A few days ago one of our members in the MisterParkour.com International Forum posted a link to a spectacular video featuring Stephane Vigroux. The video was so good that we have decided to add the video to the MisterParkour.com library which is what we have done in this post.
The short documentary below, by Craig Pentak, features an extensive interview with Stephane Vigroux intermittent with scenes of Parkour training in London. During the interview Stephane talks about the origin and history of Parkour, the Yamakasi, and the word Tracer. He also discusses the mental aspects of Parkour, and his own personal journey finding Parkour and establishing Parkour Generations. In addition, Stephane discusses the obstacles he feels the art of Parkour is currently facing including the push by some to commercialize Parkour and promote Parkour competitions. To this end the documentary is concluded with Stephane discussing his own views, including David Belle’s and Sebastién Foucan’s opinions, of the recent World Freerun Championships.
This video is definitely a must see for everyone in the community; great insight from one of the humblest and most skilled practitioners on the planet.
Here is an exceptionally rare 1997 French news featuring David Belle and Sebastién Foucan. The video features clips from David’s Speed Air Man video, and it also includes very rare footage of David Belle that most people have never seen before. Filmed before Parkour spread outside of Lisses and Evry, and before David’s name even showed up in Google searches, this news features is an exceptionally special look back on the humble beginnings of Parkour.
Here is a portion of a 2006 interview between David Belle and an anonymous American journalist that took place after David attended the screening of District B13 in New York. The incredible insightfulness of the information in this short article is only daunted by the fact that David’s answers, as presented here, are astonishingly un-circulated! In just a few words David answers some of the most widely asked questions in the worldwide Parkour community, and he also mixes in few other nuggets of Parkour history and passion that you may never have heard before. The insight you receive from reading this interview is sure to be substantial if not, at some level, eye opening.
What was it like coming to the film’s screening at the Tribeca Grand in New York last month?
It was better than I expected. At first, when we were walking through the streets of New York, we were alone, but when we showed up at the screening and saw all the kids jumping around, we were thrilled.
How did the filming go overall?
I enjoyed everything. Because it was my first movie, everything was so new and so exciting. Who knows, maybe after a few movies, I’ll be more blasé and more selective, but right now I’m mainly just excited because everything was so new. I want to keep on doing films as long as I can. There was a lot of exchange [between Belle and director Pierre Morel and co-star Cyril Raffaelli]. Cyril came up with ideas like going through the window and grabbing the rope. We implemented things from both worlds.
Did you sustain any injuries?
Nothing happened. Not breaking anything or hurting myself was a big achievement.
What does parkour mean to you these days, and what would you like to see happen in the future?
It’s something you have to do outdoors, and it’s something that cannot be stopped. It’s something to help be more open and free to the outside world, and not be invaded by the city’s infrastructure.
A good thing would be to have some kind of code, and come up with centers where you can train and practice. I’d like more organization than there is now, and to find places where you’re officially allowed to do it.
Why did you and Sébastien Foucan grow apart over the years?
We took two separate roads. Sébastien wanted to be on his own and do his own thing. Like any sport, such as a martial art, you have a base, and then it evolves into different disciplines. The same thing is happening to parkour, and that’s normal and natural.
My thing from the beginning is to have it be useful, and be able to help others. It’s about being efficient and getting there as fast as you can. If people want to do it more artistically or in a freestyle way, I have absolutely no problem with it — that’s the way it’s going to evolve. It’s not my style, but if it’s other people’s [style], that’s perfect.
Describe the role your father, Raymond Belle, played in your development as a traceur.
I started in the army as a fireman when I was 17 or 18 years old, but I was already ready physically, thanks to my father. I didn’t need it to learn more things. The physical aspects and having a strong will all came from my father — working super hard, and finishing what I started all came from him.
Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring traceurs?
Don’t be in a hurry. Take the time to build yourself, and get in good physical condition. When I started parkour at age 15, it was almost already too late. My dad was already doing the same jumps when he was 9 years old.
First, do it. Second, do it well. Third, do it well and fast — that means you’re a professional.
This is an older, but nevertheless superb compilation of great Parkour action. The video features many prominent Tracers including David Belle, Sébastien Foucan, Stephane Vigroux, and members of the Yamakasi to name a few, and contains footage from Le Tuyau, Un Lundi Cool, the Bont Commercial and BBC Commercial both featuring David, Accroches Toi, Speed Air Man, and other prominent videos.
