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-   -   Open Invitation to Dan Harden (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10287)

Jim Sorrentino 04-24-2006 01:17 PM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Greetings All,

Here is an open invitation to Dan Harden:

Mr. Harden, we have ever met, nor have I ever seen you on film. However, I've read many of your posts on AikiWeb, Aikido Journal, e-budo, and SwordForums. When it comes to aikido, your posts all seem to have a similar theme and tone. The theme is the ineffectiveness of most, if not all, aikidoka (but not aikido itself). The tone is one of provocative derision. A good example is in your post # 36 in this thread where you say, "I would guess that most folks -the vast majority perhaps- haven't a clue about what their Aikido has been trying to teach them in regards to body skills. At its root it can be practically unstoppable. If you knew what you were doing."

This most recent discussion of challenges to instructors is typical. Also typical is your unwillingness to discuss your background. Back near the beginning of this thread, one of the posters asked you about your aikido training, and why you stopped. You have yet to answer this question. I (and anyone else who uses a search engine) can surmise that you study (and teach) Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto-Ryu and Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu. So why not just say so, name your teachers, and state your level of experience?

A while back on Aikido Journal, you and Mike Sigman had a long discussion (in response to one of Ellis Amdur's blogs) about the internal training that aikido either offers, or fails to deliver. If I remember correctly, you claimed to be able to do the "jo trick", which I understood to be Morihei Ueshiba's demonstration in which he held out a jo while several people pushed on it, directing their force perpendicularly to the length of the jo. After holding the jo in place for several moments, O-Sensei then "removed" it, resulting in the unbalancing of the pushers. Can you do that? If so, have you been able to teach anyone else to do it?

Also in post #36, you said, "A judoka throwing you should feel like he is trying to throw a statue. A jujutsu going for a double or single leg should be drilled into the ground. Your throws should not be throws that express anything but formless projections. Your strikes should be devastating with the ground and your center alive in your hands. I've not met the man who has fought me who has not been convinced otherwise. And I stopped training in Aikido long ago, before making Shodan. That being said, I would simply stand in front of anyone you care to pick in Aikido, of any rank, and I will do Aikido waza and I will not be thrown or locked."

I propose that we arrange for you to teach a seminar at my dojo in Arlington, Virginia. Like all seminars that I host, it would be open to aikidoka (and practitioners of other aiki-based arts) of all ranks and levels of experience, regardless of organization or affiliation. In the interests of safe and vigorous training, I would limit the number of participants to 80 (60 if we're going to do a lot of weapons work).

If you successfully teach the participants how to do what you say you can do (as well as the jo trick, if that is part of your repertoire), then my dojo will reimburse your expenses and pay you a reasonable honorarium, which you and I will agree on in advance. But if you don't succeed, then we won't.

By the way, I have never invited anyone to teach at my dojo sight unseen.

Sincerely,

Jim Sorrentino

Kevin Leavitt 04-24-2006 02:05 PM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
I will vouch for Jimmy Sorentino's honesty and sincerity of this offer. I'd think you'll find a mature, seasoned, and very open minded group of people that would be there.

Dennis Hooker 04-24-2006 02:24 PM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Quote:

Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I will vouch for Jimmy Sorentino's honesty and sincerity of this offer. I'd think you'll find a mature, seasoned, and very open minded group of people that would be there.


Mr. Sorentino is a gentleman and I believe this offer is honest and sincere. Sorentino Sensei is well respected and is quit capable.

Jim Sorrentino 04-24-2006 02:27 PM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Hi Kevin,

Thanks for the endorsement! If this happens, I hope you'll be able to make the scene.

I can't seem to edit my own post. The first line should say, "Mr. Harden, we have never met ..."

Jim

Jim Sorrentino 04-24-2006 02:29 PM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Hi Hooker-sensei,

Thanks for the endorsement!

Jim

Kevin Leavitt 04-24-2006 02:34 PM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
I would definitely try to make it! I will probably be in the area at least once or twice this summer. I am heading to Atlanta next week, hoping that I will have an afternoon off to train with Jon Reading down at Emory U some!

It gets old trying to stay connected to aikido sitting here flapping my gums on aikiweb :)

Dennis Hooker 04-24-2006 03:35 PM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Quote:

Chuck Clark wrote:
Dennis, if this "seminar" happens, let's get a front row seat. I'm sure it'll be interesting. ;)


I will buy the popcorn and cokes and bring my "Oh WOW Did You See That Pennant " I'm getting old (hell I done got old) and the truly awesome moments are getting fewer and further between

Neil Mick 04-24-2006 05:05 PM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Quote:

Jim Sorrentino wrote:
I propose that we arrange for you to teach a seminar at my dojo in Arlington, Virginia. Like all seminars that I host, it would be open to aikidoka (and practitioners of other aiki-based arts) of all ranks and levels of experience, regardless of organization or affiliation. In the interests of safe and vigorous training, I would limit the number of participants to 80 (60 if we're going to do a lot of weapons work).

If you successfully teach the participants how to do what you say you can do (as well as the jo trick, if that is part of your repertoire), then my dojo will reimburse your expenses and pay you a reasonable honorarium, which you and I will agree on in advance. But if you don't succeed, then we won't.

By the way, I have never invited anyone to teach at my dojo sight unseen.

Sincerely,

Jim Sorrentino

Nice. And I also add my name to the list of people who vouchsafe Jim's sincerity, merit, and acumen as a martial artist (not to mention, kudos for his careful reading of Dan's claims).

Quote:

Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I would definitely try to make it! I will probably be in the area at least once or twice this summer.

Yeah, me too, were such a boast true. If I were you tho, I wouldn't be saving your pennies for the seminar, just yet. I suspect that Jim's unmasked a fellow long on claim, and short on action. No doubt Dan's new demo-DVD of the "ancient jo trick" is tucked right next to his ownership papers for that hot New Orleans swampland he wants to sell. :freaky:

Talk is cheap. But who knows? I'll be happy to post some humble pie right here on aikiweb, when I see the upcoming seminar announcement listed.

I just won't be holding my breath. :dead:

DH 04-24-2006 05:21 PM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Jim
Short note I am getting ready for a meeting
Please call me Dan.
Write me here in P.M. If you would like to get together- thats fine with me. Put up or shut up is a fair game. But it will be here. I have enough time getting permission (Husband and family man) for all the things I travel to do as it is. FWIW my guys are very friendly and open. If you would like to bring a couple of guys that's fine as well. It will give me an exuse to finish the Dojo and paint the walls!!.
I am not interested in a seminar with large numbers- I have no need.I've turned down 7 offers for seminars this year alone. Sorry, could care less. But come here, we can have fun, I will willingly show certain things to get people started on body skills including the jo trick-you do realize it is not a fighting skill -yes? just a use of ground and body. And if people want to roll and have fun thats fine as well. Please come with a healthy attitude and some 5 oz gloves if you own them.

So, lets discuss a get together and what you would like to accomplish. And hopefully I can put a smile on your face. Particularly since you seem to have taken offense- I would never dream of taking any money. I teach for free. If you like what you saw and did- take me out to dinner. I would be willing to bet -you will no doubt- make a friend.

Separate topic. You used the term "derision" for various observations I have regarding Aikido- or Aikidoka. I think Observation is more accurate The statement you used wherein I said many if not most do not understand the body skill potential inherent in their art? I believe is true. I have been on the mats with too many who had no idea what I was doing or talking about and how they should move to accomplish the same things. They had not connection or sturcture either-they were stiff. The one thing you missed was how many others in softer arts think the same as well. Much of what you heard Mike and I debating on Ellis's blog has been discussed behind the scenes with several people. Again Sadly the ability to use your body to root (Mikes trade term "Ground path") as well as several other things involving the breath and power generation and ways to make your hands heavy and connected to your body. You will find that referenced in what I have written as well.

Last. The fighting or challenge aspects-I agree with Dennis. If you don't do it or have not done it-then you don't know it. It's why I am a fan of Judo, MMA and BJJ. Anyone need only ask the hundreds who train and those who cross-train to hear very similar refrains.
While I make no apologies for what I have observed- I have no wish to offend. So lets keep it small. Am I assuming it is friendly? Doesn't have to be- but it would be a different venue.

Cheers
Dan

DH 04-24-2006 05:38 PM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Jim
Just thought I'd ask. Mind If I invite some local CMA guys as well. You may enjoy feeling "others" who do the same thing. They can't handle the same fighting skills with kicks and strikes -but they are efficient enough in body skills that no one you bring will probably be able to toss em. It might be a more enlightening and refreshing time to have me show some things -I have never trained CMA- and then have them do it as well. They are well balanced (pun intended) and great folks as well.

