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rob_liberti
03-26-2009, 11:08 AM
Event:
" Internal training, Aiki, and empowering Aikido"
A private workshop for teachers only with Dan Harden
Date: Tentative --summer 2009
Location: Massachusetts (several locations in central Mass are being considered and will be finalized by mid April).

This seminar is a continuation of the workshops already taking place at Dan's Dojo with advance level aikido students and teachers from New England. This will be the first time Dan is making his research into the Japanese arts and the resultant training practices of his private dojo available on a national level. He is reserving his first national event as an opportunity for teachers to begin training privately. The goal is to offer a workshop for professionals in a neutral environment, with an emphasis on learning and understanding internal power and aiki in a global sense, while undertaking the difficult task of taking that first step into personal training and integration of the concepts into your own art.

The work shop will cover introductory basics of the system Dan has developed and used successfully with hundreds of students and teachers from a wide range of martial arts. Dan will outline the training in such a way as to make the relevancy to martial movement immediate, clear and accessible. Included will be:
• A presentation of how the martial arts take advantage of natural and common postural failures and methods for building a bujutsu body that moves antithetical to the "principles" most martial arts use as their foundation for defeating the common body frame.
• How the trained body can begin to take care of itself automatically while delivery non-dedicated force to create openings in a live environment.
• An emphasis on specific training tools (solo and paired) to develop internal power, and specifically how it relates to aiki connections in a martial context.
• Creating and maintaining a structure supported on all sides and how to strengthen it with breath training exercises.
Study guides and teaching materials will be provided to participants for further study at home The material covered; while benefiting aikido greatly will not be "specific" to just the aiki arts like Aikido and Daito ryu, but any grappling or striking art, so teachers from other disciplines are welcome.

This will be a closed seminar with no pictures, video, or visitors allowed. Participants are required to fill out an application (available by e-mailing Dan @ homeoffice@charter.net ) for further details and to be considered for a spot. People may or may not be accepted by Dan's sole discretion.
Seminar fee is $180.00 for both days (no partial attendance or single days) and will include fresh fruit and beverages during training. Local hotel discounts will be offered.
Teachers who have practiced under Akuzawa, Mike Sigman or Dan in the past and wish to attend will be offered a discount.
Dan will be available for private lessons on Monday for those interested.

*This will be the first of three seminars Dan will be hosting this year. Others will be offered that are not reserved for teachers.

thisisnotreal
03-26-2009, 12:02 PM
This is unbelievable.

Wonderful!

This is gonna get innnerestin'....

gdandscompserv
03-26-2009, 12:43 PM
Go Dan!
I'll stay tuned for the beginner level seminars.
:D

rob_liberti
03-26-2009, 06:22 PM
Can the title of this be changed to have "with Dan Harden" added to it?

DH
03-26-2009, 06:24 PM
Maybe
Seminar with Dan Harden-"Internal training, Aiki, and empowering Aikido"
If I have a choice:)
Thanks
Dan

Mark Jakabcsin
03-27-2009, 07:27 AM
Dan,
Great idea. I am sure it will be a blast and eye opening. Best of luck.

Take care,

Mark J.

phitruong
03-27-2009, 09:13 AM
why go for teachers? those folks don't need no internal stuffs other than a good dimsum buffet? besides, they have been trained with lots of bad habits, and would take too long to de-program, if even at all possible. :)

now us beginners on the hand, whichever other hand, have not accumulated bad habits so it would be easier for us. so for us nobs we can stuff internal stuffs in, whereas, teachers have to stuff the internal stuffs out. i think i just confused meself. :D

phitruong
03-27-2009, 09:44 AM
forgot to ask, will there be "internal training for dummies" seminar? I would like to sign up for that. I am sure Ricky would want that as well. :D

gdandscompserv
03-27-2009, 11:01 AM
forgot to ask, will there be "internal training for dummies" seminar? I would like to sign up for that. I am sure Ricky would want that as well. :D
YES! That is exactly what I'm looking for.
"internal training for dummies"
Brilliant!
:D

DH
03-27-2009, 11:23 AM
Guys
I am going to do another seminar shortly. Please don't use phrases like dummies. I see no difference between students or teachers who are learning unfamiliar material, or tuning material they already know or what have you.
The only difference in teaching teachers is that they are in a position to effect change in a greater capacity. As a business or information dissemination model, it makes perfect sense. Reach a greater number of people to effect change.
Teachers can return to their dojos and start "practicing the material" as part of regular dojo time at their discretion. It has been my experience that these people return and openly tell their students they are "working on some new stuff" and also tell them with who. Again from my experience it has been a rather open discussion.
So I would ask you-what are your goals?
Lets review the posts on aikiweb. Students have been writing in here for a few years now talking about the frustrations of not being able to practice this new training when they wanted to. Some even quit or took a break from Aikido to get this.
"Fair enough." I said.
How about if I can help fix that?
How about teaching the teachers who control those classes. Could I get them interested enough, so that students could actually train aiki in an aikido dojo? Well, I have been quietly testing that out for a few years now. I took a chance that really might have blown up in my face. We could be talking about some real negative experiences here couldn't we?
Good news
It is working out rather well. The teachers love it-many of whom have been searching for this kind of material most of their careers and not getting it. The students are enjoying the fact that there teachers are letting them practice it and I can say I helped.
Hey, I'm just trying to do the best I can manage with time allowed.
I can't wait to meet some of the guys who have been writing me. I think we will have a great time sweating together and raising a few later.
Cheers
Dan

Thomas Campbell
03-29-2009, 10:31 PM
Maybe
Seminar with Dan Harden-"Internal training, Aiki, empowering Aikido, and Kaboodle pizza "
If I have a choice:)
Thanks
Dan

Fixed. :)

George S. Ledyard
03-30-2009, 01:20 AM
now us beginners on the hand, whichever other hand, have not accumulated bad habits so it would be easier for us. so for us nobs we can stuff internal stuffs in, whereas, teachers have to stuff the internal stuffs out. i think i just confused meself. :D

Don't worry Phi, you have enough bad habits to qualify as an instructor....

MM
03-30-2009, 09:25 AM
For what it's worth ...

Of the people training with Dan, I think I'm the only one doing it long distance. With that in mind, if anyone has any questions about long distance training in regards to what Dan's teaching, you are more than welcome to ask me about my experiences. I don't log into Aikiweb very often anymore, so it's best to send an email to "markmurray" at "ma.rr.com". Remove the quotes. :)

Mark

DH
03-30-2009, 01:29 PM
Well I get the what and why of what you're trying to do Mr Hardin just perfectly... and I am going to do my best to get there (unemployed and broke or not)...

I would love to share my experiance of it with all the West Coast Shoji Nishio Adherents and since I feel it will make our Aikido better for having been exposed to it perhaps it will lead to bigger and better things in the future like getting one of your senior students or you out here someday. :)

William Hazen
Hey!!!!
When did I become "Mr. Harden" to you!!:o
Well the economy is affecting my business worse than I have seen in my adult life. If it keeps going this bad I might have time to make it there myself this year!! After watching Nishio's movement for years...particulalry for things he is noted for...yes I think that might prove to be interesting for both.
I hope to offer you some interesting perspectives if you can make it here as well. Then what is sure to prove to be interesting discussions after.
Cheers
Dan

DH
04-06-2009, 10:14 AM
Update
I am narrowing in on dates. It appears July may be out. There are too many conflicts with everyone's schedules and some just cannot swing it. Jun and Aug are still open. For those who have not sent in their available weekends yet please do so soon. We are trying to settle on a date by mid April.

It might be worth noting that the on-going work here with aikido teachers who run and manage active dojo's is an on-going collaborative specifically addressing incorporating this training into relevant martial movement within their aikido. To which they are reporting demonstrable improvement; both publicly and behind the scenes with their own students and fellow teachers in the art. Which according to the responses I am receiving- was more widely known than I had realized!
I am going to cap this at 20 people in order to get more hands-on work done.
Cheers
Dan

gdandscompserv
04-06-2009, 01:59 PM
Hey!!!!
When did I become "Mr. Harden" to you!!:o
Well the economy is affecting my business worse than I have seen in my adult life. If it keeps going this bad I might have time to make it there myself this year!! After watching Nishio's movement for years...particulalry for things he is noted for...yes I think that might prove to be interesting for both.
I hope to offer you some interesting perspectives if you can make it here as well. Then what is sure to prove to be interesting discussions after.
Cheers
Dan
So there is a silver lining after all. Sorry about your business Dan, but if it gets you out here to Southern California, what can I say?:D

DH
04-17-2009, 09:27 AM
Update:
I have only three spots left. If you're are interested- now is the time. This filled up much faster than I ever expected.

