An Interview with Yamakasi Team in Jump Magazine

Q: Please introduce yourselves individually.

Laurent: My name is Laurent Piemontesi, I am 30 years old for few years again and I live in Milano, Italy. Here I teach Art du Déplacement in a school called Forma Arte, where there are others different disciplines. I’m trying to do the same as I did in France working around sport, education, art and culture.

Guylain: I am Guylain Boyeke, I’m 35 years old and from France.

Châu: I’m Châu Belle, one of the founders of the Yamakasi. I’m 34 years old, living in Paris and I’m an actor.

Williams: My name is Williams Belle, I’m 30 years old, I am half French and half Vietnamese. I’m living in Sarcelles, where I spent all my childhood and where I train Art du Deplacement. When I was a child, I had a communication problem: I had a stammer, so I expressed myself thanks to the movement. Today I am an actor and professional photographer. But after a broken ankle during training, I put my artistic career aside until my recovery. I am currently working on a comic book in which I share my ADD/Parkour experiences, called “SUPERNEM”.

Q: Obviously Parkour has become a massive international movement now, but please explain how it all started for you guys right back at the beginning?

Laurent: Everything ???started off like a childrens ???game. We were training ???together, between friends. ???A cool time. Everything??? was still there to be ???discovered.

Châu: At the beginning, it??? was like a childrens game??? for us. Young people who ???want to become stronger, but in a particular way by working very hard with good mental preparation.

Williams: I was looking for physical and mental freedom. I found it in ADD. I was a prisoner of my fears and life apprehensions. I found the answers in the movement and inner searching, which allowed me to be calm and confident in front of the obstacles I encountered in life.

Q: When exactly was it that you all began to train in this way?

Laurent: We started to train a long long time ago. We all have a different story. When it arrived there was already Yann, David and some people we don’t see any more. I was looking for strength. That’s how I started, just for this and my motivation at the beginning. Of course I did develop after different things like human values.

Guylain: All began with the Yamakasi when I met Charles Perrière, I was 17 years old. A Saturday ???morning, when I was at my parent’s place in Evry, I go out to do stupid things, as usual. It is at that time that he saw me for the first time. He asked me to show him some karate exercises. He talked to me about David Belle, Yann Hnautra and Parkour. From the first training, I recognized myself in the practice games that reminded me of my childhood on the streets of Kinshasa.

Williams: In the early 90’s, I accompanied my older brothers Châu and Phung, my cousin David, Sébastien and friends in the forest of Sarcelles. They were doing strength exercises and having fun to pass the obstacles that stood in their way. In a game park, on a boat-shaped structure, some friends were trying to do a “saut de détente”. I felt the urge to make that leap to confront myself and my fears. It was my first “Yamakasi” jump. It was an awareness that we could overcome our fears and go over them. So I was 9 years old, and I discovered my first way to go through the obstacles of life. At that time, there was no teacher or Yamakasi teaching, not even a name for this practical movement. So I trained mostly alone while relying on my mother who is my model of generosity, courage, perseverance and selflessness. Once I had the opportunity to share trainings with my family and friends, I watched and listened carefully.

Q: What was it that inspired you all to develop it into something structured?

Laurent: Progress and find methods to train the others. At the beginning Yann Hnautra trained me. Then by myself as an autodidacte. Then reading books, speaking with people and training in different disciplines such as athletics and basketball…

Williams: I was too young and inexperienced to manage so I followed the group’s approach in the structuring of the association and shared my experience of practicing when I could. I wasn’t thinking to structure the ???practice, I had only one motivation, which was to train and improve myself to be a good human being. It’s not easy to be fair in life and to give the appropriate response to a question, to overcome the emotions that can invade us and to avoid to hurt yourself and the others. But it is something fundamental to work on this for a positive life.

Q: What was the feeling like? Did you have any idea that it would develop beyond something that was exclusive to you guys in Evry/Lisses?

Laurent: We wanted this discipline to survive, so we had to work on transmission, find routines exercises etc. To give something to people in order to use after. It pass by transmission from life. We had no idea it would be much more important than just Lisses/Evry. We just knew that we were doing something good. I think we all do things without need to have the answer but we can feel it and it was what we had to do.

Châu: Since we decided to show what we were doing, it was obvious that it would develop.

