Ian William


Ian William Want is one of American Parkour's lead ambasadors. Ambassadors are role models in the community. Specifcally they are welcoming to new comers, help host and promote jams, and encurage everyone to train together.

They are people who live like what APK aspires to be, a positive influence! 

Ian is no different. He's overcome a lot of tough obstacles in his life and through it all he's stayed a genuinly great person. 

APK sat down with Ian to ask him a few questions. Click read more for the interview and for his latest video!

To start off can you tell us your name, where you are from, and how long you have been training?

   My name is Ian William Want I was born and raised in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. I have been training now for just over 2 years. 

When did you first hear about parkour? How did you hear about it? 

    I first heard about Parkour/freerunning through my friend, Anthony Ruiz. He had been training for 2 years at the time and had offered on several occasions, to take me out and teach me some things. At the time, I had been preoccupied with my band, video games, a marriage, and college. It just didn't seem like something I could or wanted to fit in to my life. 

    I basically, continued down my path for a little while longer until everything kind of broke at once; I got a divorce, dropped out of college due to financial issues, left the band and was sick of raging at video games all the time. 

    Once, all these things had gone from my life, and all I wanted to do was see my friends, Anthony once again offered me to take me out and teach me Parkour. By this time I had seen tons of Ninja Warrior episodes and this was around the time G4 sent Levi, Brian and Lucy to compete, so not only did I want to do Ninja Warrior VERY badly, I also got a well-timed taste of some recognizable parkour athletes all the while my friend had been prodding me to try a little with him. Eventually, I dragged my chubby little self out of the house and started moving. 

Do you have any other hobbies? Anything like video games, reading, action flicks, or cosplay?

    I have a few hobbies left, I suppose. I gave up gaming for the most part, minus the very occasional League of Legends match. I have been collecting comic books for a while, but the Marvel re-launch absolutely dragged me back in 100%. Now, every Wednesday I find myself checking out with $40 worth of fresh comics. (I highly recommend the new Thor series for those of you who care.) Other than that, I find most of my hobbies revolve around parkour for me. I do Crossfit 5 days a week, hike, climb, edit videos for friends, and I'm even lucky enough to have a great job that allows me to train during work! 

Then who is your favorite super hero? 

    Favorite superhero - Tough call. You have your easy-to-love types like Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Wolverine, but then I have the under-appreciated by the mainstream loves that I feel are like my own little hidden treasures; Ms. Marvel/Captain Marvel, Nova, Iron Fist, and Hope Summers. They are all great characters with an amazing story arc behind them. However, at this time I have a big background of Spider Man on my computer as motivation to continue to work out and strive for his build. A childish goal, I know, but we all have SOMETHING that motivates us. 

Good choice but my favorite Marvel character is Gambit. You mentioned injuries, what injuries? How did they happen?

    During my time in Las Vegas, I had injured myself. My knees were already taking a beating from continuous high impact training. I never gave [my knees] a break, and that was a huge mistake I paid for. The straw that broke the camel's back was when I was training on a tumble track, working on twisting. I was working on a Rudy, and when I would land on the very thick, squishy pad my feet would sink in, and my body continued to twist. This caused my meniscus to tear. 

    The pain eventually got bad enough that I wanted to go home back to Lake Havasu to rehab my knee and try to get it strong enough just so I could keep my mobility. I started riding my bike everyday  and swimming. Eventually, my legs were strong enough that I was able to start lifting and do Crossfit. Now, I STILL have a torn meniscus, but I barely feel it. It just takes me a little bit to warm up! 

    The injury was important! It forced me to realize how paramount conditioning is (regardless of how you do it). It also helped me to realize that I don't need to be training high impact parkour every day, so I keep getting better. 

Tell us about some of the projects you're working on right now.

    As far as projects go, I just finished part 2 of my "Gremlins" series which focuses on me and my friends reestablishing our connection through training, and I am also working on the details for the third and final part of that. Also, I am preparing to start a "part 2" for my personal "Crossing Off the List" project, which focuses on me returning to obstacles I never got to complete due to traveling or injuries, and "defeating" them now I am no longer injured and stronger than ever! 

Can you tell us more about your “Crossing off” project? What lead you to do that? How has it helped you?

    Once I started feeling strong enough to do parkour again, I started getting the itch to film. I was not ready to start pushing big stuff again though. I was still very nervous about hurting my knee. So, instead I spent a couple days wandering around my home town, revisiting some old training spots and looking at a bunch of obstacles I never did before out of fear. Filming video after video can get kind of boring if there’s not a purpose behind it especially in a town like mine where there isn't an abundance of obstacles to build up to. This idea gave me the perfect excuse to get motivated, get back out there, film a video, and to be alright with taking a step back to accomplish goals that didn't necessarily make me feel like I had progressed until I came up with the idea. 

    So I sat down, wrote out a list of locations and obstacles, moves and combos that I never got to try, and just started going down the list crossing them off one-by-one until I had my first "Crossing off the List" video. It is a long list, and I plan on continuing the goal until everything is completed. 


Which project is your favorite? 

    MY personal favorite project I was lucky enough to tackle is "Gremlins, Cometh 2: Gremlins in Vegas". This video marked a TON of huge achievements for me; physically, mentally, and emotionally. The video takes place at UNLV with my friends Anthony Ruiz and Marcos Rojas. Anthony had taken me to my first jam ever during my first week of training, at UNLV. He was at his two year mark at the time, so to be in that position 2 years later, bringing a crop of new guys to this same location felt amazing! I was proud to be there! To add to the AWESOMENESS of it all, I also accomplished EVERYTHING I had on my list of obstacles I wanted to overcome at that particular location. It was the most satisfying jam for me! 

Where is your favorite place to train? 
    Favorite place to train - ASU and the area surrounding Gammage Auditorium as well as a place I was recently introduced to at the last Phoenix Jam the community [at ASU] calls, "Urban Park".

What music do you like to listen to when you train? 

    Music I listen to during training - This will seem almost blasphemous, but I have tried training with music and I absolutely hate it. I love listening to music all the time, but when I train I like to focus on my surroundings as well as the people I am training with. I don't go out to jams to walk off on my own and have ear buds in my ear and be oblivious to the world. I go to jams to interact with others, learn, and enjoy the company. When I train alone, I like to think about the details in what I am doing so I can make them better. I tend to get caught up too much in music when it's around. 

What is your favorite parkour related memory? 

    It is very difficult to say a particular memory that is parkour-related and more important to me than others. Filming with my old friends again is very important to me, but the most prominent one is during my stay in Vegas while my knee was slowly getting worse. I was with Nico Matinata, his cousin (I believe), and Vinnie Coryell at some restaurant we went to after some light training. We were just sitting there chit-chatting and then for some weird reason it just dawned on me; I was living in Las Vegas, at a parkour gym, with two of my favorite athletes (Jeremy and Vinnie), living a dream that guys at their 5 year marks didn't get the chance to have. It was the first time in my life I was truly able to be thankful to whatever power that made me had done so. Of all the cosmic possibilities that could have taken place, the Universe had saw fit to put me in the most amazing place I could have asked for at the time. Since then, the Universe has continued to do so for me.




 Ian really is a great person and APK is lucky to have him on our team! Thanks for everything! 

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User comments (1)
Written by Patrick Witbrod   
Tuesday, 02 April 2013 23:14
Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 April 2013 07:59