Matthew ‘Chippa’ Campbell
Chippa started training parkour in 2004, and has been training and sharing his skills ever since. As one of the co-founders of the Australian Parkour Association, Chippa has been heavily involved in the development and growth of the Australian parkour community, and was its President for six years. Currently he is President of Melbourne Parkour.
In his training and classes, Chippa often draws upon his experience in the army (infantry and commandoes) and martial arts, as well as his background as a personal trainer and stunt professional.
Parkour encompasses many things Chippa finds important: learning to use your body, being healthy and strong (in mind and body), and using these skills to help others, which he does mostly through teaching.
Amy started her training in 2009, when a friend encouraged her to join a class. She had no idea what parkour was at the time, but her first impression was positive: she loved the challenge of finding her own way over obstacles.
Amy has never been a ‘sporty’ person, but she fell in love with parkour because it demands so much of her mental attention, pushing her to be a better version of herself, as well as being physically challenging. She also loves that it feels like play when so much of life often feels structured and rule-based.
James first became aware of parkour during high school, after seeing this Nike ad. He was immediately drawn to parkour, however it wasn’t until after he graduated from university that he started training. This was in January 2011, and he has been training consistently ever since.
There are several reasons why James trains parkour. He likes the focus on longevity, training in a way that builds strength and health slowly over time and doesn’t wear out your body at a young age. He also likes that it is about practical strength and skills: you’re not focusing on getting abs or bulging biceps, but learning basic human functions like running, jumping and climbing. Most of all, he has stuck to training parkour because it is underpinned by the idea of developing as a person, becoming stronger not just physically but mentally and morally as well.
Before he started training parkour, James studied music and psychology and has worked previously as a guitar teacher and a researcher. These days, training and teaching parkour is his full time job.
When James isn’t training or teaching, he is usually spending time with his wife, drinking tea, eating zaatar pizza, watching movies, or playing board games and tabletop RPGs with his brother and friends.
Mike ‘Smo’ Snow
Smo started parkour at the age of 15 in 2007, after training both gymnastics and breakdancing for five years. Through parkour, he met guys who were both stuntmen and parkour instructors, and decided he wanted to follow the same path. He graded as a stuntman in 2010, and has since worked on various Australian and American feature films, TV series, TV commercials and live shows, including Gallipoli (TV series, 2014), King Kong (live theatre, 2013 – 2014), and I, Frankenstein (feature film, 2012).
Smo likes that parkour isn’t competitive; that the focus of the movement is on practicality instead of aesthetics, and that the philosophy behind it comes from somewhere not driven by ego and selfishness. Physically, his favourite aspect of parkour training is climbing: he’s always loved climbing, but not in gyms with a rope and harness, so parkour gives a good reason to climb outdoors the way he likes to climb.
More information about Smo’s list of credits and appearances can be found at www.mikesnow.com.au
When Viv started training parkour in early 2014, she was just looking to improve her fitness. However, she very quickly came to love the diverse, kind and welcoming community that is Melbourne Parkour.
She has always been into sports, including hockey, rowing and softball. However, she believes she has stuck with parkour because of the friends she has made, as well as the discipline’s underlying values. Parkour pushes her both physically and mentally to become stronger, and to use that strength in practical ways.
Kel has been coaching parkour in Scotland since 2014, and with Melbourne Parkour since she returned in 2016. You may see her at classes with her trusty assistant coach Duffie, the scruffy black pup.
Kel has worked with Glasgow Parkour Coaching, Access Parkour in Edinburgh, Glasgow Parkour Girls, Edinburgh Parkour Woman, Girls of Melbourne Parkour and Melbourne Parkour Classes and Training. She organised the first parkour event for women* in the UK, the International Women’s Day Parkour Clamjamfrie in Glasgow in 2014 and has helped to organise WamJam, the national women*’s parkour gathering in Australia, too.
Kel believes passionately that parkour is for every body. She has worked for years to help dismantle the gender bias in parkour and has a particular interest in providing access and support to those who may feel marginalised or disengaged from movement culture. She has worked with women*’s groups and groups that support LGBTQI+ youth to provide support and classes, and recently helped organise an event specifically for older women* to try parkour.
