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Tyrel in Taiwan

Last month, I had the pleasure of teaching RPR’s first clinic in Asia, hosted by Edward Chou and his team at Know and Apply Training (or KAT Fitness) in Taipei, Taiwan. We had a full house with 53 attendees learning RPR Level 1 and Level 2 over the course of the weekend.

The trip was a long one, with over 20 hours of flying each way from Columbus, Ohio to Taipei. I left on a Monday morning and arrived late Wednesday evening, where I met Edward and our translator, Justin. Taipei is known for its incredible food, so instead of going straight to bed, we made our way to the nearest beef and noodle shop at around 11pm. One word I have for that: Wow. After that, we checked out the gym, KAT Fitness, which was a short walk from my hotel.

Thankfully, I had Thursday off to acclimate to the time change and got to explore the city a bit. Edward took me on a bit of a highlights tour. We visited a few museums and markets, trying to immerse me in the culture. I was fascinated to learn that Taiwan has only been a democratic nation for a few decades, so we got to learn a bit about local history. We also ate a ton of food along the way. We wrapped the day with a training session at KAT before turning in early to prepare for the seminar the next morning.

I need to pause here to say what a fantastic job Edward did in hosting the seminar. He took incredible care of me, making sure I was ready to go. He also managed the logistics of the clinic flawlessly, including translating all the course material and follow-up notes into Mandarin! A lot of credit goes to Edward, KAT, and Justin, as well as the fantastic group of attendees for covering a lot of ground over three days. This was easily one of the best clinics I have taught with RPR.

Everyone was very engaged and eager to learn the RPR system. Most of the attendees were strength coaches, but we had some physical therapists, massage therapists, and even a yoga instructor take the course. We even had an American strength coach who’s stationed on the US military base in Okinawa show up! Hey Chris!

Level 1 went very smoothly. Everyone did a fantastic job of grasping and applying the two key objectives: viewing the body through the lens of the nervous system and the concept of 1-2-3 as the foundation for RPR (and everything else). This set the tone for an awesome Level 2 where we dig deeper into the nervous system and the compensation patterns that it drives.

In Level 2, we saw immediate improvements by introducing pattern interruptions, but once we got into the more advanced material around visual fields there were some really interesting findings - some that surprised even me. Here’s an example: while we were testing visual fields, a group discovered that one attendee had a sympathetic response to one voice in particular. Whenever this one person spoke, she would fail in an arm abduction test. It turns out that this was her coworker! The two both independently agreed that they have a great working relationship and like each other. So we tried breathing and a Zone 1 reset while the coworker was talking and, lo and behold, the response was cleared, and she was able to test as strong when he spoke as when he didn’t.

It goes to show, the body can form some interesting compensations and if you approach each individual with an open mind, you might find something you didn’t expect!

Some final thoughts on the seminar. Everyone was extremely appreciative of the information and our willingness to come to teach in Taiwan. As someone who attended the first RPR seminar back in June 2016 and has been using the system for two years, I see a lot of similarities between the two groups. The room was full of intelligent coaches and clinicians who were excited to be early adopters of RPR and who, I’m sure, will have some amazing results after implementing it in their programs. Before I’d even gotten on the plane back to the States, we were receiving requests for RPR to return for multiple additional clinics.

Personally, it was a great challenge and experience to step out of my comfort zone in multiple ways at this seminar. Before this weekend, I’d never worked with a translator, in fact, I’d never traveled outside of North America and certainly not to a country whose primary language isn’t English. Overcoming those barriers was minimal, not least because of Edward and his team at KAT and their generous hospitality. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, the food, and good company. As you’re reading this, I am probably either eating, cooking, or googling a new Taiwanese recipe to make. I’m not kidding, the food was that good.

The biggest takeaway for me about teaching RPR is the hunger for learning and improvement in the strength and healthcare industries that we see in our attendees. No matter where I teach, I always come back from an RPR clinic on a high. I get so excited thinking about the lives that will be changed thanks to our attendees empowering their athletes and patients with this new lens that RPR provides.

Teaching also helps me grow in my skill sets. It never fails that some of the things that I teach show up the very next week in my practice. After the interesting cases in the visual fields portion of the Level 2 seminar, I had multiple patients who needed in depth analysis of their visual fields to tease out some sympathetic stressors. I will try to do a separate write up of their cases later, as they are good teaching points that those who are Level 2 certified need to hear about.

A big thanks again to Edward, Justin, and the KAT Fitness staff for putting on such a smooth seminar. I hope to be making the trip back to Asia to teach again soon and continue pushing RPR across the world!

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