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Old 09-07-2017, 12:43 AM   #1
Ellis Amdur
Ellis Amdur's Avatar
Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 900
Flinch and Feldenkrais

In answer to Robert Cowham's question in another thread, I've never seen anything written about Feldenkrais and flinch, but there is an oral tradition as follows:
1. In pre-Independence Palestine, the Jewish and Arab youth got in street fights. The Jewish youth lost - invariably
2. One of the youth found a book on jiujitsu. They studied the book, practiced the moves, and in the next fight . . . . they lost.
3. Feldenkrais, so the story goes, would hide in alleyways, and other secluded spots and when an innocent passerby walked past, he'd leap out, brandishing a knife and attacking at one or another angle (slash or stab). He'd 'photograph,' mentally, the defensive reaction the the person initiated to avoid being stabbed in the throat or slashed across the face, then he'd run away (NOTE: he never cut or slashed someone, just initiated the threat).
4. He then based a set of attacks and defenses, based on the 'natural' reactions of untrained fighters to attack. Because they were 'natural' responses, they were easily learned - and in subsequent street battles, the Yeshiva boys won.

I've seen a jiujitsu book that Feldenkrais published before he met Jigoro Kano or trained in judo. Self-made. (he was a bull of a man). There were a few moves that were 'street,' but most were rather text-book jiujitsu moves. Nothing special. Don't know if this is what he came up with, or if the legend is just a legend or if his 'real' techniques were not published in this book.

Here's the book in question Jiu-Jitsu and Self Defense

Ellis Amdur

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Old 09-08-2017, 04:03 PM   #2
Robert Cowham
Dojo: East Sheen Aikido and Kashima No Tachi
Location: London, UK
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 279
Re: Flinch and Feldenkrais

Thanks Ellis!

I recall this from a book by Feldenkrais himself - but don't have link to prove it. Not sure where else I would have gotten it from.

The related text in my memory was his encounter with Jigoro Kano (in Paris in 1930s) where Kano sensei admitted that Feldenkrais had shown him a new technique he (Kano) had never seen before (exceptional given his experience to that point). Others had claimed to have invented new techniques but invariably they weren't.

So this makes me think it was a printed book that I visually scanned (but never possessed). So probably available online somewhere (without breaking copyright etc), but perhaps not. Could be a particular edition I suppose - subsequently edited...
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