The Debrief: PKGen Questions...Thomas Couetdic
Thomas Couetdic is a member of the core team here at PKGen and is rarely in one place at one time. He is often travelling the globe looking for new challenges and meeting new people and it was this spirit that brought him to Parkour. After learning much of his Parkour in Lisses with the founders, Thomas has been training hard and this shows in his current level.
How long have you been a traceur?
I started in 2001, so that’s about 11 years now.
What movements are you currently working on?
Right now, mainly conditioning and “toughening up” stuff actually. The Parkour moves I do are for that purpose as well. However, I plan to get back to more technical training soon.
What percentage of your training is conditioning?
Right now, 90%. I’ve been training in the mountains for the last few months, which is perfect for conditioning!
Favourite strength and conditioning exercise?
The muscle up and its variations: so many benefits!
Who or what is your biggest influence?
I think Parkour itself, its spirit. I’ve always been an adventure seeker but with a taste for effort, long-term discipline, and a “warrior”approach to all aspects of life. That is the way I see Parkour, and ever since I discovered it (in Lisses, back in 2001), it’s been a constant inspiration.
Simple stuff. I’m not a fan of complicated or fancy dishes covered in gravy.
Three current favourite training music tracks?
I love music, but I don’t train to it, I prefer staying connected to myself rather than drifting away with music.
Item in your bag you couldn't go training without?
Well, I often don’t even have a bag with me when I train, but if I do, there’s a big bottle of water in it.
How do you approach breaking a jump?
It depends, sometimes I get into an argument with myself and start telling myself to man up and go for it. Other times I’m very calm and focused, and I just do it.
I think that if one knows oneself really well, they don’t need to get all excited and angry in order to break a jump, but it’s easier said than done...
Where do you see Parkour in ten years time?
I see an even bigger gap between “old school” and “modern” Parkour. I’m an old school practitioner, I like to stick to the warrior spirit I was talking about: adapting to the environment and situations rather than focusing too much on style and aesthetics.
But I can imagine that both of these branches will continue to grow and it might become more obvious that there’s not just one type of Parkour anymore.
What is the most important aspect of parkour for you?
The fact that it’s a very complete activity, training both body and mind in a very reality-oriented way: It makes people stronger, more responsible, more aware of their capabilities, and therefore more capable of dealing with the challenges of everyday life.
One piece of advice to Traceurs just starting out:
Take your time to think about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how you’re doing it. If you think you’ve got it all figured out already, you haven't!