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Dazaifoo
12-12-2013, 01:55 AM
一点の気 (無) から陰陽の2つの気に分かれ, 陰陽の気は交流して万物を産み出すのである。
A spot of Ki (Nothing) is divided into two Kis - positive and negative. The dual Kis interact and give birth to all things in the universe.
Traditional Aikido vol 5 p 36

(口伝) 胴 (腰)の動きは両足にあり、頭の動きは両手にあり。
The rotation of the hips determines the movement of both feet. The movement of the head determines the movement of both hands. Ueshiba Morihei
Traditional Aikido, vol 1 p49

(口伝) 腰 (胴)の動きは両足にあり、頭の動きは両手にあり。
The hips determine the movement of both feet. The head determines the movement of both hands. Ueshiba Morihei
Traditional Aikido, vol 4 pp 118-119
Thoughts on the December Hawaii Internal Power Seminar and the future of Aikido

I've had a few days to recover from the Jet lag, coach seating (oy my shoulders and knees!), and the shock of returning to cold Japan from sunny warm Kailua. (Oh cooing doves, how I miss thee). I handed out the omiyage to friends and co-workers, caught up on a few meetings at work, getting back in the groove of things. It's also taken me this long to begin to collect my thoughts on the experience and the working model of IP and Aiki as taught at the seminar. Now a little personal background. For about, ohh just now 23 years or so I have been training in Aikido. For 19 of those years I have been an Iwama style guy. During that time I've devoted quite a large chunk of my life to the art, at one point I quit my job to become an uchi deshi with a high ranking instructor. I've turned down opportunites for promotion at work in order to keep up my training schedule at the old dojo. I've taken ukemi from a bunch of the big boys. I was once violently assaulted on the street and successfully defended myself against my attacker using solely Aikido (kokyu ho of all things, guy never saw it coming). And once, yes, I did walk four miles uphill in the snow just to get to the dojo. Well, maybe it was three and a half miles, but you get the point. I'm kind of an Iwamaniac.

So, now to the nitty gritty. Given all that, what did I think of the seminar and this whole IP deal? Well... as I've explained, I've been training for 23 years or so. I'm 41 now. So, for more than half of my life I've been doing this art and for just under half I've been in Iwama style exclusively.

Honest opinion: I learned more about Aikido this past weekend than I have in all of my 23 years of practice. Being given access to this training model is simply transcendental. There is no other way to say it, this is Takemusu Aikido. And, it DOES NOT negate that which I already know, it does not negate the legacy of Saito Sensei and my years in the Iwama tradition, in fact it illuminates all of it in such a way as to show us how we should be training. This is the power we've been seeking for years but could never achieve, no matter how hard we pushed ourselves in training or how much sciatic nerve crushing ukemi we took. IP is everything we got into Aikido for in the first place, it can be supremely soft and just stunningly devastating in the same moment. To put it another way, “This. F***ing. Rules!”

The Hawaii guys jokingly refer to their training location in the park as Area 51. An apt description, it seems to me. We've had the proverbial Aikido UFO up on blocks in a bunker for years. One Aikido lineage has the alien bodies in a tank at Hangar 18, another is making velcro and superconductors from the reverse engineered wreckage, and yet nobody knew what made that sucker fly. Well, IP is the reactor and now we can take that Aikido UFO out for a spin. Did I mention that I suck at metaphors?

So much of what we do in Aikido makes sense in light of traditional IP/Aiki training. So much so that it's hard to pick a starting point. Well, I suppose we could start by reading our own text books. Saito Sensei's Traditional Aikido series contains a plethora of information that pertains directly to IP, and yet I've never once, ONCE, heard a teacher explain it in as cogent a manner as was done in the seminar, much less talk about its existence. There is far more in those books than just the pictures and yet, that's precisely how we've been using them. Step by step picture guides for gross physical movement. That's a start, but the words, the real content... what do they mean, how does that drive what we do? This is bloody important! We've got a lot of work to do.

And it’s not just reading the English translation either. Some of that stuff, it seriously needs a second pass by a translator who knows not just the traditional IP terminology (Chris Li I'm looking at you! I mean surely we can do better than “Body Exercises and their Unlimited Ramifications” for 体術その無限の展開. It makes it sound like one’s chances of getting into a good school are ruined unless you meet the fitness requirement.) That’s just one thing, but here's the quote that got me started on my whole "What is this IP noise and how does it jibe with what we're told to do?" quest.

Here's the English translation of a kuden, an orally bequeathed teaching mind you from O'Sensei himself, from Vol 1 of Traditional Aikido, describing Kamae for taijutsu and bukiwaza. "The rotation of the hips determines the movement of both feet. The movement of the head determines the movement of both hands." Okay, I'll follow you there, the first part sounds exactly like what we've been told how to train. Except that the Japanese text doesn't say that. It doesn't say rotate at all, it says movement,動き . The movement of the hips determines the movement of the feet.

But wait, O'Sensei's kuden uses the word Dou, 胴, the trunk, upper body, or torso. The movement of the trunk determines the movement of the feet. Hips, koshi, 腰 , is in parenthesis next to dou. So it should be taken as a qualifier for dou. (The second appearance of this kuden in Vol 4 of the series has a different translation and somehow koshi takes precedence and dou is now in parenthesis. I guess the kuden are kind of flexible, zing!). Now Japanese regional anatomical terms can be frustratingly indeterminate. Ashi can mean foot, or calf, or leg, there are separate kanji for these with the same pronunciation, and the Japanese will use them in print to differentiate between foot and leg. Orally, one can grasp the meaning from context, tone, or nuance in the voice. So to impart the nuance in print, we see the use of dou and koshi in parenthesis to indicate what section of the body moves the legs.

What is koshi? Well, that depends. Most westerners say hips and pat their pelvis to indicate their hips, so move your hips. Check, got it, we do that. (Funny side note about hips here in Japan, the English word hip is used to mean the buttocks, which can lead to all sorts of funny situations where everyone becomes embarrassed and giggles uncontrollably. Can't open the door, put your hip into it, hilarity ensues. But I digress.) What about koshi as the Japanese commonly use it? I've gotten a lot of different answers from a lot of native Japanese. It could mean anything from the loins, to the pelvis, to the sacrum, to the waist. Just like ashi, things get fuzzy. So let's find the overlap. Dou, trunk of the body, what part of the trunk? The koshi. And where does that overlap, in English? How about the waist? The movement of the legs is determined by the waist. What possible driver could there be for power at the waist?... And what of the head determining the movement of the hands? Why, it’s almost as if there would have to be, oh I don't know, something attached to the head that could determine the movement of the hands? What could that be?... Sorry to be a tease but you'll have to take a seminar to find out.

The clincher for me, that one moment that really made me go, "Yeah this is it!" was an answer to a nagging little question (actually kind of a BIG question) about Aikido training and efficacy, in just about every style or group I've trained with, Iwama included, that has always bugged the hell out of me. The age old newbie question in response to a technique against a grab. "Why not just let go?" 

My learned response/answer over the years has always been, say it with me now, "Because you're giving a serious attack." I have held on so many, many times over the years as uke, well past the point where my hand would naturally open or when I'm in such a contorted position that holding on is ridiculous given that I could just let go and punch my partner. I've thought about this conundrum while holding on to Shihan mind you, (I could just let go right now but that'd be wrong) and I've even seen Shihan change out uke for ones who don't let go during techniques. Check out Youtube, it's all over the place.

The answer to "Why not just let go?" after the IP/Aiki seminar. "Well, I couldn't." All my grabs became attraction points, Yin and Yang (the 2 kis from the headliner quote) were made manifest and that's all she wrote. My hands were glued to the instructor and I could not, for the life of me, get them off of him. And I tried. Never have I had that happen. Just, stuck to nage and then tossed like a pie in the oven. Now, go back and look at those photos, look at the waza O'Sensei is doing, look at the waza Saito is doing. Why can't the uke let go? What are we doing? What do we need to do?

Well, metaphorically speaking, we're going to have to smile wistfully at the old homestead and do some remodeling. Tear out the old wiring there in the wall, it's a fire hazard. And the old land line's gotta go, install some T3 cable up in there, that's gonna cost ya. Got some asbestos up on the second floor, so you won't be staying up there for, oh, a long while now. Plumbing's gonna have to get ripped out, new marble countertops, mahogany rails get refurbished, chandelier's a loss, strip out the lead paint, oh and you'll need an exorcist because the closet is haunted. Let's face it, with all of that and the roof work the place is going to be pretty darn unlivable for a while....BUT! But, after all of that. Your house is going to be in great shape. Comfortable to live in and everything you've always wanted. The envy of all your nosy neighbors, and a welcome place for friends, family, and strangers alike. Worthy of the name AIKIDO. It'll take time, effort, patience. Pain. Intent. And humility. But all of that will be worth it. It is well past time to stop living in the shell of what this once great mansion has become. We've got to take command and restore this Noble House back to its glory days. The traditional methods of IP and Aiki development now openly available for the asking, is the way to do this. This work has been around for a long, long time and finally it is within reach. For more than half my life I've been seeking this.

To quote the great water engineer William Mulholland. "There it is. Take it!"

Lee Salzman
12-12-2013, 02:39 AM
I've had a few days to recover from the Jet lag, coach seating (oy my shoulders and knees!), and the shock of returning to cold Japan from sunny warm Kailua. (Oh cooing doves, how I miss thee). I handed out the omiyage to friends and co-workers, caught up on a few meetings at work, getting back in the groove of things. It's also taken me this long to begin to collect my thoughts on the experience and the working model of IP and Aiki as taught at the seminar. Now a little personal background. For about, ohh just now 23 years or so I have been training in Aikido. For 19 of those years I have been an Iwama style guy. During that time I've devoted quite a large chunk of my life to the art, at one point I quit my job to become an uchi deshi with a high ranking instructor. I've turned down opportunites for promotion at work in order to keep up my training schedule at the old dojo. I've taken ukemi from a bunch of the big boys. I was once violently assaulted on the street and successfully defended myself against my attacker using solely Aikido (kokyu ho of all things, guy never saw it coming). And once, yes, I did walk four miles uphill in the snow just to get to the dojo. Well, maybe it was three and a half miles, but you get the point. I'm kind of an Iwamaniac.

So, now to the nitty gritty. Given all that, what did I think of the seminar and this whole IP deal? Well... as I've explained, I've been training for 23 years or so. I'm 41 now. So, for more than half of my life I've been doing this art and for just under half I've been in Iwama style exclusively.

Honest opinion: I learned more about Aikido this past weekend than I have in all of my 23 years of practice. Being given access to this training model is simply transcendental. There is no other way to say it, this is Takemusu Aikido. And, it DOES NOT negate that which I already know, it does not negate the legacy of Saito Sensei and my years in the Iwama tradition, in fact it illuminates all of it in such a way as to show us how we should be training. This is the power we've been seeking for years but could never achieve, no matter how hard we pushed ourselves in training or how much sciatic nerve crushing ukemi we took. IP is everything we got into Aikido for in the first place, it can be supremely soft and just stunningly devastating in the same moment. To put it another way, "This. F***ing. Rules!"


To open this up into a broader topic for discussion that is a bit more removed from the personalities/events involved and engender more comments... I would say that particular snippet of your musings I find very significant, and I would like to dissect it a bit.

So the question is, if the content of IP/aiki work is so distinct from what your aikido training focused upon, then what things, more specifically, within your aikido training had you been spending most of your time on and why do you feel they did not impart to you what this material did, in a weekend, no less?

So, more or less, as a theme: what can you say about aikido, as it is, that is not built upon nor expedient for the instilling of IP/aiki that you saw?

Dazaifoo
12-12-2013, 05:53 AM
So the question is, if the content of IP/aiki work is so distinct from what your aikido training focused upon, then what things, more specifically, within your aikido training had you been spending most of your time on and why do you feel they did not impart to you what this material did, in a weekend, no less?

So, more or less, as a theme: what can you say about aikido, as it is, that is not built upon nor expedient for the instilling of IP/aiki that you saw?

To answer the first part of the question, I practice, as many Iwama folks do, the triumvirate of taijutsu (always with the essential tai no henko/morote dori kokyu ho), ken suburi, and jo suburi. This part of our training is the Riai of our school, and it sometimes comes across almost as an article of faith, a nembutsu if you will. Through diligent practice of these three essentials you will in time be able to release the state of Takemusu Aiki where the techniques just flow from you in an unlimited manner. After the seminar, I now feel that these three methods, as they are presently practiced, are insufficient for developing the type of dantien necessary for creating IP and manifesting Yin and Yang in the body. Without such a properly developed dantien, there can be no Aiki, the manifestation of Yin and Yang (or In and Yo if you prefer) from any point of contact. Additionally, there is no framework for the development of intent, which really is the heart of the matter and the true driver of all of these endeavors.

What is needed is a retrofit of these methods. People need to meet and feel teachers who can attain kuzushi on contact so that they learn how to manifest the techniques correctly and not just as rote mechanical levering, and then they need to practice the methods for being able to develop the kind of body that automatically destabilizes an opponent. Now, I know that there are certain individuals in the Iwama fold who are aware of IP and have incorporated it into their own training. I've seen enough dog eared copies of Mantak Chia's Iron Shirt Chi Kung and The Wandering Taoist lying around under beds and as bathroom reading material to know that they know. Why they don't feel like sharing, I don't really care to speculate on. But now that I think about it, some have shared. This past weekend I learned an exercise very similar to one I was shown by my instructor way back in 95 or 96. And his Aikido was truly awesome. Granted, I never practiced the exercise at home because I was under the impression that all I really needed to do was to practice my taijutsu, ken suburi, and jo suburi. Gee, don't I feel like a dumb butt.

Chris Li
12-12-2013, 10:30 AM
Glad you enjoyed it Scott!

