David Belle interview

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M: David Belle, Hi

D: Yes, Hi

M: So you don’t talk a lot, we don’t hear you a lot but we see you a lot specially on DailyMotion and the rest of the internet with all the Parkour stuff. I’d like you to explain you in your own way what is Parkour, what is represents for you, where it comes from. What is behind it the acrobatic.

D: Parkour is everything for me, it’s an art i’m devote for because it comes from my father. My dad gave a meaning to moving for me. That means that before, I was doing sports like athletic or gymnastics, and I was moving to stay fit. But without really knowing what it could be useful to (and understanding it). When he told me about “parcours” (French army training) and what it did to him, well I understood. I understood why we are moving, why we have arms and legs.

M: What was Parkour for your dad?

D: Its a training method for obstacles, in case you have a problem. To protect yourself, your family.

M: So it’s like “le parcours du combattant”?

D: Yes but extended and in the urban. From that was born the Freerunning, what you would see the most. Guys doing flips etc. Things completely useless, but I understand it. It’s like skateboarding or rollerblade. It is done for the freestyle, there isn’t any useful aspect in it. WHEREAS Parkour is before all the useful, learn to people to trust themselves, learn to be careful. Too many people say “fuck, they are crazy” but we are more careful than most of them who are going to fall in the stairs because they didn’t take care. So for me it’s (Parkour) an art where you learn to be careful and then with the experience you see people that are having fun doing flips etc. And I think it’s an extension to it.

M: And for you is Parkour a martial art?

D: In the philosophy. Because of the martial aspect: you face your obstacles. But in real martial arts you are oblige to hurt someone or beat him to know that you are strong. While with Parkour, the obstacle, it is only you against yourself.

M: Why the beauty of the movement is also important than the performance itself?

D: For me the beauty of the movement shows the love you give to the sport. Don’t do the movement to do it beautifully, the movement will be beautiful with your experience and the hard work you’ve put in it. Like a monkey or a puma going over a river, we say “it’s beautiful”, but him when he jumps, he doesn’t think about being beautiful, he wants to do the right movement, the perfect movement to go over it. It’s with the years of training that the beautiful aspect of it appears but at the beginning you have to train to be useful.

M: So it’s really finding a successful way of going through/over a difficult situation?

D: Going over your limits, not feeling choke by the walls around you.

M: Use the city instead of her using you

D: Voila (yes)

M: Superb philosophy man, good luck/courage

D: Thanks

Watch the video of the interview here