Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais was an acclaimed Judoka and based a large part of his method on the philosophy, principles and movements of Martial Arts. Mia Segal and Leora Gaster followed in his footsteps, to earn their black belts at the Kodokan in Japan, in 1971, when martial arts, especially for women, was uncommon in the Western World.
Many of the MBS movement sequences, as well as the body-work, reflect this strong connection between the two disciplines, putting philosophy of life into action.
For Martial Artist
Martial Arts practitioners find great insight in how Dr. Feldenkrais’ MBS work breaks up each movement into the elements of initiation and progression through the system. This analysis and attention to details provides them with greater ability to master their own discipline and expands their competence and effectiveness as Martial Artists.
For Teachers of Martial Arts, this insight and its philosophical implications is a powerful tool, which enables them to convey information clearly, precisely and effectively. They can coach students to feel the art from the inside and establish a solid grasp of the essence of their teaching.
For MBS and Feldenkrais Practitioners
In MBS Academy, we dedicate a portion of the training to demonstrating and experiencing these parallels. Learning some basic Judo moves clarifies and strengthens our students’ abilities to practice MBS work and the lessons and techniques Dr.Feldenkrais designed. This manifests concepts into experience so that our students can understand the foundations of the work in depth and feel it from the inside. They can sense what Dr. Feldenkrais himself felt, and how he came to design the movements and patterns we identify in his work.
Shared beliefs and principles in action:
The ground as feedback
In judo the practice of falling and getting up gives you stability and teaches you not to fear falling, which translates psychologically into life lessons in all your endeavors.
In MBS, contact with the ground is utilized as your feedback system, giving you the ultimate autonomy and confidence of being your own best teacher.
The concept of learning to befriend the ground and not fear falling builds a fundamental sense of balance and security. This safeguards you throughout life from losing your balance and is hugely important in older age.
The study of balance
Martial Arts and MBS are a studies of the integration of movement.
In both disciplines you learn how to return to your center and keep your balance intact.
Working with a counterpart teaches you by providing another perspective on yourself.
The play of balance - Looking for key places that affect patterns of movement.
As you get to know yourself and value your center and balance, you find respect and value in others.
By finding your center and balance, you are able to move in many new directions physically and psychologically.
Integration and congruence of movement
Congruence of direction primes the system so that all parts move with the same intention.
Going with your opponents’ direction in order to get to a desired outcome. In Judo, you take your opponent out of balance by learning to be precise with direction. In MBS, you move yourself or your client in their way and pattern, in order to expand possibilities.
Through learning about your counterpart’s balance and organization, you learn to know your own.
Patterns and Precision
Finding and working in patterns defines connections within each system.
Learning precision in each pattern provides keys to unlocking the possibilities.
Precision is the key factor in getting you more results than power or size.
Combining these principles in action, from both points of view and both techniques, strengthen each and adds competence and depth to your practice and your life.