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, pa.aikido@gmail.com  360-477-5301


Learning How To Learn: Education for the Future

Feldenkrais Method® Conference, August 2-6, 2009  in Forest Grove, OR

Learning How To Learn: Education for the Future. Click here to view PDF

…or copy and paste this url into your browser


This conference brings some of the best teachers in the field from all over North America. They will teach free Awareness Through Movement® Classes and low cost workshops through the week. There are options for participation. Read on !

-Space To Move

Experience the Feldenkrais Method® in Forest Grove, OR this summer!

Learning How To Learn: Education for the Future
Feldenkrais Method Annual Conference
Sunday, August 2- Thursday August 6, 2009
Pacific University
Forest Grove, Oregon

Reconnect with your natural ability to move, think and feel at the Conference! Participate in a workshop or, better yet, give yourself a five-day immersion experience. Housing is available on the beautiful Pacific University campus in the foothills of the Oregon Coast mountain range, 30 minutes west of Portland and one hour from the ocean.

To register for workshops or learn how to plan your conference experience visit:

Friends of Feldenkrais® receive 10% off registration- Join now and save!

Public workshops include:
S2: The Effective Voice: Teaching from a Feldenkrais Method® Perspective
Marina Gilman

SM1: Learning How Babies and Children Learn
Donna Ray, MA, MFT

SM2: Esther Thelen’s Legacy: Applying the Relationships and Processes of Research to the Feldenkrais Method®
Pat Buchanan, PhD, ATC, PT, James Stephens, PhD, PT, GCFP

M2: The Ability To Reason: Learning For the 21st Century
Linda Flanders

W1: Awareness Through Movement® and Awareness Through Stillness
Russell Delman

W2: Power Learning: The Feldenkrais Method® in the Classroom
Beth Sidlow Mann

W3: Integrating Tellington TTouch® into your Professional Practice and Everyday Life
Linda Tellington-Jones

H1: Neural Moonlighting: Snooze your way to better memory, learning, and motor skills
Michael Krugman

H2: 1 mm: The Difference Between the Impossible and the Possible
Judy Remedios

H3: Creative Learning through Movement with Children
Sonja Sutherland

FREE  Awareness Through Movement® Classes

Sunday Aug. 2 – Thursday Aug 6, 8:30 am – 9:45 am


To register and for more information, please visit:

Questions? Contact:
Lynn Ford
Membership and Conference Assistant Phone: 800-775-2118 ext 125
Fax: 503-221-6616
Email: conferencereg@feldenkraisguild.com

Cross-pollination Collaboration Creativity

Collaboration and innovation across disciplines.

We are more similar than we are different, and we can work together to create new opportunities for ourselves here in the Pacific Northwest. I submit for your consideration the statements of these two people below. The first is Nicole Mion, Artistic Director of Springboard and Curator of the Fluid Festival in Calgary Canada. The second is Mane Rok, recently interviewed in Denver Colorado’s Westword newspaper.

1) These are the words of Nicole Mion, Artistic Director of Springboard and Curator of the Fluid Festival:

“When it comes to the arts — from classical ballet to Greek tragedy to krumping — we are confronted with ourselves. Art has the capacity to expand our consciousness and bring us to new levels of insight on life. It’s not just a performance or experience, it is gathering with like-minded people around an experience that we all love. The physical body in contemporary performance is real. It’s visceral, passionate and full of surprises.

That live experience — of being connected in an honest, open, engaged sort of way — is what makes these artful moments seem “really, really real.” And it’s this experience — this authentic experience — that the Fluid Festival is all about.

The Fluid Festival encourages people to see that there’s less difference between each form of art than we think. Theatre, music, dance, visual art — they are animated by the same spirit of human creativity.

I believe that all the shows I chose for this year’s festival ( 2008 ) are great examples of blurring the line between disciplines and looking at the physical in many different ways. They will provide you with a feeling of authenticity by connecting with you, the audience, on a basic, emotional level.”

Here’s the About statement for Springboard:

Springboard is a non-profit organization, devoted to connecting artists, mediums, audiences, the body and the mind through physical contemporary creation.

Committed to facilitating artist and audience development, illuminating process and craft, and inspiring creation, Springboard encourages groundbreaking methods of envisioning, representing, and responding to contemporary life.

With a focus on collaborative exploration, Springboard seeks to enrich contemporary creative practice through performance, new media, and creation residencies using a multi-disciplinary platform.