Best,

Chris

Andy Kazama
12-12-2013, 11:55 AM
Thanks for the review! Always interested to see what those crazy Hawaiians are up to, and hard to beat training at Ala Moana! From a principle standpoint, it sounds like we had a very complimentary seminar down here in Atlanta with George Ledyard Sensei. Lots of work on structural stability, with a ton of focus on ukewaza, grabbing katatetori with aiki (and where to go from there). Certainly no end to the things that need improving! We've got another IP seminar coming up on the 24th of this month, so it will be interesting to compare and contrast the similarities and differences between the two seminars. If given the chance, I would highly recommend getting hands on Ledyard! This has certainly been a transformative year for our dojo as we've begun to integrate IP into our practice. We are very fortunate to have high-caliber instructors willing to teach and train with us.

phitruong
12-12-2013, 03:55 PM
The answer to "Why not just let go?" after the IP/Aiki seminar. "Well, I couldn't." All my grabs became attraction points, Yin and Yang (the 2 kis from the headliner quote) were made manifest and that's all she wrote. My hands were glued to the instructor and I could not, for the life of me, get them off of him. And I tried. Never have I had that happen. Just, stuck to nage and then tossed like a pie in the oven. Now, go back and look at those photos, look at the waza O'Sensei is doing, look at the waza Saito is doing. Why can't the uke let go? What are we doing? What do we need to do?


you know that he used crazy glue right?

why would you go to a boring ip/aiki seminar in hawaii? look at all the beaches and the bodies and the beaches and bodies.... what you do? stuck around with a bunch of dudes, not even attractive ones. what wrong with you? incidentially, i stucked around with a bunch of nasty looking dudes this past weekend and wouldn't you know it, doing some aiki stuffs. i think we need some sort of international support group: Aiki Anonymous. and we need a 12 steps program. maybe even 13 steps.

Zoe
12-12-2013, 04:09 PM
Hi Scott
It was so nice to meet you. Dan and I are still in Hawaii taking a much needed vacation; yoga and dancing.
We read your review this morning at breakfast. Dan was delighted that you understood his message regarding the material both contextually and physically.

Many people think he focuses on himself, when every seminar I have ever attended ( I met him at the first outside seminar he ever offered ) stresses that we have to stop looking at the teachers and focus on the material and who can best teach it for our benefit.
We hope to see you again.
Zoe

一点の気 (無) から陰陽の2つの気に分かれ, 陰陽の気は交流して万物を産み出すのである。
A spot of Ki (Nothing) is divided into two Kis - positive and negative. The dual Kis interact and give birth to all things in the universe.
Traditional Aikido vol 5 p 36

(口伝) 胴 (腰)の動きは両足にあり、頭の動きは両手にあり。
The rotation of the hips determines the movement of both feet. The movement of the head determines the movement of both hands. Ueshiba Morihei
Traditional Aikido, vol 1 p49

(口伝) 腰 (胴)の動きは両足にあり、頭の動きは両手にあり。
The hips determine the movement of both feet. The head determines the movement of both hands. Ueshiba Morihei
Traditional Aikido, vol 4 pp 118-119
Thoughts on the December Hawaii Internal Power Seminar and the future of Aikido

I've had a few days to recover from the Jet lag, coach seating (oy my shoulders and knees!), and the shock of returning to cold Japan from sunny warm Kailua. (Oh cooing doves, how I miss thee). I handed out the omiyage to friends and co-workers, caught up on a few meetings at work, getting back in the groove of things. It's also taken me this long to begin to collect my thoughts on the experience and the working model of IP and Aiki as taught at the seminar. Now a little personal background. For about, ohh just now 23 years or so I have been training in Aikido. For 19 of those years I have been an Iwama style guy. During that time I've devoted quite a large chunk of my life to the art, at one point I quit my job to become an uchi deshi with a high ranking instructor. I've turned down opportunites for promotion at work in order to keep up my training schedule at the old dojo. I've taken ukemi from a bunch of the big boys. I was once violently assaulted on the street and successfully defended myself against my attacker using solely Aikido (kokyu ho of all things, guy never saw it coming). And once, yes, I did walk four miles uphill in the snow just to get to the dojo. Well, maybe it was three and a half miles, but you get the point. I'm kind of an Iwamaniac.

So, now to the nitty gritty. Given all that, what did I think of the seminar and this whole IP deal? Well... as I've explained, I've been training for 23 years or so. I'm 41 now. So, for more than half of my life I've been doing this art and for just under half I've been in Iwama style exclusively.

Honest opinion: I learned more about Aikido this past weekend than I have in all of my 23 years of practice. Being given access to this training model is simply transcendental. There is no other way to say it, this is Takemusu Aikido. And, it DOES NOT negate that which I already know, it does not negate the legacy of Saito Sensei and my years in the Iwama tradition, in fact it illuminates all of it in such a way as to show us how we should be training. This is the power we've been seeking for years but could never achieve, no matter how hard we pushed ourselves in training or how much sciatic nerve crushing ukemi we took. IP is everything we got into Aikido for in the first place, it can be supremely soft and just stunningly devastating in the same moment. To put it another way, "This. F***ing. Rules!"

The Hawaii guys jokingly refer to their training location in the park as Area 51. An apt description, it seems to me. We've had the proverbial Aikido UFO up on blocks in a bunker for years. One Aikido lineage has the alien bodies in a tank at Hangar 18, another is making velcro and superconductors from the reverse engineered wreckage, and yet nobody knew what made that sucker fly. Well, IP is the reactor and now we can take that Aikido UFO out for a spin. Did I mention that I suck at metaphors?

So much of what we do in Aikido makes sense in light of traditional IP/Aiki training. So much so that it's hard to pick a starting point. Well, I suppose we could start by reading our own text books. Saito Sensei's Traditional Aikido series contains a plethora of information that pertains directly to IP, and yet I've never once, ONCE, heard a teacher explain it in as cogent a manner as was done in the seminar, much less talk about its existence. There is far more in those books than just the pictures and yet, that's precisely how we've been using them. Step by step picture guides for gross physical movement. That's a start, but the words, the real content... what do they mean, how does that drive what we do? This is bloody important! We've got a lot of work to do.

And it's not just reading the English translation either. Some of that stuff, it seriously needs a second pass by a translator who knows not just the traditional IP terminology (Chris Li I'm looking at you! I mean surely we can do better than "Body Exercises and their Unlimited Ramifications" for 体術その無限の展開. It makes it sound like one's chances of getting into a good school are ruined unless you meet the fitness requirement.) That's just one thing, but here's the quote that got me started on my whole "What is this IP noise and how does it jibe with what we're told to do?" quest.

Here's the English translation of a kuden, an orally bequeathed teaching mind you from O'Sensei himself, from Vol 1 of Traditional Aikido, describing Kamae for taijutsu and bukiwaza. "The rotation of the hips determines the movement of both feet. The movement of the head determines the movement of both hands." Okay, I'll follow you there, the first part sounds exactly like what we've been told how to train. Except that the Japanese text doesn't say that. It doesn't say rotate at all, it says movement,動き . The movement of the hips determines the movement of the feet.

But wait, O'Sensei's kuden uses the word Dou, 胴, the trunk, upper body, or torso. The movement of the trunk determines the movement of the feet. Hips, koshi, 腰 , is in parenthesis next to dou. So it should be taken as a qualifier for dou. (The second appearance of this kuden in Vol 4 of the series has a different translation and somehow koshi takes precedence and dou is now in parenthesis. I guess the kuden are kind of flexible, zing!). Now Japanese regional anatomical terms can be frustratingly indeterminate. Ashi can mean foot, or calf, or leg, there are separate kanji for these with the same pronunciation, and the Japanese will use them in print to differentiate between foot and leg. Orally, one can grasp the meaning from context, tone, or nuance in the voice. So to impart the nuance in print, we see the use of dou and koshi in parenthesis to indicate what section of the body moves the legs.

What is koshi? Well, that depends. Most westerners say hips and pat their pelvis to indicate their hips, so move your hips. Check, got it, we do that. (Funny side note about hips here in Japan, the English word hip is used to mean the buttocks, which can lead to all sorts of funny situations where everyone becomes embarrassed and giggles uncontrollably. Can't open the door, put your hip into it, hilarity ensues. But I digress.) What about koshi as the Japanese commonly use it? I've gotten a lot of different answers from a lot of native Japanese. It could mean anything from the loins, to the pelvis, to the sacrum, to the waist. Just like ashi, things get fuzzy. So let's find the overlap. Dou, trunk of the body, what part of the trunk? The koshi. And where does that overlap, in English? How about the waist? The movement of the legs is determined by the waist. What possible driver could there be for power at the waist?... And what of the head determining the movement of the hands? Why, it's almost as if there would have to be, oh I don't know, something attached to the head that could determine the movement of the hands? What could that be?... Sorry to be a tease but you'll have to take a seminar to find out.

The clincher for me, that one moment that really made me go, "Yeah this is it!" was an answer to a nagging little question (actually kind of a BIG question) about Aikido training and efficacy, in just about every style or group I've trained with, Iwama included, that has always bugged the hell out of me. The age old newbie question in response to a technique against a grab. "Why not just let go?" 

My learned response/answer over the years has always been, say it with me now, "Because you're giving a serious attack." I have held on so many, many times over the years as uke, well past the point where my hand would naturally open or when I'm in such a contorted position that holding on is ridiculous given that I could just let go and punch my partner. I've thought about this conundrum while holding on to Shihan mind you, (I could just let go right now but that'd be wrong) and I've even seen Shihan change out uke for ones who don't let go during techniques. Check out Youtube, it's all over the place.

The answer to "Why not just let go?" after the IP/Aiki seminar. "Well, I couldn't." All my grabs became attraction points, Yin and Yang (the 2 kis from the headliner quote) were made manifest and that's all she wrote. My hands were glued to the instructor and I could not, for the life of me, get them off of him. And I tried. Never have I had that happen. Just, stuck to nage and then tossed like a pie in the oven. Now, go back and look at those photos, look at the waza O'Sensei is doing, look at the waza Saito is doing. Why can't the uke let go? What are we doing? What do we need to do?

Well, metaphorically speaking, we're going to have to smile wistfully at the old homestead and do some remodeling. Tear out the old wiring there in the wall, it's a fire hazard. And the old land line's gotta go, install some T3 cable up in there, that's gonna cost ya. Got some asbestos up on the second floor, so you won't be staying up there for, oh, a long while now. Plumbing's gonna have to get ripped out, new marble countertops, mahogany rails get refurbished, chandelier's a loss, strip out the lead paint, oh and you'll need an exorcist because the closet is haunted. Let's face it, with all of that and the roof work the place is going to be pretty darn unlivable for a while....BUT! But, after all of that. Your house is going to be in great shape. Comfortable to live in and everything you've always wanted. The envy of all your nosy neighbors, and a welcome place for friends, family, and strangers alike. Worthy of the name AIKIDO. It'll take time, effort, patience. Pain. Intent. And humility. But all of that will be worth it. It is well past time to stop living in the shell of what this once great mansion has become. We've got to take command and restore this Noble House back to its glory days. The traditional methods of IP and Aiki development now openly available for the asking, is the way to do this. This work has been around for a long, long time and finally it is within reach. For more than half my life I've been seeking this.

To quote the great water engineer William Mulholland. "There it is. Take it!"

hughrbeyer
12-12-2013, 09:01 PM
Nice post. Welcome to the dark side. Interesting perspective on it's relationship the Iwama training.

Stephen Nichol
12-12-2013, 09:46 PM
I currently train Iwama style as well and I have been curious about the IP of Dan Harden and his method of 'giving one the tools to develop it' and if anything like it is found within the syllabus we train with... especially Tai no Henko, Morote Kokyu Nage and suwari waza Kokyu-ho.

Even IF you are aware and trying to be mindful of what you 'should' be getting out of it (IP stuff) well, from personal experience I feel that could be a lot of trial and error and the time could be better spent if you can find someone who can clearly and decisively show and explain it to you.

Your post has convinced me that even if the path of the Iwama training method has the potential (given the teacher knows and the student is capable and understands) the method itself is not efficient enough in establishing the Aiki/IP aspect that would drive all intended 'waza'.

I want for nothing more than to do what you have done. Go and learn, record (even if only on paper) everything I can from a seminar, build it into my training and sneak it into the method the dojo follows if necessary to develop Aiki in our Aikido.

I missed the July seminar and this December one as well. I cannot wait to see the 2014 schedule so I can take steps to ensure I will not miss the next even if it means flying all the way to the USA and following Dan around the west coast for a few of them. Are the seminars cheaper by the dozen? :D

Chris Li
12-12-2013, 10:28 PM
I missed the July seminar and this December one as well. I cannot wait to see the 2014 schedule so I can take steps to ensure I will not miss the next even if it means flying all the way to the USA and following Dan around the west coast for a few of them. Are the seminars cheaper by the dozen? :D

We're planning three in Hawaii for 2014. I talked to Dan about the schedule last weekend, but it's not quite set yet, we should have it done in a couple of weeks. Most likely something like March - July - December, or thereabouts.

Also, Bill Gleason will be out here in June, along the way to Australia - not quite the same as Dan, but he can give you some insight into what's going on.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
12-13-2013, 10:00 PM
We're planning three in Hawaii for 2014. I talked to Dan about the schedule last weekend, but it's not quite set yet, we should have it done in a couple of weeks. Most likely something like March - July - December, or thereabouts.

Also, Bill Gleason will be out here in June, along the way to Australia - not quite the same as Dan, but he can give you some insight into what's going on.

Best,

Chris

An addition to my own post - we had five Australian Aikido instructors at the Oahu workshop this time, so Aussies should feel at home!

Best,

Chris

lrtomoleoni
12-14-2013, 09:16 AM
Dan Harden will be giving a seminar in Midwest USA on February 22-23. The dojo is located in Crystal Lake, IL. Please contact Dan at dojoseminars@gmail.com to register.

Chris Li
12-14-2013, 10:43 AM
Dan Harden will be giving a seminar in Midwest USA on February 22-23. The dojo is located in Crystal Lake, IL. Please contact Dan at dojoseminars@gmail.com to register.

Finally!

