Être fort pour être utile – or Be strong to be useful – is the motto of Methode Naturelle. Georges Hebért made this idea a guiding principle of his training method after he led a rescue operation during a volcanic eruption at Martinique.
The goals of the training reflect this motivation. In sports, you want to perform or measure yourself against others; in fitness, you pursue aesthetic or health goals. However, “people do not originally run for the sake of running, but because they need to hunt prey or flee from an enemy,” said Hebert.
Method Natural Athletes, therefore, get strong to be able to help others and themselves. Firefighters and lifeguards live this idea in their work every day. For casual athletes, the forms of training correspond to that goal as well. They learn and practice:
- Carrying a person (to be able to transport an injured person in safety)
- Throwing objects of different shapes (to throw a life ring or a lifebuoy)
- Sprints with unprepared starts from different positions (to escape an immediate danger)
- Quadrupedal movement (to escape from a building full of smoke)
- To transport a person from the water on land (to help a drowning person)
- Climbing over walls (to save yourself from an aggressive dog)
- To defend themselves (to act appropriately in case of an attack)
Many athletes live the motto “Be strong to be useful” outside of the training. They clean up their local beach or their training spot, donate blood, or do volunteer work.
Another meaning of being useful is sustainability in training. Methode Naturelle gives athletes a guideline on how to make training beneficial to their bodies through a holistic approach and stay healthy and fit into old age. The expression “Être et durer,” used by French parachute troops and in Parkour, describes that attitude and means as much as “to be and to last.”