Tag Archives: martial arts

Basic Body Mechanics for Martial Artists with Russ Mitchell

Join us for this workshop introducing martial artists to elements of body mechanics. Learn why familiarity with how your body moves is essential for training efficiently and safely. You’ll benefit whether you’re an aspiring practitioner or expert.
Cover art for Basic Body Mechanics for Martial Artists
The workshop includes: an intro to principles of body mechanics, a practical movement lesson, and discussion.
Participants will receive their own copy of Russ Mitchell’s just-published book Basic Body Mechanics for Martial Artists.
Limit: 20. Room for 15 more as of 9/21.
When: Saturday, Oct. 6, 2:30-4 pm
Where: GoodWork, 1808 S. Good Latimer Expwy, Dallas TX 75226
Cost: $25 Early Bird (by Sept. 15, use code EARLYBIRD); $35 in advance; $45 at door
Register here. Use the code “EarlyBird”.
Interested in a group rate? Please email angela at dallasfeldenkrais dot com.
Russ Mitchell demonstrates body mechanics

Author Russ Mitchell.


“Russ Mitchell has put together a very nice collection of techniques which will help strengthen your body mechanics and deepen your understanding of optimal, martial movement. If you want to go deeper in your training, buy this book!” — Sifu Chris Bouguyon, MMQ, Founder, SimplyAware, President, National Qigong Association
“Russ taught at November Steel and I watched him work with the attendees. Russ was able to diagnose problems with a glance and work towards fixing them in minutes.”— Anthony Buonomo, Austin Historical Weapons Guild
Russ Mitchell created this approach to body mechanics in the wake of recovering from his own significant injuries. Russ is the founder of Great Plains Sword and BBQ, a historical fencing and martial arts club focused specifically on developing skill in beginning and remedial students. Russ has earned gant jaune in savate and nidan in hoshinroshiryu. He’s internationally recognized as a military sabre instructor, and his collaborative work on Johannes Lecküchner’s messer-fechten is regarded as one of the go-to texts on the subject.

Tai Chi Flow & Form with Bobby Garcia

Join us for a special Tai Chi workshop & practice session! Great for beginners or for those with a regular practice. LIMIT: 15.
$25 EarlyBird (by 9/4); $35 after. Use code EARLYBIRD when registering.
*Free for those attending Tai Chi with Bobby Garcia: 6-Week Series.*
Bobby Garcia leads Tai Chi classDetails
For the first part of the workshop we will be practicing a Tai Chi form together, 13 Harmony Form. This will be a follow-along portion of the workshop, with few questions and little talking. You’ll run through the form, and find the flow of the movements. If new to the style, you’ll get a feel for the overall practice.
We’ll flow through the form at least three times, with a short break in between each. You need not participate in each run-through (and may take a longer break as needed).
The second part of the workshop will focus on the basics, mechanics, and individual movements, as well as some two-person work). You’ll have the opportunity to correct errors, ask questions, and take a look at the overall philosophy of Tai Chi.
We’ll close with a final run-through of the form, done at your pace and to your level—you’ll be amazed at the difference a little warmup and work can make!

Tai Chi with Bobby Garcia

Join Us for this 6-Week Series Near Downtown

Is Tai Chi on your bucket list? Join us this summer to try it out! Bobby Garcia’s an excellent teacher, skillful and funny.

A group practices Tai Chi in Bobby Garcia's May workshop.

Practicing Tai Chi with Bobby Garcia

Often described as “meditation in motion,” Tai Chi is a low-impact, slow-motion practice. You go without pausing through a series of motions. As you move, you breathe deeply and naturally, focusing your attention on your bodily sensations. It’s a beautiful complement to Awareness Through Movement®.

GoodWork is the perfect location, a beautiful coworking space in The Cedars, close to downtown, with a unique focus on sustainability and wellness.

Limit: 15. Room for 10 more as of 7/5.

WHEN: Fridays, July 13-Aug. 17, 11:30 am-12:30 pm.
COST: $105 after; GoodWork members save $10 (use code GoodWork).

Register on the Dallas Feldenkrais website.