Williams: At the beginning, there were 2 cities where the discipline was developed. Lisses, in southern???suburb, and Sarcelles, in northern suburb. It is said that Art du Déplacement was born in Lisses, and the spirit???in Sarcelles. At first, I was happy to have the chance ???to share with the others my passion, this art, and the human qualities that one acquires in overcoming our fears thanks to the overcoming of physical obstacles and mental barriers.

Q: Seeing as you were all starting from nothing, please explain the kind of techniques you would practise in the beginning?

Laurent: In the beginning I was just doing basic techniques, no esthetical, just survive to jumps or trainings. There wasn’t cinema.

Châu: We used basics techniques. We were very direct in our jumps. For example: arm jump, take-off jump.

Williams: At the beginning, the techniques we used were the ones we do when we made a sequence the fastest to reach the goal. We did not ???focus on the aesthetic of ???the movement. What???matters was to do it??? without injuries and also ???the mentality of the??? person. At this time, we??? were bop axis of the spirit??? of courage and strength.

Q: Was it all a case of experimentation to see what worked and what didn’t with regard to techniques that were useful?

Laurent: I do not believe ???in the concept ‘useful’??? when we talk about??? technique. What is more ???useful between “saut de???chat” and “about turn”? ???Everything that encourages creativity is good. Everything that helps work on coordination, mobility, resistance etc… is useful. Useful will be more adapted about how we can help the others. And to help we need to be strong already ourselves. Understand what we do to after explain etc. How to make it etc.

Châu: Yes, we tested a lot of things because nobody ???was there to tell us if it was right or not. Sometimes, for only one techniques, we trained the same movement for months.

Q: Do you remember the first proper technique that was developed and used by everyone?

Laurent: I do not remember the first technique we all used. We were also very different. But we did some saut de fond, roll, sauts de détente, sauts de bras. Very basic ones.

Q: The first name for what you were doing was L’Art du Deplacement, right? At what point did the name of ‘Parkour’ get brought into the equation?

Laurent: L’Art du Déplacement is the mother of everything and it was an action. Parkour is a reaction, from David and Sebastien when they left and followed the way they thought fair to follow.

Châu: The word ‘Parkour’ appeared when David and Sebastien left the team.

Williams: ‘Art du Deplacement’ was born in 1995 to make known the discipline. The word “art” is important because it’s a way of living, not only a simple discipline where you have to jump everywhere. I think it’s the motivation that makes the difference between ADD and the others. For me, the motivation I am based on, it’s to train to find your proper way in order to help the others.

Q: Do you find it frustrating having to keep correcting everyone about the development of Parkour and the role you have all played?

Laurent: It wasn’t so frustrating, a bit at the beginning but very quickly it was ok. What is frustrating is when people forget that it is not only about jumping. It is also about sharing, respect, not giving up… All that what gave to this discipline is a human dimension. I’m not waiting for medals, so that’s fine.

Williams: As a co-founder and mostly as a practitioner, it’s my role to ensure that Art du Deplacement practices are improving in an altruistic way, because???it is the motivation, the great one that I see for this practice. It’s my job but???it is also the role of each practitioner.

Q: Did any of you step up with backgrounds in any other sports?

Laurent: Everything is connected, so all discipline can help. Then I should say that some of us did capoeira, athletics, boxing, basketball etc… All this helped to build trainings, plus reading books etc… when we had to find some answers that did not come from the playground or trainings.

Châu: We always had been influenced by other sports. L’Art du Déplacement is a common wealth of human inspiration.

Williams: I’m practicing Capoeira for 10 years, and also Kalaripayatt (Indian martial art) for 4 years. It’s helped me a lot for technique and teaching.

Q: If anyone reads about the history of Parkour in the beginning, your names are mentioned along with David and Sebastien, but at the time was anyone else practising or was it just you guys?

Laurent: At the very beginning there was much more people, Yann’s brother, girls… Some of them did continue, most of them stopped because it was just for ???a time in their life and they had to invest for their own future. Probably we were the only people who were doing things like this in the world but nobody knows.

Châu: I think that other people were practicing at that time, but not at the same level: we brought new techniques and made evaluated others.

Williams: There were also others before us. My other older brother, Phung Belle, who influenced me on the ADD/Parkour mentality and also my friend Abdul Hamid, with whom I trained with for a long time. And especially my mother, she is my model of courage, perseverance and generosity.

