In response to the posts regarding Howard Popkin's recent seminar in Seattle I would like to explain . . .
Why you SHOULDN'T go to a seminar presented by Howard Popkin.
Howard is a skilled technician and a skilled teacher. (He is a teacher by profession and one can quickly tell it is hard for him to NOT teach. He really, really wants his students to be successful.)
Howard is NOT an arrogant jerk that thinks others are there to adulate him or support his organization, ego, etc. Rather, he is a rather humble person that seemingly thinks that folks come to seminars to learn and consequently he tries his best to teach.
Howard is honest. His overall tendency is to give honest feedback from his perspective with the aim of helping students to become increasingly proficient, rather than coddling or belittling individuals for reasons unrelated to their progress. The most prominent filter that I've witnessed him placing upon his communication is his own awareness of the limitations of his own perspective. In other words, he knows that he is NOT all knowing.
Howard doesn't pretend to be something he is not. Despite the fact that he has decades of diverse experience in Japanese martial arts, has traveled to Japan routinely and is reasonably proficient in Japanese language and culture (Many folks like to say that an individual that can communicate in a language are "fluent." I disagree.), he doesn't pretend to be "Japanese" nor does he use cultural "props," shroud himself in cultural "mystique," or use foreign "norms" to coerce behaviors from others that would otherwise be seen as inappropriate.
Howard is not one of those violent "OTHER" guys. Yes, he teaches Jujutsu, Daito Ryu and Self Defense. (Personally I've seen more abuse, both psychological and physical, in Aikido settings than I've ever witnessed in Jujutsu or Daito Ryu settings.) I've seen Howard take pains to respect those around him, their backgrounds, teachers, arts, etc. To his credit, I've seen him maintain this respect even when answering clearly disrespectful verbal and physical challenges. (To my mind this is indicative of a high level of both personal and physical mastery.)
Howard is funny and personable too.
So, therefore I say, YOU SHOULDN'T GO TO A SEMINAR PRESENTED BY HOWARD POPKIN!
Because the more of you come, the less I have him to myself!!