After reviewing the schedules sent in, I am narrowing it down to the last two weekends in Jun or the first two weekends in August. This helps the majority of those interested.
I am finalizing the date by 4/22/09.
See you there
Dan

dbotari
04-27-2009, 03:17 PM
Dan,

Any update on the final date? Will you post the date here or only contact the attendees with the information?

Thanks,
Dan Botari

DH
04-28-2009, 08:39 AM
Dan,

Any update on the final date? Will you post the date here or only contact the attendees with the information?

Thanks,
Dan Botari
Hello Dan
I lost internet and Cable for a while there. I'm back up and sending replies. It looks like we are narrowing down to the first two weekends in August.
I will post it here and contact everyone by email this week.
There are a still a few spots left and thats going to be it.
Cheers
Dan
.

David Orange
04-28-2009, 09:58 AM
Hello Dan
I lost internet and Cable for a while there. I'm back up and sending replies. It looks like we are narrowing down to the first two weekends in August.
I will post it here and contact everyone by email this week.
There are a still a few spots left and thats going to be it.
Cheers
Dan
.

Oh, I want to be in that number!

Looking forward to it!

David

dbotari
04-28-2009, 11:20 AM
Dan,

Thanks for the update. I look forward to hearing more.

Cheers,
Dan

DH
05-08-2009, 09:58 AM
Update
I am pleased to announce we have finalized the event date and site. I did my best to accomodate the teachers busy schedules. I realize some won't be able to make it but it seems the best for the majority.
The event will take place on August 1st -2nd
It will take place at the
Sturbridge Host
Hotel & Conference Center on Cedar Lake
Link Here (http://www.sturbridgehosthotel.com/)
This is a lovely lodge style conference center with lake-front and indoor and outdoor amenities. It is almost across the street from old Sturbridge Village; One of the country's largest living history museums, and a national landmark preservation site
Link Here (http://www.osv.org/)
Discount room rates are available for $109 dollars (doube occupancy), but there are many cheap digs in the area from $50 and up. All within a mile or so away.
Link Here (http://www.charter.net/google/index.php?_LT=GOLP_GBARGLBIN_UGLSR&context=www.charter.net&q=Sturbridge+hotels)

Schedule
Sat, 9 to 12
Lunch 12 - 2p.m.
Afternoon session 2:30 to 6 p.m
Same for Sunday

There has been much discussion about the exhaustion level and concern for knees and such. My approach is mentally and physically exhausting but anyone can do it and when and IF someone gets a little tired, nothing is missed by sitting out and listening and taking notes. The goal is to provide a training platform, materials and an overall understanding of basics to take home and work on with your students.
Many of the local teachers have asked to attend as well. So those new to the work will get to talk with, feel and brain storm with their peers from 4th to 6th dan in Aikido (and other arts as well) and how they are incorporating thsi training back into their aikido.
That said we have quite a bit of fun with much laughter at our get togethers while getting a lot of work done. It is my goal to have people walk away with a clear view of the material, its purpose and goals in solo training, and a clear understanding of its use in live and very martially effective, platform ot empower their Aikido.

With the nature of some of the recent discussions here I think it will be enlightening to be face to face with 5 and 6th dan teachers with decades of experience with the top shihan in the world and hear THEIR opnions on just how relevant this training is to Aikido. Then hear them clearly state why they believe thiis IS aikido and more's the point, the best power they have felt.

Due to the local teachers offering to help -and me finding a larger space-I have extended registration and will hold a few more spaces open. I will be sending out PDF registration forms and payment requirements all weekend.
Hope to see you there
Dan

Kevin Leavitt
05-09-2009, 04:48 AM
Dan, if I can make it I will try and come. I cannot predict my schedule out that far yet.

DH
05-11-2009, 02:21 PM
Update
I was delayed in sending the registration information due to a small glich on the Hotel/ conference center side. The resolution has worked out well for us in the long run.
We are on for August 1 and 2nd and we have a large air-conditioned space overlooking Cedar lake, fresh sliced fruit, with an attached tavern and full bar at night and hotel rooms for $109 double occupancy. with swimming, boating, Sturbridge village and some good budo people.
They are offering us a catered dinner at deeply discounted rates right on the conference center grounds. I will contact people privately and see if there is a consensus for that
Stay tuned

I will begin emailing tonight.
Cheers
Dan

Aikibu
05-11-2009, 03:17 PM
Yaaaahoooooo! :)

William Hazen

Thomas Campbell
05-11-2009, 04:00 PM
Fantastic, Dan. Best wishes to you and the attendees for a GREAT seminar.

DH
05-13-2009, 09:52 PM
Update
Applications haven been sent out. There are still a few spots open.
Cheers
Dan

DH
06-12-2009, 12:32 PM
Update
Seminar enrollment is now closed. Thank your for your interest.

I have sent out a series of e-mails this morning to all regarding some booking problems with the Hotel for the night BEFORE the event, not during. Please check your e-mails.
Final notice on the buffet dinner on sat please respond to that as well.

Looking forward to some great work, good food, good stories, and much laughter.
Dan

Allen Beebe
07-30-2009, 11:02 AM
Just wanted to wish Dan and the attendees to his "Internal training, Aiki, and empowering Aikido" Seminar" the best of luck.

I hope everyone arrives and returns home safely and has a, fun, transformative experience. I often find a new perspective is often far more valuable than new discrete knowledge. (For example, the *concept* of a wheel is far more valuable to gain than additional knowledge about what specific kind of wood works best for one's travois.)

All the best,
Allen
Inventor of the mono-pole travois patent pending.

Kevin Leavitt
07-30-2009, 03:08 PM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/70/Kainai_travois.jpg

But look how well the woman has established a ground path and the horse is definitely feeling the ki that she is projecting.

Kevin Leavitt
07-30-2009, 03:11 PM
Holy cow! didn't realize the pic was gonna take up half the thread! Oh well.

I wish I could be there, maybe some other time! Enjoy!

jss
07-30-2009, 03:27 PM
and the horse is definitely feeling the ki that she is projecting.
Well yeah, with that size of an antenna...;)

DH
07-31-2009, 12:21 PM
Sorry I have been unresponsive for the last couple of days. I have a family member dying of brain cancer. With all the associated issues surrounding that it is taking up much of my focus these days.
Just wanted to say thank you for the well wishers. I am sure we will have fun.
Fortunately, I have conformation that there are going to be many local teachers who have been training with me for a couple of years on hand to help with some hands on work. More importantly, they are willing to answer questions about:
How they are training?
What they are training?
What they personally are focusing on?
How this has affected their Aikido?
What do they see for the future in their training?
The repercussions, up the chain and down the chain? etc etc.
All will be on hand for lunch and some will be on hand for dinner after. Getting some alone time with them to ask questions and compare notes without me in the room ;) might prove beneficial for some great talks; one professional to another.

The purpose and goals of this endeavor are to benefit students and teachers of Aikido together. For these teachers to offer their time and experiences to fellow teachers of the art, for free should not go unnoticed by the community.
I continue to hope we can take ownership of the arts and help serve each other with an open hand.
Look forward to meeting everyone.
Thank you
Dan

Janet Rosen
07-31-2009, 02:10 PM
Dan I'm sorry about your family crisis.

I hope the seminar goes well. Look forward to reading about it afterwards.

Marc Abrams
08-02-2009, 09:08 PM
My wife and I have just returned from this seminar. To say that this seminar was fantastic would be an understatement!

We would like to thank Dan for his openness and the level of his teaching. Additionally, Dan has taught his students how to teach what he was doing so that they were an invaluable part of the learning experience.