Here is some more footage of one of the first Parkour groups La Releve in and around Lisses and Evry (to see the first video we posted of the group please click here). La Releve consisted of many of the original Tracers including David Belle. Those featured in this video include Sébastien Foucan, Stephane Vigroux, Johann Vigroux, Kazuma, Sébastien Goudot, Jerome Ben Aous and others.
Most Parkour enthusiasts have only seen David Belle fall once. That of course was his famous slip at the UCLA Campus. However there is another fall from David that was captured on film many years ago and we at MisterParkour.com are happy to be the first major Parkour website to ever feature the footage.
This video is not solely of David Belle, but is instead an interesting compilation of film. In the seven minute edit the video has six distinct parts. The first part is a mix-tape edit of Kazuma, then second is the Le Chat Effravant (Scary Cat) – Behind the Scenes video from the Nike Presto shoot, the third part transitions into an old Nike commercial featuring Kazuma, the fourth features rare footage of David (including his fall), the fifth includes a complete version of On r’met ça with alternate music, and finally the compilation ends with some more clips of David.
Although the footage throughout is rare and is well worth watching and studying in its entirety, the main draw to this video and the portion we want to emphasis is the footage from and fall of David. Not only is this film of David extremely rare to say the least, the fact that he falls in it makes it even more unbelievable that this video has never been prominently posted on a Parkour site! Ultimately the fall, although violent in many regards, is neither incredibly moving nor ultimately consequential. Nevertheless, it is always good to be reminded that even the best Tracers make mistakes.
“I fall all the time—I fall like the monkeys—but it never shows up on film, because they just want the spectacular stuff.”
This video is titled La Releve and it was one of the first Parkour videos ever made. La Releve is a classic in its own right not only because of its historical significance but also because it monumentally influenced the spread of Parkour around the world. Filmed in Lisses and Evry before Parkour had spread beyond the borders of
This is the closet thing to a Sébastien Foucan demo tape that currently exists. We saw this video a couple years ago, but it has taken us about four months (literally) to track down a copy so we could post it on the website. You will recognize clips in the edit from Sébastien’s Scion commercial, his Nike Presto Angry Chicken ad, and the Jump London documentary. Enjoy Sébastien’s flawless transitions and raw athletic talent.
We have come to the end of our Top 10 Parkour Commercial Countdown. The series lasted two weeks, and was comprised 15 videos including the top 10 Parkour-featuring commercials of all time, the Banlieue 13 Trailer, Le Chat Effravant (Scary Cat) – Behind the Scenes, and the BBC-Coca-Cola commercial combo. Because the series was spread over such a long period of time we have decided to run back through the top 10 commercials in this succinct recap.
#10 Commercial: Two very similar K-Swiss ads shared the #10 spot. Race to Center Court featuring Levi Meeuwenberg and Even Playing Field featuring Tyson Cecka, Victor Lopez, were filled with great action, and the excellent production and the prominent
#9 Commercial: The BONT commercial featuring David Belle with production by Airmout was a quality edit that featured the best in the world performing in the world’s most famous Parkour training ground. Whether it was ever an official commercial or not, the production, location, and presence of David all contributed to this commercial coming in at #9.
#8 Commercial: The Coca-Cola commercial featuring Kazuma, Romain Moutault, and Dominique Lexilus came in at #8. As one of the first Parkour-featuring commercials ever made, this ad introduced Parkour to people around the world and established an advertising precedent for pure Parkour.
#7 Commercial: The first of three Nike Presto commercials in the countdown, Premier Amour (Young Love) featuring David Belle started with a highly creative concept and was carried through with a flawless performance by David. The presence of only a couple moves and the awkward comical ending kept this commercial from making it higher in the countdown.
#6 Commercial: Scion was the brand behind the great commercial that came in at #6. With a great performance from Sébastien Foucan and Jérome Ben Aoues, excellent production value, and a touch of creativity this Scion commercial was a high quality production that left the viewer remembering the product.
#5 Commercial: David Belle broke the top 5 with the Korean Canon commercial. The non-stop, fast-paced, incredible action, coupled with outstanding production utilization made this ad one that remains exhilarating no matter how many times it has been watched.
