Moshé Feldenkrais - Biography
The Feldenkrais-Method was developed by Dr. Moshé Feldenkrais (1904-1984).
Moshé Feldenkrais (Doctor of
Science, Sorbonne) was an engineer, physicist, inventor, martial
artist and student of human development. Born in eastern Europe,
he emigrated to Palestine as a young man. Later he studied at
the Sorbonne and worked in the Joliot Curie laboratory in Paris
during the 1930s. His interest in Ju Jitsu brought him into contact
with Professor Kano who developed the sport of Judo. Dr. Feldenkrais
was a founder of the Ju Jitsu Club of Paris and was one of the
first Europeans to earn a black belt in Judo.
Escaping the Nazi advance he went to
Britain and worked on anti-submarine research for the Admiralty.
It was there in the 1940s that he began to develop his Method
and wrote his first book on the subject. A knee injury, and uncertain
prospects for surgery, began Feldenkrais on what was to become
a life long exploration of the relationship between movement
In developing his work Moshé
Feldenkrais studied, among other things, anatomy, physiology,
child development, movement science, evolution, psychology, a
number of Eastern awareness practices and other somatic approaches.
Dr. Feldenkrais authored a number of
seminal books on movement, learning, human consciousness and
somatic experience. He taught in Israel and many countries in
Europe through the 1960s and 1970s and in North America through
the 1970s and 1980s. He trained his first group of teachers in
Tel Aviv in the early 1970s. This was followed by two groups
in the USA - one group in San Francisco and another in Amherst
In his life Dr. Feldenkrais worked
with all kinds of people with an enormous range of learning needs
-from many infants with Cerebral Palsy to leading performers
such as the violinist, the late Yehudi Menuhin. He taught over
a number of years for the dramatist Peter Brook and his Theatre
Bouffes du Nord. He was a collaborator with thinkers such as
anthropologist Margaret Mead, neuroscientist Carl Pribram and
explorers of the psychophysical Jean Houston and Robert Masters.
The breadth, vitality and precision
of Dr. Feldenkrais' work has seen it applied in diverse fields
including neurology, psychology, performing arts, sports and