Since its inception in the late 1980’s the discipline of Parkour has grown tremendously from it’s humble beginnings in the streets of France. Even the methods of teaching this discipline have improved so much. What would take days and weeks to teach, can now be done in a few well structured sessions. With YouTube and other forms of media, the popularity of this movement has grown past anyone's original expectations.
So, what is Parkour?
Parkour is a movement based training discipline that arose from ideas of challenge, exploration, adaptation, and physical and mental functionality. At it’s core, Parkour is comprised of training to overcome any obstacle in one’s path, or to cross any terrain, as quickly and efficiently as possible using only one’s physical abilities.
Since our humble beginnings 4+ years ago, the BAM Academy has taught hundreds of youth & adults to move better, and during this time we have learned so much. One thing we have not shared in the past has been some of the reasons we practice this discipline and what we are passionate about. With our new curriculum we hope to better emphasize some of the Parkour philosophy we believe in.
Founder of BAM Academy. Matthew Lee Willis is the founder and organizer of Texas Parkour, Texas Parkour Academy and Parkour Federation. With over 10 years of parkour and gymnastics experience, he has worked with organizations to train and certify athletes and coaches. Matthew has a BA in Theatre and in his spare time, is both an actor and stunt artist. With the help of Parkour Federation, Matthew has developed a national certification for coaching athletes as well as training guidelines for parkour academies. Matthew has been published in every major news service in Texas as well as publications in the New York Times and the front page of Yahoo News. As a 2nd Generation Parkour athlete, he learned, trained and taught with the originators of the parkour discipline.
Ruben has been with BAM since we opened in April of 2013 and is now an owner. He is an ex-paratrooper (82nd Airborne) and 1990 Gulf War Veteran who has supported the military since 1989. He has been in charge of our Parkour Conditioning classes as well as our intro Programs. ” Unlike most other trainers…I have been in the trenches. I’ve helped many active duty and retired military reach new levels of physical fitness….with improvement in as little as two weeks!”
Our dedicated coaching team brings decades of physical fitness experience. Meet our talented staff!
Keelan may be young but as a practitioner and coach he is polished and dedicated. Keelan became involved with BAM at an early age and quickly became a valuable asset to the team. His focus and cheerful attitude helps student achieve movement they never thought they could and have fun in the process.
Stav has been training and studying Parkour since his days at The Ohio State University where he, and a group of several other dedicated practitioners, started the group Parkour Horizons. Through that organization Stav met and learned from some world-class traceurs from groups such as the Yamakasi (several founders of the discipline) and Parkour Generations. After leaving Parkour Horizons and moving to Austin, Stav joined BAM to aid the top Parkour gym in town.
Regularly found at BAM's fun open gyms, Will has been with BAM for a while now and has the skills to show for it. Don't let his high-flying moves and height fool you; Will is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. He brings enthusiasm to his classes that is both infectious and helpful on your Parkour journey.
Jacob's excitement for teaching and Parkour is a sight to behold. With Jacob coaching you're guaranteed laughs, silliness, and a deep passion for movement. Whether he is busting out a handstand on a pillar or goofing around the floor, you can be sure where Jacob is a good time will follow.
Lisa has always been interested in body movement. As a child, she participated in dance, swimming and gymnastics. At the age of 15 she began lifting weights after a knee injury. She then went on to excel at martial arts becoming a black belt in Tai Kwon Do at 22. That same year, inspired by her personal movement experiences, she became a Certified Personal Trainer. Later, she explored boxing and Mixed Martial Arts.
Inspired after seeing Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas, she found Blue Lapis Light in Austin, Texas. Always the determined and astute student she quickly moved up through the class levels and later received her teacher certification from the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA), recognized as one of the top schools for aerial arts. Wanting to expand her repertoire beyond aerial silks, she has since trained on lyra, straps, hammock, trapeze and rope with fellow aerial artists at Sky Candy in Austin, The Vault in Houston, as well as Trapeze Las Vegas.
With what little spare time Lisa has left between Ascent, Whole Health Acupuncture, and training, she can be found decompressing by tending to her numerous succulents and cacti while keeping a watchful eye on her mischievous house cats Mega 2, Grey Bean and Maisie.