AT a glance, the unassuming Jason Paul – in his cropped pants, baggy t-shirt and sneakers – looks just like your average young man.

In truth however, this 22-year-old German is actually a world-class freerunner who has run across the rooftops of buildings in over 30 cities around the world.

“These days I travel internationally and bring people together in freerunning,” said Paul during an exclusive interview with R.AGE, while in Malaysia recently for a video shoot.

Freerunning – similar to parkour – is often explained as the art of overcoming obstacles in urban and natural environments.

Paul is the only freerunner to have won the RedBull Art of Motion, an event regarded as the “Olympics” of freerunning, three times – twice in 2010 and once in 2011.

Achieving standards comparable to parkour pioneers David Belle and Sebastien Foucan, Paul admitted that he never thought he would be making a living out of his hobby.

“I always enjoyed climbing and jumping around as a child,” he said.

“At 14, I watched a video online and I just tried out what I saw. I didn’t have anyone to explain to me what was it.”

Though he may have forgotten the entire video clip, he still remembers it as the start of his freerunning career.

“In the beginning, I practised alone for a year.

“Then I moved on by looking through forums where I found a community of friends,” said Paul, who divides his time between Germany and Thailand.

When asked if his parents were worried about his “career” which posed many dangers, Paul admitted to keeping it a secret from them in the beginning.

“Like other parents, they were a little worried but they never stopped me,” said Paul.

Fortunately, his parents are now supportive of what he does for a living.

As his freerunning videos and stories about the competitions he won spread over the internet, Paul started to get invitations to do commercials, which helped him earn some money while still in school.

Like a good entrepreneur, Paul found more ways to make money.

During a trip to Bangkok last year, parkour practitioner Shaun Wood introduced him to Thai singer-actor and freerunning enthusiast Anan Anwar.

The meeting led them to start a business that would not just generate income but also connect freerunners around the world.

“Team Farang (the name of their clothing line) is not just about clothes, we make videos for the others (freerunners) because we all started from watching videos.

“So coming out with videos was natural and we loved doing it,” said Paul.

Although he has been in the sport for seven years, winning championships and owning a clothing line, Paul believes that he still has far to go in freerunning.

And as for the fear of an accident like falling off the side of a building, Paul admitted that he is always scared but the key is to fight the fear.

“You can’t be emotional in freerunning. You just have to switch off the fear.”


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