Dan

Michael O'Brien 04-24-2006 07:41 PM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Quote:

Dan Harden wrote:
I am not interested in a seminar with large numbers- I have no need.I've turned down 7 offers for seminars this year alone. Sorry, could care less.

Dan,
This seminar sparked a large amount of interest I'm sure with many of us and I am sorry to hear you won't be accepting the offer extended. VA I could easily make from Nashville, Tn but Mass. is a little further to try and make it.

Also regarding your "no need/care less" for large seminars, please remember it isn't about "you" but about your willingness to share your knowledge with others. Like I said, as I'm sure others on here feel as well, I'll most likely never have the opportunity to train in your dojo and learn from your knowledge. However, if you made it to VA, GA, one of the Carolinas, or any other place within a 5-7 hour drive of Nashville then I would have the pleasure of meeting you and spending 2-3 days learning what you have to offer.

On a side note I'll quote Jim below:
Quote:

Also typical is your unwillingness to discuss your background. Back near the beginning of this thread, one of the posters asked you about your aikido training, and why you stopped. You have yet to answer this question. I (and anyone else who uses a search engine) can surmise that you study (and teach) Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto-Ryu and Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu. So why not just say so, name your teachers, and state your level of experience?
It was noticable again in your reply to Jim that you failed to provide any information on your training and background. Why?

DH 04-24-2006 07:58 PM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Michael
No one is allowed to teach TSKSR in the U.S but Relnick Sensei. I have specifically disavowed any teaching of that art. The rest You can discuss with me privately.
I do not teach any of the tradional arts I have studied. I went MMA back in the late eighties-maybe always was.

Don't be put off by my lack of interest in seminars-my guys are always trying to grow the dojo and I resist as well. I am fairly well versed at marketing, presentation and business and when I play with someone in a martial sense I am almost always asked to teach. Just happened to me again with some CMA guys-some of whom were teachers. I don't care about teaching......at all. I want bodies to practice on, to improve my skills. So, I don't advertise I train in the country, my own guys want to bring other people, I say "No" (most of the time).
That may give you some idea of the mindset.
In fact when I looked up Jim Sorrentino in my correspondence I just realized that Ellis Amdur had asked me to go there with him this winter...behind the scenes, and I didn't go then either.

Same guy, same invite, no thanks, nothing personal, just not me.

What I don't understand is that if this stuff were in AIkido in any appreciable way- as they say- what do they wan't with me? There should be many places to find it............right? Or it is as I claim- rare to non-existant anymore. Then at the end of the day-I was correct. I've only seen these skills in two schools of Daito ryu and in CMA. Rob Jon says his teacher found parts of it in Koryu. The little I have seen-so far- in CMA- is no great shakes over what I already do -but there are some greats out there I am told. I will be feeling them this year, and looking forward to more new information.
Overall though I think I will revisit my tone. I haven't changed my mind about these arts-not in the least bit. but I don't want to be rude. The one guy got under my skin. Oh well I'm human


Your advice for me to want to share I agree with and understand. But I have had trouble with small groups of my own men over the years from 1 year to twelve years with me. You have to train this solo at home and continually throughout the day and the drills are painful. Few walk the walk. How on earth would I do that multiplied by the hundreds. Why? Yuk!
Cheers
Dan

Jim Sorrentino 04-25-2006 09:14 AM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Dear Dan,

That was a nice tenkan, although a disappointing response.

I also have a family and a career outside the dojo, so I am quite aware of what it means to have a busy schedule. Let's pick a date from mid-May to mid-November, except for holiday weekends. Here are the dates that I am NOT available: May 26 - 28 (Memorial Day); June 5 - 9; June 16 - 18; July 1 - 7; July 27 - 30; September 1 - 3 (Labor Day); September 22 - 24; September 29 - October 1; October 6 - 8 (Columbus Day); November 10 - 12 (Armistice Day). You may notice that August is wide-open. I would like enough lead time to publicize the seminar, so that interested aikidoka (and others) may attend.

Washington is a very family-friendly town. Depending on the number and age of your children, as well as the inclination of your other half, it might be enjoyable for them to accompany you.

I really don't care how many seminars you've turned down.

If you want to limit the size to less than 80, we can discuss it. My dojo needs to be able to cover the cost of your food, lodging and transportation --- assuming that you deliver on what you say you can do and teach. If you want to waive an honorarium, that is your decision.

