward, so please share this story, tweet it, and email the link to your family and friends and let’s see what we can all do together.
“Rooster” aka James Blake Gallion
Who are you?
We are Zenflow. A freerunning team that wants to spread positivity around the world through movement.
Where are you from?
We are from Davenport, Iowa, U.S.A.
When did you start getting involved with Parkour/Freerunning?
We have roots down to a 2008 but formed into a team in 2009. Then Became Zenflow in 2012 with the people have today.
What are you guys up to right now? Are you still in school or do you have a job?
Helping the Community by teaching classes, training, and stunting for an independent film crew. Our Two youngest members are in high school; Jason Gray and Marcus Seay. While our other four members are currently attending college; Larry le, Brody Welch, Steven Anderson and Seth Caron.
If you had a free trip to anywhere in the world right now, where to would it be?
Our team is interested in exploring Asia.
If you had 10k to film a video, what would it be?
We would use the money to tour parts of the world to spread positivity, influence others to love the earth, remain true to themselves, become open minded, and enjoy life; editing and filming it like Team Storm or Storror’s videos.
What shoes are you wearing right now?
KO’s and Feiyues.
This is a hard one even on an individual basis, so to answer this question on top of our head as a team, we would say in general… martial art movies mostly those with Jackie Chan, and anime movies as well as it makes everything seem possible.
Who’s the most underrated tracer / free runner right now?
We have a few but as of now these are the list of people we can think of: Jace Iley, Dante Grazioli, Martin Tucker, Alex JT Potts, Wil Spencer (To be clear not William Spencer), and Esty Illabaca. These are the people that we find inspirational.
Are you guys involved with any project at the moment? Movies, stuntwork or anything?
We are currently involved with Xpreshion Media, a local independent film crew; we are their actors and stuntmen.
Do you guys do any non-parkour movement? Breakdancing, tumbling, martial arts, etc.?
We are involved in Breakdancing and martial arts tricking.
Where do you hope Zen Flow takes you?
As long as we remain brothers, our movement could take us anywhere!