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I’ll simply start ...
The Don Bootcamp - Washington DC, Dec 2007 (With Salem & Braddock)
I’ll simply start out this review by getting to the point: 1) signing up for the bootcamp was something I dwelled on for a long time because I normally just don’t do “strange” things like this, and 2) it was entirely worth it.
I thought about taking a bootcamp for weeks before I actually signed up. I had no idea what to expect except for some great comments I read on the forum. Even though I am very strongly into educating myself with psychology books and continuing my personal growth, paying someone to teach me to “pick up chicks” seemed a bit sketchy. I waited until there was one bootcamp seat left before taking the leap of faith.
When we got there, we went around the room and shared a few introductory words, and then got going with the course. I’ll say that the context was comfortable; we were mostly guys just looking to fill some female void and create better results in our life. The instructor (The Don) was pretty welcoming and respectful of everyone in the room. I was still a little uncertain of the whole thing, though. I really believed in the results, but I hadn’t quite settled in and got my feet wet.
For the next several hours we covered the general opening and transitioning phases, interspersed with other tidbits. Note: Reading the Magic Bullets e-book prior to coming to the bootcamp proved to be very helpful to me to digest the information.
I went back to my hotel and practiced the opener that I had been given, working on my volume and talking speed, and a few other details for which I received feedback. Time seemed to go by both too slowly for me to just get it over with, and too quickly for me to really work on the nuances of opening and transition.
After a little bouncing around, we ended up at our main venue for the night. I first watched one of the instructors, Salem, go to work on a set. The women were completely into him right from the start. He has a lot of energy and the women were getting sucked right into it.
I then got the go-ahead from another PUA, Puzzler, and opened my first set. I got a mixed response, tried to throw in a bit of conversation, then bailed out. It was a decent start. I opened another, and got a great response before running out of material, so I got out on a high note. Opened a third person and it went well before her friends came in and she moved off with them. Not perfect, but still making progress and getting some “opening” under my belt.
I opened 10-12 sets that night, and some went very well while a few others blew me off. No big deal. The feeling of accomplishment I got from opening the women there was infinitely more important. I managed to stay in one set for probably 10-20 minutes. Too bad I hadn’t learned more that day, or I really could have pushed some limits.
I got great feedback from Puzzler, who I was getting instruction from for most of the 2 nights we were out. He also winged for me in one set to keep it alive a bit longer. The guy always had positive feedback and pointed out areas of improvement. He really knew what he was talking about. We were fortunate that he was always there to help out anyone, and for me he was the biggest factor in helping me make progress. For that I am extremely grateful.
Headed back to my hotel around 2AM.
I didn’t sleep that night. I had so much adrenaline and emotions flying through my mind, just thinking about the possibilities of what I could have in this life. It is an unexplainable feeling to go through life confused about how to create the relationship results I want, and then see some light at the end of the tunnel. Were it not for a couple sleeping pills I took the next night (providing 3-4 hours of sleep) I probably would have gone the whole weekend without sleep. Just an extraordinary experience (or to say it more accurately, an extraordinary mindf**k).
The next day was a lot to absorb. We went around the room and I got excellent feedback from instructors about the night before. We continued with the follow-on phases of the model.
I’ll summarize the rest of the camp so I can move on. We went out that night to practice what we learned (I opened a couple sets and observed some instructors), debriefed the next morning, and learned some more material before concluding the bootcamp.
The instructors/PUAs were The Don, Braddock, Salem, Levo, and Puzzler. The Don did a great job leading the course and he clearly knew what he was doing. There weren’t any questions he couldn’t answer. I saw him in action a couple times and his in-field abilities are no joke. Braddock is pretty amazing. He has a ton of energy, provided great insight during the class portion, and demonstrated incredible skills when out that night. He is also dedicated to helping people learn the game - no question about it. Salem is also pretty skillful and knowledgeable. He is high energy and gave valuable feedback to us. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see Levo much during the nights out, but I heard him share some good advice throughout the class and during breaks as well. Puzzler seems genuinely dedicated to helping people get better. He was a tremendous help and source of knowledge – thanks again.
