Today (Monday, the 29th) is a most momentous day. It is David Belle’s birthday. And not just any birthday. Today he turns 40!
In celebration of Mr. Belle’s very special birthday day we are doing two things:
#1. All day long we are posting rare David Belle photos, videos, and content through our Facebook page. Stay tuned for that!
#2. We are going to have a one day 40% OFF sale. Seems fitting, right? So here you go:
- Coupon code: Belle40
- Discount: 40% on select tees including… all David Belle Line Tees, Simply Traceur Tee, Parkour DNA Tee, Parkour Limitless Tee, Roof Jump Tee, PK Jumper Tee, and the Trace Your Path Tee.
- Dates: April 29, 2013 (ONE DAY ONLY)
It’s the least we can do for the founder of Parkour. We hope our postings and sale adds a little bit of joy to your Monday and helps you remember how special this day is :-)
Parkour is a non competitive training discipline that involves its practitioners (called Traceurs) moving as quickly and efficiently as possible through their surrounding environment. By maintaining as much momentum as they can, Traceurs negotiate obstacles in their path, by running, climbing, jumping, vaulting and rolling, depending on which method of movement may be the most suitable at any given time. Its purpose is to develop both physical and mental agility and strength, and in a similar fashion to some martial arts, there is an accompanying philosophy. This philosophy is one of self-improvement, overcoming limits, strength, altruism and community.
Parkour is a relatively new discipline, and its origins can be traced back to its French founder David Belle. As a schoolboy, David grew up hearing stories about his father (Raymond Belle) about his father’s heroic exploits as a fire fighter in Paris. David also learned that his father, as the age of seven, had been sent to a military orphanage camp. In order to survive and avoid becoming a victim, Raymond trained longer and harder than everyone else, also devising his own courses from using the trees and areas around the camp. This period gave Raymond Belle an inner strength, determination and fearlessness which he took with him through life.
Through direct conversations with his father David was inspired and realized that he too wanted to begin training in this way, and so he did. Although David originally started training on his own, soon like-minded people began to be drawn in, and it slowly transformed from a personal journey to a fully-fledged discipline of its own with many followers. During this time, David changed the name from parcours to Parkour.
Have you ever heard anyone say this?
I’m going to go train.
If you’re a Traceur you probably have. It’s the standard announcement which signifies “I’m leaving to go do Parkour/Freerunning.” It makes sense to say it. If nothing else, it sounds cooler than the tongue twisting, “I’m going to do Parkour.”
The exception I take to this statement (“I’m going to go train”) is that 99.9% of Traceurs don’t actually go train. They go have fun and jump around with friends, and laugh, and work on “techniques.” But none of it is actual Parkour training in the Pure Parkour sense. That’s why I’ve titled this blog Parkour PURE vs Parkour FUN. I’m going to explain to you what Parkour PURE is, and you’ll see the difference.
Before I move forward I want to take a few steps back to provide a foundation for what I am about to say:
#1. The definition of Parkour is NOT “getting from Point A to Point B…” Parkour by definition is a training method.
#2. More specifically, as David says, “Parkour is a training method for warriors.”
Sit on that for a few moments before reading further.
What is a Traceur? That’s not a question I’ve consciously thought about very much over the past seven years. That’s because I always thought I knew the answer.
A Traceur is someone who practices Parkour.
Simple, right? Hmm, well not entirely. You see, I don’t believe in that definition anymore. Before I give you my new definition, I’ll explain some of the things that led me to it.
David [Belle] is a good place to start. He was my inspiration to start doing Parkour, and getting to know him as a close friend and learning the discipline directly from him has completely changed my view on Parkour and what it means to be a Traceur. There are two things I’d like to share from him for the sake of this writing.
