Parkour Gym Owner & Mentor Backflips Into Profitability

A headshot of Jimmy Davidson and the words "Parkour Gym Owner & Mentor Backflips Into Profitability."

Chris Cooper (00:02):
Jimmy Davidson, welcome to “Run a Profitable Gym.”

Jimmy Davidson (00:05):
Hey Chris, thanks for having me on.

Chris Cooper (00:06):
Yeah, man. It’s been a while. So, what we’re going to start with today—before we get into your parkour story and your parkour gyms and what Motion Mentors—is what the hell is parkour?

Jimmy Davidson (00:16):
Yeah, so parkour is a type of martial art, but instead of fighting, it’s the martial art of movement. So, you would see athletes learning how to climb over walls, vault over obstacles, land safely, roll—basically a parkour athlete can go in pretty much any direction from where they’re starting from quickly, efficiently, and safely. And it’s specifically tailored to what you would find out in the real-life outdoor environment. That way it’s practical and useful, and that’s why it’s also a martial art.

Chris Cooper (00:47):
I’ve never heard it called a martial art before. That’s really cool. Now, did parkour have its origins in free running, or do I have those two reversed?

Jimmy Davidson (00:56):
Parkour came first, and then free running came later on when this dude named Sébastien Foucan, who was part of the original founders of parkour coming out of Paris—when flips and more acrobatics, less efficient things, started being added, free running was coined just to sort of be an inclusive term for that. That way it wasn’t just strictly like you have to train like a martial artist; you have to be militaristic about it. But nowadays, modern parkour, you know, at least here in the States, we don’t really use the word free running. That might differ depending on your specific region, but most parkour people just say it’s all parkour, flips included.

Chris Cooper (01:36):
OK, this is “Run a Profitable Gym.” And if you’re a gym owner listening to this and you’re saying, OK, I don’t run a parkour gym, or I’m not really super interested in learning parkour myself,” I’m going to tell you why you should be listening to this because Jimmy and other parkour gyms do millions of dollars in revenue every single year. And we’re going to get into the nitty gritty of that. Jimmy’s actually a mentor for Motion Mentors, and he works to help other parkour gyms grow their business. Jimmy, before we get into the nuts and bolts of what is a parkour gym, can you just differentiate parkour from ninja gyms, which are—they seem to be kind of the Disneyfied version of parkour maybe, or maybe I’m wrong—but they’re cropping up in a lot of cities around North America especially.

Jimmy Davidson (02:21):
Yeah, so it kind of goes down to the fundamental difference between parkour and Ninja Warrior training. Parkour, if you look at it as an umbrella term, it can refer to really any discipline involving how you move your body and move through space. So, if you want to get really technical, like dance or even swimming could be parkour, arguably, but really, it’s climbing over walls, moving through space efficiently and with speed. But Ninja Warrior is within parkour, but Ninja Warrior itself cannot fully define what parkour is because Ninja Warrior, when you zoom into it, it’s very niche obstacles that are manmade. And by that, I mean specifically designed for the sport. So, if you go outside and train parkour, you’re not going to find like giant inflatable bungees or spinning things you have to grab onto or else you fall into like water.

Jimmy Davidson (03:14):
That would be a probably a way more fun designed city, but just not how humans do it. And that’s why they’re different fundamentally, philosophically, but then when you go into a parkour gym versus a Ninja Warrior gym, a Ninja Warrior gym, while still super fun, is typically a predetermined course that the athletes go through. They’re predetermined obstacles and predetermined challenges, whereas a parkour gym is much more of like a 360 open space, and although there are like set obstacles that a parkour athlete might expect to see, like different shapes of blocks and bars and things, there’s no one way to overcome any of the obstacles. In fact, you can make up your own moves as you go. You can make up your own pathways as you go. So, it’s very freestyle and very freeform.

Chris Cooper (04:04):
What does the inside of a parkour gym look like? Paint us that picture.

