Discovering the Feldenkraiswork
Since about 12 years I’m practicing martial arts with enthusiasm and diligent training is an integral part of my day. A deep interest in the knowledge of efficient self-use opened my perception for information about the task. In 2007 a training-colleague gave me Moshés book “Awareness through movement” and he was not surprised that my reaction was rather sceptic: to me the title alone sounded like one of those numerous and difficult to reviewable esoteric publications that fill big shelves in modern bookstores. He gave me the advice that it is not necessary to read the first (theoretical) part of the book but rather try one of the practical lessons directly; they would be of reasonable practical use.
Because I knew my colleague to be a down-to-earth person and skilled mechanical engineer, I took a look inside the book he gave me and really tried one of the lections, the same evening.
A couple of topmost fascinating hours later, it dawned on me that a very special “tool” to improve my martial-arts skills had found its way to me through that book.
Highly motivated by this first experience, I started to work my way through the following lections and made many further discoveries. This type of self-exploration is still going on today.
Maybe you ask yourself now: how can something read in a book have such an effect, without any professional guidance or experience? Well, indirectly I had both, the answer lays in my martial arts practice at the time. The emphasis of the training was also about the improvement of movement-accuracy and so I transferred our training-mode to the exploration of the awareness through movements lection, meaning very very slow speed, no unnecessary effort and attention to the sensual differences evoked. This way the lection was able to unfold its brilliant composure and full effect, convincing me totally about what I was doing.
When I started to explore the backgrounds I realized that HOW to do the movements is really the deep secret and that neither in the practical lections nor in the theoretical explanations there was anything to believe in, but:
the reader was enabled to become his own measuring device and detective for the replicable effect, the changes and of what “better” means.
Moshes idiosyncratic writing-style was digging my sympathy because he gives almost no answers in the common sense but stimulated me to use my own ability to digest the topic / task.
To sign in for the (four-year) professional teacher-training in Heidelberg gave me the opportunity to explore myself with others over such a long period of time, in the way Moshé suggested. I was looking for a way to call forth my potential in a more satisfying way: as a sportsman, as a martial artist, as a nautical officer, as a partner in relationship and in learning totally alien skills quicker. Another wish was to learn the art of Functional Integration with the support of my class-mates and the experienced trainers Ulla Schläfken and Rodger Russel. After completing the first parts of the training-program, the decision to teach Awareness Through Movement® and Functional Intergration® for a living, became more and more simple.