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David Orange
03-16-2007, 04:57 PM
Here's a great interview with Moshe Feldenkrais, conducted by aikido man Dennis Leri almost thirty years ago:

http://www.feldenkrais-wien.at/article-4.htm

It was linked on Aikido Journal.

I have cited Moshe Feldenkrais as a big influence in my developing the belief that aikido and aiki-jujutsu were developed from observation of toddler movement. Indeed, "observation" is the essence of the Feldenkrais Method. By observing ourselves on the most microscopic levels, through small movements, we can unlock both physical and psychological impediments to achieve things we may have thought would always remain out of our reach.

This article should be of deep interest to Dan, Mike, et al and everyone who has been involved in those discussions.

Best to all.

David

gdandscompserv
03-17-2007, 02:14 PM
I devoured that whole website.
Interesting individual and method.
I would like to attend a class..

Kevin Leavitt
03-17-2007, 02:20 PM
I have always wanted to explore feldenkrais, just have not had the time to do it. Makes sense to me.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-17-2007, 05:02 PM
I have always wanted to explore feldenkrais, just have not had the time to do it. Makes sense to me.

Me too, especially i'd like to read his "Higher Judo" book.

Aran Bright
03-25-2007, 06:49 AM
Makes me think that all forms of movement therapy are ultimately trying to achieve the same thing, it is just that they all have there individual approach.

He seems like a very strong character this feldenkrais, very interesting man.

I like the way he explains 'ki' it makes a lot of sense.

thanks for the intersting read, more fuel to the fire.

Mike Sigman
03-25-2007, 11:32 AM
Here's a great interview with Moshe Feldenkrais, conducted by aikido man Dennis Leri almost thirty years ago:

http://www.feldenkrais-wien.at/article-4.htm

[[snip]]

This article should be of deep interest to Dan, Mike, et al and everyone who has been involved in those discussions.Moshe Feldenkrais, Donn Draeger, and many other big "names" were in Japan and studied in ki-related training. As a matter of fact, MANY westerners have rubbed shoulders with ki-related training, but few had much shown to them. Most of the ones who got something figured out what they could for themselves. I think Feldenkrais figured out a paradigm, based on his perception of how things worked, and used it partially as a basis for his movement studies.

However, the key element of ki/kokyu movement is the mind-manipulation of forces (the so-called "mind-body" connection) and Feldenkrais movement either never had it or if Moshe had it, he wasn't able to transmit it very well.

Personally, I think a lot of the Japanese use a very vague paradigm/explanation of how the Ki things work and that means that very few Japanese even get it very well.... westerners even less so. In fact, I'm beginning to think that this "vagueness" bottleneck is the main reason why so few Japanese arts have many representative members with Ki skills (and the reason why the westerners or so often totally missing the boat, regardless of the years spent in Japan).

But that's just my opinion.

Best.

Mike

George S. Ledyard
03-29-2007, 09:12 PM
Personally, I think a lot of the Japanese use a very vague paradigm/explanation of how the Ki things work and that means that very few Japanese even get it very well.... westerners even less so. In fact, I'm beginning to think that this "vagueness" bottleneck is the main reason why so few Japanese arts have many representative members with Ki skills (and the reason why the westerners or so often totally missing the boat, regardless of the years spent in Japan).

I think that this is spot on... I think that with some extended exposure to some folks who can do and teach this stuff we would find that Americans would probably start to develop their own creative ways of describing these things, their own vocabulary. Of course the Chinese already a have a developed vocabulary but I think it likely that even when American students of the Japanese martial art of Aikido begin to understand what those terms mean, they'd be likely to come up with their own descriptions over time.

Robert Rumpf
03-30-2007, 08:47 AM
Personally, I think a lot of the Japanese use a very vague paradigm/explanation of how the Ki things work and that means that very few Japanese even get it very well.... westerners even less so. In fact, I'm beginning to think that this "vagueness" bottleneck is the main reason why so few Japanese arts have many representative members with Ki skills (and the reason why the westerners or so often totally missing the boat, regardless of the years spent in Japan).

I think this is precisely the nature of the difficulties. Understanding and transmission seems to be based on an intuitive grasp more than anything else, but as I have learned in my technical background, intuition has limitations, not the least of which is limited transmittability without a high level of common context, personal interaction, and mutual understanding. Without that, it seems to develop into mimicry.

--- Tangent ---

That was one of the things that I got out of your (and Rob John's) trip to the dojo. There was a real effort to offer concrete and concise explanation of certain ideas, and the new phrases that you guys mentioned (and certain exercises you did) have stuck with me, and given me some different ideas to think about and use in my practice in the future. Sometimes the message was similar to things I have heard, but the words were new, and that really helped.

In addition, now that I have some idea of how what you say aligns with what you do, and can come to some guess at what some of it means, I can go back and look through some of the Aikiweb posts and reevaluate them.

Some of what was done resonated with things I have seen demonstrated in passing before, but these past experiences were buried in the complacency that one gets into when on familiar ground, or lodged within a wholly different paradigm (Ki Society).

In an eight hour seminar spread over four days with complete strangers (typically of different styles) as partners, people are often grasping at straws with the most basic techniques, and so when something that is advanced comes out, like ki-related techniques, it is often relegated to the "wow, I can never do that!" bin, or conveniently ignored, instead of being a training goal.

That is one of the reasons why I respect Erick Meade - he is making an effort to characterize his ideas in a way that is abstract and robust, if abstruse. The fact that it is incomprehensible to me is at least as much my fault as it is his (like almost all of the training difficulties I face).

--- Tangent over ---

It sounds like the Feldenkrais stuff could bring new insights if you found the right instructor and spent enough time with them to learn their language. But then again, what wouldn't?

I'd be very interested in anyone providing names and anecdotal information about notable Feldenkrais instructors that have helped their Aikido.

With respect to the child learning idea, here is an article that contains related reviews and points from the linguistic perspective: http://www.slate.com/id/2148342/

Rob

Mike Sigman
03-30-2007, 09:08 AM
That was one of the things that I got out of your (and Rob John's) trip to the dojo. There was a real effort to offer concrete and concise explanation of certain ideas, and the new phrases that you guys mentioned (and certain exercises you did) have stuck with me, and given me some different ideas to think about and use in my practice in the future. Sometimes the message was similar to things I have heard, but the words were new, and that really helped.

In addition, now that I have some idea of how what you say aligns with what you do, and can come to some guess at what some of it means, I can go back and look through some of the Aikiweb posts and reevaluate them.

Some of what was done resonated with things I have seen demonstrated in passing before, but these past experiences were buried in the complacency that one gets into when on familiar ground, or lodged within a wholly different paradigm (Ki Society).

In an eight hour seminar spread over four days with complete strangers (typically of different styles) as partners, people are often grasping at straws with the most basic techniques, and so when something that is advanced comes out, like ki-related techniques, it is often relegated to the "wow, I can never do that!" bin, or conveniently ignored, instead of being a training goal.

That is one of the reasons why I respect Erick Meade - he is making an effort to characterize his ideas in a way that is abstract and robust, if abstruse. The fact that it is incomprehensible to me is at least as much my fault as it is his (like almost all of the training difficulties I face).

--- Tangent over ---

It sounds like the Feldenkrais stuff could bring new insights if you found the right instructor and spent enough time with them to learn their language. But then again, what wouldn't?A lot of this discussion is (from Erick, me, Feldenkrais, Tohei, Inaba, Abe, Ushiro, etc.) our attempts at "how to do it". Although to be precise, I think Erick is offering something quite different from what the rest of us are talking about, so let me put that one to the side. But even if Erick were talking about the same thing, his approach would not, in my opinion, be of any value to anyone other than him. You can't learn anything from mathematical descriptions of physical concepts. You couldn't, for instance, learn how to ride a bicycle by arguing that it had to do with angular momentum (it does), so the question is how to you find words, buzzwords, and phrases that will most succinctly convey learning insights to the person listening to you.

The many Asian approaches I've heard over the years are simply too obscure to learn the substantive physical skills I encountered and wound up learning to do (to a moderate extent). It's a work in progress, trying to give verbally useful descriptions of these things and many Aikido teachers will have to (1.)learn these skills and then (2.) try to convey the how-to clearly, dropping the costumery of esoteric Asian-sounding terms.

Upon reading some of Feldenkrais' books/stories, I feel that he did indeed try to formulate and articulate some portion of ki-related movements in his ideas. Frankly, he was not very successful, not judging by the numbers of Feldenkrais practitioners that I've felt in my life. He didn't understand the concept of yi/intent to form the paths of power with the mind. None of his practitioners that I've felt had any idea about this either. So while I'm not knocking Feldenkrais in any way, I simply discard the idea that it's somehow related to Aikido, Taiji, or anything like that.

End of Ramble. ;)

Mike

statisticool
04-03-2007, 05:40 PM
You can't learn anything from mathematical descriptions of physical concepts.


I guess that puts the very well developed discipline of mathematical modelling on shaky ground.

David Orange
04-10-2007, 01:36 PM
Moshe Feldenkrais, Donn Draeger, and many other big "names" were in Japan and studied in ki-related training. As a matter of fact, MANY westerners have rubbed shoulders with ki-related training, but few had much shown to them.

Mike, you wouldn't comment on an article like that without even having read the article, would you? Sounds like you didn't read it. Feldenkrais never went to Japan. That's one reason I posted the link: it's such a fascinating story of how he met Kano and how Kano introduced him to judo, hands-on. You should read it.

Most of the ones who got something figured out what they could for themselves. I think Feldenkrais figured out a paradigm, based on his perception of how things worked, and used it partially as a basis for his movement studies.

Well, you'd do better to read it, but what he did was combine his engineering education with research on the nervous system (see Body and Mature Behavior) and child development with his lengthy experience in judo, NOT[/i] to develop "ki" but to access the highest functioning of the human being. He was able to help children with cerebral palsy, victims of stroke, gunshot victims and others regain (or experience for the first time) ease and effectiveness of movement. He was able to help martial artists, actors, singers, musicians, even Israeli Prime Minister David ben Gurion, to reach higher potentials in their fields of endeavor. Your focus on ki/kokyu/jin is very narrow by comparison.

However, the key element of ki/kokyu movement is the mind-manipulation of forces (the so-called "mind-body" connection) and Feldenkrais movement either never had it or if Moshe had it, he wasn't able to transmit it very well.

It doesn't sound like you've looked at it closely enough to know. His real focus was on the point where the body enacts the intention of the mind. He was interested in "what a person thinks" as compared "what they actually do"--how they translate their intention into physical action. You seem to like to look at details of movement with a magnifying glass. Feldenkrais' approach used a microscope. Further, he had very different goals than you. He was internationally recognized as a master teacher of martial arts, so he had nothing to prove there and he went on to affect people in every field of human endeavor.

Personally, I think a lot of the Japanese use a very vague paradigm/explanation of how the Ki things work and that means that very few Japanese even get it very well.... westerners even less so. In fact, I'm beginning to think that this "vagueness" bottleneck is the main reason why so few Japanese arts have many representative members with Ki skills (and the reason why the westerners or so often totally missing the boat, regardless of the years spent in Japan).

The key in each case is primarily the lack of will to make the effort to go very deep. And that includes technical practice as well as lack of deep understanding of Japanese language. Just as if someone fails to study the mathematics necessary to go beyond layman's illustrations of physics principles, they will think "physicists use a very vague paradigm/explanation of how physics works," we can try to use a superficial knowledge of Japanese language to decry the Japanese vagueness on matters of ki. In the Wilhelm/Baynes translation of I Ching, there is an interesting comment: "There is always something ponderous and one-sided in the knowledge of the self-taught man." That saying often comes to mind when I read your opinions.

Feldenkrais gained his knowledge of judo first from Kano himself, then from several representatives whom Kano hand-picked specifically to teach Feldenkrais. Feldenkrais applied his scientific mind to the Asian concepts and those Japanese teachers approved his explanations. It's really an interesting story and it's all in that link in the first post. You really ought to read it.

What it really all comes down to is natural being. Feldenkrais teaches that the human nervous system is designed for human success and that it will give us the best results when we allow it to act as it was intended, rather than trying to force some artificial mechanics onto it. You like to mention Tempu Nakamura's influence on Koichi Tohei's aikido and his recognition of ki, but reading Tohei on the subject reinforces my belief that what Nakamura taught him was basically that "the mind leads the body" while, from Ueshiba, he learned "how to relax." And in both cases, the [b]natural way (which Feldenkrais teaches us to access) is the ideal.

(from: http://www.b-smart.net/archive/tohei_intvw.html) (emphases mine):

Nakamura Sensei's teaching that mind moves the body helped me to understand the essential principle of Aikido...I diligently tried everything that Nakumura Sensei taught. As a result, from experience I learned that some of it worked and some of it didn't. One technique that did not work was a meditation technique he taught from Yoga called Kumbahaka. This involved tightening the anus, putting strength into the lower abdomen, softening the solar plexus, letting the shoulders drop down, holding your ears in line with your shoulders, and keeping your lips pressed against your teeth. This was actually an exaggerated and awkward way of trying to explain what natural posture was. Nakamura Sensei himself did not do this, but this is how he explained it. Many ancient oriental methods use exaggerated expressions to explain a natural state, and end up producing completely the wrong results. But I tested everything thoroughly in order to learn from experience. I found that if I did Kumbahaka while farming I would get a sore back, if I did it while walking I would become exhausted, and if I did it while doing Aikido none of the techniques would work at all! The most important thing is ''how to do,'' not how to say. By following natural principles, and doing as Nakamura Sensei did, rather than as he taught, I learned how to do it correctly and consistently. He noticed this and asked me what I was doing. I told him I was doing Kumbahaka. He knew that and wanted to know how I was doing it. I showed him that even his senior students were easily pushed over because of the tension created in their bodies by trying to follow those complicated instructions. In his later years he changed the way he explained it, but after he died his students went back to old explanation, and it is no better now than it was then.