Jimmy Davidson (04:08):
Yeah, so if you walked into one of my parkour gyms—and they’re called Freedom in Motion, and we have three of them right now—you would walk into, it’s almost like a three-dimensional rock-climbing course. There’s platforms, there’s stuff on the walls, there’s bars to swing off of. There’s a lot of movable objects, so some are like big, larger things that you would need multiple people to move around. And those are like big kind of tubular platforms. Other ones are smaller; one person can move it, just like trapezoidal—we call them vaulting blocks—and you can arrange them all however you want. If you’re a coach, you can kind of customize your class for the day and make whatever courses you want to. And then there’s even like little, smaller obstacles, like ground-level balancing rails to help new athletes just learn how to balance at all safely. And there’s a lot of care paid to what the beginner’s experience would be, so there’s a lot of approachable, a lot of easy, a lot of DIY obstacle courses that you can create or a coach can create for you. Yeah, it’s—any parkour athlete would know that parkour is much easier to show than it is to tell.

Chris Cooper (05:18):
Yeah. We’ll get some photos up here for the YouTube video for sure. And so, if you’re listening to this on a podcast, if you pop over to the “Run a Profitable Gym” YouTube channel, you could see some of these photos of Jimmy’s gym, which is awesome. What made you want to open a gym instead of continuing to be a parkour coach or athlete, Jimmy?

Jimmy Davidson (05:37):
Yeah, so I was originally a professional parkour athlete. I was on what was regarded at that time as like the American team. There was a company called American Parkour. I was on their team, and while traveling around the country doing performance and things— When I was back at home, I had just a ton of private lesson students, and our community in Temecula, California, Man, we had like a hundred plus people who were in network. If we threw an event like 50 plus people would show up. And that’s a lot for—this is back in 2011 when no one knew about parkour or even sooner. We started in 2007 actually. So, at a certain point I just had a bunch of students who I was teaching, and the first ever couple of parkour gyms had begun popping up around the world.

Jimmy Davidson (06:24):
The first one that I was aware of was in Seattle, Washington, and then a popular one popped up in LA, and I was 19 at the time—out of high school and just wondering what I’m going to do with my life and figured, “Well, I’m already doing this, so let’s figure out how to start a parkour park or a parkour gym.” And before actually landing on a parkour gym, I approached the city of Temecula’s mayor at the time—and keep in mind, I’m 19; at the time I was 19. I had this really adorable binder, like my school binder with printed out images of like, “This is what a parkour session looks like. This is my type-up of what parkour is,” just all on like at home computer paper. And I showed it to our mayor at the time, and he looked through it; he humored me, and at the end of the meeting, he just looked at me, and he is like, “I don’t know what this is. I’ve never heard of parkour. Sounds like a liability nightmare. The city will not have a parkour park,” like a skate park, even though they exist in other parts of the country. And he just advised that I do it on my own in a private sector. So, I went home and looked up, “What the heck does private sector mean?” Like, “Oh, it just means you open up your own gym.” And off to the races, and maybe two years later, we opened our first gym in Murrieta, California in 2014.

Chris Cooper (07:40):
That’s cool. And that gym now does well over a million in revenue, right?

Jimmy Davidson (07:44):
Yeah, yeah. So, our whole network of gyms—we have three right now—our goal for this year is to get to 3 million in revenue. So that’s each individual gym; we’re trying to get it to that 1 million mark. So, they’re just under that now, but we are on our way.

Chris Cooper (07:57):
That’s amazing. So, Jimmy, a lot of people who listen to this podcast, as you know, they’re around a third to half of that in a year for gross revenue. Let’s start there. Like why does the average gym owner need to pay attention to this? What are they missing that parkour gyms are doing really, really well?

Jimmy Davidson (08:16):
Yeah, so one thing I want to point out is parkour gyms on average don’t service the same target audience as like a CrossFit gym. Parkour gyms on average are working with kids, typically ages 12 to 13 or so. And the parents are really the person paying, whereas a typical CrossFit gym, you’re working directly with the adult athletes. Whether or not you have a kids’ program, you know. The kids’ program at the parkour gym most of the time is the bread and butter. So that’s kind of the main thing to get. And I would say maybe on both sides of this equation, whether you’re a CrossFit gym owner or whatever fitness or parkour or anything working with kids, if you started as the athlete and you open the gym as the athlete, I’ve noticed that a lot of times the entrepreneur athlete doesn’t take that transition from going from, “I open this box because it’s my passion; I open this box with my friends, and I’m servicing my friends.” There’s seldom that transition from that starting point to, “OK, I need to get out of the coach; I need to climb the value ladder. I need to learn how to actually run a team, how to actually make sales, the psychology of sales.” Yeah. You know, Chris is shaking his head big time on the video here.