It was also a wonderful opportunity to actually meet some of my on-line friends. I look forward to future training opportunities with Dan.

Marc & Mayda Abrams

rob_liberti
08-02-2009, 11:24 PM
Dan did a hell of a job presenting information that I have been working on for the past couple years all in 2 days and giving people the opportunity to take some drills back home to practice.

There were enough people who had insight/experience with Dan's training to go around and make sure everyone was on track.

From where I stood, I would say that people put in the work and got an amazing experience.

I had a good time with old friends and new.

Rob

Mary Eastland
08-03-2009, 07:14 AM
It is great to hear you all had a good seminar. We did too. No shihans of course...;o) just us...and it was really fun. We left happy, stronger and tired.
Mary

P.S. Sending Dan prayers.

Tom H.
08-03-2009, 08:31 AM
Dan did a hell of a job presenting information that I have been working on for the past couple years all in 2 days and giving people the opportunity to take some drills back home to practice.I second that. I had a great time meeting a neat variety of people, and hope everyone took something home. The seminar's format and content progression made it feel like a regular training session extended across two days.

akiy
08-03-2009, 09:29 AM
Congratulations to Dan and all of the attendees for what sounds like a successful and fruitful seminar.

You're in my thoughts, Dan, for your family member.

-- Jun

David Orange
08-03-2009, 05:12 PM
Just back from meeting Dan Harden and his crew of immoveable people. It was really a great experience and I want to thank Dan and all his folks and all the people who came to the seminar for making it so productive.

First, I'd like to say that Dan is everything he says and everything "they" say. He gave me a few light taps that blew me back several feet each time (four thigh "kicks", a palm to the back of my ribs, a few double palms to the abdomen, a shoulder smack, numerous sweeping forearm strikes....maybe one regular punch...and one or two others, as well as some throws and a lot of generally leading me around helplessly). Every time, it felt devastating, yet I didn't get injured because he really was just giving me little taps. I would just hate to imagine what would happen if he put a little effort into any of those strikes. In fact, he said people had convinced him to go easier because he had previously given some people mild injuries. I now really appreciate the possibilites behind internal striking arts. It blew my mind, but thank God, not my spleen!

Second, I found Dan's power and movement to be very much like Minrou Akuzawa (Ark)'s. His training method also seemed very similar and the ways he would move to demonstrate certain ideas were just perfectly consistent with Ark's. I mentioned that to him and he reminded me that both he and Ark descend from a lineage of koryu aikijujutsu, via Sagawa, and koryu sword so it's natural that they would have very strong similiarities but some interesting differences as well. Dan's exercises were a lot of work but not as much "burning in" as Ark seems to do. We did a good bit of burning in with Dan, but mostly just to get us to identify the pathways and connections we were trying to find. Then we worked those connections more subtly--not to say that I fully understand Ark's method: he did tell me to come see him in Tokyo and that he would cover things on a different level there--but having been through two days with each of them, I make these surface observations. They are definitely on the "same" track: the track to the middle of themselves. Their results prove the validity and importance of each of their approaches. It behooves any serious martial artist (of any art) to meet both of them.

Third, Dan especially asked me to comment on the number of aikido teachers who made the effort to attend his seminar. He expressed a lot of gratitude for them and a hope that they will continue to develop. I can say certainly that aikido will take a big leap forward if even those twelve teachers really incorporate his methods into their instruction. Dan made it very clear that "If you want to learn this stuff and just keep it for yourself and not pass it on to your students, and make yourself superior to everyone, I don't want to know you." His intent, as he stated clearly before the seminar, was to get the teachers to learn this material so that they could re-incorporate it into the greater art. I think his efforts will have great effect in the coming decades. Aikido will become increasingly dynamic on this side of the "Great Peaceful Western Sea" and maybe the Japanese will begin to show more of what they know of internal power.

Fourth, the atmosphere was strong and positive, like Ark's seminar. Dan was very open and upfront. He answered many questions I've been developing as I've followed this topic over the past few years. We went into "winding" and tons of other subjects in detail and I saw how the ability to absorb incoming force results in "bouncing" the force away. I felt Ark do that, but in Dan's seminar we went more into how it happens. The weekend was filled with amazing new experiences that showed me that, even after 35 years, there are still completely new levels for me to see and I really appreciate that (from both Dan and Ark).

Last, the whole weekend was a blast. Lot's of laughter, good humor, great conversation and real revelation of things that I've been reading about for all these years without understanding them at all. I do believe that people who begin aikido from this point forward will experience a very exciting wave of transition back to the deepest roots of the art. I feel lucky to have seen the beginnings of that movement over these last few years and very encouraged for the future of the art.

So again, thanks to Dan and all his folks and best wishes to all the folks I met there after getting to know them here on aikiweb: Mark Murray, Marc Abrams (and Mayda), Josh Phillipson, Lee Salzman, Tom Holtz, Rob Liberti, and others whose names don't instantly pop into my exhausted mind. And thanks to Andy Prochnow, Jill (whose last name escaped me), Tom Garimaldi and others I'll suddenly remember after I post this. They helped keep the instruction coming through clearly while Dan worked with other small groups within the seminar. It was a perfect learning environment.

So to all who have been thinking about pursuing internal training, I can say with everyone else: Get out and meet people, especially Ark, Mike and Dan. I'm sure you will want to meet them again and again.

But as for Dan Harden, I am pleased to be able to say from experience, you cannot go wrong meeting up with him.

Best to all.

David

Lee Salzman
08-03-2009, 08:08 PM
I'd echo what everyone said. Dan truly went beyond the call of duty for this seminar to make sure that everyone felt included and everyone was learning.

Without exception, every one of his people that worked with me was very helpful with getting me to absorb the material. Everything was accessible and well explained.

It was a lot of fun seeing some familiar faces and also connecting with a lot of people I had only known by name from aikiweb. I think everyone who attended helped keep the atmosphere laid back, productive, and friendly.

But, I can totally see why Dan, Mark, Rob, and others make some rather impassioned posts about what they do. Once you see relaxed power like this and how it affects people, it is hard to imagine why anyone would not want it, especially as a means of improving at one's expression of aikido. It wasn't muscling through people or trying to impose your will on them, and it wasn't making complicated waza-like movements, but it had a profound effect on people who would push or pull on you and come in contact with it. Seeing and feeling that really clinched it for me and made evident why the work was so important.

David Orange
08-03-2009, 10:56 PM
So again, thanks to Dan and all his folks and best wishes to all the folks I met there after getting to know them here on aikiweb: Mark Murray, Marc Abrams (and Mayda), Josh Phillipson, Lee Salzman, Tom Holtz, Rob Liberti, and others whose names don't instantly pop into my exhausted mind.

To show just how exhausted I am, I just got a PM from Josh Phillipson saying he wasn't there!!!!

So who was the Josh I met? We just had first names on our tags and when I saw one with "Josh" on it, the name "Phillipson" associated itself in my mind. I said, "Oh. Josh Phillipson?" He must have misunderstood my question or I misunderstood his answer. I thought he said "Yeah," and the rest of the seminar, I was thinking this big guy was Josh Phillipson. So looking at the "changed body" thread, I was wondering why Josh was making those statements and asking those questions the day before he would be attending Dan's seminar....

So, sorry to both Joshes.

But who was the Josh at the seminar????

Thanks.

David

Marc Abrams
08-04-2009, 10:03 AM
David:

JOSH DRACHMAN. Josh just so happens to be the founder of OY VEY RYU (an ancient form of Jew Jitsu) :D !

I am genuinely happy that I finally got to meet Dave and other "internet buddies" and look forward to other future training opportunities together.

Marc Abrams

Rennis Buchner
08-04-2009, 10:10 AM
Sounds like it was a good time. Now if something like this would just happen during the 10 days I happen to back in the US in Oct... (dreams...)

gregstec
08-04-2009, 10:39 AM
After attending this seminar, I am sorry to report that Dan Harding is a fraud -- at no time did he exhibit any crass, harsh, or know-it-all behavior that some in the internet community may think he is all about. On the contrary, Dan is a down-to-earth and friendly person that was very informative, knowledgeable, and showed a sincere interest in sharing his knowledge to all that asked -- and, his current students in attendance were all the same as well; extremely helpful, friendly, and fun to be with. In short, the seminar was extremely informative and a blast. I truly wish to thank all in attendance that had the patience to work with me in sharing their knowledge of these skills.