So it sounds like Tohei did not really learn very much from Nakamura except what he has repeatedly cited: The mind moves the body.

Further, he subscribes to natural movement, natural posture, natural principles. Which is exactly what Feldenkrais teaches us to access. Note that I don't say Feldenkrais teaches us natural movement. Rather, by applying a microscopic observation of what we are really doing, as compared to what we intend to do, Feldenkrais teaches us to see where we are like students of Tempu Nakamura, walking around with tight anuses and our lips mashed against our teeth, wondering why we can't meet girls.

The opposite of that? Loosen up! Relax!

That's what Tohei learned from Ueshiba and there's no need to distort the phrase "natural posture" into anything other than natural human posture to get the full meaning of it. Feldenkrais' Method is only necessary when one has taken "natural posture" to be something artificial that has to be "reprogrammed" into the human being.

David

Mike Sigman
04-10-2007, 05:21 PM
Mike, you wouldn't comment on an article like that without even having read the article, would you? Sounds like you didn't read it. Feldenkrais never went to Japan. That's one reason I posted the link: it's such a fascinating story of how he met Kano and how Kano introduced him to judo, hands-on. You should read it. Actually, I read most of it, but I skipped a lot of the beginning part that had background I was not interested in. I was only really interested in what he knew. That part I got, as best I could.

The rest of the stuff you wrote is interesting, but I've meet many Feldenkrais practitioners, David.... none of them have any jin. Your posts have indicated that you don't really understand what it is either. Donn Draeger's monograph on kiai indicates he wasn't shown how to do it, either. No biggy.... I wasn't shown by my karate and Aikido teachers. It seems to be something that went around. Jin uses intent. Feldenkrais does not have intent.

Regards,

Mike

statisticool
04-10-2007, 06:27 PM
Well, it indicates ones' interpretation of Donn's monograph, anyway.

From Feldenkrais


What I am after is more flexible minds, not just more flexible bodies.


Surely intent was one of the main aspects.

Justin

kironin
04-11-2007, 05:01 PM
So it sounds like Tohei did not really learn very much from Nakamura except what he has repeatedly cited: The mind moves the body.

Further, he subscribes to natural movement, natural posture, natural principles. Which is exactly what Feldenkrais teaches us to access. Note that I don't say Feldenkrais teaches us natural movement. Rather, by applying a microscopic observation of what we are really doing, as compared to what we intend to do, Feldenkrais teaches us to see where we are like students of Tempu Nakamura, walking around with tight anuses and our lips mashed against our teeth, wondering why we can't meet girls.


Tohei Sensei tends to understate the contributions he received from his teachers. Over the years I have gotten a lot more respect for Tempu Nakamura who was totally obscured 10-15 years ago before the internet.

Personal experience informs me that Mike is spot on.

Tohei Sensei in his books and interviews talks in generalities that I have always found frustrating. Training from those who have been taught by him personally is a lot more detailed and specific.

Aran Bright
04-23-2007, 06:55 AM
There seems to be a lot of similarities between what Feldenkrais teaches and what Tohei taught but I agree, Feldenkrais methods where very mechanical, no intent component.

Having said that Faldenkrais methods are very similar to another form of Japanese therapy, Sotai Ho. They both work on the idea or position of ease or pain free movement. Feldenkrais has a brilliant form of balancing the body, I believe, a better method in many ways than Tohei's. It is much easier to follow for the western mind. But it does lack the 'ki' development component, which means there is physical phenomena missed out in Feldenkrais methods, or at least from what I know of them.

Both would be best.

FWIW

Aran

tedehara
04-23-2007, 07:36 AM
Tohei Sensei tends to understate the contributions he received from his teachers. Over the years I have gotten a lot more respect for Tempu Nakamura who was totally obscured 10-15 years ago before the internet...Part of the reason people might feel this way is because his book on his two teachers Morihei Ueshiba and Tempu Nakamura was never translated into English.

http://img.7andy.jp/bks/images/i3/30492183.jpg

My Teachers
by Koichi Tohei
1999, Hardback, 197 pages

In this book Tohei Sensei discusses in great depth the ideas, philosophies, and teachings of his two main teachers, Morihei Ueshiba and Tempu Nakamura.

Ueshiba Sensei was, of course, the founder of Aikido. Nakamura Sensei was the founder of TempuKai which teaches mind and body unification.

Books by K. Tohei that haven't been translated into English (http://www.lagunaki.org/booksinjapanese.htm)

David Orange
05-18-2007, 04:30 PM
There seems to be a lot of similarities between what Feldenkrais teaches and what Tohei taught but I agree, Feldenkrais methods where very mechanical, no intent component.

Aran, intent is the essence of what Feldenkrais was teaching. He just didn't teach "what" intent to have since he wanted to help every individual achieve whatever intent that individual might have. That's why it helped actors, governors, musicians, singers and dancers as well as martial artists. Feldenkrais recognized that most people cannot achieve their real intent because they do too much. They copy what they see done but without fine perception of their own actions, they use more muscles than necessary and make a far greater effort than necessary--which usually leads to failure as surely as applying too little effort.

Feldenkrais taught exercises using tiny movements--a milimeter or two--and efforts of a gram or two: exactly the opposite of people's intuition of applying as much force as possible over as great a distance as possible. That approach is like taking all your suitcases on a journey. Fine if you need them, but usually, you don't. Feldenkrais' approach is to start at the smallest possible level of perception and learn to discern very clearly what is the smallest amount required--then use no more. For most people, this results in an instant release of a LOT of unneccessary tension, which makes their bodies shorter and tighter than they should be. With application of the Feldenkrais approach, one feels a sudden release of tension and usually heaves a deep sigh as their body lengthens and sinks at the same time. One stands more upright with less effort and moves much more freely and spontaneously. And one realizes that he can achieve his intent and finds the motivation and clarity to effectively pursue it.

Having said that Faldenkrais methods are very similar to another form of Japanese therapy, Sotai Ho. They both work on the idea or position of ease or pain free movement. Feldenkrais has a brilliant form of balancing the body, I believe, a better method in many ways than Tohei's. It is much easier to follow for the western mind. But it does lack the 'ki' development component, which means there is physical phenomena missed out in Feldenkrais methods, or at least from what I know of them.

Did you read the interview with Moshe Feldenkrais? He goes a lot into the idea of ki. And being a direct student of Jigoro Kano and some of Kano's top judoka, he has a uniquely qualified perspective.

Both would be best.

I agree completely with that. And as I said in my first post, the Feldenkrais approach can help one to develop more quickly in the other. It does this by helping one develop finer perceptions and recognition of tinier and tinier quanta of effort and tension. It's not a self-contained and defined "way" to do things, but a way for one to use in finding one's own best personal way of doing anything. In other words, it helps you find and express your own individual, unique intent.

Best wishes.

