Can you describe an episode of your life, where you felt you took the right choice?
Back in 2006, I studied Physical Education and Health at The University of Southern Denmark, which was my dream study at that time. My class was a great mix of passionate and very different and cool personalities with sport and health as the main core value. It was a great class, strong relations and an inspiring environment. At the same time, I was running my company, Team JiYo, with my friends from high school.
We were a small group of young guys who always used every possibility to compete against one another in every recess. We would compete about everything; who could walk the furthest on our hands in the hallways, do the coolest flips in the gym hall or other crazy stunts; always testing our strength and pushing our limits.
We started using our environment in a very creative way as we advanced in technique and strenght. This became the first steps towards the “birth” of parkour in Denmark. We were the pioneers, inspired by the founders of parkour in France.
In the beginning of 2006, we went to a casting for a Danish talent show. We were chosen for the TV program and suddenly we were about to perform LIVE on danish television in front of 1 million viewers. We were very excited and we trained several hours every single day for about 2 months before the first show. We have always been perfectionists so we had huge expectations to ourselves and the show.
We went all the way! For the finals, we came up with the story about a little boy who was sleeping in his bed with his toys. In the middle of the night, suddenly his toys came alive and everything became magical. A dream come true.
In that moment, like that little boy, I really felt that I was living my dream.
We won the finals and got our breakthrough as a professional team. It felt UNREAL. For 3 months, I was studying at the university and running Team JiYo. Both projects were a full time job, so I had to choose.
It was a difficult choice. On one hand, I was very happy with my studies but on the other hand, I knew that I had to seize the moment and catch this opportunity with JiYo after our national breakthrough. So I did. I jumped off a cliff from 20 meters height blindfolded. It was the best and most important choice I have ever made. Why?Because I didn´t choose the easy path, I made the choice from my heart and that made the difference.
When did you know you had chosen right?
I really thought it through before making up my mind and I quickly made peace with my decision. I could always return to my studies, but I would never get a chance like this again. I was so fortunate to run the company with one of my best friends, Ilir Hasani, who is an incredible business partner. Our friendship and our collaboration also made it easier for me to make the choice.
When it comes to choosing in life, it’s very simple. Either you follow your dream or you let it go and accept it. From my point of view, there’s nothing in between.
What feeling did it give you?
It was a big relief to know that I could now focus 100% on my passion for movement and health. At the same time, it also felt good to be able to focus completely on what I love; working with sports but also being able to make colorful ideas come to life. Magic just comes alive when you connect your work with your passion. Doing what you love and loving what you do.
How has the choice affected your life?
Today, I am so grateful and I feel so blessed about all the things I have achieved. I do what I love and I have beautiful family and friends around me. I’ve always had big expectations to myself and what I do and I have always worked very hard to achieve my goals. I had a strong vision of what I could do with Team JiYo. I saw the huge potential and every time I reached a goal, I made a new one. To me, the core of life is about always moving forward, learning new things, improving, helping others and most important: being happy and having fun while doing it.
Info about Martin Coops:
Martin Coops is founder of the world famous company, Team JiYo, that represents some of the best athletes worldwide within parkour, tricking, breakdance, hip-hop, acrobatics and other related street cultures. Team Jiyo has performed at many international and national live shows such as The Eurovision Song Contest, the annual Sportsgalla show, etc. Martin Coops has performed for the royal family and he’s also teaching parkour to the princes of the Danish Royal Family.
Visit Team JiYo here.