Bay Area Parkour

Train Hard - Stay Humble

"Parkour" by David Belle - book released on the French market

At the same time of the February release of Luc Besson's "Banlieue 13 - Ultimatum", Edition Intervista has published a 130 pages candid interview with David Belle (author) by Sabine Gros La Faige (interviewer), introduced by Luc Besson himself.

The volume is available in France by Amazon and FNAC.

[source: David Belle's Official Parkour Blog]

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ooh i want this
The only review I could find (poorly translated):
"Simultaneously with the release of Banlieue 13 - Ultimatum, produced by Europacorp, this February 18, David Belle makes the point in his book "PARKOUR" (published this month) on the birth of this discipline, which is a real success with teenagers. He explains its philosophy very similar to the one of martial arts. An art that can not be separated from his own youth and that of his ancestors.

David Belle is considered the inventor of Parkour, the new extreme sport which is practiced in urban areas, is jumping, climbing and running and popularized by his first disciples, the Yamakasi.

Yet David Belle refuses the appellation of "inventor". The discipline has developed throughout history, following the traces and values of his father and grandfather. For him, Parkour is not really about creating, it's about adapting. Everything is a family priority.

In the form of an interview, David discusses the sport itself, its spirit, its almost spiritual side beyond the physical, as well as its various encounters that lead where it is today.

The work itself begins with a beautiful foreword written by Luc Besson, the purpose of lending a lot of emotion to the rest of the book. The context is set.

And over the pages, one learns quickly that this discipline is nothing new. Parkour in fact existed for many years and is not reduced to merely two examples of action movies.

What strikes at first reading this book is the humility that comes along with some positive force. Behind a veneer of toughness, hides a high sensitivity, especially from the character that questioned the history of the sport itself.
"Parkour" is a little epic of a modern hero

[source and original text]
I hope they have an English version!
me too!
There's some good motivation to learn French.

I think I'm going to buy it so I can read it sometime later.
Pilou Bazin, a French parkour instructor living in Washington, D.C. reviewed Davids' book.
Some interesting, unbiased comments:

" David Belle perceives the creation of Parkour. His main message, I think, is that Parkour has been created by his father Raymond Belle, as a path for survival. Raymond Belle grew up in Vietnam at the begining of the Vietnam wars, and got through a lot of terrible experiences very early on. As a 7 year old boy, he found himself in a camp training war orphans into the next generation of warriors. To survive in that harsh community, he started training endlessly to be ready for anything and everything on his own, going over obstacle courses, in the jungle, etc while the other kids would rest. After the war, Raymond Belle would eventually join the corps of Paris firemen where he showed an impressive mastery of physical prowess and a readiness to jump into any situation without thinking twice. So to David Belle, this is really his father's experience, and the relationship he built with him that was at the origin of Parkour. This explains his insistance that Parkour is an utilitarian discipline, geared toward efficiency; his reluctance to let others who do not and cannot relate directly to his story make Parkour theirs or change it; his disdain for overly spectacular and media-oriented acrobatics."

"He talks about many aspects, from his obsessive training as a teenager to the acting career he is now developping, describes a lot of Parkour's "history", how he lived it. Absent from the book, though, are his views about training, teaching and learning Parkour beyond a few tips or general thoughts about tenacity, focus, the proper use of flips, the dangers of filming, etc. Partly, this goes back to his very personal view and experience of Parkour, and to the fact that even if he is the creator of the discipline, he is not really interested in passing it on in a "martial arts" way, rather encouraging everyone to understand his vision as a whole and to buid their own path on his and his father's steps.".

The full review is available at APK.


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