Jimmy Davidson (09:33):
Yeah. And so, making that transition from athlete to gym owner and then from gym owner to like real entrepreneur. You know, working on the business, building the teams underneath that and getting to the higher rungs of the value ladder, time and time again, whether it’s a parkour gym or not, that seems to be the fundamental key that needs to be dived in on, discussed, we need to figure out exactly where that business owner is, what rung are they on, maybe even stuck on, and how to get them methodically to the next rung and the next level.

Chris Cooper (10:06):
Let’s start there. So, you know, one problem that I had was I thought that I was my own best client, like the target demographic was me—forgetting that I was broke, noisy, messy, loud, like the worst customer that I could ever ask for. What do you suggest to somebody who’s opening up any kind of gym? How do they get out of that mindset that they are their own best customer?

Jimmy Davidson (10:31):
They get out of that mindset of you are your own best customer? Man, there’s two ways that I see. The more painful and more common way is trial by fire. You show up, you build it, and you realize just because you built it, they don’t come.

Chris Cooper (10:46):
Yep. Guilty.

Jimmy Davidson (10:47):
That happened to me for sure. And there comes this point where you’re servicing people like you; you’re servicing your friends, and eventually your friends—especially let’s say they move on. Five years pass. They move away. They start their family. Their lives change. And then you’re kind of left with whoever’s left over. And a lot of times those remaining people who fit that demographic just aren’t paying your bills. Maybe they’re showing up for open gym or drop-in, or they’re occasionally coming just for the community and the culture, but they may be paying, geez, like 20% if you’re lucky of the total revenue you need just to keep the lights on. And so, then there comes this sort of come-to-Jesus moment of like: These other clients that I have—so in my parkour gym—these parents with these kids, they are actually paying our bills.

Jimmy Davidson (11:37):
And me the entrepreneur, I need to pivot to servicing them, and I need to make them my focus and then provide a space around that for the community to come into and to make it fulfill that need. But so, that’s the trial by fire: You fail, you realize it’s not working, and then you discover how to pivot. And obviously the faster way is: You get a mentor, someone who is in the space, who’s seen this before, who can discuss with you right here and now what challenges you’re facing, and then they can just open up their plethora of experience and stories and just point out to you without the pain and trial by fire. Like, this is where you’re going; this is where you could go. Here’s the options I see for you. And they lay out a path.

Chris Cooper (12:18):
When did you realize, “Hey, my target market is actually kids; it’s not dudes like me in their twenties”?

Jimmy Davidson (12:25):
Yeah, “When did I realize?” is different than, “When did I fully take that on as the truth?” You know?

Chris Cooper (12:32):
Yeah, yeah.

Jimmy Davidson (12:35):
So yeah, when did I realize? Pretty early on, maybe 2014, 2015, first year or two. We just started getting a lot of interest. A lot of parents coming in, and those were the people signing up. So, it was pretty obvious for us pretty early on. But it wasn’t until doing the “Seed Client” exercise, which I first heard from Mike Michalowicz of just—and for those of you who don’t know, the “Seed Client” exercise in a nutshell is you take the top 10 people who are your best clients in terms of revenue, and you write that down on a list. The next list, you take the top 10 people of clients who you just love working with the most. And a lot of times people will show up on both lists. They’re paying you the most, and you love working with them, and those are your seed clients.

Jimmy Davidson (13:18):
And if you really dive in and analyze that and you optimize your gym for those seed clients, you optimize for people who are paying you the most and who you love working with the most. And the really awesome flip side of that is the people who hardly pay you or maybe who just like really don’t work with your gym’s culture, they’re not weeded out; they’re just not planned for, and then they self-select out. And you end up with this really great product, this great experience and something that for you as the business owner feels good and doesn’t constantly burn you out.

Chris Cooper (13:52):
Let’s talk about how you made that transition because I think a lot of people get that conceptually: “OK, my seed clients are youth or kids, but I’ve got this program for adults.” Like how did you make that transition yourself?

