2 Masters and 1 Nerd

In 2019 Conference, Martial Arts by MaryBeth Smith

by Roger Russell

Image credit: International Feldenkrais Federation

This year’s conference features a unique and potent collaboration among three of the Method’s most experienced teachers. Jeff Haller, is an Aikido black belt. Moti Nativ, is an internationally acclaimed proponent of the Budo Taijutsu, an ancient Japanese martial art. Roger Russell calls himself a passionate “nerd”, but is deeply involved in research; always looking for ideas in any theoretical discipline that relates to the Feldenkrais Method®.This workshop looks through an experiential lens at the links among disciplines and the Feldenkrais Method.

For example, reversibility is an important principle in Feldenkrais® lessons. According to Moshé Feldenkrais reversibility means that, “You can stop, go back or do something else.” In other words, while moving reversibly you can change directions without tensing, stiffening, or strain. While the idea is from engineering; it is abstract, it can be expressed in mathematical equations, “reverse engineering” has also entered our language as a way of re-organizing our experience.. Reversible movement is personal, astounding and delicious.  You can then apply this learning to anything in life. Imagine something you love doing, something you have dreamed of doing at the top of your form; a hobby, for example, or sports or a professional performance. Now, imagine how you can do that with grace, agility and utmost precision.

Moshé Feldenkrais invented his technics during a dramatic personal journey winding through Europe, pioneering in Israel, studies in the Sorbonne in Paris, a fateful meeting with the founder of Judo, wartime stories in England, including atomic secrets smuggled out of France just ahead of the German army and in the early 1950’s he went back to Israel.

His Method influenced his way of doing Judo, as much as judo being the source of much of his Method. With Moti Nativ we will touch on some of these stations in his life as well as exploring the connections between martial art techniques and Feldenkrais lessons. Jeff Haller will lead you into the aesthetics of Awareness through Movement lessons that spring out of those judo techniques. Roger Russell will offer some explanations to how reversibility, central to martial arts and Feldenkrais, is absolutely bio-logical.

Come prepared to be surprised.


Learn more about the relationship between the Feldenkrais Method and the martial arts:
Applying the Feldenkrais Method in the Martial Arts by Charlie Velez

Practitioner Spotlight with Jeff Haller: A New Definition of Strength

Elinor Silverstein interviews Roger Russell and Moti Nativ (VIDEO)