It is named after the founder, Moshe Feldenkrais. Feldenkrais was born in Russia. At the age of 13 he left his home and travelled alone for a year until he reached Palestine, where he worked as a laborer, cartographer and tutor in mathematics. He also became active in sports (gymnastics, soccer) and the martial arts (jiu-jitsu). During his mid twenties he left for France and eventually became a graduate of l’Ecole des Travaux Publicques de Paris, in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. Later he earned his Doctor of Science in Physics from the Sorbonne in Paris, where he assisted Nobel Prize winner Joliot-Curie in early nuclear research.
In Paris, Feldenkrais also met Jigaro Kano, the creator of modern Judo, and Feldenkrais became one of the first Europeans to earn a Black Belt in Judo (1936) and to introduce Judo in the West through his teaching and books on the subject. In the early 1940’s, while working in anti-submarine warfare for the British Admiralty, he patented a number of sonar devices. After suffering crippling knee injuries, Feldenkrais used his own body as his laboratory and merged his acquired knowledge with his deep curiousity about biology, perinatal development, cybernetics, linquistics, and systems theory. He taught himself to walk again and in the process developed an extraordinary system for accessing the power of the central nervous system to imporve human functioning.
Feldenkrais studied intensively in physchology, neurophysiology, and other health-related disciplines, and in 1949 he returned to Israel where he continued to integrate and refine his ideas into the system known as the Feldenkrais Method.