My “areas for improvement” to the bootcamp are that we could get better results the first night if we came up with a little more beyond just opening and transition. Maybe just some conversational points that we could use to “plow” forward a bit. Also, there was one occasion where the feedback I got from a few instructors was a bit counterproductive for me, but this was a small deal. It was well intentioned and was outweighed by the positive feedback. I just want to mention these things so that my review sounds more fair and balanced to those who are considering a bootcamp.
For anyone reading this who is hesitant to sign up, I highly recommend it. There were several guys at the camp who were very reserved about approaching and carrying on conversation with women, but I saw great progress in all of them. The instructors were always nearby to provide motivation, feedback, and support. I really felt comfortable taking chances with that kind of assistance.
Overall, I feel like I made a great decision. I have been practicing some of the things I learned throughout the last week during my more casual interactions, and they are making a big difference in the responses I get. I plan to continue learning what the Mystery Method has to offer, and I am supremely confident that if I practice and apply this material, then I will get the results I want. This weekend was about much more for me than just picking up women; it was about creating a life for myself that reflects what I want. This was a great experience and a big piece of the puzzle that has been missing for me. Thanks again for your help, guys.
Awesome man! I am so glad that you got a lot out of the bootcamp. Thanks for the props! Just continue the process and you will get better. Let me know when you are in DC.
I agree with just about everything that MindJacked said. I also waited until a few weeks to post my review because I wanted to see what sticks and what is quickly lost after taking the bootcamp.
Bottom line (what you really want to know): was it worth it? The bootcamp itself was excellent, but the value of the experience depends on you. Will you keep going out after the bootcamp is over, even if you are not immediately successful? If not, then don’t come. If you will, then you should sign up now.
The details: Our instructors were great. The Don, Braddock, Puzzler, Salem, and Levo were all cool, easy-going guys you’d want to go out with. Everyone had a different demeanor and style, which was nice, because it made it easier to see what might work better for you. In the classroom, they brought the material to life with great stories and examples of delivery. But their real value came out in the field. They all shared a compassion for those of us still struggling with approach anxiety (most of us) and with other sticking points. Having them there to give us a gentle push into a set, and to be there to give us immediate feedback and pump us back up, was fantastic. I’ve also had the great opportunity to hang with Puzzler a couple of times since the bootcamp and have benefited from it tremendously.
I started each night with plenty of approach anxiety. Early on in the first night, I landed in a great set that lasted most of the night (kiss closing, etc.), so I didn’t really get to work through it. But the second night, I had plenty of opportunities. I probably opened between 12 and 15 sets, almost all with solid attraction and transitions (though I got slammed in one or two). I can tell you that after opening ~5 sets, approach anxiety was a non-issue. It didn’t matter how physically attractive a woman was, or how big a set she was in. I could just jump in and usually isolate a target in a short amount of time. My biggest problem that night was that I was exhausted from being out until 3 the morning before.
Reading Magic Bullets ahead of time, as I did, made it easier to follow the classroom material and to think beyond all the details and get the big picture as well. I still took lots of notes, though, because there is a lot of new material… more than you’ll be able to (or want to) try in the field in one weekend. Plus you may think you know all of your sticking points, but if you discover you were wrong and that you missed the opportunity to get on paper what one of the instructors said earlier, you’ll be kicking yourself. When you get out in the field, it makes a lot more sense to just stick with a few routines and use them when you need them. But later you’ll want to go back to your notes to look for more inspiration.
I went into this bootcamp thinking I had one clear sticking point and one vague one. My clear one was approach anxiety. My vague one was why I wasn’t getting a consistently stronger response from women that I was otherwise having a great conversation with. After the bootcamp, my approach anxiety is still an issue. Pushing through 3-5 sets helped that one night, but go out again a week later and all that ego/fear is right back again. Because of the bootcamp, however, I have some new ideas about how to get myself in a better frame of mind and how to present myself better (posture, dress, etc), so that I get better initial reactions. I knew going in they wouldn’t solve that problem in one weekend. That takes time and effort and the courage to keep going out after a night or two where nothing seems to work and you don’t seem to even get attraction going in any set (I’ve had one of those already).
