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Posts Tagged ‘Natural Method’

An excerpt from Wikipedia on Georges Hébert, “parcours”, and the Natural Method:

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

For the full wiki article visit:

{Georges Hébert (27 April 1875 – 2 August 1957) was a pioneering French physical educator, theorist and instructor.

Hébert was born in Paris. While an officer in the French Navy prior to the First World War, Hébert was stationed in the town of St. PierreMartinique. In 1902 the town fell victim to a catastrophic volcanic eruption. Hebert coordinated the escape and rescue of some seven hundred people from this disaster. This experience had a profound effect on him, and reinforced his belief that athletic skill must be combined with courage and altruism. He eventually developed this ethos into his personal motto, “Être fort pour être utile” (”Being strong to be useful”).  [Italicized and boldened- by the blog author, not as it appears in the article.]

Hébert had travelled extensively throughout the world and was impressed by the physical development and movement skills of indigenous peoples in Africa and elsewhere:

Their bodies were splendid, flexible, nimble, skillful, enduring, resistant and yet they had no other tutor in gymnastics but their lives in nature. }

Of course, as the Wiki article also mentions, Hebert’s teachings heavily influenced the emergence of Parkour, or “The Art of Movement”.

Also, according to the article, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who influenced Hebert taught that through the observation of nature people could arrive at the true methods of physical development and that the final goal of physical education was to

“…make strong beings. In the purely physical sense, the Natural Method promotes the qualities of organic resistance, muscularity and speed, towards being able to walk, run, jump, move on all fours, to climb, to keep balance, to throw, lift, defend yourself and to swim.”   The natural method to these educators was a synthesis of physical, virile and moral development, and not just any of these alone.

Please read the full article and comment on the blog.  How does it relate to CrossFit?  To Judo, or Self Defense?  To Parkour?  To specific sports?  Have you ever trained on an obstacle course or “parcours”?  How about a ropes course?  What did you like/ dislike about it?