Q: The first time a lot of people saw you guys in action was when the Yamakasi movie was released. Please give us some info with regard to how that all came about.

Laurent: For the movie Yamakasi, we had a choice between 2 big productions. The group chose Besson. I preferred the other one. More opened. It was after we did a report in a magazine, Besson production heard about us. We met, spoke and it happened.

Châu: It was a great meeting wanted by the team. We struggled during 4 years to make known the discipline. Luc Besson heard about ???us, and we all meet to make a movie.

Q: Was it the first major film production that you were involved in?

Laurent: Yes it was the first movie we performed, in man like character. We did something small in the Taxi series movie.

Guylain: It wasn’t our real first appearance in a ???film. During our launch ???meeting of the project???“Yamakasi, les Samouraîs???des temps moderns”, Luc ???Besson asked us “a favor”.??? He wanted us to play??? ninjas in Taxi 2, but they??? were 4 or 6, and we were??? 7, so we insisted to make a turnover, so that everyone can have their first cinematic experience.

Q: I’m guessing it was a very exciting time. Did you think that things would keep moving upwards in terms of your own careers?

Laurent: It was really great doing the movie. And we didn’t want to stop. We are still working on our own projects and we want to make another movie but one which respects more the values and what we want to say and give to people. The 2 movies did not let us to do it.

Guylain: We weren’t thinking in terms of careers, the most exciting thing was to live this artistic experience as a team. Friends who manage to play in movies together! For me, a dream had been realised, even if, with time, ours desires change. In any case, this movie will remain forever in my memory, great!

Q: Tell us about Notre Dame de Paris. Was this before or after the Yamakasi film?

Laurent: Notre Dame de Paris was before the movie, it gave to some of us the opportunity to travel in America, a bit in Europe… And we learned English!

Q: If we go back to the early days of Parkour, did you have any idea that things would explode in the future and that a multi million pound industry would develop?

Laurent: Industry of millions pound? Really? Not for us <laughs>. But no, at the very beginning we could not imagine that it will be so much business around this discipline.

Williams: I wasn’t thinking about that, I was only thinking about training and improving in life. Money in training isn’t useful, what matters is you and your own deep capacities.

Q: What are your thoughts on the global scene?

Laurent: About the global Art Du deplacement/Parkour scene? I don’t know, we can see always more and more techniques, often around gymnastics. It is an evolution. With Yamakasi we wanted something free. Let everyone have the possibility to interpret the message how he wants.

Q: Everybody knows that Parkour was born in Paris, but do you find it frustrating that a massive community has developed and nobody from France is leading the way?

Laurent: In France there???is the ADD Academy, they don’t make much noise but they are on the playground, they move and they still keep going. Plus some of others groups etc… It is just nobody in the ADD Academy does videos to put on Youtube every other second. Because at the origin we were doing things for ourselves. We were trying to impress ourselves and not others.

Châu: We still working on it. The Yamakasi, the founders and the practice are born in France. So people always come back to the origins.

Q: Going back to the Yamakasi movie, in it you were a seven strong team. What caused Charles, Malik and Guylain to part company with the rest of you?

Laurent: That is a personal reason why Charles, Malik and Guylain left. In all groups here’s ok and not ok. It is just life.

Guylain: The strength of a team is essential, and at that time, I wanted to live other things and in a different way. I was living the reverse side of the medal. Most of the people only think about the positives sides of playing in a movie. We don’t think about the negatives sides. At this time, I was questioning myself, which caused my leaving of the team. The founders spirit is so positive that I came back naturally.

Q: Are you all ok now? I see that Guylain is working with you again.

Laurent: We are not at war, so it is not so much good or bad terms. Everyone follows the way he feels it, and it is good to follow it. We will meet again at the end anyway.

Guylain: Yes, great! Guylain is well <laughs>.

Williams: I like and respect each member of the Yamakasi team, because I grew up and learned a lot with them. They were like older brothers. But my brother Châu, Yann and Laurent have a special place in my heart, because it’s with them that I learned and improved in ADD.

Q: Do you still go by the name of Yamakasi or are you now just operating under the Majestic Force banner?

Laurent: Majestic Force is a production label. There is nothing to see with Yamakasi.

Châu: We are the Yamakasi and we’ll stay the Yamakasi. Majestic Force was created because we needed a structure to work.

Williams: We are still going by the name of Yamakasi.

