Moshe Feldenkrais

Feldenkrais was born in the Ukrainian town of Slavuta. In 1918, he left his family, then living in Baranovichi, Belarus, to emigrate to Israel. There he worked as a laborer before obtaining his high-school Attestato in 1925. After graduation, he worked as a cartographer for the British survey office. During his time in Palestine he began his studies of self-defense, including jiu jitsu. A soccer injury in 1929 would later figure into the development of his method.

During the 1930s, he lived in France where he earned his engineering degree from the Ecole Spéciale des Travaux Publics, and later his Doctor of Science in engineering at the Sorbonne where Marie Curie was one of his teachers. During this time he worked as a research assistant to nuclear chemist and Nobel Prize laureate Frédéric Joliot-Curie at the Radium Institute. In 1933, he met Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, who encouraged him to continue his study of Asian martial arts. He became a close friend of Kano, and corresponded with him regularly. Kano chose him to be one of the doors through which the East attempts to meet the West. In 1936, he earned a black belt in judo, and later gained his 2nd degree black belt in 1938. He was a co-founding member of the Jiu Jitsu Club de France, one of the oldest Judo clubs in Europe, which still exists today. Frédéric, Irène Joliot-Curie, and Bertrand Goldschmidt took Judo lessons from him during their time together at the institute.

Just as the Germans were about to arrive in Paris in 1940, Feldenkrais fled to Britain with a jar of "heavy water" and a sheaf of research material with instructions to deliver them to the British Admiralty War Office. Until 1946, he was a science officer in the Admiralty working on Anti-submarine weaponry in Fairliegh, Scotland. His work on improving sonar led to several patents. He also taught self-defense techniques to his fellow servicemen. On slippery submarine decks, he re-aggravated an old soccer knee injury. Refusing an operation, he was prompted to intently explore and develop self-rehabilitation and awareness techniques through self-observation which later evolved into the method. His discoveries led him to begin sharing with others (including colleague J. D. Bernal) through lectures, experimental classes, and one-on-one work with a few.

After leaving the Admiralty, he lived and worked in private industry in London. His self-rehabilitation enabled him to continue his judo practice. From his position on the international Judo committee he began to study judo scientifically, incorporating the knowledge he gained through his self-rehabilitation. In 1949, he published the first book on the Feldenkrais method, Body and Mature Behavior: A Study of Anxiety, Sex, Gravitation and Learning. During this period he studied the work of G.I. Gurdjieff, F. Matthias Alexander, Elsa Gindler and William Bates. He also traveled to Switzerland to study with Heinrich Jacoby.
In 1951, he returned to the recently formed Israel. After directing the Israeli Army Department of Electronics for several years, in 1954 he settled in Tel Aviv where he began to teach his method full-time. In 1957, he gave lessons in the Feldenkrais method to David Ben-Gurion, the Prime Minister of Israel, enabling him to stand on his head in a yoga pose.

Throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and into the 1980s he presented the Feldenkrais method throughout Europe and in North America (including an Awareness Through Movement program for human potential trainers including at Esalen Institute in 1972). He also began to train teachers in the method so they could, in turn, present the work to others. He trained the first group of 13 teachers in the method from 1969–1971 in Tel Aviv. Over the course of four summers from 1975–1978, he trained 65 teachers in San Francisco at Lone Mountain College under the auspices of the Humanistic Psychology Institute. In 1980, 235 students began his teacher-training course at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, but he was not able to continue with them through the end due to illness in 1981. There are well over 2000 practitioners of his method teaching throughout the world today.

Excpert from Wikipedia.


Libri di Moshe Feldenkrais tradotti in italiano

  • Conoscersi attraverso il movimento, Celuc Libri, Milano, 1978.
  • Le basi del metodo per la consapevolezza dei processi psicomotori, Ed. Astrolabio, Roma, 1991.
  • Il Metodo Feldenkrais - conoscere se stessi attraverso il movimento, Red Edizioni - collana L'altra medicina studio, Como, 1991.
  • Il corpo e il comportamento maturo, Ed. Astrolabio, Roma, 1996.
  • Il caso di Nora, Ed. Astrolabio, Roma 1996.
  • Lezioni di movimento-sentire e sperimentare il Metodo Feldenkrais, Ed. Mediterranee, Roma 2003.
  • L'io potente, Ed. Astrolabio, Roma, 2007

Libri di Moshe Feldenkrais in lingua straniera

  • Manual pratique du Jiu-Jitsu - La defense du faible contre l'agresseur, Editions Etienne Chiron, Paris (France), 1933.
  • ABC du judo, Editions Etienne Chiron, Paris (France), 1938.
  • Judo ceinture noire, Editions Etienne Chiron, Paris (France).
  • Practical Unarmed Combat, Frederick Warne & Co., London, 1944, 1967, 1994.
  • Judo: the Art of Difense and Attack, Frederick Warne & Co., London, 1944, 1967.
  • Higher Judo (Groundwork), Frederick Warne & Co, New York and London, 1952.
  • Body and Mature Behavior, International University Press, Inc. 59, Boston (USA), 1949, 1950.
  • Expression corporelle (fascicule),Editions Etienne Chiron, Paris (France), 1964.
  • L'etre et la maturité du comportement, Ed. Espace du Temps Present, France, 1992
  • Awareness trhough Movement, Arkana-Penguin Books, Great Britain,1972, 1980, 1990.
  • Energie et bien - etre par le mouvement, Editions Dangles, France.
  • Le cas Doris, Ed. Espace du Temps Present, France, 1977.
  • The case of Nora (fuori stampa), disponibile tramite Feldenkrais Resources, P.O. Box 2067, Berkeley CA 94702, USA.
  • Noah Eshkol, 50 lessons by Dr. Feldenkrais, (written in Movement notation), Alef Publishers, Tel Aviv (Israel), 1980
  • The Elusive Obvious, Meta Publishers, California (USA), 1981.
  • The Master Moves, Cupertino, META Publishers, California(USA), 1984.
  • La puissance du moi, Ed. Robert Laffont, Collection "Réponses", France, 1990.

Libri sul Metodo Feldenkrais in italiano

  • Ruthy Alon, Guida pratica al Metodo Feldenkrais, Red Edizioni, collana l'Altra medicina, Como, 1992.
  • Ruthy Alon, Vincere il mal di schiena con il metodo Feldenkrais, Red Edizioni, collana l'Altra medicina, Como, 1993.
  • Yochanan Rywerant, Integrazione Funzionale. Teoria e pratica del Metodo Feldenkrais, Ed. Astrolabio, Roma, 1993.
  • D. e K. Zemach-Bersin-M. Reese, Rilassarsi con il Metodo Feldenkrais, Red Edizioni, Como, 1996.
  • Anna Triebel-Thome, Il Metodo Feldenkrais. Imparare a muoversi, imparare a vivere, Red Edizioni, collana Corpo Mente, Como, 1993.
  • Steven Shafarman, Conoscersi e guarire. Le sei lezioni pratiche del Metodo Feldenkrais, Ed. Astrolabio, Roma, 1997.
  • Wilhelm Rainer, Il Metodo Feldenkrais, muoversi bene per vivere meglio, Armenia Editore, Milano, 1998.
  • , Guida alla ginnastica intelligente per chi non ha tempo - Feldenkrais, Zelig Editore, 2001.
  • Francesco Ambrosio, Il metodo Feldenkrais, Xenia edizioni, 2004.