7.21.2006posted by Donovan at 10:36 AM
I just got this email from Zman, a guy that I met at the recent Pickup 101 New York, Art of Attraction workshop. He asked me to post this review, it's a good explanation of what went down. I attended two days of it, I noticed that when the first day was done, the guys couldn't wait to go out and test the techniques.
I took PickUp 101's Art of Attraction workshop in New York this past weekend from 7/7/06-7/9/06. In terms of basic personal information, I first learned about the "community" upon reading The Game in November '05. Prior to the workshop, I had done about 30-40 approaches with moderate results. Over the years, I have had intermittent success with women, but always felt like I was getting lucky, instead of getting skilled with women. In other words, I did okay with women, but didn't always know how or why the attraction happened and would become frustrated when it didn't. As a result, I decided to take a workshop as a means to take things up a few notches and truly get this area of my life handled. This is my first workshop experience, but I do have products from all other major U.S. pickup/seduction companies (MM, Juggler, RSD, SS, DYD, Thundercat, Swingcat, etc.). Based on my evaluation of the numerous products that I own as well as through reading workshop reviews from both PU 101 and their competitors, PU 101 seemed to be the most congruent with my style and personality-so I chose them. The core PU 101 instructors for this workshop were Lance, Sean and Daniel. In a nutshell, I had a fantastic experience with these guys, but since it's a review, not a public relations piece, I will also offer some constructive criticism at the end to help people genuinely evaluate the merits of PU 101.
When you sign up for the workshop, you receive pre-workshop handouts and homework which include foundational material including pickup/attraction theory, breakdown and examples of: opening, main attraction tools, overgaming, blowouts, lockup, and other pertinent information, so that you are familiar with and prepared for the workshop in advance. This was a huge plus as it really cut down on lecture and redundancy during the actual workshop. The workshop itself is VERY interactive and experiential both during the day and in-field. The day portion of the workshop generally consisted of a couple of hours of lecture sprinkled throughout the day and 5-6 hours of group and individual exercises until field work at night. Essentially, the daytime portion provided tons of practical exercises with lots of fine tuning and feedback from the instructors, videotape, students and female assistants.
The main areas of exercises were:
Approaching/Opening-You can use your own opener or have one provided for you by instructors based on what is comfortable for you/what you are trying to convey about yourself (i.e. a fun guy, sexy guy, suave guy, etc). Flirting-type openers seemed to be more encouraged and were more popular than neutral/opinion openers, but ultimately, they leave it up to you and will calibrate it for you. You do lots of mock approaches with both men and women and various scenarios are presented for you to practice.
Body Language- You learn how to use your entire body to project strong physical confidence through use of facial expressions, standing, walking, sitting, and hand gestures. These are essential non-verbal communication skills and if you nail them, it really doesn't matter what you say.
Banter- You learn how to playfully flirt (i.e. something smells great it here, oh, it's me…) and when/how to use banter appropriately. We would pick a few banter lines and role play/improv them to death. The understanding and delivery of example banter lines thoroughly increased my comfort level to consistently flirt early in interactions and really amp up attraction.
Kino- You learn how to touch early on in an interaction, how to escalate, how to calibrate touch for a given situation, and most importantly, test for attraction. If you don't know when and how to touch, it will definitely be awkward for both you and her. If you do know, you will generate attraction quickly. Girls can tell how good/experienced you are by how you touch them.
Storytelling- You can use either your own attraction story or one of many field-tested PU 101 attraction stories. The emphasis on stories is that they are to generally be used as a crutch/training wheels to keep you in the interaction or keep the energy up if you are having trouble bantering or vibing and need "material".
Routine Stack- This is the integration of all of the above areas. Our personal routine stacks were individually developed and practiced as a means to help us generate attraction and have a successful first three minutes of an interaction. The paradox here is that the more comfortable you become with your routine stack, the less you will actually need to rely on it. It's all about feeling comfortable.
Fieldwork was scheduled for 3 hours per night at bars for the first two nights (daygame is a separate workshop) with a 2-1 or 3-1 student to instructor ratio. I'm not going to get into specifics about my experience with particular sets because it will make this long review, way too long. However, please don’t attribute the lack of elaboration to having negative results. Both nights we started off by doing warm-up sets in the street or on line at the bars using situational openers (i.e. time, directions, good place to go, etc).
On the first night, me and one other student were paired up with Sean. He was incredible as an instructor because he is so natural and non-routine oriented. He demonstrated very effectively and effortlessly (like a great golf swing), provided solid feedback when necessary and stayed out well past the required 3 hours. At around 4am, we all went to a diner to debrief. During the first night, opening lots of sets was encouraged as a means to get comfortable with the basics that we practiced during the day. We then would leave the set shortly thereafter and move onto the next one. I opened 20-25 sets and nearly all went very well for me (i.e. I did not get blown out). Due to both Sean and the daytime practice, everything about the evening was low pressure, comfortable, relaxed and consequently, very successful.