Don't miss this one - it took them almost two years to get it set up! :)

Best,

Chris

lrtomoleoni
12-17-2013, 08:52 AM
Finally!

Don't miss this one - it took them almost two years to get it set up! :)

Best,

Chris

Good things are worth waiting for!
Lisa

Zoe
12-19-2013, 08:50 AM
What I gather was a frequently asked question on Aikiweb by many nay sayer's was-
"Does internal power work in a fight and does it apply to Aikido ?"

After seeing Dan with many types of Martial artists and fighters including a BJJ champ and several MMA'ers
Yes, internal power and aiki work in a fight.

As for Aikido, what I found even more fascinating than the fighting stuff was the comment by Sensei Meyer Goo (a Tohei student and himself a MMA guy) who felt Osensei's power when he came to Hawaii.
He told Dan in an open room that he never thought he would feel Osensei's type of power again. He told Dan what he was doing and what he was revealing about Osensei's actual teaching was very important and not to stop no matter what people did or said.That's the second Aikido teacher I know who has felt Osensei and Dan and said what he is doing is what Osensei was doing. I think that is significant, at least for me as an Aikido student.

Having trained with Japanese Aikido Shihan who were supposed to know and teach it to us, being able to both witness and feel these things being done and then actually being taught how to do it has truly been fascinating. My conclusion for Aikido is;
Yes Internal power and aiki apply to Aikido.

The attachment is Dan in Hawaii taking apart an applied Triangle choke after it was set in place by an Mixed Martial artist.

jamie yugawa
12-19-2013, 10:17 AM
What I gather was a frequently asked question on Aikiweb by many nay sayer's was-
"Does internal power work in a fight and does it apply to Aikido ?"

After seeing Dan with many types of Martial artists and fighters including a BJJ champ and several MMA'ers
Yes, internal power and aiki work in a fight.

As for Aikido, what I found even more fascinating than the fighting stuff was the comment by Sensei Meyer Goo (a Tohei student and himself a MMA guy) who felt Osensei's power when he came to Hawaii.
He told Dan in an open room that he never thought he would feel Osensei's type of power again. He told Dan what he was doing and what he was revealing about Osensei's actual teaching was very important and not to stop no matter what people did or said.That's the second Aikido teacher I know who has felt Osensei and Dan and said what he is doing is what Osensei was doing. I think that is significant, at least for me as an Aikido student.

Having trained with Japanese Aikido Shihan who were supposed to know and teach it to us, being able to both witness and feel these things being done and then actually being taught how to do it has truly been fascinating. My conclusion for Aikido is;
Yes Internal power and aiki apply to Aikido.

The attachment is Dan in Hawaii taking apart an applied Triangle choke after it was set in place by an Mixed Martial artist.

Yeah I was there for both Kona seminars and witnessed Meyer Goo make those statements. Meyer Goo is not pushover either. The man in his 90's with a recent hip replacement is still a very capable deadly martial artist. He took ukemi from O Sensei and was a friend to Koichi Tohei Sensei. So he knows what Aikido is supposed to feel like. 'Real Aikido'. He is very honest about his opinions about martial arts and was quite critical of the Aikikai about their decisions. The man has seen live combat and fought in real fights. Meyer Sensei is a warrior. His validation of Dan confirmed to all of us that this is the true path O Sensei was on.

This past seminar we got to see the IP /Aiki body in several different applications. The effectiveness of using IP in different fight situations was quite astounding. There were applications of BJJ cokes and holds by an experienced martial artist on Dan to which he easily countered and escaped. They were set strong holds with full resistance. It made no difference.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-19-2013, 01:38 PM
After seeing Dan with many types of Martial artists and fighters including a BJJ champ and several MMA'ers
Yes, internal power and aiki work in a fight..
Does these people have names?

allowedcloud
12-19-2013, 02:30 PM
Does these people have names?

Just curious..if you had names, what would you do with them? Would you try to contact them?

jamie yugawa
12-19-2013, 02:35 PM
Does these people have names?

Well you know several of us here that attend Dan's seminars. Did you have a question about something in general?

There has been a name drop of Meyer Goo Sensei already. Is his validation not enough?

You know you could just take a leap of faith and attend a seminar to find out what its all about. That is if that door has not been closed for you already...

Demetrio Cereijo
12-19-2013, 02:54 PM
Just curious..if you had names, what would you do with them? Would you try to contact them?

Why not?

Well you know several of us here that attend Dan's seminars. Did you have a question about something in general?

How was the above mentioned 'fight' done? Under which rules/parameters/contact level those MMA'ers and BJJ champ fougth with Mr. Harden?

That is if that door has not been closed for you already...
Then I'll have to commit seppukku.

Budd
12-19-2013, 03:05 PM
Then I'll have to commit seppukku.

Best laugh of today. Thank you.

jamie yugawa
12-19-2013, 03:13 PM
Why not?

How was the above mentioned 'fight' done? Under which rules/parameters/contact level those MMA'ers and BJJ champ fougth with Mr. Harden?

Then I'll have to commit seppukku.

I dont have the names of the guys at that particular seminar. I am guessing it wasn't an officially sanctioned fight. What they most likely did was roll around with the BJJ guy trying to get an upper hand or chokes to no avail. I am just guessing that was the situation. We had a guy in Kona that was a mixed martial artist put Dan in several full strength triangles and arm bars to which Dan got out easily. We all were quite stunned. Of course this would make more sense if you could touch hands with him. You would understand completely. I understand completely how a second or third hand story can sound misleading or blown out of proportion. Also we dont have Dan here to clarify or defend himself anymore on the forum.

As far as the seppuku goes ....dont do it I heard it hurts a lot.....

Demetrio Cereijo
12-19-2013, 03:25 PM
Also we dont have Dan here to clarify or defend himself anymore on the forum.
Asking for info about what happened... a fight? a roll? a demo? is not attacking Dan.

As far as the seppuku goes ....dont do it I heard it hurts a lot.....
Thanks for the advice, I was already rolling the frisbee.

Dazaifoo
12-19-2013, 04:03 PM
Keep in mind that there are those who don't wish to have their names put on the web without their foreknowledge. Think of it as merely a courtesy and not some attempt at bragging about an unverifiable event. Meyer Goo, a man of some skill an reputation mind you, has given a personal endorsement. That is not something to be quickly glanced over.

Looking at your website, howdoarmbar, the first video I see is Ki Master Meets Skeptics. I sense now a source for your initial skepticism. What the man in your video is doing is not IP, not even close.

Tell you what. Public offer, right now. It's Christmas, I'm feeling generous (X-mas bonuses do that to a fellow) and honestly I believe you need to feel this stuff for real. I see from your profile that you live in Spain, so most of Europe I assume will be in reach for you. I will pay for a seminar with Dan Harden for you. You cover all transportation and hoteling, food etc (I'm not feeling that generous!) and I will pay for you to feel what this guy has to offer. PM me and I'll see about Western Unioning you the funds. Deal?

Honest Injun, I'll be your pal on this. Let me do this for you.

jamie yugawa
12-19-2013, 07:32 PM
Asking for info about what happened... a fight? a roll? a demo? is not attacking Dan.



Well there are people out there who train with Dan openly and have no problem with that. Others may have issues with political or personal conflicts in openly stating they are training in this methodology. The group they are affiliated with may disapprove. We all know of the disharmony just within the Aikido world.

As far as the BJJ champion is concerned, do you really think a professional athlete, who makes their living on winning fights would want to openly reveal their "Secret training method" to the world?? I think not.

You also have some willing to put money up to show you whats its all about. That's how compelling the training is. We all came to meet Dan with an open mind. What ever doubts there were previously were wiped out from the first contact. To quote William Gleason Sensei "This IS Aikido".

Aikibu
12-19-2013, 09:30 PM
Some can Doubt all they want... Question it ad infinitum....I did and found out when I experianced it for myself that I was a ignorant fool.

I have felt it and and not one Martial Artist in my 35 years of experience has/had the kind of Aiki Mr. Harden has...

So much so that I personally find it pointless to practice any kind of Waza without trying to learn and implement what he has shown me.

It's not magic either. Mr. Harden with explicit detail explains, demonstrates, and then teaches exactly how to achieve aiki.

Dear old Stan was right. :)

So I suggest that if you are serious about understanding and practicing Aikido the way O' Sensei taught it (and by extension Sokaku Takeda and Sugawa Shihan) with the power of "Heaven and Earth" (now that I truly know what that means :) ) and preserve the legacy of AIKI-do to pass on to your students...Drop the rock and show up to a seminar. Show Respect, Keep an Open Mind, and you too just may experience the real reason why you got into Aikido in the first place. :)

"Practice Hard" now has a whole new meaning for me.

William Hazen

Demetrio Cereijo
12-20-2013, 06:53 AM
Keep in mind that there are those who don't wish to have their names put on the web without their foreknowledge. Think of it as merely a courtesy and not some attempt at bragging about an unverifiable event.
Then these people who are undoubtly in their right to remain anonymous should not be used by third parties to endorse Mr. Harden skills, especially when claims of 'fighting' are done. IMO, of course.

Meyer Goo, a man of some skill an reputation mind you, has given a personal endorsement. That is not something to be quickly glanced over.
And thats good to me.

Looking at your website, howdoarmbar, the first video I see is Ki Master Meets Skeptics. I sense now a source for your initial skepticism. What the man in your video is doing is not IP, not even close.
The source of my skepticism is sourced way back than this. Also I never stated this EFO guys are doing IP.

Tell you what. Public offer, right now. It's Christmas, I'm feeling generous (X-mas bonuses do that to a fellow) and honestly I believe you need to feel this stuff for real. I see from your profile that you live in Spain, so most of Europe I assume will be in reach for you. I will pay for a seminar with Dan Harden for you. You cover all transportation and hoteling, food etc (I'm not feeling that generous!) and I will pay for you to feel what this guy has to offer. PM me and I'll see about Western Unioning you the funds. Deal?

Honest Injun, I'll be your pal on this. Let me do this for you.
Thanks for the offer. I'll consider it seriously.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-20-2013, 07:07 AM
Well there are people out there who train with Dan openly and have no problem with that. Others may have issues with political or personal conflicts in openly stating they are training in this methodology. The group they are affiliated with may disapprove. We all know of the disharmony just within the Aikido world.

Well, I am completely unaffiliated and do not remeber having a personal conflict with Mr. Harden (unless divergences of opinion count as 'personal conflict). So my skepticism about what people says about Mr. Harden fighting feats is not related to aikido politics, bussiness or personal issues.

As far as the BJJ champion is concerned, do you really think a professional athlete, who makes their living on winning fights would want to openly reveal their "Secret training method" to the world?? I think not.
First he has to be a real BJJ champion. Champion of what... State? Pan-Ams? Mundials? Rank, weight class and age are relevant data to determine what kind of BJJ champion is he and how this "secret training method" has made him a champion.

You also have some willing to put money up to show you whats its all about. That's how compelling the training is. We all came to meet Dan with an open mind. What ever doubts there were previously were wiped out from the first contact. To quote William Gleason Sensei "This IS Aikido".
This is not about if "This IS Aikido", this is about Zoe's claims about Mr. Harden fighting high level athletes.

allowedcloud
12-20-2013, 09:44 AM
This is not about if "This IS Aikido", this is about Zoe's claims about Mr. Harden fighting high level athletes.

Let's please discuss the training model and skills as referenced in the OP, decoupled from the personalities involved - particulary when the person(s) involved are unable to post here to defend themselves.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-20-2013, 10:08 AM
the person(s) involved are unable to post here to defend themselves.
Are the person(s) involved being attacked? How so?

The only person who could be considered as being attacked is Zoe. Has she been banned?

jamie yugawa
12-20-2013, 10:21 AM
Demetrio, I think you misinterpreted my post about the "openly training methodology" part. I was not referring your background or affiliation. I was referring to the "high level athletes" we are discussing that rolled with Dan. They may want to remain anonymous for several reasons. I and others dont know them personally or witnessed the training so we are hearing a second hand story. Why would I believe a second hand story? The reason is simple. I have seen first hand what Dan can do, My validation is simple.
I have felt it.
I have seen it.
Others have also. You dont have that unfortunately. So I understand your skepticism. Change that aspect. Come over and hang out at a seminar. Come to Hawaii. I would love to meet you. We can train and hang out. I will buy you a Mai Tai and we will dance hula on the beach. I am serious. :)

In all honestly,,,Do not deny yourself the opportunity to change and enlighten your view on Budo.

I know that part of the skepticism is curiosity, It is the factor that brought us all here in the first place. Ask yourself honestly "Why are all of these people hanging around this Dan guy?" There has to be a valid reason right?

As far as the names issue, does that really matter? Honestly. Names, ranks, trophies, belts. They all in the long run dont matter. If I suddenly stated that an Olympic gold medalist wrestling guy or the Abu Dhabi champ were training with Dan suddenly this would validate him? If I posted their names everywhere, is this the validation you and others need to ease your skepticism? Think about that..... No really.... .Think about it.

If that's what you need...... perhaps this is not the path for you.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-20-2013, 10:31 AM
Ask yourself honestly "Why are all of these people hanging around this Dan guy?" There has to be a valid reason right?
Because he is very good at what he does while many of these people who now adore him have spent most of their martial arts lives believing they were awesome but, in reality, they sucked?.

If that's what you need...... perhaps this is not the path for you.
Perhaps.

jamie yugawa
12-20-2013, 10:47 AM
Because he is very good at what he does while many of these people who now adore him have spent most of their martial arts lives believing they were awesome but, in reality, they sucked?.
Yeah you are absolutely right on that idea!!

Aikido shihans 7th and 6th dans, BJJ black belts, Wrestling champs, the list goes on and on. You are absolutely right.

We all suck!

There was a name drop earlier in the thread that was deleted I think. This guy is a well known high ranking Aikido BJJ guy. I am not sure if you saw that name but I didn't think he sucks....but I guess he does..just like the rest of us...

And no...unfortunately I am not going to name drop any of these guys.


Perhaps.


Well so much for trying. Good luck with your training Demetrio!! Mahalo!!

Lee Salzman
12-20-2013, 11:05 AM
Well, I am completely unaffiliated and do not remeber having a personal conflict with Mr. Harden (unless divergences of opinion count as 'personal conflict). So my skepticism about what people says about Mr. Harden fighting feats is not related to aikido politics, bussiness or personal issues.

First he has to be a real BJJ champion. Champion of what... State? Pan-Ams? Mundials? Rank, weight class and age are relevant data to determine what kind of BJJ champion is he and how this "secret training method" has made him a champion.

This is not about if "This IS Aikido", this is about Zoe's claims about Mr. Harden fighting high level athletes.

Was the choice of word risque, regardless of the truth of the matter? Yes, yes it was. Did you make your point? Yes. But moving on, if you want to just believe it was Joe-Schmoe-BJJ-Beginner if it will make you drop it, then just imagine it was that...

There are two separate issues here that need to be separated: 1) does the person know how to fight a BJJer, even without IP? and 2) can IP be used as an additive/enhancer to that skill?

The first part, that's uninteresting, and there are a lot of good BJJ guys, without IP. IP alone can't and won't allow you to stand against a grappler. Period. End of story. Nobody will ever debate this, not even the dudes who are teaching you IP. So even if some IP teacher could beat or stalemate another grappler, I would only really care about him doing it if he could explicitly show/explain how IP was used to do it, and why it is expedient for the scenario where it was used versus some other more common way of dealing with it...

Thus, the second part, that's a far more interesting question, about the ways a skilled aikidoka or grappler can incorporate IP into their methodology to better deal with other grapplers. Being able to neutralize pushes, pulls, shoots, sweeps, and other forms of throws or kuzushi without having to move to adjust, and in the process, getting kuzushi on the guy trying to do it to you in the first place. Being able to neutralize or unwind locks without having to use overt movements or diversion tactics either. Being able to deliver power from the ground even when ribs/hips are pinned flat. Making your own kuzushi harder to feel or track.

That's just some uses, there are probably lots more. Is stuff like that useful against another grappler and have the potential to take anyone's game to a new level? Hell yes. But do you still need to be a good grappler, independent of IP, to deliver that stuff in realistic grappling situations and will you get shut down if you're just good at IP and not grappling? Also hell yes.

And this gets back to the original post, that it doesn't negate the validity of martial systems you have already learned, but it adds depth via a venue that many of us did not previously have a way to explore simply because we did not know of it. There are plenty of ways to compensate for a lack of IP, and many martial artists are very good at it, but you can also use IP to tackle some of those problems as well.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-20-2013, 12:55 PM
Was the choice of word risque, regardless of the truth of the matter? Yes, yes it was. Did you make your point? Yes. But moving on, if you want to just believe it was Joe-Schmoe-BJJ-Beginner if it will make you drop it, then just imagine it was that...
So you think I'd be satisfied by exchanging an exaggeration for a lie?

Given some time we will start to read stories abot Mr. Harden and the firing squad, Mr Harden jumping like a movie ninja and the like.

Does he needs that?

jonreading
12-20-2013, 01:01 PM
Honest opinion: I learned more about Aikido this past weekend than I have in all of my 23 years of practice. Being given access to this training model is simply transcendental. There is no other way to say it, this is Takemusu Aikido. And, it DOES NOT negate that which I already know, it does not negate the legacy of Saito Sensei and my years in the Iwama tradition, in fact it illuminates all of it in such a way as to show us how we should be training. This is the power we've been seeking for years but could never achieve, no matter how hard we pushed ourselves in training or how much sciatic nerve crushing ukemi we took. IP is everything we got into Aikido for in the first place, it can be supremely soft and just stunningly devastating in the same moment. To put it another way, "This. F***ing. Rules!"

I think its tough to post about an experience that changes the way you view aikido. You're admitting your perspective changed, you're implying the new perspective is better than the old (which some people still hold). You're not yet adequately informed to truly explain what is going on, so your excited ramblings are incomplete at best and incoherent at worst. Then you have the criticism that basically either calls you a liar or a fool. Or both. I find myself commenting more about the courage behind the posts when I read them.

Did everyone watch you go through the stages of grief? Dan laughed at me because my face showed this realization. I am glad that you had a great experience. We're getting ready for the man to head South in January.

As a bit of thread drift that these conversations always tend to go... Aiki as a concept is teachable, reproduce-able, and demonstrable. Gleason Sensei is a great choice if you want to stay more aikido-ish. So is Ledyard sensei. I don't think anyone is making claims any more unreal than what we regularly accept in aikido. When was the last time we read a post when someone claimed to have self-defense experience, to which a user replied, "well, unless you have documented proof of you fighting (fill in the blank), then I believe not only that you are a liar, but you also are not doing aikido."

If you do not want to participate in this investigative process, then don't. Lee made a great comment that aiki methodology does not negate the validity of other training styles. I agree. Personally, there are several methods of teaching with which I do not agree. I do not post about them because I have no interest in whether they do or do not work - they are not going to help me find the aikido I want to perform.

We regularly practice IP in osae waza. It helps. Until you use IP to escape (thanks Hugh, I'm lookin' at you). We regularly use IP in aikido. It helps. It is a constant work in progress because we are so poor at creating a unified body that we have to practice. No rituals. No excommunications. No hunting down humans like they were animals as part of a sick sport... yet.

Kevin Leavitt
12-20-2013, 03:23 PM
Lee and Jon, thanks so much for your comments. I am hoping one day to get on the Mat with Dan. I would have this year if his trip to Germany had not been cancelled!

Its good to hear so many people are getting so much out of there experiences with Dan!

Kevin Leavitt
12-20-2013, 03:36 PM
Demetrio,

I agree there are a few star struck zealots out there with some unrealistic expectations about what training will do for them. Consider their base of training, what the know prior to training and their paradigms. They are not really competent enough to say what is what when it applies to fighting or combatives. They are only extrapolating what they feel is possible.

However, there are also some people that train with Dan that I have a lot of respect for and that I have personally trained with that do know what they are talking about and their assessments are consistent and reasonable.

I cannot comment on integration of Dan's IP/IS since I have not experienced it. I have high hopes that he will be able to shed some light on my understanding of things. When I do get with Dan, I will most certainly provide an honest assessment of my opinions!

I can tell you that Dan has been more than willing to get with me, we just have not been able to be in the same town for the past couple of years for many reasons!

The IS/IP training I have experienced, what limited exposure I have had, has been useful and I certainly would not categorize it has a waste of time albeit, I also did not go out and abandon my training either as some have done!

Dan has been clear that it is not a replacement for your training and that what you do with it will be an individual thing.

That said, I can also certainly understand your skepticism and critique. You know I share many of the same issues and concerns!

Demetrio Cereijo
12-20-2013, 04:01 PM
there are also some people that train with Dan that I have a lot of respect for .... that do know what they are talking about and their assessments are consistent and reasonable.
I know . I respect them too and have no probem with them.

That said, I can also certainly understand your skepticism and critique. You know I share many of the same issues and concerns!
But I am not criticizing Dan, or downplaying his skills or saying IP is not useful... What irks me is people who feels the need of being 'dishonest', telling aggrandised tales about him and, when called out for spewing bs, they go all crazy and say their master is being attacked.

What kind of grown adults behave like this, seriously?

Kevin Leavitt
12-20-2013, 04:40 PM
agreed Demetrio! I think if you've spent 20 plus years doing something wrong and someone comes in and shows you what right looks like...it hits you like a lightening bolt. From there it must appear that everything is possible. I think you begin to extrapolate how awesome this must be and how it must transfer to everything in the most amazing way!

Dazaifoo
12-20-2013, 04:43 PM
What irks me is people who feels the need of being 'dishonest', telling aggrandised tales about him and, when called out for spewing bs, they go all crazy and say their master is being attacked.

My master, oh ko! This ain't about Dan! That troglodyte couldn't find up if you rolled him on his back. And the old man feet, good grief! Ultimately it's about what this stuff can do, the potential it can unlock in a person.

The one commonality in all these so-called dishonest aggrandized tales and bs spewing that you claim: Those people were there. Look at post histories, look at the adaptation rate. The only people who call bs are those who have not gone to a seminar! You have a chance to make an informed statement on this, that's honesty friend.

Free seminar. Please do it. You will love it.

Peter Goldsbury
12-20-2013, 06:24 PM
My master, oh ko! This ain't about Dan! ... Ultimately it's about what this stuff can do, the potential it can unlock in a person.



Hello Mr Burke,

With respect, I disagree. I have felt 'this stuff' from others (not from Mr Harden) and I have no doubts about the 'potential it can unlock in a person,' as you put it. However, much of the recent discussion concerns a specific statement made in Post #15, about 'many types of martial artists and fighters including a BJJ champ and several MMA-ers.' I should add that I think the questions asked by Demetrio Cereijo were quite reasonable.

In an effort to bring the thread back on track, I would like to ask you a question. The question is a restatement of the question asked by Lee Salzman in Post #2 and your answer in Post #3. You discussed the riai of your school and mentioned that the three methods as practiced were insufficient:

"for developing the type of dantien necessary for creating IP and manifesting Yin and Yang in the body. Without such a properly developed dantien, there can be no Aiki, the manifestation of Yin and Yang (or In and Yo if you prefer) from any point of contact. Additionally, there is no framework for the development of intent, which really is the heart of the matter and the true driver of all of these endeavors"
.
Was this because Saito Morihiro did not teach this? Was it because he taught it, but you could not 'see' it? Was it something that you had to 'steal', as Morihei Ueshiba also seems to have required his students to do?

I knew Saito Shihan and the seminars I attended were mainly around the time he was writing the books you mention and a supplementary question concerns these volumes, which, as you know, were translated by William Witt, Kyoichiro Nunokawa and Dennis N Tatoian, who presumably were his students. Are there any other places where you think the English translation is inaccurate or unsatisfactory, or the Japanese text is obscure?

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury

Aikibu
12-20-2013, 06:26 PM
I know . I respect them too and have no probem with them.

But I am not criticizing Dan, or downplaying his skills or saying IP is not useful... What irks me is people who feels the need of being 'dishonest', telling aggrandised tales about him and, when called out for spewing bs, they go all crazy and say their master is being attacked.

What kind of grown adults behave like this, seriously?

Can you be more specific about who is being dishonest or exaggerating? How about someone who "went crazy" over their "master" being attacked? I can't seem to find any post that matches your "observation". :)

William Hazen

Dazaifoo
12-20-2013, 08:11 PM
Hello Mr Burke,

With respect, I disagree. I have felt 'this stuff' from others (not from Mr Harden) and I have no doubts about the 'potential it can unlock in a person,' as you put it. However, much of the recent discussion concerns a specific statement made in Post #15, about 'many types of martial artists and fighters including a BJJ champ and several MMA-ers.' I should add that I think the questions asked by Demetrio Cereijo were quite reasonable.

In an effort to bring the thread back on track, I would like to ask you a question. The question is a restatement of the question asked by Lee Salzman in Post #2 and your answer in Post #3. You discussed the riai of your school and mentioned that the three methods as practiced were insufficient:

"for developing the type of dantien necessary for creating IP and manifesting Yin and Yang in the body. Without such a properly developed dantien, there can be no Aiki, the manifestation of Yin and Yang (or In and Yo if you prefer) from any point of contact. Additionally, there is no framework for the development of intent, which really is the heart of the matter and the true driver of all of these endeavors"
.
Was this because Saito Morihiro did not teach this? Was it because he taught it, but you could not 'see' it? Was it something that you had to 'steal', as Morihei Ueshiba also seems to have required his students to do?

I knew Saito Shihan and the seminars I attended were mainly around the time he was writing the books you mention and a supplementary question concerns these volumes, which, as you know, were translated by William Witt, Kyoichiro Nunokawa and Dennis N Tatoian, who presumably were his students. Are there any other places where you think the English translation is inaccurate or unsatisfactory, or the Japanese text is obscure?

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury

I too think that Demetrio's questions are quite reasonable and can be answered very easily by asking Mr. Harden in person, something I'm trying to arrange.

As far as I and everybody else knows Saito Sensei taught everything that he knew openly through the waza and weapons work (unless there was a super double secret inner circle which I know nothing about). Of course I could have missed something I was intended to steal. I think the greater point here is why spend decades trying to steal something when you can be instructed directly. Now that I've received such instruction I can look back at what I have learned and see just how inefficient stealing is as a learning structure. Who cares if it's supposedly traditional, it is a bad way to learn. Period.

The risk that "stealing knowledge" runs is that as time marches on, the outside form of practice focuses to what works in the immediate. Who can notice the subtle lessons when we're all instructed as uke to grab harder, attack harder, go full out! Soon, we learn that the beefiest and strongest of us can't be moved, therefore their way is the way. Upper body strength, wrenching joints, those rule the day. It is happening now, I've felt that too. We may disagree on that point, and that's fine.

As for the books, I find the English translations to be generally good but spotty throughout. Clunky turns of phrase that cause the reader to skip ahead and consider the really important material gibberish. I've heard it from too many people, that all the Fire, Water, In Yo stuff is just the old man rambling. Just grab someone and do nikkyo! Having been instructed in what Fire and Water represent, what Heaven, Earth, Man means and how they are used in a training model, I'm glad I don't have to make uneducated guesses based off of wonky text anymore. Perhaps what is needed is less a re-translation and more an accompanying commentary. Otherwise we're left with a chunk of dead space that gets flipped past so that we can see the cool pictures and say, wow Hitohiro looked so young!

I only met Saito once. Sweet man, very sleepy at the time. Jet lag. This would be 94 or 95 if my memory serves. My fondest memory was of watching him yawn while all the seminar participants practiced their techniques, ki-ais echoing everywhere. I watched him do something curious, he put his forearm against a support beam and opened his hand, curling it in kokyu. He matched the movement with his opposite hand. Kokyu, he would later say. Use kokyu when you perform techniques. Sadly I never got hands on with him, I was a lowly 5th kyu and there was an invisible velvet rope between me and Sensei. My older brother did, he was an ichi deshi for several months. He told me that when he grabbed Saito it felt like slipping on ice.

