Meet Walid Tebarki! Walid is currently working in Dubai. He works at The Hundred Wellness Center. This allround movement trainer is certified and qualified in Sport and Fitness, Classical Pilates, Yoga, Functional training, Pole Acrobatics, Dance & Performance. Walid’s conviction is that it is very important that a Pilates trainer must know the standard Pilates reportoire.
What is your background?
As a child I grew up in France. I was a very intuitive and active boy. Later, I studied 2 years Philosophy at the University of Creteil (France). At the same time I was in the National Team of Sanda (Martial Art, Boxing & restling). I won the French National Championship Kung Fu ( Sanda ); first place! I am a certified Fitness instructor from the CREPS de Montry in France in 2000 and competed for many years in Fitness and Sport Aerobic to finally join the National Team FISAF.
Read “Return to life” at least 10 times, each time you learn more.
Did you background had anything to do with Pilates?
Unfortunately I hurt my back at the World Championship of Gymnastic FISAF in 2004. A friend, Nathalie Brou who was teaching Pilates, invited me to try one of her classes. In a few sessions, the pain was gone! As far as I can remember Sport and Music have always been in my life. I have always been into the physio-philosphycal aspect of movement and that’s why I have studied sport and philosophy. As I said, my first lesson and training with the Pilates method in Paris was with Nathalie Brou and she is a very talented and generous person. She was teaching STOTT Pilates at that time. After 10 months of training I had to leave the programme because of a work opportunity in China.
I moved to China (Beijing ) for 2 years and worked as an “artist dancer, choregrapher and sport trainer “. However it was only when I came back home to Paris that I knew Pilates would be always in my life. While I was attending a workshop with Amy Alpers (from Boulder ) I felt very connected with Mr Joseph Pilates. I wanted to understand everything about “Contrology “ and the art of teaching Pilates. So I started the training from scratch with the Classical Pilates Method. I contacted a popular Classical Pilates Center in Dubai and had an interview with them. I finished my certification and worked for another Pilates studio. Amy Alpers visited us in Dubai as a guest trainer and I was very happy to attend her workshops. I was also teaching Yoga Ashtanga Vinyasa and danced in different places in Dubai. In May 2015, I was certified and accredited by the Association for Neuro Linguistic Programme as an NLP practionner, Time line therapeut and Hypnosis practitioner.
I studied Martial Arts for many years and competited as a fighter. The principles in “Martial Arts” and Pilates are quite the same.
How long did you study Pilates?
I studied Martial Arts for many years and competited as a fighter. The principles in “Martial Arts” and Pilates are quite the same. Center, Core, Focus , Mind, Control, Intelligence, Chi, Gravity, Strength, Flexibility, Being an animal, Functional, Healthy, Mind over Matter, Affecting the world with one body at the time… I started Pilates in 2005. It has been 10 years already! If I stop learning I’d rather do something else.” Once you stop learning, you start dying” (Albert Einstein). My latest intensive Pilates training (30 hours at Bluebird Pilates in Munich ) was with my friend Jean Claude Nelson who is a certified “Authentic Pilates trainer” (Romana Kryzanowska). We are friends and share a lot of information via internet.
How much do you workout and how many lessons do you teach?
I train almost every day. It is necessery to stay connected and be alert. I keep my mind open and my fitness level up. Our mind and body is never the same every day, each minute, every second. We constantly change. We are a process of molecules in movement, recreating ourself each second. We must be able to understand our inside world in order to help our students beyond the limits of their mind & body. By nature, we are not balanced. We are energy and it changes constantly. I always train and challenge myself physically and intellectually. I teach a minimum of 6 hours every day.
I believe in quality education, above all, because this is the way for the people to connect. This is about integration of mind, body and spirit. Diversity is good. As long as we talk about Pilates, it is always good.Do you teach more male or female clients?
Obviously in Pilates we have now more female than male clients. However I do teach a lot of men. Teaching men is very different from teaching female clients. The approaches are different but Pilates must be fun and enjoyable for every client.
What is your opinion about Traditional, Classical and Contemporary Pilates?
We all have one thing in common – a focus on how to help the clients. We have responsabilities towards results and changes. There are a lot of ways of learning and teaching Pilates. I believe in quality education, above all, because this is the way for the people to connect. This is about integration of mind, body and spirit. Diversity is good. As long as we talk about Pilates, it is always good.
In my opinion, every Pilates trainer must know the standard repertoire. I have studied different approaches and I can tell, it is important to preserve and to upheld Mr Joseph Pilates’s work. We have a way to go but the direction is toward unifying rather than judging. To all Pilates teachers and instructors Authentic, Classical or Contemporary approach, the question isn’t about what is right or wrong, but what works best for clients.
