Higher Judo is Moshe’s 5th book about martial arts.
In Higher Judo we find obvious clues indicating that this is the turning point from Martial Arts to the Feldenkrais Method. From one publication to the next, theory and principles are becoming more explicit.
The historical facts concur with this supposition. While writing his last book about judo, Feldenkrais was also writing his first books about the FM, Body and Mature Behavior and The Potent Self.
In Higher Judo Feldenkrais teaches “ground work” revealing his unique strategy of introducing ideas about learning techniques, which are based on his work with Mikonosuke Kawaishi in Paris, 1938.
In addition to the techniques, Moshe Feldenkrais presents the reader with a comprehensive perspective look at the principles of Judo, which confirm that Judo and FM are nourished by the same fundamentals.
Here, I will quote Feldenkrais about the mutual fundamentals:
The aim of Judo – “The essential aim of Judo is to teach, help and forward adult maturity, which is an ideal state rarely reached, where a person is capable of dealing with the immediate present task before him without being hindered by earlier formed habits of thought or attitude.”
The six achievements of Judo training:
1. Bare Feet – “Judo is practiced with bare feet - a remarkable increase in general vitality can be observed in the pupil who has learned a more differentiated and varied use of his feet.”
2. Art of Falling – “By teaching the art of falling properly, we further the person's maturity towards a more adult independence of the gravitational force.”
3. Dynamic Stability- “In Judo we teach a functional stability, precarious for any other purpose or for any length of time, but solving the immediate problem in front of us or the act to be performed.”
4. Space Adjustment – “Judo furthers the development of our space adjustment in all directions from the origin of our movable co-ordinate system, and it stands alone in that it teaches orientation in all possible positions of rotation and displacement of that centre itself.”
5. Coordination – “Perhaps the most important feature of coordinated movement, as we teach it, is that in the correct act there is no muscle of the body which is contracted with greater intensity than the rest.”
6. Mind and Body – “Professor Kano's statement that Judo is the principle of efficient use of mind and body is, in a way, an understatement.
Furthering the development of any function of the body that became habitually fixed, restores harmonious growth of personality…The beneficial effect is provided not as a medicine, but as another opportunity to learn to live fully.”
Ground work for general improvement - “In general, therefore, it would seem advisable to insist on ground work for people with poor body mechanics, and only after some improvement has taken place, to proceed with throws. All students, however, will find considerable improvement of their standing position technique, after periodic insistence on ground work only… The ground work will not only increase their strength and endurance, but will greatly improve them all round.”
Self-preservation for achieving self-control - “To train motivation control, we have to train the resolution of emotions and habits. The strongest emotions arise in connection with security and self-preservation.
So long as we cannot co-ordinate action while being thrown or strangled or pinned down to the ground, we have not achieved any control that is unlikely to break down under the usual stresses of common occurrence.”
This workshop will give us deeper understanding of the book, in theory and practice.
A dynamic ATM lesson will connect us to Moshe’s way of Ground Work.
We will discover that Higher Judo – is Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais’ most fascinating work!