For years later, all the teachers I knew would say the same thing, use kokyu. Kokyu ryoku, arms out, techniques with breath power. 19 years I did that. Witt Sensei too, (awesome guy BTW, highly recommended) I've grabbed him, he turned his hands. Kokyu, very powerful stuff. Never felt the ice though.

Until I met Mr. Harden. For all that time, up until that meeting, what I felt and what I thought I was doing. That was not kokyu. Subtle mechanical levering, yes, but not kokyu-ho. Mr. Harden demonstrated this for me and explained it to me, and most importantly I didn't have to spend half my life trying to steal it. I guess I could have gone on another 20 years or so, name checking all the teachers I knew over the course of my life and turning my hand and waxing on about, oh who knows what. Or I could just get someone to teach it to me. For real.

And there it is.

Aikibu
12-20-2013, 09:20 PM
I too think that Demetrio's questions are quite reasonable and can be answered very easily by asking Mr. Harden in person, something I'm trying to arrange.
Until I met Mr. Harden. For all that time, up until that meeting, what I felt and what I thought I was doing. That was not kokyu. Subtle mechanical levering, yes, but not kokyu-ho. Mr. Harden demonstrated this for me and explained it to me, and most importantly I didn't have to spend half my life trying to steal it. I guess I could have gone on another 20 years or so, name checking all the teachers I knew over the course of my life and turning my hand and waxing on about, oh who knows what. Or I could just get someone to teach it to me. For real.

And there it is.

That is my experience as well. I have "felt it" before. Oyata Sensei had it among others I have felt. But just not to Dan's degree or understanding. and he's not the only one. Akusawa recently came here and he's on the "Aiki" path. If I have a complaint then it's like the pot calling the kettle black because I used to be one of the "complainers". Having met Dan.. I am not any more.

As someone has already said... We all suck... :)

Some have a hard time with that. Some see it as an opportunity to go beyond Waza and experience (someday with hard practice) what O' Sensei was talking about.

Dan makes that choice an easy one. You don't have to "steal" anything from him. :)

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
12-21-2013, 02:23 AM
Can you be more specific about who is being dishonest or exaggerating? How about someone who "went crazy" over their "master" being attacked? I can't seem to find any post that matches your "observation". :)

William Hazen

I won't speak for Demetrio, and I will also not name people as I don't see how that contributes to a productive conversation about a 5 year olds level.

However, if the shoe fits wear it.

Here is the issue. It is all dealing with inference. It is something we all need to be careful of, IMO. First, we need to all realize that we are unwillingly bound by own experiences. Whatever they may be. These experiences limit our ability to see things clearly and for what they really are.

When we are presented with new information or experiences that do not confirm our past ones, we will experience dissonance. Yes, even if it is something that we WANT to experience, such as the case is with IS. Many have wanted that experience for years, but sounds like until Dan arrived, that they did not experience on the level that was acceptable or that was reproducible.

So, I think the biggest step is to recognize this in yourself. So, I have no problem with some one stating "I've studied Aikido for 20 years, and this stuff works and affects my actions in this way". A very precise and constructive statement that we can form an intelligent conversation around.

To do anything other than that is complete conjecture, theory, and really only a hypothesis. What Demetrio calls "dishonest and exaggeration". Which really that is what it is. You are being dishonest AND you ARE exaggerating as you are commenting on something that is outside of your area of experiences.

So, you could observe Dan pass a Triangle Pass of a "BJJer". That in a one time observation and yes you can form a hypothesis around that event that says, "Hey I think this has some use in BJJ." However, if you don't do BJJ, or you do not see a repeat study, then you cannot conclude that it is now gospel. In Mr Goldsbury's World, they have something called "Peer Review" for a reason, and we have not seen that.

What we do have is limited vignettes with various people, most of which remain "unnamed", who's skill level we cannot ascertain, that participate in one seminar, that do not talk bout their experiences.

This does not help us. It does not give constructive feedback and it does not allow for productive conversations. It is simply testimony mostly by people that frankly are outside of their area of expertise if you ask me.

I can understand the phenomenon. The Aikido community is ripe for the picking. Most of us, myself included, were attracted to this art based on a promise of "something different" than the ordinary. We were promised insights, a better way to martially do stuff, internal strength, spirituality, etc, etc. In doing so, we were required to set aside our paradigms and the past experiences in order to open up to this.

It is necessary for us to do this in order to grow. However, we must not set aside everything, and we must not once again turn over wholesale our body of critical thought and mind. I think we should also be willing to find new measures maybe at the same time. It is a lot to retool. If you return to the old ways of measuring things, you will get stuck in the same old rut, except you have new ways of doing that!

So, if you say it will work in BJJ, you'd damn well better be a BJJ, and I don't mean a blue or even a purple belt. Your lineage had better be clear. I want to see your tournament record, and I want to see film of you doing something different against a comparable BJJer. That IMO constitutes Peer review.

If you can't then don't talk about it. Just don't talk about it. It doesn't do anybody any good!

If you say it works in fighting, well then I want to see how you do that as well...same type of peer review.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-21-2013, 04:56 AM
I won't speak for Demetrio
But you have expressed what I was trying to convey better than I am able to. Thanks.

That said, lets go back on track. I can wait for Mr Harden to confirn, deny or ellaborate on post #15 statement when (and if) we meet in person.

Keith Larman
12-21-2013, 09:39 AM
Just fwiw... I get where everyone is coming from here. Whenever people start dropping the "this works against..." you always have to consider the source and should remain skeptical. I've been to seminars and I've seen guys who in my years cross training have struck me as quite intense and well trained in a variety of arts find it difficult to deal with guys like Dan. I have little question about the value of the stuff having done those varieties of arts, but I never got past mid-level BJJ myself (a spinal issue and getting older sucks) myself. And my judo was a few years as a young man, also still in the mid ranks. And then dabbling in a variety of other arts. But it always ends up with "do I really know, do I really understand, do I really have a valid point of reference?" And it is really hard to make that claim in a sort of academic way.

So... I think folk like Demetrio are perfectly justified in asking the questions. But honestly, my experience directly in working with Dan is like trying to throw a brick building. Or a Buick. But who knows -- I could be deluded as well. So what I tell folk myself is get hands-on yourself. And try what you want to try. And push it. And see how it goes. And frankly I love to watch that stuff. So far I've been going back to Dan since what I've seen has been confirmation that there's something there. But I also have no illusions about strength, training, youth, etc. all being powerful stuff that upset the apple cart. Hell, I'm in my fifties. And Dan is as well. And it sucks getting old.

Anyway I guess I'm just rambling at this point. I watch these discussions with some degree of amusement. They've happened before and so far most who've taken the step of hitting a seminar (myself included) end up saying "well, that's some stuff I can use". It ain't magic. It ain't easy. But I'm under no illusion that it's the only way or even the best way for everyone. And frankly I've never heard Dan, even on his most bombastic times say it's the best way for everyone. Sure, he believes in what he's doing just as it is quite clear that Demetrio feels the same way about his own approach.

Anyway, open mind, get on the mat, train and "ask" your questions with hands crossed. I really don't see further discussion of this same stuff resolving anything because, well, IHTBF. Sorry. But frankly the same is true in my experience in BJJ. And Judo. Good judo. And frankly I see tons of overlap. And *for me*, I'd rather continue going out side my own world and seeing what other folk do. And get my ass handed to me now and again. And in going out I also find where I am with others in the workshops and get a reality check on my own advancement -- no super magic "he's my sensei so down I go" powers work there...

Have a wonderful day, folks. And a sincere wish to all for a wonderful holiday season. Hug the spouses, hug the kids, hug the family, hug the friends, and put on the best rear naked choke you can on your training partner... :)

Kevin Leavitt
12-21-2013, 10:30 AM
Thanks as always Keith! nice words!

Aikibu
12-21-2013, 01:34 PM
I won't speak for Demetrio, and I will also not name people as I don't see how that contributes to a productive conversation about a 5 year olds level.

However, if the shoe fits wear it.
In Mr Goldsbury's World, they have something called "Peer Review" for a reason, and we have not seen that.

.

Look Kevin...Again I have nothing personal with Demetrio. He makes good points, the same questions I've asked. And I didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday. I work in a field that requires "Peer Reviews" at every stage of the process. ( EW Development for the NAVY... yes I am a nerd. :) ) And yes my 35+ (or 40 I can't remember LOL ) years of experience counts for something. But it is still just my experience. If that has taught me anything it is that I should be sceptical of any claim of Martial Prowess on the internet.

So in answer to that statement who is we? You and a few others? Well...Simple...Bring the best BJJ person you know to Dan's next Seminar in your area. Make sure they have an open mind, and get your questions answered in less than a couple of minutes.

He's coming out in March and I am inviting Top Level Instructors in BJJ, MMA, Bagua, Boxing (yes Dan works with Boxers), Kung Fu San Soo, and various Aikido practices. That's what Dan wants. He's stated that he wants Top Level people at his workshops not just us "little people" (LOL) so that they can see the value and benefit of what he teaches, and hopefully his practice will spread through them to their students.

In the meantime... Suggesting that we have some kind of "Peer Review" process every time someone posts a personal experience is not the solution.; As my friend Ellis says (he coined the phrase for me IMHO) "It Had to be Felt".

Sua Sponte Sir and HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all. :)

WIlliam Hazen

Chris Li
12-21-2013, 03:23 PM
Posted some photos from the workshop (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/gallery/index/category/20-dan_harden_in_hawaii_december_2013) - more photos still to come...

Best,

Chris

Demetrio Cereijo
12-21-2013, 03:45 PM
Thanks Chris. Very illustrative.

Chris Li
12-22-2013, 08:42 PM
Posted some photos from the workshop (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/gallery/index/category/20-dan_harden_in_hawaii_december_2013) - more photos still to come...


Courtesy of Mert Gambito - added a few more photos to the workshop gallery.
(http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/gallery/index/category/20-dan_harden_in_hawaii_december_2013)
Best,

Chris

Bernd Lehnen
12-23-2013, 10:29 AM
Courtesy of Mert Gambito - added a few more photos to the workshop gallery.
(http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/gallery/index/category/20-dan_harden_in_hawaii_december_2013)
Best,

Chris

Thank you, Chris.
You're not a bunch of weaklings over there and I guess Dan has a lot of fun with you guys.
And then, don't forget, it's Hawaii.

The most interesting question for me now would be how you all over there have felt to the OP, the newbee, Mr. Scott Burke from Australia, who calls himself a longtime "Iwamaniac", and how he felt to you because you lucky people at wonderful Oahu now have at least two years of internal training below your belts….

I for one know from experience that "Iwamaniacs" tend to be quite strong aikidoka and he hasn't said a word about how you felt to him so far.

In other words, I 'd like to hear about your progress compared to the time before your first "D-day" .:)

Meyer Goo is my hero.

Best,
Bernd

Dazaifoo
12-23-2013, 07:43 PM
Thank you, Chris.
You're not a bunch of weaklings over there and I guess Dan has a lot of fun with you guys.
And then, don't forget, it's Hawaii.

The most interesting question for me now would be how you all over there have felt to the OP, the newbee, Mr. Scott Burke from Australia, who calls himself a longtime "Iwamaniac", and how he felt to you because you lucky people at wonderful Oahu now have at least two years of internal training below your belts….

I for one know from experience that "Iwamaniacs" tend to be quite strong aikidoka and he hasn't said a word about how you felt to him so far.

In other words, I 'd like to hear about your progress compared to the time before your first "D-day" .:)

Meyer Goo is my hero.

Best,
Bernd

Ah! Good question.

Well of course, they all suck. But boy they suck way better than I do! I had hands on with Chris and Mert the first night doing push tests. I started out with Mert, he's the kind of guy you'd hear described as a "delightful chap" in a Christmas novel. He was very stable in unstable positions against a push and was able to explain what he was doing when he was doing it. For example, he crossed one foot, ankle over the other so he was basically one footed, you could say that one foot was resting on top of the other. I gave a firm push and he remained stable. His arms were up and out to his sides during this. He was not touching me with his hands. Did a double take on that.

As for Christopher Li, well being the White Wizard and a Dark Lord of the Sith (wrong Christopher Lee!) he demonstrated a high degree of stability against pushes as well. On one push against Chris I actually skidded backwards (Note, I am 6 feet 5 1/2 inches tall, abt 250 pounds give or take) a little, though I'll admit the rain may have helped a little with that.

One constant with all of the Hawaii folks that I trained with was that there was no sense of "push back" during any of the stability tests, since the object of the exercise was to "split force". They all maintained a relaxed disposition against different pushes. This is an important point, one of the more difficult things for me to work through during the weekend was ignoring pressure at the point of contact, whether it be a grab or a push. This is harder than you'd think, especially at very slow speeds with constant pressure.

For the second day I had chances to work in with several other of the Oahu crew to similar effect. I'm shamefully terrible with names so I apologize to the good folks there. Except Henry. (Ho ho, hee hee) Everyone knew and could perform the exercises very well, always with that deep stability and no pushback. Feeling the instructor's stability and what he could do to manipulate incoming force led me to conclude that yes indeed they were on the path to learning something reproducible.

The third day it was newbies with newbies working on basics and the Oahu guys (I guess I could fairly call them the intermediate students) working together on different exercises and some fighting applications. So no hands on with them on the third day but they were definitely moving on to more advanced things as a group.

As to how I felt to them, guarantee you two words: I suck.

(OH, almost forgot! I'm not an Aussie but an American living in Southern Japan. The Aussies were nice folks too)

NekVTAikido
12-23-2013, 09:09 PM
Dan Harden will be giving a seminar in Midwest USA on February 22-23. The dojo is located in Crystal Lake, IL. Please contact Dan at dojoseminars@gmail.com to register.

Lisa and her students have been absolutely fantastic to train with the the time I have visited. This should be a great seminar!

Bernd Lehnen
12-24-2013, 06:06 AM
Ah! Good question.

