Zen Shimada, born on May 13, 1993, is a renowned freerunner. He is widely known as Japan’s first professional parkour athlete. Zen has competed for Team Farang, the group of top parkour athletes from across the globe. He is also the first Asian to win a U.S. championship in this space. In addition to being a pioneer in the parkour industry of Japan and creating his footprint in the world, Zen is also a creator on the side. He has made his acting debut, partnered with clothing brands, and actively creates content for Youtube. Let’s celebrate this parkour prince’s birthday together.
Zen Shimada was born on May 13, 1993, in Tokyo, Japan. He is popularly known by his stage name, Zen. He was always fond of sports and tried a variety of them before settling on parkour. Zen began parkour at age 15 and moved to the United States the following year on his own. He competed in the international parkour competition “RedBull Art of Motion Yokohama” at the age of 18, which was hosted for the first time in Japan, and received widespread international praise for his remarkable performance.
He got a deal with L.D.H. at the age of 19 and became Japan’s first professional parkour athlete. In 2015, he became the first Asian to win the U.S. title and the first Japanese to do so in the parkour discipline. The following year, Zen joined the worldwide parkour team, Team Farang, which is made up of world-class parkour athletes from all around the world and leads the global parkour community. In the same year, he made his acting debut in the HiGH&LOW franchise and also launched his first photo essay, “FLY.”
Zen also once broke the Guinness World Record for “longest distance swung between two bars (parkour).” Zen challenged 11.5 feet compared to 10.4 feet, which was established in Hampshire, England. To continue his athletic endeavors and establish his own parkour art project, Zen relocated to Los Angeles, California.
Zen continues to make strides in the parkour world and establish a name for himself in the industry. Currently, he works as an international parkour athlete and participates in a variety of events aimed at promoting parkour culture. He also tries to express himself as an artist by using movies, photography, and design.
He becomes the first Asian to win the U.S. Tournament North American Parkour Championship.
He breaks the existing Guinness World Record for the longest distance swung between two bars (parkour).
Zen is named one of the ‘100 Most Respected Japanese People in the World.’
He becomes the first parkour athlete ambassador for Gucci House of Friends.
Why We Love Zen Shimada
Zen put Japan on the freerunning map
He is the first parkour athlete to be renowned on a global level. Through competitions, videos, modeling, acting, and other endeavors, he has put Japan on the freerunning map.
He is dedicated to his craft
He is so connected to freerunning that even when he is doing other things, such as acting or modeling, he gets inspired to try new parkour moves. This kind of dedication is why he excels in everything he does.
He wants to create a positive impact
Whether it is teaching parkour or enabling more Japanese people to explore the world of possibilities, he wants to help others. The same is indicated by his favorite Japanese words, ‘Ichinichi Ichizen,’ which means ‘do one good thing a day.’
5 Surprising Facts
He did parkour before knowing the word
Without knowing English and the word ‘parkour,’ he learned the tricks of the sport.
He discovered parkour through a video
Zen’s friend showed him a parkour video one day and he never looked back.
He knew where he belonged
He didn’t want to leave after his first trip to L.A. and ended up couch surfing with freerunners until his visa ran out.
He was homeschooled
He switched to homeschooling when he realized that it allowed him to travel more for work.
He likes horse meat
His favorite post-training meal is horse meat with rice or horse meat sushi.
Zen Shimada FAQs
How old is Zen?
As of 2022, he is 29 years old.
What is his zodiac sign?
His sun sign is Taurus.
What are his favorite places in the world?
His favorite places are L.A. and Bangkok.
Zen Shimada’s birthday dates