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David Belle - Bio & General Discussion

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Name: David Belle
Birthday: 29/04/1973 (IMDB)
Eyes: dark brown
Hair: black

Bio: Parkour was created in Lisses, a medium prosperous suburb of Paris, in the early nineteen-nineties, by a reserved and restless teen-age boy named David Belle. His father, Raymond, who died in 1999, was an acrobat and a hero fireman. In 1969, he appeared in newspaper photographs hanging from a cable attached to a helicopter above Notre Dame. The night before, someone had hung a Vietcong flag on the cathedral’s tower. Raymond was lowered like a spider on a thread, and he grabbed the flag. David Belle is now thirty-three. He has an older brother, Jeff, who is also a fireman; they have the same father but different mothers. (A third brother died a few years ago, of an overdose.) David was raised by his mother’s father. On the few occasions when he tried to live with Raymond, their temperaments clashed. David’s grandfather told him stories about Raymond that revolved around his exploits—“Spider-Man stories and Tarzan stories,” David says—and left him wishing to emulate him. He wanted to be Spider-Man when he grew up.

Jeff said that David was a restless boy. “He was always exercising in front of the TV,” he said. “He still takes whatever’s next to him, maybe a big book, and starts lifting it. He can’t sit still. He lives with it.” The brothers did not see much of each other until David, at fourteen, moved to Lisses to live with his mother. Then Jeff, who was already a fireman, began to look after him. He would show him how to climb ropes and perform gymnastic maneuvers, and David would go off and do it his own way. Now and then, David would go to the climbing wall in Lisses with his father and show him things he had taught himself, and Raymond, thinking that he was being encouraging, would say, “I could do that when I was nine.”

Through Jeff, David was exposed to the methods of Georges Hébert, a French sports theorist, whose motto was “Be strong to be useful.” Inspired by Hébert, a Swiss architect developed an obstacle course called a parcours. “David took Hébert’s ideas and said, ‘I will adapt it to what I need,’ ” Jeff said. “Instead of stopping at a reasonable point, he just kept going.”

David was briefly a fireman recruit, until he hurt his wrist. While he was recuperating, he started thinking things over and saw that the life of a fireman had too many rules, and not enough action, and he decided to join the Marines, but he didn’t find the same values among them, the “traditional values.” He left the Marines and went to India, where he stayed for six months. When he came back to Paris, he was twenty-four, and he didn’t know what to do with himself.

“He came to see me at my house,” Jeff said, “and he told me he didn’t know where his life was going. He was only interested in parkour. You could be a super policeman or a firefighter using it, but you can’t earn your living, because there’s no championship. I said, ‘Maybe if we film what you’re doing.’

It was 1997, and Jeff was involved in planning an annual ceremony in which recruits perform firefighting drills. He decided that David should put on a show. He told him to get a group together, so that he wouldn’t look insignificant by himself. David collected two of his cousins and some other kids from the neighborhood, including Sébastien Foucan, with whom he ran around doing parkour. Jeff choreographed a routine for them. They dressed as ninjas and called themselves the Yamakasi. “It means ‘strong spirit’ in the language of Zaire,” Jeff said, “but it sounded Asian.” During the show, David climbed a tower and did a handstand at the top. He also scaled a fireman’s ladder and did a backflip from it. After the demonstration, David began getting invitations to perform. (extracts from the New Yorker article ”No Obstacles” by Alec Wilkinson available for download as a Word document  here:

List of Films:
1) & 2)   Starring roles in “Banlieue 13” (“District 13”) and "Banlieue 13 Ultimatum".
3)   Aside from that he had small parts in “Babylon A.D.”
4)   “Divine Intervention”
5)   “Femme Fatale”
6)   and a blink and you’ll miss him stunt in “Transporter 2”

Trivia: David's book "Parkour" has just been released in France.

Ethnically David is quarter-Vietnamese. His father was from French Indo-China (now Vietnam). ("Parkour" by David Belle)

Sam Raimi wanted David to be Spiderman's double but David turned him down. (”No Obstacles” by Alec Wilkinson)

The 'Forget your job!' line David has in Babylon A.D. is more than likely the most English you'll ever hear him speak. (IMDB)

David has been known to sleep on top of Dam-du-Lac, the climbing wall in Lisses. (”No Obstacles” by Alec Wilkinson)

No matter what an amazing feat he achieves, David would still say that if his father had been there, he'd have done it ten times better. (Stephane Vigroux documentary on the 'District 13' DVD)

Why we Love him: Just look at him move!

Surely defying the laws of physics outside of the Matrix should earn him some love, no?

Also, because inventing a new sport and spreading it all over the world is pretty awesome  :)  :)

He has a certain quality, makes me curious about him. And damn he looks good.

Furyan Goddess:
Thanks for the bio, but could you please put a clickly link to where you got the bio info?  was in IMDb or Wiki?  



--- Quote from: "karikocha" ---
He has a certain quality, makes me curious about him. And damn he looks good.
--- End quote ---

That he does  :evillol

--- Quote ---
Thanks for the bio, but could you please put a clickly link to where you got the bio info? was in IMDb or Wiki?
--- End quote ---

I've added a link to where you can download a Word version of the 'No Obstacles' article. That's the best I can do because I don't think it's available anywhere in html.

Furyan Goddess:
Ok, thanks... Czeri... that should work.  We just have to make sure we credit our sources when we do stuff like this.  

Thanks again


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