Well of course, they all suck. But boy they suck way better than I do! I had hands on with Chris and Mert the first night doing push tests. I started out with Mert, he's the kind of guy you'd hear described as a "delightful chap" in a Christmas novel. He was very stable in unstable positions against a push and was able to explain what he was doing when he was doing it. For example, he crossed one foot, ankle over the other so he was basically one footed, you could say that one foot was resting on top of the other. I gave a firm push and he remained stable. His arms were up and out to his sides during this. He was not touching me with his hands. Did a double take on that.

As for Christopher Li, well being the White Wizard and a Dark Lord of the Sith (wrong Christopher Lee!) he demonstrated a high degree of stability against pushes as well. On one push against Chris I actually skidded backwards (Note, I am 6 feet 5 1/2 inches tall, abt 250 pounds give or take) a little, though I'll admit the rain may have helped a little with that.

One constant with all of the Hawaii folks that I trained with was that there was no sense of "push back" during any of the stability tests, since the object of the exercise was to "split force". They all maintained a relaxed disposition against different pushes. This is an important point, one of the more difficult things for me to work through during the weekend was ignoring pressure at the point of contact, whether it be a grab or a push. This is harder than you'd think, especially at very slow speeds with constant pressure.

For the second day I had chances to work in with several other of the Oahu crew to similar effect. I'm shamefully terrible with names so I apologize to the good folks there. Except Henry. (Ho ho, hee hee) Everyone knew and could perform the exercises very well, always with that deep stability and no pushback. Feeling the instructor's stability and what he could do to manipulate incoming force led me to conclude that yes indeed they were on the path to learning something reproducible.

The third day it was newbies with newbies working on basics and the Oahu guys (I guess I could fairly call them the intermediate students) working together on different exercises and some fighting applications. So no hands on with them on the third day but they were definitely moving on to more advanced things as a group.

As to how I felt to them, guarantee you two words: I suck.

(OH, almost forgot! I'm not an Aussie but an American living in Southern Japan. The Aussies were nice folks too)

Thank you Scott,
very much appreciated.:)

In my book, you're one of the rare guys who has the guts to share not only his enthusiasm but also his experience and stand for it.
After reading this post of yours and having a second close look at everything else you have written about this event so far, the photos Chris and Mert have provided clearly begin to speak to me for themselves.
Sucking this way isn't a bad thing at all.

My sincere apologies for taking you for an Aussie, don't know where I got this from, but I'm sure they would be proud to count you in.

Season's greetings and best wishes for the New Year!

Bernd

Kevin Leavitt
12-24-2013, 04:44 PM
Look Kevin...Again I have nothing personal with Demetrio. He makes good points, the same questions I've asked. And I didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday. I work in a field that requires "Peer Reviews" at every stage of the process. ( EW Development for the NAVY... yes I am a nerd. :) ) And yes my 35+ (or 40 I can't remember LOL ) years of experience counts for something. But it is still just my experience. If that has taught me anything it is that I should be sceptical of any claim of Martial Prowess on the internet.

So in answer to that statement who is we? You and a few others? Well...Simple...Bring the best BJJ person you know to Dan's next Seminar in your area. Make sure they have an open mind, and get your questions answered in less than a couple of minutes.

He's coming out in March and I am inviting Top Level Instructors in BJJ, MMA, Bagua, Boxing (yes Dan works with Boxers), Kung Fu San Soo, and various Aikido practices. That's what Dan wants. He's stated that he wants Top Level people at his workshops not just us "little people" (LOL) so that they can see the value and benefit of what he teaches, and hopefully his practice will spread through them to their students.

In the meantime... Suggesting that we have some kind of "Peer Review" process every time someone posts a personal experience is not the solution.; As my friend Ellis says (he coined the phrase for me IMHO) "It Had to be Felt".

Sua Sponte Sir and HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all. :)

WIlliam Hazen

Sua Sponte to you to Ranger!

I think what I am saying is being misunderstood. It is not about proving that Dan can or cannot roll up some high level BJJ guy. I could careless about that. Frankly, with the folks I know that attend the seminars, that would not be suprising. I am way past that. What I'd want to know from that guy is how, how does it apply and how do you integrate it.

That is not what I am discussing.

Why is it important to me to understand this? Simply because BJJ is a context that I can relate to and understand. It is a form of movement that I can relate to.

So, when you say "wow, it works in BJJ, I saw it work! I saw Dan roll up black belt X at a seminar." okay..so what? It is second hand information. I want to talk to the guy that got rolled up. I want to know what his opinion is. I want him to deconstruct it and then be able to reproduce it under conditions and measures that are customary within the scope of BJJ.

Other than that, it is simply a waste of time to discuss. I really think many of you guys are being way too assumptive about what is being said here. Way too defensive about the validation issues. I am way past that.

If we are going to have productive conversations they need to occur on a deeper level than second hand observation or testimony. Does that make sense?

Also, i certainly didn't mean to jump all over this thread from what was obviously a productive and good seminar. I think though when someone ask "how do you know?" that the question should be answered in a concise way that frames the context appropriately based on ones experience.

RLTW!

Gary David
12-24-2013, 06:52 PM
Other than that, it is simply a waste of time to discuss. I really think many of you guys are being way too assumptive about what is being said here. Way too defensive about the validation issues. I am way past that.

If we are going to have productive conversations they need to occur on a deeper level than second hand observation or testimony. Does that make sense?

Also, i certainly didn't mean to jump all over this thread from what was obviously a productive and good seminar. I think though when someone ask "how do you know?" that the question should be answered in a concise way that frames the context appropriately based on ones experience.

RLTW!

Kevin
I think the kind of discussion you would like to have here will and can not happen. I think these kinds of discussions for you will happen after you hook up with Dan and the venue will not be here. It is just what it is......

Have a great Christmas .......
Gary

Lee Salzman
12-25-2013, 05:10 AM
Sua Sponte to you to Ranger!

I think what I am saying is being misunderstood. It is not about proving that Dan can or cannot roll up some high level BJJ guy. I could careless about that. Frankly, with the folks I know that attend the seminars, that would not be suprising. I am way past that. What I'd want to know from that guy is how, how does it apply and how do you integrate it.

That is not what I am discussing.

Why is it important to me to understand this? Simply because BJJ is a context that I can relate to and understand. It is a form of movement that I can relate to.

So, when you say "wow, it works in BJJ, I saw it work! I saw Dan roll up black belt X at a seminar." okay..so what? It is second hand information. I want to talk to the guy that got rolled up. I want to know what his opinion is. I want him to deconstruct it and then be able to reproduce it under conditions and measures that are customary within the scope of BJJ.


Find the nearest flagpole or small tree in your vicinity. Push or pull on it to your heart's content, try to throw it, do whatever. That's pretty much the feel we are going for with basic IP stuff. While you are doing this, you may notice that your attempts to manipulate it cause you to lose your balance yourself because you push or pull yourself off your own base in the process. Now imagine the flagpole or tree is actually moving all the while this is going on, actually skilled in BJJ by itself, so it is able to actually do productive things while you are wrapped around it kind of helplessly. Why is that so hard to see the expediency of as something that is useful in a BJJ context?

Kevin Leavitt
12-25-2013, 09:31 AM
Lee, it is very simple. BJJ is NOT a tree, it is a dynamic and adaptive environment of semi-constrained non-compliance. I've done alot of pushing on walls and pushing on trees, they don't do much in return. Not to sound snarky, but come on, again, we should be past this level of discourse at this point. The dynamics of two people interacting in dynamic and adaptive ways counts for alot.

I'm bowing out of this conversation guys unless someone has something constructive to add, or can demonstrate to me how this applies in a dynamic and constantly adaptive environment.

Zoe
12-25-2013, 10:54 AM
This is from Dan since he keeps being referenced. I am not going to take part.

Lee, it is very simple. BJJ is NOT a tree, it is a dynamic and adaptive environment of semi-constrained non-compliance. I've done alot of pushing on walls and pushing on trees, they don't do much in return. Not to sound snarky, but come on, again, we should be past this level of discourse at this point. The dynamics of two people interacting in dynamic and adaptive ways counts for alot.

I'm bowing out of this conversation guys unless someone has something constructive to add, or can demonstrate to me how this applies in a dynamic and constantly adaptive environment.


Kevin
You should pass me by and go train with Rickson. I have trained with four of his guys who talked about that seem feel; him being very hard to move while completely relaxed, then feeling ghosty and then hard while he moved,
and they...talked about it not having anything to do with his bjj!!!!!!.
Even they understand the difference, Kevin! They came to me for a better model to train IP not to learn bjj.
Rickson talks about internals from Yoga and taiji and breath power and connection. If you need ]to [Ifeel it in a fight[/I], go fight Rickson.
Personally I think it is rather pointless and strange and completely misses the forest for the trees, but hey...go for it.
Every grappler I have played with gets that this work has value TO THEIR PERSONAL GAME. It isn't about the fight!!!!!

Lee made a point to try to tell you something here....
Now imagine the flagpole or tree is (1.)actually moving all the while this is going on, actually skilled in BJJ by itself, (2.)so it is able to actually do productive things while you are wrapped around it kind of helplessly. Why is that so hard to see the expediency of as something that is useful in a BJJ context?
That addressed your point of applied use in combatives. You completely skipped over that. You were either unable to understand that point or did not choose to .
You don't seem to be able to understand that this is a skill set removed from any particular art. I bolded two comments of Lee's
1. Rickson would move and he would choose to use (as lee's "productive thing") bjj. But here's the thing; someone else would use something else as their "productive thing." It could be yoga, taiji, bagua, Aikido, or something more combative like Judo, bjj or better still MMA....
SO WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
Although you give it a nod, in truth I suspect you personally do not believe that IP/ aiki has value under serious pressure. That "fighting" will undo it. So, be done with it. Go tell Rickson that the portion of his game assigned to breath power and connection has no value...Tell him it's ONLY his fighting skills that matter. Then ask him why he and his kid keep going on and on about breath work and connection.
Maybe he can offer you a voice "you can hear".....because he fights well.

To me the whole discussion is starting to sound as ignorant as "Monster trucks are coming to your neighborhood!" told in the best arena, megaphone, he-man voice.

The concept of IP as a conditioning for a strong more dynamically stable platform -standing or on the ground-as a separate issue from tactical use is so staggeringly obvious that I have no more words to offer. I don't want to contend with you any longer. I have too much respect for you on any other topic.
Merry Christmas
Dan

Lee Salzman
12-25-2013, 11:04 AM
Lee, it is very simple. BJJ is NOT a tree, it is a dynamic and adaptive environment of semi-constrained non-compliance. I've done alot of pushing on walls and pushing on trees, they don't do much in return. Not to sound snarky, but come on, again, we should be past this level of discourse at this point. The dynamics of two people interacting in dynamic and adaptive ways counts for alot.

I'm bowing out of this conversation guys unless someone has something constructive to add, or can demonstrate to me how this applies in a dynamic and constantly adaptive environment.

Kevin, but that is exactly my point! The tree example is a way to feel the quality in a pure form, but this quality is expressed in free-form movement. I am in a judo dojo, week in week out, practicing this stuff, in randori. I am not making up hypothetical strawmen, I am describing what I practice, in a dynamic, non-compliant environment.

And it is exactly that IP quality that lets me gradually focus less on how to counter their movements to get kuzushi on me, and I can focus more on just my own entries. It changes the dynamic so they react to me more, and I spend less time reacting to them. Their counters to what I do are also less and less effective, because they're still stuck trying to figure out how to break down my IP structure via timing and speed, trying to find windows of opportunity, when gradually, these are becoming less and less effective against me the better I become at maintaining IP under stress and I am slowly erasing these windows of opportunity they might have had so that, in the limit, they will be nigh impossible to find.

I am just trying to convey to you why it is cool and interesting as a way of augmenting the ordinary power of the body so that you can, in fact, go back to a non-compliant environment. It's not much different than me claiming that endurance training has helped me be less gased out when doing long sessions of randori or that strength training might have helped me better deal with the strength of stronger opponents. Please don't take what I'm saying as argumentative, it is not meant to be - just presenting what I have learned.

Kevin Leavitt
12-25-2013, 11:15 AM
Zoe, thanks for posting this, although I am not sure where it came from as I did not receive this from Dan. Maybe it is an email that did not make it to my inbox yet?

In response to Rickson. I train with a former student of his now, and we do various exercise and drills that he has learned from Rickson.

There is also an assumption that I do not understand IS in anyway or that I do not employ it in anyway. I disagree.

There is an assumption that I am dismissing the value of this. Please show me where I have done this. I am simply asking for a deeper understanding of it in an integrated manner. I am at a loss to what I am failing to communicate here.

Why does any of this come across as skeptical, threatening, or dismissive? I do see the value in the training and only want to further my understanding of this in an integrated and contextual manner.

I believe that several of you only want to see things the way you want to see them at this point, and you have made up your mind about me and what you want to project on me about my beliefs, thoughts, attitudes, and abilities. I am severely disappointed and let down by this. I have no clue as to why this has happened or gone in this direction.

This is very bizarre to me and I simply do not understand.

I am pretty much finished with this and probably with Aikiweb in the future as I do not see a community that is open to critical discourse or discovery here any longer.

Kevin Leavitt
12-25-2013, 11:18 AM
Kevin, but that is exactly my point! The tree example is a way to feel the quality in a pure form, but this quality is expressed in free-form movement. I am in a judo dojo, week in week out, practicing this stuff, in randori. I am not making up hypothetical strawmen, I am describing what I practice, in a dynamic, non-compliant environment.

And it is exactly that IP quality that lets me gradually focus less on how to counter their movements to get kuzushi on me, and I can focus more on just my own entries. It changes the dynamic so they react to me more, and I spend less time reacting to them. Their counters to what I do are also less and less effective, because they're still stuck trying to figure out how to break down my IP structure via timing and speed, trying to find windows of opportunity, when gradually, these are becoming less and less effective against me the better I become at maintaining IP under stress and I am slowly erasing these windows of opportunity they might have had so that, in the limit, they will be nigh impossible to find.

