Interview with Tonny Củn, a one-armed freerunner from Vietnam
By Deepanshu Ranga
When asked about the start of his journey, Củn Lớp Phó said, “The first time I saw some people doing some big jumps, I had no idea what they were doing, but I had this feeling that they were doing something great.” How could a person like him do it though? He got home, searched about it and he found out about David Belle. He watched his movie, ‘District 13-B’, and felt a desire to make his body malleable and as freeflowing as the mercurial movements of that man.
That evening, he went to the park, talked to those people and started training from that day. That was three years ago, He’s been training really hard ever since.
The art of movement, parkour, has taught him how to be in control, use his body, mind and patience. Whenever there’s a leap that seems insurmountable, he uses his mind and thrusts his legs with all the power and spirit he has inside of him. Parkour has made him more social, more outgoing. Going back three years, he was a much different person from what he is now. He wasn’t comfortable being sociable towards people. Now, it’s all different.
When Củn was asked about the reaction of passerbys whenever he makes a long distance jump or something, he said, “Not a lot of people ask me about it, but when they do, I tell them about parkour and sometimes, I even show them. But you see, people here, in Vietnam, don’t think of parkour as a good thing”. He does let some people know about it but many react in a very negative way.
He talks about how the people close to him make him feel that he’s not the only one who has lost something. He studies at a special school. Explaining about the school, he said he recognized so many people like him. Girls who looked beautiful but due to the unfavorable nature of life were unable to let speech flow from their mouths, and boys who really wanted to learn parkour and fully explore their physical capabilities, but they suffered physical disabilities that led them to believe that they were lesser people.
Parkour for him isn’t just a normal sport or a physical activity, it’s his way of living, a sort of meditation through movement, and he has chosen it as his purpose in life. “Parkour is the chance to make a change in my life”, he says. He considers himself completely devoted to the art of parkour. He devotes his time and energy so that everyone knows they can train and learn how to express this physical rebellion. Soon, he will be going to one of the biggest jams around, The Lion City Gathering.
At the end he simply said, “Goodbye, I love you” and thanked us for taking the time out to share his parkour story.
Tonny’s most remarkable Quotes:
“Having one arm does make me unique, I just think I am a little part in this amazing world of practitioners”
“The first time I saw some people doing some big jumps, I had no idea what they were doing, but I had this feeling that they were doing something great.”
“Parkour for me isn’t just a normal sport or game, it’s my way of living and I have chosen it.”
“Parkour is the chance to make a change in my life.”