In today’s episode, Rajan travels to the USA to meet with Rafe Kelley, one of the first parkour/free runners in the country.
The conversation takes a dive into nature and looks at the human disconnect between reading the landscape, evolving our movement and being more settled in who we are. They also discuss what we should all be doing as we get older in order to remain healthy, mobile and connected.
Today’s episode is a true back-to-nature call and a life lesson for us all to be reminded of the resilience within.
How do you feel you can bring more mobility into your lives? Share your comments below.
If you like what we do, want to share a story, or support our work, please visit www.globalindianseries.com.
About Rafe Kelley:
Natural Movement has been the key theme in his life since childhood. He was raised at the end of a dirt road surrounded by forest. It was in those woods where he found solace from the stresses of school as a child with ADHD and Dyslexia.
When he was 8 years old, a mentor came into his life and took on his education. He saw in him a fierce need for natural movement and gave him room to express it. He roughhoused with him daily and allowed him to roam the woods for hours every day, which allowed him to overcome his disabilities so that by the time he turned 9, he was reading The Iliad and The Odyssey to himself. And by 13, he was actively studying anthropology and evolutionary biology which he would go on to study in college.
MARTIAL ARTS & PARKOUR
At 6 years old, he started studying martial arts. His studies lasted through his teen and adult years, and included:
• Tang Soo Do
• Kung Fu
• Muay Thai
At 15, he began studying gymnastics. And at 23, he discovered parkour, becoming one of the first parkour teachers in North America and co-founding Parkour Visions, one of the most highly respected parkour teaching institutions in the world.
The discovery of parkour for him though immediately led to a bigger question.
Parkour was like taking a layer off gymnastics and finding something deeper, more primal, something more heroic, but it felt like there was still something missing.
Almost from the moment he encountered parkour, he dreamed of creating a method that covered the full spectrum of primal human movements. The skills of the heroes of old. The capacity for natural movement that he had read about in tribal peoples all around the world in his ethnographic readings. He started to ask what it meant to move like a human.
Rafe reinvested himself in martial arts training and weightlifting. Then he encountered the work of George Herbert and Le Methode Naturelle and took his practice into the natural world. Climbing trees, lifting logs, swimming, and carrying rocks underwater.
He chose to focus on parkour as the primary discipline to base his approach on and moved to Seattle to co-found Parkour Visions, the West Coast’s first parkour gym.
Over the 5 years he was the head instructor at Parkour Visions and the ideas behind Evolve Move Play continued to gestate. He started offering martial arts classes through the gym and he slowly migrated to training primarily in nature again. Rafe took an interest in other movement cultures, and in 2013, it was time to walk away from the parkour gym and invest fully in Evolve Move Play.
Since then he has traveled the world teaching, studying, immersing himself in natural movement training and research.
His students have included world-class parkour athletes, MMA fighters, and untrained grandmothers, and the common theme in their responses to his approach is that it is life-changing on many levels.
His passion is to help people build the physical practice that will help make them the strongest, most adaptable and resilient version of themselves in movement and in life.
About the Global Indian Series:
My name is Rajan Nazran Chief explorer for the Global Indian Series, the official platform for people of Indian origin (PIO), because let’s face it, we are everywhere!
For almost 15 years we have travelled across the globe covering 58 countries to date whilst exploring the kaleidoscope of our remarkable 50 shades of brown community.
Voyaging to the edges of the Amazon, facing Ebola in West Africa, being held hostage in Eastern Europe, tapping rubber in Malaysia, drinking chai with Heads of State and sharing laughter with local fishermen – I have been there, looking for us!
Our purpose is simple, to build a living encyclopaedia of the human experience of the community and a safe mooring ground for open discussions, whether you are an NRI, Indian Diaspora, person of Indian origin (PIO) or a fan of South Asian anthropology, what we do is bring people and communities together.
We do this by plunging into the human experience of being a person of Indian origin (PIO), taking a second look at the countries we now call home and tackling the conversations we need to know more about.
Through our range of award-winning original content (print, podcasts, events and TV) and fascinating discussions, our impactful stories and platforms have spearheaded national and international conversations that have brought people together.
Our work is featured in global brands including The Indian Express through to the CNBC network.
How to get involved:
Interested in getting involved in building the world’s largest living encyclopedia on the community? Whether you want to become a patron, buy us a chai in a new location or have your story shown, simply get in touch via our website, we would love to hear from you. www.globalindianseries.com
Social media:You can reach Rajan via
YouTube: Global Indian Series
Special thank you to TAIZU for the music
Presenter – Rajan Nazran
Producer –Global Indian Series/NazranRoth
Guest – Rafe Kelley
Art Design – Vanisha Patel
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