After being an Ashiatsu therapist for 7 years, I gotta say, it's not like I know everything! Back when I learned "Barefoot Basics", the double footed strokes were mixed in there too. Three intense days of learning everything that is still in the beginners course, plus about half of what is in the "DF2" or "Advanced Ashiatsu" course. When I took the "Fusion" class, probably about three years later, I learned even more doubles and the flow that makes it all come together. How did I ever remember all that after taking each class only once!??! Yah, well, I didn't!
Would you ever take a class from someone who took a course only once, or even worse, learned it from just a DVD, and thought they are good enough to teach the same material to the masses? Uhh, NO! Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy's founder Ruthie prides herself on teaching her instructors in person, in detail and in depth so that we can bring the real stuff back to our classes.
As an instructor for AOBT, we first go through an intense 6 month apprenticeship program and learn Barefoot Basics and Anterior/Sidelying inside and out directly from Ruthie. I re-learned the basic strokes and figured out everything that goes on behind the scenes for each workshop. There was a black eye, lots of sweat and tears while I trained to be an instructor last year, but there's just as much fun, good times and great massage too!
When we are ready to teach a new level class, the instructors are required to re-train with Ruthie on that particular subject. So, I went out to Denver last week and immersed myself into all things Ashiatsu all over again to learn how to teach Advanced Ashiatsu course! We study, practice and re-hash every detail all night, and teach it to the class under her supervision all day. I was there for almost a week, and came back more in love with Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy than ever before. (As if that is possible!)
After showing Ruthie my foot work and watching me teach, she helped to perfect every possible thing you could think of so that I can pass that knowledge onto my students. How to explain what is happening, how to demonstrate it, how to modify it, how to make it fun, how to make it safe, ect. I brought back an oldie-but-a-goodie and taught Ruthie how to explain the "Cowbell" move as it was taught by my first Ashi Instructor Janette - Ruthie had forgotten all about that little gem! I was proud to see that I had pretty much maintained the correct body mechanics and application all these years for those tough strokes. (I just need to shrink the travelling distance that my big 'ol feet naturally want to take during the Butterflies!) You should have seen Ruthie pour her heart out while teaching, it's amazing. Ashiatsu really is her baby and it shows, she loves this work more than anything.
Anyways, I had a blast and am more proud to be a part of this awesome modality working with such an AMAZING team of instructors than ever before. We rock. I did learn a new stroke that wasn't in the book back in my day... or maybe I forgot it (There, I said it, I admit that I forgot a stroke!) the "Wing Walkers"! Thats a fun one.
Here's the class from Denver last week with Ruthie, Kina and I teaching. I learned more from y'all then you know!