First, David doesn’t train anymore. When he feels the need to move, he does. When he is inspired to jump, he goes. And when he is surrounded by good friends he will often venture out and test his détente. But for the most part David has finished his training. He was and still is one of the most capable athletes on the planet, but that’s not why he has stopped. He has stopped his training because he doesn’t feel there’s anything left to learn through it. We’ll come back to that.
Second, one of many things David has taught me about Parkour is that contrary to popular thinking today, the purpose of Parkour is not to keep doing it. In fact, it’s kind of the opposite. David has explained this to me on multiple occasions:
We recently created image ads that have been circling the web in the Take Flight name. In blog post part one, we showed you our “Official Clothing of Parkour” images. In this blog we wanted to debut a few of our other series known internally as our “Endorsed by David Belle series.”
Four images paring the founder of Parkour with the official clothing brand of the discipline. All brilliantly simple, and stunningly bold. Keep your eyes open because if you haven’t seen these yet then you’re sure to see them soon on websites everywhere.
Brand David Belle has been out for almost two months now. Three designs and 6 total shirts strong, this line is the quintessential combination of Parkour passion and philosophical simplicity. All designs were created by David Belle, and each one sports the new David Belle brand logo silhouette.
On Friday September 8th David Belle held his 3rd Q&A session on Twitter. Here is a transcript of the questions that were asked and which Belle responded to. We’ve put them in the order asked and answered, and we’ve also included our best translations and corrections for spelling and other things as we thought appropriate.
For a very short time we are putting the entire David Belle brand on sale! There are 3 total inaugural designs, and 6 total tees in the David Belle line, and for the moment we’ve marked them down to as low as $16.
One thing you’ll notice with the David Belle line is unparalleled quality in every aspect. With embossed hang tags, woven sleeve labels, and featuring the name and image of David Belle, each one of these shirts stands neck and neck with any brand out there. Even world renown brands like brand Jordan.
This sale is a deal that can be seen through the web screen, and it’s a deal you will fell the first time you put each one of these shirts on. So pick one up before this speical price discount is gone. The only place in the world that you can currently buy a David Belle Brand tee shirt is through the Take Flight site, and the shirts are now on sale so you can’t go wrong.
Just yesterday (August 31) at 11am PST, David Belle held an open Q&A via his Twitter. This was the first time he has addressed questions publicly since his last Twitter Q&A held 9 months ago in November 2011.
The questions responded to by Belle seemed to be split pretty equally between personal questions, Parkour questions, and a career oriented questions.
- He responded to a couple question about his personal life including mentioning his hobbies and his son.
- He responded to a couple question regarding films, his current work, and his future film aspirations.
- As we always hope and expect, Belle responded to questions about Parkour including discussing training locations, competitions, and other ideas.
- And in the midst of all of that Belle alos referred to Take Flight in two different answer streams including answering a question directly from our social media and specifically mentioning Take Flight founder Adam Dunlap
Here is a transcript of the questions that were asked to Belle to which he responded. They are in the order asked and answered, and we’ve also included our best translations and corrections for spelling and other things as we thought appropriate.
David does not like the limelight. He is a very private person and mostly keeps to himself except for spending time with close family and friends. That’s who he is and it won’t change, but it doesn’t make his influence or history in respect to Parkour any less powerful. You can’t separate the man from the discipline. To want to change David is to want to change Parkour, which is why we are having this discussion at all: people keep trying to change both.
Now as fate would have it we have been coaxing David out of his shell for some time, and now he is giving more! His Facebook and Twitter are two places where he does this, his brand is another which donates towards to underprivileged kids in Senegal and gives money towards the construction of Parkour City (another project in the works), and he has some new film projects and other Parkour specific projects we are working are that we are really excited about. In all, David is now more open and public than he has ever been! But it’s worth noting that he isn’t doing any of this for those who feel entitled, or for those who feel they deserve it, or because some people feel that he should be doing it or that he owes it to the Parkour community. He is doing these things because he loves it, and he is doing it for those that love Parkour, and for those that love and respect him for who he is.