Kong Academy is a committed community of playful movers and nurturing teachers that cultivate an environment where people can play, move, and grow together.
We empower individuals to overcome their obstacles by honoring each person where they are: we guide their growth and celebrate persistence through the Art of Movement™.
The Art of Movement™ (AOM)
The Art of Movement™ is connecting, embracing, and expressing the self physically to overcome your obstacles joyfully to:
- Develop a connection with yourself and the environment
- Build a strong and mobile body
- Progress together in a community full of support
- Research has consistently proven that play is beneficial to physical, intellectual, and social-emotional development at all ages….learn more
- Movement catalyzes the growth of new brain cells (neurogenesis), aides in the creation of new synapses (synaptic plasticity),and enhances chemicals in the brain—like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine leading to improved mood. For overall greater brain health…..learn more
- AOM increases muscular strength, improve the ability to perform complex movements, and promotes lifelong healthy living habits….learn more
- AOM increases emotional stability, confidence, and feelings of self worth
“It is a happy talent to know how to play.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Executive Function Development (EF)
We have built our programs based on neuropsychological principles of executive function and child development; focusing on organizing cognitive processes. We do this by:
- Improving working memory
- Growing cognitive flexibility
- Guiding impulse control
- Executive function skills are crucial building blocks for developing both cognitive and social capacities…learn more
- Children’s executive function skills provide the link between early academic achievement and social, emotional, and moral development….learn more
- Executive function is crucial for career advancement, making and keeping lasting relationships…learn more
“Executive Functioning skills are predictive of achievement in health, wealth, and quality of life, often more so than IQ or socioeconomic status.” – Terrie E. Moffitt PHD, Neuropsychology
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
SEL helps students in acquiring positive relationship building skills within themselves and others. The Kong Academy method uses SEL principles to guide students to:
- Understand and manage emotions
- Build compassion and positive relationships
- Make responsible decisions and develop a growth mindset
- Students who go through SEL training are two times more likely to graduate from college…learn more
- SEL interventions found clinical mental health disorders were lowered by 13.5%…learn more
- 73% of principals say they believe the development of SEL skills should be in state education standards…learn more
“Our emotions need to be as educated as our intellect. It is important to know how to feel, how to respond, and how to let life in so that it can touch you.” – Jim Rohn
Founder / Chief Head Monkey
Curt is a monkey. He runs around, climbs on top of things, swings from lamp posts and is excited to play with everyone! He has trained and worked as a physical therapy assistant, paramedic, personal trainer, lifeguard, parkour instructor, and a special education teacher. He has worked with kids since 1999 and loves to help people improve their minds, bodies, and spirits. Growing mindful movers is his passion and he is grateful to bring people together through play.
Co-founder / Chief Play Officer
Elke is a lifelong mover. She has studied martial arts and dance, enjoyed kiteboarding, strength training, capoeira, and climbing before eventually finding her real passion: parkour. She loves to share her passion with anyone that is willing to move. Elke knows the importance of being active and outdoors first hand, and she celebrates movement daily with her own young children.
Synergistic Functionalities Ninja / Coach
Nina has been active since she was a child! She would swim, skate, climb, and flip around on a trampoline for hours. She loves to explore and expand the abilities of her body through movement. Now she explores her passions for parkour, circus arts, and other various art styles of movement. She loves sharing her passions with kids and believes in using positive encouragement to help you achieve anything you put your mind to. Now, she spends her days teaching kids parkour and working with Kong Academy as their Synergistic Functionalities Ninja!
Ian first started his movement journey in 2013, after trying martial arts and jogging he discovered parkour and leapt into it feet-first. Ian uses his movement practice to center his mind and body. He is finding joy in the simple expression of jumping, climbing, and balancing. In addition to his coaching, Ian enjoys organizing and practical logistics. When he’s not working or jumping on things you can find him playing Dungeon and Dragons with his friends or listening to audio dramas on long walks.
Bryan started Parkour in 2008 teaching himself the philosophy and discipline through Parkour Generation/Yamakasi videos and Ryan Ford’s Demon Drills series. Since then he has become a certified level 1 and 2 coach. Furthermore, he has a background in strength and conditioning for Parkour and sports psychology in competitive settings. His training style focuses on powerful high line movements incorporating technical footwork and a love for fear and height challenges.
Filip started Parkour in 2005. He likes to create expressive flow and continuous movement that feels fluid and natural. He enjoys playful movement of all kinds, especially spinning on walls and rails. Filip has been leading community classes and holds an ADAPT Level 1 Parkour Coaching Certificate. He likes to share the lighthearted side of Parkour with his students.
Kelsey’s journey of movement started with lacrosse, which she played up through college. She eventually coached lacrosse at Adams State University while she pursued a masters in Exercise Science. She developed a passion for the mountains and spends her free time hiking, backpacking, climbing, mountain biking, snowboarding, and snowshoeing in addition to practicing yoga, and paddle boarding. Parkour has expanded her perspective of the world and the ways one can experience and travel through it. Teaching and motivating others to tap into their own potential and prepare them to overcome life’s obstacles is absolutely inspiring. This inspiration drives her personal journey of growth and exploration.
Sheep has always loved movement and exploring her boundaries and environment. She has been climbing on and jumping from trees and rocks for as long as she can remember, but parkour is the first thing that allowed her to explore urban environments and feel at home in the city. Sheep found parkour through community events in the Bay Area, and is helping to facilitate similar events like the Monthly Beginners Jam and Friday Jumps here in Seattle. Sheep is ADAPT lvl 1 certified, and loves encouraging people to explore their surroundings and their capacities. She also believes that it’s crucial for humans to feel connection with their environment and community, and one way to do that is through movement and creative expression.
