Bill Evans on learning, self-teaching and the creative process…

“It’s better to do something that’s simple and real –  something you can build on because you know what you’re doing…”  ~ Bill Evans

A fellow aikido teacher (and musician) sent me this wonderful video clip of Bill Evans being interviewed at the piano. It was posted on the site of Edward Yu, author of the excellent book “The Art of Slowing Down”

Here Evans talks about the creative process, learning and the importance of enjoying the “step by step” learning procedure. He demonstrates on the piano.

Brief, delightful, rich!


Understanding Human Movement Dec. 7-9, 2012

Understanding Human Movement

Understanding Human Movement (UHM) is a three part, 45 hour course that presents a
comprehensive and functional view of human movement drawn from Darrell Bluhm’s 40 years
of martial arts training, bodywork experience and anatomy study. Each segment of the course
will include:
– Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lessons from the “Evolution of Movement” series,
developed by Frank Wildman.
– Presentation and discussion of Functional Anatomy (via video, use of skeleton and
– Movement activities drawn from Aikido, Tai Chi Chuan, Mime and other disciplines.

The course will approach movement as one component of Human Action along with sensing,
feeling and thinking. Movement will be studied in the context of the evolutionary history of our
species with the recognition that all human action arises from a dynamic integration of brain,
body and environment. Well-organized movement will be understood as having certain qualities:
reversibility, even distribution of effort, freedom of breath, gravitational force transmitted
through the skeleton. The focus will be on how bones and joints shape movement, seeking
global patterns involving the coordination of the whole muscular skeletal system rather than a
muscle by muscle breakdown of action.

The course is structured around a theory of “Action Systems” developed by Edward Reed
(Encountering the World : Toward an Ecological Psychology). Each segment will consist of 15
hours of class time devoted to the exploration of two action systems.

First Segment (15 hours)
Focus: Orienting System and Perceptual Systems
Actions: bending and turning
Anatomy: spine, head and sensory organs

Second Segment (15 hours)
Focus: Appetitive System and Locomotion System
Actions: breathing, eating, walking and running
Anatomy: diaphragm, ribs, abdomen, pelvis, legs and feet

Third Segment (15 hours)
Focus: Manipulative System and Expressive Systems
Actions: throwing, tool use, non-verbal expression and speaking
Anatomy: shoulder girdle, arms, hands, face and vocal apparatus

Texts utilized in developing the course:
The Thinking Body, Mabel Elsworth Todd
Awareness Through Movement, Moshe Feldenkrais
Encountering the World: Toward an Ecological Psychology, Edward Reed
A Dynamic Relationship to Gravity, Vol. 1 and 2, Edward Maupin
The Body3, Tom Myers

Becoming Animal, David Abram
Anatomy of Movement, Blandine Calais-Germain
Anatomy of the Moving Body, Theodore Dimon Jr.

Visual Material:
Acland’s DVD Atlas of Human Anatomy
Youtube sites

The time has come for the second Understanding Human Movement session, Dec 7-9, 2012.  It is not required to attend the first segment in order to attend this second segment. Hopefully we can make this an annual gathering. Darrell Bluhm is prepared to come and continue sharing his years of experience and knowledge with us. 

Second Segment (15 hours), Dec 7-9, Sequim WA

 [It is not required to attend the first segment in order to attend this second segment.]

Focus: Appetitive System and Locomotion System

Actions: breathing, eating, walking and running

Anatomy: diaphragm, ribs, abdomen, pelvis, legs and feet

Fees: $220
Dates: Dec. 7-9th
Location: 281 Toad Road, Sequim WA 98382
Friday 6-9pm
Saturday Feel free to come watch Aikido classes from 9-11:45am
Saturday 2-7:30pm, includes a 30 min break
Sunday 9-12pm
Sunday 2-6:30pm, includes a 30 min break

Space is limited. Please contact Neilu via email or phone if you are thinking about attending.

Neilu Naini,  360-477-5301

Upcoming events in the movement arts

Aikido events  in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.

Please add your Aikido event to this list by submitting a comment below. Include a website address in your posting.

March 2010

27-28 Seminar with Elmer Tancinco Sensei at Eugene Aikikai

27-28 Daito Ryu Aikijutsu Seminar with H. Popkin Sensei at Budo Dojo:

April 2010

9-10 Yamada Sensei at Puget Sound Aikikai, Seattle WA:

24  Aikido seminar with Daniel Kempling, Sensei at Aikido Takayama, BC Canada:

25  Portland Area Aikido dojos gather for the  Annual Friendship Seminar on Sunday April 25th. This year’s hosting dojo is Budo Dojo of Beaverton Oregon. No fees charged, but this event is a benefit for the Oregon Food Bank. For more information visit:

April 30-May 2  Seminar with Bethiaume Sensei at Two Rivers Aikikai, Portland OR:

May ’10

02  Seminar with Bethiaume Sensei at Two Rivers Aikikai, Portland OR:

07-09 Aikido and Iaido Seminar with Daniel Kempling Sensei at Eugene Aikikai

June ’10

July ’10

01-04 Martial Movement/Traditional Life Skills seminar retreat with D. Bluhm Shihan and M. Mathewson Sensei at Ancient Arts Center

Sep ’10

11-12  Bokken and jyo weapons seminar with Mike Flynn Shihan at Eugene Aikikai

Movement Arts ~ Space To Move


Change happens.

Our ability to adapt to the continually changing environment keeps us healthy and allows us to thrive. Be present and aware of what’s actually happening in the moment. Stay centered and organize yourself to meet the challenge before you. When you find yourself in the tight spot remember there is always space to move.

Learn, practice, thrive.