After seeing me in action the first night, the instructors quickly hit on my second problem – lack of kino/kino escalation. No one had ever mentioned this to me before, and I don’t think anyone ever would have. But, it has made a tremendous difference in building initial attraction and in progressing all the way to seduction. Going into this workshop I hadn’t closed with any women in nine months (I blew a few really good opportunities too). In the three weeks since the workshop I’ve closed with two women, neither with LMR, and both calling, texting, and e-mailing me to see me again. Using kino has also helped me in non-pick-up interactions. It just helps build rapport more quickly and deeply. I've been using it at business meetings, when shopping, etc, and getting really friendly responses.
So again, my advice is that if you think you can dig up the courage to keep pushing after a bad night, then you should definitely do this. Otherwise put your money into something that will help you find that courage, because you're not ready for this yet.
I'm going to post a longer review in a minute but I just wanted to post a reply to Mellow's post before I forget.
I was in the DC boot camp with Mellow and Mindjacked and there is something that Mellow brought up that hasn’t really been mentioned anywhere else.
Mellow mentioned that continuing the practice your new skills after a boot camp is really important. I complete agree with that statement – the one extra caveat that I would like to add is that it can, at times, be really difficult to find wing men to practice what you’ve learned.
This is where attending a boot camp (BC) can provide you with an additional benefit that isn’t mentioned anywhere else. BC’s will introduce you to a whole set of people that are cool, are interested in practicing what they’ve learned, and understand the system that you’re using and will be able to give you feedback.
The last item is really important, “understand the system that you’re using.” The whole MM system is so different than what we’ve been taught growing up that unless you’ve taught this system; there is no way that a non-MM person will ever be able to provide you with any real advice on how to improve your game.
The best you’ll get will be…”why are you using an opinion opener,” or “why are you ignoring the hot one.”
So basically, in addition to learning a whole lot of new skills at BC, you’ll also meet people that you can keep practicing what you’ve learned.
WWTDD - What would THE DON do (DC Bootcamp review) Overall “was it worth it”
I want to start off by saying that, about a month after the DC boot camp (BC) I still believe that the money I spent was well worth it.
What I’ve taken away from the boot camp is a road map for how to improve my interactions with women. I now know where I am having problems and why I am messing up.
Basically, I know understand what I am doing – it’s almost like the Mystery Method (MM) group has figured how women think and how we can communicate with them (can you say priceless)!
Why I signed up for Class
I signed up for the boot camp because of two reasons. A) I never really understood how to start a conversation with a woman and B) I never really knew what to on the occasions that I would start a conversation with a woman
Timing a Boot Camp “MM is like working out”
Oh quick note here - learning the MM is like “working out.” You’ll immediately see some results but it’s going to take you about 5-6 months to really get good at it. That being said – I live for the summers – so the DC boot camp’s timing worked out really well for me with respect to the summer of 2008 (with help from my wing men – I’ll be awesome by then). Hopefully you get my point.
Fellow Students “really - they’re all cool”
The people in the class were for the most party really awesome. Everyone in class was successful with what they did, the age break down was as follows (I think this is accurate) – 3 people in their mid 20s, 5 people in their 30s, 3 people in their 40s, 1 in his 50s. Not that the age factor really meant anything because everyone was awesome.
Seminar (Day 1) “Opening and transitioning is easy”
The first day consisted of learning the basics of the MM. The Don really drove home why becoming an Alpha Male is a key factor to your success with the MM. After that we covered Openers and Transitions. This was where most of the people in class said that they were having the most problems (before class). The Don was able to quickly teach us the main types of openers, from there he taught us a few “canned” openers but more importantly, he taught us how to create our own “openers.” After teaching us openers, he taught us how to properly use Transitions to move into a more normal conversation.