Outside of movement, Sheep enjoys spending time in nature, foraging, DIY projects, making art, and occasional math/engineering.
Gabby began movement through gymnastics at an early age and progressed into competitive gymnastics at twelve years old. She then pursued circus arts, with special focus on aerial silks, tumbling, hand balancing and partner acrobatics. She loves to be up in the air, upside down as well as learning proper technique, form, and general body awareness. She started teaching gymnastics in 2016, circus art in 2017, and Parkour in 2018. Coaching kids, teenagers, or adults to explore and discover new abilities in their own bodies is something she enjoys doing every day and has proven to be one of the most gratifying things in her life. She loves to help motivate her students to do their best even when progress may feel difficult. She knows the body is always changing, improving, and building muscle memory, and she likes to show her students that movement is something anyone can do! Gabby believes strongly that with the right focus and determination, anything is possible.
After graduating from the Anake Outdoor School in 2012, Kyle worked in Wilderness Therapy where he was able to see the success of coyote mentoring and passion-based learning first hand. He really enjoys helping kids and adults connect with nature. Kyle’s favorite hobbies are making primitive weapons and tools, trying to interpret bird language, and exploring plants.
Mike’s interest in movement started when he was ten years as a competitive gymnast. When he left gymnastics, he explored different methods of movement. He attended stunt school, performed acro-balancing, and taught swing dancing. Currently, his favorite forms of movement are Parkour, capoeira and white water kayaking. He is always happy to add a new movement practice to his repertoire.
Born in Kodiak Alaska, Orville began his physical performance career on the KHS Dance Drill Team and as a KHS Cheerleader. He became co-captain and received varsity letters in both sports. He has choreographed and performed with Emerald City Swing for three years and has taught swing lessons and acro intensive workshops at several organizations. He was coaching at the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts between 2009 and 2018 where he developed two adult acrobatic classes. His current passion is in the Partner Acro Modalities, Parkour, and in performing private events around the Seattle area.
Since childhood, Taylor has always loved moving. Jumping on big rocks at the beach, climbing trees, and running through grassy fields were a favorite past-time, and since discovering Parkour in 2009, he has continued to do so. Fast forward to today, Taylor now works as a Parkour coach and maintains an independent roster of clients as a personal trainer. With a decade of Parkour and 7 years of experience training, he enjoys nothing more than seeing others have fun and make great progress in becoming better movers and stronger people.
Sophie started Parkour in 2012. She has been training with many different coaches and acquired an extensive ranges of Parkour movement skills and techniques. She’s had several opportunities to teach beginner’s Parkour and is excited to be sharing her passion at Kong Academy Summer Camps.
Eric grew up playing outside in the woods, the city, and the suburbs. At some point, he stopped playing so that he could “act like an adult.” But in 2008, at just over 30 years old, he saw a parkour video on YouTube and wanted to try it himself. The patient and thoughtful coaching staff at a parkour gym in Denver convinced him that he wasn’t too old to start learning, and he was (re)inspired to return to the jumping and climbing he did as a kid. Eric moved to Seattle in 2009 and has worked (and is working!) with local parkour organizations building stuff, organizing things, and teaching classes. He trains parkour because it’s fun, challenging, and brings adventure and play into the everyday world. He teaches a fun, accessible class, and has a special connection with people who think they’re too old or injured to play and jump on stuff.
Ian was born down where the drawls are slow and the tea is sweet but he migrated to the picturesque Northwest to learn some sweet new skills. And learn he did; by day he trades in data and spreadsheets and by night (and sometimes mid-morning) he teaches parkour in this great urban landscape. He was brought up by PKV in the early Leary days, circa 2010, and has been a staple of the Seattle community ever since. A founding member of “Team Old”, Ian started training around his third decade and has been keeping it up almost daily ever since. His coaching style takes its cues from old-school Jackie Chan films and other masterpieces of early martial arts cinema.
Andrew started training Parkour in 2010 and has been coaching Parkour since 2016. He has also trained in various martial arts, track and field, football, and natural movement. He is studying Fitness Wellness at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. In addition to his studies during the school year, he coaches at Flagstaff Parkour. During his summer breaks, he is continuing to hone his coaching talents at Kong Academy camps and classes.
Matt is a lifelong mover, sports player, and instructional game designer. He sees the intrinsic value in all forms of play. Parkour is an extension of play that involves your mind and body. It is a life skill that keeps him feeling young, keen and prepared at all times.
Ian has been practicing Parkour since 2010 and coaching since 2014. After trying multiple sports from swimming to Taekwondo, Parkour was the one he fell in love with. Guiding others on their Parkour journey and allowing them to unlock their full potential is one of Ian’s main goals.
Garrett Moore joined Kong Academy in 2019, his tenth year of Parkour training and fifth year of coaching experience. His athletic background includes competitive and recreational gymnastics, collegiate springboard diving, yoga, and rock climbing. While he loves the Pacific Northwest, he brings lessons learned from training with communities of movers across the United States, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. When not training or coaching, he is a community organizer engaged in political and nonprofit campaigns.
Grey is obsessed with helping people get balanced and healthy by rediscovering their mind-body connection. He started his Parkour journey in 2013 in South Korea and was coaching his first class one year later. He’s hooked! He loves Parkour and teaching. He’s a certified teacher and has held positions in the fields of martial arts, English as a second language and Parkour.
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