David

bob_stra
08-13-2007, 03:34 PM
Hey Mike, how you doing? Long time no see

So I'm doing my periodic lurkings here when I stumble upon this post. As a Feldenkrais practitioner, you just know I can't well enough leave alone

A lot of this discussion is (from Erick, me, Feldenkrais, Tohei, Inaba, Abe, Ushiro, etc.) our attempts at "how to do it". Although to be precise, I think Erick is offering something quite different from what the rest of us are talking about, so let me put that one to the side. But even if Erick were talking about the same thing, his approach would not, in my opinion, be of any value to anyone other than him. You can't learn anything from mathematical descriptions of physical concepts. You couldn't, for instance, learn how to ride a bicycle by arguing that it had to do with angular momentum (it does), so the question is how to you find words, buzzwords, and phrases that will most succinctly convey learning insights to the person listening to you.


Zero disagreement. One could describe bike riding quite well from the p.o.v. of angular momentum and completely FAIL to convey the sense of bike riding, because such an explanation is not concrete in the physical, kinaesthetic experience. Instead, it uses cerebral language to describe a physical act after that fact. Not quite useless but certainly missing the point


Upon reading some of Feldenkrais' books/stories, I feel that he did indeed try to formulate and articulate some portion of ki-related movements in his ideas.


Indeed - he seemed to know a thing or two on the topic

http://judoforum.com/index.php?showtopic=11623


Feldenkrais practitioners that I've felt in my life. He didn't understand the concept of yi/intent to form the paths of power with the mind.


Woah, woah woah...

I don't want to be "that guy" but I believe you are wrong on this one, and, what's more fun, I can prove it.

Book
Awareness through movement
Lesson 8 - "Perfecting the Self image"

Further - here is a lesson on force transmission from ground through pelvis to head (ignore the blather that introduces it ; I dunno why he writes that stuff). Try it and tell me what you think

http://www.flowingbody.com/low30.htm

You will find "Awareness Through Movement" in most libraries. I could make a good argument that Lesson 8 is all about "finding new pathways for movement by use of the mind". A very, very good argument, seeing that more than half of the lesson is done 'in the imagination'.

Now, if you want to argue that that doesn't qualify it as 'yi'...well...you'll have to tell me what you mean by yi.


None of his practitioners that I've felt had any idea about this either.


Maybe in a martial context. But the "hold hand this way, apply force, connect to different bodypart and cause it to move" as per end of this this video -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InlQtTMK5Ys

was shown to me by Alyn Zones not that long ago. On a good day, I have some small success mimicking it. I'm willing to bet Elizabeth Beringer could put a more martial context on it (see here for bio's)

http://www.feldenkraistrainingprograms.com/Trainers.htm

Oh and the whole pinky thing Kuroda sensei is doing? I have pictures of feldenkrais doing the same pinky wrestling thing in standing and can provide a scan thereof.

So, yeah - "passion on behalf of my medium" aside...*shrugs* I'll calm down now and go back to lurking.

Mostly I wanna see what happens with this thread :)

http://judoforum.com/index.php?showtopic=19177&hl=

Erick Mead
08-13-2007, 09:51 PM
One could describe bike riding quite well from the p.o.v. of angular momentum ....and completely FAIL to convey the sense of bike riding, because such an explanation is not concrete in the physical, kinaesthetic experience. Instead, it uses cerebral language to describe a physical act after that fact. Not quite useless but certainly missing the point. But the key thing is that in order to look for training cues appropriate to the manipulation of angular momentum and its counterintuitive phase/axis-shifting ability, one does need to have a physical template that can be looked at to plan and analyze what has or has not worked. That -- and strong doses of poetry as counterweight...

http://www.flowingbody.com/low30.htm
let spine lift like a chain, one vertebra at a time, and lower the same way…study regularity and smoothness of movement up and down…seek to improve your ability to distinguish and articulate individual vertebrae...your weight eventually rolls up onto your upper back.
... Lesson 8 is all about "finding new pathways for movement by use of the mind". A very, very good argument, seeing that more than half of the lesson is done 'in the imagination'.

And as to Kuroda:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InlQtTMK5Ys

Kuroda, at the end, is plainly generating a wave in the chain of bones (in much the same manner that Feldenkrais describes in realizing the movement of the chain of vertebrae in the spine) . The wave energy causes the upper torso to pitch the opposite way of the head, and because the head is reflecting the generated wave in the opposite direction of the input wave -- the balance system has set to compensate for a reaction that ends up being 180 degrees out of phase. Voila -- kuzushi.

As to bike riding, this motion that Kuroda shows, when combined with the opposite waveform in the other hand ("yang in the right hand and yin in the left") makes a wicked "trapdoor" tenchinage.

Oh and the whole pinky thing Kuroda sensei is doing? I have pictures of feldenkrais doing the same pinky wrestling thing in standing and can provide a scan thereof. I was taught a similar thing along the road some years ago with a pinky-waza nikkyo, which is the bane of my present dojo mates, and which I, unfortunately, typically only get to do once on an unsuspecting victim.

bob_stra
08-14-2007, 01:59 AM
But the key thing is that in order to look for training cues appropriate to the manipulation of angular momentum and its counterintuitive phase/axis-shifting ability, one does need to have a physical template that can be looked at to plan and analyze what has or has not worked. That -- and strong doses of poetry as counterweight...


LOL - thank you for proving my point :P

More seriously...I agree. I could ride a bike, jump and run perfectly well before I learnt about angular kinetics,,,and perfectly well after.

I would say the process informed my actions and gave me another way to look at what I was doing. But like anything it was a process of assimilation, translation and integration.

I mean - can you imagine teaching a six year old to learn how to run by telling him "Look, little Johnny - if you reduce the distance between the primary transverse axis and the upper thigh, thereby bringing the mass closer to the axis of gyration, you'll be able to reduce the angular inertia by the square of the distance and thus proportionally increase the stride frequency and rate." Of course not - it's nonsense in those words. Now if little Johnny is now 20 and has been sprinting for a while AND becomes interesting coaching AND is willing to sift through such language for the cue ('kick your butt when you sprint because...') that's something else again

YMMV

bob_stra
08-16-2007, 01:55 AM
BTW, I'd like to add one final thing (because someone PM'ed me)

A lot of people assume Feldenkrais is a method of relaxation or injury rehabilitation or something like that. It is not or if it is, it is so indirectly. As one of my teachers put it "I'm empathetic to people in pain but it's not my business. I'm much more interested in helping them function than trying to cure them".

Instead, for me, Feldenkrais it's much closer to physical Rubik's cube solving. You are given a problem (ATM) and given clues as to how to solve it (ATM directions). Each persons solution will in some way be specific to them, however certain parameters (reduction in effort, proportionally distributed movement etc) are universal. More to the point, all of this is secondary - what Feldenkrais is about is working with and noticing our habitual movement patterns and then finding new ways, or not, as the case may be. Concretely. Physically. Here and now. Eventually, you read enough of the textbook (you) to 'know what you're doing, so you can do what you want'. Sometimes :)

So in a way, it's about options. Thus the famous refrain "The movements are idiotic. They're an idiotic thing. What I'm after isn't flexible bodies, but flexible brains. What I'm after is to restore each person to his human dignity."

