Georges Hébert

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Georges Hébert (27 April 1875 – 2 August 1957) was a French naval officer who developed a method of physical education which he termed "la méthode naturelle" ("the Natural Method").

Seek to be strong not only physically but also morally


Practical Guide of Physical Education, 2nd edition, 1912[edit]

  • There is, therefore, a general type of rational method or system of human development, based on progressive training work and the consistent practice of the natural and practical exercises. We can call it the natural method.
  • Why be a champion jumper or a special team member in any sport, if you cannot climb or swim?
  • Seek to be strong not only physically but also morally.
  • Methodical or rational education enhances accuracy, avoids guesswork, rejects everything that is unnecessary and monitors results.
  • Any physical education method should include two components: a learning part aimed at educating the body, improving endurance, strength and flexibility, teaching the basic techniques for elementary and practical exercises like walking, running, jumping, lifting, climbing, throwing, swimming and defending; and an application part aimed at developing to the highest degree the practical abilities, putting them to use, and providing the means to cope with many real life situations.
  • Resistance to cold is as part of physical education as the gymnastic exercises. It is why the bare torso must be the rule all the time when the atmospheric conditions are not too unfavorable.

Quotes about Georges Hébert[edit]

  • Hébert's method provided a renewed focus on functionality and an altruistic approach to training. He also stressed the necessity of being outdoors and simplified the equipment.
  • Hébert established no complex rules and required no expensive equipment. There was no competition, no doping, no stadium and no specific field needed.
  • He believed that the training should be varied and, similar to the parcours du combatant, he built a parcours Hébert, an obstacle course made of wood and rope that ensured you never stopped moving.
  • Hébert started fighting against organized competitive sports, which he felt lacked any altruistic ideals.
    • Julie Angel (2016). Breaking the Jump: The Secret Story of Parkour's High-flying Rebellion, Aurum Press.

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Hébert, Georges (1912; 2nd edition). Guide pratique d'éducation physique, English translation by Pilou and Gregg, 2009.