Bullfighting has long stretched beyond the Spanish border into France, where multiple variations of the sport (as well as legal protections) exist.
Despite previous efforts by French parliament to ban the controversial tradition, it is still not only a way of life but an aspiration for young people in cities like Nimes and surrounding towns. Nimes is also home to the French Tauromachy Center, where thousands of kids have attended and trained in hopes of one day becoming professional "toreadors."
Reuters photographer Jean-Paul Pelissier recently followed some of the academy's current students as they taunted fake bulls with "muletas." Still years from fighting real bulls in front of adoring fans, the students, for now, settle for beginning level battles against smaller, friendlier calves: