Both Contact Improvisation and the Feldenkrais Method have historical connections to the art of Judo. This particular explanation of the essence of Judo speaks to a way of dancing I find in contact improvisation. When the center is clear and a dancer moves with a fluid sense of spherical space falling and flying come to have a similar nature.
Early contact improvisation training involved developing dancers comfort in spherical space largely borrowing from aikido and gymnastics. A useful and commonly used exercise in contact improvisation is learning to fall and role in many directions.
Moshe Feldenkrais developed numerous Awareness Through Movement lessons based on movement patterns from Judo. A current interest of mine at this moment in transmitting skills for contact improvisation is the study of these possible ways of rising, descending and rolling with Feldenkrais lessons. The Feldenkrais lessons are particularly interesting in how they function on multiple levels. On one level they familiarize people with the pathways of orientation in a spherical space, opening pathways of movement and perception that they may not have discovered yet. On another level Feldenkrais lessons explore the relationship between attention, effort, imagination, perception and ease. Not only is a more clear center and spherical sense of space developed but also a sense of ease, comfort and freedom in that space.