I think the key to this day was that The Don really made the material flow, before attending the BC I had a really hard time “seeing” how the whole thing fit together. After the first day – I was able to see how it all fit together and more importantly why it worked.
Field Study (Day1) “This works, and getting called out”
Coming into the field study, I was really nervous about two things, getting “called out” (approach anxiety) by girls and running into friends in DC (they didn’t know that I was doing this). I was able to kill my approach anxiety by having 2 openers and transitions that I was really comfortable with (it wasn’t like that lousy VH1 opener “do you floss or brush first”), and by adhering to the 3 second rule.
Using what I head learned in class, I was easily able to open a lot of sets (15 or so), but then about 2/3 of the way through the night – I got called out. So what did I do – did it phase my confidence. Nope, I remembered something that The Don had said in class. “They aren’t rejecting you, just your opener.” So with that I ignored them, walked away (not the best move, but hey it was first night out) and kept working it. In fact about an hour after working it with them I had my best set (I opened a three set and even got one of the girl’s bar stools and even had her sit on my lap for a bit).
Oh yeah, I think everyone knows that you get instant feedback from the instructors during the infield portion of the BC. One of the things that I was worried about was that the instructors would make it totally obvious to the women in the bar that they were “coaching” us. That fear was totally uncalled for; the instructors were like Stealth Bombers, they would swoop in, give some advice (i.e. walking by and saying kino) and walk away before you or the person you were talking to even had a chance to figure out what was going on.
Seminar (Day 2) “five instructors become 16”
Day 2 was great. The day started with an hour long debrief session on how everyone did the night before. Actually, this might have been one of the best parts of the class because we were able to “throw out” ideas concerning what we were having problems with and then we were able to solicit a ton of feedback from both the instructors and fellow students. It was honestly like I went from having 5 instructors that were able to give me feedback to 16 instructors (students and instructors).
Day 2 covered Attraction, Comfort, and Seduction (maybe that was day 3). Basically, all of this material was great. It really helped to help everything fit together.
Field Study (Day 2) “running into friends”
I’ll be honest; getting myself to go out for Day 2’s evening session was really tough for me because Day 1 took a lot out of me. So by the time it was time to go out for the evening portion of Day 2, I really wasn’t feeling it. But either way, I sucked it up and still went out. I opened a few sets at our first place but I still wasn’t feeling it so I decided that I needed to have a venue change. I got up, left went to another bar, drank some Red Bull, talked to my friend (he was the bartender) and came back to where the MM field study was going on as a new man.
Once again, I opened sets and worked on what I had learned. So towards the end of Day 2, my second fear came true, I ran into a work friend. Ironically, at first I tried to avoid her because I was afraid that she would call me out on what I was doing, but then, after awhile I said screw it and started talking to her. Then I introduced her to one of my wingmen and even used her to try to “Stack forward” with another set of girls. All in all – my fear of running into friends while on a BC was completely unfounded, she never noticed what I was doing and more importantly she was worked out great for social proofing me because I was able to use her to open another set of girls.
Seminar (Day 3) “what you mean dressing fashionable is important?”
Day 3 was awesome because we talked about how to create a coherent identity, handle relationships, and how fashion could improve our game. All three topics were great, granted everyone was dead tired by the end of the class. By the way, the instructors talk about fashion was great – they broke down everyone’s style and told them how they could improve it without “peacocking.”
Instructors “They’re all cool”
The DC boot camp was awesome because we had five total instructors. The Don was the head honcho, but assisting him were 4 incredibly cool guys, Salem, Braddock, Levo, and the Puzzler. Here’s my run down on each one.
He’s an awesome instructor, not only is he able to explain the material well, but he is also able to use his own personal experiences to drive home certain key points. Outside of that, he is a really cool down to earth person that is fun to hang out with.