2) Mane Rok was interviewd by Eryc Eyl, published Feb 11, 2009 in Denver’s Westword newspaper. Here is an excerpt:

…It wasn’t long until the topic of cross-pollination — a recurring theme in my recent conversations with Denver artists — reared its head. Cross-pollination among musical genres (i.e., getting the hip-hop kids to rock shows and vice versa) is always an opportunity. However, cross-pollination among divergent art forms has even more exciting potential. Not only does it bring together different kinds of artists to increase creativity and collaboration, but it also brings together different kinds of art lovers who just might find something new that they never thought they’d like.

Mane Rok has some exciting ideas about how to bring different arts together. “I think 2009 is the year for everyone in the Denver arts comunity — visual artists, movement artists, theatrical artists, musical artists, writers, designers, comedians, clowns, jugglers and mimes — to come up with ways to build bridges from one scene or community to another. Not only will it raise the bar for all of us, but it will also help us all reach the followers who don’t even know they’re waiting to be found.”

Full article here: 


What are Movement Arts?

What are “movement arts” anyways?

Eastern versus Western Movement Arts

In the book “Discovering The Body’s Wisdom” , copyright 1996, author Mirka Knaster offers fuel for our discussion of “movement arts”. The scope of her book includes more than movement arts alone. She introduces various forms of bodywork, healing arts, and related issues. She uses the term “Body Ways” as an inclusive umbrella. However, in regards to our discussion she makes a useful distinction between Eastern movement arts and Western movement arts.

Chapter 14 is devoted to “Eastern Movement Arts” and Knaster introduces Chi Kung (aka Qi Gong), Tai-chi Chuan, Aikido, Karate, and Yoga. Excerpts below:

“While you can engage in these movement arts strictly for physical conditioning, or in some cases, for defending yourself, they are also methods for quieting the mind. Their highest purpose is unity and harmony, within and without. You can use them to cultivate consciousness and moral character. Some writers contend that these arts originally developed in relation to spiritual practice and that in certain aspects they still reflect such philosophies as Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, and Shinto. they are as much a way of being as a prescription for doing. They can foster self-knowledge and strengthen your connection to your own body wisdom.”

“As a kind of meditation in movement, these Eastern arts emphasize conscious awareness and effortless action – what the Taoists cal wei wu wei, ‘doing nothing’ or ‘not doing’, and the Buddhists cal ‘right effort’. In this regard, these body ways are similar to Western functional approaches. … To perform these arts skillfully, you must rely on proprioceptive cues – sensing yourself from inside – before checking your form on the outside.”

Chapter 11 is devoted to Western Movement Arts. Here she includes Laban-Bartenieff, Pilates, Ideokinesis, Contact Improvisation, Continuum, Kinetic Awareness, Authentic Movement, Skinner Releasing Technique, Wetzig Coordination Patterns.

She begins the chapter:

“Eastern movement arts, such as Tai Chi Chuan, Yoga, or Aikido, began in relation to self-defense and/or spiritual practice and evolved as healing arts. Western movement arts had a different beginning – in the world of dance. And although you can use some Eastern and Western movement arts as exercise, that’s not their purpose. Mindlessly repeating movements does not help you break into new territory, whereas unpredictability in movement can awaken you. Aerobics may add years to your life, but it won’t necessarily add life to your years.”

“Since how we move is how we function, many Western movement arts have a lot in common with functional approaches. … But unlike the functional body ways, the movement arts originated with dance and choreography professionals, or established a foothold first among them, to help elevate performance levels.”

“During our early years we explore endlessly, twisting and turning, rolling, reaching, climbing, and falling in the process. But as adults, generally we stop delving into new possibilities and become fixed in the way we move, think, and express our thoughts. We move through life in familiar ways because when we step outside of our usual limitations, we tend to experience confusion and anxiety. We don’t realize that we can also experience enrichment. Restricted movement goes hand in hand with a restricted mind. When we free our movement, we also free our personality. Emotional and mental liveliness accompanies effortless movement.”

“In teaching new movement possibilities, the movement arts may help you gain a new ease in your body and expand not only how you move but also how you feel and think. you can learn to move from within your own body rather than from an external image, and you can discover how to move at your own pace, without pushing and causing tension. You can use these arts as a tool for exploring who you are.”

Again, these excerpts above are from “Discovering the Body’s Wisdom” by Mirka Knaster.


What forms do you think of as “movement arts?”