I am not going to go into too much detail on the technical aspects of Dan's approach since others such as Howard, Dave, and Rob have already covered that much more eloquently then I can. However, I would like to just say the Dan can certainty walk his talk -- after you grab a hold of him, you instantly realize you are in trouble and wish you were some place else at the moment.

One other thing I would like to comment on is that it became very evident that effective internal strength is at least 80 percent mental and without the proper intent is essentially a hollow form without any substance. During some of the exercises we were required to use our intent to visualize receiving your partner's push energy into your body and then extending your intent back out into and through your partner. Since my initial Aiki training was with the old Ki Society from back in the mid 70's while I was stationed in Guam with the Navy, I simply just extended Ki as I was taught back in those days. I was extremely surprised when Dan's students started giving me feedback on what they were feeling down to the exact detail as to whether the energy was raising up, going down, or even coming through them in a diagonal spiral -- without exception, all had it exactly right without any verbal or physical clues from me. I was simply standing there in a relaxed mind and body coordinated stance in accordance with Tohei's teachings extending Ki while they had their hand on my chest pushing into me -- The last time I encountered that type of feedback was during my initial training in Guam. This unsolicited corroboration has reaffirmed my beliefs in Tohei's teachings and it appears to me (as Mike S and Dan have previously mentioned elsewhere) that Tohei was on the right track to the internal skills but he just did not take it to the next step. I am convinced that for those looking to establish the basic foundation to start building their internal skills; they do not need to look any further than Tohei's four principles of Mind and Body Coordination. Of course, to expand from there, they will need to seek out the skills that Dan, Mike S, and the ARK are teaching.

Overall, a great seminar with a great group of people just having a great time… (Did I mention it was great!)

Greg

gregstec
08-04-2009, 10:56 AM
After attending this seminar, I am sorry to report that Dan Harding

oops, need to pay closer attention to my spell checker...:)

rob_liberti
08-04-2009, 11:18 PM
But look how well the woman has established a ground path and the horse is definitely feeling the ki that she is projecting.

I think this is funny in that:
1) Her right hip is totally out of solid structure.

and

2) your trailer:
"Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack." ...is perfect, in that I find I often have to work on that problem myself.

Rob

MM
08-05-2009, 12:11 PM
oops, need to pay closer attention to my spell checker...:)

Must have been all the beer. :) And the lack of intent. I think the instructor's name was Dan Harden. He was kind of hard to miss, I know. Sort of lackluster, didn't own the room or everyone there, was really a push over kind of guy. :D

gregstec
08-05-2009, 12:32 PM
Must have been all the beer. :) And the lack of intent. I think the instructor's name was Dan Harden. He was kind of hard to miss, I know. Sort of lackluster, didn't own the room or everyone there, was really a push over kind of guy. :D

Hi Mark,

Yes, that was the guy - absolute push over, mild mannered wimp that could not punch his way out of an empty wine box...:D

(you do know of course that the next time we see him he is going to kick our butts from there to the moon :eek: )

Greg

MM
08-05-2009, 12:38 PM
Hi Mark,

Yes, that was the guy - absolute push over, mild mannered wimp that could not punch his way out of an empty wine box...:D

(you do know of course that the next time we see him he is going to kick our butts from there to the moon :eek: )

Greg

Push over. Huh. Did he give you that look while you pushed on him? The one where he sort of looks bored? The one that's usually followed by him asking, "Are you pushing?" :D

Remember, he doesn't kick. He said so at the seminar. It's just stepping with structure. So, the next time we see him, he'll just "step" our butts from there to the moon. :crazy:

gregstec
08-05-2009, 01:05 PM
Remember, he doesn't kick. He said so at the seminar. It's just stepping with structure. So, the next time we see him, he'll just "step" our butts from there to the moon. :crazy:

Step or kick - the result is the same - either way, I think we are in for it...:)

MM
08-05-2009, 01:22 PM
An overview from the dark side.

The one thing that I never realized was how many high ranking people were in the room. And that's a great testament to everyone there.

Another was that there weren't any egos involved. Something else that made it a great two days.

The format was small enough that everyone got to pretty much work with a variety of Dan's students and also Dan himself. I don't know if everyone got to work with Andy, but I kept telling people to go over and grab him. :) If Dan was busy, Andy was more than capable, willing, and happy to help.

Because of the way the martial arts works sometimes, people tend not to look very hard at the people just below the main instructor. And in this area, that's a huge mistake. Andy is almost a clone of Dan, even if he doesn't look the part. Great guy all around.

It was a nice surprise to see someone with Ki Society background having exercises that were very similar to what we were working on.

I finally got to put faces to names for some people. Now, whether that was good or bad ... :D

As for content ... I think some of us have pretty much posted about what we covered at the seminar. We have posted about using intent to drive our exercises, we have talked about shiko, we have talked about cross line work, about ground, about spine being streteched, etc. And we covered those things at the seminar. And I think everyone there finally realized IHTBF. :)

I remember getting David to push on me. Two years ago, David, you'd have pushed me over easily. Okay, so a light breeze would have pushed me over. :) And no, it doesn't mean I can't be pushed over. I can. And easily enough in certain areas -- especially a push to the chest in shizentai. Just that working internal structure makes it harder to do as I progress.

I know how I felt working at the seminar. My question is to the attendees. How did it feel to you working with some of Dan's students and also Dan himself?

I know how working on internal/aiki applies to my aikido, but how do you see it applying to your martial art?

Some of you were around when we were playing around with negating joint locks. How do you see that affecting your teaching and/or training? Especially considering it takes such a small amount of time to progress?

How do you see breakfalls now? Considering that having a structure changes how you react and move, how are you looking at them?

How do you view what was presented at the seminar as aiki? or not?

Is there anything that you would like to have seen more of? Less of?

Was anything not clearly presented or explained? By either Dan or any of those helping? I know some had questions and I tried my best to help answer, but I don't think I got things 100% clear. Here's a chance to ask more questions.

Even for those that were not there, are there any questions?

Mark

David Orange
08-05-2009, 01:36 PM
Push over. Huh. Did he give you that look while you pushed on him? The one where he sort of looks bored? The one that's usually followed by him asking, "Are you pushing?" :D

Or "Are you pushing? Want me to get JILL to push?"

Remember, he doesn't kick. He said so at the seminar. It's just stepping with structure. So, the next time we see him, he'll just "step" our butts from there to the moon. :crazy:

He stepped into my right thigh four different times....I don't know why I didn't get bruises from those taps. It sure felt like I would have some.

David

MM
08-05-2009, 01:46 PM
Or "Are you pushing? Want me to get JILL to push?"


:D Yeah, that was funny.


He stepped into my right thigh four different times....I don't know why I didn't get bruises from those taps. It sure felt like I would have some.

David

Uh, yeah. No bruises. I know it's weird. And the thigh will hurt for days. Been there, done that. :)

rob_liberti
08-05-2009, 01:49 PM
Don't feel bad, when Jill and I work together she generally has to back off on her pushing. It's just the way it is. -Rob

MM
08-05-2009, 01:51 PM
Don't feel bad, when Jill and I work together she generally has to back off on her pushing. It's just the way it is. -Rob

Huh ... I remember one time working with her, she had to tell me, "Don't be a-scared of me". ;)

David Orange
08-05-2009, 02:01 PM
Uh, yeah. No bruises. I know it's weird. And the thigh will hurt for days. Been there, done that. :)

"Some" bruises, but not on the thigh, and lots of tender spots, but no broken bones or ruptured organs!:p

DH
08-05-2009, 02:39 PM
Well, while I have a more formal response I am putting together to thank everyone-I need to step in as you guys make it sound like I was attacking people!!
Uhm...I seem to remember being asked "How does this or that work to do something useful"? Now be me. I was asked this from; karate, Yi-chuan, judo, and CMA people as well as the aikido teachers there. What's a boy to do?
Josh was the only guy smart enough to qualify that and ask "In an aikido setting- how would this aid in entering? You don't need to hit me."
So I only tossed-him-about, here and there so he could feel the ground, then gravity and then the splitting effects of spiral energy rising and falling and entering and leaving all at the same time in tenchi nage, and irimi, kokyu ho, and such.
Did I mention he was a smart guy? :D
Dave
No bruises? I told you I wasn't hitting you hard! :cool:

I am inundated with personal stuff but my in-box is assuring me that everyone had a valuable learning experience. Here we are just three days past, and they are already seeing its potential in their aikido.
One fellow writes: "I went home and asked if my dojo mates would allow me to try some of the things I had learned. It took over the entire class, everyone just stopped and worked on this-the entire dojo- and they started telling him all these different places they could feel and see its potential."
That makes me happy. It means I did my job! and I picked a smart way to get it out there with some smart people:D
Cheers
Dan

DH
08-05-2009, 02:55 PM
On another note it appears by all the comments and emails that ya'll greatly enjoyed the way my own people love to verbally eviscerate me at every turn.
I am the Rodney Dangerfield of martial arts!

