History

Dr. Feldenkrais Biography

The Feldenkrais Method was developed by Dr. Feldenkrais (1904-1984).

Moshe Feldenkrais (Doctor of Science, Sorbonne) was an engineer, physicist, inventor, martial artist and student of human development. Born in north-eastern Europe, as a young man he journeyed on foot for a new life further south. In his early thirties he studied at the Sorbonne, Paris, and worked in the famous Joliot Curie laboratory. judo book cover

His interest in Ju Jitsu brought him into contact with Professor Kano from Japan 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 the sport.

During WW2 he went to Britain to work on anti -submarine research and it was there that he began to develop his Method and wrote the first of several books 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 and consciousness. He taught internationally until he died in 1984.

In developing his work Moshe Feldenkrais studied in depth diverse fields including anatomy, physiology, child development, movement science, evolution, psychology, sports and a number of awareness practices and somatic approaches. Dr. Feldenkrais authored a number of seminal books on movement, learning, human consciousness and somatic experience. He taught in many countries throughout Europe through the 1960s and 1970s and in North America through the 1970s and 1980s. He trained his first group of teachers in the early 1970s, followed by two groups in the USA - one group in San Francisco and another in Amherst NY.
(See the bio notes for Jerry Karzen on the Teaching Team page)

 

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. Dr Feldenkrais was a collaborator with thinkers such as anthropologist Margaret Mead, neuroscientist Karl Pribram and explorers of the psychophysical, Jean Houston and Robert Masters. He was truly a man of our times and his students continue to be leaders as teachers of his Method, integrating the forever relevant principles and specifics into the 21st century.