What is Art du Déplacement?

This is a guest post by Williams Belle, one of the founding members of the Yamakasi group, and also a creator of the Art Du Déplacement movement. He teaches ADD in Paris and around the world, and was a key supporter in the creation of “ADD Academy by Yamakasi Orgins”.

This post was published on our blog in May 2014, when MOVE Academy Singapore was known as Art du Déplacement Academy Singapore.

Follow him on Instagram / Facebook

(Featured Image Photo Credit: Williams Belle Facebook page)


ADD represents a continuity, a step, in the Art du Déplacement’s evolution. It was developed by Yann, Laurent, Chau and myself (Williams Belle) , when the Yamakasi spilt up in 2004.

ADD, or Art du Déplacement, is a training method to (re)discover who you really are as well as to understand the mechanisms of the outside world. What’s the aim of it? Overcoming one’s mental limitation and appreciate every single moment of life, to be able to, one day, help others.

There is no greater motivation than wanting to help others.

It’s an art of life, a philosophy, and it’s still young. A personal investment ought to be made into the efforts and work the previous one. Then you’ll find a useful base for your future practice.

I call my discipline/practice neither ADD, nor Parkour, nor Free Running but to make myself understood. I say that I go training or that I go and do sports. When talking to people knowing about it all, I use “Art du Déplacement” or Parcours. Some carefree friends will say I do “Yamakasi” (meaning “strong man, strong body, strong spirit” in Lingala, one of the main language in Congo), but funnily enough, it’s what gets closer to my practice/discipline.

The definition of the practice is simple in its primary sense, and requires great deepness at the same time. You should accept yourself as you are. You’ve got nothing to refuse or accept because everything is already within you.

Your vision of the world depends on your way of seeing things.
The world is about movements and constant changes. You can’t grasp it on paper nor on Youtube.

ADD is a crossroad of acrobatics, a lot of acrobatics actually, inspired by capoeira, artistic martial arts, gymnastics, tricks. Should you call it Free Running?
ADD is a mix of speed and efficiency in a routine you’re asked to do… Should you call it Parkour?
ADD has a solid ethical base… Should you call it a philosophy of life?

The most important thing in ADD, Parkour or Free Runing, is you. Not the name of your practice/discipline.
We’re all linked one to another, hence the importance to care about others.
You can learn every single technique to overcome obstacles, but an advance practitioner uses his good sense and his intuition to know what is right.

The practice must help you to be positive and useful to others.
You may today consider the discipline as a high level sport.
Maybe it will be, one day, an Art of moving that will enable tracers, free runners, yamaks to be free human beings, free of prejudices and judgments, free of artificial reasoning and free of the ego.

Williams BELLE

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Laurent Piemontesi
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