Q: Do you keep up to date with what’s going on in the Parkour world via websites and Youtube videos?

Laurent: I stay informed on what’s happening in Art du Déplacement world on playground, on earth. Sometimes I watch videos when friends send it to me but I don’t like the idea of watching videos to get inspired. It’s not a good way to encourage the creativity. People want too much to be like somebody and they forget themselves.

Williams: Usually yes, but since this year I have had no time, because of my photography work.

Q: When you see practitioners stepping up with very high skill levels, do you feel inspired?

Laurent: My inspiration comes more often from people or from history, Martin Luther King, Ghandi, Mandela, Bruce Lee… Then the others in Yamakasi like Yann, Châu, Wiliams… It is nice to see some new practitioners. But I’m waiting for the next 10 years to see where they will be and yes, I may be inspired. What inspires me more is attitude. Movement is nice but it is just about training. Understand and repeat.

Q: As for your own training, is it more a case of conditioning and practising what you already know, or do you strive to be better practitioners and improve your skills?

Laurent: During training I do revision and I always try ameliorate. Discover and try things.

Châu: Every day is a march, because even the things that are most simple can present big difficulty. You must always train to be ready to progress.

Williams: I try to improve myself and apply what I had learned during my training in my personal and daily life. I’m training also to maintain my health but also because I like to move. The ADD allows me to have the stability we need in life.

Q: Seeing as you’ve been training for so long, do you find it hard to get motivated?

Laurent: No problem for motivation. This is my passion. Then if we know why we do things we always find the right energy to dedicate for it, so the motivation.

Châu: It’s been a long time that we forget the motivation because now, it’s a way of living.???Williams: I absolutely do not find it hard to get motivated. It’s true that I like to rest, but what I love the more is to practice ADD. When you see that your practice makes you happier in your life, you can only be motivated to wear your shoes and practice.

Q: Do you still see David Belle and when was the last time you trained together?

Laurent: Some of us discuss with David, but there is a very long time we do not train together.

Châu: The last time we trained together was one year ago. We all are very busy now.

Williams: My last training with David was in 1997. Since this year, we didn’t meet. I get along with David, there has been an exchange of emails to get news of family because he’s my cousin but each follows their way and we do not feel the need to see each other for the moment.

Q: If you could press rewind on the history of Parkour and start from the beginning again, what would you have done differently?

Laurent: Go back in the past to see what we would have change? Personally, nothing. Where I am now is from decisions, choices I made. I’m glad with it even if it s not perfect.

Châu: Whatever the road, what is important is the way and the behavior.

Q: Tell us about the academy you run in Paris.

Laurent: ADD Academy is a place where people can learn ADD as we all learn from the origins. Safely and in a deep respect of people. I’m not in ADD Academy but places like this are very important. It does exist, thanks to the job we did from many years on the playground. Châu: Yann, Laurent, Guylain, Williams and I had created the ADD academy to give heritage in the values and the spirit of the practice.

Q: Do you enjoy teaching?

Laurent: I really like teaching. ADD isn’t just a sport or an art. When people do jumps or techniques I want them to understand the way they did to make it and like this keep something they can use for all life days. Obstacles on playground, obstacles in life… Keep the key. Challenge in teaching is huge.

Guylain: It’s a real pleasure to share the knowledge I received. I enjoy finding in the eyes of beginners the spark that I had myself when I started. As in many months, I see their progress and their satisfaction to manage to do certain of the techniques they thought impossible to do a few weeks earlier. We’ve all been there! It is the infinite circle of the Art of Deplacement until we can do it on Mars <laughs>!

Williams: I love it!

Q: If a beginner came to your class for the first time, what kind of things would you get them to do?

Laurent: A beginner will start like this: Preserve the physical integrity, develop the potential physical and creative. Art du Deplacement is for all life, not just one day in your life. Or if somebody stops it because he is tired, not because he is broke.

Williams: I woud make them do a sequence of physical conditioning that I call “the railroad” to see his level and to see how he approaches the exercises. Then, I try to find the appropriate training for him to improve.

Q: For the more experienced??? students, what kind of??? things would they be??? doing at one of your???academy classes?

Laurent: The same but??? with a stronger energy. So??? for experienced students, everything is more intense in all parts.

Q: How many students do you currently have?

Laurent: There are 250 students, and around 50 for the most regular ones.