#4 Commercial: Nissan teamed up with David for the #4 best Parkour commercial ever created. Conceptually similar to Premier Amour (Young Love) David again scales a building and jumps from balcony to balcony in an attempt to win the affection of a girl. Great production value and product utilization made this Nissan commercial better than Nike’s, and an ending that leaves the viewer with a smile made this well deserving of the #4 spot.
#3 Commercial: Nike Presto and Wieden+Kennedy produced another Parkour classic with Le Chat Effravant (Scary Cat). Featuring David, Sébastien, and a slew of other great Tracers this commercial was the most talent packed in the countdown. Its inherent comedy and genuine filming location in
#2 Commercial: One of the first Parkour-featuring ads ever made, David Belle threw in an eye-popping performance that to this day mesmerizes viewers in the 2001 BBC commercial. Featuring one of the most famous Parkour jumps of all time, this ad is unforgettable and contributed greatly to the exposure and growth of Parkour around the world.
#1 Commercial: Barely edging out the BBC commercial for the #1 spot was Le Poulet de Colere (The Angry Chicken). Well deserving to be called the greatest Parkour commercial of all time, this ad demonstrated everything anyone could ever expect, want, or hope for in a Parkour ad. An iconic Tracer in Sébastien, incredible Parkour throughout, great production, and a unique and comical plot makes this commercial vastly enjoyable no matter how many times it is watched.
Will this top 10 Parkour commercial list ever change? Probably only slightly. Even though potential for Parkour utilization in commercial spots has only just started being tapped in the last few years, because of the influence and exceptionalness of these top 10 we doubt that anything will be created that could replace anything other than last few of the current top 10. With that said barring an extremely prominent ad that exposes millions of people to Parkour (e.g. a Super Bowl commercial), we also doubt that any commercial NOT featuring David or Sébastien will ever enter into the top spots. Think about these numbers: Of the top 10 Parkour-featuring commercials ever made David is featured in 6 of them (5 by himself) and Sébastien Foucan was featured in 3 (2 of them independent of David). With 8 of the 10 best Parkour commercials ever made featuring David and Sébastien the only way that we can see for this countdown to ever noticeably change is if those two continue to be involved in even more incredible and impressionable ads.
We have revealed the top 10 Parkour commercials of all time, but there are still years of advertising to come. Only time will tell the future for Parkour in the television advertising realm. Will Parkour based advertising ever widely extend beyond the cliché running, jumping and chasing themes or will companies follow Nike’s lead and continue to think of original concepts? And will iconic Tracers like David continue to perform for company’s commercial spots and if not will other Tracers become iconic figures in the Parkour world and being also making impressionable ads? These are just a few of the obstacles that the future of Parkour commercials will face, but from what we have seen so far we can’t wait to, literally, watch the outcome.
Without any further ado we are revealing our pick for the greatest Parkour commercial of all time. Barely edging out the 2001 BBC commercial, this 2000 Nike Presto ad features Sébastien Foucan, is titled Le Poulet en Colere (The Angry Chicken), and takes the top spot in our Top 10 Parkour Commercial Countdown.
The best of the three Parkour-showcasing Nike Presto commercials made in 2000, Le Poulet en Colere (The Angry Chicken) has just about everything anyone could ever want, expect, or hope for in a Parkour commercial. This ad features one of the worlds most iconic Tracers Sébastien Foucan, the Parkour he performs is impressive in magnitude, smooth, fluid and nothing short of spectacular, the uniqueness of the plot line and the conceptual development is so great that to this day it remains rivaled only by the two other Parkour-featuring Nike Presto commercials, and the inherent comedy in the commercial coupled with the French scenery and the French and English orators brings all the aspects of the production together brilliantly. A true work of advertising genius by Wieden+Kennedy, Le Poulet en Colere (The Angry Chicken) was able to fully utilize the marketing potential of Parkour without exploiting the art. The commercial is also praiseworthy for demonstrating true Parkour while at the same time providing a unique purpose to the discipline that to this day continues to captivate viewers from its beginning to end.
Le Poulet en Colere (The Angry Chicken) is a commercial masterpiece. Creative, funny, and true to Parkour, this ad was prominently featured on televisions across the