Ditto in FI.

Here's someone who's better at explaining, actually going ahead and explaining it

http://www.mindinmotion-online.com/default.php?document-id=begin

http://www.markkeogh.com/FELDENWHAT.htm

Also - I think, in my zeal, I misunderstood what was meant by Yi / intent? Maybe not - I don't know?

Ok, shillings over, folks. Move along, nothing to see here... :)

Erick Mead
08-16-2007, 11:32 AM
More seriously...I agree. I could ride a bike, jump and run perfectly well before I learnt about angular kinetics,,,and perfectly well after. But if you want to learn to take the motorbike around the critical edge of the hairpin curve at speed, you had best have a grounding in the factors that may cause that exercise to fail at a critical juncture.

Aikido is practicing for just such a critical event, and knowing the signs of a slick road, cranky brakes, dodgy throttle, and the limits of our tire wear, just may be helpful to progessively narrow down our tolerances -- if we really have need to lay it over and gun it around. Flying and learning to fly, in which I have some experience, is very much the same, just as unforgiving of mistakes, and requires both detailed analytical observation and deeply intuitive feel. For the record, all the descriptions I have heard of Feldenkrais' approach qualifies it on both counts.

David Orange
10-18-2007, 09:41 PM
Upon reading some of Feldenkrais' books/stories, I feel that he did indeed try to formulate and articulate some portion of ki-related movements in his ideas. Frankly, he was not very successful, not judging by the numbers of Feldenkrais practitioners that I've felt in my life. He didn't understand the concept of yi/intent to form the paths of power with the mind. None of his practitioners that I've felt had any idea about this either. So while I'm not knocking Feldenkrais in any way, I simply discard the idea that it's somehow related to Aikido, Taiji, or anything like that.

Mike, I've just read your third article and, frankly, much of it could have been written by Moshe Feldenkrais. You write, "“Moving from the center” actually means that the “center” does the work and the arms, hands, etc., become simply transmitters of the center’s movement. No additive strength should be initiated by the shoulders or arms..."

That statement could have come almost verbatim from Moshe Feldenkrais, most likely "Higher Judo."

You have to remember that The Feldenkrais Method is not a martial art and so "most Feldenkrais practioners" won't know anything about martial applications but they will have free and comfortable movement and are typically very comfortable mentally and emotionally as well.

But Moshe, himself, was a highly advanced martial artist and most of what you've written about is stuff he published decades ago.

For instance, you write, "the rest of the body is trained to connect the power from the middle to wherever it is needed, instantaneously (via the mind)."

Feldenkrais would say that the body naturally does this (as is easily seen by observing "normal" toddlers). Habitual movement patterns developed through sports and education in desks, is what destroys that kind of whole-body usage. And the key to restoring that proper usage, according to Feldenkrais, is "awareness," developed by close attention to movement. Of course, that will have different manifestations for a dancer or actor than for a martial atist. But Moshe's approach will benefit all of them.

Best wishes.

David

Aran Bright
10-19-2007, 07:33 AM
BTW, I'd like to add one final thing (because someone PM'ed me)

A lot of people assume Feldenkrais is a method of relaxation or injury rehabilitation or something like that. It is not or if it is, it is so indirectly. As one of my teachers put it "I'm empathetic to people in pain but it's not my business. I'm much more interested in helping them function than trying to cure them".

Instead, for me, Feldenkrais it's much closer to physical Rubik's cube solving. You are given a problem (ATM) and given clues as to how to solve it (ATM directions). Each persons solution will in some way be specific to them, however certain parameters (reduction in effort, proportionally distributed movement etc) are universal. More to the point, all of this is secondary - what Feldenkrais is about is working with and noticing our habitual movement patterns and then finding new ways, or not, as the case may be. Concretely. Physically. Here and now. Eventually, you read enough of the textbook (you) to 'know what you're doing, so you can do what you want'. Sometimes :)

So in a way, it's about options. Thus the famous refrain "The movements are idiotic. They're an idiotic thing. What I'm after isn't flexible bodies, but flexible brains. What I'm after is to restore each person to his human dignity."

Ditto in FI.

Here's someone who's better at explaining, actually going ahead and explaining it

http://www.mindinmotion-online.com/default.php?document-id=begin

http://www.markkeogh.com/FELDENWHAT.htm

Also - I think, in my zeal, I misunderstood what was meant by Yi / intent? Maybe not - I don't know?

Ok, shillings over, folks. Move along, nothing to see here... :)

Wow, you've certainly instilled in me a new respect for Felden-what ever it is. Those links are quite a read, thanks.

Aran Bright
10-19-2007, 07:50 AM
Hi Bob,

I had one quick question too, is there an ideal point for initiating movement in Feldenkrais? This is a loaded question, but I am keen to hear your answer.

Aran

Mike Sigman
10-19-2007, 08:24 PM
I actually didn't catch a lot of this thread because I thought it was over.

Bob Stra.... sorry I didn't catch your post in time, I was in San Diego a month or so ago. I'll get in touch with Elizabeth Beringer and see if I can meet up with her briefly. Until then, I'd have to stand by my statement and note that I have never felt a Feldenkrais practitioner who knew what intent was or how to use it. It should be very straightforward.

David Orange, same deal. Even if you knew Feldenkrais and it had much or some of the same components, by now you would have recognized them and been able to merge with the discussions. The inability to do so says most of everything. It's not up to me to prove negatives. ;)

Best,

Mike

David Orange
10-19-2007, 09:58 PM
David Orange, same deal. Even if you knew Feldenkrais and it had much or some of the same components, by now you would have recognized them and been able to merge with the discussions. The inability to do so says most of everything. It's not up to me to prove negatives. ;)

Sorry, Mike, but you're disputing yourself. You said Feldenkrais had nothing to offer. And after many, many times of saying "if you understood this, you could explain it," you've actually offered very, very little "explanation" other than vague references to things that other people have written--mostly the "same old stuff" that you criticize as being too allegorical or metaphorical. All your real "explanation" is in the third article and what do we find? It matches right up with what Feldenkrais said fifty years ago.

I don't ask you to prove negatives. You just create them.;)

But carry on, carry on. People say you've got something, but your explanations don't show it. So maybe you just don't understand other people's explanations, either.

David

Mike Sigman
10-21-2007, 02:11 PM
But carry on, carry on. People say you've got something, but your explanations don't show it. So maybe you just don't understand other people's explanations, either.
Er.... how does this fly, given that so many of us "others" understand what each other is talking about and you have repeatedly shown yourself to be uninformed in this area?

