Sebastien Foucan

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Matt Jones interviews the ambassador of free running who says "Not everybody can be a champion, but the most important thing is that you can try."

Matt Jones: How important is sport?

Sebastien Foucan: Sport is very important in life. It can teach you so many things about being in a group, knowing your limits and being sociable.

MJ: Why free running? Where did it start for you?

SF: I used to practice the original discipline 'Parkour' 19 years ago. As I grew I began to mature and have a different point of view. I started to create my own personal expression which is free running. I wanted to keep the freedom of it, but also to make my discipline more than just a movement.

Profile

Name:
Sebastien Foucan

Born:
24 May 1974

From:
Paris

Sport:
Free running

Achievements:

  • Appeared in Jump London, a documentary about parkour and free running (2003).
  • Appeared in Jump Britain, the sequel to Jump London, a documentary about parkour and free running (2005).
  • Appears as Mollaka in the 21st James Bond film, Casino Royale (2006).
  • Performed with Madonna on her Confessions tour (2006).

MJ: Are you more respectful about the dangers in life?

SF: There is danger everywhere in the world. You need to have guidance, someone to tell you how to do it properly. You have to take some risks, but that's part of life. Sometimes you fall down, but falling down is a part of your learning. It's not about risking your life.

MJ: How do you incorporate your martial arts into your sport?

SF: Bruce Lee was my main inspiration. I used to study how he evolved his own practice sessions and I thought, I can do the same! I started to read books about different martial arts to understand the process of Bruce Lee's mind and changed the name of my style to 'free running' to make people understand that this is my evolution and my journey. Life is about obstacles and choice. I am not a master, I'm a student, and it's all my life.

MJ: How important is it to have goals in life?

SF: Not everybody can be a champion, but the most important thing is that you can try. It's a journey to become a champion, and through this journey you learn something. Some people get very disappointed when they don't achieve their goals, but I think people should realise that it's your journey, and what you learn in this journey, is what matters.

MJ: How important is inspiration?

SF: We need inspiration to build ourselves. It doesn't have to be someone famous, it can be the very people around you, their attitude, their positivity, someone who's very strong. My dad and mum inspired me first. My dad is a sportsman and when I was young he worked in a football stadium.

MJ: You famously jumped the retractable Millennium Stadium roof in Cardiff in 2005. How did you prepare for such a massive feat, especially when you have a fear of heights?

Sebastien Foucan

SF: It takes dedication, practice, knowing yourself and knowing what is safe. Naturally this jump was a very simple jump, because a jump is just a jump. The important thing was that I didn't want others to see me perform this jump and then try to do it themselves. It's about overcoming my own fear and my own limits and not about trying to impress people.

It took me 19 years to do such a jump, not because I have the muscles to do it, but it's understanding what I'm doing. I'm not the type of person who will walk on the rooftop next to danger, I hate to be on high levels. It's about taking the time to understand yourself and all the philosophies, to be at one with your beliefs and to do something you know is truly yourself.

MJ: You have stated that a key philosophy of yours is to 'stay young'. Why is this important?

SF: We all remember our parents at some point telling us to 'be careful'. I have said the same to my daughter. When we hear this we often resent the parent or adult responsible for that advice, but it isn't meant to stop you from doing it. You can still keep your freedom, but be aware of safety.


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