I appreciate your invitation to meet you at your dojo, but I think the burden is on you to step up to the plate first. After all, you're the one who has posted so prolifically over the years.

In post #100, you said, "But come here, we can have fun, I will willingly show certain things to get people started on body skills including the jo trick-you do realize it is not a fighting skill -yes? just a use of ground and body." Yes, I realize that, and I'd like to learn it anyway. By the way, I hope you realize that's a condescending question. You indicated that you were interested in changing your tone, but you missed an opportunity to do so here.

You also said in that post, "You used the term "derision" for various observations I have regarding Aikido- or Aikidoka. I think Observation is more accurate." No, it's not. If you were making an observation, you would use neutral language, and you would be specific about what you observed, where, when, and with whom.

You assume correctly that my invitation was, and is, friendly. You have stated that you have developed certain abilities and skills, and that you are able to teach them. I'd like to learn them, and I will provide the venue. But I don't know why you (indirectly) asked this question --- more condescension, perhaps? In my experience, truly unfriendly "challengers" don't give advance public notice of their intentions. There is a vast difference between a duel and an ambush.

As for your request in post #101 to include people trained in Chinese martial arts (CMA), I'd be willing to include them if they can vouch for their ability to take ukemi. After all, if one of the aikidoka at the seminar IS able to make a technique work against resistance, I would like to have some confidence that the resisting person, no matter what his or her martial arts background, will be able to handle the results.

I would like to clear up something you said in post # 103: "In fact when I looked up Jim Sorrentino in my correspondence I just realized that Ellis Amdur had asked me to go there with him this winter...behind the scenes, and I didn't go then either. Same guy, same invite, no thanks, nothing personal, just not me." That's NOT accurate. My dojo, along with the Itten Dojo of Harrisburg, PA, and the Toman Dojo of Olney, MD, organized a seminar in January 2006 to be taught by Ellis Amdur. I told Ellis to let you know that if you wanted to attend, you would be welcome --- as a participant, not an instructor. I took this step because the Toman Dojo is run by students of Frederick Lovret, whom you have criticized both vigorously and publically. As the seminar organizer, I wanted to ensure that all participants would work together in a friendly manner, which (in your case) would have been more likely if you came as Ellis' guest. So it is not accurate to say, "Same guy, same invite."

You asked in post #103, "What I don't understand is that if this stuff were in AIkido in any appreciable way- as they say- what do they want with me?" Well, you claim to be able to do "this stuff", you clearly want to let people in the aikido world know that, and you do so in a fairly articulate way. So you should not be surprised when someone calls on you to deliver. Finally, you said in that post, "You have to train this solo at home and continually throughout the day and the drills are painful. Few walk the walk." Come on down, and I will present you with a reasonable number of people who are quite willing to walk the walk --- if you can in fact do and teach what you say. It is time to put up.

Sincerely,

Jim

DH 04-25-2006 09:27 AM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Mark

I understand. On one level I respect the traditional arts-even adore them. I do not want to see them changed , morphed modified whatever. But on the other hand I adore the exploration of the human potential in conflict; gun-combatives, knife, sticks and MMA.

So, in the larger picture, or scope, there is as means to train to change our bodies, to become relaxed fighters, truly fluid and yet powerful. Hitting with hand, elbow, knee or even chest wall with whole body power, while absorbing and re-directing strikes our bodies without pain. Once learned to pursue it in a true pro-active/re-active format. I believe it is in that arena one gains a more relaxed intense focus that is maintained in conflict. Against this training- most traditions falter and fail. An Internal Artist with MMA fight training is a very potent man to face. I would further that by stating this type of training imparts a mindset that is more akin to the mythos of the Arts; Fudo Myo and the pursuit of fudoshin, and the fluidity and grace-and tactical veracity of Suigetsu.
There are men of all walks who pursue pieces. Fighting-with muscle, Throwing using the body without correct use of body structure, Theorizing center while being easily pushed

Anyway…..It is for that reason that I stated that MMA, Judo or jujutsu are better equipped to stand, neutralize and attacker and handle them with out undo harm over most people who train in a single form. They have more active force-on-force training.

While this isn’t directly related it is the core of what I am speaking about. I posted something similar on E-budo to help settle a disagreement about internal skills ad its ability to allow true body unity and center. It was the core of Ueshibas training.

