(Source: European FAQ Work group 05/2020)
Why Méthode Naturelle?
Méthode Naturelle provides a person with the same amount of work within a training session that one would perform during a day if he still lived "in nature".
For thousands of years, humans used to live in natural surroundings and perform a great amount of walking, working or fighting during a day, to ensure their survival. Our civilization has evolved recently and provided us with comfort, but the need for natural movement of our bodies still remains the same.
Méthode Naturelle take all movements that are natural to human bodies such as running, jumping, climbing, etc., it encourages training in all weathers and under uncertainties of outdoors, to naturally build one's endurance, resistance and courage.
On top of that, Methode Naturelle is aiming at an altruistic behaviour.
Indeed Methode Naturelle cannot be reduced to fitness in nature; It is an educational method. HEBERT insisted that it should be practiced in a group and with a coach. It is a complete system with mental and social education.
What is the difference between Hebertism and Methode Naturelle?
Georges HEBERT answered the question in these words:
"Practicing hebertism, in fact, does not consist, as many people imagine or as some instructors or teachers believe, to be limited to the execution of exercises or movements resulting from the "Méthode Naturelle" . Hebertism synthesizes a set of actions that can be summarized in
Acquire integral physical development;
Highlight skills in natural and utilitarian exercises: walking, running, jumping, climbing, lifting, throwing, defense, swimming;
Increase organic resistances and natural immunities by the strict observance of the rules of frugality of sobriety and morality;
Harden the body: look for the rustic life;
Develop energy and all other mental qualities;
Finally, put all the physical and mental assets at the service of social good."
(Georges HEBERT, Revue "l'éducation physique", N°34, octobre 1925)
33 years later, a few months before his death, he explained to Marcel Defarge the difference between Hébertisme and natural method
“The natural method is not Hebertism and it should not be called so. Moreover, I am not the inventor of this method, it is old as the world, it was enough to adapt it to the civilized man.
But hebertism is something else, it is philosophy that must emerge from this natural method to induce each individual to put at the service of others what he can obtain from his physical and mental training. It thus goes far beyond the framework of a physical culture to become a true education, indispensable link between physics and moral”.
(Georges HEBERT quoted Marcel Defarges, revue l'éducation physique 2e trimestre 1958 p55)
Who initiated hebertism and Méthode Naturelle?
Hebertism and Méthode naturelle were initiated around 1910 by the French naval officer -Georges Hébert- as a method of physical education.
During his life, he developed his method, systemizing exercises, inventing obstacle course and a scoring system for physical tests and writing a dozen books about it.
The method is applied by the army, firefighters, boy scout organizations and schools and influenced many modern movements (parKour, MovNat, spartan race, Mudday, paleofitness…).
What does “Etre fort pour être utile” mean?
The full quote from Hébert (translated in english) is: “Be strong, physically and morally, to be useful for others and, finally, also for oneself”.
A good translation would probably be 'be strong to be useful and helpful ”. It respects Hébert's idea.
The idea that athletic skills must be combined with courage and altruism came to Georges Hébert after he coordinated the rescue during a volcano eruption.
Can Méthode Naturelle be practiced alone?
The answer is in the difference between
sport : I have a physical activity
training: a coach teaches me the right movement
education: the coach also teaches me a social behavior (which goes through physical training in the case of Méthode Naturelle)
Méthode Naturelle is a method of physical and social education, it is much more than fitness that would be done in nature. Méthode naturelle reaches its full application with a teacher and a learner and a group. Hébert’s 15 principles are not directed towards the learner but also towards the coach and on how he should conduct physical and social practice.
Some of the 15 principles are even impossible to achieve alone: emulation, mutual aid, altruism.
One could say, using a modern expression, that Méthode Naturelle is a 'team sport'.
This educational and social dimensions of Méthode Naturelle are well understood and used by armies, firefighters and scouts....
But this does not prevent you from practicing alone when you are alone!.
In practice, how should I proceed?
To get trained properly, all we need to do is devote enough time at walking, running, climbing, jumping, throwing, lifting, carrying, fighting, and swimming in nature. And we do it in a group, helping each other.
As we devote little time to training on a working week, we have to make it more intense so as produce the same amount of exercises in a limited amount of time.
A training session should last 20 to 60 Minutes and can be held in natural or urban surroundings.
To ensure the right amount of work, one should integrate as many of 10 movement families as possible
focus on moving rather than static efforts.
work continuously during the session, the intensity of the training should rise toward the end of the training, reaching its peak shortly before the end.
One can work in a group, with a partner or alone. However, a group session is the best way to match the spirit of Hebertism "be strong to be helpful”
Can I practice Méthode Naturelle indoor?
Outdoor training brings all the positive effects of Méthode Naturelle. Whenever possible, sessions should be held outdoors .
Indoor sessions must remain exceptions (swimming for example) and only be regarded as additional training.
What does “be an hebertist” mean?
Hebertists are those who
present themselves as hebertists and promote hebertism
apply the rules of training defined in book 1 of Georges HEBERT on Méthode Naturelle
apply hebertism to themselves and not only as a fitness brand
keep in touch with the hebertist community for mutual enrichment
Is hebertist organization a profit making company?
It is a non profit organization. Everything is reinvested.
The brands names (hebertism, hebertisme, methode naturelle…) are the property of Georges HEBERT's family since 1913. The Hebert's family gives free access of these brands to hebertists.
Are hebertist clubs independent?
Hebertist centers and clubs are independent of each other and have their own proper history. They all cooperate to conduct research, share knowledge and host international events.
Organisationally, some centers operate under patronage of a country-wide hebertist federation (Belgium), some are parts of local general sports clubs (Germany), some are tightly bound to boy scout organization (Italy) or exist on their own (France, USA, Brazil).
The Georges Hebert's Family provides access to the writings of Hébert for both hebertists and researchers and participate in international events.
What can I use Méthode Naturelle for?
Natural method brings good physical organic and muscular development as well as general skills in basic forms of movement.
But Natural Method is also a holistic method: Physical education but also endurance, selfcontrol, teamwork, altruism, team building etc.
Before specializing in sports -without endangering one's own health- Methode naturelle strains an athlete in a comprehensive way. it strengthens the muscles, the heart, and the lungs, increases endurance, resistance and stress tolerance, enhances altruism, courage, will and helpfulness.
Thank to this balanced approach methode naturelle also helps to prevent injuries, correct postures and rehabilitate after traumas.
How can I become a Méthode Naturelle Coach?
There are 2 ways to become a Méthode Naturelle coach.
become a teacher/instructor/coach in an institution that works with the natural method (boy scout, fireman, army, etc.).
have the general sports coach license for your country and follow a training session of a Hébertist organisation. There are several sessions in France, Belgium and Italy delivered in French, English and Italian.
What does our logo mean?
Our logo represents the 10 families of the Méthode Naturelle. They are represented in the ideal order of the session and the 3 colors correspond to the 3 orders of the exercise families.
Méthode Naturelle is placed at the bottom left, Hebertism at the top right to indicate the progression from one to the other. There are several versions corresponding to each language.