Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ryan Doyle: A parkour hero

Image Source: redbull.co.nz

Abiding the principles set by freerunning and parkour pioneers Sebastian Foucan and David Belle, today’s generation of parkour artists continue to raise the bar on what this art form can accomplish and express. One of the more prominent freerunners of this generation is Ryan Doyle. A multiple freerunning champion and founding athlete of the World Freerunning & Parkour Federation (WFPF), he works as a promoter and ambassador for the art, traveling the world to promote its grace, freedom, and expressiveness.

Image Source: eatplaytrain.com

Born in 1984 in Liverpool, U.K., Doyle’s initial passion was combat sports. A big fan of Jackie Chan, he has a black belt degree in the Korean martial art Kuk Sool Won. Through his martial arts background (and a bit of experimenting with gymnastics), Doyle discovered tricking, a freerunning branch that combines the two disciplines. He eventually won U.K.’s National Tricking Championship in 2006, 2007, and 2009, as well as the first-ever international freerunning competition – Red Bull’s Art of Motion – in Vienna in 2007. He is currently Red Bull’s parkour ambassador.

Image Source: redbull.com

In 2007, WFPF adopted Doyle as one of its founding athletes. He was among the group of parkour enthusiasts who brought the art to the United States, promoting it among the youth and contributing to its unprecedented popularity during the 2000s. Currently, Doyle teaches at the Freerunning Academy, which he helped established in Liverpool in 2004. He’s also dabbled in coaching and acting.

Brent Morgan Waco here, a physical therapist from Minneapolis and an avid enthusiast of parkour and the culture behind it. Follow me on Twitter account for more about this exciting sport.