Williams: I hope one day I would open my own school if I find the right place for this project.

Q: Of all the countries you’ve visited, which country has been the most inspiring for Parkour in terms of architecture and why?

Laurent: From all countries I’ve visited, it’s impossible to say which one inspired me more. It is not so much about architecture but about people. The good times we share. All experiences in this case are unique.

Châu: All the countries are good places to practice. They have their own custom and strength.

Williams: I like the woods of Sarcelles, there’s not much things, but I grew up with this wood and when I go there, I feel to be carried by the earth.

Q: Do you still find that you enjoy Parkour as much as you did in the beginning, or have things changed a lot over the years?

Laurent: Yes I still like Art du Deplacment/Parkour as I did at the beginning. Things changed but it is life. I keep focus on my actions and try to represent in the way I feel fair to represent.

Châu: Time makes us grow and the spirit change. For us, the founders, we try to keep the same essentials as we did in the beginning.

Williams: I still enjoy the practice side of things but it is very different now because practitioners are too much focused on physical performance. But I understand this because I’m also an athlete.

Q: What do you love most about Parkour?

Laurent: People

Guylain: I like using the mental aspect of going forward. The ADD was our life school.

Châu: What I like the most , is the practice’s life, the spirit of l’Art du Deplacement.

Q: What don’t you like about Parkour?

Laurent: People

Guylain: The ADD is practiced by man, with its good and bad sides, everything depend on the use it made.

Châu: Nothing, everything is good!

Williams: The injuries which prevents you from moving for months.

Q: If you were given the finances to set up your perfect training environment, what kind of obstacles would it include?

Laurent: Even if I could have a lot of money it will be not enough because in Art du Deplacement/Parkour the most important thing is people. The soul we put in what we do. There is no money for it. From a technical point I think it is already good to have material we can move and change position to create as often as possible new situations of ways.

Williams: I would do a playground where you can use the maximum of ADD techniques.

Q: Outside of teaching, do you still follow your own training regimes?

Laurent: Yes I still keeping a very serious funny training. Williams: I train often alone to find myself and to see where I am in my life. But I don’t train as much as before because the need is no longer the same.

Q: If yes, do you train alone or as a group?

Laurent: I prefer to train alone because like this I can have hard intensity and just go. I like to train with friends but it is different. I like it because I’m taking the place of the student. I think it is important for somebody who trains to be able to listen. Be the teacher, be the student.

Q: What is your opinion about the whole Parkour v Freerunning argument?

Laurent: The arguments about Parkour, Art du Depalcement, Freerun is stupid. Instead of caring about the name of the discipline, care about the attitude and the way you want to express what you want to offer to people.

Châu: I don’t think it’s a problem: whatever the name we choose, the important thing is that you recognise yourself in the discipline. And that people understand what we are doing in the practice.

Williams: If Parkour and Freerunning enable the personal development, to regain its balance and be more open to others, the quarrels is not rationale. I prefer if people focus on training instead.

Q: What is your opinion about people who focus a lot on doing flips? Do you think flips are useful or not?

Laurent: About flips,???everyone does what he wants to do. It is clearly an influence from gymnastics but everything is connected. It is not about to be useful. Useful for what? If they help grow up, develop the personality etc… So of course they are. They are not less useful than saut de chat.

Williams: I see acrobatics as an exercise to???manage his body in space. If a person find itself in doing flips, well that’s cool for him.

Q: What is your opinion of??? Freerunning competition?

Laurent: Competitions in Freerunning? Not for me, it???is not something I believe for many reasons. But it’s not because I do not share the idea I do not have to respect people. We all are different. Art du deplacement is also a message of peace.

Châu: I don’t think that Freerunning competition make advance the practice image.

Williams: ADD is focused on mutual help, sharing and respect of the others. In fact there is no competition in practice. Otherwise a form of competition which support us to improve ourselves.

Q: In the last issue of Jump Mag we ran a pressure test of a pair of the 2WS ‘Big Ben’ bottoms. Please tell us more about the 2WS brand and your involvement.

Laurent: We wanted to have a brand who could correspond to the spirit of the discipline we did develop us, Yamakasi. Clothes had to be resistant, fluid and elegant. The brand does also respect our values, that’s fundamental.

Châu: We create 2WS to have clothes which can follow and guide our movement. The collection is like us, and is influenced by our story.

