His books are fascinating and at times perplexing, but always thought provoking. Many of his students have written more accessible derivative works -- e.g. Hegge's "Running with the whole body" and Hanna's "Somatics" -- but for sheer depth it's hard to go past Feldenkrais himself. I recommend "Awareness through Movement" as the most accessible.
Ruthy Alon shows what it's all about:
Here's a quote that I have been puzzling over for a few years:
"Find your true weakness and surrender to it. Therein lies the path to genius. Most people spend their lives using their strengths to overcome or cover up their weaknesses. Those few who use their strengths to incorporate their weaknesses, who don't divide themselves, those people are very rare. In any generation there are a few and they lead their generation."Recently it occurred to me that Feldenkrais was in-part referring to something that I have believed for a long time, but attaching a greater significance:
By finding something that you are weak in, but keen on, you can embark on a great journey -- from weakness to acquired strength -- not merely a path to competence, but also one of learning, insight, and challenges. By taking such a path not only will you gain personally, but also be in a position to help others on their journeys, far more so than if you had merely stuck to your strengths.
In my case, it is the things that I am passionate about, had to work hard at to get somewhere, that I not only value a little more than the things that came easily, but also which I feel best equipped to teach.
This applies to my experience of martial arts as a whole, but at other levels too. For example: As a beginner I struggled to learn our 2nd hip throw -- kubi nage (neck throw) -- and yet today it is one of my favorite techniques. Furthermore: My students seem to acquire its nuances quite quickly -- certainly much faster than I did -- presumably because having struggled with it in so many ways over such a long period, I am now well-equipped to teach it.
Taking this example further, I am happier with how I execute kubi nage today than I am with other throws that came to me more easily: Weakness has overtaken strength; the tortoise has outraced the hare. Now the challenge is to integrate what I have learned in struggling with kubi nage to improve in other areas.
There's still more to Feldenkrais's recipe -- including "finding your true weakness": How do you do that? How do you verify it? More food for thought ...
P.S. Feldenkrais's judo books are also great, but largely out of print. Happily, Irene Gutteridge has pointed out that Higher Judo: Groundwork is available from www.feldenkrais.com.
P.P.S. The classical judo that I practice comes via Mikonosuke Kawaishi, who was dispatched by Judo founder Jigoro Kano to spread Judo to the Europeans after Kano met (and throttled!) a then young Feldenkrais in Paris. Who was the first European black belt in Judo? Feldrenkrais. His teacher? Kawaishi.