Author Topic: Zac's interview  (Read 21010 times)

Offline Mel Martinez

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Zac's interview
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2010, 08:08:34 PM »
Heyo!

Mel from MIAPK.

Any plans on coming down to Miami?  ;D


What do you look for in a Parkour hotspot? How often do you go looking for new ones? Where do you explore?


Ever had a run in with authority, and if so, how did you deal with it?

What is your favorite movement?

Do you have a Mt. Everest? By that, I mean, do you have a goal that's so monumental for you, completing it would be akin to a life goal? And if so, how do you plan on climbing your Everest, if I may ask?

Do you actively recruit people, or let people come to you, out of curiosity?

Offline Ozzi

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Zac's interview
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2010, 02:02:51 PM »
Alright guys, it is not that time to give Zac the opportunity to answer your questions. Give him a few days and hell get back to you.
Thanks you all  ;)

Going to get me an acai now!!!
"Be the change you want to see in the world"
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Offline Zachary Cohn

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Zac's interview
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2010, 07:56:39 AM »
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For Zac of course. Answer how you want to.

Why?

Because a life of inaction is no life at all. In order to live, we must try new things. Then we must fail at those new things. When we fail, we must find something new to try. When we succeed, we must continue to experiment or we grow old and die inside.

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What's the biggest secret to building a strong sense of community?

Getting the word out and consistency:
You've gotta get the word out. Plan a beginner's workshop, contact some local newspaper and television reporters, promote the crap out of it on Facebook, with posters on college campuses, through the media, word of mouth through friends and friends of friends.

We've had our regular saturday jams at the same time, same spot, for over a year and a half. That way if people don't want to be checking the website or facebook all the time, they don't have to. They know they can show up to the big jam on Saturday. We can have smaller jams throughout the week organized by whoever, but the big thing is if you want people to keep coming back, it has to be consistent.

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How come you're not Batman yet?
Complications getting a facemask that's strong enough. The ceramic keeps shattering...

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Got any more tips on developing amazing balance?  Maybe a good progression for rail-balance?
Best thing I can say is do not fall. More seriously though: Do not fall. Fight falling every time. If you start to fall, don't just go with it. FIGHT TO STAY ON THAT RAIL. You'll learn tricks and ways to recover your balance after you think you're going to fall, and that'll help you stay on next time! One I like is to drop down into a squatting position on the rail to lower my center of balance, regain my composure, and then stand back up again.

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Is parkour more mental, physical or spiritual in your practice?
I'm not sure what I would classify it as. The physical and mental side are both strong, I've been working hard to overcome a lot of my precision fears lately. As far as spiritual, I think of that more as play.

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Love ya brudda!
<3 you too Brett. Hope to train with you soon.

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Why are you so cool?
Well, I chop off the heads of everyone else cooler than me so I can absorb their power a la The Quickening. Also, there can only be one...

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Who gives better hugs; you or Andy Keller? I hear he gives good hugs.
There's really no contest there.

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If you could combine parkour, juggling, stunts, TKD, and whatever awesome things you do into ONE activity, what would it be called and how would it be done/performed?
I already have. It's called My Life. And I perform it every day!

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What are some of the big things you took from your Martial Arts background into your Parkour training. Mindsets, movements, whatever?
The idea of repetition and striving for perfection. I think the idea of performing a technique 100% of the time is missing in a lot of activities (skateboarding, gymnastics, etc). Of course, people are performing high level movements, but I don't like to say "I have something" until I can land it every time. And until I can execute a step of a progression of a technique every time, I don't move on. When I teach backtucks, I have people work into the foam pit until they're ready. Then they work on a Tumbltrax with a spotter. Then without a spotter. Then they work on the floor onto a mat with a spotter. Then without a spotter. Then onto the floor without a spotter. I typically discourage them from moving on until they can demonstrate they can do it EVERY time. if you're having trouble with one of the steps of the progression, it's unlikely you'll be able to fix it by doing something harder.