Jimmy Davidson (14:05):
Yeah, so in the parkour gym we—it kind of made the transition organically. You know, we’d get 50, then 100, then 150 different families coming with their kids. And that was, it just was growing. So it was out of necessity that we add more teens classes here, more kids’ classes here, more pre-K classes here. Eventually some of those kids started getting incredibly talented. We’ve been open for a decade now, so now a lot of those kids are absolutely insane if you watch them; it’s really, really cool. So, then we started adding competition teams, and you know, if you’re just responsive and you pay attention, it becomes and it blossoms into the thing that it needs to be. And so then with the adult classes, kind of the same thing. You know, the ones that stuck around, we kept a couple adult classes on the schedule.

Jimmy Davidson (14:54):
It’s important to us at Freedom in Motion to always have an open gym or two on the schedule a week for teens and adults because, me personally as the athlete, that’s how I got started was I trained outside for five plus years until we discovered that there was a local gym in town that had an open gym. And that was really awesome. It was like a weekly meeting spot for me and my friends at that time. So, keeping that on the schedule and keeping a couple of adult classes. And I know that at one of our locations, one of our female athletes has actually kind of wrangled in a lot of the different parents, a lot of the moms specifically. And now there’s an adult women’s class that’s just on the schedule now because those people showed up, and there was interest. So, that side happens organically too. It just unfolds that way.

Chris Cooper (15:39):
Well, I think—I don’t think you’re taking enough credit there because when most people say, “I’m responsive,” what they actually mean is they acknowledge what their market is telling them. They don’t actually pivot their product to get good product market fit because that’s hard. You actually did that though. You looked at like, “Here’s what the market wants. They want more afternoon classes. OK, well I’m going to have to cancel an adult class.” I think a lot of us resist that, so good on you Jimmy. What I’d like to talk about now is: What are the biggest problems that parkour gyms have? And I think a lot of listeners to this show will say, “Oh, well, even though I don’t have a parkour gym, I have a CrossFit gym, or I have a strength and conditioning gym,” or whatever. They’re going to recognize that they have the same problems, and Jimmy is an amazing mentor. He is great at fixing these problems, and so hearing it from him might make a big difference to you. So, Jimmy, let’s start with: What are the biggest problems that parkour gyms face?

Jimmy Davidson (16:36):
Yeah, so at this point, through Motion Mentors, which is our mentor practice specifically for parkour businesses, we’ve worked with maybe like 10 plus gyms so far. We just got started. And every single time, the first issue has been pricing and the actual offer itself. So, on pricing, every single time, every single person we’ve worked with, they do the whole classic look-around-the-city: “They’re charging 80 bucks; they’re charging 80 bucks. OK, we’ll charge 75 bucks.” You know, and while that seems logical, it’s only based on this arbitrary assumption that their pricing model works. Even though that other gym probably also just looked around the room and said, “Everyone else is charging 85 bucks; we’ll charge 80 bucks.” But if you start with an underpriced product, you really signal two things. One to the audience, to the parents coming in, that, “This is a budget class. This is a commodity.”

Jimmy Davidson (17:34):
“We’re comparing this to soccer; we’re comparing this to baseball. And the only thing that stands out here is that parkour is kind of cool.” But if you can bring that up to be, “Actually no, we’re not just a commodity, park your kids here for an hour or so. We are a community of coaches who are deeply passionate about parkour, yes, but also the results that we’re getting with our client. We’re trying to teach people that they are people who can do hard things. That even though they walk in with this preconceived notion of like, ‘Oh, this is too difficult,’ or ‘I’m a klutz,’ or ‘I’m not as good as that guy over there or that girl over there,’ that we will bring you through lessons and through training to your highest level of athleticism and show you your potential.”

Jimmy Davidson (18:19):
And if you can get a parent to realize that that is actually the product, that we, the coaches, are being mentors for your kids, and that through learning these life skills, they’ll be sick at parkour, but they’ll also do a lot better in school; that’ll follow them through life with the increased confidence. And if you can really tell that to a parent through your marketing, through just what you convey and through your actions and your words, you can charge way more for that. So, if you compare the price model to like an occupational therapy clinic, they’re charging like 400 bucks an hour. And so, if parkour is essentially doing that same thing, physiologically and mentally, why are we charging 80 bucks? When you fix that, you signal a way higher value, you get better clients, you get parents who are more dedicated and more motivated, and they’ll help their kids stick with it, which is vital.

