020 – Interview with Sebastien Foucan Part 3 of 3


Episode Summary

In the final part of our 3-part interview with Sebastien Foucan, Craig and Seb continue to discuss his movement journey. Sebastien brings to light what he sees as his “Path To Truth.” They discuss his relationship with learning, different coaching styles, and wrap up with Sebastien’s three words.

018 – Interview with Sebastien Foucan (part 2 of 3)

Episode Summary

Sebastien Foucan and Craig continue their conversation in the second part of Sebastien’s three part interview. In this episode, Sebastien discusses how he trains, how he coaches, and how he prepares for his roles in various movies and films. Craig and Sebastien also discuss the influence genetics and natural skill has on the success of a person in their sport.

References

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Introduction

Craig: [00:25] This podcast is longer than our normal ones, so this is part 2 and if you missed the first part stop, go listen to that. Both of these parts you’re going to find a few French phrases and words thrown in here and Sebastian’s accent, so I encourage you to go and look at the full transcript while you’re listening it’ll make things much easier. Anyway, thank you Seb.

Sebastien: [00:47] Thank you, thank you to have me here.

Craig: [00:49] What did you want to say about the body? Do you want to talk about physical training

Sebastien: [00:52] Yeah, yeah

Craig: [00:52] Do you want to talk about … oh, all right

How Sebastien Trains

Sebastien: [00:54] So, I’m gonna talk to you about traditional sport.

Craig: [00:58] Yeah, I was gonna say, what questions to get all the time? I bet people ask you all the time “what do I have to do or eat to look like you” or “how do you do your physical training”?

Sebastien: [01:05] Yeah, just to show people how I evolve, because I think a few days ago I did the live talk and everything and I talk about the difference between … and I always say that I make a clear difference between training and practice and I explain a lot about my practice, you know, this is how I do, waving, and I flow, and everything but I do train also. And I failed to explain people what is my training when I train. So let me try to explain that, okay, because I think you would answer to a lot of people so how do you stay fit or whatever.

Sebastien: [01:38] Being always in motion keep you fit and healthy. And if you don’t push too much that’s good, it’s good for you. But if I got something like a project, a very important project, now here is what training is for me. First of all training is very specific. For me it’s like, it’s always related to what I’m going to do. I cannot just …

Craig: [02:00] Like the actual goal.

Sebastien: [02:00] Yeah, yeah, so it’s specific. So I cannot do a training like everyone. ‘Cause if my project is acting I have to think about acting. I did Dancing On Ice, “You’re going to be on ice Seb, you’re going to skate.” So it’s not the same like, “Now you’re going parkour.” Or, “Now you’re going to climb the Mount Everest.” Every training is specific. If I’m going to do scuba diving I need to train for scuba diving. That’s the starting point for everything. Or, for me for everything. Then after specific, then after I’ve got a goal what I try to achieve. That’s how I train first. I didn’t say the contents, I always say the foundation. Like this is how we started.

Craig: [02:44] Right.

Sebastien: [02:44] Without the specificity, without the goal I sort of point along the way of your journey when you become hard, you’re gonna stop, or say, “I don’t know why I’m doing this.” No, this has to be….

Craig: [02:57] Targeted and clear

Sebastien: [02:57] Very clear. Take an example, Mike Tyson and Cus D’Amato. You know this, boxing? Cus D’Amato. By circumstances discovered, not him but someone discovered Mike Tyson, told Mike Tyson to go to see this guy, which was Cus D’Amato. Cus D’Amato of course he had two world champions before. He saw Mike Tyson and he sees a diamond inside the rock. And he said, “I’m gonna make this guy…” He told him, “You’re gonna be the youngest champion in the world.” How does he know that? Training. ‘Cause I’ve got knowledge of training.

Sebastien: [03:31] But it doesn’t stop by … Okay, like he said and you can … people can find it on YouTube, that’s what I do. Explore, I do. I don’t teach people … I don’t start to teach them, or show them a move until I get to the core of them. Once I know what they’re made of then I start the programmation. We can talk about NLP. That’s why for me say, each time someone say something, I’ve got always a books next to me, and I write it down straight away. If you say something like, R.R.T. or something like that I say, “What is that? What did he say?” It was hard for me because english was not my first language, so I tried to listen again and again and again. So I write it down, and then later on I dig into that.

Sebastien: [04:19] So go back to training, the goal, specificity. And then after I go to my training, but I have to learn to do something completely different from what has been done. Like, for example, the winnow bar push ups, winnow bar pull ups. That’s traditional, but I do parkour so it’s different. When I train everything I do is with parkour. Everything else is just … you can see one day me doing pull ups, or push ups, but you see it’s just because I’m joking around, I’m having fun. It’s not an exercise. I think yesterday I saw in a gym they had a challenge of pull ups. They have to do 26. I didn’t take part of it. It was a challenge it was fun for them, I don’t take part of that. Because for me it’s not my training, it’s not fun. I don’t judge them, but it’s not my thing.

Sebastien: [05:11] So for me, it’s literally based on what I’m going to do. So when I did James Bond, I didn’t do the same like when I was working for Madonna. For Madonna, I didn’t train because I was trained with after James Bond. However, when I was doing Dancing On Ice I did no parkour. I immersed myself completely …

Craig: [05:31] Learning to skate as an actor.

Sebastien: [05:32] Exactly. Exactly to become like … to understand the concept of edge, inside edge, outside edge. I asked so many questions. I learn a lot about who was the Michael Jordan of skating. I got plenty of information. So I was doing this, and I didn’t do any parkour for all this time, and I was able to skate after.