As well as a traceuse and coach, Kel is a visual artist whose work spans sculpture, writing, video, performance and curating. She graduated from the MFA program at the Glasgow School of Art in 2015 and has undertaken several residencies across the world, including at the Glasgow Sculpture Studios, the International Studio Program at ACC Weimar and the Australia Council Residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris. Kel doesn’t like shoes that much and recently developed an interest in throwing heavy things around.
Kyle started training Parkour in 2005 when he was 15 after a friend showed him some videos on the internet. Kyle has enjoyed and trained parkour ever since and has also tried many sports including martial arts, gymnastics, athletics, snowboarding, surfing and Olympic lifting. Kyle now trains parkour to stay physically and mentally strong as well as providing enjoyable challenges.
Kyle currently works as a climbing arborist and prior to that spent 6 years as a personal trainer. He calls upon his experiences in the Personal training industry to create a challenging but rewarding parkour class by trying to create a technically and physically difficult class while still being enjoyable.
Lachlan started training parkour in 2012, inspired by computer games and online videos. He enjoys the sense of freedom and self-confidence it gives him, in addition to helping him stay fit. He also loves that it gives him the opportunity to explore spaces in different ways.
When he’s not training or studying, he can usually be found playing video games or pursuing his interests in IT and technology.
Parkour has become a major part of Miguel’s life since he started training in early 2014. With a background in dance and theatrical movement, parkour introduced him to a more intimate exploration of the body and the environment around him.
His friends at Melbourne Parkour instilled such positive and diligent training habits in him, that he is now inspired to give back to the wider parkour community with these same attitudes.
To Miguel, parkour not only explores movement in different environments but also the limits of every aspect of your body and mind, including finding ways to break through those limits with each step you take.
Outside of parkour, Miguel is an actor who also enjoys trampolining (including its version of wall running!)
In 2011, Suzi was looking into different types of martial arts to become stronger, but then she found parkour through a friend. It gave her the opportunities to improve herself that she had been looking for.
What hooked her was the way she could first look at an obstacle and think, “There’s no way I can do that,” before working out how to overcome it. She would feel really accomplished. In this way, parkour continues to extend her perceived limits of what she can do.
Parkour has given her practical physical strength, a resilient and brave mental attitude, and a sense of harmony between her mind and body.
Before she discovered parkour, Bec was a soccer player who moved to the USA when she received a college scholarship. When she returned to Melbourne, she searched online for a new challenge to keep her active and sane – and that’s when she stumbled across parkour.
Bec enjoys the physical challenge and playfulness of parkour, and the way it makes her feel stronger and more capable than she was before. Her training has also enabled her to see and use ordinary spaces in creative ways.
Bec has been training parkour since early 2014. When she isn’t training, she is studying full time to become a paramedic. She also dabbles in rock climbing.
Chris has been interested in parkour for as long as he can remember. He had seen a lot of online videos and movies in which traceurs did really amazing things, and had always thought, “I wanna be like that guy!” He has been training since 2011.
Not only has parkour given him a way to stay fit and healthy in a fun and interesting way, but he has also learnt a lot about himself and increased his confidence. He has learnt how to move ‘like those guys’ and met many awesome people along the way, including close friends he now trains with regularly.
Chris became an instructor to share his skills and help others gain confidence in the same way he did.Outside of training and teaching parkour, Chris also has a degree in biotechnology.
Wes started training parkour in 2012, after YouTube videos inspired him to give it a try.
Although he participated in many sports as a kid, including soccer, cricket and footy, he lost interest in them in high school. It wasn’t until he started parkour that he rediscovered his love of moving around and gaining strength and fitness, without the need to be competitive. Wes believes he has stuck to parkour because of the confidence it has given him in his abilities, as well as the friends he has made through training regularly.
Wes is currently completing a Bachelor of Science. Outside of parkour and uni, he also enjoys playing music and video games.
Before Callum started training parkour in 2010, he had trained karate for six years. When he finished school he became an instructor, and has continued training and instructing ever since.
For Callum, the best thing about training parkour is the sense of freedom it provides: being able to get to places and move without restriction.