“For a simple test for comparisons...Ground rules: No fighting techniques, no feints, no Waza of any kind.

Can you do this?
Stand in a room and not use any waza, not use your hands, or any offensive techniques and then.....
1. Have a 220 pound man push your chest with one hand in an attempt to push you over.
2. Then two hands as hard as he can
3. Then have him pile drive into you
4. Then casually.. pull you and push you around while you stand there without moving your feet Over time increasinf the severity.
Then
5. Have him push you slowly and -without you moving- you breathe and he starts to collapse downward
6. Do the above with a stick in your hands while he pushes you with the stick and with you not moving much at all.
7. Place your hands on his chest and not move you shoulders or body in any discernable way and send them 3-6' with your hands.

If you can do that.... . Then I really don't care what you "call" it, you're worth talking too, as you are doing internal skills. In my mind at least, no debate, and a common ground. And If you cannot.....
Then be honest with yourselves and pleased..that there is something out there you don't know.

Now I would add to that that there are men In DR and in CMA who know these things but are not really interested in fighting skills. Fair enough. But there are also men who are and some of those are very serious and pursue the use of these skills in fighting. I believe it is the best training for the body in the world.

Unlike some people I still believe in the fundamental honesty of those on these boards. I don’t think many of us openly lie or bluff. It appears many attempt to communicate and even when disagreeing do so with a measure of aplomb. Anyone of us have what?...20-50 people we know who read here? I have probably a couple of hundred who know me personally. From JMA, MMA, and now CMA (some very nice people). For that reason I am ever mindful of what I say. I was in an Aikido Dojo a few week ago and the People do read this boards don’t they?
Anyway Dennis echoed my point well. Unless you go out and do-you don’t know and only dream. Or you take the opting-out approach-which is perfectly fine. Pursue it for an art and not be concerned.
Without the understanding of that separation there is no way to find agreement.

Cheers
Dan

DH 04-25-2006 10:00 AM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Jim

If you want to get together that’s fine.
Now I am left to ask why? Do you wish to learn these skills or not? The “idea” of forcing me to do something in a format I am uninterested in is rather ridiculous. It is obvious by your tone that it is “marginally” friendly, as you seem to take objection to just about every statement I make. This calling me out is rather adolescent. Are you marginaly interested in my voluntary involvement or coerced particapation? Which guy do you want to meet?
As for proving? I am uninterested in proving anything to you or anyone else-I don’t need to. My sense of credibility is not something that is measured here . You can come here,and I will do what I do. The fact that I accepted and will show you some things is more than enough and the proof is in the pudding.
As for condescension –if it is there I don’t see it. It is more the observational.
If the structure and ability isn’t there. And you are stating you don’t know these things......... then there is an ability of internal skills and body use that is superior to what you know and what you learned in Aikido.
And that........was and is my point. FWIW I didn’t feel I was being “talked down to” when I was shown it or other Koryu. I simply didn’t know it-what I was shown was superior. No problem.
As for fighting aspects, strieks, chokes, ground, and use of a fluid structure if you don't know that or train it all the time-then you don't know that either. And that..........was my other point.
Moreover if you dont train the former(whole body power, structure) then you obviously don't know how to use it in the later.
It seems you agree to this lack of knowledge. Which was my point to begin with. It is for most part absent in Aikido.
Again I am uninteresting teaching 80 people the truest and last vestiges of the best these arts have to offer in a half assed manner. If you really want to learn then you can come and train and then sweat like the rest
I take it that the reason you don’t want to arrange thing in P.M. is that there is a tacit “challenge” to all this? If that is the case I am surely not interested. It’s great stuff. If you want to sweat lets talk. That is an acceptance of your proposal-on my terms. How much do you hope to accomplish in two days
Years from now…you go be the teacher in a gym full of people and have fun.
If you want to ask me- at least be concerned with what I have to say.

Cheers-I hope
Dan

Mark Freeman 04-25-2006 10:31 AM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Quote:

Dan Harden wrote:
"For a simple test for comparisons...Ground rules: No fighting techniques, no feints, no Waza of any kind.