I feel concerend about the story and the work of Mr. Joseph Pilates, I learn about “Contrology ” and study the technique to stay connected with the origins of the method. The best way to learn about the Pilates method is to be ready to share opinions with humility and realistic approaches. We are not running a marathon or competing for who is who ? Or what is wrong or right? For what is the true Pilates or not? Every year Doctors, Scientists, Clinics, Pharmaceutical industries are reviewing and discussing their latest studies. Things are never the same, things are constantly changing.
I do believe that the standard repertoire is the source of “Contrology “. If we break the rules, we only bend it for a good reason with knowledge and expertise. As a dancer, I know that movements must be done 10000 times in order to assimilate and to included them as a second nature.”Practise makes perfect.” I like to point the good, the right in the others because no one is perfect. Every one has to work on something and Pilates is not a boring and a fixed method.
We see “Contrology ” in the Traditional, Classical, Authentic or Contemporary Pilates. I do think that a smart Contemporary Pilates teacher will always be interested to learn about the Classical and Authentic Pilates. Being greater, is being curious to explore all approaches. We are no Doctors nor Scientists. Mr Joseph Pilates was a passionate and creative person enjoying every pleasurable moment of life.
Nowadays people call themselves a Pilates trainer after one weekend-course or a Pilatesworkshop. What is your opinion?
It is impossible. It doesn’t make sense. It took me 10 years to really understand Pilates. Some trainers teach only Mat Pilates, others only Reformer…and call themselves a Pilates trainer. However, we should not consider them as heretics or charlatans. I have no negative thougths. I have met some of them and when we talked only for a few minutes, I could see the quietness on their faces. I saw that they were thinking about choices and how to be better. People are just misinformed and everyone wants to be better in something. Pilates goes always with “Mat and full equiment”, we don’t seperate those. It requests a certain amount of hours of practise, reading, teaching and observation. It is important to know all the repertoire with and without the equipment. We all need time and patience to experience life.
Most of those teachers who certified after only a few weeks will never work in a qualified Pilates center. They will teach in some fitness club where quantities are more important and not the qualities. In Pilates we look for qualities not quantities. My advise; do Pilates every where and with different trainers.
What Pilates apparatus is your favorite?
The Reformer is my favorite as I find the advanced level very interesting and challenging. While I am Classical educated I sometimes do variations on the Reformer. For example, working out with less springs to get more impact on the muscles. The Reformer is amazing with spring settings.
I get a lot of questions from men. How to build a beach body and how to get more bulky muscles. Weight lifts aren’t the answer and I can still shape my body as I want. We can get very well shaped with only Pilates. If men are looking for more muscles mass, I do the basics and go with the classical repertoire. However, I propose a modification always combined with Pilates. I enlighten the strength and flexibility of animals that is hidden in the work. I work with them on this new frame of thinking. We are animals, but we just forgot it!
I want to be able to run, jump, fall and still bounce like a bouncing ball, resilient, climbing the trees. I want to feel my body and my mind mastering it. Because of my background I can understand that way of thinking. I went through the whole process. I was in the fitness industry!
There is no brand and no apparatus that I dislike. Gratz equipment and Peak Pilates for the frame wood and weather straps are my favorite. The 23th of May 2015 I will attend “Gratz conference in Istanbul” so that will give me a better idea of the new equipments. I learned Pilates on apparatus from different brands; Peak Pilates, Balanced Body and Gratz. The quality is always good. But I really don’t enjoy it when the apparatus are just a few inches of the mat…some new models are like that. I prefer old school.
Every one has to work on something and Pilates is not a boring and a fixed method.
What Pilates exercise is you favorite?
The one Hundred exercise is one of my favorite because it is a basic exercise that can be very challenging in all levels, on all equipments. The one Hundred exercise is a good indicator of technical level. Whenever someone does the one Hundred it can tell a lot about the practioner. I think it is necessary to always teach the one Hundred. It has a lot of benefits. We never skip it because it is a fundamental one.
What makes a Pilates teacher a better Pilates teacher ? Any advises for new students and teachers?
One of the most important things is to love people. Love and empathy are the premises of our work. Financially, you won’t be rich! Learn empathy, but keep sympathy out of the center or you will emotionally burn out very fast. You must know the exercises and be able to apply modifications to the clients needs. Know and follow standards of conduct. Point the good and not the bad. Be positive; we are responsible for the changes towards the better by complimenting the good results.