My favorite smart ass remark was at the very end of the seminar when Danny chimes in with "Hey Dan, how many "kataaas" we gotta learn to get our green belt?" Making fun of my Boston accent to boot!!
Which he stole from an infamous Meik Skoss story.
"No respect I tell ya!"
Dan

Ron Tisdale
08-05-2009, 03:00 PM
You'll always have my respect, Dan ... :D

Wish I coulda been there. Myrian was scheduled for surgery Tuesday, and then it got cancelled (stupid insurance companies). The job situation is better until December, then I start all over again.

Glad the seminar went well!
Best,
Ron

Jon Haas
08-05-2009, 03:11 PM
Hi Mark,

I know how working on internal/aiki applies to my aikido, but how do you see it applying to your martial art?

My background is in Bujinkan martial arts and a little RMA (Systema and ROSS Training System). What I saw this past weekend at Dan's seminar is, in my opinion, a fundamental body skill, conditioning method, that "should" be the backbone of all budo. It became very clear when he was moving with weapons (and without!!) how effective this type of body is for martial movement.

Some of you were around when we were playing around with negating joint locks. How do you see that affecting your teaching and/or training? Especially considering it takes such a small amount of time to progress?

You know, Mark, I was really good at applying joint locks to people, no matter how they were resisting, right up until this weekend!! That was a very new and interesting experience for me!!

Since I cannot do it yet, it does not have an immediate effect on my training. But, I fully intend to perservere doing Dan's exercises daily, so I hope to have to address this question in the near future. :)

How do you see breakfalls now? Considering that having a structure changes how you react and move, how are you looking at them?

Same as above.

Is there anything that you would like to have seen more of? Less of?

I would like to have seen more applications of using the changed body in a more martial context, but I fully understand that we were merely scratching the surface this weekend.

Was anything not clearly presented or explained? By either Dan or any of those helping? I know some had questions and I tried my best to help answer, but I don't think I got things 100% clear. Here's a chance to ask more questions.


I think the presentation by Dan and all those helping was truly excellent. The explanations, examples, advice, insight, and even stories told all combined to create a very effective mode of presentation.

Thank you all for an incredible and eye opening weekend!

Jon Haas

gregstec
08-05-2009, 07:32 PM
"No respect I tell ya!"
Dan

Hey, if we did not respect ya, we would not be giving you any s__t - now don't ya have some tables to move around somewhere :D

Greg (with the lazy mind)

David Orange
08-05-2009, 07:47 PM
Well, while I have a more formal response I am putting together to thank everyone-I need to step in as you guys make it sound like I was attacking people!!
....
Dave
No bruises? I told you I wasn't hitting you hard! :cool:

I knew you weren't! I was just hoping, each time, that this wouldn't be the time you would forget!

....That makes me happy. It means I did my job! and I picked a smart way to get it out there with some smart people...

You sure did. One of the most important seminars I've ever attended. Ark's was the other. Thanks immensely and best wishes on your family concerns.

Gassho.

David

Janet Rosen
08-05-2009, 11:44 PM
I'm really pleased reading through the thread - sounds like it was a wonderful experience for everybody.

gregstec
08-06-2009, 06:29 AM
On a serious note, the reason for the obvious jocularity is that Dan and his group just made everyone so welcome it felt like you were/are part of the family. I think it is a testament to their sincerity in wanting to share these skills with those of a like mind. Normally when a group of strangers get together for something like this, you have a cordial and friendly atmosphere where you really hit it off with just a few participants. However, at this event, everyone hit it off - it was just amazing.

Of course everyone that was there respects Dan immensely - but, if he wants to think of himself as the Rodney Dangerfield of martial arts, so be it - I just wish he would get better jokes :D

And as for Marc A... well, let's just say that his wife should be nominated for sainthood for having to put up with his antics :)

Greg

David Orange
08-06-2009, 10:07 AM
On a serious note, the reason for the obvious jocularity is that Dan and his group just made everyone so welcome it felt like you were/are part of the family. I think it is a testament to their sincerity in wanting to share these skills with those of a like mind...

Another point is that many of the participants had also trained to some degree with Akuzawa and with Mike and there was no feeling of competition or "organizational" conflict or even that anyone's prior experience conflicted with what Dan was teaching. I'm looking forward to a time when all three groups very easily relate to one another. When that happens, watch out, martial arts world!

David

phitruong
08-06-2009, 10:24 AM
I'm looking forward to a time when all three groups very easily relate to one another. When that happens, watch out, martial arts world!

David

Internal friendship seminar? :cool:

questions:
1. if a bunch of internal folks get together, who's going in through the door first?
2. if there are foods and drinks, will there be a pushing match?
:D

DH
08-06-2009, 04:10 PM
My background is in Bujinkan martial arts and a little RMA (Systema and ROSS Training System). What I saw this past weekend at Dan's seminar is, in my opinion, a fundamental body skill, conditioning method, that "should" be the backbone of all budo. It became very clear when he was moving with weapons (and without!!) how effective this type of body is for martial movement.

You know, Mark, I was really good at applying joint locks to people, no matter how they were resisting, right up until this weekend!! That was a very new and interesting experience for me!!

I would like to have seen more applications of using the changed body in a more martial context, but I fully understand that we were merely scratching the surface this weekend.

I think the presentation by Dan and all those helping was truly excellent. The explanations, examples, advice, insight, and even stories told all combined to create a very effective mode of presentation.

Thank you all for an incredible and eye opening weekend!
Jon Haas
Hello Jon
It was tough trying to fit in everything I wanted. We had discussed the presentation and format. Out of respect and recognition of the level of audience we felt they would be more concerned with actual tools to go home with and practice on - over application potentials.
As Marc and Mayda opined over dinner "We really don't need to be *wowed* at this stage in our careers-we want tools!" Mayda was very direct when she said "The most important thing to her was actually doing it." "Expressing intent in a very real manner and being able to replicate it over and over!" She also said "The women going round: Jill, Terry, and Kris were better instructors than the guys-they were more detailed!"...of course she said this looking at me with a gleam in her eye!:o God bless you Marc!

Ray has trained with a whole bunch of people including Sam Chin and said he wouldn't walk across the street to be "wowed" by some guy either. These were some pretty sharp people-with their very own list of demands! I was put on notice! They wanted something to fix them they could work with! So That was the thrust of the presentation.

I thought going round and playing here and there would satisfy the curiosity factor for -lets call it "in service use." There was just not enough time-as it was we ran from 9 am till 7:30 on Sunday!

Hey it was my first shot at this. My next one-if there is one-may cover less material and more work. We thought a general overview or introduction as a macro for the work was best
*how and why the body method is cogent from Koryu weapons to modern
*how it got so screwed up in modern budo
*how to train the body and mind in a paired exercise then with a solo to support it, then the next paired with its support solo and so on.
* the walking drills- splitting energy and sending while entering
Would be a good approach for folks to take home with them.

