Observations of GM, teaching / Sept.29, 20

by Doug Gauld on 2020/09/29

25.4x60cm 200张-出照片文件

…in my experience, great teachers are the ones that do certain things…

I am working on brevity, today.  I learned from my clinical counseling mentor that teachers need certain skills and abilities to be successful.  One of the most important skills is to aid the student in feeling like their idiosyncratic experiences are normal.  These teachers reflect back the experiences of students and often with anecdotes ‘normalize’ it.  For example, I had been wondering whether all the noise was normal.  Both GM and Master Allan have mentioned lately that pretty much everyone eventually experiences this phenomenon.  They specifically referenced the popping, clicking, grinding in shoulders,  hips/lower back/kua, and spinal joints.  There have been a couple of other instances where I had questions about things happening to my body either while practicing or afterward that were ‘normalized’ by comments from both teachers.  GM during his private lessons is constantly exhorting the students by reinforcing how difficult it is to move correctly while we are trapped in the bodies of beginners.

I am so lucky that I listened to Tim Duehring when he suggested, just before passing, that I get my butt over to Allan Bellsheim’s PM studio and talk to him about taking classes.  I have experienced some martial arts study that was not as focused on creating a safe and sane learning environment.  This is probably a western cultural reference but some martial arts teachers are more ‘Cobra Kai’ and less ‘Myagi’.  It is my privilege and pleasure to be able to study the art of teaching with these two very gifted proponents.  I am lucky in the extreme that they teach art that, as a side effect, reduces the symptoms of my spinal arthritis.  Their generosity of spirit, their warmth, combined with a slightly off-beat sense of humor rounds out their teaching approaches.  It makes a difference to me that my PM teachers model for me, through their consistent behavior, the methods of teaching they find best suited to PM.  With both Master Allan and GM you get the impression that dead-pan delivery of bad jokes might be one of those methods.  They use multi-modal systems of teaching, focusing on experiential somaticized learning.  Didactic, audio-visual, and many other methods are offered within the PM learning cannon.  If I continue to be really lucky the will let me continue to hang around.

…learning to live a breath at a time…

About Doug Gauld

took one two day workshop with Master Chen years ago in Victoria...studied with Gord Muir in Victoria for about 5 yrs, during that time was coping with spinal arthritis (ankylosing spondylitis)...have moved back to Edmonton to be closer to family...trying to learn more about art...it has helped with my arthritis and perhaps if I learn it more completely and make my practice better my health will improve more than it has already...

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