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Do you recall any favorite movement in your first couple years of training, versus any favorite movements now?
I used to really like big diving kongs. I've transitioned from power moves to more technical, flow based work. I do need to work on power moves again though, my diving kongs suck now compared to where they were!

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What is your favorite color?
Purple.

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What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
Faster than that of a laden one.

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Will you give me a hug the next time I see you?
ARE YOU SURE YOU DON'T WANT A HUG FROM ANDY KELLER INSTEAD?? I HEAR HE GIVES GOOD HUGS

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Why aren't you purple?
Weeeiirrd. Didn't even see this question when I answered my favorite color.

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What is your favorite food?
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with slices of deli turkey and topped with cinnamon and ginger.
I've been making a lot of meatloaf lately too.

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Do you remember teaching me wallflips at acro like  2-3 years ago?
That was my first time meeting another person interested in movement.
We had this discussion already, but my response was basically: OH SNAP! I DO REMEMBER NOW! I NEVER KNEW THAT WAS YOU!!!

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Does time exist? explain...
"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect... but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly.... timey-wimey.... stuff. Hmm. That sentence started so well..."
-The Doctor, Doctor Who

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You do a ridiculous amount of awesome things, organize ridiculously awesome things, and build strong communities, How? Why? What is the hardest part of that, and how do you balance it all?
How? Intuition, primarily. I believe that people, as a whole, are social creatures. They want to be together. So do what will make people want to come together, create systems that allow people to easily come together. Also, trial and error. More trials than errors, but still some errors. :)

As for why? I like making friends, and I like hanging out and training with my friends.

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Why happydud? and any reason for not using the nickname anymore?
Originally it was a typo. I was playing Perfect Dark multiplayer on the N64 for the first time with my friend, we had just watched an episode of the Simpson's where Homer gets an automatic dialer machine. It calls everyone in Springfield telling them to send one dollar to "Happydude" at x address. I thought that'd be a funny name, so I typed in Happydude. There was an 8 character limit and the name got truncated to Happydud. And that was that!

I don't use it here anymore because this has transitioned into more of a serious thing. The more and more intertwined parkour and my "real life" got, the more and more I wanted to be the same person. I'm also a really big proponent of transparency, so I chose not to hide behind an internet handle, and instead show the world who I am.

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HOW OR WHY DO YOU NOT PRODUCE MORE MELANIN?!
BLAME MY GENETICS.

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Also, when are you planning on coming back to DC?
For (B)East Coast!

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How long have you been doing Parkour?
4 years and change.

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How long have you been awesome?
Well, I'm 21 years and six months old, so I'm going to go ahead and say 22 years and 3 months.

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WHEN DID U PARKOUR 2 MY HOUZE AND STEEL MAH FOOD?
WHEN I WAS HUNGARY.

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How has your vast national travels for Parkour changed or affected your training or ideas
In addition to knowing a ton of people and having a great network of friends, I've seen how each community trains differently. Often they training of the entire community reflects, in some way, the style of the "leaders" of that community. It's pretty cool to see, and I've seen how I've adopted ideas from each of the cities I've visited into my own training.

Also, it seems I've picked up some strange accents. Stupid Jersey...

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As a fellow Zachary, I feel I can ask this question: Why end with just the "c"?
Short, simple, efficient. Also... I'd watch your back if I were you. THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE.

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Do you prefer to learn a movement first, then work to perfect it or learn as much as you can and then perfect it later?
Learn as much as I can and keep working until it's perfect. :)

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Red pill or blue pill?
Surprise them. Both pills.

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Operation Valkyrie or Center for Boxxy Control and Restriction?
Boxxy Control and ELIMINATION.

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Oh, and when are you coming to the great state of Wisconsin again so that I can meet you in person???
No plans to in the future... but I'd love to try sometime! I'll PM you my bank account info so you can deposit the money for my flight... >.>  :)

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What are your passions in life?
Helping people.

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One thing you really wish you had time to learn/do, but currently cannot?
Dance. This is a white man who cannot dance. :(

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Best roommate ever? Wink
I'm going to go ahead and say my freshmen roommat- ;) j/k lulz.

