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Dennis Bartram Ė The Journey Towards Tensegrity Part B

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Author: Dennis Bartram

Dennis Bartram - The Journey Towards Tensegrity

© mmv Dennis Bartram


I initially met with Dr Hatsumi when he came to England for the first time in 1986 to demonstrate his martial principles. Although his martial skills were frighteningly effective, another quality shone from him. He was friendly, gentle and his body movement was graceful. He seemed to have plenty of time to evade attacks made on him during demonstrations and seemed to float as he walked through various techniques.


I watched in awe of a man twenty years my senior, working with ease and with fingertip precision to lock his opponents in tangled body configurations. To learn that this man practised as an Osteopath totally intrigued me and made me ponder as to his methodology. As he practised martially, he would say "Budo and Medicine are the same!" and if medicine was practised poorly, it could kill. He told us to study nature and learn from nature and that natural movement was all that was required to maintain health.


That day in 1986 changed me, I had found my mentor, a man who practised my hobby and my occupation and described them as being one. I changed from a hard physical disciplined Karate to a softer evasive body defence method. This also influenced my decision to stop manipulating in the standard Osteopathic method and study Dr. Hatsumi's naturalistic approach. I utilised body positioning and gentle movement into my practise methodology.


Slowly I began to get the results from this body orientation approach. In 1995, I went to visit Dr. Hatsumi to ask for guidance and the opportunity to demonstrate these principles to him. He  was impressed with my progress and told me he would teach me on "one to one basis". He painted a calligraphy for me, which translated as mysterious hands. He said that this described what he saw as he watched me practise.


In a private session, Dr. Hatsumi worked on a friend of mine who had been a patient for several years. This person had suffered from Osteopetro'sis a brittle bone disorder from birth. He had suffered many bone breaks and traumas but in his twenties had fractured his femur badly in his left leg. After many hours in surgery, they had to abandon a traction correction, as they could not drill through the brittle bone.



This left him after many months in plaster with a bowed left leg. This resulted in a misaligned pelvis and a scoliosis of the spine. He had a pronounced limp and had to walk with the aid of a stick. Despite these and many other difficulties after treatment from me, he even began martial training.

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