Here’s what our pupils say …
We have 20 years of experience teaching Shaw Method. We’ve taught literally thousands of people to change their relationship with the water and helped them to enjoy swimming in a totally new way.
"The teaching was very well structured with very clear presentations. This has provided me with a new technique which feels very relaxed and comfortable. Will be recommending to friends."
"The classes exceeded my expectations: the course content was a revolution compared to my previous swimming technique."
"Steven [Shaw]'s passion and stillness quietly encourages you to dispel bad habits and encourages new."
"The lead teacher was inspirational: I aspire to develop a relaxed swimming style like Steven's. The most amazing thing is to be able to swim with my face under water. It has opened up a whole new world of swimming."
"I have rheumatoid arthritis mostly in my left arm which was preventing me from swimming in a classical manor so I am delighted to say the care and consideration I was given has changed my concept and understanding of crawl dramatically. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and will happily sign up for other courses."
"It felt that we were mastering an art, not just being taught how to fling our arms and legs and stay afloat. I feel inspired to carry on trying. I feel the lessons have given me the best possible start both in technique and confidence. Phil [Tibenham]'s passion for swimming was really apparent and that was infectious and motivating too. I would definitely recommend it to friends, in fact I have already."
"I would definitely recommend the Shaw Method and Huseyin Dermis as a teacher to anyone wanting to learn or improve their swimming, especially someone who had back problems as I did. Huseyin is a very positive and patient teacher. He is great at identifying the bits of the stroke I am doing wrong, and by correcting them I see an immediate improvement which is very motivating."
"Wow! My friend and I have just two sessions with Frances Scott at Nuffield in Bromley. We were both always out of breath when we swam a length and the Shaw Method and Frances's teaching are really changing that. Thanks for two great lessons and for making me like swimming again!"
"I've just completed a six week course with the Art of Swimming at Nuffield Letchworth with Peter Brierley. I'm 48 now but only learnt to swim a few years ago. I always struggled with front crawl, finding it really hard work and eventually damaged my shoulder to the point a had to give up for many months. I saw an advert for the Shaw Method a while ago and decided to book up for 2013 and had a fantastic time on the course. There were only four in the class which was a good size, giving flexibility for group and a little one to one time. I really looked forward to the class nights and really appreciated Peter's support and guidance throughout the course. The video clips taken towards the end of the course were invaluable along with Peter's tips for better performance which I've been steadily been applying since the end of the course. I know I've still a lot of work to do but I feel I've made great progress and I feel more relaxed than ever in the water. What is also key for me is that feel this technique will prevent any further injury and, above all else, I actually enjoy my swimming again. Peter is a great teacher and I really appreciated his patients, guidance and words of support during the course. A very enjoyable six weeks, thank you."
Dear Steven and Team
"I just wanted to say a huge thank you for a thoroughly excellent day on the 23 February 2013. I was so impressed with how, all of you were so knowledgeable, patient and warm- such very nice people! "I really enjoyed myself and learnt so much. I was in the pool practising on Tuesday. I think it may take a bit of perseverance but I am more than willing to do that! I could not recommend you guys enough! Thank you once again."
"Jan [Moffat Osband] is a gifted swimming teacher who effectively shares her knowledge and expertise in the Art of Swimming. This is tailored to the unique abilities of each trainee and puts theory into practice via demonstration, observation and individual feedback."
"Joe [Detnon] has excellent people skills. He has been very attentive to all the members of the course. He seems passionate about what he does and his ability to empathise with pupils is very high, which, in my opinion, is essential in teaching."
"The follow up course covered exactly what I wanted – a refresher for front crawl that took on board my level and addressed the difficulties I was having. I felt that Maciek [Sikora] honed in on exactly the issues I was struggling with and came up with good advice and solutions. The course totally exceeded my expectations."
"I would like to thank you for bringing a new dimension in my swimming skills. I have finally mastered the butterfly and I really enjoy practising it. I know that there is always room for improvement, but what I have so far is giving me a great deal of enjoyment in the water. The other point is that the fear I had of the pool deep end is gone. By mastering the butterfly skill I feel much more confident and it actually helped me to understand the breathing rhythm in the water. Thank you again for developing such a precious way of swimming the butterfly."
"I came to re-learn breaststroke and so enjoyed my lessons that I thought I'd give front crawl a try. It's been a long process and Joe [Detnon] has encouraged me every stroke of the way. He kept me focussed when I really thought of giving up. And I feel so much better all round for making the effort."
"I have been water phobic for 45+ years and Steven [Shaw] is actually getting me to swim underwater and to learn crawl, which is an extraordinary achievement!"
