Méthode Naturelle, also known as Hébertisme, is a training method involving many different disciplines of natural movement. It was essentially developed in the beginning of the 20th century by french naval officer Georges Hébert under the motto
“Être fort pour être utile” – Be strong to be useful
It imposes that one should be able to help oneself and others in situations of natural disaster or accident. That is the reason why méthode naturelle trainings also contain assistance and spotting techniques, carrying people, self-defence, games and group exercise.
The three components
The training is very comprehensive and covers the following fields:
physical component: consisting of ten families: marching, running, leaping, climbing, carrying, throwing, balancing, self-defense, swimming and crawling (quadrupedalism)
moral component: will, courage, coolness, tenacity, helpfulness
energetic component: endurance, rapidness, strength, resistance
Méthode naturelle shouldn’t be understood as restricted to training in nature. It rather refers to method or manner of training. It is simple, practical, appropriate to everyone and applicable everywhere.
It doesn’t require special installations or terrain, though it can be practiced in purpose-built course parks similar to keep-fit trails or military obstacle courses.
The main goal is to “make strong beings, with enhanced health, an energetic character, strong resistance and skills sufficient for any natural and practical exercise.”
Sport for everyone
Strong being is understood as a person who improved his own power to a degree near maximum. That implies adjusting the requirements and trainings to one’s constitution, age, gender, natural aptitude.
Freedom of choice and competition
For everyone can train at his own rate and compares his results not with others, but with own old ones, the risk of injury is minimized. Most méthode naturelle practitioners stay fit until very old age.
Recording the results
It is important to keep track of one’s improvement. Georges Hébert designed special score tables that allow to control wide range of achievements, such as high jump, run, weight throw, rope climb, dive underwater etc.
It is important to work on all the components. “Why be a champion jumper if you cannot climb or swim?”
Running is the primary exercise. “Strength lives more in the heart and lungs than in the muscles.” Still, try to include several disciplines in one session.
Development of moral is a necessary part of training. It start with respect to fellow men and nature and goes over to courage, energy, commitment.
Outdoor training in all weathers is essential to develop resistance to cold and a good way to develop firmness and discipline.