Jimmy Davidson (19:06):
Yeah. And then on the other side of that, you as the business owner, like you finally actually have money to pay your coaches so that you can keep the best people around. You can actually grow your business. And if you don’t have a drinking fountain, finally install one. Or if you hadn’t bothered to build a front desk because this whole thing is bootstrapped, like you can finally build a desk that looks good and makes a proper first impression, which then just increases your sales. You know, so this flywheel just comes out of nowhere once you just fix those fundamental pricing and offering issues.

Chris Cooper (19:35):
OK. Yeah, I think that’s brilliant. And we see this in CrossFit strength and conditioning and fitness gyms all the time too. Their pricing is so low that they hamstring themselves, and they can’t even deliver a good product because they can’t afford to. So, that’s problem number one, Jimmy. And how do you usually address that with a gym? A gym comes in your program, their prices are half what they should be. How do you change that?

Jimmy Davidson (19:57):
Yeah, so kind of depends on where they are at. A lot of times—I’m actually taking this $80 number out of reality. That seems to be where a lot of parkour gyms are, kind of anywhere from, “We charge 80 to 100 bucks a month.” My gyms are a lot more than that, and a couple other gyms that are successful and actually get incredible results with kids and families are a lot more than that, rightfully so. So, if we take those prices that we’ve seen work, maybe compare them to the city’s median average family income. So, that’s one thing we can compare it to. Compare it to: How much is your rent? Because you know, if you look at your profit and loss statement, you want to try to see like, “According to my revenue rent is maybe 15% of that or less.”

Jimmy Davidson (20:41):
And if your rent is more than that, you’re probably not charging enough. So, there’s like a fixed line item that you can actually compare it to. That way it’s a little bit more logical and a little less guessing. And there’s a few other strategies that we’ll look at. But from where they’re at, we’ll set out a game plan to, “OK, let’s get you from here to—” Geez. “If you’re at 80, let’s get you to 120.” Even though that’s more than the 15% that you would typically advise someone to increase your prices by, when you’re that low—you’re only in the eighties—you have to do something now. If you do 15% every year, you’re not even going to catch up until year six, you know? And so, from there we have seen something really incredible happen.

Jimmy Davidson (21:24):
We’ll work with our parkour gym owners to craft this heartfelt, empathetic letter that goes out to the members that lays out, “Here’s what’s going on. We’re increasing prices, but here are all the additional benefits that you’re going to get and receive and immediately notice in the gym,” you know, like that drinking found that they were missing. Lay all that out. And then parkour business owners—it kind of reminds me of yoga people—always have that really admirable soft spot of, “OK, but half of my families, I don’t think, can afford this.” But a lot of times—you know this Chris—they’re self-projecting. It’s because you can’t, because you’re coming from a place of being broke, you know. And so, what we do is we have people offer that, “Hey, client, if this is a financial impact for you, if you cannot do this, we want to make sure that our program is accessible to you, the family, and the community.”

Jimmy Davidson (22:15):
“So, we are raising prices; however, if you need to, we’re going to let you lock in your rate if you prepay up to six months or up to a year, and then after that, then you jump up to the normal rate.” And so that gives families time to stay at the normal rate, provided they prepay, but then they feel that change in increased value over the year, and then by the end of that year, they’re there with you anyway. And so, we just had a parkour gym do this. They only had like a small handful of people, less than my fingers, cancel. And a ton of other people opted into that six-month, one-year prepay, and they made 15k turning around. It was like four months of revenue for them, and they left all their clients stoked about it.

Chris Cooper (22:58):
Yeah. And those clients are there for six months, et cetera, et cetera. Like it sounds like a great plan. So good, man. OK, so problem number one, pricing. You’ve explained, “Here’s how we fix it in parkour gyms.” What’s the second biggest problem that you see in parkour gyms?

Jimmy Davidson (23:12):
Yeah, so I mentioned the offer. I’ll touch on that briefly because it’s a little bit connected to the pricing structure, but there is definitely something after this. So, on the offer, a lot of times parkour gym owners sometimes will just try to do way too many a la carte options. Like, “Oh, you want to come once a week, twice a week, three times a week, three and a half times a week, unlimited.” You know, they’ll have all of those, plus some weird, complicating open gym, yes-or-no factor.

Chris Cooper (23:39):
Hang on, what’s three and a half times? Like you can park your car in the lot but don’t come inside?