Can you do this?
Stand in a room and not use any waza, not use your hands, or any offensive techniques and then.....
1. Have a 220 pound man push your chest with one hand in an attempt to push you over.
2. Then two hands as hard as he can
3. Then have him pile drive into you
4. Then casually.. pull you and push you around while you stand there without moving your feet Over time increasinf the severity.
Then
5. Have him push you slowly and -without you moving- you breathe and he starts to collapse downward
6. Do the above with a stick in your hands while he pushes you with the stick and with you not moving much at all.
7. Place your hands on his chest and not move you shoulders or body in any discernable way and send them 3-6' with your hands.

If you can do that.... . Then I really don't care what you "call" it, you're worth talking too, as you are doing internal skills. In my mind at least, no debate, and a common ground. And If you cannot.....
Then be honest with yourselves and pleased..that there is
something out there you don't know.

Dan
I'm worth talking to, as these things can be done by me and many others who practice with my teacher, I'm not sure why there has to be a stipulation that you cannot move though ( why not? ). And why only 1 man why not a whole bunch of them?
I have seen my teacher demonstrate with a large man pushing on his chest while he is sitting on a chair balanced on the rear two legs, demonstration ends when the 'uke' is thrown. I personally can do this but not as well as him (yet).
These are for us, ki development exercises, there are many many seemingly 'not possible' tests of 'strength' that are exercises in mind and body co-ordination. They are as far as I'm concerned no big deal, they are a way to practice co-ordination.
I respect the fact that some people want to become 'ultimate fighters' and I appreciate the fun that can be had doing that.
You only know the aikido you have seen and the aikidoka you have sparred with.
The 'type' of aikido that I am persuing may not mix well with the martial challenges that you are fond of. I want to explore how far I can go with the 'ki' side of aikido. To do this all 'strength' based technique has to be replace by leading of mind/ki. Of course I need a decent ukemi to do this, and in my experience the less physical I get the easier it is to deal with the 'resistors'.
So if I can get a well trained 'serious' aikidoka to attack with speed and sincerity, ultimately I want to dispatch him without effort, if I can do it with minimal or no touch, very good, if I slip and use force, not so good.
This is where the fun is for me, exploring how far I can go in a particular direction. Those that practice aikido with force and resistance, will not find this easy. And may even think that what I say/do is not valid. I personally am not really interested. As you say Dan there is (maybe) more out there than you know.

I have no idea how good I would be in a 'real' fight ( sparring with another martial artist doesn't count ), and to be perfectly honest I don't really care. I know how easy it is to deal with the big stong 'beginners' that I get come to me. So I am obviously better equipped now than I was when I started aikido. But having only been in 1 physical fight in the last 50 ( I was 15 )years, why should I worry about something that may or may not happen in the next 50??
As I mentioned before, If you train to fight, you need to fight to test yourself and to validate yourself, what is the point otherwise?

Personally I train to increase my mind/body/spirit co-ordination so that I can live life more fully each day that I wake up.

Good luck to all you 'fighters' out there 'respect'. But some of us have a different perspective on it all, there is too much lovelyness in the world just waiting to be experienced, to be bothered with fighting 'contest' / win / lose. :D

Cheers,

Mark

Stephen Kotev 04-25-2006 11:48 AM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Dan,

I share with you the following comments in the spirit of respect and open communication.

I have been reading your posts since 2002. First on Aikido Journal and now on Aiki Web and E Budo. I appreciate what you have to say and find your posts challenging and informative.

In the four plus years that I have been reading your posts I have seen a consistent theme develop recently. You make statements that draw attention and then choose to withdraw once you have everyone's attention. This most recently happened on Aikido Journal Blog related to Ellis's "A riddle and a Mission" post (the posts I am now referring to have all been deleted.) One of the posters asked you to actually provide specifics and you responded that to answer that question would violate your oath to Daito Ryu. Why tease us with the information only to say we cannot access it? To tell us otherwise appears as derision or arrogance.

You seem very comfortable telling us what we are missing yet when we ask to be shown you tell us "there is nothing to see here, I just want to be left alone." You seem comfortable telling us what we are missing, now when Jimmy Sorrentino offers you a chance to SHOW us what we are missing. Mr. Sorrentino's offer is genuine. Both Chuck Clark and Dennis Hooker vouch for it.

I was at the seminar that Ellis presented at Toman Dojo. Before I came to the Aikido Journal bulletin board, I never heard of Ellis. Now I have the pleasure of training with him when he offers seminars. Ellis was willing to SHOW us what we were missing, or willing to offer us a venue to prove or disprove the quality of our Aikido training. I see Jimmy's offer in a similar light. If you believe that it is worth your time to formulate posts for this bulletin board for over four years why would you not be willing to extend that offer to those you choose to communicate with in person?