This guy has a really fun style, it’s a little more physical (I think his “opener” was to bump girls – you gotta love that). I didn’t talk him that much but from the little I did talk to him, he was totally money. He was really easy to talk and gave great advice
Braddock’s style is totally high energy. He really comes in with so much energy that is hard not to get energized by just talking to him. That being said, some of the mini-lessons during the main part of class were great, especially with respect to how to deal with random guys that walk into your sets.
I didn’t really get a chance to work with him that much, but I thought he was a really cool guy overall (I did get a chance to talk to him a bit during the breaks). But other people did tell me that he was a really good instructor and that he was able to help them out a lot.
I think I talked to the Puzzler more than I talked to any of the other instructors. Overall, I thought the Puzzler was great; he seemed to innately know when I need to be pushed into a set. Also his advice about locking in was right on the money.
Overall all of the instructors were great. One thing that I wanted to emphasize about the instructors is that they’re all approachable and they’re definitely available. I mean how good is a boot camp if you’re not comfortable talking to the instructor.
Areas for improvement “nobody is perfect”
So here are my keys for improvement
The MM needs to come up with a road map for telling students what’s next. Granted their final challenge is great way to start, but they need to say something like 1) Sign up for the Audio CDs 2) Six months from now sign up for private lessons, etc. 3) make sure you post your journal on the Lounge
I think we could’ve spent a bit more time figuring out how to use stories to DHV. It seemed that all of our attraction material was based around a few games, insights, etc.
This is more of my fault, but the first night I was having a lot of success opening sets so I didn’t really hear that much in the way of feedback from instructors. Granted that is my fault, I would’ve liked it if an instructor had came over to tell me whether or not I was “negging” too much, or if my attraction stories were working, etc. Granted once again – this is my fault – I should have found an instructor and asked him to critique my style.
When in doubt just ask yourself
What would the Don do
I was at the DC boot camp with all these guys, they give an excellent breakdown of the structure of the boot camps so for my review I'm just going to focus on the 5 instructors.
The Don was the lead instructor and I honestly believe that many of my teachers and professors throughout high school and college could learn alot from him. He handled the classroom with efficiency and ease and got through all of the material in good time. In the field I had major approach anxiety and he pushed me into sets and even came in and saved me from awkwardness a couple times. The ease in which he handles himself both in the class and in the field was really impressive.
Braddock was one of the most high energy people that I've ever met. He spent a ton of time in the field getting to know me and discussing my specific goals and situation. After the first night in the field I read his blog and found lots of great technical and inpirational stuff. Watching him assert his strong frame in set was impressive. He had me open one girl in particular who was kind of angry at the world, and he came in and refused to give into negativity or walk away.
Puzzler is a great guy who I was lucky enough to get to spend a couple hours with before the last day of the seminar. I didn't happen to see him in the field much but it's obvious he really cares about making sure all the students achieve their goals. In fact one night last weekend after being out and not really approaching anyone he just randomly sent me a message to check on how things were going. It gave me a chance to vent and get more advice on approaching, and this is 4 weeks after the bootcamp!
Levo was also a great guy and spent a really long time talking to me in field and seemed truly interested in learning about me and helping me. I felt like he identified with what was happening to me as well as anyone and his ideas were great. He was willing to tell it like it is to me about things that I do that just were no good and most people wouldn't tell me.
Salem I had the least contact with but I'm sure that was just random given that there were about 12 students, 5 instructors, and I spent tons of time in the field with the other 4. He was very high energy and the little that I did get to watch him I was very impressed with his natural energy.
Overall, I've been going around recommending to all my friends that they take a boot camp and it isn't because of the material (although that is great). I feel truly privileged to have met all 5 instructors and I hope to see them all again in the future. Sorry if this review was totally incoherent, it's 6 am and it's been a rough night.
"WWTDD - What would THE DON do"
Haha... That's awesome. I've always lived by WWDTD...
What would Dr. Troy do? (From Nip/Tuck)
It was great working with you guys... It was an awesome group. I really liked DC alot. Heading back there in early Feb. to do another one.
Just added a new DC date Feb. 8-9-10...
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