Sebastien: [05:54] But I train, so wake up early, sacrifice we talk about this. What are you going to eat. Because you know like … especially with parkour too much fat, if you’re jumping, you’re going to hurt your joints. That’s it. It keep me warm, but however, be careful for your joint and be careful for your … so you see, you set up kind of a stuff, so it’s between like, “Okay, I need to work on my cardio, I need to work on my physical aspect. Then the technical aspect.” And there is the mental aspect. That’s pretty much like when you start to train. So I say, “Okay.” And there is the food. I need to think about the food, that’s another thing. And I didn’t talk about the move, because the move get into the technical aspect. When you do training there is a … we call it PPG. PPG. Préparation Physique Général. It’s like general, physical preparation. Then you go to specific preparation. That you’re already kind of how your trainings going to be. Makes sense?

Craig: [06:59] Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sebastien: [06:59] Everyone’s following me on this one? You’ve got the goal, we know it’s specific. That’s very important because then you’re going to set a…

Craig: [07:04] How can I set that third part, right

Sebastien: [07:04] Then you got a calendar. Without the calendar … parkour they’ve got no calendar, we do this for all years and there was no calendar. There was no deadline, there was no … That’s why training is very hard, because for coach, such an achievement to have this person on the D-Day …

Craig: [07:22] Here’s your particular day

Sebastien: [07:24] To prepare for much higher performance right now. Not tomorrow, not yesterday, right now. It has to be calibrate. That’s what I do. Someone say, “Okay, we’re gonna do this for three months, Seb.” Oh my god. Three months? Three months of what? That’s specific. Three months, it’s gonna be dark, it’s gonna be minus 20. It take a lot of stuff and consideration.

Sebastien: [07:51] That’s why I talk training. Training is last first. Before, yeah I’m repeating and I push myself hard and … No, no, no. Hold on, hold on, hold on. General preparation, maybe go to the cold get you used to that. You can write it down, you can be very creative with that. And then after you go to specific but more geneal for specificity, and so on and so on.

Sebastien: [08:12] So if it’s parkour or for me cardio, what I do, I play … I talk about the game. My three games. I play tag, I play zombie, and everything because that’s what I call sparring. An energy with sport, because I know boxing and I know the martial art and everything. That’s where I take this from. Because for me it’s very easy to remember, as spar. And inside that I can spoke hours just about sparring, because there is … every game has a specificity. And inside every game there is so much you can learn. Someone can do only sparring, and I think that’s a martial art branch of parkour, which haven’t been tap into it yet, ’cause now we start to have World Chase Tag. But the World Chase Tag is very good, I’ve done it. Because as I say I cannot talk about something if I haven’t done it.

Sebastien: [08:59] That’s why they say why does Ninja Warrior? Because there is the child inside me wanted to do it, but the value inside me say, “Yeah but, is that competition?” Once I answer that … I answer that because see it’s me versus the environment, and I still want to know if I can still do it. It’s like in martial art, the guy’s got black belt pretending that he’s super good but could you really go into the cage and stand up? I understand that, for me say, “Can I still move?” That’s why I did Ninja Warrior, that’s why I do World Chase Tag. They don’t care I’m a founder of something, they have to tag me, they’re gonna tag me.

Sebastien: [09:33] It goes deep, I can go now and just talk about sparring, and sparring bring me far, I need to stop. Okay let’s go back to the training, how do you train? For cardio, sparring is the best. That’s it.

Craig: [09:49] I’m just gonna say, you haven’t lived until you’ve played tag with Sebastien. It’s hard.

Sebastien: [09:55] Sparring is the best. “Seb, how you keep fit?” First of all still I’m still realistic. But my practice is pretty accurate. I don’t care about turning and spinning. Doing tricks and flips. For me in term of … because I’m educated in energy, sparring help me for my cardio, and my cardio is what I need. I’m not debating with anyone, I didn’t say flipping … because I can do back flips that’s where you learn somewhere. I don’t want to go that far, because everything you learn open the door for more, and more and more. And for me I know that. And as I say with energy …

Craig: [10:32] Time is limited.

Sebastien: [10:33] Yeah, and I say time is limited. And I say, if you know your energy where do you want to spend it. I want to spend it in sparring, because it’s linked with my cardio, and because I don’t like to run around all the time and everything. I use the same things like the kids are doing, they play tag, and the same thing as the animal is doing, they play. They play. That’s what I do.

Sebastien: [10:59] If we go physical, which discipline is really well rounded, very functional and everything? It’s parkour. So for me all I do is parkour. So I do what I call trekking, randonnée. You can do it by yourself. So that’s me now, nobody follow you. You go from one point to another point. The environment will teach you, give you the obstacle and the challenge, and you just go through that. And because you climb, you jump, you roll, you swing, my god if you do that for months, just watch your body. You know the sequence where … the scene with Peter Parker in Spider-man, you know he get a …

Craig: [11:41] Bit.

Sebastien: [11:41] Bit by the spider, and then he just wake up in the morning and look at his body like completely changed.

Craig: [11:46] What happened?

Sebastien: [11:46] That’s what parkour does if you just do it simply. Without performing, just keep on doing. You will see your shape, your body’s changing because we’ve got this things to adapt ourself in ourself, so that’s it. Then that’s why I say, “What do you do Seb, for it?” I’m trekking. That’s my training guys. That’s what I do. I spar, I trek. You come to my academy you will see.

Sebastien: [12:11] I don’t say it to my children, student. Nobody talk too much about that. It’s obvious, it’s just right in front. We start trekking nice and easy. Trekking is fantastic way to communicate to transmit knowledge and everything. Also, it teach you everything you need to know. And you can go to all the functionality, you can do tic-tac, wall run, all the technique without even naming them. And then you got the technique and the technique is right there. The technicality. And the technicality is not about what they call double-kong, even if it’s still technicality. I’m talking about the footwork, the handwork, the coordination. In basketball, they’re gonna call it hand-eye coordination, we’ve got foot-eye coordination. That’s why I say, I’m so annoyed when people talk to me about … even like when they talk about the problem with the …

Sebastien: [13:00] Even like it’s there ’cause they talk about the problem with the federation and the taking over, we talk about FIG and everything.