This bulletin board is an Aikido bulletin board. Primarily Aikidoka from around the nation and the globe read these forums.

You have our attention, we are ready to learn, why not accept the offer?

Regards,
Stephen Kotev

Chuck Clark 04-25-2006 12:36 PM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Hi Stephen,

Just a small note of clarification... You have been on the mat with me and so you should understand how important I think it is to be clear. I don't know Mr. Sorrentino other than reading his posts here. So, I can't vouch for his offer... however, I do know Dennis Hooker. Since Dennis Hooker Sensei vouches for this offer, I'll stand with Dennis and support this adventure.

Take care,

Stephen Kotev 04-25-2006 12:49 PM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Quote:

Chuck Clark wrote:
Hi Stephen,

Just a small note of clarification... You have been on the mat with me and so you should understand how important I think it is to be clear. I don't know Mr. Sorrentino other than reading his posts here. So, I can't vouch for his offer... however, I do know Dennis Hooker. Since Dennis Hooker Sensei vouches for this offer, I'll stand with Dennis and support this adventure.

Take care,

Chuck,

Thank you for the clarification. You are absolutely correct.

IF it does eventually happen I would enjoy seeing you and Dennis at the edge of the mat in your "front row seats."

Heck even if it does not happen it would be good to see either of you. Are there any plans for any joint seminars with Dennis and Ellis in the future? I could not make the last one but I would love to be able to catch the next one.

All the Best,
Stephen

Neil Mick 04-25-2006 01:10 PM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Quote:

Dan Harden wrote:
Jim

Do you wish to learn these skills or not? The "idea" of forcing me to do something in a format I am uninterested in is rather ridiculous.

Sorry, Dan, but this is the nature of a challenge...a challenge, apparently, that you have carried on for years, online. You seem happy to hold forth on the questionable martial value of Aikido: yet when called on to prove your claims in a respectable Aikido dojo: you wimp out.

Yeah, I said "wimp out." Imagine, if someone challenged O Sensei with such a boast. "Aikido is great for some things, but ineffective as a martial art. Why, I can do that trick with the jo, myself." O Sensei then offers a venue for the "great" decrier to demonstrate his "skill:" but he demurs, stating that "he doesn't have the time," or that he'd "rather do it at his dojo." I imagine that O Sensei would laugh at this fair-weather-dojo MA whose technique only seems to work at venues of HIS choosing. :rolleyes:

It's easy to talk the talk: talk is cheap. But, can you walk the walk? Apparently not.

Quote:

I am uninterested in proving anything to you or anyone else-I don't need to. My sense of credibility is not something that is measured here.
Of COURSE you don't...why, we should simply take you at your word, because you're a good guy, and we should trust EVERYTHING we read on the internet...right? :rolleyes:

Quote:

You can come here,and I will do what I do. The fact that I accepted and will show you some things is more than enough and the proof is in the pudding.
No, it's only proof that you will take an extra step toward fulfilling the challenge. You have a long way to go before "proving" yourself. You have simply demurred and thrown up roadblocks.

Quote:

As for condescension --if it is there I don't see it. It is more the observational.
Here, (with all due respect to Jim, as it was addressing him),,,lemme make it simple, for ya:

Condescension
Quote:

The act of condescending or an instance of it.
Patronizingly superior behavior or attitude.
Observation
Quote:

: the noting of a fact or occurrence (as in nature) often involving the measurement of some magnitude with suitable instruments <temperature observations>; also : a record so obtained
2 : close watch or examination (as to monitor or diagnose a condition) <postoperative observation> <psychiatric observation>
Now, I am sure that you still do not see the difference: so I've bolded the key-words (Patronizingly superior, in case you missed it).

Communications 101... Now, how does someone know that one is condescending, when he thinks that he's merely observing? Usually, when others give him feedback, telling him his remark is patronizing. So, allow me to add my voice to the chorus--yeah, Dan: your remarks here HAVE been patronizing, and condescending.

