Craig: Balkans… Yugoslavia… Can you just unpack a little bit what goes on over there where you’re from, and how you got into Parkour? What’s going on.
Sasa: Yes. [00:00:30] Not started like way over from beginning, but shortly, like most people say oh “Where you from?” I say Serbia and they’re like “What the fuck, where is that? Is that like Siberia or Syria,” or stuff like that. Balkans have really a lot of bad history, a lot of war, all this stuff, yes I can understand. More people know about Yugoslavia than actually the Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Slovenia, all these countries. Like we had one now [00:01:00] we have seven, so I will not go into it so much. My story begins that I’m born in Yugoslavia and that country doesn’t exist anymore, and now it’s seven different countries.
I’m Serbian, who lived in Croatian territory, so a war happened. Everything crashed. We needed to move out, there was no choice. I go to live in Serbia where we don’t have, actually any family. Maybe it sounds weird that you don’t relatives in Serbia, but that’s not how it goes, [00:01:30] because my family lived in Croatian territory for the last 300 years or so. We move there and start … My family started life all over again. That’s actually where my Parkour story starts. In Serbia, a small city, really small, like 20,000 people. I got actually always in love for movement from the way I …
Craig: Yes, you don’t strike me as a guy who sits around [00:02:00] and eats potato chips.
Sasa: When I had three … I crashed with a bicycle because it was really taller than me, I shouldn’t drive it, but I crashed in the wall, and I kick my two teeth, or three, from, tooth?
Craig: Yes, teeth, that’s fine. It’s part of the schtick, we love the accent…
Sasa: Yes, I just crashed it in the wall … I’ll have all these different stupid things what I did in my growing up. There came that period when I [00:02:30] had like, watching my father actually doing stuff in 40, 40 plus. Doing hand stands, running.
Craig: Your dad was working at that point there, and what are you doing?
Sasa: Nothing. [crosstalk 00:02:44] Yes. I was actually playing PlayStation … 1, Driver and Colin McRae.
Craig: PlayStation … 1, to be clear.
Sasa: Colin McRae Rally and all this stuff. Yes, I had reason to that because I had a really [00:03:00] bad crash. Long story, I was smashed completely, I lived and survived an accident with all broken body. Ribs, legs, skull, everything. Not going into that, I had recovery for one year. During this recovery I did this, Sony games. I was a teenager, like high school and stuff and playing games. My father was working out, doing hand stands, [00:03:30] doing push ups, running. He was around 40 and he’d everyday poke me, like “What are you doing? In your age I was running, climbing trees, doing handstands, walking for 100 meters on hands and stuff like that.” “You’re sitting in front of the television and doing nothing” I’m like “Yes, yes, whatever.”
Craig: Go to work old man.
Sasa: Yes, like that’s, you know … With so many times repeating me that, he [00:04:00] got into my head. Then I wanted to do that handstand, but I didn’t want him to know I’m practicing. When he’s at work I’m doing handstands and driving, and then when we got back to work I play still, PlayStation you know.
Craig: It’s like stealth training.
Sasa: Yes, yes, and then after like a month or two, he’s coming back, I get in handstand, having now do it in front of him, you know, inside of the garden. He’s coming back from work and I’m doing a handstand [00:04:30] in the garden and he just passed. He didn’t saw me, like pass through the wall, nothing. I’m like “What the fuck?”
Craig: I’m up-side down.
Sasa: Yes, like why he didn’t say anything?! I went in the house, “Did you do [sic, see] what I did?” He was like, “Yes, it was shit.” My dad was like “If you want to have really kind of good form of handstand, you should do every day 100 pushups and 300 [00:05:00] abs.” I’m like “What?” He said “Yes, yes, this form is shit, everything is shit. If you want to do a proper handstand do it right.” He just actually wanted to kind of poison me to start doing, keep going.
Craig: Keep pushing you further right?
Sasa: Yes, yes, so I started doing fuck, like … everyday like crazy. Pushups and abs and all kinds of different exercises. I did this for a month while training handstand, so of course in one month my handstand was better. After a while, I asked him like, [00:05:30] “Okay, did you walk down the stairs?” Then he said “No.” Like on handstand. I said “Okay, I got you there. I will do it.” You know, and he said “Yes, yes, yes, you will do it.” Yes, no, that never happens … never will happen. I was so into that challenge, that was like my first challenge. I need to overpass what he did, just want to do that. That was my only goal at the moment.
Craig: Teenage rebellion.
Sasa: Just focus [00:06:00] on that. After one month too, it happened. I did one stair, two stairs, three stairs, ten stairs, fifteen stairs and say “Tada, I got it, look at this!” He was like “Good,” but still not proved nothing, like he …
Craig: A little stingy with the positive reinforcements?
Sasa: Yes, like I did that and that, and then like “Oh come on, what’s happening with this guy?” After some short period I got to see one of the Parkour videos [00:06:30] and instant moment I watched that stuff I like, “I want to do that, forever.” I just went out. I watched that video like a hundred times and I go out to try one thing, it’s not working. Come back, watch video like 30 more times, go outside try it like 20 more times. Go back, go out, inside, out, inside, I just tried, tried, tried. I did some but was, you know.
Craig: Yes, it’s extremely hard to learn Parkour from a video.
Sasa: It was so hard, but I can say that actually … [00:07:00] What’s different there, watching videos and watching now videos is because I had only one video. I analyze it so deeply that I actually learned a lot from that video. People today watch videos just to watch, they don’t analyze, they don’t get stuff, they don’t break stuff in videos. They see, they get impressed and they forget it.