Bryce Clarke was born and raised in New York City. He started doing parkour when he was 19 years old. Bryce has completed four professional competitions so far (most notably the North American Parkour Championships), usually competing in speed events which challenge participants to make it from start to finish in a complex obstacle course in the shortest amount of time. He’s been coaching for five years, teaching both gymnastics and parkour in NYC.
TC: What is your background with parkour?
BC: I started in 2009, as I was coming off of graduating high school and had been doing track and field for two years. I was already very athletic and in very good shape. I ran into some people that became friends and were also the ones who introduced me to parkour. From that day I started training I fell in love with it.
TC: What inspired you to start teaching?
BC: The first job I ever had was recommended to me by a friend. After I taught my first class it was something I knew I wanted to do. I like helping people learn how to use their bodies and achieve goals.
TC: This semester we introduced an Adult Parkour class at Discovery. What do you do in the program, and how does it differ from the class for youngsters?
BC: The adult class differs from the young children’s class in that we work specifically on movements that the children do not start with. The adults are given a more fitness-oriented warm up that better prepares the body for the movement patterns they will be experiencing in the class. This class covers more of the foundations of parkour and prepares people to do it outdoors.
TC: What makes Parkour accessible to everyone?
BC: It is very accessible because there are not many barriers to entry – all you need are comfortable clothes and good shoes and you can do it. In addition there is no right or wrong way, once you understand the foundation and the basics of parkour you can do it however you choose. Also being in NYC provides a great urban environment for parkour training to be applied effectively.
TC: What do you love most about this sport?
BC: I love the feeling of achievement one gets from conquering something they may have not thought they could do before hand. That is the coolest thing about Parkour to me.