Grover’s London ’10 Bootcamp Review

by Gareth Jones on November 1, 2010

“Here’s a review of the London Bootcamp September 2010. I’ll be posting a much longer, detailed report with many more philosphical musings on the Field Reports board.

It’s a three day course, each day consisting of 4 hours of lectures followed by about the same amount of in-field training. During the lectures we were taken through the ABCDEF structure in detail, with occasional practical sessions, the field work then being based on the lessons of the day. Our instructors were JT the Asian Playboy, and Gareth Jones.

I liked the emphasis on structure over specific techniques. This approach allows for slotting in your own style and personality, and also gives you an overview – the course is designed to keep you looking at the forest rather than the trees. While any model is just that, I did find that the ABCs paradigm was applicable to real-world scenarios, and as someone who has studied psychology, felt that it was robust and well thought-out. Be warned that the information comes very thick and fast, and handouts are supplemental, so you need to take copious notes. This did sometimes lead to me losing the thread as I tried to write down a previous point.

All this information is wrapped in an approach that takes account of the kinds of issues that we students as Asian guys in a Western society brought to the course. The structure itself is applicable to all, but I do think Asian men will have something specific to take away that may not be provided elsewhere, and in this regard my expectations were fulfilled.

JT is extremely astute about the kind of psychology that relates to the course, and on the whole makes his points clearly in both the lectures and the debriefings. I found most (if not all) of his comments enlightening and helpful. His interpersonal style, as befits the “bootcamp” tag, is rather prickly, and I would say dismissive at times. While some may thrive on this kind of thing, I did not warm to it and found him rather intimidating.

However, it became apparent to me that JT does genuinely care for the well-being and success of the students, and does an equally thorough job with each of them whatever their level is. Combined with the insight he provided it was well worth my putting aside personal differences and concentrating on his teachings.

I initially had reservations about Gareth as he is not Asian, but quickly found these to be unfounded. He is a very personable and helpful instructor, again very sharp and intelligible regarding the social world and dating, and not at all a lackey to JT. In fact I spent much of the bootcamp in conversation with Gareth about PU and life in general simply because I enjoyed his company. I also attended his “iGame” seminar which was excellent.

Field work: this is where the instructors take you to clubs and bars and basically push you to talk to women. I found it extremely nerve-wracking and often unpleasant, but then that is what you sign up for in a course like this. Over the three nights the amount of time spent in pain decreased, if not the actual level. After a first horrendous night of wandering around the club feeling lost, I made an effort to consult with the instructors more over the second and third nights, and found that help was there when required, but it’s important to proactively make the most of the resources available. I can’t overstate the value of having knowledgeable people encourage you when you lack self-confidence. Each night was followed by a debrief of each student in turn, which could sometimes be quite ego-destroying, but was usually helpful. By the end of the bootcamp I felt more optimistic about my future than I had in a long time.


My hopes of the course were essentially met. The experience provided me with an internal paradigm shift and a jumpstart to further development and change. Oh, and I met some nice women.
The content of the course is sound and transparent, and not based on techniques and trickery.
On the whole organisation is good, and schedules are maintained.
The teachers have integrity and ability.
It provides for the often overlooked Asian male.
After the course is over contact is maintained and help and advice offered.


So much information can be hard to follow.
The workbook looks thick, but has many repeated pages.
JT can be a scary guy if you are a beta AFC.
There were 2 instructors to 8 students, not the 1:3 ratio promised on the web site. (The wing-girls ended up flaking)


Taking the bootcamp has been potentially life-changing and profound. If you go into it with realistic expectations, not thinking it will be some sort of “cure” for your problems, and are willing to work to make the most of it, and if you have the resources available, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.


Originally posted on the ABCs Forums here:

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