Extraordinary Movement

When we move through the world we can move in an ordinary or an extraordinary way. Ordinary movement is easy; it follows established paths; and it is boring. Extraordinary movement requires excellence, knowledge, and independence. When I talk about movement, I am talking about extraordinary movement because it is much more interesting. Movement—whether that is Parkour, ADD, Freerunning—is a celebration of freedom in the context of an unforgiving reality that cannot be ignored. The philosopher Ayn Rand warned, “We can ignore reality but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.” John Locke observed, “The only defense against the world is a thorough knowledge of it.” And Aristotle explained, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.

These ideas form the foundation of movement: pay attention to reality, learn as much as you can and practice. With parkour as with just about everything in this world, the true beauty of the practice can be appreciated fully only by taking a deeper dive into it. This means we have to understand not just the physical aspects of movement but the mental and philosophical basis for movement.

As a mastery discipline—something that can be practiced for a lifetime with continued improvement—movement focuses more on the journey than the destination. Understanding the values, interests, and challenges in the minds of the best practitioners is the best way of showing the path of movement in a meaningful and accessible way. Our podcast, with its audio format and transcripts, naturally emphasizes the mental and psychological aspects of movement

The podcast brings out the more intellectual elements of movement. My goal is to emphasize the value that movement and movers create and develop through their practice. In pushing the limits of human potential, movers demonstrate objectively that such achievements are possible. Since the physical aspects of practice can be directly observed through images and videos, the visible part is already well covered. But I believe the mental aspect is where the real magic happens, and it is less well covered because it is not spectacular. A flashy video will grab your attention, excite you and even get you to try some new things, but to get really good at movement you need a deeper understanding.

When you listen to the podcasts, I hope you will notice a distinct difference in our approach. Our goal is always to show the guest in the best possible light. We aim to illuminate and showcase their values, ideas, and principles in a way that makes them accessible and relevant to the listener while showing the proper respect for their achievements. Each interview is a collaborative effort with the guest. Our shared goal is to clearly communicate ideas that will be useful to each listener in the context of their personal journey of exploration.

Yogi, martial artists and chess masters often describe how much they learned about life from in-depth practice and mastery in their disciplines. We hear similar sentiments from musicians, sculptors, painters, hunters, and chefs. Movement as a mastery discipline is no different. A big part of its value comes from the lessons it teaches us about life and reality. Knowing your own strengths and limitations is critical. Reality is unforgiving. Physics always works and is important. You cannot fake competence. Courage is required to overcome self-imposed limitations. The list of lessons is limited only by our ability to think and to understand movement.

I am passionate about creating and promoting rational discussion. Describing and illuminating the ideas behind extraordinary movement and human exceptionalism can help us all to improve our experience and appreciate the richness and beauty of life. So, in that spirit, I invite your questions and comments.

(This was a presentation I gave at Gerlev International Gathering in 2018.)

Finnish Parkour Community

Craig: You said to me randomly at one point, the Finns disprefer confrontation and you actually presented it as if it were a bit of a flaw or blind spot for them and I would say that Americans are probably really good at confrontation and I’m wondering what your thoughts are how that reflects into the parkour community. So I’m guessing that the Finnish parkour community would be colored by that national aspect. I know our parkour community is clearly colored by that aspect here, so I’m wondering, you have a unique perspective on those two points of view, those two communities? I’m just wondering what your thoughts are on that.

Ville: I’m not sure if it’s a nice thing to say about my own culture, they try to avoid confront, but it is true in a way. The unique thing about the Finnish Parkour community is the minute that people started training when they first saw videos of David and the Yamakasi and got inspired to go out and train, immediately within just a few months or the first month, we created a national association.

Craig: That explains it. I’m like, why is the Finnish parkour community so far ahead of everybody else in terms of cohesion and organization. That’s interesting.

Ville: That’s the reason but that’s also what we do in Finland. There’s something new that pops up, let’s do an association around it. That’s the mindset we have to kind of create some organization around it and maybe that comes from the cultural thing. We’re not competing against each other. We don’t want to create a system where we have these groups that are …

Craig: Pulling in different directions?