I am just trying to convey to you why it is cool and interesting as a way of augmenting the ordinary power of the body so that you can, in fact, go back to a non-compliant environment. It's not much different than me claiming that endurance training has helped me be less gased out when doing long sessions of randori or that strength training might have helped me better deal with the strength of stronger opponents. Please don't take what I'm saying as argumentative, it is not meant to be - just presenting what I have learned.

Thanks Lee, this conversation is heading in the direction that I wanted to explore and I appreciate it. Maybe in the future we can have this conversation offline. I see no value in continuing this here on Aikiweb. I do appreciate it!

Zoe
12-25-2013, 01:06 PM
You are welcome Kevin
Dan asked me to send it to you. It wasn't sent by email.
This will be the last one
Kevin
I know you are sincere
I know you support IS training.
I know this.
As to the rest
I am as frustrated as you. Frustration doesn't mean ill will or lack of support for one another! :)

I didn't mean to put words in your mouth or make assumptions. I reached conclusions based on what I thought you were saying in your writing. I don't see how after training with so many IS guys you can't see the value of Internal strength in free style fighting. Sorry, I just can't. It's all one thing to me. How would the very things that the IS (you support) and is noted for; remaining dynamic stable under pressure, feeling like a steel belted rubber tire and hitting like a truck..NOT BE MARTIAL??
I still don't understand your questioning that. Can you say or outline it differently? The only logical conclusion I could reach was that you thought it would fail under stress.
I only suggested Rickson as it seems you are looking for that "fighting angle" and I thought he might be able to offer you one level of expertise that I can't.

Don't worry about it though. We will eventually meet and I will do my best to answer as best as I can.
No worries, my friend. No worries.
Let's do this by email or phone I am not a member here and I don't want to strain Jun's courtesy.
Dan

Demetrio Cereijo
12-25-2013, 02:47 PM
Dan, If you are reading (or if someone can send you) this.

I have a lot of respect for you as a person, also for your skills and your attempts to making them teachable and trainable.

The cultish attitude of some of your followers is what irks me. I'll accept that is not your fault so...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

PS. About the "Lets see, you are more of a white pajama, martial art, dojo and competition, warrior guy am I right?"... you are, to some degree, wrong. I was young and dumb too.

Chris Li
12-25-2013, 03:21 PM
Dan, If you are reading (or if someone can send you) this.

I have a lot of respect for you as a person, also for your skills and your attempts to making them teachable and trainable.

The cultish attitude of some of your followers is what irks me. I'll accept that is not your fault so...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


We won't talk about the naked dancing and blood rituals at midnight, then... :D

You have to realize that a lot of the folks that train openly receive some kind of pushback (openly or not) from the conventional Aikido community, even over and above what's seen on Aikiweb, and that can make them touchy.

Best,

Chris

Kevin Leavitt
12-25-2013, 03:31 PM
No i don't believe it will fail under stress. In fact just the opposite. I am searching for ways to make it successful. Again, I think there is an extreme misunderstanding in the methods of analysis or critique that I am presenting. I apologize if that is not clear.

I am one to take a very direct path towards getting to the core of an issue. My method of reasoning is not to disprove IS, but to earnestly seek knowledge and wisdom in how to integrate this.

Having suffered a few fairly serious injuries that have limited my training, I have found new ways of moving and responding to things, I am interesting in expanding my knowledge and abilities. I have found that first person experience is the only way to get to this; not through third person experience. Thus, I tend to deal with issues in a very direct way to not waste time dealing with unnecessary or useless information that simply is not helpful.

Kevin Leavitt
12-25-2013, 03:40 PM
We won't talk about the naked dancing and blood rituals at midnight, then... :D

You have to realize that a lot of the folks that train openly receive some kind of pushback (openly or not) from the conventional Aikido community, even over and above what's seen on Aikiweb, and that can make them touchy.

Best,

Chris

Well we have all done stuff we look back on and laugh about or are embarrassed about. I cannot believe how much things have changed. A couple of years back I found some old threads from the Aikido-L listserv from back around 95 or 96 when I first got involved with Aikido. It is amazing to see how far we've (I) have come in understanding, I think there is still much more to learn that has yet to be discovered. I remember the Ki wars from back in the day!

I am sure that my discourse and questioning must be frustrating for some, and especially for someone like Dan Harden. He has been where I'm trying to go, I am sure he is trying to save me time and frustration, but I am a knucklehead, otherwise why would I still be a Soldier! I have a need to ask tough questions and see things in my own terms.

Thanks all!

Demetrio Cereijo
12-25-2013, 03:49 PM
We won't talk about the naked dancing and blood rituals at midnight, then... :D

You have to realize that a lot of the folks that train openly receive some kind of pushback (openly or not) from the conventional Aikido community, even over and above what's seen on Aikiweb, and that can make them touchy.

Best,

Chris

Chris, respectfully, I don't give a damn.

Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou

(Bowing out, there's a new TIE to download and carefully read).

Kevin Leavitt
12-25-2013, 04:02 PM
Yes, it is an interesting read. If read it today as well Demetrio!

Dazaifoo
12-25-2013, 06:30 PM
Hi folks, the OP here! This has been fascinating but we should all remember the spirit of the season! Forget all that talk of cults and go share this time with family as you don your holiday garb. Relax and sit around the glowing tree thing so we can thank either the red suited magical fat man for toys or the sin eating super baby from another dimension for that big favor he'll do later. Opinions vary on who the season is truly about, (but we all know who's right, your side!)

Save your strength and don't argue here. Your in-laws will be there soon, you'll need your strength reserves. So whatever you believe, know, or just want to shout... Save it for New Year's when we can all get drunk and howl at the moon.

Happy Kwanzaa y'all!
Scott

bkedelen
12-26-2013, 02:15 AM
It is painful to see you folks respond to Kevin's questions with "go train with Dan" and then have Dan tell Kevin to "go fight Rickson".

I eagerly look forward to the day that people here speak with their own voice about their own skills instead of leaning on the reputation of those with which you are (sometimes barely) associated to bolster your credibility.

If I presumed to speak for Ikeda Sensei the way you people speak for your teachers (and the way your teachers try to speak for teachers now dead), there would be a day of reckoning I would not live long enough to never forget.

Chris Li
12-26-2013, 10:55 AM
It is painful to see you folks respond to Kevin's questions with "go train with Dan" and then have Dan tell Kevin to "go fight Rickson".

I eagerly look forward to the day that people here speak with their own voice about their own skills instead of leaning on the reputation of those with which you are (sometimes barely) associated to bolster your credibility.

If I presumed to speak for Ikeda Sensei the way you people speak for your teachers (and the way your teachers try to speak for teachers now dead), there would be a day of reckoning I would not live long enough to never forget.

Well, the original issue erupted around people questioning the veracity of a tale about Dan - in that context I don't think that it's unreasonable to suggest going to the source if you have questions about the mechanics of how that works. Isn't that better than trying to speak for Dan (who's not on Aikiweb to discuss this stuff anyway)?

In any case, I didn't see anybody trying to speak for Dan - I did see many people talk about their experiences meeting Dan, which is a very different thing.

I did see Lee trying to get things back on track and discuss the skills themselves in the context of his own skills and experience - but it didn't go anywhere.

I did see people accused of lying, in a very nasty way, which none of the "non-Dan" folks seemed to have any objection to.

I don't think that there's anything wrong with people recounting their personal experiences and what they've seen, even if it doesn't meet the standards of a peer review, on an internet chat forum. Ellis made a very popular column series that is entirely based on subjective experience, and everybody seems to think that it is a great idea.

As for talking about dead people - I don't see any objections when conventional Aikido instructors talk about what they think those dead guys thought (and most of them do, some of them even write books about it), I don't see why they ought to have an exclusive corner on the market. Further, I would think that it is an instructor's responsibility to state their interpretation of the what those people did and said - isn't that what any instructor does? I don't understand your objection here.

Best,

Chris

Demetrio Cereijo
12-26-2013, 11:22 AM
I did see people accused of lying, in a very nasty way, which none of the "non-Dan" folks seemed to have any objection to.

No, you didn't. You saw people accused of bullshitting, in a very nasty way for sure. But someone as educated as you should be able to know the difference between lies and bullshit (http://homepages.abdn.ac.uk/martin.caminada/pages/publications/dishonesty.pdf).

Chris Li
12-26-2013, 11:31 AM
No, you didn't. You saw people accused of bullshitting, in a very nasty way for sure. But someone as educated as you should be able to know the difference between lies and bullshit (http://homepages.abdn.ac.uk/martin.caminada/pages/publications/dishonesty.pdf).

I'm certainly not going to engage in a debate about precisely what level of dishonosty you're accusing people of - it's really not the point I was trying to make.

Best,

Chris

Demetrio Cereijo
12-26-2013, 11:39 AM
I'm certainly not going to engage in a debate about precisely what level of dishonosty you're accusing people of - it's really not the point I was trying to make.

Best,

Chris

Then stick to the point and do not accuse me of things I have not done.

bkedelen
12-26-2013, 11:46 AM
I don't understand your objection here.

I value Kevin's participation here and his insight has been a valuable resource. I see him as a voice of experience who has purchased the right to his opinions and his skepticism with the coin of hard training and years of quality membership in this venue.

To be frank, having people like Kevin and Roy Dean openly discussing Aikido's strengths in the international martial arts conversation does a hell of a lot to promote our art and lend credibility to our life's work.

Now you people have nearly driven him off with your tired shtick of overzealous damage control. You all should be ashamed of your behavior and your lack of basic respect.

All of the internal power in the world will get you folks nowhere if you refuse to develop leadership skills. People who are not in your clique are treated like shit on AikiWeb, and that is not the right way to curate this material to an interested but skeptical community.

Chris Li
12-26-2013, 11:56 AM
I value Kevin's participation here and his insight has been a valuable resource. I see him as a voice of experience who has purchased the right to his opinions and his skepticism with the coin of hard training and years of quality membership in this venue.

To be frank, having people like Kevin and Roy Dean openly discussing Aikido's strengths in the international martial arts conversation does a hell of a lot to promote our art and lend credibility to our life's work.

Now you people have nearly driven him off with your tired shtick of overzealous damage control. You should be ashamed of your behavior and your lack of respect.

All of the internal power in the world will get you folks nowhere if you refuse to develop leadership skills. People who are not in your clique are treated like shit on AikiWeb, and that is not the right way to curate this material to an interested but skeptical community.

I didn't see much invective coming from anybody who trains with Dan. I did see some invective coming from Demetrio (he disagrees as to the precise level, but agrees that it was nasty).

I do some invective coming from you. Could you show me exactly where I have shown anybody a lack of respect in this thread?

Best,

Chris

bkedelen
12-26-2013, 12:06 PM
Could you show me exactly where I have shown anybody a lack of respect in this thread?

How can I, Chris? Your "good cop" routine in this mummer's show is too well polished.

Rather than endlessly debate with me about whether or not you guys are insufferable, I am inviting you to simply take me at my word and sit with my suggestion for a while. You may come to see that I am actually trying to help.

Chris Li
12-26-2013, 12:21 PM
How can I, Chris? Your "good cop" routine in this mummer's show is too well polished.

Rather than endlessly debate with me about whether or not you guys are insufferable, I am inviting you to simply take me at my word and sit with my suggestion for a while. You may come to see that I am actually trying to help.

Well, you said:

You should be ashamed of your behavior and your lack of respect.

So I took you at your word, and now here you are again, accusing me of a "routine" rather than sincere behavior.

OK - so who else has shown a lack of respect? The only person on the thread that I saw really get nasty was Demetrio.

Best,

Chris

Keith Larman
12-26-2013, 12:54 PM
Then why not get back to discussing what might really be going on?

Please feel free to tear me apart...

I've been to seminars with Mike Sigman, a bunch with Dan, finally got to train a bit with Howard Popkin, and Toby Threadgill I consider a friend who is a veritably fountain of knowledge. And I've had time with top students of various other folk including Chin, Ark, Ikeda, and others.

Now I'm giving those names to say what I've done (and my origins are BJJ years ago, Judo as well, dabbling in various striking arts, and then finally settling in Seidokan (Rod Kobayashi) many moons ago. Everything that follows is my take. Nothing is meant to be representative of what any individual named person teaches and I'm sure I'm screwing up tons of it.

So here's my take on a small detail...

What I find is an amazing amount of overlap. And some really powerful people with deeply expanded toolboxes. What I also find is insights in to how to greatly improve my Aikido. Be it dramatically increased stability or vastly more power to move and do things in that relaxed way my sensei were always telling me to have. What I mean is more explanation about what it means to "extend ki". What might be happening in the body, not just from the outside but from the inside. Not just the external "look" but from the internal manipulation making it happen.

For me a good example is unbendable arm. Now consider the normal version of the exercise. Maybe you keep your hand relaxed or maybe you do the "morning glory" hand shape (a la Yoshinkan). Make sure the shoulder is down in side the shoulder socket. Stable and attached to your body properly (which is what most any good sensei will tell you anyway). This allows proper connection to the structures of your entire body and keeps you from "isolating" your arm from the rest of you. Sink it down. Now extend the arm with the hand out a la Yoshinkan, but really try to feel the connection running from your little finger down your forearm (as you bend your elbow slightly rotating the "flower" that is your hand forward and to the sky), through your elbow, and in to your torso itself. Done correctly you can even feel things pulling down in the side of your torso (connection). Now think about an opposing energy extending forward along the top of the arm, through your shoulder, through your bicep, and also meeting at the little finger and extending forward and up. And test unbendable arm again. See if you can feel the test actually pulling on the connection deep in to your torso *rather* that just pulling on your tricep. So the idea is to use *all* that tissue to "absorb" the energy of the test, redirect it, or whatever mental trick you need to use.

