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Old 03-16-2007, 03:57 PM   #1
David Orange
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Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 03-17-2007, 01:14 PM   #2
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

I devoured that whole website.
Interesting individual and method.
I would like to attend a class..
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Old 03-17-2007, 01:20 PM   #3
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

I have always wanted to explore feldenkrais, just have not had the time to do it. Makes sense to me.

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Old 03-17-2007, 04:02 PM   #4
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
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.

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Old 03-25-2007, 05:49 AM   #5
Aran Bright
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

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.

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Old 03-25-2007, 10:32 AM   #6
Mike Sigman
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
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
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Old 03-29-2007, 08:12 PM   #7
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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.

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Old 03-30-2007, 07:47 AM   #8
Robert Rumpf
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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
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Old 03-30-2007, 08:08 AM   #9
Mike Sigman
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

Quote:
Robert Rumpf wrote: View Post
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
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Old 04-03-2007, 04:40 PM   #10
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

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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.

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Old 04-10-2007, 12:36 PM   #11
David Orange
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
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, [b]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.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
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.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
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 natural way (which Feldenkrais teaches us to access) is the ideal.

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

Quote:
Koichi Tohei wrote:
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

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Lao Tzu

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Old 04-10-2007, 04:21 PM   #12
Mike Sigman
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

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David Orange wrote: View Post
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
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Old 04-10-2007, 05:27 PM   #13
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

Well, it indicates ones' interpretation of Donn's monograph, anyway.

From Feldenkrais

Quote:
What I am after is more flexible minds, not just more flexible bodies.
Surely intent was one of the main aspects.

Justin

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Old 04-11-2007, 04:01 PM   #14
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
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.

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Old 04-23-2007, 05:55 AM   #15
Aran Bright
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

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

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Old 04-23-2007, 06:36 AM   #16
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote: View Post
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.



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

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 05-18-2007, 03:30 PM   #17
David Orange
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

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Aran Bright wrote: View Post
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.

Quote:
Aran Bright wrote: View Post
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.

Quote:
Aran Bright wrote: View Post
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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 08-13-2007, 02:34 PM   #18
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

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

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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

Quote:
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

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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=
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:51 PM   #19
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

Quote:
Bob Strahinjevich wrote: View Post
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...

Quote:
Feldenkrais wrote:
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.
Quote:
Bob Strahinjevich wrote: View Post
... 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.

Quote:
Bob Strahinjevich wrote: View Post
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.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-14-2007, 12:59 AM   #20
bob_stra
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
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
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Old 08-16-2007, 12:55 AM   #21
bob_stra
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

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/d...ument-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...

Last edited by bob_stra : 08-16-2007 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:32 AM   #22
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

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Bob Strahinjevich wrote: View Post
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.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 08-16-2007 at 10:43 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:41 PM   #23
David Orange
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 10-19-2007, 06:33 AM   #24
Aran Bright
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

Quote:
Bob Strahinjevich wrote: View Post
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/d...ument-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.

http://brisbaneaikido.com

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Old 10-19-2007, 06:50 AM   #25
Aran Bright
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Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

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

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