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Meet Josue “Ninjosh” Tapia of The Parkour Garden in Cypress Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Josue “Ninjosh” Tapia.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am the fourth born out of six to an “immigrant” mother. My mother assimilated to the American culture and bought the idea of entering wholeheartedly into capitalism as the way to live a successful life. That instantly meant a separation from our roots and ancestry. Growing up, my family experienced a lot of verbal, mental, physical, and emotional trauma. This led to me living a majority of my life in fight or flight. This way of being plus growing up influenced by gang culture led to me being confused, sad, depressed, scared, mad, aggressive, violent, and suicidal.

In 2006, my friend introduced me to parkour, we instantly started practicing and it felt natural. One year later on November 3rd, 2007, a series of events led to me getting shot five times. I literally experienced myself as all darkness, I seen the light at the end of the tunnel and went from darkness into the light. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was a transformation unlike any other. Two years into recovery, I learned about the law of attraction and seen how I put myself in a position to get shot. So I wondered, if I can go to the pinnacle of death what would it be like to experience happiness and life. from that moment forward with many roadblocks along the way, I started to shed stagnant layers of old toxic habits and create awareness and actions focused on building my dreams and how I can be of service towards the greater good.

2012 was the year where I started to convert what was my childhood backyard playground into an adult parkour playhouse. It started with prepping the grounds, one floor beam, one dusty old gymnastics crash mat that we (manifested) found on the street and a flimsy parkour vault that we built. Over time, donation after donation, action after action, we got a bar set up built for us, we acquired loads of mats and plenty of equipment. As I began to decolonize, self-actualize, as I grew spiritually, I seen the bigger picture of my circumstance and started planting California native plants as a way to honor the original people of this land, the Tongva. And so now here we are wrapping up our first year of being open as a community space. We are here to honor each other, the land, our ancestors, and future generations.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Obstacles and challenges vary in accordance to perspectives and circumstances. The biggest challenges for me have been internal struggles. Going through depression and self-harm, doing the deep work, seeing how social conditioning, fear of authority, scarcity mindset, dealing with the trauma of getting shot influenced me in a negative way and having to climb out of that whole I had dug for myself.

On the external spectrum, family feuds and lingering resentment. Lack of resources and no real positive stable guidance. Relearning how to walk, run and jump and now having to adapt to the fact that I lack full range of motion on my right leg and walk with a limp.

My current biggest challenges are having family that doesn’t fully support or want to be involved with what I am doing. Not having money is also a challenge, but I often find that I can figure out a way. So it’s interesting because in the practice of parkour, the philosophy is to live a life of overcoming obstacles from point A to point B fluent and efficient. and so it becomes a fun aspect of the journey.

Please tell us about The Parkour Garden.
I create space for people to come together, play, share and develop skills, build community, regenerate the native habitat, practice parkour and movement, make resources accessible, spread love and healing, and all with respect for those who came before us and for those who will be here when we are gone.

What makes me most proud of The Parkour Garden is having the opportunity to make it accessible, seeing a diverse group of people from different walks of life come together with respect for each other with a willingness to share wisdom, and genuinely want to build each other up. Witnessing how much we can transform something when we come together as a community is something I am also proud of.

What sets The Parkour Garden apart is that it is a free community-oriented space that merges Parkour/movement and play with Gardening and regenerating native habitat.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I believe we create our own luck. I was lucky enough to get shot how I did because it became the turning point of my life which led me to where I am today. I am lucky that I have the opportunities that I do. Luck has been a source of self-empowerment because I see how my thoughts, words, beliefs and actions help me create my fortune.

Pricing:

  • $5-$10 recommended donation. No one turned away for lack of funds

Contact Info:

  • Address: The Parkour Garden is located at; 2844 Frederick st. Los Angeles CA, 90065
  • Phone: (323) 945-8743
  • Email: theparkourgarden@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @theparkourgarden

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