If you recall our working together on the rote MA stances ( remember the notes I keep?) and the various flaws and weakness inherent in some of the popular and art-specific stances you asked about and what happened next;) you get some idea of how deep the rabbit hole goes to address internal to external in a martial paradigm! Re-building the body "from the ground up" so we don't end up on the ground getting up is just good business, but it starts at a fundamental level before any notion of aplication and goes on from there. I am sort of very exact in the way I teach it-if you hadn't noticed!:D

That said I had a lot of fun with you and I hope to see ya again, where we can address some of the more practical aspects of "in service-use."
Cheers
Dan

DH
08-06-2009, 04:39 PM
Forgive me while I catch up
To all who extended their kind words on the family situation; both public and private my family and I thank you for your support.
Regards
Dan

Jon Haas
08-07-2009, 05:28 AM
Hi Dan,

I agree with Marc, Mayda, and Ray. The intention behind my comment was not to be "wowed" at all, but more of a forward-looking statement to ask the question, "where can we go from here?".

The times that you were showing martial application during the seminar were excellent and eye-opening, to say the least. That's why, when Mark M. asked what would you like to have seen more of, I responded that way. :)

That being said, I have a boat load of work to do on myself, and with my training group, using the exercises and concepts you and your team presented this past weekend.

I am very much looking forward to training with you again to explore more of this virtually uncharted budo territory!

Also, I would be remiss if I did not publicly thank Ellis Amdur for talking you into opening your door and making all this possible!! :)

Jon

Hello Jon
It was tough trying to fit in everything I wanted. We had discussed the presentation and format. Out of respect and recognition of the level of audience we felt they would be more concerned with actual tools to go home with and practice on - over application potentials.
As Marc and Mayda opined over dinner "We really don't need to be *wowed* at this stage in our careers-we want tools!" Mayda was very direct when she said "The most important thing to her was actually doing it." "Expressing intent in a very real manner and being able to replicate it over and over!" She also said "The women going round: Jill, Terry, and Kris were better instructors than the guys-they were more detailed!"...of course she said this looking at me with a gleam in her eye!:o God bless you Marc!

Ray has trained with a whole bunch of people including Sam Chin and said he wouldn't walk across the street to be "wowed" by some guy either. These were some pretty sharp people-with their very own list of demands! I was put on notice! They wanted something to fix them they could work with! So That was the thrust of the presentation.

thought going round and playing here and there would satisfy the curiosity factor for -lets call it "in service use." There was just not enough time-as it was we ran from 9 am till 7:30 on Sunday!

Hey it was my first shot at this. My next one-if there is one-may cover less material and more work. We thought a general overview or introduction as a macro for the work was best
*how and why the body method is cogent from Koryu weapons to modern
*how it got so screwed up in modern budo
*how to train the body and mind in a paired exercise then with a solo to support it, then the next paired with its support solo and so on.
* the walking drills- splitting energy and sending while entering
Would be a good approach for folks to take home with them.

If you recall our working together on the rote MA stances ( remember the notes I keep?) and the various flaws and weakness inherent in some of the popular and art-specific stances you asked about and what happened next;) you get some idea of how deep the rabbit hole goes to address internal to external in a martial paradigm! Re-building the body "from the ground up" so we don't end up on the ground getting up is just good business, but it starts at a fundamental level before any notion of aplication and goes on from there. I am sort of very exact in the way I teach it-if you hadn't noticed!:D

That said I had a lot of fun with you and I hope to see ya again, where we can address some of the more practical aspects of "in service-use."
Cheers
Dan

rob_liberti
08-07-2009, 06:47 AM
I just had a really fun class last night reviewing all of the skills we went over at that seminar. There were 10 people in the class and 5 of us were people who helped out at Dan's event last weekend. The other 5 are not completely new to that kind of training either, and everyone's external proficiency is generally kind of high so there is this constant desire to start taking things up a notch - by EVERYONE - and I feel it is my duty to keep applying the brakes and getting people moving slowly enough to really follow their intent and not just fall back to moving lightening fast and raining blows, or snapping into a throw, etc. once a decent set up has occurred. That's what's been different for me as a teacher. I have a room full of people all qualified to be teachers (most are) who I have to keep slowing down and getting them to burn things in more deeply. (Where I used to let folks ramp up to explosiveness a bit and anyone who wanted to play that way could join in.) If I can give you any advice, you have to commit to training intent with the same dedication you had to develop your external skills. That is the first step of where to take it from that seminar. It's difficult, and challenging. But that's the path to developing the skills to finally becoming explosive again. Don't rush. It'll happen. -Rob

MM
08-07-2009, 08:08 AM
I just had a really fun class last night reviewing all of the skills we went over at that seminar. There were 10 people in the class and 5 of us were people who helped out at Dan's event last weekend. The other 5 are not completely new to that kind of training either, and everyone's external proficiency is generally kind of high so there is this constant desire to start taking things up a notch - by EVERYONE - and I feel it is my duty to keep applying the brakes and getting people moving slowly enough to really follow their intent and not just fall back to moving lightening fast and raining blows, or snapping into a throw, etc. once a decent set up has occurred. That's what's been different for me as a teacher. I have a room full of people all qualified to be teachers (most are) who I have to keep slowing down and getting them to burn things in more deeply. (Where I used to let folks ramp up to explosiveness a bit and anyone who wanted to play that way could join in.) If I can give you any advice, you have to commit to training intent with the same dedication you had to develop your external skills. That is the first step of where to take it from that seminar. It's difficult, and challenging. But that's the path to developing the skills to finally becoming explosive again. Don't rush. It'll happen. -Rob

It's a great point, Rob. Hope you don't mind if I add to it. :)

We work slowly for a variety of reasons. First, if you use speed, you can gloss over weaknesses. And when you come into contact with someone who has internal structure, speed won't save you from that person exploiting those weaknesses. So, we train slow to identify those weaknesses and fix them.

Second, when working something new and as some have said, unnatural, alien, foreign, then it's a really good idea to go slow so that you can identify, define, and change from something unnatural and alien to natural and internal.

Third, speed is hampered by slack. Slack in the body will slow you down. Working these exercises slowly, builds an internal body that removes a lot of slack. Going fast or overpowering your partner doesn't help them work those internal pathways, doesn't help them burn in a cohesive body, a unified body, a whole body. Going fast just causes muscular reactions in a partner. Something that is diametrically opposed to what we're trying to build.

Fourth, these exercises are very much cooperative. You have to work together, giving each other feedback to help build an internally structured body. If you go fast, how can your partner tell you where to adjust so that your partner gets full benefit. Vice versa, if you're going too fast, how can your partner give you feedback on how you are doing if you feel like a blur?

Edit: And don't forget teaching. If you're going slow and working on things, you get them in finer detail than if you're going fast. You can identify and define them better, which, in turn, means you can teach them better.

Mark Jakabcsin
08-07-2009, 09:07 AM
It's a great point, Rob. Hope you don't mind if I add to it. :)

We work slowly for a variety of reasons. First, if you use speed, you can gloss over weaknesses. And when you come into contact with someone who has internal structure, speed won't save you from that person exploiting those weaknesses. So, we train slow to identify those weaknesses and fix them.

Second, when working something new and as some have said, unnatural, alien, foreign, then it's a really good idea to go slow so that you can identify, define, and change from something unnatural and alien to natural and internal.

Third, speed is hampered by slack. Slack in the body will slow you down. Working these exercises slowly, builds an internal body that removes a lot of slack. Going fast or overpowering your partner doesn't help them work those internal pathways, doesn't help them burn in a cohesive body, a unified body, a whole body. Going fast just causes muscular reactions in a partner. Something that is diametrically opposed to what we're trying to build.

Fourth, these exercises are very much cooperative. You have to work together, giving each other feedback to help build an internally structured body. If you go fast, how can your partner tell you where to adjust so that your partner gets full benefit. Vice versa, if you're going too fast, how can your partner give you feedback on how you are doing if you feel like a blur?

Edit: And don't forget teaching. If you're going slow and working on things, you get them in finer detail than if you're going fast. You can identify and define them better, which, in turn, means you can teach them better.

Mark M.,
All true and very good points, especially when doing drill based training. Train slow, learn fast. But there is a time to test what you learn and that requires faster speeds and greater stress. The question is what percentage of overall training needs to be 'testing' as compared to 'learning'?

