The Debrief: PKGen Questions...Johann Vigroux
This week's Debrief questions were fired at original Traceur, 'Jump London' star, team member and all-round nice guy Johann Vigroux.
How long have you been a Traceur?
I was introduced to Parkour in 1999, so it’s been 13 years with ups and downs.
What movements are you currently working on?
I generally don’t focus on a specific move. My guideline is movement itself. But I recently tried “Strides”. When I started Parkour, striding didn’t exist! I find it very efficient and fluid so I added it to my toolbox :)
What percentage of your training is conditioning?
I had a break in my training for about a year and I went back to it 3 months ago. Today, I want to be fitter before spending more time on movement. So conditioning training takes a lot of space in my overall training. At this time I would say 80-90%, until I feel stronger ;)
Favourite strength and conditioning exercise?
The people who know me know the answer! I am not a conditioning lover, so I don’t have any favourite exercise! Still, I know I have to do it, because I want to be able to move as I wish to. I would say I don’t have any favourite. I will train on what I am lacking in the first hand. Then I will maintain a regular physical training as a basis.
I don’t really like conditioning for the sake of conditioning. What I like and what helped me with this, is that I learned effort, hard work, pain and discipline. I think that’s one element that is missing today. Parkour becomes accessible and grows quickly, we see the performance level getting higher everyday, I believe conditioning brings something more to the practise.
I don’t like conditioning just because it makes me stronger physically and because I can do a lot of push-ups / squats / etc… I appreciate conditioning because it showed me what hard work, dedication, physical and mental limits and discipline mean.
Who or what is your biggest influence?
The first person who inspired me for the discipline is David Belle. He is the one who made me discover Parkour. I think his way of moving is amazing and he seems to be at one with his movement.
The Majestic Force team inspired me by their great dedication and kindness they have when you train with them and as friends too. They have a big heart and they train very hard.
Williams Belle inspired me a lot too, because of his understanding of the practice and also about his practice. He helped me to understand what I was doing and also made me think about why…his way of moving is also amazing, I love the energy that he spreads, while moving, it is so fluid and effortless!
Finally, I would say that Daniel Ilabaca inspired me and still does. He brought the practice to another level! When I watch him moving, it makes me feel happy because he shows me that what we were dreaming of what was possible, 10 years ago, is actually possible…the way it looks when he moves is close to perfection in my eyes and so I find it very inspiring!
Ah ! It would be too long….definitely not English food, even if I could argue about it with Dan for hours ;) But if I had to choose I would say Pho. A Vietnamese soup !
Three current favourite training music tracks?
I am not used to training with music so I can’t tell you !
Item in your bag you couldn't go training without?
Home keys (I’m too lazy to climb my building, it’s about 50 storeys high ;)
Water!!!! (I live in Thailand so water is a must have!)
That’s it. I’ve been used to take the minimum while training. So except for these 2 vital items, I don’t need anything else
How do you approach breaking a jump?
FTS…! My approach has changed with time. When I started, fear, adrenaline and anger were the things I needed to break a jump. Today, I feel I know myself better so I am more relaxed. If I look at the jump, I know if I can do it or not. If I can’t, no need to do it! If I can, I have less fear, I am more relaxed and confident. I just make sure I am awakened and focused.
Breaking a jump is very important for me. That’s why I try to practice this as much as I can. It makes me getting out of my comfort zone and keeps me close to the feeling of fear. A feeling that I want to tame.
Where do you see Parkour in ten years time?
I have seen the evolution of Parkour during the past 10 years! It is now known pretty much all over the world, which is so cool! The performance level also has changed a lot! I guess this is part of evolution, and I am glad to see what people can do with their bodies! I was a bit concerned by the essence of Parkour, that was not spread, through videos or media.Today I know that more and more people care about the core and essence of Parkour and are willing to share it. That’s why I am confident and I believe that what made this discipline rise, 25 years ago, will be passed on.
In 10 years, Parkour might be taught and recognized all over the world and help people discovering it safely. There will still be competitors, teachers, passionate and casual practitioners. There will still be arguments about parkour and freerunning, about who is authentic and who is not! But I believe that there will be a balance and that the knowledge and guidance will be more accessible to anybody wishing to learn.
What is the most important aspect of parkour for you?
Keeping a playful and humble mind. We have to be open minded at all times and accept that we learn everyday!
One piece of advice to Traceurs just starting out:
I would say that it’s great to have a new member of this big community! Try to find local practitioners to train with, feel free to ask questions around. Knowledge is important. And, mostly, we live in a rushing society, so please take your time! You want to have fun, and you want to keep it this way ;)