Never act or say bad things about any other Pilates teacher. About their approaches, even if you think you have better knowledge, techniques and doing the Authentic Pilates. “Contrology is all about that!!
You must have knowledge of anatomy from a functional perspective and know all the muscles and their locations. You must have “a good eye” and be able to address problems at the source.You must have a social personality and leave your own personal problems at home. Empathy, with good sensory acuity, mind reading.
Musical phrasing of exercise cues with rythm and tempo will help. Also a warm tone in your voice. You must have the ability to motivate clients, to be passionate about the work, to be charismatic. And always “Practise what we preach “
Being professional is bending the rules only with awarenes and good intentions. Being professional is somewhat reflected in the way we present ourselves. We take care of the way we introduce ourself to clients; you are always clean, you look good, you smell nice and you have a positive attitude.
Be ecologique; be connected with the elements of nature and doing always the necessary to avoid hurting people’s thoughts or states of mind & body. We are inter-connected as a link system of the universe. The whole system.
Read “Return to life” at least 10 times, each time you learn more. After 10 years I read it again and I am learning each time. I really find this little book amazing. It shows how Mr. Joseph Pilates was clear with his approach and how genuis he is. I don’t say was because I feel he is still present.
Pilates is the manual of how your body works. You will improve the inner awareness of the body and how to be more functional. It strengthens the whole body. Pilates is the joy of life.
Who is your Pilates example?
Maybe Madame Romana Kryzanowska. She inspired. But I am actually more interested in authors and books and some scientists and body therapeuts than in Pilates instructors. I respect the work and life of Andre Bernard (ideokinesis ). Mabel Todd, Barbara Clark (ideokinessis). The Mind Body centering ( Bonnie Brainbridge Choen ) Really amazing! Candace Perts (The molecule of emotions). Amazing! And Erik Franklin but less today than those few years as a student. I don’t agree with some of his work today. Anyway, all of them are inspiring.
What do you tell people if they ask you what Pilates is ? How does it differ from yoga ?
Pilates is the manual of how your body works. You will improve the inner awareness of the body and how to be more functional. It strengthens the whole body. Pilates is the joy of life. The physical aspect is very important and we want it to be functional. There is a strong spiritual aspect for sure however it is not as deep as in Yoga can.
Both Pilates and Yoga have a very interesting spiritual connection with animals. In Yoga the body is the bridge to the spiritual enligthenment. We are looking for the union with the universe and willing to be detached from any matter or emotional poison. No temptations… At the origins Yoga is a religion (sanskrit text ). In yoga there are a lot of references to Gods. On the other hand, Mr. Joseph Pilates was enjoying every pleasurable moment of life with a strict diet too; He loved women and cigares…
Pilates transform Bodies and minds. Can you explain how that works for you and your clients?
The way how we think affect the way how we move. Our body posture affects our thoughts. The mind is body and the body is mind. Certain patterns of body movements are indicative for specific emotions.
Will you keep on practicing and teaching Pilates? What is your dream and your goal in life?
Pilates is my lifestyle. I look forward to having video’s online, running my own training programme. Having my own Pilates center. My own familly and kids!
What is your favorite Pilates quote?
“Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.” Mr Joseph Pilates.
Do you follow a certain diet?
I avoid sugar and fastfood. I like cooking at home and I like whole foods. Cooking is like Pilates because it is about having the right ingredients, getting the good foundation before you even start. If you want to cook, you will have to make time for it. If you cook by being in a rush, you will not feel nice…. It is about connection, feeling, flow, rythm and taste.
Walid at Dubai’s The Hundred Wellness Center.
You can find Walid:
on Facebook Walid Tebarki
on Instagram walidpilates
on You Tube walid Pilates.
His email is firstname.lastname@example.org
+971 5 66 24 12 92
Alisa Wyatt says
I just met Walid at the Classical Pilates Conference Istanbul and he is a gem! Really a great person as well as practitioner and lots of fun. I enjoyed reading about his ideas and warm approach to all Pilates while still aiming for a true approach to the method. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you Alisa.
It was my pleasure meeting you.
Amy alpers says
Awesome article Walid. And thanks so much for the shout out. I really appreciate it. It was wonderful to get to work with you and I hope we’ll get to do it again soon. 🙂 Keep up the wonderful work.
Thank you dear Amy.
You always inspire by your humility and your positive energy.
Diego Murillo says
I really share his points of view in many things.
I truly believe that experimenting different disciplines will make you a better person. On this case a better instructor.
Really enjoy the article
Patricia Van Romondt says
Inspiring and So true.
ThAnk you !