Mark J.

Marc Abrams
08-07-2009, 09:12 AM
Hello Jon
It was tough trying to fit in everything I wanted. We had discussed the presentation and format. Out of respect and recognition of the level of audience we felt they would be more concerned with actual tools to go home with and practice on - over application potentials.
As Marc and Mayda opined over dinner "We really don't need to be *wowed* at this stage in our careers-we want tools!" Mayda was very direct when she said "The most important thing to her was actually doing it." "Expressing intent in a very real manner and being able to replicate it over and over!" She also said "The women going round: Jill, Terry, and Kris were better instructors than the guys-they were more detailed!"...of course she said this looking at me with a gleam in her eye!:o God bless you Marc!

Ray has trained with a whole bunch of people including Sam Chin and said he wouldn't walk across the street to be "wowed" by some guy either. These were some pretty sharp people-with their very own list of demands! I was put on notice! They wanted something to fix them they could work with! So That was the thrust of the presentation.

I thought going round and playing here and there would satisfy the curiosity factor for -lets call it "in service use." There was just not enough time-as it was we ran from 9 am till 7:30 on Sunday!

Hey it was my first shot at this. My next one-if there is one-may cover less material and more work. We thought a general overview or introduction as a macro for the work was best
*how and why the body method is cogent from Koryu weapons to modern
*how it got so screwed up in modern budo
*how to train the body and mind in a paired exercise then with a solo to support it, then the next paired with its support solo and so on.
* the walking drills- splitting energy and sending while entering
Would be a good approach for folks to take home with them.

If you recall our working together on the rote MA stances ( remember the notes I keep?) and the various flaws and weakness inherent in some of the popular and art-specific stances you asked about and what happened next;) you get some idea of how deep the rabbit hole goes to address internal to external in a martial paradigm! Re-building the body "from the ground up" so we don't end up on the ground getting up is just good business, but it starts at a fundamental level before any notion of aplication and goes on from there. I am sort of very exact in the way I teach it-if you hadn't noticed!:D

That said I had a lot of fun with you and I hope to see ya again, where we can address some of the more practical aspects of "in service-use."
Cheers
Dan

Dan:

GOD blessed me with Mayda, but then again, GOD's name is Murphy :D !

Speaking for myself, since the first US Aiki Expo, I have been on a very difficult journey away from waza and trying to explore the basics of body structure and the nature of effective movement as it relates to budo/bujutsu. There is SCANT direct information out there and as I have struggled to identify things and "re-orient" my body and the nature of my movement, I feel as though I am continually struggling to discover more and more about the what seems to most to be a simple topic.

Dan's work and the generosity of his teaching has been a true blessing. He confirmed things that I had been struggling with and explained things in a manner that opened my eyes to things that would have taken a whole lot longer to have discovered had it not been for that seminar.

My students have known from the very beginning, that my teaching approach is not based upon waza, but upon struggling to discover the proper body and nature of movement that allows Ai & Ki to occur. They are a patient bunch of dedicated students who are on this journey together with me and I now have added the scant beginnings that Dan offered.

The funny thing is that working with people like Dan, or by the occasional self-discovery, I look at my two main teachers and can suddenly see those principles in action. I just wish that they could have been as cogent and direct with their teaching as Dan is.

I really look forward to future training with Dan. If working with someone like him cannot help to open your eyes, then .....

Marc Abrams

Mark Jakabcsin
08-07-2009, 09:26 AM
Speaking for myself, since the first US Aiki Expo, I have been on a very difficult journey away from waza and trying to explore the basics of body structure and the nature of effective movement as it relates to budo/bujutsu.

Marc,
Why the qualifier, '....as it relates to budo/bujutsu.' Shouldn't good basic body structure and efficient/effective movement be incorporated in much of our routine/daily movement? Actually can it be any other way. Every motion we make is a chance to study and train.

Mark J.

MM
08-07-2009, 09:32 AM
Mark M.,
All true and very good points, especially when doing drill based training. Train slow, learn fast. But there is a time to test what you learn and that requires faster speeds and greater stress. The question is what percentage of overall training needs to be 'testing' as compared to 'learning'?

Mark J.

Hi Mark,

I think that you are testing at the same time as you are learning. Take, for example, the simple push test exercise. You stand with arms extended out to the sides. Someone pushes on your open palm. As you start learning this exercise, you are testing your body with how much force it can "ground". As you progress, you find yourself able to structurally hold up under greater force. As you keep going, you find yourself learning to hold structure under a force that goes through you, up at a 45 degree angle, around you, etc.

You're actually testing yourself as you are learning to build structure. Start playing with a technique and you find just where you can keep structure while moving and under a load/pressure. Keep working that, and you get better at things.

Keep working all of these and you find that you can move quicker while still being able to hold structure under movement and load/pressure.

You're testing yourself each and every time you work on this stuff. The better your structure, the more you pressure test it. The more you pressure test it, the better your structure gets.

The hard part is not to overload yourself because you think you should be able to do more or should be better at it. Not to go fast to gloss over weaknesses. To work on solo training.

Does that answer the question?

DH
08-07-2009, 09:32 AM
The application issue and when to use speed always vexes everyone. I have seen it so many times. I saw a bunch of Taiji guys copying their teachers "shaking power" and a bagua guy copy his teachers explosive movement. All three students had nothing...zero power. A few people had asked me at dinner how I personally developed this; the time line, methods pitfalls etc.
I learned this from the flat of my back-from failure!
I followed a similar path of what Rob just highlighted "getting ahead of myself" "letting ego get in the way," "not wanting to lose," etc. My list of never ending stupidity went on and on. I would do well in class and when I went to do judo or grapple I would either revert back to what I normally did (when my competitive instincts took over) or I would fail! Why fail? Because my body wasn't conditioned enough yet to use aiki in freestyle. In short, I was the poster boy for getting ahead of myself.
As I progressed-and thankfully got a little wiser I knew I had to ramp it up by doing slow motion throwing drills-and retaining central equilibrium through mental focus and always maintaining in yo ho under load and stress-otherwise all was lost-I went right back to using muscle, being one side weighted, receiving everything into me, either sending or receving and not both, etc..
Sadly, I have had guys who trained here, got some power and a boalt load of "principle based" jujutsu and split. In their eyes they called it a success, to boot! They though they "got it" when nothing could be further from the truth.

Learning curve
You got the points of working on intent; paired and solo. Initial opposing force; up/down/ in /out. Central axis pivoting, and winding, then felt its use in spiraling and support.
What is seldom discussed-because no one wants to be the wet blanket on the best discussions to happen to Aikido since the founding of Aikido- is that the work sooner or later, is just "plain ol' work." People either get bored or they "settle" for much less than their own potential. It's just the way of it.
You cannot state definitively how long it will take person (a) or person (b), because there are too many variations; talent, intelligence, fullness of methods trained etc.
I've been chasing this type of training for decades and I am horribly disappointed in myself. Plus, I keep finding, and discovering other things I need to work on. It's just comforting to know that my best years are ahead of me that I can't wait to be 65 and feel me then.

What the purists will discover is that every few years you will make a jump. And you won't tell you, other people will tell you. You may or may not sense that you feel loser (say your central axis pivot is freer and faster and well seated) but not really sensing anything definitive. The,. out of no where, people go flying when they try to throw you. The good news is that contrary to that same ol nonsense of just "having a good night at the dojo" this training lets you know exactly WHY your having a good night at the dojo.
Okay that said, the reason you will hear it from others, is the same reason you all heard at the seminar. Its classic “But I didn’t do anything!” That’s how I feel when I people try to throw me or I hit them. I’m just moving. I didn’t feel much of anything to “throttle back on” in the first place.