Craig: [13:06] Right.

Coaching and Genetics

Sebastien: [13:07] I want to talk about the coaching. I want to talk about do we have more … does anyone come up with a new idea, new game, new stuff for foot eye coordination?

Craig: [13:18] Right.

Sebastien: [13:18] How much we can push the … be more specific. That’s where I am. Okay. That’s why we didn’t talk.

Sebastien: [13:26] This idea of a simple move. Okay. Like cat pass for example, or kong they call it. They shouldn’t call it kong but, anyway. Okay. It is the way it is. Then to cat pass to precision. For those that don’t know it’s like you, I don’t know how to describe that but, cat pass to precision which now is … it bring you two things. Also, when you do cat pass to precision often if it’s not a bar if it’s a wall there is this notion of blind jump. You have to run and jump into this. There is all this stuff that happens with the brain and the visualization and everything. All this stuff is really interesting. Okay. That’s what I’m talking, this is real technique. Now we get into the-

Craig: [14:05] We would say the minutia, the little tiny details.

Sebastien: [14:07] Yeah, for me it’s really cool. Then you got the mental aspect. ‘Kay. Some people it’s like … some people are willing to take risks and some people don’t. Then also we talk about fear. Also, fear is in motion. I didn’t have the same fear, for example when I was, let me see … where my fear was the last was … I would say was around Angry Chicken. That’s where I literally discovered I’ve got potential. None of my friend taught me because everyone want to say, “Okay, I won’t tell him everything because I want to be good.”

Sebastien: [14:42] At this time I knew I had potential because I also I say Angry Chicken won Lion d’Or, prize for that.

Craig: [14:49] The gold lion is right.

Sebastien: [14:50] Yeah. For me it’s like, yeah, if you got prize for something you’ve done it’s you. Along the way I thought to rely that. Maybe we can talk later on about this idea of denial or something like that. Okay. It’s something dear to me, very important. That’s it. You start to realize even they don’t give you the prize in your hand, now you start to understand what you’ve got. At this time I’ve got less fear. Still, because I was with now my wife but, which was my girlfriend at this time … don’t let me think. I didn’t say anything cause Angry Chicken was in … well, when was it 2003? Sorry. I think it was 2003. I just had my daughter, my first daughter 2003.

Sebastien: [15:42] I think it’s interesting when you’ve got a baby your motivation, everything raise a level up. By same time, later on, very soon you start to have this responsibility things and you start to be careful of yourself. You don’t want to let the person that is with you by themself.

Craig: [16:00] Right.

Sebastien: [16:00] You know what I mean?

Craig: [16:01] Yeah.

Sebastien: [16:02] That’s where fear start kick in. It’s okay, now. Don’t take that much risks or something like that. Even I wasn’t a risk taker but, it affect your performance. That’s why I wanna talking about this mental aspect. I say, “Okay, how do I train myself? How do I prepare myself for that?”

Sebastien: [16:19] That’s why I do what I call LLP, a sort of motivation. I record my self, video of myself with positive reinforcement like Muhammad Ali did, ” I’m the greatest in the world.”

Sebastien: [16:32] See, I’ve got video when I say that. “I’m the best.” It’s personal. It’s my stuff.

Sebastien: [16:37] Bruce Lee had something like that. Kind of PNL when he say, “Hi, Bruce Lee will be the highest paid martial art … ” I do it for-

Craig: [16:45] Right.

Sebastien: [16:52] … this you see. In the … he say exactly the date when he’s gonna be, he’s gonna have $1 million or something like that.

Craig: [16:52] Right, he was very specific about his goals. NLP is neuro linguistic programming and then you said PNL is just the-

Sebastien: [16:58] Yeah.

Craig: [16:58] … French.

Sebastien: [16:58] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Craig: [16:58] Turned in French-

Sebastien: [16:59] NLP

Craig: [16:59] … is the-

Sebastien: [16:59] Yeah. NLP.

Craig: [17:05] … order is different. Can you unpack a little bit. How did you first discover NLP and …

Sebastien: [17:06] Basically, I didn’t discover it. It’s through, it’s afterward. I started because I knew I’d lack of … basically, for me I start to understand I call it MPT, okay? It’s why I do when I do coaching. It’s like there is the mental- m, p- physical, t- technical. I kind of … I’m very into … I try to find the cause of my ignorance. For me it’s a lot about time table and stuff like that to really understand. For me I start to make a graphic just for me. This is stuff I never share. This is the first time ever I shared this stuff.

Sebastien: [17:39] I make this and for me it’s like, “Okay, it term of percentage, where I am?” Physically I think based on my DNA and everything, you’re 90%t kind or an 80% something like that. Like 80 to …

Craig: [17:54] Yeah, total person.

Sebastien: [17:55] Technically where are you? It was like kind of technically because we’re old school. The old school guy we are not that technique, compared to now we were just like okay we do a drop jump and I do a big arm jump and-

Craig: [18:05] Right.

Sebastien: [18:25] … big, big, big. That’s it. It wasn’t as technical on that. Technically I was maybe 30/40 is what I say. Mentally I would say I was 10%. You see that’s what I was. Once I draw that, you see. It’s rough for you.

Craig: [18:26] Right, right.

Sebastien: [18:27] That’s my feeling. That’s how and it was pretty correct when I said this exactly. Then I knew say, “Ah.” Then my training change. Why do I have to train physically when I’m gifted physically?

Craig: [18:36] Yeah, I’m already so far ahead.

Sebastien: [18:38] You see.

Craig: [18:38] Diminishing returns

Sebastien: [18:38] You know what I mean. I can sit practice a cardio. Cardio is important. I was young. Flexibility, I’ve got natural flexibility. I’ve got quick, quick fiber.