Jimmy Davidson (23:44):
So I mean, that’s half joking, but this is a little bit making fun of myself. I did have, back when I first started, my cheapest option was like, “You can come twice but if you don’t want to come both of those just let us know, and we’ll remove it.” So, it was just kind of—we were just really trying to get members, so we were just being as flexible as possible to our own detriment.

Chris Cooper (24:07):
OK. Sorry to interrupt you. Keep going man.

Jimmy Davidson (24:09):
Sure. So, we try to get parkour gym owners to do one, a few things, but at least do these two things: One is remove the unlimited option because if you have people just—especially because we work with kids, right? So, if it’s unlimited, you are now the daycare, and you have those families that just drop off their kid from when you open to when you end, seven, six days a week. And if you look at the price per class that they attend, now that family is actually paying you like four bucks a class, and then that child just feels like they live there, and the level of respect becomes a little bit hard to manage. Yeah, it’s a slippery slope. So, I don’t advise unlimited classes. And then, the next one is just boil it down to three membership options. We like to do a once a week, a twice a week, and then a three or four times a week, your choice.

Jimmy Davidson (24:58):
And then there could be like a competition, team membership after that, but that’s not what you offer on day one. And then like specifically how you price those, especially the middle tier option, if you price the middle tier option a little bit closer to the highest tier option—kind of like when you go to the movies and you order a popcorn, and they’re like, “Oh, Mr. Cooper, it’s only 50 cents if you want to upgrade to the large,” and you’re like, “Oh, OK, it’s only 50 cents. Let’s upgrade to the large.” You know, if you nail your pricing down, you can kind of have those same conditions to bump people up to the coming more frequently times a week. So yeah, just those little strategic things we can help parkour gym owners work their way through.

Chris Cooper (25:36):
That’s cool man. Do you want to give us one more example of challenges that parkour gyms face? Because listening to these, I’m thinking this is verbatim what a fitness gym would face too.

Jimmy Davidson (25:48):
Yeah, it is super similar. OK, so if we look at there, there’s—obviously dealing with parkour curriculum, that would be extremely specific to a parkour gym. And something that might be there would be, if you look at your leveling system—so in martial arts it’s like white belt, yellow belt, it ends at black belt. In parkour, we’re not wearing belts because you’re going to get caught, and it’s going to be a bad time. So oftentimes we’ll just say like Level 1, Level 2, and you’ll get a wristband or something, but you want the kids to experience progression, and you want the kids to experience that they are claiming ownership of the sport, and the sport is becoming theirs so that then they stick with it. And so, we’ve seen a few parkour gyms make       Level 1 just wicked hard for beginner students.

Jimmy Davidson (26:37):
You know, you get a little 10-year-old in here who’s like maybe a little overweight; maybe parkour is his first real sport, and some gyms are wanting him to, or wanting her to, climb all the way up on top of a wall from hanging, which is pretty brutal even for adults. Yeah. Or like do a move called a Kong Vault, which is a fundamental move, but for a beginner it’s really complicated. So, removing those gatekeeping moves from your curriculum, specifically so that your client journey just feels better so that kids can rank up sooner, so that kids get that sense of ownership sooner. And it hugely increases your length of engagement. Just when you think about the psychology that’s happening for these kids and for the parents who are watching their kids progress. And you can really affect that by removing those—”gatekeeping moves” is what we call them—and just placing them at more appropriate intervals on the client journey.

Chris Cooper (27:28):
Well if you think about how even video games work with kids—I mean the first few levels are so quick that they’re winning right off the bat. It makes a ton of sense that you want these kids to leave as quickly as possible with some kind of win.

Jimmy Davidson (27:39):
Yeah. Yep. They need to win; they need to feel good, and then parkour becomes theirs, and then it’s their journey, and you no longer have to hold their hand. They show up motivated, and they tell you what they ate, what their goal is for the month. And as a coach, that’s wicked awesome, but as a parent, Chris, that’s the juice. If you signed your kid up for something and then they show up with their own goals, they got out of bed and got their socks on that morning, and they showed up with their full personality, as a parent, that’s the juice. That’s what you’re paying for.

