Monday, August 3, 2015
THE AFRICAN COMBAT ROOTS OF PARKOUR
Many people are fully unaware of the fact that Georges Herbert...the French Naval Officer who observed the skills, physiques, feats and abilities of Africans in Martinique [ especially during the Mount Peel explosion that killed many French citizens living in the island-colony of Martinique in the early 20th century ] and again he was afforded the opportunity to study us on the continent of Africa, too.
He was a sincere man, although he was deeply infected with the White superiority ideology that was en vogue for most people Europeans considered to be forward thinking, intelligent, well educated persons of his era. His racial and cultural bigotry made him miss many of the specific methods via which Africans taught each other the various skills that he sought to emulate and inculcate among French fighting forces. Thus, Georges...after being inspired by the real life African examples of physical vigor virility manliness etc that he and his physical culture oriented European academic colleagues greatly admired...drew upon his European education to fashion a method to teach what relatively little he grasped of the movement skills of Africa in a way that would be acceptable to the French Navy.
Georges Hebert created Le Methode Naturelle..."The Natural Method". This Method...although it was literally centuries behind that which the Africans [ whom Georges with great ignorance thought lacked a method and/or system with which to teach these skills, and somehow "naturally" acquired these abilities without much seeming rhyme or reason ] had long mastered but shrewdly refused to fully share...represented a quantum leap forward for the physical culture of Europe. Georges Herbert introduced the "obstacle course" training, and he was the reason that the father of a Frenchman named David Belle learned and taught The Natural Method to him.
David Bell would go on to "sportify" the practice, and "invent" PARKOUR in the process. A mere 6000 years after the Africans had already done so and long surpassed him in skill. Lol.
This tale is a very important cautionary tale about history lost to the entire world...as "Parkour" was marketed to European youth as a European invention, although I recall playing this game BEFORE it EVER was called "Parkour" in France, and the story of its true origins and tailoring helps to unite the human family. Whereas the splintering of this story sets up further subdivisions within an already narrow and particular community of people who genuinely practice such skills.
Worse still: this lesson is fraught with all the racism elitism bigotry and prejudice that is the bane of all Black people and to a lesser extent it is the bane of every one of us real people in the Great 99%. Those of us who aren't the megarich megapowerful small band of people completely screwing the planet and humanity, merely for their own self-aggrandizement.
Lastly, it is another vital lesson in the endless rapaciousness of those in power plundering the inventions of those with lesser power. We in the Black community must boldly unapologeticly and rigorously both claim and defend our cultural creations against defamation and cultural misappropriation [ "cultural misappropriation" means that people other than us are stealing what we do, profiting from it, and claiming that THEY are the inventors of what we have invented; even as they turn what WE invented back upon us to harm us ], as history shows with relentless remorselessness that the Power Elite will steal from us that which is ours, claim it as theirs...prosper from it. And turn our own inventions against us. [ Jazz, breakin, potato chips, biotech, the modern light bulb, the shoe lasting machine, etc etc etc are examples ]
Btw, the above is NOT A RACIST STATEMENT. It is merely a very very important fact that we need to be aware of and permanently change our behavior in order to reflect the reality that we have learned the lessons of the history surrounding this fact. In the same sense that, say... Americans need to jump back on the ball of Green Technology and aggressively pursue this tech in order to return to becoming the world leader in this utterly vital sector of technology [ as President Obama repeatedly said, and as the Republicans repeatedly prevented from happening as they defended their merciless amoral monied interests and deliberately harmed and gored the Great 99% of the populace of the USA ]. The Europeans and the Chinese have taken far more advantage of Green Technology that the U.S. has, even though Green Tech was invented in America by Americans first and foremost to resolve American [ as in U.S. of A. ] problems.
And in the same sense that say...Japan's massive mastery of microelectronics have lead Japan to dominate the video game industry. Even though that tech, too, was invented in the U.S.of A.
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