If you've got something to say and demonstrate about how Feldenkrais is similar to something I said in a blog, try to specifically narrow the area of discussion and be prepared to support your position in the debate. Don't just make general statements and expect them to be accepted, particularly in light of your previous nose-dives in these "how it's done" debates.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
10-21-2007, 03:25 PM
I've been thinking and,you know, to be fair and to use a bit of extrapolation, I can actually see how Feldenkrais movement could be someone's interpretation of some of the ki/kokyu skills. It's a limited interpretation (bear in mind I'm only guessing based on what I've seen and read and felt), but suddenly I can see how it's an attempt to do some of the same things. And heck, I've seen a lot worse guesses/attempts in the martial-arts communities at ki/kokyu skills, so it's not really a bad attempt.

Assuming my guess is roughly in the right direction, then here's my opinion: Feldenkrais's movement principles would be based on the kind of movement that Tohei espouses where you relax and let the body and mind hopefully coordinate for such an optimum movement that you get seemingly better strength, etc., from the approach.

It's sort of like the example Tohei uses where someone holds his wrist and yet he calmly reaches up and scratches his head. Tohei's approach to doing that particular demonstration (and other similar ones) is to just relax, etc. My preferred approach would result in the same results ultimately, but would be much more explicative, initially, in order to (IMO) refine and extend the range of skills. However, I suddenly see how the Feldenkrais approach could be a derivative of the general approach that Tohei uses. Since I haven't felt anyone in Feldenkrais (and of course I haven't felt them all) using any real jin skills, I tended to not look very close at any potential relationships (I'm pretty results-oriented, admittedly).

If my tentative guess is correct, then OK I can see a vague relationship between Feldenkrais' perspective and the ki/kokyu/jin/etc stuff in Asian martial arts. However, results-wise, I don't see it as being effective enough for anyone to divert a lot of attention to. To be fair (remember, this is all just a guess!!!), I'd suggest that with the proper pointers a bona fide Feldenkrais person *might* have a somewhat easier job of picking up ki/qi/jin/kokyu skills.

Yours in Rumination. ;)

Mike

bob_stra
10-22-2007, 10:09 AM
I've been thinking and,you know, to be fair and to use a bit of extrapolation, I can actually see how Feldenkrais movement could be someone's interpretation of some of the ki/kokyu skills. It's a limited interpretation (bear in mind I'm only guessing based on what I've seen and read and felt), but suddenly I can see how it's an attempt to do some of the same things. And heck, I've seen a lot worse guesses/attempts in the martial-arts communities at ki/kokyu skills, so it's not really a bad attempt.



Now...don't feel the need to agree with me, because we both might be wrong :)


Assuming my guess is roughly in the right direction, then here's my opinion: Feldenkrais's movement principles would be based on the kind of movement that Tohei espouses where you relax and let the body and mind hopefully coordinate for such an optimum movement that you get seemingly better strength, etc., from the approach.


That's not...far off, actually. I mean, I could inject all sorts of science into it, how it works, bla bla...but...it's not far wrong, IMHO.

There's a series of lessons, for example, that start you laying on your stomach, basically in a 1 hand push up position. The 'goal', if there is one, if to find a pathway through the arm, to the shoulder blade, into the spine, across into the pelvis, in such a manner so as to roll yourself smoothly onto your back. Smoothly means - can stop movement at any point and reverse it. And also, not using the local chest musculature to do it.

It's a weird sensation...perhaps one that makes sense to you?

Anyway, msg me and tell me what you find. I shall be very keen to take it on board.

bob_stra
10-22-2007, 10:16 AM
Hi Bob,

I had one quick question too, is there an ideal point for initiating movement in Feldenkrais? This is a loaded question, but I am keen to hear your answer.

Aran

Hmm...

It...depends :D

Realistically, "no". However, the 'initiation' should be such as to afford even distribution of effort, allow for 'segmental sequencing' not overtly use too much localized musculature (proportionality of effort) and most importantly, not lock you into doing one thing. Ie: from any point, being able to reverse the direction and go elsewhere

That's my current understanding.

Feldenkrais "ideals" are more about quality, AFAIK. There are some very specific qualities that are looked for. If your 'initiation' allows for them, then great.

Mike Sigman
10-22-2007, 10:24 AM
Now...don't feel the need to agree with me, because we both might be wrong :) I have t-shirt that says just that: "If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong". ;) There's a series of lessons, for example, that start you laying on your stomach, basically in a 1 hand push up position. The 'goal', if there is one, if to find a pathway through the arm, to the shoulder blade, into the spine, across into the pelvis, in such a manner so as to roll yourself smoothly onto your back. Smoothly means - can stop movement at any point and reverse it. And also, not using the local chest musculature to do it.

It's a weird sensation...perhaps one that makes sense to you?
Well, I've seen examples like that one you just mentioned and that's part of what has thrown me off. It's like a cousin-tangent to qi/ki skills, but it's off the mark of using "intent" in the full-blown sense. It's sort of like some of the airy-fairy stuff that you see done in Tai Chi or Aikido that is like a faint parody of the original art, almost unrecognizable. :D

In other words, I know what you're saying, but it still won't qualify for what I'm talking about, although a good Feldenkrais practitioner could probably get in touch with what I'm talking about more quickly than the average bloke.

Best.

Mike

bob_stra
10-22-2007, 10:33 AM
I'm interested in this intent thing you speak of. I'd like an elaboration. Is this a discussion that can be had in this open forum?

Anyway, I'm off to bed...so to be continued (from my end) tomorrow

Mike Sigman
10-22-2007, 01:37 PM
I'm interested in this intent thing you speak of. I'd like an elaboration. Is this a discussion that can be had in this open forum?In reality I think it's something where the words would sound confusing and continue to give the idea that there's a relationship, when in actuality there's not much of one. If I could show you personally I think you'd be convinced in a split-second. ;)

Best.

Mike

bob_stra
10-22-2007, 11:39 PM
Well, for the sake of argument, let me tell you where I'm coming from - then you can tell me if I'm in the ball park with a simple 'yes' or 'no'

Say I'm walking down the street and I notice my foot hurts. As an experiment, I decide to initiate my forward step by moving from my forehead first and landing on my big toe side. Then I experiment landing on the outside edge of my foot, or I might try more of a roll, or initiating from my eyes (turn eyes first to turn head to see what kind of weight shift that produces). Each variation seems to produce a different organization.

Nothing really 'outwards' changes (I still step), but my intention is different, so the thing I feel when I step is different.

Kinda like that?

Mike Sigman
10-23-2007, 08:51 AM
Nothing really 'outwards' changes (I still step), but my intention is different, so the thing I feel when I step is different.No, it's more like I "will" the ground or my weight to somewhere to handle any needed up or down forces as I need them, so a path forms from the ground (or from my weight center) as needed. That's too coarse of a description, but it conveys the general idea. Of course, after a while, I don't consciously "will" things... they just happen automatically (same implication for Aikido techniques happening automatically).

Best.