PS. I'll finish cleaning up the dishes tonight when I get home!

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whats your biggest life fear?
Growing up and forgetting that childhood is a way of life, not a stage of life.

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Where do you see yourself in 5years.
Celebrating the 5 year anniversary of you asking me this question!

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Why havent you visited me in HI yet?
See the Wisconsin question about sending me money.

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Best experience so far this year.
Building a firepit out of bricks, starting the fire with a match and brush and wood that we found in the area, then going out there with a few good friends and cooking 6lbs of steak over an open fire. Then eating the steak with our hands and tearing into it with our teeth.

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Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?
In San Diego.

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Would you consider getting the PKGen ADAPT coaching cert?
I know I can teach well. I have been taught to teach in multiple different disciplines, I have experience teaching multiple disciplines. I have taught myself and I have learned from the most experience people all over the country. I have people all over the country who have sent me emails, letters, and postcards telling me about how their experience training with my changed their entire training philosophy for the better, or inspired them, or started them off on the right track. I have no real need or desire to pay a bunch of money to prove that I am capable of teaching.

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Do you still juggle?
Of course. :) Just started working on 5 ball... aaauuugh so hard.

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You do a ton of work for APK, the community, and your school work/personal life.  How do you find time to balance all those together, and what keeps you motivated to do them everyday?
I haven't actually been doing a lot with APK since early February. I passed off the front page posting responsibility and most of my other responsibilities to others so I could focus on graduating from school and other priorities in my life.

Other than that, I'm really bad at balancing things. It's something I need to work on more...

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How many times have u seen a boxxy video?
</3

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Have you ever been particularly scared leaning or preforming a certain movement?
Terrified of Rail Precisions. They are scaaaaaaary.

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What is one of your goals in life?
My immediate goal is to get a job after I graduate (in 4 weeks...). Once I'm there, I can start to structure my plans and goals for the rest of my more immediate future. I want to get my college loans payed off as soon as possible, so I'm going to dedicate a lot of money to that. After I get that done, who knows. Eventually I'd like to travel the world without a schedule or itinerary and just explore what is around.

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What would you do for a Klondike bar?
Spend two hours answering all these questions!

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Hey, it's Ryan F. I posted a while ago about doing a cross country trip and I'm gonna start traveling this summer, thought you were gonna help me out with contacts and such?
Yep. I suck. Email me: zac@americanparkour.com and I'll set aside time to work with you asap.

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Heyo!
Heyo back!

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Mel from MIAPK.
Zac from APK/Severna Parkour/DC Metro Parkour/Rochester Parkour.

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Any plans on coming down to Miami?  Grin
That was on my list of places to visit two years ago when I did my cross country trip... unfortunately I couldn't get ahold of anyone then! As far as the future goes, I'm not sure but I'd like to one day!

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What do you look for in a Parkour hotspot? How often do you go looking for new ones? Where do you explore?
Rails. I <3 Rails. Other than that, creative and unusual architecture. Multiple levels, dense areas. I explore Rochester a lot, the city I go to school in. We've found some pretty great places just by driving around!

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Ever had a run in with authority, and if so, how did you deal with it?
We had a Leave No Trace jam a few weeks ago - had about 35 people out and picked up about 70 bags of trash. We had to figure out what to do with it all, so we dragged about 1/3 of it about a third of a mile to a local business park. We were about to throw it in those dumpsters when a voice came over the loudspeaker: "YOU ARE TRESSPASSING. LEAVE THE PREMISES IMMEDIATELY. THE POLICE HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED." We sighed, turned around and started to leave when two security guards came out and demanded to know what we were doing. "Cleaning up Manhattan Square Park. We ended up with more trash than we thought, and we needed a place to put it all!" "Who told you to clean up the park!?" "No one, sir. We just saw it needed to be done, so we did it."

They ended up letting us throw the stuff away in the dumpster, even though they pay by the tonnage (which is why they were angry at first). We ended up shaking hands and laughing and leaving a great impression.