"The group course has given me greater confidence in the water and an awareness of the different body movements that make up the stroke as a fluid whole. Also, even though I hadn’t been able to learn how to breathe comfortably during the stroke, I was left feeling reassured that this would come with practice and was guided on what movements I would need to focus and improve on."
"Two hours after the workshop I went back in the pool and everything seemed to fall into place. Last night in the pool my swimming felt easy and relaxed, a total turnaround ... thanks!"
"I have now completed my series of six lessons with Peter Brierley, and just wished to leave some feedback, basically to say a big 'Thank you!' to Peter for his teaching – so patient and supportive. I was very nervous initially, (although determined to succeed) and he encouraged me sensitively through those first few 'scarysteps' of putting my face and head into the water. It was great that he has not only heaps of patience but also a good sense of humour, and was able to explain things in a way that made sense (even if I needed reminding sometimes). I intend to keep practising all that I have learnt and to return for some 'top-ups' if necessary, and for some lessons for other strokes later. I will certainly recommend Peter and AoS to anyone who decides to take the plunge as I have done."
"The best thing about taking these lessons was that it has reminded me how much I love being in the water. It has been so much fun and has completely transformed the way I feel about swimming."
"The workshop was a wonderful experience – a perfect size of group. Steven Shaw makes swimming look effortless, and is a great ambassador for the water. I would highly recommend Art of Swimming."
"I loved the butterfly workshop. Also loved all the other workshops I have done too. Art of Swimming has helped me keep arthritic pain under control and given me tasks to keep me motivated to becoming a better swimmer."
"Before the course, I was unable to do the breaststroke: I was always getting the timing of my arms and legs wrong. After the lesson, I was really pleased to be able to swim a length in a relaxed manner and this has now become my favourite stroke! I recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn breaststroke in a day!"
"It’s really nice to see what a good time Noah is having in the water. He thoroughly enjoys having his lessons, talks about it for days and can’t wait for the next one."
Shazia Sardar, Noah's mum
"I did Steven's front crawl workshop in Harrogate in July having not swum front crawl since school (40 years ago). I completed the Dart 10k swim this weekend in front crawl with a confidence I couldn't have dreamt of. It has been such a pleasure and a revelation at how meditative and relaxing swimming can be. A gift for life! Thank you."
"What a difference a day's course makes! I am now regularly swimming my 50 lengths in 35 minutes or even just under (yesterday 34 mins). This is HUGE progress for me (before I could never do it under 37 mins). Thanks so much."
“Before Shaw Method, swimming was a way of getting from A to B. After just one lesson I’m enjoying the journey itself. Can’t wait to get in the water again!”
“We have just returned from holiday in Greece, our first opportunity to put our Shaw Method to the test in a long sea swim. It was wonderful. We were both able to swim longer distances effortlessly. Our swimming has been transformed by your teaching.”
Allan and Pauline Meade
“The Shaw Method has given me the opportunity, with each stroke, to stretch, relax, pull, relax, roll, relax, glide, and perhaps to undulate, in a daily rediscovery of our ancestral origins. Swimming in my dreams, the strength returns to my back as I relax in bed.”
“As a teacher myself (albeit in a completely different field), I have nothing but respect for Steven’s approach. He exudes quiet confidence so that even the most nervous of non-swimmers learn to trust him and themselves and to relax in the water.”
“It’s like flying, like dreaming, like being an astronaut, like stepping out of life on land to enjoy an alternative gravity – and returning to feel replenished and re-invigorated.”
“As a non swimmer I joined the swimming class in Swiss Cottage. I very quickly gained confidence in the water and learned to swim the breaststroke. I found Shaw Method easy to follow and non threatening particularly for adults who may be nervous in the water.”
“The pure enjoyment, support and trust you feel in the water through the Art of Swimming is all embracing and unique.”
“I had always considered myself a competent swimmer, but I was beginning to suffer from neck and back pain after prolonged swimming sessions. When my neck pain finally got bad enough I booked lessons with Steven Shaw. I began with crawl but have worked on all four strokes and can now do a creditable butterfly, which I would never have thought possible before. I no longer suffer from neck pain and my swimming sessions are enjoyable instead of boring. I highly recommend Shaw Method to anyone, whether a beginner or elite swimmer who wants to channel a bit of Ian Thorpe.”
“The Shaw Method means that; now the fly is my, surprisingly, relaxing, stroke of choice.”