Ville: Pulling in different directions. Figuring out who’s going to be taking the leadership role in the bigger picture ’cause like everybody, all the different groups, so there was six different groups who started around the same time, they all came together and formed the association and that I think has left a unique stamp on the Finnish parkour community because of the history that we had the association right from the beginning, and that’s kept the community pretty unified. But sometimes, you need to have conflict.

Ville: This is my personal take. You have the difficult questions and I think we’re getting better at them because if the way to avoid conflict and confrontation is to be quiet about it, which is the way sometimes we Finns go about things, which may not be a positive way to go about things, it’s just to avoid the hard things that’s in front of you, but I think our community has learned to also, like over the years, to face those more difficult situations and still have that unity and that sense that, okay we don’t need all the different groups and local communities don’t need to agree with everybody on the different organizations. They don’t need to be identical.

Questions and Coaching Insight

Craig: You clearly like to use questions as tools so you either directly ask the questions of the students by presenting them with some sort of challenge or entice them to come up with their own questions. So this idea of questions being tools, how long have you had that idea and can you maybe take me back to a point where, Ville didn’t have that idea of using questions and how did you get from that version of you to the current version of you?

Ville: That’s a good one. In school, I used to be a know it all, like a really annoying know it all kid and I thought that maybe going back to the idea of success is I thought it is knowing the right answers to everything. I still like but I used to really like being correct; being right. Having the right knowledge but then I guess in the parkour training and being a coach, I’m being a bad coach if I’m always right. If I’m going up to the person and telling them, “Okay, this is how you need to do it. This is the correct way to do it.” And kind of slowly, I guess, through teaching, years of teaching, it’s evolved into how can I facilitate the process for the learner and without me being there, the annoying know it all.

Craig: Just be better, right?

Ville: Yeah. Just be better telling, okay this is exactly how you do it and then you become awesome. No, that’s not very fun for people or it’s not teaching them the process of self discovery and finding the strength.

Craig: Because it’s not the answer that makes you better. It’s the journey to find the answer that made you better.

Ville: So it’s kind of a personal challenge for me with a tendency to really like being correct to try to not give out answers. Try to think of the good questions for the students and then when I start doing that and when I started doing more and more of that in my teaching, having that be a starting point, that explorative kind of experiment lab feel to things, I felt more connected with the students and then I started to reflect that into my own practice too, is about, I don’t need to have knowledge or factual information about the training I’m doing or the correct technique. The most interesting things come out when I ask a question and let that lead me somewhere, whether it be a movement puzzle or can I pull something off like a project. Like what would happen if I had an interesting starting point and then just asked, “Okay, what happens next?’

Family Classes

Craig: Is there anything else that you want to talk about. I know there’s a million things we could bring up.

Ville: I think a souvenir from the Finnish parkour community, or if we had to export something to the rest of the world, like a local specialty, would be our family classes. They are very close to my heart personally and I know the different communities run them all around the world now, but it’s something I think we pioneered back home and it’s my personal favorite definitely to coach and bring the joy of movement, not just to the kids or the adults, but have them move together.

Ville: I find that’s the place where we have the spirit of our discipline brought out the best. Shines the brightest and the smiles on the faces of the kids and the parents and I also find that, anyone who’s a community leader and if you’re not running family classes, I strongly recommend that because it’s so much fun and that’s the way you can influence the parents too, if they’re doing the helicopter parenting thing, you can slowly and slowly start to effect their attitudes and show them the ways you can allow the kids the freedom of movement and the joy of movement, but then also give them tools to how to make it safe and how to make sure that they, of course you want to protect your kids from injuring themselves; to create an environment where they learn, have a good time together, play, enjoy movement and over the years, the best bonds between students I’ve had and the coolest stories that I’ve got the chance to follow are usually like this kid comes, he’s three years old, and they start at a family class.

