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27 May 1974 |
|Occupation||Actor, Freerunning instructor, public speaker|
|Known for||acting, Founder of Freerunning,|
Sébastien Foucan (born 27 May 1974; Paris, France) is a French freerunner of Guadeloupean descent. He is the founder of Freerunning and he is considered to be one of the early developers of Parkour. Well known for his views on the philosophy behind Parkour and Freerunning, he also stresses the need for proper training in the basics of both, not only for safety, but also for maintaining a positive public perception of the activities.
As creator of Freerunning, Sebastien Foucan has stipulated the following core values of Freerunning:
Follow your way; Always practise; Respect others in their practise; Be an inspiration for others; Be positive and look for positive environments; Respect your environment; Feel free to try other disciplines; Don't take it too seriously; The journey is more important than the goal; There is no good or bad, right or wrong, but what is important is what you learn from experiences through practise; Freerunning is not an elite discipline, but for people who love and continue to move; Channel your energy in a good way, a way to be better
In addition to leading these programs, Sébastien also appears as Mollaka in the 21st James Bond film, Casino Royale. He spent three months in the Bahamas filming his role in the movie. A stunt double was used for portions of the opening chase scene. Besides this, Sébastien appears in the music video for Madonna's 2005 single, "Jump" and accompanied Madonna on her 2006 "Confessions Tour".
Foucan helped K-Swiss develop the Ariake, the a shoe marketed for Freerunning and the first in a line of 5 models.
He also appeared in a trailer for the game Mirror's Edge.
Sébastien's latest role is in The Tournament, playing the role of assassin Anton Bogart.
It was revealed on 3 January 2012 that Sébastien Foucan would be among the fifteen celebrities to take part in the seventh series of "Dancing on Ice". On 19 February, he was eliminated in a double "Ultimate Skills" skate-off along with Heidi Range.
The name Freerunning (or free running) was coined during the filming of Jump London, as a way to present Parkour to the English-speaking world. However since then the term has come to represent Sebastien Foucan's methodology, which focuses on innovation and expression in movement as opposed to speed and effciency in Parkour. Thus Sebastien Foucan is considered to have based Freerunning on his experiences of Parkour.
Many misconceptions have arisen about Freerunning, such as the statement that Freerunning is a form of competitive streetgymnastics/streetacrobatics.
In a video at his official YouTube channel he explains freerunning as:
|“||Freerunning for me is my Parkour evolution. I can't say anymore that I do Parkour. Because if I want to be free to do flips, or let's say I'm learning breakdancing, and I would like to incoporate it into my Parkour expression; Not to say: I am doing capoiera, breakdancing, Parkour and anything else. Freerunning is the way I choose to name my own expression.
Now people recognize Parkour with flips (acrobatics) as Freerunning. But only the action of doing Parkour and flips is not Freerunning. Its the action of adding more stuff into your expression. Thats the Freerunning attitude.
Freerunning values 
Sebastien Foucan has said mentions the following as the core values of Freerunning:
|“||Follow your way; Always practise; Respect others in their practise; Be an inspiration for others; Be positive and look for positive environments; Respect your environment; Feel free to try other disciplines; Don't take it too seriously; The journey is more important than the goal; There is no good or bad, right or wrong but what is important is what you learn from experiences through practise; Freerunning is not an elite discipline, but for the people who love and continue to move; Channel your energy in a good way, a way to be better.||”|
Sébastien Foucan, defines Freerunning as a discipline for self-development, of following your own way. His dissatisfaction with the limited creativity and self-expression in Parkour was the motivation for Sebastian Foucan to develop a similar yet distinct art of movement that became known as Freerunning.
David Belle has criticized some attitudes as follows:
|“||Understand that this form of art (Parkour) has been created by few soldiers in Vietnam to escape or reach: and this is the spirit we'd like Parkour to keep. You have to make the difference between what is useful and what is not in emergency situations. Then you'll know what is Parkour and what is not. So if you do acrobatics things on the street with no other goal than showing off, please don't say it's parkour. Acrobatics existed a long time ago before parkour.||”|
Other Parkour enthusiasts support David Belle's criticism:
|“||Free Running? A kind of demonstration mixing parkour techniques, and acrobatics to be more spectacular and serve the medias and marketing, but also a sport.
The term Parkour has been invented by David Belle and Hubert Koundé in 1998 and the word Free Running has been created much later by Sebastien Foucan for the purpose of spreading Parkour in a marketing fashion (they thought the word "parkour" wasn't international enough and Sebastien Foucan proposed them this word).
The problem is that they fully mixed acrobatics to impress people. This is where Freerunning becomes different from Parkour.
To make a comparison, Free Running is like artistic katas in martial arts, the goal is only to be spectacular.
So it is related to parkour but doesn't answer to the same philosophy. I mean, when you practice to show how spectacular your jump is gonna be, people aren't focused anymore on the difficulty, on the obstacle but on you.
