Georges Hébert (27 April 1875 – 2 August 1957) was a pioneering French physical educator, theorist and instructor.

Hébert was born in Paris. While an officer in the French Navy prior to the First World War, Hébert was stationed in the town of St. Pierre, Martinique. In 1902 the town fell victim to a catastrophic volcanic eruption. Hebert coordinated the escape and rescue of some seven hundred people from this disaster. This experience had a profound effect on him, and reinforced his belief that athletic skill must be combined with courage and altruism. He eventually developed this ethos into his personal motto, "Être fort pour être utile" ("Be strong to be useful").

Hébert had travelled extensively throughout the world and was impressed by the physical development and movement skills of indigenous peoples in Africa and elsewhere:

Their bodies were splendid, flexible, nimble, skillful, enduring, resistant and

yet they had no other tutor in gymnastics but their lives in nature

Hebert's system rejected the sclerosis of remedial gymnastics and of the popular Swedish Method of physical culture, which seemed to him unable to develop the human body harmoniously and especially unable to prepare his students with the practical and moral demands of life.

In the same way, Hébert believed, by concentrating on competition and performance, competitive sport diverted physical education both from its physiological ends and its ability to foster sound moral values.

For Georges Hébert, influenced by the teachings of philosopher and educationalist Jean-Jacques Rousseau, only the observation of nature could lead people to the true methods of physical development. He wrote:

The final goal of physical education is to make strong beings. In the purely physical sense, the Natural Method promotes the qualities of organic resistance, muscularity and speed, towards being able to walk, run, jump, move on all fours, to climb, to keep balance, to throw, lift, defend yourself and to swim.

In the "virile" or energetic sense, the system consists in having sufficient energy, willpower, courage, coolness, and firmness. In the moral sense, education, by elevating the emotions, directs or maintains the moral drive in a useful and beneficial way.

The true Natural Method, in its broadest sense, must be considered as the result of these three particular forces; it is a physical, virile and moral synthesis. It resides not only in the muscles and the breath, but above all in the "energy" which is used, the will which directs it and the feeling which guides it.

Hébert defined the guiding principles and fundamental rules of the Natural Method as:

With regard to the development of virile qualities, this is obtained by the execution of certain difficult or dangerous exercises requiring the development of these various qualities, for example while seeking to control the fear of falling, of jumping, of rising, of plunging, of walking on an unstable surface, etc.

Georges Hébert's teaching continued to expand between and during the two wars, becoming the standard system of French military physical education.

He was also an early advocate of the benefits of exercise for women. In his work "Muscle and Plastic Beauty", which appeared in 1921, Hébert criticized not only the fashion of corsetry but also the physical inactivity imposed upon women by contemporary European society. By following the natural method of synthesized physical, energetic and moral development, he wrote, women could develop self-confidence, will-power and athletic ability just as well as their male counterparts.

Hébert wrote:

A (Natural Method) session is composed of exercises belonging to the ten fundamental groups: walking, running, jumping, quadrupedal movement, climbing, equilibrium (balancing), throwing, lifting, defending and swimming.

A training session consists, then, of exercises in an outdoor environment, perhaps a few hundred meters to several kilometers, during which, one walks, one runs, one jumps, one progresses quadrupedally, one climbs, one walks in unstable balance, one raises and one carries, one throws, one fights and one swims.

This course can be carried out in two ways:

1: The natural or spontaneous way; i.e., on an unspecified route through the countryside.

2: Within an especially designed environment.

All of the exercises can be carried out while progressing through this environment. A session can last from 20 to 60 minutes.

Thus, Hébert was among the earliest proponents of le parcours, or obstacle course, form of physical training, which is now standard in the military and has led to the development of civilian fitness trails andconfidence courses. In fact, woodland challenge courses comprising balance beams, ladders, rope swings and so-on are often still described as "Hebertism" or "Hebertisme" courses both in Europe and in North America. It may even be possible to trace modern adventure playground equipment back to Hébert's original designs in the early 1900s.

As a former sailor, Hébert may have patterned some of his "stations" on the obstacles that are found on the deck of a ship; he was also a strong proponent of "natural" or spontaneous training in non-designed environments.

The year 1955 marked the 50th birthday of the Natural Method, and Hébert was named Commander of the Legion of Honor by the French government in recognition of his many services to his country. In 1957, George Hébert, by then suffering from general paralysis, cultivated the admiration of his entourage by relearning how to walk, speak and write. He died on August 2 of that year in Tourgéville, Calvados.

There are still schools and gymnasia throughout Europe that are promoting the Natural Method of physical training, some maintaining their own elaborate "parcours" in natural surroundings.

喬治赫伯特(1875 4月27日 - 1957年8月2日)是一個法國的先鋒體育教育家,理論家和講師。

赫伯特在巴黎出生。在第一次世界大戰之前為法國海軍軍官,赫伯特駐紮的聖皮埃爾馬提尼克島鎮於1902年發生了災難性的火山爆發幾乎造成全鎮犧牲。赫伯特協調並從這次災難救援了七百人逃生。這次的經驗對他產生了深遠的影響,並加強了他的信念:運動技能必須與勇氣和利他主義相結合。他最終開發了這種精神成為他個人的座右銘,“Be Strong to be useful”(“強壯是為有益他人”)。






體育教育的最終目標是使眾生強壯。在純身體意義上說,自然方法(Nature Method)促進身體的有機抵抗,肌肉發達和速度,使人能終日走,跑,跳,四肢爬行,攀登爬高,保持平衡,扔擲,舉提,保衛自己和游泳。















因此,赫伯特是最早的Parkour或跨越障礙訓練(Parcours du combattant)提倡者之一,體能訓練的先驅,在目前這是標準軍事訓練,並延伸應用到一般民眾的健身訓練選拔方法以及開發自信心訓練課程的形式。事實上,林地挑戰課程包括平衡木,爬梯子,繩索鞦韆等的挑戰課程至今在歐洲和北美仍經常被描述為“赫伯特課程(Hebertism/ Hebertisme)”。甚至現代冒險樂園設備都可以追溯到赫伯特於20世紀初的原創設計。


1955年為自然訓練法創立50周年,法國政府為表彰他為國家做過的許多服務任命赫伯特為榮譽軍團司令。 1957年,喬治·赫伯特,受到全身麻痺症的病魔侵襲,他重新學習如何走路,說話,書寫獲得大眾的欽佩。於同年8月2日他在圖爾熱維爾,卡爾瓦多斯離開人世。


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