Scott was interested in parkour long before he actually started training in early 2014. He has always loved climbing, jumping and being playful, and parkour offered a way to channel all of those things.
Once he started training, he also loved the sense of accomplishment he felt after each session. By encouraging him to push past his mental barriers, parkour has taught him a lot about himself: he’s realised he is capable of a lot more than he previously thought.
Scott continues to train for fitness, to become stronger physically and mentally. But he also trains for the friends he has made in a fantastic community that is warm and welcoming.
Scott is a keen photographer who works in sales, and is also a former snowboarding instructor.
Jarrod became interested in parkour in 2009, when he was sixteen and watched Casino Royale. He thought the opening chase scene was the coolest thing in the world and was amazed how someone could move like that. As soon as he could, he bought the DVD and watched that scene about 100 times. He set up a course around his family’s 18 acre property in Gippsland to drill the moves over and over again. After doing this for around a year, he looked up ‘Parkour in Australia’ online, and found the APA classes.
In early 2011, just after his 18th birthday, Jarrod drove down to Melbourne for his first class. He trained at the Trace Facility for six months before joining Beyond Basics in the city. It was during this time that he realised his love not only for the art of parkour, but also for fitness, and he has since qualified as a Personal Trainer. Jarrod believes that parkour gave him the skills and confidence to teach others, and has greatly contributed to his style of personal training. He now works at Jump and Climb Traralgon, and has been a Melbourne Parkour instructor since early 2013.
Jarrod loves sharing what he has learnt through parkour: not only the physical movements, but the spirit and philosophies behind them: to move with efficiency, being strong to be useful, and training with longevity in mind. Additionally, being an instructor gives him the opportunity to welcome new people into the amazing community he has come to know.
Jarrod’s goal is to one day start parkour classes in Gippsland, to make parkour more accessible to people in his local area.
Romain Started parkour at the start of 2013. He also has roots and still trains in other movement styles namely: Capoeira, Breakdance, Contemporary Dance, Ballet, Popping and Animation, Gymnastics and Martial Arts Tricking.
What he values the most about parkour is the mental and physical strength it develops to allow creativity and confidence that can transfer to many aspects of both other styles of movement and life. He is continually exploring potential for new movement. He is also interested in the interconnectedness between movement styles and how their cultures and approaches are different but yet still strikingly similar.
Romain has studied a Bachelor of Human Movement Science, Diploma of Dance and has a Master’s degree in Exercise Rehabilitation.
William originally started training parkour in 2008, in preparation for a collaborative project between his theatre group First Impression and the movement group Trace Elements. The result of the collaboration was a showcase named Drop and Roll in which outer suburban youth were introduced to and trained in parkour and later that year provided a demonstration of their acquired skills to the public.
After that event, William continued training because he liked the way it provides a lens for self-reflection, in which a person can work out and decide for themselves where they need to develop and grow. One of the aspects of parkour that he enjoys most is taking a second look at physical obstacles such as walls, fences, and railings, and finding new ways to overcome them.
Chris started training parkour on his own in 2012, and has been training with Melbourne Parkour since early 2015.
He trains parkour to keep his mind and body active and fit. It also helps him to feel in control, and reminds him to enjoy natural movement and his environment.
Chris has gained a lot from parkour – it helps to keep his mental health in check. He prefers it to competitive sports because of the way it engages his mind as well as his body. He enjoys the fact that his only competition is himself, his only challenge to push himself further, to overcome his own fears rather than compare himself to others. He loves that parkour gives him the freedom to move in creative ways, and be safe while doing it – in spite of what some people might think.
Outside of parkour, Chris is a full-time Year 12 student. A few of his other hobbies are reading, learning, and going to the gym.
Julian started training in 2011 in Brisbane, inspired by Assassins Creed and motivated to improve his general fitness. In 2013, he brought his playful view of parkour movement to Melbourne, and has been training and teaching with MPK ever since.
Julian focuses on the playful nature of parkour and likes to explore the freedom of movement that it provides in his own training, seeking to inspire others in the same way he has been. Parkour has helped him conquer fear and explore the phenomenon of flow in a practical setting.
When he’s not training or travelling around the world, Julian studies Computer Science and works in IT.