by James McLaughlin
Many trainers are used to writing – preserving their experiences, their systems of training, and their worldview in words. What is often forgotten is that there is more than one person in the studio, that the discoveries of the ‘master’ are due to the work of the ‘student’, and that the thoughts, voice, and discoveries of the students might be as valuable to understanding the phenomena of training as those of the trainer. A desire to demonstrate this was the impulse behind this collection of posts from five students who I have led through a version of Phillip Zarrilli’s psychophysical training at the University of Greenwich this year.
The Covid-19 pandemic set up a unique experience for me and the diversity of the students’ reflections shows that I am not alone in this. Alicia Bowditch-Gibbs’ piece shows the compromises made to allow an injured body to acclimatize to the training and the way a new training can resonate with older strata of training in the body. Paul Cole writes of recovering from Covid and the adjustments and innovations he was forced to make to fully engage with the work. To put these into context, I will introduce the student contributions with my own background with the training. In a follow-up post, three more students will reflect on the role of breath, spirit, and neurodiversity in training.Continue reading