Freedom in Motion Parkour gym had the pleasure of working alongside Freerunning legend Josh Dohy to send our Street Team athlete Josh Malone to Italy for Red Bull’s Art of Motion!
Art of Motion is a yearly competition where 18 athletes compete head to head to take home the title of AOM Champion. Like other freestyle competitions, athletes have 90 seconds to flow down a course creating a run and are judged in categories like Difficulty, Creativity, and Connection.
Red Bull always hosts their competition in a beautiful location and try to include the surrounding landscape and architecture into the competition course. This year Red Bull landed in Matera, a nine-thousand-year-old city located in southern Italy that’s famous for its complex stone houses built into mountainside caves.
“It was wild to be training or competing and look up and see the city I was in. It’s definitely a very unique place” Josh Malone
Red Bull only hosts the competition once per year. Hundreds of free runners routinely come out to jam and watch the competition together. Some come to compete for a couple of days before the main event in Red Bull’s Onsite Qualifier, which is where the last five spots (3 Male 2 Female) in the main competition can be won. The other 12 preselected athletes are winners from other international competitions, Red Bull’s Online Video Qualifier, or finalists from last year's Art of Motion.
With often over a hundred competitors from all around the globe and only three spots left, we sent Josh on this trip with the instruction to have a good experience and meet new friends, knowing that’d he’d leave an impression at Onsite even if he didn’t qualify.
But he did qualify!
Our boy came second out of 90 male competitors placing higher than even the 2016 AOM champion who placed third. Josh competed in two rounds, the first a “jam style” competition where heats of athletes are given 5 minutes to flip around the course with 7 others, attempting to get the judge's attention. Only 15 get to create a traditional freestyle “line” with the course to themselves in the second round.
With a new hotel room paid for by Red Bull, it was time for Josh to rest up for the upcoming event. He’d spend the next days practicing on the final course with the other qualified athletes and exploring the interconnected cave city.
“I really can’t describe the feelings I had as I prepared for the biggest freerunning competition alongside athletes I’ve looked up too and watched at this very competition for years. It was almost hard to focus on creating my own run, I wanted to just watch all the pros create theirs. After practices, all qualified athletes were invited to a dinner to eat together. Again I was blown away as I sat down to pasta with people like Nate Weston and Ed Scott next to me. And all of them so humble and nice! Shoutout to Red Bull for pampering me and the other qualified athletes while I was there, really made me feel like a pro” Josh Malone
Josh with a swarm of “fans” after onsite
Josh rolled out of bed Saturday morning, threw on his favorite FIM shirt, and made his way to the competition hours before the start of the event for one last athlete practice.
“It actually started to rain about halfway through practice but wasn’t a huge deal as most athletes had there lines complete and were just running through them in their heads. Josh Malone
A Red Bull official running the event told us it’d be tragic, but they’d have to delay the event of the rain kept up”
Part of the final course with spectators lining the background
Luckily for Malone and the other 17 athletes, the clouds parted and the roofs dried right as the event was set to kick off! It was time for the show!
We could write about this event all day, but words can’t quite sum up this competition. Red Bull does an amazing job live-streaming the whole show and we highly recommend watching it!(maybe instead of another football game!)
Find the whole event on RedBullTV or YouTube, which we’ll leave a link to!
(Find Josh’s run at 29 minutes in)
Josh right after his run at AOM
Josh finished in seventh, just missing the mark to move into finals, but left an impression on the entire freerunning community and the local Italians watching. We are so proud of everything Josh has accomplished through competition and hope to see him continue to crush it!
Want to Get Better At Freestyle for Parkour?
Check out this article highlights some interesting styles found within parkour. Study up and bring a new sense of flow and creativity to your next parkour session!
Beyond that, Freedom in Motion offers a number of parkour tutorial videos on our YouTube page. @Fimparkourgym.