Author: Terence McPartland
The Strange Forgotten Tale of a Physicist who Learned Judo
In Palestine after the First World War, times were hard. For a young Ukrainian immigrant named Moshe Feldenkrais, it meant being ready to fight for your life at any moment. Knowing how to fight was not a sport or an exercise fad, it meant survival.
Young Feldenkrais had a scientific mind that sought sound, testable skills he and his neighbors could use to defend themselves. Japanese jujitsu had exploded as an international phenomenon in the early 1900s. Feldenkrais and his peers worked to learn jujitsu techniques for real life application in the street. He published a book on Jujitsu that was based on what he had learned fighting and teaching others and was intended as a training tool for the Haganah, or Jewish defense forces . Much of his work was incorporated into the system that became known as Krav Maga today…