Ville: The parent gets super excited about the sport maybe after two or three years they’ve been going to the family class, they start training themselves and get more and more into it and then the kids goes on the kids classes and further and then they’re teenagers and then when they’re teenager and their parents are growing older too, but they all keep training together and coming to open gyms or whatever. Just sharing the movement and that feels very special to me when that happens in those cases. It reminds me at least of why I love doing this and why I love being involved in this community.

Meet the team


I’m passionate about sharing stories. We are hard-wired to love stories, and they are often the gateway to terrific conversations. Understanding each other is the key to successful societies, and the podcast is my way of helping you to better understand both those who I interview and, through introspection, yourself.

~ Craig — Project creator and voice of the podcast

Learning, Curiosity, and Exploring

Craig: Let’s dig a little deeper into learning. That’s really a key part of exploring. And I don’t mean to be negative, but I understand that you weren’t a great student in school, that you really didn’t want to learn, and you’re clearly on the opposite end of that spectrum now in terms of your desire for knowledge and reading and visual. Can you tell me how did that change from not wanting to be …?

Sebastien: Basically, wherever you are works for some people. It doesn’t work for others. So for me, my understanding of school when I was younger, which is a bit different now, was “I hate it.” Because it was kind of a trauma. But I had to have absolute freedom. To get to this place where you have to sit down and listen, and they don’t ask you what … Now, school probably changed, which is more organic, because they learn. But just to listen, and it was kind of racing for grades. It was super traumatic. Because of my personality, and I was more a dreamer, and in some ways always the eyes towards the skies and watching stars and everything, and was always in my head. And getting this place where they force me to get information, which I didn’t want to get, it was pretty difficult. So I didn’t want to learn. Before, when I was kid, I wanted to learn. Every kid has that.

Craig: Curiosity, right?

Sebastien: Yeah, curiosity. “Dad, what’s that? Mom what’s that? How does it work?” And then the parents say, “Stop. Okay, you’re annoying. Stop saying that to me. Leave me alone.” Do you see? Politely, but, “Stop it now, you ask too much question.” But we can talk about the super power later. This is our super power. And I discovered that later. So for me, it’s like I went through a phase where I don’t want to learn. I want to escape from school. It’s awful. And then my school was the school of outside. And not the street, because people think parkour came from a street, no. Now I’ve been in Pennsylvania, and it remind me–Lisses–the birth of parkour, the place where it started. It’s a mix between the city, where we’re living, like human being living, but well matched, and well–

Craig: Blended, or mixed, or woven?

Sebastien: Yeah, yeah. With nature, this is what I like. This is why my friend and I, we keep moving. Because we are courageous for activity, it connects us with nature, everything. We talk about energy, like we can hear the animal, you can breathe. Everything is there.

Craig: Yeah, after it rains, you can smell the earth, and you hear the birds. Right.

Sebastien: You see, now I’m not even talking about like philosophy and Zen and everything. No, it’s right there, with your senses. It’s right there. So outside I learned that, and I grew because of that. Then I thought, “Oh my God,” then I become curious again. And then out of the curiosity, that’s how I discover I’m an explorer. And then my brain, I cannot stop asking question, “What is that? Why are we doing this? You see?

Coaching and Autonomy

Craig: What I’m most interested here in is getting at the things that no one will hear if we don’t talk about them. You had made a comment, not in the podcast, you made a comment before about an idea for like a coaching exchange, and you really are passionate about talking about coaching techniques, and trying to get coaches together to work on … I don’t want to put words in your mouth. Give me your idea about coaching, and tell me some more about what you are thinking.

Sebastien: Yeah. One thing upset me, now we got more and more coach, we’ve got certificate and everything. But also, we’ve got different sensitivity and ideas toward coaching. And I think, because parkour has become more and more democratic, I think it would be good to have … My dream is it would be good to have something where people get together, and we exchange. We talk so much about political issues, but for me it’s like I’m an explorer, so I want to find the cause of my ignorance, and I want to learn with others. Coaching is good, but parkour is teaching a certain a way that’s not traditional. I talked to you about traditional warm-up, which I do a nontraditional warm-up.

Craig: Right.

Sebastien: And for me it’s the same with coaching. Why do we follow all the coachings there is, and why don’t we do our own way? And that’s something that can be taught together.

