Name: Marvin Ross
Location: Odessa, FL
Years of movement: 3 Years
So Marvin, you have quite a unique style, how did that come about?
Marvin: “Well, when I first started out doing Parkour I saw tons of videos. From watching them I thought I had to be like them, so I went out in sweatpants and started training. As I progressed in my movement I started thinking, “I don’t want to be like every one else, I don’t want to look like everyone else, I want to be different”. So I lost the sweatpants grabbed my favorite pair of shorts and thats when Parkour opened up for me! I started exploring my boundaries and noticing what I was good at and starting branching out from there. Don’t get me wrong I love kongs, cats, and precisions and train those just as much but to me flips are more fun. So now I would explain my style as moving around using a combination of flips. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t do vaults, precisions, or cats. I do them I just prefer movement that have flips added in.”
I noticed you’ve done quite a lot of stuff with Red Bull, could you elaborate?
Marvin: “Well so far I have done 3 Competitions with Red Bull and won Sickest trick twice. People on the outside say negative things about Red Bull competitions such as, “Parkour is not about competition, why do you compete?”. The answer is simple. We don’t see it as a competition, we see it as a way to come together and train with people and friends that we would normally never get to train with.”
From personal experience, I know you do magic. Can you tell us about how that started and evolved?
Marvin: “Well one day I was watching Tv with my mom and I saw a magician named David Blaine do a trick and I was just astonished. So I asked my mom to buy a deck of cards and from that point on I wouldn’t go any where with out that deck. I didn’t have internet as a resource so I started to make my own tricks up and used my mom as a spectator. I would make a trick up then show and ask, “did you see anything” or, “do you know how I did it?”. She would be honest and tell me yes or no and thats how I practiced. As I got better I found someone named Nick Pollina. He was into it as much as I was. We would show each other tricks and practice together. To this day we are still good friends and practice together as much as we can. I have been doing it for 9 years and will never stop.”
You seem to be very into photography as well. You take amazing pictures. What got you into photography?
Marvin: “I got into photography about a year ago. I was inspired by two of my good friends Daniel Arroyo and Jace Iley. They both would be taking pictures around me and I would sometimes watch Danny edit. They both would let me use their cameras when I asked and eventually I fell in love with it. I saved up and bought my first camera which was 550D, also known as a T2i, and just went out and started taking photos. Danny would help me by giving me advice and explaining what shutter and ISO were, and all that good stuff. Eventually, I wanted a better and more professional Camera, so I saved up and bought a 7D. From then on I read up on Photography and read the instruction booklet for my camera like 7-8 times and started taking more pictures. People started giving me compliments and I started to do free photo shoots, which then turned into people paying me to do shoots for them. Now I do photo shoots, weddings, events, etc.”
What do you think about the Florida community, the community in the US, and the worldwide community as a whole?
Marvin: “I think the Florida community is really tight. We are all pretty close and train on the regular. We all have certain things that we’re really good and we help each other as much as we can. The community in the U.S. as a whole started off really small and has become something much bigger. It is still growing and we as a community help it as much as we can.”
Have you had a lot of support from family with parkour?
Marvin: “I have had a lot of support from my family, especially my mother. She has been there for me every time I needed her and has done so much for me. Without her I wouldn’t be where I am today. I love her so much and she means everything to me. She has made me who I am and taught me right from wrong. She is my biggest inspiration.”
Any big plans for the year 2012?
Marvin: “Hmm I have a new video coming out so definetly watch out for that. As for anything else you just have to wait and see “
Do you have any training advice/words of wisdom for the general community? Something… Inspiring?
Marvin: “My advice would be train like you want to train and be you. Don’t change because some one tells you to. Stick to your own style and be creative. Don’t be afraid to be different. Thats what makes you, you in parkour. Also, train the basics before you try the big stuff, other wise injures my happen and no one wants that. Parkour is what you make it if you train hard and have the determination you will progress, break boundaries, and achieve things that you never thought were possible.”
Interview by Vinnie Coryell