This showing off attitude isn't the parkour philosophy which preaches for humility. In this, Free Running and Parkour are fundamentally opposite even if the first one is related to the second one. Like the traditional way and the freestyle way.
After the above criticisms had been made Sebasien Foucan released the following statement(s):
|“||At the beginning the name free running was an idea of a person called Guillaume Pelletier who worked with us at the time of Jump London. Because some people think what I'm doing is not Parkour now I call it
"freerunning." Because there is a misunderstanding and people put a definition on what I'm doing! I create freerunning and I'll put my official definition.
What is Freerunning?
Everything I'll say it's no more Parkour, it's freerunning! Freerunning it's a lifestyle and an attitude. Freerunning is to see your environment differently and being able to utilize it to develop yourself! My Parkour lifestyle is Freerunning. My way has no name.
Freerunning is the name people have given to my way! "Freerunning is following your own way, and this is my way."
|“||Freerunning for me is my parkour evolution. I can't say anymore that I do parkour. Because if I want to be free to do flips, or let's say I'm learning
breakdancing, and I would like to incorporate it into my parkour expression; Not to say: I am doing capoeira, breakdancing, parkour and anything else. Freerunning is the way I choose to name my own expression. Now people recognize freerunning as doing parkour with flips (acrobatics) as freerunning but the action of doing parkour with flips - only that is not freerunning. Its the action of adding more stuff into your expression. That's the freerunning attitude.
The above two statements criticise freerunning as simply "showing off" without reason, philosophy or deeper undertaking in their(freerunning). The word "freerunning" was coined by Guillaume Pelletier originally to translate parkour to English in d Jump London documentary (2003)however the term was created based on Sebastein Foucan's philososphy of creativity, self-expression and complete freedom of movement(hence the word "free" in "freerunning") in order to "follow your way" of movement which can incorporate any type or manner of movement technique(acrobatics, tricks, etc.) as well as from other disciplines("capoeira, breakdancing, parkour and anything else" as said by Sebastien Foucan and stipulated in d core values of freerunning)while in process of motion or movement aimed at self-development.
In a 2011 article and interview, Sebastien Foucan further elucidates more on his philosophy that has become known as freerunning:
|“||Free running's philosophy is that each person has their own instinctive approach to different challenges, and Foucan acknowledges the influence of martial arts, as well as parallels with eastern philosophy. He says: "There is a link between everything, like in [the teachings of] martial arts, it's about energy and how we are all connected. Everything we do affects other people negatively or positively. I say, 'your life is a road, your feelings a guide, your body a vehicle'." He adds: "Other people's journeys can influence my own journey – this is my teaching."||”|
|“||Foucan believes any form of self-expression is important and key to finding balance in life. "Free running is not exclusive, everybody should have something to do that takes them out of their mind, out of the fixed path and social systems," he says. Basically, getting away from the routine of daily life. The ethos also invites play, experimentation and creativity and, in his words, "expressing yourself beautifully in your environment".||”|
Originally, it was called Art du déplacement. Then because of different point of views David Belle called it parkour(in favor of speed and efficiency of movement) and Sebastien freerunning(in favor of innovation, creativity and self-expression of movement). Today, the difference between art du déplacement, parkour and freerunning — if there ever been one — is very vague. When questions are raised between the differences of parkour and freerunning, the Yamakasi group deny the differences and say: "parkour, l'art du deplacement, free running, the art of movement... they are all the same thing. They are all movement and they all came from the same place, the same nine guys originally. The only thing that differs is each individual's way of moving". In Jump London Sebastien Foucan use the term parkour frequently. According to the Yamakasi and Parkour Generations its the philosophy, ethos and principles that of the discipline that is important and not the names.
However David Belle and Sebastien Foucan still maintain that Free running and parkour are different in spite of some similarities simply because parkour may be more of a discipline than an art due to its "escapist" methodology(strictly speed and efficient movement) whereas freerunning has a "follow your way" methodology(creativity, imagination and complete freedom to incorporate any movement even from other disciplines such as ballet, break-dancing, martial arts, etc.).
- [www.imdb.com/title/tt0381061/ IMDb, Casino Royale (2006)]
- "Curtis - Sébastien's stunt double". www.theurbanheroes.com. 2006-11-29. Retrieved 2007-05-14. "Curtis was hired to be a stunt double in the recent James Bond Film ‘Casino Royale’. He was on location in the Bahamas for 13 weeks working closely with Gary Powell the stunt coordinator to help plan and execute the opening chase scene."
- Edwardes, Dan (2007). "Rendezvous II". Retrieved 2008-08-07.
- Official website
- Sébastien Foucan at the Internet Movie Database
- Sébastien Foucan in British Documentary "Jump Britain" at Google Video