Craig: [18:48] Right.

Sebastien: [18:48] I’m very explosive. I’ve got all this stuff, already. That’s why it’s so they discover my brother and my brother did the Olympic. He trained, okay but, he’s got the potential based on the family.

Craig: [19:01] Genetics, right.

Sebastien: [19:01] Genetics, ‘kay. That’s something I can talk about, this because I always talk about how people think, “Yeah, we can train. We’re all the same.” No, we’re not all the same. I’m so sorry guys.

Craig: [19:09] Yeah, right.

Sebastien: [19:10] I’m gonna [crosstalk 00:19:10]-

Craig: [19:10] There’s different potential.

Sebastien: [19:13] … I did it. I call it nemotechnique. You know nemotechnique?

Craig: [19:14] Nemo?

Sebastien: [19:16] It’s like sometimes you use sometimes to remember.

Craig: [19:19] Oh, a mnemonic?

Sebastien: [19:21] Mnemonic, ah, okay. Sorry.

Craig: [19:21] Mnemonic

Sebastien: [19:22] Sorry.

Craig: [19:23] No, it’s fine.

Sebastien: [19:23] Mnemonic, okay. I’m gonna say that because it’s like that, it’s fun my stuff. I say it’s a sentence it means nothing in French but, it’s mean … I see how to, where is it written? “En general la choix et la condition prime toujours sur la chance,” which mean nothing, right? Okay. In general, hold on I’m gonna say it in English.

Craig: [19:43] Nothing ’cause my French is horrible. Yes.

Sebastien: [19:45] In general, okay, the choice and the condition … prim… is like goes before-

Craig: [19:53] Primary, goes before.

Sebastien: [20:01] … primary, prim, always before luck. That’s, okay. Now we’re gonna explain why.

Craig: [20:01] Always take precedence to luck or always primary to luck, right?

Sebastien: [20:04] For me it’s the [inaudible 00:20:05] factor to say this is why not everyone will be a champion. My answer is because, “En general la choix et la condition prime toujours sur la chance.” It’s a … how do you say it?

Craig: [20:18] Mnemonic.

Sebastien: [20:18] Mnemonic, sorry, mnemonics.

Craig: [20:20] Don’t be shy.

Sebastien: [20:21] I’m learning.

Craig: [20:21] I’m happy we’re doing this in English.

Sebastien: [20:27] “en general” – E-N means ENtourage. Okay. “General”, is G-E so it’s for GEnetic. Okay. Then the choice is literally the choice and the condition is literally the condition. Okay. Primary I took it for pyramid, see. You see?

Craig: [20:48] Oh, okay. Okay

Sebastien: [20:49] Just for pyramid it helped me. Okay. After always “sur la chance” on luck so, luck is right there. There is entourage that’s why you will not everyone is gonna be a champion because you need to have a good entourage, like Michael Jordan had a good entourage.

Craig: [21:08] Right.

Sebastien: [21:08] Or [inaudible 00:21:09] had a good entourage. Mike Tyson has a good entourage. Even he was a diamond. If he never met … ‘Cus D’Amato doesn’t happen. Then you got genetics. That’s why you can miss Cus D’Amato but if you don’t have the genetics-

Craig: [21:24] Genetics.

Sebastien: [21:25] You can meet the Michael Phelps’ trainer.

Craig: [21:29] Robert.

Sebastien: [21:29] You can see progress, won’t be like Michael Phelps. Then you’ve got a choice because I can genetically be shape to be the greatest gymnast in the world but, if I prefer to do golf-

Craig: [21:44] Right.

Sebastien: [22:03] … I miss the opportunity to become that person. That’s a choice. Then there’s the condition, “la condition”. Everything has to be well set up. ‘Kay. For example Tiger Wood when his dad set up around him a particular condition, you know like the golf-

Craig: [22:04] The club.

Sebastien: [22:12] … the club. He say like when he was young they follow, they make regularly measure him. They make sure he swing never change, technically.

Craig: [22:12] Right.

Sebastien: [22:12] They make it bigger, bigger, bigger, bigger, bigger.

Craig: [22:14] Yeah

Sebastien: [22:15] You see what they make the-

Craig: [22:16] The clubs are right.

Sebastien: [22:42] … perfect condition for him to achieve. You even have this guy I think his name was Rudy. Rudy something like that. He says like this guy was around they thought it was his friend but, no his dad bring him because for the … he thought like Tiger would need a mental reinforcement like something make sure he’s got all the edge, psychology to make sure is on top. You see, he was prepared to be that. He had qualities but, this is why not everyone is gonna be a champion.

Sebastien: [22:47] Then after you got the condition then the “pyramidal”, pyramid, prime, pyramid. In the world of competition it’s a pyramidal system. Only one person is going to be on top, only one. Also, it doesn’t … even if you got the talent, you’ve got the right entourage, I can even make sure you never get there because it’s kind of political. There’s all this stuff aspect. You didn’t expect but, I had this, this, this. No because someone make something-

Craig: [23:16] Out maneuvered you.

Sebastien: [23:22] … yeah maneuver. Still it’s such a high competition yet, at the end only one has to be there.

Sebastien: [23:23] The last one is luck. It just happened that … like Mike Tyson say why does he start to pick up on boxing. It just happened moment that he visiting prison and he came in this prison where Mike Tyson was and Mike Tyson say, “I want to take courses not about cooking-

Craig: [23:44] Knitting or cooking, right.

Sebastien: [24:10] … and stuff like that. I want to do boxing.” It just happened … that’s luck and you can find it again and again. That’s why I did this. It’s very important because for me that’s what initiate the idea of training. That’s why sometimes I say, “No, I’m not training that. That’s wasting time because I know now I probably won’t be the champion.” Why? Because I wanted to be … how do you call like in basketball the guy who’s the tallest and was like Shaquille O’Neal?

