Note: This month marks the 10 year anniversary since Erwan Le Corre held his very first MovNat events in the USA. He did four back-to-back, 5-day events in August 2009, which marked the official introduction of MovNat to the United States. The rest is history! Here’s a message from Erwan about this important milestone and what the future has in store.
I’m a man on a mission.
When I made the decision to fully dedicate myself to spreading the Natural Movement “gospel” in 2006, nobody knew what it was. Nobody knew who I was either. Not a problem, I had set myself to change that for good and forever. Worldwide.
At the time of inception of my vision, I was a completely unknown guy. Yet, I was equipped with the clarity, confidence, and consistency of my mind in hot pursuit of such a vision, inviting its manifestation.
And that was going to take some pure belief, a ton of heart and elbow grease, obstacles and challenges, encounters, friendships, trials and errors along the way.
I’ve now been around teaching, defining, explaining, talking about, writing about, filming about, promoting and eventually popularizing Natural Movement for well over a decade. Reading, hearing about Natural Movement the way people understand it today? You can systematically track it all back to the beginning of my MovNat/Natural Movement work.
One of the pivotal moments of its unfolding took place in 2009 though. That year, an 11-page, 16-photo feature-length article about my work was published in the world’s number one fitness magazine, Men’s Health USA.
Here’s the story behind it.
Back in the days when I was already dedicated to my vision and mission of bringing Natural Movement back into the world and people’s lives – that’s 12 years ago now – I was basically training on my own and coaching folks here and there for free someplace between France and Brazil.
I had a video filmed in Corsica that displayed diverse Natural Movement skills performed in nature, then I uploaded it on Youtube.
Here it is…
At the same time, I had connected online with my dear friend and now infamous “Barefoot Ted”, who is the founder of Luna Sandals. He was running barefoot and I told him: “I run barefoot and also jump, climb, balance, crawl, train everything barefoot. I love what you do!” Start of a bromance…but hey, something else happened.
The very next day, Christopher McDougall, the New York Times best-seller author of Born to Run and Natural Born Heroes, happened to be visiting Ted to interview him as part of writing his manuscript for Born To Run.
Ted told Chris, “I’ve got something really cool to show you.” Chris loved the video so much, he decided to write a piece for Men’s Health magazine on the topic of Natural Movement.
Shortly after, Chris reached out to me and was talking to me as if evidently I was in. So, he got a bit baffled when I politely declined. The conversation went pretty much like this:
Chris: I’m a journalist for Men’s Health, and I want to write about what you do, blah blah…
Me: (cutting him short) No, thank you.
Chris: Hmmm, excuse me?
Me: I’m not doing it.
Chris: Why?! This is Men’s Health. Hello…what are you talking about?
Me: Precisely. What you guys do stands against everything I stand for. You guys promote muscle-isolation, exercise-machines, superficial goals, and unhealthy supplements. I’m on a mission, I’ve got a vision, and that might just ruin everything right off the bat. I don’t want to be part of this.
Chris: (thinking silently) OK. Listen. You wanna see me as the “Che Guevara” of fitness media. What you do is visionary and revolutionary. People need to hear your message. If you trust me, I will respect your message and publishing it will expose many people to it and open a door. Or, at least, give you a “foot in the door.”
Me: (thinking silently) All right. Do you promise that you will not betray my message, that you won’t change its meaning and authenticity?
Chris: I do. I will write about what you do, why it matters, and that’s going to widen people’s horizon about fitness and help a lot of people.
Me: All right. Let’s do it.
You may think that I was crazy to straightforwardly say no to such an opportunity. The thing is, that’s me. I don’t compromise with my values and how I want things to be done.
If I had wanted to make the whole thing about myself, I guess I’d have called it the “Erwan Le Corre method”, to begin with. If I had wanted to be in the spotlight all the time, I would have released tons of videos in the last 10 years. If it had been about making quick bucks, I’d have published a mediocre book a year or two later after that article and jumped on other opportunities of that kind. But that’s not me.
Quick fame and easy money, if it had implied destroying the integrity of my purpose, was something I couldn’t care less about. Fame or money was never the issue, failing my vision was.
Back to the story. It took one entire year between that phone conversation and Chris getting his assignment from Men’s Health to visit me in Itacare, Brazil for an interview. I was still informally training locals, including my BJJ buddies, either on the beach, in the jungle, or in the street. At the same time, I was writing a bunch, starting to delineate my approach, philosophy, and method on paper, using some of what I had learned from my mentor, Georges Hebert, but also following my instinct, my inner voice, my own versatile experience (it feels like I’ve had a few different lives before MovNat that prepped me for the job).
I had in mind what I knew needed to be done to inspire today’s people while also revamping an old method that in too many ways was either lacking or obsolete. I was out to do my thing, my way. I was on a mission to fully renew an approach to physical training that had been long forgotten, to make it more inspiring and effective than it had ever been in the past, to make it reach more people than it had ever reached in the past. Call me ambitious or delusional, but a vision is not a mere dream, it’s something you know already exists: you’ve seen it and felt it happen before it manifests in the world as a reality everyone can witness, verify or experience themselves.
Then I trained Chris and answered all his questions. And he returned home. He had told me that, as a matter of fact, he had no clue how big the article could be, maybe half a page, maybe three if I was lucky…maybe one photo or two, maybe none…and that I should also consider the possibility that it’d never come out. Clearly, what my message represented back then was some kind of freakin’ UFO flying in the sky of the fitness world: would Men’s Health dare to share it?
I didn’t hear from him for almost another entire year.
Then he called me one day and I could feel his excitement. “Listen to this Erwan: you’re getting 11 pages!” What!?! He couldn’t believe it himself! Two full years after the original conversation, the number one fitness magazine in the world published an awesome feature-length article about a completely unknown guy in the industry (that’s right, that was me), labeled me a “fitness visionary” and even used two of my photos in their new calendar that year. What kind of MAGIC had just happened?
Note: At the bottom left of the photo where I’m hanging from a tree branch, it reads: “Fitness visionary Erwan Le Corre explodes through the ropes course at his unconventional outdoors gym, nestled in the Brazilian rainforest.”
The rest is history.
I’m not resting on my laurels, as I have spent a whole decade teaching MovNat, promoting the concept of Natural Movement with the unalienable vision of bringing it to mainstream awareness, finally writing and publishing a book, The Practice of Natural Movement, that many view as not only the “Magnum Opus” of Natural Movement, but also the cornerstone of a lasting trend and change in the fitness industry and beyond.
MovNat/Natural Movement has been helping hundreds of thousands already, and ultimately, it will reach and benefit millions. How do I know? Because it’s been part of my vision since the moment it was formed.
Early on (ten years ago), in one of my very first articles on movnat.com, I wrote that within ten years, Natural Movement will have become the source of a paradigm shift. Just watch. To me, that change starts now, it starts every day, as if what truly matters is never behind us, but right in front of us. A vision unfolding. That’s a beautiful thing to see, and I hope that as you witness my vision unfold, you will be inspired to join our incredible team, and also seek to make your vision a reality. ~ Erwan