Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais
Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais (1904 – 1984) emigrated from Russia to Palestine (Israel) as a young man, and worked in the building trades during construction of modern-day Tel Aviv.
He completed his academic studies in Paris, obtaining a degree in mechanical and electrical engineering in 1933. In 1937 he was awarded a doctorate from the Sorbonne in the field of nuclear physics. He became interested in judo and was the first westerner to be awarded a black belt.
A knee injury, sustained while playing soccer, left him almost unable to walk. In an effort to avoid the risky surgery of the time, he began a systematic study human anatomy and movement. This lead to his life’s work exploring the principles of movement, the influence and role of gravity in movement, the evolution of upright posture. As he brought together his understanding of martial arts, anatomy, mechanics and psychology, he began to recognize that human movement is influenced by the dynamics of family structure, heredity, social environment, education and culture. At the same time, he discovered that movement is also a medium that people can use to influence and transform their health and their experience of themselves.
Dr. Feldenkrais went on to teach his method worldwide, passing on his discoveries to a generation of teachers, and pioneering a systems approach to development, health and healing. He actively documented his work, writing several books, and leaving a rich legacy of recorded materials for those who continue his work today. His work spanned four decades from its beginnings around 1940, which he continued to develop and refine his until his death in 1984.