Sunday, October 18, 2015

FFACT Parkour Instructor Certification

Ever wonder how people like Coach Nate Davies achieve their level of expertise?  Do you also wonder how they are able to pass that knowledge on to others and make a living doing so?  FFACT is our Parkour Instructor Certification program, and I'm here to tell you about it.

When we first opened Free Flow Academy one of our missions was to find and develop some of the most qualified and experienced Parkour coaches in the world.  Our certification requires practitioners to have trained a minimum of 2 years, and have completed at a minimum, our 3 day intensive Parkour Certification, which involves a physical and written test, and a complete progression breakdown of every skill taught and approved in our Parkour classes.  

In a nutshell:  The Free Flow Academy Certified Trainer program is devoted to Movement Science Excellence.  Our program is designed to instill a strong foundation in human anatomy, body mechanics, safety protocols, kinetic patterning, and progression breakdown while maintaining the values and history of Parkour. 

To better serve your questions we put together this FAQ list - which can also be found on our Certification website HERE:

What is FFACT?
FFACT is an acronym for Free Flow Academy Certified Trainer.  Free Flow Academy is the original Parkour gym in California, and is the largest Parkour gym on the West Coast.  Our academy started out much like any other, we were a group of athletes, who needed a place to train and cultivate our talents.  After opening our doors, our classes expanded, and over the course of time, we needed a systematic and proven approach to train other qualified professionals.  Our clientele is extremely important to us, and as trainers, our highest priority is to keep our clients safe.  We take prospective coaches to the next level and teach them to incorporate proven and effective methodology that is backed by Science.  Our team of professionals consist of biomechanists, researchers, developers, creative artists, youth and adult programmers, and entertainers.  All of which play an important role in creating safe, effective, and entertaining settings that optimize the clientele learning experience. Proper implementation of skill progressions are an important part of being a coach, and are meticulously covered during the certification process.  Things that will be covered are skill progressions, human anatomy, terminology, building confidence in your students, history, philosophy, conditioning exercises and programming, and much more. 

Is FFACT recognized in other other parts of the world?
Free Flow Academy is recognized world wide within the Parkour community.  In addition, Free Flow Academy and many FFACT Instructors work directly with California State agencies, implementing Physical Education programming throughout dozens of districts.  

How do I use FFACT to land jobs as a Parkour Instructor?
Many gyms all over the world are incorporating Parkour into their programming.  Gymnastic gyms, rockclimbing, martial arts, crossfit, primal fitness, circus arts, and many other types of gyms have already brought Parkour programming in some form or another into their business model.  If they haven't already, then they will. However, over the course of the last few years particularly 2012-2015, many gyms have shut down their Parkour programs and/or have renamed them under other forms such as "Urban Gym".  This is due to liability issues and insurance companies not allowing Parkour to be taught at facilities that are not properly equipped or staffed. Having a FFACT Cert gives you legitimacy as a coach, and reference to draw from when you are questioned about your qualifications.  Furthermore, the knowledge you obtain from our Certification course will give you the tools you need to properly implement a safe and successful Parkour program at any gym.  Simply do a search on your local gyms and find out what kind of programming they offer.  If they do not have a Parkour program, perhaps you can bring one to table. We give you the tools to do that.  Starting a program at a gym is a great way to segue into opening your own Parkour gym.  

How long is the Certification?
The Certification is 3 days long 9am - 5pm each day.  Plan on bringing plenty of food, snacks, and water. 

What should I wear to the Certification?
You should wear comfortable workout attire, as the Certification includes a written AND physical test.  Wearing low soled exercise shows such as feiyues are also helpful.

How much money can I make as a Parkour Instructor?
Our Certified instructors make anywhere from $15 - $35/hour, depending on the class/size/budget of the program.  Privates usually range from $40 - $120/hour depending on level of experience and expertise.  This amount varies depending on what gym you are working for, but for a full class (6-8 students) instructors generally report an average of $20/hour, or per class.   

What is included in my Certification?
Skill Progression Key Ring, entry into our Certified Coaches database, Official Certification, 3 day intensive with physical and written test.

How do I work for Free Flow Academy?
Our hiring process involves Certification, plus one of the following - 3 month apprenticeship, or 2 month internship.  Apprenticeship's are for prospective coaches who desire to Coach within a program or department that currently exists.  Internships are for prospective coaches who desire to start a new program or department that does not currently exist.  In order to enroll in either program, you must have a minimum of 2 years experience in that particular discipline.  You must be a current member of the gym in order to enroll in our apprenticeship program, unless your qualifications are a B.S. in Movement Sciences or you have a certification or educational level that is equivalent.  

How do I start my own Parkour Gym?

Starting your own Parkour Gym is an incredibly rewarding experience, but can also come with some steep challenges.  We're here to support you on your journey.  Our Level I Certification does not cover the basics of starting your own Parkour Gym.  This is covered in Level III, and like all things, before considering taking on such a large undertaking, you'll want to have a strong foundation.  We believe in setting you up for success, and something like starting a business is a long term investment.  Being informed, and understanding market trends, Google analytics, market research within your area, knowing and understanding compliance laws at the Federal, State, and County level, dealing with leasing contracts or buying commercial property, obtaining insurance, managing a team of employees, marketing, accounting/bookkeeping... are just a few things that you'll need to know when starting this venture.  Our job is not to discourage you.  Our job is to keep you safe, minimize your risk of lawsuits, and set you up for a successful and sustainable future.