On the second night, me and two other students were paired up with a part-time guest-instructor. He was a good guy who was somewhat less involved than Sean, but was very positive, provided some feedback and winged with us a bit. Since I was doing well in approaching and interacting without him, he just generally let me do my thing and focused more on students who needed the instruction. During this night, I applied my routine stack which was fully developed by the end of the second day of the workshop. Consequently, I only opened about 8 sets (not including warm-ups) and stayed in interactions significantly longer. Again on this night, the instructor stayed out later than required and it became very obvious to me that PU 101 really cares about the students and their results-they do not just punch the clock.
Overall, yes, I met lots of women, got numbers, and kisses over the two nights, but that was secondary to practicing, honing, trusting and ultimately, believing that what I learned during the daytime exercises could/did work very effectively and consistently in-field (with or without an instructor by my side).
-Lance provided a fashion consultation for all students and made individualized suggestions about wardrobe, grooming, shopping and anything else related to conveying an attractive look.
-Day 2 closing steps, basic rapport and other applicable information to move your game forward (once you are consistently generating attraction) were also covered with lecture near the end of the three day workshop.
-The core instructors (Lance, Sean and Daniel) were superb at both teaching and demonstrating. They were genuine about making sure that each student really got the information and were able to apply it. While the instructors all shared the same overall philosophy, they had different, yet effective styles in communicating their material, but had no ego-EVER.
-The instructors struck a fine balance between keeping feedback positive and supportive, while still being honest and constructive as needed.
-The workshop definitely had structure and a method to the madness, but it was quite manageable and digestible, whereby it was not overwhelmingly linear. One thing would build upon the next, so that you would feel the momentum of increasing skill level and confidence day by day.
-Students in the workshop were at various skills levels, but all seemed to make excellent strides over the three days and approached numerous sets without major approach anxiety.
-Students were able to provide workshop evaluations anonymously on a computer to ensure honesty about individual experiences.
Minor Areas of Improvement
-There could have been a bit more structure related to mapping out the bars that we would be going to in-field as well as in assigning instructors to students. This was done somewhat last minute and caused very minor complications (i.e. waiting on line), but it all worked out in the end. This may run smoother when they run their workshops in more familiar San Francisco territory, where they are based.
-Due to the workshop being in NY, part-time guest instructors, with not always the same skill level/ philosophy as the core PU 101 instructors were employed at night in-field. Additionally, having students meet field instructors for the first time, five minutes before going out with them in-field is probably not the best system to make a student feel totally comfortable. The need to use guest instructors was somewhat understandable due to PU 101 being based out of SF. Again, if you take their workshop in SF, this would also probably not be an issue. On the plus side, they did not charge extra for the NY workshop, even though the core instructors likely had to pay hotel and travel accommodations as well as hire guest instructors and female assistants.
-At times, I would have appreciated a bit more feedback from the instructors when in-field about actual social dynamics at the bars. While the instructors were certainly involved and attentive, I am an analytical person and would have liked more breakdown and play-by play of the environment. There also could have been a bit more proactive, constructive criticism offered in-field upon my ejecting from a set, but it was provided whenever I asked. In the instructors’ defense, I was often in sets and pretty successful (thanks to the exercises) with limited downtime, so maybe they didn’t find it necessary to harp on my minor issues.
-While the workshop was only three days long and there is only so much you can fit in, I probably could have benefited from a slightly stronger focus on vibing-of course, I'm not sure which area of the workshop that I would have wanted to be cut out instead.
Overall, I would rate the PickUp 101 Art of Attraction Workshop a 95 out of 100. I had high expectations for this workshop based on the many glowing PU 101 workshop reviews that I had read, but it still did not disappoint. Additionally, I had been signed up and was waiting for nearly four months to take the workshop, so I can assure you that I would be the first to acknowledge if it didn't live up to the hype. While there were a few small areas that kept the workshop from achieving total perfection, it was pretty damn close.
If you are seeking a workshop that will develop your game very naturally and congruently, then look no further than PU 101. The "community" now seems to be evolving more toward natural and individualized game and these guys are on the forefront of delivering it. Conversely, if you think that the techniques in The Game are the best/only way to meet and attract women, then find another workshop. PU 101 does not use jargon, force you to use stock routines, lines or anything else that could be considered incongruent, unnatural, demeaning or manipulative. The bottom line after taking this workshop is that I can go to bed at night and know that what I learned was highly potent and powerful attraction material that will NEVER make me or a woman feel bad about using it. How is that for being confident and congruent?
Check out Pickup101's workshop schedule here.
posted by Donovan at 10:36 AM Dating Advice for Men