Patrick Macdonald: #1, “Too serious!”, London 1983
I was in my second or third year of training with Misha Magidov when I had my first lesson with Patrick Macdonald. I had seen him only once before, to the best of my recollection, at a STAT Annual Memorial Lecture.
When I arrived in his basement premises in Victoria, London, he was just finishing giving a lesson to a middle-aged woman who, he said to me, wanted to stay and observe my lesson, if I had no objection. The woman was Rivka Cohen – curious, perhaps, to ‘check out’ one of the first trainees of her Israeli colleague of many years.
Mr Macdonald put me in front of a chair and began to get me in an out of it. He had already ‘sussed me out’ by then, and when Rivka asked him something about me his response was “He’s OK, but too serious!” Then I laughed; something let go and everything flowed freely – so long as I did not try to work out what was going on or even think about it. I just had to get out of the way.
“Ahh! That’s more like it!” he said.
Then he put me on the table, moved quickly around me taking my head, arms and legs; then off the table and into lunges and monkey. Then it was over.
The lesson did not seem very different from what I was used to. As I left I felt somehow ‘the same’ as before, but with ‘something extra’. A different quality of energy had been awoken in me; an energy to which I did not normally have access.
© 2013 John S Hunter
I got Patrick Macdonald’s phone number on a visit to my family in Israel in 1975 or 1976. I din’t know anything about the technique when I booked my first lesson. When I came out my husband met me and I said: this is what I wanted all my life but didn’t know it existed. I was so overwhelmed.