Craig: Yeah, you’re not saying throw everything out, you’re saying we should get together and discuss it. Like, did we make a conscious choice?

Sebastien: Yeah, we can bring guests, and people will coaching, and talking about knowledge about physiology and everything. But just, I will bring for example the concept of autonomy. For example, when do we start? Who teaches us everything? We’ve been inspired, but who teach us to do anything? Nobody. It become organic, it has become now very sophisticated and more advanced, because people have knowledge from everywhere, it’s become something.

Craig: Right.

Sebastien: And it’s kind of organic. But the autonomy. Like for example in sports, everyone’s related to their coach. And always looking, okay, is that good? Is my moves good? In parkour, we’re not doing that. You need to understand what you’re doing, by yourself. A bird doesn’t have a coach. It’s like this is it. It’s a belief.

ParkourONE’s TRUST Concept

Craig: So Sandro, can we talk a little bit about ParkourONE’s TRuST concept? What is that? Can you unpack it a little bit for us?

Sandro: Yeah. TRuST, or parkour according to TRuST, is [00:01:00] meant to increase immaterial wealth. I think you say it like that. It’s like the purpose of it is to increase health and-

Craig: Richness of your experience.

Sandro: Yeah. And personality. Develop personality and to parkour according to our values. So our values [00:01:30] are basically a very important thing-

Craig: And they’re also very well thought out, it’s not like a simple punch list, so they, can you run me through them?

Sandro: Exactly. Yeah, we can practically do quickly all of them.

Craig: Okay.

Sandro: Because it’s the concept with the hand, I don’t know if you remember it?

Craig: Yeah, ParkourONE’s logo-

Sandro: A fist, open hand.

Craig: Yeah, they’re superimposed so it’s the fist and the open hand [00:02:00] in the same image.

Sandro: And you can like explain all of the values on one hand. So it’s the thumb is going to be “no competition.” So-

Craig: And the visual there is-

Sandro: -is zoned for-

Craig: Not thumb up north.

Sandro: Exactly, exactly. So we don’t want to judge actually about other people. We don’t want to judge like, “Oh you’re so good, or you’re so bad.” We don’t want to make a difference there, we just want to … we just don’t want to [00:02:30] judge about that. Second one, maybe is that-

Craig: Pointer finger or index finger, we would say.

Sandro: Exactly. It’s … maybe you saw it, everybody saw it when the mother was-

Craig: Yes, my French tutor does that, she shakes her finger at me. So the gesture he’s making is a finger shaking index finger.

Sandro: Exactly. So that means “be cautious.” You only have one body, and if you mess that up, [00:03:00] you don’t have any body left, so-

Craig: Right.

Sandro: So just be cautious about what you’re doing. The middle finger, we’re turning it around, it shows for us respect. Respect for the people around us when we’re training, respect for the spot we’re training at. Because when we want to train for a long time, maybe. And especially respect for nature around us because we don’t want [00:03:30] to mess that up. So we basically just want to show respect as well to show good picture of parkour as well.

Craig: Okay, so the presentation of the thing as well as being respectful.

Sandro: Exactly, exactly.

Craig: Okay.

Sandro: And the fourth one is going to be the Trust. So basically Trusting yourself … I don’t know, is [00:04:00] there another word for …?

Craig: In English? I think trust is, well trust or self-reliance, maybe-

Sandro: Self-confidence?

Craig: Self-confidence. Because I was going to ask you to, when you’re done, go through the names of them in German, so we-

Sandro: Yeah, yeah. Perfectly. So trust in other people and self-confidence in yourself because it needs a lot of self-confidence to go out and train like we do because we are being out there with [00:04:30] all the other people. Some people are used to stare at people doing different things. So it needs a lot of self-confidence to overcome the barrier.

Craig: Yeah, otherwise you add that on top of the actual physical danger that could be there.

Sandro: Exactly, exactly.

Craig: So that’s four is the ring finger. And then we would call it the pinkie or the fifth finger.

