[email protected] Thursday - Mar 23, 2017

Interview: Aral Roca Gómez


aral roca parkour

I had the opportunity to talk to one of the best Parkour practitioners in Spain, Aral Roca. He has great skills that you can check on his Youtube channel.

Here is a short bio and interview I managed to get out from our disscusion

Name: Aral Roca Gómez
Age: 21
City: Barcelona

Hello Aral, thanks for accepting to have this interview. Can you introduce yourself to the readers?

Hola a todos! My name is Aral Roca and I live in Bacelona, Spain. I study IT Engineering at the university and I practice Parkour in my free time. Probably a lot of you know me from my most recent clips, Summer 2010 – Inspiration of life and Love My City (Barcelona).

Those are some really good clips. When and how did you first hear about Parkour?

My first contact with Parkour was in the middle of June of 2007. I remember I received an e-mail from my father with a clip of David Belle jumping and leaping.

When did you effectively start training?

Until the age of 4 and a half, my parents owned a house in the mountain-side, where we would go every weekend. While I was there, I liked to move around like an animal. For example, I liked to climb in a tree and pass from one to the other. Other times, I was following my cat imitating its movements, or walking in the woods jumping from one rock to the other. I loved challenges, like moving without touching the ground. I did all of this without knowing it was called Parkour.

Then, as I said, my father sent me an e-mail with David Belle, knowing I would like it, and he was right. I loved it!

Later, we had to sell the house in the mountain-side because we couldn’t maintain it anymore. So, in my weekends in Barcelona, I started doing the same things I did in the mountain-side. Still, I did not know a lot about Parkour, just that I liked to do it. After nearly a month, I finally met another person that was training. That was the point when I started to read more about what it is and what it stands for.

How was your first training?

It’s very funny. I remember that in my first training I printed on a sheet of paper a lot of warm-up methods, stretching, conditioning and every Parkour move I could find find and went outside. The first weeks were strictly physical preparation and doing many repetitions, until I started to gain some control over my body.

Have you always practiced some kind of sport?

Yes, I was always attracted to movement. I practiced, and I still do, climbing, gymnastics, Tae-kwan-do and swimming. I have always been an active person.

How did the other sports help you Parkour trainings?

The physical preparation and elasticity I gained were very useful. I started to train in Parkour after almost 4 years of Tae-kwan-do and a lot of indoor physical conditioning. This has helped my initiation in this discipline. I already had some basics covered and that allowed me evolve a bit faster than others.

Your clips and movements are known around the world. How does that make you feel?

I like it. I think it’s a way to share my Parkour and my life from my own perspective. In the same time, it’s interesting because you can see your progress.

The fact that you are being seen by so many people has it’s positive sides, because people are interested in you and you get the chance to meet a lot of new people and to travel a lot…

What do you believe is your best clip and why?

Definitely the first clip I uploaded on Youtube. Those were some great memories!

What is the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome your workouts, and how long did it take to overcome?

I do not remember any specific cases. No obstacle was difficult to overcome, in the true sense of the word. There were many obstacles that I wanted to overcome, but I never tried them without feeling ready. So if I thought too much to perform a move, it meant that I was not ready and I would return another day. Eventually came a day when that move would come naturally. So, i learned that improvement comes naturally, it should not be forced.

Some of your moves are crazy! What is the secret behind those movements?

I train trying to be as natural as possible. If you see a monkey or a cat, you will understand.

Tell me, what is the structure of your daily workouts? How often do you practice your technique and how many days do you condition yourself? Or do you combine them?

I practice Parkour 4 times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday), about 4 hours per training. I warm up really well, I train without stopping until the end and do a lot of stretching to relax. Mondays and Wednesdays I also include 40 minutes of climbing and conditioning for about 1 hour 30 min. I take Fridays off. I adjust my schedule about every four months, according to my university courses.

Barcelona is a great city to live. But how is it for Parkour, compared to other places?

It’s great because we constantly find new places where we train. You cannot get bored here.

How big is the parkour community in Catalonia?

It’s quite big. Not sure how many are training often, but, currently, there are 283 members on Facebook.

How often do you train together?

I almost always train with my friends, but not always the same ones. Even if every two weeks I like to train alone, the ideal mix is to combine individual training group training.

What is your favorite place to practice Parkour?

Trinitat Nova. It is a quiet neighborhood in Barcelona, with many places for training and they are very close together.

Do you get many international parkour practitioners coming to train in Barcelona?

Not many, but sometimes they come and we greet them properly.

You participated in the Advanced Motion WPF project. How did you end up doing that?

Chris Harmat saw a video compilation of mine, liked it and told me to join this really cool project he had.

What was the Parkour practitioner who has impressed you most and why? For his skills, training method or philosophy?

Toby Segar did with his Double Kong.

In what other Parkour projects are you involved in?

I am not involved in any project, at this time, because I use my time for training and studying.

What are your plans for the future of your Parkour training? Do you intend to be Aral Roca the professional Parkour athlete?

I would like to finish university and then to travel, to learn as much as I can from experience. Once graduated you need to let life flow. You must not pretend that you’re professional. It is important to work as you like and still keep your time for training.

What do you think about the international Parkour scene today? Do you like how it evolves and the direction it’s heading?

Because of social networks we are more united and is much easier to organize sessions with friends, travel to other countries and to contact the people there. I think that every step is different. Parkour is neither better nor worse than before, just different. Now there are more people who practice Parkour just to spend time with friends. Each has his reasons. The important thing is that, whatever happens, there will always be comradeship between us.

What advice would Aral Roca give to Parkour practitioners around the world?

Overcoming and obstacle is not about making a jump with fear. Obstacles mean difficulty and as you train obstacles evaporate. What seemed difficult before, may seem easy after a lot of training. The key is to feel comfortable while moving, the rest just comes naturally.

2 comments
  1. Nicholas

    April 11, 2012 at 2:07 am

    Awesome! I love this guy, he’s one of my favorite Traceurs.

    Reply
    • Dan Dinu

      May 31, 2012 at 8:47 am

      He’s also very good in martial arts and a very good drummer. :)

      Reply

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