Alan Tran (@alan) is a parkour coach, athlete, entrepreneur and collaborator. He is the founder of Enso Movement in Raleigh NC and is a director for both Art of Retreat and the United States Parkour Association. Alan continues to serve the North Carolina parkour and movement community through active service and outreach.
Childhood role of movement
Grew up in Raleigh, kicked out of the house “til the streetlights turned on.” Always playing and exploring in creeks, digging for earthworms, biking and running around. Craig’s experience; rural PA, running around as a kid, but not really team sport. Always physically active? Seasons; more as an adult less active. Had to choose a sport in HS, Track and Field. Parallel journey to finding parkour.
Thinking about movement
When did you start to actually think about it? Craig: parkour journey, started intentionally thinking about movement after training for a year or two. Alan’s thought process started with following RSS feeds for different parkour blogs and websites, discussing the ethos of parkour, and considering
Taking the leap
What finally made you take the leap to start Enso? NC pretty quiet, lay low, and very far apart. Created NC parkour in 2006, at 16. Not necessarily intentionally thought out. Organizing large state jams, eventually led to realizing he wanted to dedicate his life to creating spaces to share movement. Joy of seeing others navigating movement and life. Doesn’t have to be parkour or natural movement, but any sport, movement, daily life.
Themes of movement
Craig’s movement; coming back from sedentary period, but always kept up with biking. Form of transportation, fun to be out and moving. Efficiency and fun; connection to parkour? Creating processes, getting things out of his brain. Parkour spirit animal: Alan- Brandee Laird, Craig- tree sloth. Climbing challenges, slow and steady. Route running, making efficiency. Alan’s theme with parkour (and other things): Sense of challenge. Yamak style, physical challenge QM up stairs, long distances…
QM and flow state
Vincent Thibault, ADD conditioning - 2 hours and a slab of concrete video. Simply an hour of QM variations. What draws people to QM? Craziness? On the sharp end of being strong. Less videos of QM, and more of “sick lines,” “cooler” things for instagram. How it’s affected parkour’s culture over the years. QM and ultra runners, the endurance factor, sense of challenge. QM can be useful, but more for sharpening the mind, spirit. Takes Alan back to parkour routes, challenge. Craig also finders values, need to push himself forward, but also zen practice, zero impact. Low intensity cardio, similar to sun salutations, unlocking the flow state. Rail balance also achieves this, keeps drawing Alan back. Difficult to get lost in thoughts during QM and rail balance.
Mindset around challenge
Stephane Vigroux 30min standing rail challenge, goal of being kind to yourself. Stephane video , of simply practicing different balance positions while being kind to yourself. Growth mindset and also reflective practice key to parkour.
Goal of Enso
Creating community, people who love to move. David Belle and original Yamak fighting, challenges (1000 jumps). Not falling into the trap of feeling less, not strong enough. Personal coaching ethos, finding challenge and also a sense of gratitude. Partially inspired by yoga, meditation, and other movement practices.
People you never got to thank; Duncan Germain, TK 17 studios. Someone Alan practiced parkour with him. Video Pilgrimage , coached with PKV. Steven Geer, Rolfer. Not a parkour practitioner, but visited Enso often to discuss movement, intentionality, gave Alan tools for reflection. Craig’s gratitude towards Mom, and soccer coach; taught not only soccer, but life lessons. How do you thank people? Write a card, spoken, express curiosity, be present. Connections to QM, parkour? How gratitude and curiosity are expressed differently when coaching or participating
Current project, working on reflective practice. The value of seeking growth, and using a reflective practice. Cultivating reflection in kids and teens using their parkour practice, but then applying it to other areas of their lives. Helping to shape core values for students.
Marathon on a rail
David Banks project, fundraiser for ParkourONE (Germany) and Free your Instinct (UK) to pursue parkour programming specific to mental health. You can donate financially or with a mile of rail balance, or learn more i on the Go Fund Me page.
Contact and further info
You can find out more about Enso Movement by visiting their website (ensomovement.com), where you can also learn more about their Parkour LEADs initiative. To follow Alan personally, you can find him on instagram (@alanstran).
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