Mike

bob_stra
10-23-2007, 09:02 AM
No, it's more like I "will" the ground or my weight to somewhere to handle any needed up or down forces as I need them, so a path forms from the ground (or from my weight center) as needed. That's too coarse of a description, but it conveys the general idea. Of course, after a while, I don't consciously "will" things... they just happen automatically (same implication for Aikido techniques happening automatically).

Best.

Mike

Huh - I was quite a bit off. Cool!

I have some questions on how you 'will' things...do you feel upto getting into it here, or ...

(Man...words. We need to set up a teleconference for this kind of thing)

David Orange
10-30-2007, 02:44 PM
I've been thinking and,you know, to be fair and to use a bit of extrapolation, I can actually see how Feldenkrais movement could be someone's interpretation of some of the ki/kokyu skills.

Well...you're starting to get closer, Mike, but as I've said, Feldenkrais movement is not an interpretation of any skills. It's a different thing altogether. If anything, you would be correct in saying that it's "like" yoga. And I don't think you would say that yoga is anyone's interpretation of ki/kokyu skills, would you?

Actually, even saying that Feldenkrais movement is "like" yoga is only approximate. The first Feldenkrais practitioner I knew was also a teacher of yoga and he said that, even after many years of yoga, he continued to have difficulty and pain with many of the positions....until he learned Feldenkrais. Then he gained so much direct communication between his body and his will (intent) that he was able to do all the postures of yoga very easily and without pain. So Feldenkrais is something deeper than either yoga or martial arts. It's direct exploration of the most fundamental interface between our consciousness and our physical bodies.

It's a limited interpretation (bear in mind I'm only guessing based on what I've seen and read and felt), but suddenly I can see how it's an attempt to do some of the same things. And heck, I've seen a lot worse guesses/attempts in the martial-arts communities at ki/kokyu skills, so it's not really a bad attempt.

Again, sorry, but no. It's not "an attempt" to do what you do. It's an exploration of the mind/body connection that underlies what you do. The Feldenkrais method can help a dancer learn to be a better dancer, but it isn't "dance." It can help an actor learn to be a better actor. It can help a concert violinist overcome the damage caused by a bullet wound to his elbow and play again in the symphony. It helped David Ben Gurion when he was prime minister of Israel. It can enable a five-year-old cerebral palsy victim to crawl when he has never been able to unbend his body from a curled-up position. So I think it can help anyone get better results in whatever it is they are attempting to do.

However, I suddenly see how the Feldenkrais approach could be a derivative of the general approach that Tohei uses. Since I haven't felt anyone in Feldenkrais (and of course I haven't felt them all) using any real jin skills, I tended to not look very close at any potential relationships (I'm pretty results-oriented, admittedly).

It may be related to what Tohei does, but it isn't "derivative." Again, you shouldn't expect a Feldenkrais practitioner to exhibit any jin skills uless they're also martial artists--and then only to the level of what their teacher has shown them (though, with a teacher who's advanced enough, they can begin understanding things they haven't been shown).

You wouldn't expect most yoga people to display jin skills, would you? But yoga is more likely to develop tanren than some martial arts. Still, unless someone is a martial art (or if he's studying some relatively rare form of yoga), he isn't likely to manifest any of the kinds of things you're looking for. I just don't think you'd say yoga has no application to what you're developing, would you? It's very similar with Feldenkrais. Dennis Leri and Elizabeth Berringer are two people you should check out on those ideas. I haven't met them and don't really know about their martial skills, but I know they have experience in martial arts as well as Feldenkrais. I just don't know much about their aikido backgrounds.

If my tentative guess is correct, then OK I can see a vague relationship between Feldenkrais' perspective and the ki/kokyu/jin/etc stuff in Asian martial arts. However, results-wise, I don't see it as being effective enough for anyone to divert a lot of attention to.

It's not a linear relationship. Doing Feldenkrais will not develop the skills you're thinking of and it's not intended to. It develps something else that is as counter-intuitive to your skills as using "the fascia" would be to anyone else. The key is that you don't use it in the way you're thinking of using it.

To be fair (remember, this is all just a guess!!!), I'd suggest that with the proper pointers a bona fide Feldenkrais person *might* have a somewhat easier job of picking up ki/qi/jin/kokyu skills.

And you're back to where I started these discussions of Feldenkrais. As I said, it's a tool that would have excellent application in what you're doing. Not only would someone with good Feldenkrais skills have an easier time learning what you're doing (if they have some martial arts background), but someone doing what you're doing would find that learning Feldenkrais would help them develop faster and more easily than before--just as it helped the yoga teacher overcome his long-standing problems with yoga.

But congratulations on your insight and I encourage you to meet with Elizabeth Berringer and let us know what you experience. Also, don't forget Dennis Leri.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
10-30-2007, 02:50 PM
If you've got something to say and demonstrate about how Feldenkrais is similar to something I said in a blog, try to specifically narrow the area of discussion and be prepared to support your position in the debate. Don't just make general statements and expect them to be accepted...

I wanted to answer the other post before going back to this one. I didn't say that something Feldenkrais said was "similar" to something you'd said in a blog. I said that you said exactly the same thing in your blog that Feldenkrais was writing in "Higher Judo" about the time you were born: the central mass of the body exerts the force and the limbs just direct the force. And that's not even an unusual or rare observation in aikido, either.

David

G DiPierro
10-30-2007, 03:28 PM
Actually, even saying that Feldenkrais movement is "like" yoga is only approximate. The first Feldenkrais practitioner I knew was also a teacher of yoga and he said that, even after many years of yoga, he continued to have difficulty and pain with many of the positions....until he learned Feldenkrais. Then he gained so much direct communication between his body and his will (intent) that he was able to do all the postures of yoga very easily and without pain. So Feldenkrais is something deeper than either yoga or martial arts. It's direct exploration of the most fundamental interface between our consciousness and our physical bodies.Just because you knew one person who found the insights he needed in Feldenkrais rather than yoga, that doesn't mean that Feldenkrais is neccesarily deeper than yoga. Maybe your friend just didn't have very good yoga teachers. Not all yoga is good yoga, just as not all aikido is good aikido, and even among the major schools of yoga there significant differences in emphasis and interpretation.

My own experience is that best yoga teachers I have met have a better understanding of how the body should work, a much better embodiment of those principles themselves, and a better way of teaching them to others than what I have seen of Feldenkrais, which admittedly has been quite limited (although I did train in aikido with a Feldenkrais practitioner for a while). To me, Feldenkrais looks kind of like yoga-lite, which is to say that I think it is more aimed towards people who cannot do serious yoga for whatever reason.

Not everyone will be able to do the primary series of Ashtanga yoga, for example, and only small percentage of those people will ever make it to the fourth series, but if you look at people who are at that level in yoga (in any style, not just Ashtanga), I think you might find a depth of understanding of the connection between the mind and the body that goes well beyond anything in Feldenkrais.

David Orange
10-30-2007, 03:40 PM
Just because you knew one person who found the insights he needed in Feldenkrais rather than yoga, that doesn't mean that Feldenkrais is neccesarily deeper than yoga.

