Daniel Ilabaca

Daniel Ilabaca

18, Parkour Traceur, Merseyside.

“I’ve been involved in Parkour from an early age, since before I had a name for it. I’ve always been into doing extreme things like jumping about and climbing trees though I thought I was alone in what I did. Then I saw a film which involved the martial art Capoeira, I started doing that and I did really well at it.

Then about five years ago I saw a television programme called Ripley’s Believe It Or Not which had a crew doing what was essentially Parkour and I became aware of it as an actual discipline – essentially a way of passing obstacles in the quickest and most direct manner possible. I began to train myself and it’s become a way of life and kept me from basically hanging around on corner smoking and drinking.

I worked with my brother-in-law as a roof tiler for year and a half, but I always knew I didn’t want a normal job and I spent all my spare time training and making videos of my action and putting them on the web.

The Parkour resource group WorldwideJAM saw my videos and asked me if I wanted to join there team, which is great as they’ve helped me show off my skills to a wider audience and allowed me to help others to become involved in Parkour. Now my job is travelling the world doing my thing. A typical day involves lots of training, getting as much footage done as possible and editing it together.

My first commercial work was appearing in he first ever Parkour TV commercial for the mobile phone company Rogers Wireless in Canada which was directed by Mike Christie who did the ‘Jump London’ film. I’ve since done everything from appear on Top Gear racing a Peugeot 207 to the Liver building in Liverpool, perform at the Bahrain Grand Prix and visit Lisses in France where Parkour originated.

I want to get more involved in film and television. Jackie Chan is a big influence on me and eventually I’d like to make my own films and be an action co-ordinator like he does. I’m currently auditioning to appear as a stunt man in the film Prince of Persia with Angelina Jolie – which is something I’ve wanted to do for years – and I’m hoping to go to Mexico in January to work on a film there. I’ve got a lot more auditions coming up and so I’m moving to London soon as that’s where most of my work is.

The best thing about being a full-time Parkour Traceur is being able to live off doing what I really want to do and the freedom that gives you.

I’d like to encourage anyone who’s interested in taking Parkour up to do it. You just have to start small and build up your mental and physical strength; it’s not something that can be taught.”

Interviewed by Kenn Taylor.

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