Craig: [24:12] The tallest, what do you mean?

Sebastien: [24:14] Oh, okay, I sorry. I think it’s power forward or something like … I don’t know the name. They’ve got everyone has a-

Craig: [24:19] Yeah, I don’t follow basketball, sorry.

Sebastien: [24:20] It doesn’t matter. I say it because I’m a … I almost say I’m a freerunner but, that’s … I’m an explorer. You see that’s a true name because freerunning has turned into something completely French. However, that was the original idea. Now you can see I did get to … people say, “Oh, you sort of other place.” I’m an explorer but, there is a spine there, a common-

Craig: [24:38] A thread.

Sebastien: [24:39] Yeah, yeah.

Craig: [24:39] A through line.

Sebastien: [24:40] Then basically, if I like Shaquille O’Neal and I really admire, he’s my hero and I want to play basketball no chance that I’ll be in his position. No chance because I’m five foot five. You see what I mean.

Craig: [24:56] Right.

Sebastien: [24:56] It’s like voilà . There is no point to put all my energy to pretend and to try to push people around and-

Craig: [25:03] Right.

Sebastien: [25:03] … everything.

Craig: [25:03] Genetics are missing.

Sebastien: [25:13] … because Craig you’re taller than me. Okay. For a basketball player you’re small. Okay. But for me I’m what? I’m a hobbit. You know what I mean? You know what I mean?

Craig: [25:17] Right.

Sebastien: [25:17] Let’s be realistic.

Craig: [25:18] Right.

Preparing

Sebastien: [25:19] That’s why I say, “I spend my energy wisely.” ‘Kay. I can train but, I train when the opportunity comes to me. If it comes to me because they think I fit for the role-

Craig: [25:31] Right.

Sebastien: [25:52] … then I answer to something. When I do it I know I say, “Oh, my God that’s going to be tough. I want to do it but, I’m going to do it in order to be very efficient, very … I need to do that.” As I say, “I do general preparation, then general specific preparation and then really specific preparation.” For example acting I’ve got this script has come to me and it was like I knew my character is kind of a vigilante. Okay. It’s kind of Batman kind of universe. Batman …

Sebastien: [26:00] A Batman kind of universe. Batman is at night. So I know Seb, even you do partial sequence, it’s going to be at night. So you’d better train at night, okay? So your vision and everything is appropriate. It’s a movie you have to repeat a lot. What do I have to repeat? Do I have to do big jump and everything. No. Yes there is a lot of impact. So I need to prepare my body to get back to the impact and probably it’s going to be maybe there will be no crash mats, so I need to get back into that. Which is very demanding.

Craig: [26:30] Maybe there will be crash mats.

Sebastien: [26:31] Yeah.

Craig: [26:31] That’s a whole nother problem right.

Sebastien: [26:32] Yeah. You see. So it’s very specific and then also there is this idea of usually when you’re an athlete you do a proper good warm up, okay?

Craig: [26:40] Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Sebastien: [26:40] Then after when you’re ready then you come, but in movies it doesn’t work like that. Maybe you warm, but they’re not ready. Then when you cool down they are ready. The shooting is more important. Whether you’re ready or not, get warmed up because that’s my experience and that’s what training is about. Action.

Sebastien: [27:00] It has to be very close to specificity. So general preparation is to over condition, so maybe I don’t need to do a back flip or stuff like that because it’s not written on the script.

Craig: [27:12] Right.

Sebastien: [27:12] So I have to be more general, so my spine, my abs and everything and my cardio has to be on point and everything. So I do for a certain period of time based on the calender where it is. Maybe it’s in December or something like that. I can see where I am. So maybe it’s in two years, maybe it’s in three months, so I do that. That’s … Sebastian wants me to talk about training, they think I’m gonna say no … Now okay, I explain to you how it works. Then I say “How about the food?” Maybe my character at the beginning is overweight and then he trains because he understands the ring. I can come back Like Rocky. When he started he’s a bit more fatty and after he train, train, trains and now he’s ready to fight Apollo Creed. So there is a change there. Do … Is it written in the script, yes or not? That’s just movie. But if I do “World Chase Tag”, very specific. Let’s take this example for example, I couldn’t train myself for “World Chase Tag” and for “Ninja Warrior”.

Craig: [28:09] Because they’re completely different types of activity.

Sebastien: [28:09] No, no, no, no, because of the circumstances of where I was of what happened in my life. Normally, I didn’t plan to do it. It’s just because I needed a purpose to get back on track. When I felt like, My God, I thought I was the healthiest person in the world and I did this kind of exam and they said, “Oh, my God. You’ve got high cholesterol.” I said, “Where did this come from?” See? When people can’t understanding … Like a lot of stuff, they can’t understand that they … They can’t come up with “Oh, it’s because you’re eating too much junk food.” Okay, so I stopped junk food. It was kind of, “That’s unfair, you know?”

Craig: [28:46] Yes, I was doing everything right, I thought. Right.

Sebastien: [28:47] Yeah, yeah, yeah. So they start to … Now it’s something … So, I’m going to say this they start to … I have something in my eyes, some people don’t know. One part of my eyes can’t see. That’s the first time I say this. Some of my friends know. When I look at you, if I close my left eye and I look at you with my right eye, half of your head is I can’t see. That’s because I’ve got …

Craig: [29:08] Detached retina?

Sebastien: [29:09] No, no, no, no. It’s called … So it’s there’s nothing in the front like a cataract and everything; it’s behind.

Craig: [29:16] Behind.

Sebastien: [29:16] It’s more complicated than that. They were very worried because it’s like if it was an artery, it’s like a blood clot. When I started they were very worried, so they gave me all this stuff, a battery of tests at the hospital. So, I go for tests. How I discovered that for my eyes, I discovered, because the cholesterol, because I go for test and say, “Now, I’m going to take care of myself even more.” Every year, I want to do a full checkup of my self and now I know where I am. I really thought she was going to say, “Huh, man you are healthy like, Oh my God you’ve got the body of a …”

Craig: [29:55] Strong like an Ox 20 year old, right?