Q: A lot of practitioners from around the world make the effort to visit Lisses/Evry to train at the place it all started. Does it bother you to see your hometown flooded with so many people, or do you find it inspiring to see the knock-on effect of what you all started?

Laurent: I m not bored to see people come to Evry to train. It is a big chance to meet different cultures without TV filters. Meet the real practitioners, videos can lie, playground and hard training time don’t lie. Then Evry is not my city, it’s the city of everyone, like all cities in the world. Just respect people who live there and you will feel at home.

Châu: It’s not a bother for us to see people coming in our hometown, it’s a good thing, as long as they respect the places and the people who live there.

Williams: I’m glad to see that practitioners take this step. It is important to know the origin of a practice and its motivations.

Q: Of all the famous Lisses/ Evry hotspots, which is your favourite and why?

Laurent: In Evry it is hard to choose the favourite spot. Depends of the mood. If I want to work on basics I’m go on cathedral. If I need more nature I will go to the lake or in the forest…

Q: If you are up to speed on the scene worldwide, are there are practitioners in particular that you can point to as being highly skilled? If yes, who are they?

Laurent: Of course there are practitioners who are very talented. I met on playground and I told them so. That’s between us. What I like the most is the attitude and this is what impresses me more.

Q: What’s your opinion of the current French Parkour scene?

Laurent: French Parkour scene? They speak French <laughs>. I don’t know… it is not about French, English, Italian… It’s about people. We are all connected. I do??? not make any difference. Everywhere I go in the world for workshops meetings etc… You will see in the eyes practitioners the same. A dream of something, a hope… Something they did not find in other disciplines and they try find here. French, English, American…

Q: What are your current goals with Parkour?

Laurent: Goals in Art du Deplacement/Parkour: to continue… Do always better but keep going.

Châu: My goal is still the same: to make ADD known and respected.

Williams: People often ask me to write a book talking about the practice. I’m thinking about this.

Q: Do you ever supplement your Parkour training with anything else?

Laurent: Art du Deplacment is a result of many different disciplines so I keep being open minded and when I have the possibility to learn something new I do it. It is important to stay open minded.

Châu: Everything inspired me, from my meetings to my personal life.

Q: Do you all eat healthily? If yes, what kind of diet do you follow?

Laurent: I try to eat healthy, but not too much, I don’t want to be crazy. Not too much. The secret is eating a bit of everything.

Châu: <Laughs> It depends, but it’s true that now we pay more attention to it, we do our best!

Williams: I am more careful now, trying to eat fresh products and bio when I can.

Q: Favourite shoes for Parkour?

Laurent & Châu: No particular brand. In general, running shoes.

Williams: Running shoes.

Q: Outside of training, what are your individual interests?

Laurent: Outside of training I like writing, going to museums, theatre, watch performances in the streets…

Châu: watching movies, reading/watching manga.

Williams: I like cinema, photography. I want to be a film director. I also like Capoeira and dance.

Q: Do you release much video material as a team?

Laurent: Not so much video as a team for now… Team or alone but at the beginning of 2012, hopefully yes.

Châu: We don’t release much video, I’m not part of this generation who need to be filmed to exist.

Q: When can we expect to see some new videos from you?

Laurent: Maybe soon we will do something as a team. Who knows?!

Williams: After my recovery, I hope I can do some new videos, because people often ask me to do it. It doesn’t matter for me, but I understand that releasing video is also necessary to share.

Q: Do you have a Youtube channel? If yes, what’s the url?

Laurent: My Youtube channel is the playground, this is where we meet people and nobody can lie. Training game says a lot about attitude, that’s why I like meet people for real.

Q: How important do you think Youtube has been in spreading the word about Parkour/Freerunning?

Laurent: I do have to say that Youtbe helped to spread very quickly the discipline. That’s an advantage and the good part. I guess also that for people who cannot travel, Youtube makes it possible to see people from all over the world moving.

Châu: Youtube was essential to promote ADD/Parkour, but also, unfortunately, to show a practice without substance.

Q: What’s your opinion of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter????Laurent: That is great to stay connected with friends everywhere in the planet.

Châu: It’s a good and a bad thing. What is it important is to control it.???Williams: I use Facebook, daily it’s a way to communicate with other practitioners.

Q: Have any of you suffered any injuries?