Sandro: Exactly. That one is modesty, I think for me it’s one of the most important ones. There’s always more [00:05:00] obstacles in your way that you cannot overcome than obstacles that you overcame. So just be humble. Be modest about what you’re doing. And do not shout out-

Craig: And I love image of when you get to the end of your hand, and you’re holding up this tiny little finger, and that’s for the modesty. So can you do them in English one more time, is ….

Sandro: It’s no competition, be cautious, respect, [00:05:30] sorry … we’re going to go through them again.

Craig: Go ahead.

Sandro: No competition, be careful, respect, trust, and modesty.

Craig: And modesty.

Craig: So just so everyone understands the translations correctly, can you give them to me in German? The way you would normally use them so people can look up what the actual definitions are. So we make sure we have it right.

Sandro: So that would be Konkurrenzfreiheit, Vorsicht, Respekt, Vertrauen, Bescheidenheit [00:06:00] And the actual sixth one, or the catching, it’s actually less making a fist then catching something.

Craig: Okay, like catching, so it’s like a catching motion.

Sandro: Like grab a wall, grab something that’s like the picture that we want to do, and not the making a fist and punching somebody. That’s courage. You need a lot of courage [00:06:30] to do all those things.

Craig: To do all the things.

Sandro: Parkour to get over yourself, or to break a jump sometimes.

Craig: And what’s the German word for the sixth one?

Sandro: Mut.

Craig: Mut? I don’t speak a word of German, I’m sorry.

Sandro: Don’t worry about that.

What is ParkourONE?

Craig: So that’s the TRuST concept from ParkourONE. And if people are paying close attention, there first question should be, “Wait, I thought ParkourONE was the German parkour organization? Why are we talking to someone from [00:07:00] Switzerland?” Aside from the fact that Switzerland is gorgeous, you need to go to Switzerland. “But why are we talking to Sandro from Switzerland about ParkourONE?” And that’s because ParkourONE is not a simple organization within one country. ParkourONE is actually a composition of Switzerland and Germany working together.

Craig: So can you just talk to me a little bit about first of all, what does it mean to be a member of ParkourONE? And I’m going to let the cat out of the bag a little bit, that’s actually different from [00:07:30] simply going to ParkourONE classes. That doesn’t automatically make you a member. So can you tell me a little bit about what it means, let’s say, for you specifically, to be a member of ParkourONE?

Sandro: Yeah, well as a member of ParkourONE, I’m … like some rights and some duties as well. I can … I represent ParkourONE as a member of ParkourONE. And there’s [00:08:00] not just an easy way to get to be a member of ParkourONE, you just cannot apply for it.

Craig: It’s not a simple, “I want to be…”

Sandro: Exactly. You are like chosen or you used to be chosen to be a member. Or especially if they wanted you in, they were going to ask you if you want to be in. Now it got a little bit different because of the … because we changed [00:08:30] a little bit because we grow so much in Switzerland. And in Germany, there were so many coaches, like around 80 coaches and head coaches in Switzerland and in Germany.

Craig: Not a young group, right?

Sandro: Yeah. It’s a pretty old group even, I think for most of us. Because of that we had to make it up a little bit. And now [00:09:00] as you’re going to make a coach education or as you are in the coach program, you are going to be a member automatically.

Craig: Okay, and that allows the organization to maybe verify that you understand the values of the group that you’re trying to join. And also that you’ll be able to maintain the standards. So when someone says, “I’m a member of ParkourONE,” I think the Americans especially [00:09:30] miss, they don’t notice that there’s some subtlety there. It’s not simply that this person paid their monetary dues and filled out a form and then they’re in. They’ve done more than that, significantly more than just a simple form and some money.

Sandro: Yeah, they may be taught very much for the community and stuff like this. Even … you can choose your duties a little bit, like several to choose from. [00:10:00] But you have to verify that you do them. For example, you have to give a class, you have to teach, or you have to distribute parkour in other sessions that are out of classes.

Craig: Right, or you’re working in an administrative capacity behind the scenes, but there’s … you have to have a specific role, and you have to fill that role to a specific standard.

Sandro: Exactly.