“I was born with Cerebral Palsy which means I have a weakness in my left side. Over the years, because of overuse, pain has developed in my right side, particularly my shoulder and lower back. I first came across Shaw Method when looking for books on the Alexander Technique. I decided it was worth further investigation and from the very first lesson I was impressed with how Shaw Method can improve one’s swimming stroke whilst reducing effort. This is very important to me because I want to continue to enjoy swimming for as long a possible. I have been amazed to find that I have been able to learn front crawl and butterfly as well as improve my breast and back strokes. My general fitness level has increased and I have actually been able to build mobility and strength. This is a tremendous bonus considering the limiting nature of my impairment.”
“Shaw Method has made me fitter in my old age than I was in my thirties.”
“Everything about the way Steven Shaw teaches you to swim was new to me. I couldn’t believe the sense of power and grace I felt as my body moved quietly through the water, rhythmically rotating from left to right, each backward stroke with the flat of my hand propelling me forward, breathing naturally by turning my body both to the left and right, my legs kicking only slightly, more like the tail of a fish that the outboard motor of my childhood.”
“For me, the Shaw Method is pure meditation. I struggle to master the techniques, but it’s well worth it. Certainly the nearest I will get to becoming a fish …”
“I took a Shaw Method breaststroke workshop on a Tuesday, then participated in the butterfly workshop two days later. I practised a bit on Friday evening. On Saturday morning I went to the Illinois State Senior Olympics swimming competition. One of my events was a 200m individual medley. Previously, the best time I had for the event was 3:40. To qualify for the national meet next year, I had to equal or beat 3:32 for the 60-64 age group. At the meet, I used the Shaw Method fly technique and came in at 3:14. The drop in time was not only the result of a faster fly; I was also faster in all the other legs because of not being so totally exhausted by the fly.”
“The Shaw Method is man in perfect harmony with water: swimming fish like with very little expenditure of energy. This method fosters peace, serenity, and a oneness with water.”
"’The point of diving into a lake is not to swim ashore, but to luxuriate in the sensuality of swimming.’ As Keats to poetry, so the Shaw Method to swimming ...”
Ewa J Lind
“For me the Shaw Method means to slide with my wholeness, enhancing a sense of freedom and ease that I enjoy later in any daily activity.”
“The Shaw Method has given me the chance to become someone I thought I’d never be – a good swimmer who enjoys the thrill of getting even better with every swim!”
“Shaw Method is fun in the water, stress-free and relaxed.”
And here’s what health professionals say about Shaw Method ...
“Shaw’s Method helps elite athletes to be aware of where they are in the water and recreational swimmers to avoid discomfort and sore muscles and be more absorbed in what they are doing.”
Paul Massey, British Olympic Physiotherapist
“As a student, Shaw Method allowed me to go from someone who was giving up on the idea of ever being able to put my head in the water to swimming with full confidence and freedom in a short space in time. As an osteopath, I have referred many patients to Art of Swimming. The feedback that I have had from such patients has been nothing short of exceptional praise of the method, the teachers, and the results.”
Giulia Quintarelli DO, Registered Osteopath
“I fully support and endorse the Art of Swimming. It offers an answer to the many ills of our always-on-the-go society by allowing people of all ages to recover their rhythm in the water, acquiring a form of exercise that doesn’t strain the body, but tones muscles, encourages good posture, rehabilitates joints out of weight bearing. This is a form of exercise that appeals to the sportsperson, the active professional, the parent, and children alike.”
Isabelle de Reyher DO, Registered Osteopath
“The pool has been used historically for performance, general fitness and hydrotherapy rehabilitation (in specific sites), but not as an extension of holistic healthcare. Existing internal referral pathways between physiotherapists, physiologists, wellbeing advisors and doctors can now be updated with the addition of Steven Shaw’s trained tutors. Appropriate and judicious referral means the right person is put in with the right practitioner at the right time for their personal health objective. The addition of Art of Swimming to Nuffield Health facilities extends this ideal in a positive and, crucially, well governed fashion. This combination makes Art of Swimming an attractive proposition within Nuffield Health.”
Oliver Patrick, Nuffield Health
“Steven Shaw has used his knowledge of Alexander Technique to rebuild the strokes to make them more fluid, economical and streamlined. The health benefits to people swimming correctly are enormous. Unfortunately, with conventional teaching methods most people develop technique that puts a strain on the neck, back and other joints that can produce injuries. The Shaw Method of swimming creates a superior technique that produces improvements in posture, cardiovascular fitness and confidence for all to see. It works for all ages and all standards, but would be especially beneficial to the young and old.”
Dr Richard De Souza, General Practitioner