My advice: Always be respectful. If you see a security guard coming toward you, approach them and meet them halfway. It's an important symbolic and psychological gesture.

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What is your favorite movement?
The Playful Dolphin. (inside joke)

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Do you have a Mt. Everest? By that, I mean, do you have a goal that's so monumental for you, completing it would be akin to a life goal? And if so, how do you plan on climbing your Everest, if I may ask?

I don't know where I want to end up, I'm still trying to find out. So instead... Baby steps. Little goals, here and there. Trying new things, experimenting, going out on a limb. Failing sometimes, and then trying new things. You could say my Mount Everest is finding my Mount Everest. I need to climb to the top of the tallest, harshest mountain in order to find out what my true goals really are.

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Do you actively recruit people, or let people come to you, out of curiosity?
For a while, heavy recruiting. Once the community hit a tipping point, it kind of does that for me. If I think someone would be interested, I'll tell them about it. If we're holding an event, I'll promote the hell out of it. But I'm not actively going out and hunting down people anymore because if they're interested enough, they'll find us.

The community has to reach that tipping point first though, or else it could die off.


Thanks everyone! This was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed writing all this and you guys asked some great questions! If you have any questions or followup questions, shoot me an email zaccohn@gmail.com, or IM me on AIM: IAmZacharyCohn.

z
« Last Edit: April 20, 2010, 08:12:26 AM by ZacharyCohn »

Offline Cloud

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Zac's interview
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2010, 09:02:14 AM »
<3

Get with the flow...

Offline Andy Keller

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« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2010, 09:39:59 AM »
<3
"Do it, do it well, do it well and fast."

Offline Zoolu

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« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2010, 10:34:33 AM »
<3
With great power, comes great responsibility.

Watch out for pterodactyls!

Flow like water - break the law of gravity.

Offline Bao

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« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2010, 04:55:07 PM »
C-C-C-Combo Breaker!

Offline Corndogg

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« Reply #27 on: April 20, 2010, 06:28:29 PM »
<3

Meatloaf is highly underrated!

Can't wait for you to come back to the Bay.

Nice one.

 8)
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Serving the Greater San Francisco Bay Area

Offline Matthew Wang

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« Reply #28 on: April 20, 2010, 06:58:36 PM »
<3

Someone change Bao's post to the above. NOW.
http://www.washingtonparkour.com/
Need something Washington Parkour related?
matt@washingtonparkour.com
washington@americanparkour.com
10 PUSH UPS OR 5 PULL UPS PER POST

Offline Corndogg

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« Reply #29 on: April 20, 2010, 07:03:32 PM »
SF Parkour // SFPK - | Website | Forum | YouTube |
Serving the Greater San Francisco Bay Area

Offline Janine

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« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2010, 07:23:17 PM »
<3 the mostest.
Get your hooks in!

Offline Zachary Cohn

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« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2010, 07:51:01 PM »
Actually <3 Bao. C-c-c-c-combo breaker! is my favorite.

Offline Andy Keller

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« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2010, 04:29:08 AM »
"Do it, do it well, do it well and fast."

Offline Adam McC

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« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2010, 09:32:30 AM »
Zac, thanks for taking the time, brother. Very generous of you.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2010, 11:21:47 AM by Andy Keller »

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Offline gage596

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« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2010, 09:42:07 AM »
What's the biggest secret to building a strong sense of community?
yeah what he said plus what is an easy way of getting big air and doing cat leaps

Offline Andy Keller

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« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2010, 11:22:41 AM »
yeah what he said plus what is an easy way of getting big air and doing cat leaps

He already answered the questions. ;)

But what do you mean by "big air?"
"Do it, do it well, do it well and fast."

Offline Zachary Cohn

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« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2010, 02:38:01 PM »
yeah what he said plus what is an easy way of getting big air and doing cat leaps

I'll take one more question!

See above for my "community building" answer.

As for getting big air: Jump harder. Read the General Fitness forums and get STRONG AND BROLIC. And for bigger catleaps, don't forget to drive your knee!