Quote:

was my point to begin with. It is for most part absent in Aikido.
Again I am uninteresting teaching 80 people the truest and last vestiges of the best these arts have to offer in a half assed manner. If you really want to learn then you can come and train and then sweat like the rest
What we'd REALLY like, Dan: is to see some stepping up to the plate. What we seem to be getting, instead, is a demurral that sounds more and more like a wimpout. :dead:

Dennis Hooker 04-25-2006 01:18 PM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Quote:

Stephen Kotev wrote:
Chuck,

Are there any plans for any joint seminars with Dennis and Ellis in the future? I could not make the last one but I would love to be able to catch the next one.

All the Best,
Stephen


We do not have plans but if Chuck and Ellis are willing and someone wants to take the lead on doing something I will offer the Shindai Dojo location for a weekend in the winter of this year. Believe me you don't want to be here in the summer. I don't know about everyone else but I had a great time last time.

Kevin Leavitt 04-25-2006 01:46 PM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Man this is some exciting and awesome stuff!

Dan, I am really nobody in the world of aikido...but I have known Jimmy Sorentino for probably about the past 8 years or so. I know the rest of the instructors such as Hooker Sensei by reputation through the ASU organization. I also know the dojo very well!

I can certainly appreciate your concern about Jimmy's very direct "to the core" dialoque, but if you know Jimmy it is anything but sincere without ego and without anomosity. It is simply a challenge.

If you can deliver I guarantee that the two of you would be best friends for the rest of your life! I cannot believe you would not want to jump at the opportunity to make a new friend and think of all the students and fellow instructors that would openly embrace you and what you have to offer! Not to mention a free trip to our nations captial!

I am not kidding...these guys are the real deal! They are in aikido for the right reasons!

As I think about it, I would be very excited about how things would spread rapidly. You see Jimmy is a senior student of Saotome Sensei. With Jimmy's enthusiasm for what you can teach and all the dojo students that are now better enlightened.....you would be able to influence 1000s of students in the ASU organization!

I am not being sarcastic! This is the honest truth!

I live in Germany, but if I could not attend, but you did the seminar and Jimmy said to me, "man you should have been there!" I will find the time to train with you some how! That is how important this is to many of us!

Chuck Clark 04-25-2006 02:31 PM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Dennis,

I haven't spoken with Ellis about this matter in awhile, but I'm certainly willing if we can fit it in my schedule this year and for sure we could plan for next year. I absolutely had a great time and learned a bunch. Ernie Cates Sensei has since spent time in my dojo and it's great to be reconnected with him. If there are enough folks interested in spending a weekend on the mat with us I would definitely be up for another go.

Best regards,

DH 04-25-2006 04:35 PM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Hi steve
Got the P.M.

You wrote
You seem very comfortable telling us what we are missing yet when we ask to be shown you tell us "there is nothing to see here, I just want to be left alone." You seem comfortable telling us what we are missing, now when Jimmy Sorrentino offers you a chance to SHOW us what we are missing. Mr. Sorrentino's offer is genuine.

I did accept the offer. Just not the details. Am I required to do it in a manner you few approve of? In fact if it is to be constructive I think I would insist that if it is to be repeated it be continued with some regularity. You cannot learn this stuff in weeked it takes time. A lot of time. MY TIME. for free. After the initial testing nonsense is cleared up the folks can get down to work so I am not wasting MY time and theirs.
So, since I said they can come- where am I denying anything?

I'd rather teach a few to be truly good-then, many to be half baked. Where does the offer have to be to train someone in two days?
I'll teach someone here (which is more conveniant for ME) and film it. They can go back and teach or write to satisfy the doubters.
It appears you have soemone else who know the ki "tricks" as well. Tricks are what they are-though the foundational basis can be used for fighting as they are based on sound mechanics.
Steve Come up and train.
Cheers
Dan
P.S. I am off- line till late wed.
I train tonight and have a presentation tomm night. Don't want folks to think I left.

DH 04-25-2006 04:42 PM

Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?
 
Kevin
Ellis is a friend of Mine I will ask him about Jim,but it really doesn't change anything.
Assume for a minute I do know exactly what I am doing:
1. There is nothing anyone is offering me worth having to go train 80 people.
2. I don't need money.
3. I don't care about fame.
4. I have my own business and family.
So I accepting Jims dubious challenge in manner that benifits me and him. Gees....whats the big deal.

The initial offer would have spoken volumes if it were jst Jim and a few folks. I wouldn't attempt 20 you wont learn anything of value. Small is better.
cheers and I appreciate the effort
Dan

Gotta run I'll read the replies tomm night. We'll make something happen.


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