ABOUT ACCESS PARKOUR
Scotland's leading provider for parkour and movement classes across Edinburgh and Scotland
"Access Parkour creates non-competitive physical spaces that allow people to develop the skills they need to overcome both physical and mental barriers in their lives"
WHO WE ARE
At our heart, we are a coaching organisation with a range of classes in Edinburgh. Our classes focus on non-competitive, enjoyable physical training based on parkour, for all levels.
We have classes designed for everyone!
Whether you are older and determined to look after your body, or a young athlete looking for a new outlet for your energy and drive, we have a fantastic community of inspirational people you can meet and learn from.
Parkour is a physical training methodology rather than a set of movements. It teaches you to challenge yourself and succeed in the challenges you face.
As a result, Access Parkour aims to embody this concept above everything. And our highly experienced coaches look forward to helping you begin.
MEET THE TEAM
All our coaches are friendly, experienced, and qualified through the two major parkour qualification providers PKUK and ADAPT. They are also first aid trained and personally selected and approved by Access Parkour for their high standard of teaching.
Feel free to Contact Us if you would like to know more about a specific coach or who will be taking a class.
The Access Team
Managing Director & Founder
John Hall or 'Hedge' discovered parkour in late 2004 after watching a parkour video in school. After a short career in academia, he founded Access Parkour in 2013.
Hedge delivers most of our conditioning and movement programs, taking a special interest in creating spaces that builds people's mental and physical health. He splits his time between managing the company, teaching as much as he can, and researching Parkour.
Youth worker, friendly giant, oversized ears!
Joel is a professionally graded youth worker with experience in dance, theatre, and many more creative arts. Joel has been practicing parkour (or something close to it) for almost 15 years, and teaching nearly as long.
Joel’s Youth Work background has helped him develop his own unique style of coaching and enabling creative expression.
He’s tall, but not scary, and makes every session, however different or random, an enjoyable learning journey!
From parkour mum to A.P.E. to coach
Maebh had her first Access Parkour class 4 years ago following in her Kids footsteps and loved the encouraging, inclusive and confidence-building community.
At first she was nervous about injury, but through regular parkour practice she has far less pain, injuries and fear too.
Now as a coach, Maebh focuses on using games and playful techniques for improving longevity, joint strength and stability.
Maebh is very passionate about sharing her knowledge and practice with others now as an Access Parkour Coach
Spiderman's Little Brother
Chris bumped into Access Parkour entirely by accident and was immediately hooked. Now he is a fully qualified parkour coach and holds a diploma in sports coaching.
Chris now has a full-time job elsewhere but you might see him pop up back at Access from time to time for special occasions!
Parkour Outreach Expert
Gordon has been training parkour since late 2005 and is now a full-time solicitor at a global commercial law firm. Gordon is one of our most experienced coaches and organises the CIC Parkour Outreach.
He no longer teaches any regular classes but he dedicates his free time to training our new coaches, as well as developing the wider Parkour scene.
Dylan first saw Access Parkour when walking around Edinburgh soon after moving here and it reminded him of his youth spent doing parkour from a young age. Dylan then had the opportunity to work for Access Parkour and return to training parkour.
He comes from a creative background and enjoys learning the foundation of parkour movements in hopes to transform them in new and creative ways.
Upside down camera wizard
Chained to a desk by Hedge while making this website, Donald is still there eating only avocados to survive.
Donald is a Scotland based photographer and videographer who works closely with Access Parkour to manage our media.
See his website here: www.donalddalziel.com
Adam is a full-time coach and occasional circus performer with a degree in physics. He loves all sorts of physical skills and runs many of our most fun classes for children.
He has an almost Peter Pan quality with children and is one of our most popular coaches. His classes are known to be physical yet fun - applying many circus skills and games to his teaching style.
Born again child
“Crash” Matt Jones fell headfirst into Parkour in 2019 after many years in Beijing and elsewhere, and was immediately struck by the ethos and community that embody Access Parkour.
Pushed relentlessly by Hedge into getting qualified, Matt’s uncanny tolerance of unruly kids makes him an ideal addition to the crew as he takes on holiday camps and youth sessions with energy that belies his ancient bones.
Nina started parkour back in 2006 as an over enthusiastic teenager, making her one of the first women to start training in Scotland. More than a decade later, she still loves sharing her enthusiasm for parkour at every opportunity.
Nina strives to create a supportive environment in her classes, using a mix of silly games and satisfying challenges to bring students together and to facilitate progression. She is proud to be Access Parkour’s token Glaswegian.
Access Parkour started as a solution to a problem.
Somewhere in the last few decades, we stopped moving and started sitting, children stopped playing and started gaming, and the majority of employment moved from physically demanding activities to nine-to-five office jobs. Many would argue that this is good. Life is not as hard as it used to be, and most people live more comfortable lives.
However, through living comfortably we forgot how to live any other way. Any action not regularly performed is an action that our bodies will forget. If a day involves nothing but sitting, and occasionally moving from one seat to another, eventually all we will be able to do is sit.
We are not talking about putting on a pair of trainers and going for a run every other week. Access Parkour believe in the fundamental tenant of parkour; "être fort pour être utile" and we understand this as "to become stronger by learning to overcome both mental and physical challenges."
To achieve this, Access Parkour introduce people to movement and challenge through parkour training. Whether that is by simply attending an Access class once a week to be able to reach the bottom shelf in the kitchen, or by dedicating our lives to parkour, we are here to help you every step of the way.
We aim to reclaim P.E. It should be physical education, rather than just another hour of chores involving movement. It is our firm belief that without sufficient grounding in movement, we lose out in all aspects of life. After all, our brains are designed to control our bodies. Access Parkour aims to help schools and school children rediscover the joy of both learning and play through movement.
Furthermore, we want to initiate a wider discussion of how we, at all levels, interact with physical exercise. As children, we are introduced to exercise as a method of getting involved in competitive sports. Almost all PE curricula and game initiatives constantly revolve around competitive sport. However, physical education seems to have been removed from PE. This has a number of problematic results:
• Children are immediately ranked by their competence in a sports environment, and those who do not excel are told that exercise simply is not for them.
• Competition and physical exercise become synonymous.
• There is a lack of physical education: proprioception, dexterity, and functional fitness.
At Access we want to interrupt this cycle. We do not want to get rid of all competitive sports, but we do want to create an understanding: that there is more to being fit than being competitive. And parkour, with its focus on personal goals and non-competitive achievements, is a solid basis for this reclamation of physical education.
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CREATIVE, PERFORMANCE & MEDIA
While our focus has always been on coaching, we regularly find our services in demand for all sorts of reasons. So, in 2017, we formed Access Performance. The performance section of our company contains a wide cross section of skills and backgrounds. From martial arts and stunts, to high level parkour performance, to partnered acrobatics and circus disciplines (even unicycling!).
What makes Access Performance unique is that many of our performers are also some of the top coaches in the country, and we are able to provide bespoke mixtures of performance and outreach. We have provided performances for small charity events, adverts, photo shoots, and Edinburgh's Hogmanay Celebrations. Members of our team have travelled all over Europe as part of a circus performing troupe, and we even have extensive experience in in-house video production thanks to Donald Dalziel Media.
Magic Admin Lady
Mel is the Access Parkour secret weapon. She handles all of the administration and back-end running of Access Parkour and Room to Move and is the glue that keeps the company together. Impressive for a Luddite who hates computers. A Mother of a vast brood of amazingly talented children, when not solving crazy admin problems, she is looking after her children/cats/dogs anything else lying around in her house.