Now if you can do this and feel "stronger", think about a connected body working similarly. Instead of doing a movement like a sayu with your "arm" over someone, how about your arm is in the exact same position but they feel like your entire body is on their chest. And when they try to "push back" they don't feel either a disconnect arm or they don't feel a rock hard structure, but they feel a heavier, stronger thing that doesn't appear to have a center (because it is distributed throughout the body and can be changed by how the "insides move" (isn't that one of Ikeda's favorite statements?).

I find it increasingly possible to "put my weight in my hands". Even during techniques, in motion, and frankly it's becoming almost reflexive. Yes, I have a lot of work to do still, but I find I can put on things with power even with my arms extended in ways that were never before possible. Because I feel the connection in my body developing stronger and faster with the exercises I've been taught. And because of the changed perspective of some of the details of what's going on.

No, it wasn't "just do this". It was "Okay, let's develop the sensitivity and the connections. Now do this everyday for 6 months and we'll meet again." Rinse, lather and repeat.

WRT to all the other stuff in this thread, like I said before I get the skepticism. I had it too. I'm not saying anyone's mind would be changed, but I'll also say I've seen very few walk away from a good in person encounter thinking their time was wasted. WRT to stories about who was manhandled by whom, yeah, those kind of things always beg clarification. I know some take it very seriously and get upset to hear those things. But I also know I've seen guys who were quite capable walk out with a changed mind themselves but not always wanting to go "public" with the discussion. Hell, I have seniors in my organization looking at me sideways rather often. And since I find myself often on the outs with a variety of folk, well, I've become rather resigned to being true to myself and knowing me talking about this stuff here may not be doing me any favors with *some* folk in my own organization. So be it. So I also get the hesitation. I spent a lot of years "going outside" but keeping it totally quiet. But... Life's too short. At least for me.

So carry on. And fire away. Hopefully I can answer any questions about the simple exercise I outlined. And while I'm sure many are saying "hey, that's what I already do", well, that may be the case. However, I've seen a whole lot of people over the years saying that who change what they say after they get on the mat with some folk who do it really, really well. And you find there is a factor of magnitude involved...

All that said... Happy holidays, all. I respect all of you guys on both sides. Might I suggest a few deep cleansing breaths, let it go, and move on? And let's talk about what we can productively discuss in a limited forum like this.

patrick de block
12-26-2013, 01:46 PM
I have found that first person experience is the only way to get to this; not through third person experience. Thus, I tend to deal with issues in a very direct way to not waste time dealing with unnecessary or useless information that simply is not helpful.

I agree with you and if you really believe this, go to the next seminar with Dan.

If new people arrive at my place, I ask them to take part, to come onto the tatami, it doesn't oblige them in any way. And I tell them that I won't probably see them again if they think it is bullshit. I've had visitors who lectured me for half an hour on the philosophy and aim of aikido. I try to keep my face neutral since it is useless information that is simply is not helpful and because at the same time it's the information that sparked their interest. If they are in doubt they can get a second, a third try and if they are still in doubt I tell them that it is probably better to go some place else. After all there are seven different Martial Arts who train in the same sportshall I'm training in.

Kevin Leavitt
12-26-2013, 01:58 PM
I agree with you and if you really believe this, go to the next seminar with Dan.

If new people arrive at my place, I ask them to take part, to come onto the tatami, it doesn't oblige them in any way. And I tell them that I won't probably see them again if they think it is bullshit. I've had visitors who lectured me for half an hour on the philosophy and aim of aikido. I try to keep my face neutral since it is useless information that is simply is not helpful and because at the same time it's the information that sparked their interest. If they are in doubt they can get a second, a third try and if they are still in doubt I tell them that it is probably better to go some place else. After all there are seven different Martial Arts who train in the same sportshall I'm training in.

Thanks Patrick, it is my intent to do that if I can.

patrick de block
12-26-2013, 02:22 PM
Hello Kevin,

Not if you can. Spent some money, you already spent too much these days. (Yellow circle with whatever expression you want)

Kevin Leavitt
12-26-2013, 02:59 PM
Problem I always run into is my work and travel schedule. I'm down in Africa most of the year. Had the moons lined up this summer and it didn't work out. Going to try next year!

jonreading
01-03-2014, 08:41 AM
...

First, Kevin, simply transfer to the ATL. We got some bases you can live at. We're working on trying to get a regular schedule with the man. Plus, it's been a while since you've been down here.

Second, Dan is not on Aikiweb. Aikiweb made a decision to remove Dan from participating in discussions. I think there are many Aikiweb users who would rather not talk about Dan because Dan is not able to speak for himself. So, in a large sense any conversation that uses Dan's name is essentially conjecture since he is not present on this forum. Right now, the best access a user has to experience a surly Nor'Easterner is to train with him. But isn't this the case with many instructors? I don't email Ikeda sensei; I train with sensei when he comes down to South Carolina or Orlando. I occasionally call Patty Sensei, but I don't chat with Saotome Sensei; I visit the Shrine or train at one of his seminars. I do not think it is unreasonable to concede the best access to an instructor is direct.

Third, I find it argumentative that in a thread about personal experience at a seminar in the Internal Training section we are still contesting Aiki. Why anyone is in this thread who has no interest in Aiki is beyond me. In fact, probably anyone reading the OP who has not experienced Dan has gotta be at least a little confused. Part of my earlier post was an attempt to set the stage for the presence of conjecture because those who have experienced Dan are willing to concede the conjecture. I also made a point earlier that many of us are willing to concede authority to individuals we have never met about subjects with which we do not have direct experience. I never trained with Saito Sensei, but I accept his credibility because I know many people who had good experiences with him. Heck, sometimes we do not even have the privilege of an individual authority - every day "economists" tell me the economy is getting better. At some point we have the opportunity to either cede credibility to an individual or not. If you are in the "Aiki is BS" camp, then don't participate because there is little that you will read that will change your perspective.

There are several posts in this thread that clearly indicate an individual is not willing to concede Dan's personal credibility. I don't care the reason and there is nothing wrong with that decision. The are several posts in this thread that are willing to concede that Dan is personally credible in what he does. I personally think making a decision based upon a stretched conjecture about the application of Aiki in other arts... Well, I'd like to see any aikido person go up against a professional BJJ player and use only aikido. Or a professional judo player. Before we say , "well, unless Dan can escape a triangle choke from a pro BJJ player you can't claim aiki works in BJJ." I'd like to challenge us to consider the reality of that statement and see if we would apply it to any aikido person before conceding ethos to that individual. I can tell you how most aikido people escape a triangle choke from a pro BJJ'er - the ref taps the BJJer on the shoulder.

I think in order for these conversations to continue, we need to develop real, consistent and reproduce-able standards of credibility so we can compare apples to apples. I think the best way to do that is to train with Dan because I think first-person is the best experience. I think there are people training with Dan who are happy to share what they are working on, but without the expertise Dan possesses. In a couple of years, I think there will be more students out there that give a good understanding of what is aiki training and they will become outlets, too.

I consider Kevin a friend and a kindred spirit in his pursuit of aikido. I am personally excited for him to train with Dan because I feel aiki training is consistent with Kevin's belief of aiki and aikido. Is that awkwardly praising Dan's skill? Yeah. Because it sure isn't gonna be Dan's personality that wins you over (just kidding, Dan is actually a great guy and incredibly personable). I am not trying to be argumentative myself, but trying to show a perspective that maybe instills some empathy into the discussion.

And to chime in on Keith's post (which is great), we also use a variation of unbendable arm as a connection exercise. Talk about boring/incredibly hard/uncomfortable.

Mert Gambito
01-03-2014, 02:40 PM
It's been:

7 years (at least) since Ellis Amdur and Dan had mojitos, and Dan subsequently offered to meet Mark Murray and Ron Tisdale, as representatives of the online aikido community, to let them sample his methodology and skills,
4 years since Dan conducted his private "teachers only" workshop that led to the current slate of workshops (now over 20 a year) and study groups,
3 years since Dan's first workshop in Hawaii, and
almost 1 month since Scott Burke wrote the opening post of this thread.


At this point, inability to meet up with Dan due to the machinations of Murphy's Law or tengu notwithstanding (i.e. Kevin and some others), people in the online aikido community have largely made up their minds and set their priorities regarding where IT falls (or doesn't) in their respective training, with plenty of online documentation of those choices in several cases to boot.

Training in what is constructive that one enjoys, with people who are enjoyable as training partners, is so much better than sparring in online discussions that cannot be constructive. Have a wonderful 2014 everyone, and best wishes in your training of choice this year!

Oh, and BJ Penn, in the off chance you happen to be surfing aikido forums, Jamie Yugawa is trying to get a hold of you.

Michael Douglas
01-03-2014, 03:22 PM
Brilliant Christoper, thanks for posting a link ;
Posted some photos from the workshop (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/gallery/index/category/20-dan_harden_in_hawaii_december_2013) - more photos still to come...
I looked right through them.

One thing really relevant to this thread would be a photo of Dan in an applied triangle, you know, where the legs are locked instead of loosely crossed at the ankles : which is all I can find.

Specifically I'm talking about an illustration of THIS ;
The attachment is Dan in Hawaii taking apart an applied Triangle choke after it was set in place by an Mixed Martial artist.
which stirred some responses.
You see ... an applied triangle is, how can we put it ... difficult to take apart.
I would LOVE to see a sequence of this happening! Great stuff!

The other weird thing I noted, regarding ground grappling : why is Dan the only one shown properly applying an armbar? With control of the victim's wrist to prevent rotation. Nobody else is even close and there are plenty of armbar photos. What are they doing? Why? One guy even has two arms across the victim's arm but no hand grip on it at all! Just baffling.

Mert Gambito
01-03-2014, 05:04 PM
Chris wasn't in Kona. And no one shot photos in motor drive / continuous mode. The arm bars and triangles were set tight (I study judo, and jujutsu with ne-waza, so take that peer review for what it's worth). But pocket and phone cams have delay (what you mostly see is Dan lecturing after the 1.5 seconds it took for the peng and spiraling to undo the lock of choice).

Michael, check it out sometime. Good stuff!

Budd
01-06-2014, 01:46 PM
I think it's good for demo purposes - similar in principle (tho applied to grappling holds) to when Wang Shu Jin would let people strike him. If you have your jin lined up and body connections stretched when someone puts a hold on you, it can feel to them like it's cinched in tightly and you still can move freely to escape or counter. It's not the same thing as being invulnerable to submissions - anyone can get caught by somebody good enough. Which I don't think anyone competent would argue against.

Chris Li
01-06-2014, 07:49 PM
I think it's good for demo purposes - similar in principle (tho applied to grappling holds) to when Wang Shu Jin would let people strike him. If you have your jin lined up and body connections stretched when someone puts a hold on you, it can feel to them like it's cinched in tightly and you still can move freely to escape or counter. It's not the same thing as being invulnerable to submissions - anyone can get caught by somebody good enough. Which I don't think anyone competent would argue against.

Per a conversation with Dan - that's exactly what he was demonstrating, as well as how to do it and why, and you're also right in that Dan says repeatedly that anyone can get hit or locked.

Best,

Chris

Budd
01-07-2014, 11:39 AM
Per a conversation with Dan - that's exactly what he was demonstrating, as well as how to do it and why, and you're also right in that Dan says repeatedly that anyone can get hit or locked.

Best,

Chris

Makes sense. Just a manner of understanding the functional difference between pretending to yield via absorption versus getting caught or giving yourself up to assist in training a principle. Good stuff.

Stephen Nichol
01-17-2014, 01:47 AM
Mert, clear out your private message box so people (read as me) can get fill it up again. Trying to get sorted for the July weekends in Hawaii this year and need more info. HALP! :o

Mert Gambito
01-17-2014, 03:43 AM
Mert, clear out your private message box so people (read as me) can get fill it up again. Trying to get sorted for the July weekends in Hawaii this year and need more info. HALP! :o
Sorry about that! I've cleared a bit of space, so feel free to send me a PM.

Chris Li
02-03-2014, 09:36 AM
A great review of the workshop (http://brisbaneaikido.com/2014/02/03/hawaiki-mike-gets-some-hands-on-ip-training/) from Michael Nash, who made the long trip from Brisbane, Australia to come visit us.

Best,

Chris

Kevin Leavitt
02-03-2014, 05:03 PM
Jon, I am sorry I missed your post #88 on 3 January. Thanks and I agree. FWIW I am relocating to Seattle Washington area in September. It was there or Columbus Georgia! Columbus would have put me close to ATL indeed! However, the Army saw it best to send me to the West Coast for a few years. I am looking forward to training with the many friends and people I have met, or have not met over the years in that area. I am optimistic I will catch up with Dan out there some where in the next year!

Larry Feldman
02-05-2014, 02:17 PM
As the debate rages on, here and from other threads over the years I have come to a couple of observations.

We have people who have seen Dan Harden who are fans.
We have skeptics who have not seen Dan Harden.
What we don't seem to have is people who have seen Dan and practiced with him, but thought what he was teaching was nonsense.......anyone???

Budd
02-05-2014, 07:55 PM
I don't really want to discuss Dan as I believe he's said before that it should be about the skills trained rather than any one person. There are people that post here and elsewhere who have trained with just about everyone that gets talked about regarding IS skills and have made decisions that there's other people they'd rather train with. It's no big deal and should be expected as this kind of path isn't for everyone.

phitruong
02-06-2014, 08:22 AM
There are people that post here and elsewhere who have trained with just about everyone that gets talked about regarding IS skills and have made decisions that there's other people they'd rather train with.

Yup! that's why i trained with this dude named phi. i knew the bugger and put up with him for years. bastard drove me crazy with ideas, sometimes,.... actually, most of the time. recently, he has been working on how to incorporate pizza (with and without tomato sauce) with IS training. :D

Budd
02-06-2014, 09:27 AM
Yup! that's why i trained with this dude named phi. i knew the bugger and put up with him for years. bastard drove me crazy with ideas, sometimes,.... actually, most of the time. recently, he has been working on how to incorporate pizza (with and without tomato sauce) with IS training. :D

It should come as no surprise that I don't really want to discuss Phi, either, no matter what he says about yourself ;)