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David Belle (born 29 April 1973 in Fécamp, France) is a French actor, film choreographer and stunt coordinator. He is deemed the founder and leading pioneer of the physical discipline Parkour, coining it based on his training and the teachings from his father Raymond Belle.
- At the physical end, Parkour is getting over all the obstacles in your path as you would in an emergency situation. You want to move in such a way, with any movement, that will help you gain the most ground on someone/something as if escaping from someone/something or chasing toward someone/something. Also, wherever you go, you must be able to get back. If you go from A to B, you need to be able to get back from B to A. You don't need to do the same "move," but just get back."
- It's about what you can do at that particular moment. If someone is stuck in a fire and you say, "Well, two years ago I could have done something that would have saved you" then you are useless. Parkour is not what you could have done for whatever excuse. If you aren't able to help someone, what use are you?
- My thing from the beginning is to have it be useful, and be able to help others. It's about being efficient and getting there as fast as you can. If people want to do it more artistically or in a freestyle way, I have absolutely no problem with it — that's the way it's going to evolve. It's not my style, but if it's other people's [style], that's perfect.
- All these people here, they come and they want me to do big things, expect me to do big drops so they can sell pictures, put it on their websites, whatever. But what is my motivation then? I could do this jump once and maybe get hurt, but even if I don't get hurt what is the point right here, right now? To make these people happy? If my family was over there and needed me, I wouldn't even hesitate. I would do it for them and that's who I train and do these things for. I'm not a monkey, I can't be treated like one. I don't understand how people want to put themselves into great risk for money. I've trained so long and hard for myself, to save people, to protect my family... People get into Parkour now just train in order to do risks for media, I just can't understand why they would do so. That was never the goal of Parkour. Money changes people, but that money cannot change my goal, my motivation or why I do this. I'm on tour now for you, I'm here talking to you so you can help others and that's how things work, never think it's the other way around. I'm doing this for you guys, to inspire you, that's it.
- Parkour belongs to the ones who live it, not the ones who want to live thanks to it.
- David Belle Communique, Paris July 25th 2006 [specific citation needed]
- Our aim is to take our art to the world and make people understand what it is to move.
- Understand that this art has been created by few soldiers in Vietnam to escape or reach: and this is the spirit I'd like parkour to keep. You have to make the difference between what is useful and what is not in emergency situations. Then you'll know what is parkour and what is not. So if you do acrobatics things on the street with no other goal than showing off, please don't say it's parkour. Acrobatics existed long time ago before parkour.
- Bare feet are the best shoes!
- If someone puts you in front of a 30m high wall, tells you to get over it, and then comes back two years later and you're still there, you've made no progress. You should find another wall.
- If you are in front of a wall that you cannot get past, would you just keep banging your head into the wall?... No, you would find a new wall.
- A little backflip (backflips), but it's not part of Parkour, but I like doing this since I did gym.
- Obstacles are found everywhere, and in overcoming them we nourish ourselves.
- Down there we know, the streets we know, but up here? Nobody's been here.
- First, do it. Second, do it well. Third, do it well and fast — that means you're a professional.