Bobby Garcia began his martial arts education 29 years ago and has been teaching for 11 years. A serious motorcycle accident left Bobby with limited mobility. Through Tai Chi, he found dramatic improvements in his strength and mobility. Bobby has studied several styles of Tai Chi with multiple masters, including Chen Bing, a Tai Chi Master from China who is a direct descendant of Tai Chi founder Chen Wangting.

Testimonials for Bobby Garcia

“What I took away was, the power of Tai Chi to restore confidence, balance, and calm.”

“I felt the connection between the physical efforts and the emotional. If we are grounded and centered, we are hard to topple both physically, mentally and emotionally.”

Uncover Internal Strength

A 2-Day Workshop with Jeff Haller, PhD, GCFP

How do you define strength?

Chinese and Japanese martial arts distinguish between internal and external practice. A group of people practices Awareness Through MovementThe internal arts utilize internal strength as a basis from which to move. Often practitioners of these arts refer to flowing energy and to the practice of grounding. Within the Feldenkrais Method® of Somatic Education there are clear principles, both biological and in physics, that lead us into a unique perspective on internal strength.

Jeff Haller uses a foam roller to demonstrate mobilizing internal strength.

Join us for this two-day workshop to investigate how to utilize these principles to connect with your own internal strength and improve your own functional self-organization.

Limit: 30 participants. SOLD OUT.

You’ll get tools to re-discover:

  • Skeletal support
  • Your connection with the ground
  • How your breath can support better movement


  • Athletes
  • Yoga, Tai Chi, Aikido and other movement practitioners
  • Anyone who’s interested in learning more about & improving their patterns of self-use


Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 16 & 17, 10 am- 5 pm

Cost: $300; At door $350.
Students $200 (paid by check/cash). Register here.

Please email Angela at angela at dallasfeldenkrais dot com if you’re interested in a group discount for your own movement studio staff and students.

Payment in advance is required to reserve your place.
If you prefer to pay by check, register above, make your check payable to “Dallas Feldenkrais,” and send immediately to:
P.O. Box 797503
Dallas TX 75379

How Movement Begins: Jeff Haller Workshop from Angela Alston on Vimeo.


Black and white head shot of Jeff Haller, GCFPJeff Haller, PhD, GCFP studied directly with Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, founder of the Feldenkrais Method. Jeff has led trainings and taught workshops on four continents. His additional study includes years of basketball, Aikido and meditation. Jeff has a doctorate in psychology. He’s based in Seattle, WA. Jeff is launching a revolutionary new training for Feldenkrais practitioners in Spring 2018: enrollment is open.

More about Strength

Strength from the Ground

In my teaching over the past year, uncovering inherent strength has become the organizing principle.

Tennis player in motion

© International Feldenkrais® Federation Archive, Robert Golden

My mentor Jeff Haller, PhD, first pointed me in this direction. It’s the central theme of his advanced training program. He said, “if I train myself in any exercise system, and I’m sloppy in the way I provide support for myself, all I will do is train muscles based on supporting myself the way I am accustomed to.

In other words, if I don’t improve my relationship to the ground, I’ll strengthen habits of self-use which don’t serve me and might actually harm me—which is how I sprained my ankle playing squash. (By the way, I then got up and finished the game: don’t do that!)

(Find the complete interview with Jeff here.)

Are Humans Machines?

Image shows cover of Mass Psychology of Fittism: Michaelangelo's depiction of human strengthRecently I’ve begun reading an excellent book which delves into the question from a slightly different angle: how do we define fitness? Author Edward Yu answers the question in depth. He looks at how the West has defined health, fitness, beauty, and the human body over a period of centuries, to see how we’ve arrived at the point where for many these are synonymous. As a martial artist, runner, and Feldenkrais practitioner, he asks, what are we fit for?

He writes: “If I am considered fit enough to be on a magazine cover, does that also make me fit for the rest of life, which occurs outside of the confines of 8 1/2 x 11 inches? Should Albert Einstein, who probably never performed a single push-up, be deemed unfit?

How we came to equate our physical selves with machines (thank you, Descartes!) is key to Edward’s analysis of the contemporary conflation of fit/health/beauty.

Read the prologue to his book, The Mass Psychology of Fittism: Fitness, Evolution, and the First Two Laws of Thermodynamics, here.