Laurent: We had some injuries of course, but it was ok. We discover very late what was a physiotherapist. So we had to listen to our body, to really care about all small signals. Even if we did stupid things or small injuries. The worst injury I had wasn’t because of Art du Deplacement

Châu: Everyone has their own injuries, but the most important is to cling on and to come back.

Williams: I had a broken ankle, I will have surgery in a few days, and will have 3 months of plaster.

Q: Do you think that it’s important for beginners to find their own ‘way’ or that they need to be taught in the early period of their development?

Laurent: It is important that beginners can learn the basics about techniques, conditioning etc… After they know the necessary info they can start to put their own signature on what they are doing. First be safe!!

Châu: Everyone has to find something good for themselves, but I think it’s better to have a good start, in order to avoid bad habits.

Williams: A beginner will improve faster if he or she has a teacher.

Q: What has been the most enjoyable experience so far for you in Parkour?

Laurent: Tomorrow and the roots.

Châu: The team, the family.

Williams: To live with the others in joy.

Q: What’s been the least enjoyable experience so far?

Laurent: The worst one? Doesn’t exist. In everything there is something.

Williams: To not live with the others in harmony.

Q: If you could pass down any information to beginners reading this, what would it be?

Laurent: Take care of you and yours. We are all important.

Châu: To be strong in their heart, and to understand and live in the practice action.

Williams: Believe in yourself and do things in the most positive manner possible.

Q: Do you think that you’ll still be training in another 5 or 10 years time?

Laurent: I will train until the end.

Châu: As long as we live and breathe, it’s a training and a discipline.

Williams: Yes, but differently. The practice is long to be completely free of yourself.

Q: When you prepare to do something ambitious like a big jump, what goes through ???your mind?

Laurent: For a big jump I try to not let the fear eat me. I keep focus, I try, on what I know and not on what I don’t know.

Châu: The pleasure to feel this sensation of freedom. Williams: I look inside of me if I’m really able to do it, or it’s only an oversized ego crisis.

Q: Do you suffer from fear ???and if yes, how do you??? overcome it?

Laurent: Of course I have ???fear. To fight it, I try first ???to understand why. Then ???I keep focus on technique, ???on what I know. The??? unknown part is less important like this.

Châu: The fear is always present. The fear is here to lead us, in order to take a better way.

Williams: When I’m scared, I know I’m in the uncertainty of what can happen. So I look at what I did before in my life and if I will be able to overcome this uncertainty. If so, I am calm, if not, I am also calm because I know where I am.

Q: What would you say is the strongest part of your game?

Laurent: The strongest part of my game is my mind.

Q: What is the area of your skills that you’d most like to improve?

Laurent: I try to ameliorate everything. Techniques, mental, attitude.

Châu: We always trying to improve, in everything, because we are still students.

Williams: I try to improve the way to overcome the deep barrier.

Q: Do you prefer to train indoors or outside?

Laurent: I like to train outdoor and indoor. I like movement.

Châu: Both, as long as we can train.

Williams: I prefer to train outside.

Q: Which is most important to you…..Flow, speed or power?

Laurent: It is hard to say what is the most important. Depends of the situation, if it’s about mobility, I will focus on flow for example.

Williams: The one which makes you go on.

Q: Where do you see Parkour being in five years time?

Laurent: Older than now but still beautiful. Not perfect but I hope still human.

Williams: We will see. I’ll keep training and hope to be in a good health to move.

Q: If you could control the path it takes, how would you like things to develop?

Laurent: I don’t want to control anything because it is not mine, it is for all of us. I will do what I feel fair to do and everyone will do it like this. The result will be at the image of the world. Different, creative, unperfected but human.

Châu: I would lead it in a good way, in keeping it’s essential spirit: free but in the respect of each other.

Williams: I hope there will be good teachers and coaches to help the students.

Q: On a closing note, do you have a message you’d like to pass on to our readers?

Laurent: Express yourself the way you want, don’t care about the name, care about your attitude

Châu: Let your body expresses itself, and it will lead you to the good road. Keep always your feeling, because it’ll make you exist. Strength and courage.

Williams: I hope that ADD, Parkour and Freeruning will be an altruistic practice, and that will enable everyone to find the answers to obstacles encountered in life. I hope you all enjoyed reading this.

Q: Thanks very much for your time guys.

Source: http://www.urbanfreeflow.com/jump_mag_issue_22.pdf

 

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