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Jermaine Straker


Kelly Cho


Jermaine Straker

The concept for Cali Kulture had been a long-term idea I harboured before officially founding it in 2020. After years of practicing Calisthenics, I recognised two main problematic aspects in the sport: firstly, that most people practicing Calisthenics were men under 30. Secondly, that there was a lack of standardisation when it came to the level and quality of Calisthenics classes that were being offered. The idea of making authentic Calisthenics available to everyone began to take form -when in February 2018, I was given the opportunity to teach Calisthenics at BLOK London (one of London’s biggest fitness studios). Whether by fate or by faith, or perhaps a bit of both, a community was built there that still exists and continues to grow today.

I often think about those early days at BLOK. Every single one of us on a resistance band - a familiar scene then. I look at what we can achieve now, PBs broken constantly - 10 pull ups at first seemed like the ultimate goal, then 15, and 20 these days… a number I realise that some men only dream to obtain. Take a step back and remember what it was like to be on that green resistance band, purple band, black band, wondering if one rep unassisted would ever be possible. Back then, some of us made a WhatsApp group called NO BAND GANG. That far fetched goal in caps, made half out of humour and half out of a very real hunger. Funny, some might say, it’s just one pull up. Somehow, all of us, inextricably tied together because of it. All of us, day in, day out, closer and closer still to stepping off that block one day into thin air. In this way, so many unlikely friendships were built and bonds that are now life-long. Calisthenics has changed my life in so many pro-founding ways, it’s so much more than just a workout to stay fit. 

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