Practical application
The sensitivity you garner from internal training to make aiki- creates (as Greg aptly noted a few posts back) a heightened sensitivity to feel, and sense weight and force from anyone who contacts us. This isn’t a skill you go after, “a thing” you develop, it is a by product of the training. Remember the directed force-in? That is being burned into you for you to feel certain paths-which I won’t discuss here. But you all felt it happening. So, ask yourself, “if that guys can force me to feel certain paths by his choosing, what can he do with those paths since they are under his control? In other words it’s a great learing tool for both sides isn’t it? If (a) can direct force through you and sense your response and then does it for hours and hours and hours in the dojo with different bodies…when do YOU think that will turn into one monster of a useful skill in aikido? Yet person (b) is training to feel forces coming in and neutralizing and playing and giving single and multiple paths of receiving, sending entering for the same amount of hours what is that going to on his side of the equation? The sensitivity and control is built on both sides.
How great is it to control their own feet, to sense their every weight shift, to know (as you felt or watched me say “You are trying to lift your left leg -because you just shifted your weight to the right”) at the instant they “think it and are trying to move. It is key to the old budo admonition of arriving first. Many people comment on how fast we feel. We’re not fast, we’re quick. We sense, we read, we arrive first.
Now consider, that all of the above is just reading someone. Now consider you controlling and setting them up and dominating through their intent.


When some of you played with or Andy you felt spiral energy at work. There is nothing “to have,” every contact point is treated with a negative and positive aspect of the spiraling arcs. Thus they rise-and-sink, receive-and-feed, send-and-enter, all at the same time, on two different helix’s moving around a dynamic central column. It’s like sticking your finger into Quisinart blender. The blender is balanced within itself turning from within without transferring weight out to you. Your finger? It doesn’t look so good!
The longer you train the more you retain that sense of balance. The more tissue that gets involved (breath training) the looser and more connected you get, the more connected you get-the more powerful you get.

Everyone felt or saw people putting their hands on my chest wall and being moved around? The aiki connection from that is the result of tissue involvement in a path from the feet to the hands with no slack in the body. As you train -you get ever more elusive for an opponent to find. The trick is that when he tries to find you? “He” is revealed
But all of that work is from dead slow, hours long, non-fighting, practice. Most just don't have the stomach for it.
On the up side it makes aiki (and anti-aiki) faster and greater than any kata method I have ever seen.

Cheers
Dan

Budd
08-07-2009, 10:09 AM
Nice post, Dan.

I think that's one of the big things with IS work that gets lost . .just how much of it is based on conditioning the body and mind. . and it's not the kind of conditioning where you just repeat it again and again until you "get it". Your words on "intent" apply very well here as well . . in addition to listening, critiquing, trying, failing, etc. It's not a "Well I'm already doing things 50 percent right and I just need the other 50 percent" . .

I like what's coming out of the discussions on last weekend (congrats and of course I'm going to echo best wishes for the personal stuff going on as well, big time). I think a common thing that's being communicated is that the vocabulary only gets you so far . . you can't cognitively just get this and make it click in your body . . you have to be shown, have it burned in and then keep burning it in so that you rewire how your body moves . . and then there's the applications, etc, fitting these things into the framework of whatever martial art you do.

Yeah, it's a fun time right now to watch and participate in these things.

Best/Budd

DH
08-07-2009, 10:27 AM
Nice post, Dan.

I think that's one of the big things with IS work that gets lost . .just how much of it is based on conditioning the body and mind. . and it's not the kind of conditioning where you just repeat it again and again until you "get it". Your words on "intent" apply very well here as well . . in addition to listening, critiquing, trying, failing, etc. It's not a "Well I'm already doing things 50 percent right and I just need the other 50 percent" . .

I like what's coming out of the discussions on last weekend (congrats and of course I'm going to echo best wishes for the personal stuff going on as well, big time). I think a common thing that's being communicated is that the vocabulary only gets you so far . . you can't cognitively just get this and make it click in your body . . you have to be shown, have it burned in and then keep burning it in so that you rewire how your body moves . . and then there's the applications, etc, fitting these things into the framework of whatever martial art you do.

Yeah, it's a fun time right now to watch and participate in these things.

Best/Budd
It's new to some, old to others eh?
I keep encouraging people to get out and feel some of the giants in the ICMA when they come around to the States for seminars. You may not become a student or learn how-to's, but it's good to get an expanded "picture" of what's out there with some experts. It helps to keep the target ever ahead of you and keep you hungry and not satisfied.
Cheers
Dan

Budd
08-07-2009, 10:38 AM
It's new to some, old to others eh?
I keep encouraging people to get out and feel some of the giants in the ICMA when they come around to the States for seminars. You may not become a student or learn how-to's, but it's good to get an expanded "picture" of what's out there with some experts. It helps to keep the target ever ahead of you and keep you hungry and not satisfied.
Cheers
Dan

Makes a lot of sense to me, for sure.

DH
08-07-2009, 11:09 AM
A good visual "trick" I use to bring it home is whenever someone is wowed by me in my dojo and they start that complimentary crap, I apologize and tell them they are confusing me with those responsible. Then I bring them over to line-up to the pictures on the Kamiza. I tell the person-"Go bow to them. I didn't invent this stuff. I'll wait till your done and we go back to training!"
It gets the message across loud and clear.

The other thing I do is-at a certain point- I demand they go out and at least feel if not train with other people. Most of my people have felt and or trained with Mike, Ark, top teachers in DR, Aikido, ICMA, Koryu, on and on. It keeps the kiss-ass factor down to near zero, and it keeps the blinders off.
Oddly, after meeting the students of the above gentlemen, it reinforces the model to them that "it's on them to fix them! No one's gonna do the work for them."
Then it releases me to just be another student who has some information.
Cheers
Dan

Lee Salzman
08-07-2009, 11:46 AM
A good visual "trick" I use to bring it home is whenever someone is wowed by me in my dojo and they start that complimentary crap, I apologize and tell them they are confusing me with those responsible. Then I bring them over to line-up to the pictures on the Kamiza. I tell the person-"Go bow to them. I didn't invent this stuff. I'll wait till your done and we go back to training!"
It gets the message across loud and clear.

The other thing I do is-at a certain point- I demand they go out and at least feel if not train with other people. Most of my people have felt and or trained with Mike, Ark, top teachers in DR, Aikido, ICMA, Koryu, on and on. It keeps the kiss-ass factor down to near zero, and it keeps the blinders off.
Oddly, after meeting the students of the above gentlemen, it reinforces the model to them that "it's on them to fix them! No one's gonna do the work for them."
Then it releases me to just be another student who has some information.
Cheers
Dan

"No respect I tell ya!", you say. You wouldn't have had to pay for food or beer for the entire weekend if you didn't want to! :p

JeremyAhouse
08-12-2009, 01:40 PM
Dan and all the people I got to work with, a hearty thank you!

As I wrote to Dan privately, it is a great compliment to him that his students were, without exception, really terrific to work with. There was something so congenial and helpful in the attitude. It was mentioned above but is worth underlining that Dan emphasizes his hope that people develop the capacity to teach and share and articulate this approach.

He encouraged us to bring these ideas back to our respective dojos now, not until some distant day when we had mastered the approaches. And his students illustrated by example what it is like to talk through the techniques. The continuous and helpful feedback is something I think many training situations could benefit from. And you can see that talking about what is happening in the middle of technique, to your body, muscles, intention, fascia, ... benefits from practice. If you never struggle to describe it you won't get better at describing.

So kudos to the people who regularly train with Dan, who came out to help those of us who were new. It will be interesting to see over the next few years how a language and set of useful metaphors develops around these practices. There is probably a useful thread to be started about both how metaphors communicate kinesthetic information and which metaphors seem to work best (for most people).

The various ideas and exercises from the seminar have been rattling around my psyche since the seminar. As I wrote to a friend they stick to you and with you and challenge how you think of any number of techniques. I suppose that cross training always raises existential questions about where one art ends and another begins. I was left with both the feeling that Aikido was distinctive and that there were helpful and provocative gifts in what Dan is sharing.

I have enjoyed recapitulating parts of the seminar to folks at my dojo and would encourage others to do so. Nothing like trying to explain something to help it settle into your bones (or fascia ;) ).

Again, thank you Dan for the workshop and the participants for the experience.

- Jeremy

p.s. For folks who attended the seminar, you may find the last chapter, "An Introduction to Anatomy Trains", in The Concise Book of the Moving Body by Chris Jarmey, contributed by Thomas W. Myers to be of interest.