Update! Erwan's updated version of Methode Naturelle which brings MN into the 21st century is called MOVNAT:
MOVNAT is an outdoor functional training method designed to develop, maintain or restore the full range of natural human movement capacities such as walking, running, jumping, climbing, moving on all fours, balancing, lifting, carrying, throwing, catching, swimming and defending.
Through practice, fundamental physical qualities such as speed, strength, endurance, coordination and flexibility are developed. Training also necessitates and promotes the growth of essential mental and moral qualities like self-control, courage, will, focus, alertness, and respectfulness, solidarity, cooperation, and reciprocal altruism.
Lastly, just as MOVNAT promotes the return of the body’s natural physical capacities, it also encourages respect and concern for nature. We train to be able to move naturally, we train in nature, and we train to connect ourselves with the natural world and to care for it.
"One's got to be strong to be useful, not only to oneself, but to others" GH
"Any person", whoever he is, if he really wants to live his life to the full of his abilities, has towards himself some physical duties to fulfill, just as he has, in another point of view, some moral duties to perform and some social obligations to respect. These duties constitute physical morality. They can be embodied in a double formula: to develop oneself and to preserve oneself in order to be able to help others.
Appearing in France in 1905 and elaborated by Georges Herbert (1875-1957), the Natural Method is more than a simple concept of training for the body, it is a genuine physical and moral education method, based upon reliable experience and on over a century of history. Here is the definition given by the inventor himself:
A methodical, progressive/graduated and continuous action, from childhood to adulthood, aiming to ensure integral physical development; to increase organic resistances; to highlight the aptitudes in all kind of indispensable exercises, both natural and utilitarian; to develop the energy and all the other qualities of action; finally to subordinate all physical and manly gain to an idea of a prevailing moral: altruism!
Training by The Natural Method privileges movement in all its forms. The exercises are classified into 10 families which are:
Quadrupedal movement ( moving on all 4 limbs)
All these exercises flow from one to another during a session of 40 to 60 minutes and enable complete and utilitarian physical development. Moving about, flexibility, freedom of individual action, continuity, alternation of effort and graduation of the intensity of work are the main teaching principles of the method. The sessions take place preferably outdoors in purpose-built spaces or not, but can also be held inside for reasons of convenience.
The Natural Method is intended for people of any condition regardless of age, sex or starting level of fitness. It has a practical and immediate application in everyday life, as well as in emergencies or danger, giving the ability to assist others in whatever form.
The motto of the method, to be strong to be useful, is in fact the condensed formula of the following sentence:
"One's got to be strong to be useful, not only to oneself, but to others".
Learn more about Georges Hebert here.