Sebastien: [30:13] ” … 20 years old.” She didn’t say I was like, “Okay, hold on, could you say it again please?” So basically it kind of shook my foundation because I was kind of an ego mindset. I’m not an egotistic person but I was somewhere within there, okay? Then, it was like, “What? What are we talking about?”

Craig: [30:14] Do you know who I am? I can’t have high cholesterol.

Sebastien: [30:17] You see, you see? And then after, “What’s wrong with that?” So I need to think. That’s why I want to talk about also with training, about food. Even though I know balance with food and everything, I just realized maybe your way of food is not that good. There is something in it to think. That’s why I talk about specificity. Why people are very veganism, for people like what do they call it? Paleo. There is so many things with food, okay? But now, me I’m very conscious about that. Why? Because of what happened to me.

Sebastien: [30:49] So, I said, “Okay, now I’m going to go on a journey and start to discover what is missing, who I am and everything. But, I’m not taking part of anything.” Despite it even now, I’m not eating meat. I’m not eating fish. I’m not eating anything alive. Okay, that’s it. That’s my point. People say, “Why?” I say, “I’ve got my own reasons and that’s it, okay?” Anyone can … “I’ve got my own reasons.” I don’t have to enter … As I say, people know me. I don’t want to enter into any battle. I can be an inspiration, that’s it, but I don’t enter in any battle, okay? That’s [inaudible 00:31:20] They want to do whatever they want.

Sebastien: [31:24] Go back to the food and go by today. So for me when I had this in my eyes; I used to have my full vision and my right eye was the best. I would go like this, “It was like, Oh man, I’m demolished.” Before that, I broke my wrist. So, a good friend of mine, Brian passed away. Just like that. It was like, “Whoa. Wow. Life is short.” Day after, fall and broke my wrist. Then go to … No, that was before I did the test for a full checkup. “Yeah, you’ve got high cholesterol.” Great. High Cholesterol; friend passed away; broke my wrist and to finish, “Boom, you’ve got something in your eyes.”

Sebastien: [32:15] So, you can’t imagine now how low I was. Man, I tried to do things by the book. I really tried to be not stressful and everything. To do everything by the book and yet this thing happened.

Craig: [32:26] Yeah, it was all these things.

Sebastien: [32:30] So, I feel very defeated, but I went through that. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It’s still there. I mean, now I said now; but, everything I do from Ninja Warrior ending … Because you know normally they say, “You have to take these pills and everything.” I say, “No, no, no, I’m not doing that; I’m doing my own thing.” But not in a crazy way. You know like, I did all the tests. They say, “Your blood correct. They did my brain and everything.” So, I did everything, and I said, “Man, but I still can’t practice.” I was afraid, like my heart is stopped. They bring me fear. They bring me fear. So I couldn’t train. I couldn’t … Transfer, I couldn’t practice.

Craig: [33:07] That’s a good saying.

Sebastien: [33:09] I couldn’t practice because I practice every day all the time. That’ me. That’s the way I am. Like a bird in flight. This is it. I go outside oxygenation, practice. Get on a tree. Everything like that. This is my move. This is my stuff. This is up. I’ll go in here. I’m doing my tracking stuff. And now suddenly it’s, “What if I’m losing.” So my two daughters and my wife they’re here in the UK. While still struggling to make a living, I left them by themselves.

Sebastien: [33:35] No, no, no, I’m not moving anymore. I was like, super slow. I was literally walking slow. Then, I was after a few weeks, I said, “No, you can’t leave like that. No chance. Let’s go back on track.” I started to move again. I was a bit scared I have to say. Then I start to move again and move again. I say, that’s fine. They did what I call a holster. They put a holster on me. It’s kind of something to track your heart – heart beat. You have to hold it for 24 hours. So all day I have to wear it and say, “Live your life normal. Then it will record everything.”

Craig: [34:10] Did they say anything about your heart?

Sebastien: [34:11] Then, we’re going to … I said, “Okay, let’s do it.” So, trust me I did a full day, it’s not practice; it was full day training. Because I wanted to make sure because I wanted to keep moving. That whatever is going to happen I’d rather they say, “You better stop right, now.” Or they say, “We find nothing.”

Sebastien: [34:26] So I did this. They did … I moved, I did my session teaching the class. Going down into the forest, jumping all over the place. Running like crazy. Doing big sprinting and everything.

Craig: [34:36] The Cardiologist is like, “What the …”

Sebastien: [34:39] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Then after I give it to them. I give it back. They watch everything. They say, “No, everything is fine. Everything is normal.” From these four months, I say, “Okay. I still have a doubt. The only way to kill this doubt was to embrace challenges.” That’s why I say, I’m going to do Ninja Warrior and I’m going to do World Chase Tag. Nobody knew when I did that.

Sebastien: [34:59] So even with my eyes I say, “Yeah, but how about your eyes? Could you keep moving?” But I knew there were people who’ve got only limbs; no arms, no legs. They can do things. People are … There are blind people. there is this …

Craig: [35:09] Right, people with disabilities participate …

Sebastien: [35:10] Yeah, yeah, they are Superhero’s. Like this guy, I think he died but he was using a clicking technique. I don’t know if you heard about this guy. He was blind, he was like bad …

Craig: [35:18] I think I did. Basically, was like acoustics, right.

