A Love Letter To The Motus Projects 2015-2022

A Love Letter To The Motus Projects 2015-2022

It won't take much for me to ask you to cast your minds back to the 17th of December 2022. 

I had finished work for the Christmas holidays, eagerly anticipating the festive period ahead, the first one I've had off ever since I was 16. 

I don't know why... I had a inkling feeling I had to open Instagram. I usually try and stay away from the doom scrolling, especially as the work I do now means I spend the vast majority of my working day on social media. 

As my thumb tapped the application open, I was met with a very unfortunate and sad post from The Motus Projects. 

 

 

This did not come as a surprise to me. Giles (Founder of TMP) and I had been in touch with each other earlier that week, discussing this very thing. 

Through the work I do with Parkour UK, we had arranged to visit TMP workshop in Staplehurst in January. Giles was obviously our point of contact in this arrangement, and during my planning of the project, he got in touch with us regarding what was happening with Motus going forward. 

There is no denying that The Motus Projects was one of the more prominent and popular Parkour brands. It was common to attend a Parkour jam or event and witness swarms of Parkour practitioners all representing the dark graphics of the Sole Destroyer collection, or looking slightly military-esque in their Motus cargo trousers, complete with an oversized black sweatshirt with the Motus circle logo proudly spread across their back. 

Established in 2015, The Motus Projects (Abbreviated TMP) was founded by Giles Campbell-Longley, a Parkour film-maker who became one of the industries most popular characters, not because of his Parkour skills (which he is highly self-critical of) but rather his work behind the camera. Most notably, Giles had an incredibly close working relationship with Tim "Livewire" Shieff between the years of 2012-2014, where the two would front the now defunct YouTube channel "Flow." - A Parkour focused YouTube channel that fused Parkour content with the structure of a television channel.

Giles from the get go put TMP on the map, releasing the first "Origins" clothing collection and bringing the next generation of young athletes to the Parisian suburbs of Lisses, Evry and La Defense to put a new spin on the classic Parkour spots seen in videos from Parkour's founders.

The athletes involved, and Motus, very quickly rose through the ranks of becoming a well-established Parkour team and brand. 

Motus continued throughout the years, releasing high-quality video content, such as the "Spitting in the Wind" series - A YouTube series following TMP's tour across America, Sole Destroyer (A forty minute piece that was pay for view) and S.O.L (It's successor). 

During this time, TMP was also plucking up some of the best young guns in the game. Irish powerhouse George McGowan and Newcastle born Norwegian resident Jordan Tyler Lea are just some of the notable members of the roster that Motus picked up over their time as a Parkour brand and team. 

To the outside looking in, Motus was THE brand to not just follow, but to be a part of.

Although every Parkour brand will somewhat be in the shadow of the content and clothing behemoths Storror, Motus had established itself very well as the brand that anyone could be a part of. 

What set TMP apart from the likes of Storror or Team Farang, was that their team or brand did not feel exclusive

There is no denying the progress that Storror have made for the sport, breaking somewhat into the mainstream, reaching an audience of over 7 million people on YouTube, or Farang, who's factory made clothing was above anything anyone had seen in the sport prior.

But to the young athletes in the sport, the idea of joining or becoming a Storror or a Farang were a dream... One of those dreams which seems every so slightly unachievable. Those brands serve the community massively, and the are huge contributors to the industry growth and exposure of the sport.

But Motus was different... With TMP, there was never a time where I felt disconnected or treated as a consumer. Their community engagement, dialogue and purpose very much made me feel a part of their team, a part of their community. 

I think that's why I ended up spending so much money on the brand over the years. Reflecting back, when I think of purchases I made to brands such as Storror, I did so because I liked how the clothes looked, without really looking into any deeper message behind the brand. They were just cool looking clothes. 

With Motus, I was buying into something different. To me, TMP stood for something great. It stood for community. It stood for relentless progression. I wore TMP like a badge of honour, I even have their original logo tattooed in thick, black ink on the front of my left arm. 

My left arm makes me somewhat look like a walking advertisement for Parkour brands. I have four Parkour brands tattooed in total, two of those brands which are now defunct, but I was very intentional with their placement of the Motus emblem on my arm. 

 

 

It sits front and centre, thick, bold, black and intimidating. It's usually the tattoo people recognise first, and when they ask what it is, I have no hesitation in telling them.

"It's a logo for The Motus Projects. They're a Parkour brand, but to me, they transcend that. Motus is a true representation of a community I am proud to be a part of."

Motus have now closed their doors, but their work carries on, now working with Storror. Essentially, they will be continuing the work they were doing at Motus, but now under Storror, working for them as opposed building Motus themselves.

This will enable Giles, Bloggy and Kelan to thrive in an environment where their financial situation is comfortable. They won't have to worry about whether or not they have enough income to pay rent at the end of the month, or have to shop for yellow labelled foods in the supermarket anymore.

Although Motus has come to an end, it's spirit and it's impact on the community lives on through those who it influenced, and we are forever grateful for the impact they have made on our sport.

Thanks for making me feel like a part of a community, you will be missed. 

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