I'm sure I didn't say either of those things. My friend got better at yoga after doing Feldenkrais, but he did continue doing yoga, so I suppose he must have found a lot of good in both of them.

To me, Feldenkrais looks kind of like yoga-lite, which is to say that I think it is more aimed towards people who cannot do serious yoga for whatever reason.

I suppose one might also think that tai chi is a sort of an "aikido lite" if he didn't understand either one very well. But the truth is, they're different and both have different purposes and approaches. It's useless to say that a grapefruit isn't as good as an apple or that a pomegranate isn't as good as a plum, isn't it?

Not everyone will be able to do the primary series of Ashtanga yoga, for example, and only small percentage of those people will ever make it to the fourth series, but if you look at people who are at that level in yoga (in any style, not just Ashtanga), I think you might find a depth of understanding of the connection between the mind and the body that goes well beyond anything in Feldenkrais.

Maybe you just haven't seen anyone who's gone really deep in Feldenkrais?

I knew a fellow in Japan who was pretty advanced in yoga and he was very difficult to control, especially after he gained some depth in aikido. He had a lot of flexibility and strength. It made him better able to learn aikido, just as Feldenkrais can help someone advance in yoga more quickly and easily. It's important to understand the purpose of a thing before trying to compare it to something with a very different purpose, don't you think?

David

G DiPierro
10-30-2007, 05:54 PM
Just because you knew one person who found the insights he needed in Feldenkrais rather than yoga, that doesn't mean that Feldenkrais is necessarily deeper than yoga.I'm sure I didn't say either of those things.

Well, I'm sure you did say:

So Feldenkrais is something deeper than either yoga or martial arts.

My experience is that I have seen far more depth in yoga than in what I've seen of Feldenkrais.

Maybe you just haven't seen anyone who's gone really deep in Feldenkrais?
OK, then give me some names. Suggest four or five people who represent different in-depth approaches to Feldenkrais that I could check out, and in return I'll give you a similar list of yoga people.

David Orange
10-30-2007, 08:07 PM
Well, I'm sure you did say:

Quote:
David Orange wrote:
So Feldenkrais is something deeper than either yoga or martial arts.



Meaning that it reaches a level of the nervous system that is more fundamental than either yoga or martial arts works with. Not that it's better. It means it's more basic and thererfore universal. Children with cerebral palsy cannot do yoga, but they can be helped by Feldenkrais methods. The purposes are different, but they are similar.

David

G DiPierro
10-30-2007, 08:18 PM
Meaning that it reaches a level of the nervous system that is more fundamental than either yoga or martial arts works with. Not that it's better. It means it's more basic and thererfore universal. Children with cerebral palsy cannot do yoga, but they can be helped by Feldenkrais methods. The purposes are different, but they are similar.

http://www.specialyoga.com/cerebralpalsy.htm

David Orange
10-30-2007, 08:35 PM
http://www.specialyoga.com/cerebralpalsy.htm

Interesting article, but I'm talking about a child who has never even crawled, much less stood and assumed a yoga posture. Just to get the child to release enough spasmodic tension to be able to crawl was a challenge he would have to overcome before he could learn to stand in a posture. Moshe Feldenkrais, himself, could apply his methods to such children and enable them to move.

As I say, it's a different method, not better or worse: very different, with a different purpose. And I know of people who could improve their yoga after doing Feldenkrais, but I never heard of one who got better at Feldenkrais after doing yoga....

David

G DiPierro
10-30-2007, 09:13 PM
As I say, it's a different method, not better or worse: very different, with a different purpose. And I know of people who could improve their yoga after doing Feldenkrais, but I never heard of one who got better at Feldenkrais after doing yoga....I'm not sure what getting "better" at Feldenkrais would consist of, or how you could tell whether someone had gotten better. Would it mean that they have better posture? That's a common result of practicing yoga. How about increased range of movement? Another typical benefit of yoga. Reduction of pain? Yoga. Improvement of one's "overall well-being" (that's from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feldenkrais_method))? Yoga again.

As far as I can tell from the descriptions I've read, all of the goals of the Feldenkrais method can also be achieved through yoga. That's not to say that they are same thing, but from what I've seen it doesn't look like there is anything there that is not also in yoga.

David Orange
10-30-2007, 10:14 PM
As far as I can tell from the descriptions I've read, all of the goals of the Feldenkrais method can also be achieved through yoga. That's not to say that they are same thing, but from what I've seen it doesn't look like there is anything there that is not also in yoga.

In Feldenkrais, there is no outward form as a goal. No stretching. That's why people who learn Feldenkrais well are able to improve at yoga: they learn to perform the complicated maneuvers without stretching. Instead of assuming a form, they explore the inner relationship between what they mentally intend to do and what they actually do. This leads to deep exploration of "how" they are instructing their bodies. In the process, they usually discover that they weren't telling their bodies exactly what they thought. They were telling their bodies to do much more than they intended. Which is why most people find yoga very difficult and why it requires stretching. The yoga instructor I mentioned before had pain doing yoga, despite many years of experience. After he learned Feldenkrais, he was able to do the postures without strecthing and without pain.

In any case, the point is that Feldenkrais can help anyone develop a more subtle practice, whatever practice he is pursuing, including yoga.

David

G DiPierro
10-31-2007, 01:46 AM
In Feldenkrais, there is no outward form as a goal. No stretching. That's why people who learn Feldenkrais well are able to improve at yoga: they learn to perform the complicated maneuvers without stretching. Instead of assuming a form, they explore the inner relationship between what they mentally intend to do and what they actually do.
OK, so can you explain how a Feldenkrais practitioner can get your average Westerner with tight hips to sit comfortably in the lotus position? Keep in mind that in the context of yoga, the lotus position is far from a "complicated maneuver", but a very basic position. A complicated maneuver would be something like going into handstand, dropping your feet over into a backbend, and then coming back up into a handstand, stopping in the this pose (http://ashtangayoga.info/asana-vinyasa/advanced-a-series/33c-Viparita-Chakrasana.html) along the way.

This leads to deep exploration of "how" they are instructing their bodies. In the process, they usually discover that they weren't telling their bodies exactly what they thought. They were telling their bodies to do much more than they intended. Which is why most people find yoga very difficult and why it requires stretching. The yoga instructor I mentioned before had pain doing yoga, despite many years of experience. After he learned Feldenkrais, he was able to do the postures without strecthing and without pain.It sounds like you aren't all that familiar with yoga. Stretching is not something you want to avoid in yoga, in fact it is one the main things you are tying to do. If you are feeling pain, it is not because you are stretching, it is because you are over-stretching. Pretty much any competent yoga teacher could tell you that. If your friend had this problem for many years then I suspect that he did not have very good yoga instruction. You don't necessarily need Feldenkrais to fix this, you just need a good yoga teacher.

David Orange
10-31-2007, 08:13 AM
Yeah...

The point is that Feldenkrais can help one improve any activity, including martial arts and including the kind of things Mike is describing. It's not an argument about superiority of anything or anyone over any other thing or person.

David