Sebastien: [35:22] You see. That’s my exploring things. Makes me discover all this stuff. It helps me to grow and to be better. I don’t take it into parkour. Parkour’s got has got great things. I take it in my exploring journey. So, when I’ve got an obstacle in my life, I say I can overcome, because this guy, remember? He jumped into a swimming pool, he had no legs, no arm. Okay? Seb, Oh, man? Seb, if he can do that, come on Seb, wake up. That’s what I did. So, I did wash up after I changed. After that, I was … Now I can feel I’ve got a strength in me. It’s like something like beyond. That’s why I said, “Where does this come from? Where does this go?” It’s like, “Oh my God, the circumstance is hard on me. Everything is against me.” Then suddenly, boom, “Now you see now… See how you are … How you were before? Think you were strong? See how you are now?”

Craig: [36:15] How quickly things turn around, right?

Sebastien: [36:17] You see the certainty and everything. Yeah, I faked my life. I faked my entire life. I won’t talk about everything else. There is much more than that, but the sad from before is gone. It’s a new sad now.

Craig: [36:30] Want more? Check out: MoversMindset.com/Insiders for a bunch of additional features. This was episode 18. For the show notes and full transcript go to MoversMindest.com/18.

Craig: [36:42] Thanks for listening.

016 – Interview with Sebastien Foucan (part 1 of 3)

Episode Summary

Sebastien Foucan joins Craig for the first of a three part interview. Sebastien is best described – in his own words – as an explorer. Craig and Sebastien talk about what he means by explorer and how his journey of exploration has evolved over the years.

References

Guest Introduction

[00:00:30] Hello, I’m Craig Constantine.

Sebastien: Hi, my name is Sebastien Foucan.

Craig: Sebastien has done so many different things. It’s difficult to summarize him and I think I would prefer to say that Sebastian is an explorer. Welcome, Seb.

Sebastien: Welcome. Thank you.

Craig: Today’s podcast is likely to run longer than our usual format because we have so many things we want to talk about and I want to remind everybody that the full transcripts of the podcasts are available on our website at moversmindset.com. Sebastian will invariably use some French phrases and words and that’s to be expected. I really [00:01:00] appreciate that you’re doing this in English. Thank you very much. Welcome Seb.

Sebastien: Thank you to have me here.

Sebastien as an Explorer

Craig: My saying explorer in the introduction, is a bit loaded. Most people would expect me to say many other things where they know you from and I want to first talk about why you consider yourself an explorer. What’s your journey?

Sebastien: Why I might consider myself as an explorer is because it’s the conclusion of a long process, which started when I was kids supposedly [00:01:30] and leads me to be known as one of the founder of a global phenomenon, a movement called Parkour, L’art du Deplacement, or freerunning. People can hear more about Parkour and freerunning. I’m the guy who is responsible for almost all the name because the original name is [00:02:00] Parcours, which is the French word for an obstacle course. When I started with my friend, as far as I’m concerned we were just doing child play. We’re just playing around and we never had any idea that would come up with something.

Craig: Who wants to go play in trees? And out the door everybody went.

Sebastien: Yes. That’s it. But along the way I was trying to understand what I was doing, so we call it Parcours, then it become L’art du Deplacement where we came [00:02:30] as a group. David call it Parkour. David Bell is known as a founder of Parkour in form of a legacy for his father. Then me being by myself, I say, “Okay, I want to develop my own thing,” and I take the name freerunning and freerunning becomes something else because for me, I keep on going on my journey as an explorer. Now I know I’m an explorer.

On Freerunning

Craig: When [00:03:00] you say freerunning became something else, do you mean that it became something else for you or do you mean that you found it had a life of its own that other people were expanding it and like-

Sebastien: Yeah, absolutely. It becomes something else because it’s been taken by other people and despite me as a founder, I was still here and I’m still alive and people just decide, you know what, this is what freerunning is about. If you look at the video and everything, freerunning is [00:03:30] people using flip and tricks and that makes-

Craig: Videos that you see today.

Sebastien: Yeah. The videos you see today is literally showing the landscape and how now the practices is being done also.

Craig: If I understand correctly, for you freerunning was literally your way of expressing yourself. You had a thing that was close to your heart, which you would consider Parkour with a k that you would consider you still hold true. But freerunning is something slightly [00:04:00] different from that.

Sebastien: For me to be honest, the word Parkour, freerunning, ADD is part of, as I say now it’s a global phenomenon. It’s people practice it. But I was more on a personal journey and freerunning is just one aspect at a part of a time. That’s what I can say about this is just like for me it’s almost like an empty shell. It’s [00:04:30] like you experiment, as an explorer you experience things. I knew I wanted to move away from Parkour because it’s legacy of David and I wanted to make sure that what I’m doing is coming from me and no one come claim anything from the stuff I discover and the stuff I bring.

Craig: Do you think anything when you see people do things under the label of freerunning, do you like assess that and say that’s not the way I would [00:05:00] do it or do you say you shouldn’t have a cork at the end of the line? That’s not freerunning ’cause you’re going to see so much of this thing that was your creation?

Sebastien: No. To be honest, when I see people doing freerunning, I don’t even look at it. For me where am I am now is beyond that. For me, it’s a physical activity and it’s organic. It grow by itself. I think a lot of people don’t understand that. It’s just [00:05:30] become huge and it’s just developed. I let people do what they have to do. As the coach I’m helping my student to grow as a person as well as coordination and like physically, but talking about freerunning for me is just like I don’t give any comment to other people.

Even I’ve got my own view on it is just like it is as it is. But the original idea of freerunning [00:06:00] was to move from one discipline to another discipline. Take what is useless and reject what is, no, take what is useful, sorry, and reject what is useless, like Bruce Lee says. That’s it because I’ve been inspired and I just explore. I just keep on going. I add things and I change and adjust. The purpose of it is liberation and self development.

Sebastien’s Movement Journey

Craig: Just to be clear, I heard what you said and I want to make sure that they also understands [00:06:30] that that wasn’t a miss-choice of words. You said to move from discipline to discipline and you didn’t mean, you mean literally to move from one discipline to another. You’re interested in looking at tachi or martial art. Parkour for you is one piece of that larger journey. I only point that out because some people who are listening, that’s going to sound unusual. They’re going to think that freerunning is just a new label that you put on something you were already doing. [00:07:00] I think it’s clear to me that freerunning for you is this journey of exploration.