Walk through the world with an open mind

Craig: Sandro, if there was something that you could ask people who are listening, maybe something for them to consider, or something for them to think about, or something for them to do, here’s your opportunity. [26:30}

Sandro: Well, I think what’s the most important thing to give on, for me, is to walk through the world with an open mindset. And to be aware of the other people who are walking around you, that they have their own history in the background, and they have their own things, so don’t blame them for anything. Or don’t blame them for too much of their doing … of their acting this. Because all of us have a history in our background. [00:27:00] And you don’t know which history the other person has. So be tolerant, be open-minded, and have a smile on your face.

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.

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.

The Rewards of Coaching

Travis: [21:45] If I can share one boastful …

Craig: [21:48] You can share as many as you like. It’s our podcast episode.

Travis: [21:51] “This is me, and I am amazing.” At the YMCA that I teach at, there was a complaint … I had talked to a different person from a different class. They weren’t ending on time, which was greatly impacting my setup period. I had 15 minutes to set up.

Craig: [22:09] Right, right.

Travis: [22:09] So if they end five minutes late, they get their people out five minutes …

Craig: [22:13] Yeah.

Travis: [22:13] Now I have a little less than five minutes to set up.

Craig: [22:16] Four minutes and 32 seconds.

Travis: [22:16] Right.

Craig: [22:17] “Go.”

Travis: [22:19] It was quite stressful. I waited 10 class periods to …

Craig: [22:22] Yeah, call the management…

Travis: [22:24] … be forceful. I had talked to them many times. “Listen, this isn’t really working.” Like, “Ah, it’s fine. We’re getting used to the new schedule.” Eventually, I just said, “This … Next week, you’re done. This is the time.”

Travis: [22:35] Another student heard this. Right? Older, adult, and she was livid and complained to the YMCA. But … Now onto the boastful compliment. So the director that took this complaint from this person said, “Listen. People come to Travis even if they don’t like parkour. They hear about him as a teacher, and they will put their kids in his class.”

Travis: [22:56] It was neat to hear somebody say something like that, because, so often with parkour, the most unrewarding part is you get to see them for an hour. You get to see this person for an hour, but the changes that come about through parkour are so transcendent through their life. Sometimes a parent will come back or a student will come back and say, “Listen. This is how you’ve changed me.”

Craig: [23:20] Right.

Travis: [23:20] “This is how” … You’re like, “Oh.”

Craig: [23:23] “Wow. Thank you for sharing that. I hadn’t even noticed that.” Right?

Travis: [23:27] Right, right, because you don’t get to see it. You get an hour out of their … however many hours they get their week.

Craig: [23:32] You only see one asset or one facet of their life.

Travis: [23:35] Correct.

Craig: [23:35] You only see them physically moving, unless something really exceptional happens. You only see them physically moving, and you might see the changes in their body, but you don’t know what their home life is like and what their job is like and all those other parts.

Travis: [23:46] Every once in a while, you get that feedback, and it’s just … It’s an ounce of what you do, but the … How rewarding it feels to just hear that impact. I don’t know. Those are the things that I hold onto when things get difficult, when time is not available to …

Craig: [24:06] Yeah.

Travis: [24:06] You’re just kind of at your end’s wit.

Craig: [24:08] You feel stretched. Right?

Travis: [24:09] Right. You realize, “Remember, this is why I’m doing it.” It’s not about the jump. The jump is important, but the jump is like the method to get what we really …

Craig: [24:18] Yeah, the jump is a piece of your tool set, but it’s not the work.

Travis: [24:20] Right, right. It’s not the point. You come in and can lift the one leg, and, okay, maybe you can’t jump. Maybe you come in with no legs. You can’t jump. It’s not about the jump. It’s what you get through it. We can get caught up in it. We can get caught up in the physical and just the visual spectacle of it and forget that that’s not what it’s about. That’s not originally what the training was for. It’s how we got …

Craig: [24:48] Right.

Travis: [24:49] Right. It’s how we progressed. It’s how we got to where we are now. But it was never the original point, to just be a good jumper.