Chris Cooper (28:08):
Absolutely. Yeah. That’s one reason I used to like coaching kids was most of the positive feedback came from the parents. They would say things like, “I tell my kid this same thing, but they’ll do it if it comes from Chris Cooper,” you know, or one parent even told me like, “You should charge more for the classes that you run in the evening because it gets my kid to bed on time.” I’m not a good kids’ coach, but it is fun to do it once in a while. So, Jimmy, tell us about Motion Mentors. Like, what’s the need that Motion Mentors is serving? What’s its place in the market? You know, why are you doing it?

Jimmy Davidson (28:42):
Yeah, so Motion Mentors is our mentoring practice for parkour business owners. So not just parkour gyms—it could be outdoor coaching services; it could be someone with a podcast, and they want to grow an audience, and they want to get sponsors. We—one of the gyms, one of the parkour business owners in our network is business-to-government, which is really cool—trying to get parkour into schools, and they’re seeing some great success with that. That’s American Parkour. Give them a shout out. So that’s super cool. And so, Motion Mentors is trying to connect with those parkour business owners, those parkour entrepreneurs, and through them, achieve our goal of having 1 million people learn parkour. But not just learn how to vault and climb. Like actually get that what I just called a second ago. That … that personal passion and that transformative life experience of learning parkour and what that can now unlock for yourself mentally and physically.

Jimmy Davidson (29:38):
We’re trying to give that to a million people. And from my parkour gyms, Freedom in Motion, like we can do that, but we have to have like 10,000 gyms to actually give that to a million people. And I’m going to try my best, Chris. But in addition to that, if we can empower other parkour businesses to run a profitable model that they feel good about, that actually has an impact on society and the clients that they’re serving, that is a much faster and more inclusive path to growing the parkour industry and creating something here that is worth building a career out of.

Chris Cooper (30:13):
What’s really interesting, I think, and you can tell me if I’m wrong here, but if you can give a kid a sport like parkour, not only will they be better at every other sport for the rest of their lives, but now they’ve got something that they’re passionate about that they could really do forever, right?

Jimmy Davidson (30:29):
Yeah. Parkour is, I struggle to think of any other sport that is more of an athletic-intelligence-building sport that can be easily transferred to any other sport. You know, your proprioception, your ability to sense where you are in space is vital and is constantly being challenged in parkour. If you fall—a whole segment of parkour called ukemi, the art of falling—if you fall, parkour athletes just instantly know how to maneuver into a safe spot, land however is most optimal for where they are, roll if you can and immediately get back up and continue down your obstacle course. And then that’s sold with climbing, jumping, swinging, precision landings, so it’s really transferrable to anything else. So great off-season sport. And yeah, as you said, it’s an individual sport. So, when a kid shows up and they have their fears, and they have their apprehensions and after a couple of sessions with a coach, they become the kid who is doing those really cool jumps, flowing it right into some other vaults, flowing into some flip that they eventually learned.

Jimmy Davidson (31:34):
And they have that they are an incredible athlete, the kid does—that lives in their soul. Now that sticks with you forever, you know. That confidence and that self-esteem—you show up to a job interview 20 years later, and you still have that you are a capable, creative, and just cool person, and you bring that into your relationships throughout the rest of your life. And so both of those things, athletic intelligence and those skills that you just gain from the juice of parkour, it’s really something, and that’s why I’m so motivated to give this to a million people because that’s what I got when I was 14, and that’s why I’m on the call with you right now.

Chris Cooper (32:16):
Ah, so amazing. So, Jimmy and his partner Christopher are great mentors. If you have a parkour business at all, just go to, and he’ll be happy to help you out. Jimmy, thanks so much for coming on, man. I think gym owners of any type of gym can learn a lot from the lessons that you’ve just shared here.

Jimmy Davidson (32:35):
Absolutely. Yeah. I’m super stoked to talk with any parkour business owners, or anyone who—really, if you deal with kids, I can help. If you’re listening to this and you’re on Facebook, we have a group for parkour business owners; it’s called Parkour Business Owners. So, look that up. We’re on Instagram too. Motion Mentors and happy to help. Shoot me any free questions. I’ll jump in there with you.

Chris Cooper (32:55):
Thanks, Jimmy. This is “Run a Profitable Gym,” and no matter what kind of gym you have, if Two-Brain can’t help you, we can definitely refer you to a brilliant mentor like Jimmy who has niche-specific expertise and can help you grow really fast. Thanks, Jimmy.

Jimmy Davidson (33:11):
Thanks, Chris.

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