Sebastien: Yes, absolutely. As I say it’s like there is now officially there is three current. There is Parkour. There is freerunning and there is ADD. All related to those who were here at the early stage of the discipline. People [00:07:30] need to understand also my background because I’ve got a background of a traditional sport. I’m an artist, so I love everything related to art and I like to draw. I like to paint. I’ve got a background also with martial art, which I’m very interested in martial art. Not so much of the combat form, but more about the philosophy behind it and the direct application for your life.

[00:08:00] That’s influenced what I try to do with the idea of moving from Parkour to freerunning. No moving from Parkour or L’art du Deplacement because I came up with the name L’art du Deplacement and then to freerunning.

Craig: Let’s dig even deeper into this explorer idea. Tell me more about your journey as you see it and like where did the journey begin and where are you now? Where do you see it going?

Sebastien: I grew up in a family with [00:08:30] four brothers one sister. I think when you grow and you’re in the middle, you always try to find out who you are. Because you’ve got older and then younger and you always try to detach yourself to have your own personality. I think it’s also that’s part of my journey. I’ve always never been bold and audacious and had vertigo. I had a lot of things like kind of introvert [00:09:00] and you see a lot of people like this in Parkour. However, now I know better so I can explain. Now the map is clearer because for me it’s a journey and the journey for me is how can I get better from the mind, from the body and the environment because ultimately we are caterpillar who are crawling. All our life, we’re struggling and we want to become that butterfly.

All my [00:09:30] training, practicing, whatever I do is related to how do I become the better version of myself. It goes with what I call the eight roots of the trees, which is bodies, periods, or mind. I don’t know, no, it’s not exactly the same. Body, mind, environment, energy, protection, relation, liberation and instruction. It’s [00:10:00] something also I try to write a book. I’m still struggling just to write my book.

Craig: Writing is hard.

Sebastien: Yeah, definitely. It’s something dear to me a lot and for me Parkour is really within the mind, the body and the environment. For me everything I talk is about life and is more important than I will say Parkour. For me, it started with the idea when I started like in [00:10:30] 1989, around that with my friends to do this physical activity. I’ve got a background of traditional sport. My Dad wanted me to be a soccer player, which we say football-

Craig: Football.

Sebastien: … in Europe and to make a career with that. It was same with my brother, but we never did and I practice gymnastic. I did a lot of traditional sport before. Then I met David Bell, which was very driven.

Craig: [00:11:00] He was very driven.

Sebastien: He was really driven because he wanted to succeed and to show something to his father. That’s the first time I’d been introduced to this form of movement, natural movement called Parkour. But now I wasn’t looking for Parkour. David was, he had a goal which my goal was just to be with my friend, but at the same time I wanted to train myself to become better. [00:11:30] It was just a body aspect at this time with the physical aspect like if you watch rocky or if you watch Bruce Lee while he was training.

Your Mind, Your Body, and Your Environment

Sebastien: But of course when you starting to train your body-

Craig: Assuming there’s a calling to also work on the mind.

Sebastien: Yes, work with the mind and then after you work on your mind, and later on I started to realize my mind wasn’t strong. In my genes I’ve got some qualities based on say genes [00:12:00] physically, but the mind couldn’t keep up. That’s why I’ve got vertigo. Then there was the beauty with Parkour is got this analogy with obstacles and challenge yourself and everything and make decision and everything. But that’s where I can see I’ve got a lack of.

Craig: Through that you can see that you have a weakness, you have a hole.

Sebastien: I’ve got weakness. I keep practice parkour. Parkour bring me that. I’m getting better by practicing Parkour, but Parkour also give you a clear, [00:12:30] different view on the environment. The way how you see the environment, where you were children, when you do Parkour again, is come back again. Something like sometime I say it’s not about learning, it’s about relearning.

Craig: Relearning, rediscovering somewhere along the way I lost the ability to move and play, so I’m not really learning to move, I used to know how to do that.

Sebastien: That’s [00:13:00] why come up now it’s clearer because I worked very, very hard on knowing what I’m doing. I know there were the three kind of triangle between the mind, the body and the environment. That’s the key in order to become that butterfly. Some people, good body. The mind not the environment not good. Some people has got the body and the environment, but the mind is not good and so on and so on. But each time you see someone, I would say it’s a well balanced person, the mind is good, the [00:13:30] body is good, and the environment is good. It’s not only you, it’s link with how your environment is set up and also your surrounding. I always say that there is three major obstacles who prevent you to become the butterfly is I say it’s the environment, your surrounding and yourself. The entire journey, your entire journey is to find out how can I get to-

Craig: My full potential.

Sebastien: … to my full potential. Because as we know, when you practice Parkour, [00:14:00] everything around is been set up by other people. This is culturally or anything or an architect decided it’s supposed to be made by this.

Craig: It’s there for some reason and it isn’t for Parkour.

Sebastien: That would say a bench is made to sit down, so just sit down. But in another level, say who decided that and do I have the right to do this or this? Some people will say, come down from these trees and you say, no, but I want to climb the trees. It’s the boundaries. Now is just open you to the boundary. We’re living [00:14:30] in a world full of boundaries and it’s like we try to find out where is the true boundaries and it doesn’t mean we need no boundaries. It’s like yin yang. Then you’ll see there is the environment, physical boundaries.

This wall is this high, this is the fence. I cannot go over and everything, but also you’ve got the people around you. People with different mindset [00:15:00] between someone who’s going to encourage you to climb tree versus the other person who going to say no, you come down. Do not do that. We can see this every single time and is based on your family.

Craig: Your local community and the society that you’re in.