I completely agree with you. Anyone can go to a seminar and judge for themselves. It's not at all like having to travel to the south pole!
In my case, I don't have any teachers or personal acquaintances that have come back from a Dan Harden seminar to say IHTBF. I'm not saying that the whole thing is untrue, I'm just saying that until this happens, I'm not going to prioritize a Dan Harden seminar over other opportunities (holidays with my family, for example).
So far, all I have seen is people making claims on the Internet, and a relatively small number of people jumping on to back up those claims. I know that IHTBF, but if there were some videos of the training or whatever I might be less skeptical.
I am also aware that once a person has made a commitment (travelling to a seminar, training for X number of hours), one becomes invested and is less likely to be critical of it because of the loss of the initial investment that would occur by rejecting it. Take Scientology, for example. If someone invests their life savings and decades of commitment to the "religion", it makes it very difficult for them to think critically about it. There are lots of Scientologists on Internet forums who claim that Scientology is "The Truth" (ring any bells here?), but that doesn't inspire me to run out and join up in order to prove or disprove this for myself.
The whole Dan Harden / IP phenomenon could be one of three things:
- exactly what they say it is
- a group of martial artists who have convinced themselves that they have found the one true way when in fact they have found one way out of many (even if it is a very good way)
- complete BS
I haven't seen anything to convince me one way or the other, but I think there is a high enough chance of #2 (or maybe #3) that I'm not willing to invest a whole bunch of time, $$ and effort to find out.
Maybe one day my situation will change. I'm not ruling out the possibility.
I figured that the stuff Dan was talking about was either:
a) some interesting methods/tricks/etc that would be handy
b) something which was inflated beyond it's purported effects
I ummed and ahhed and wondered about it, an easy thing to do when I wasn't about to swim across the pond to check and I'm too poor for a speculative holiday.
I happened to stumble across the notice for a UK seminar, thought about it and decided that I would go for a weekend away and invest that time to see for myself what the fuss was.
Let's be clear, I largely expected to come away feeling robbed of a weekend (sorry Dan!)... reality was far far from that - it's something that is a fascinating thing to take and run with.
You're faced with two choices; pretending that you can put the genie back in the bottle and acquire selective amnesia or accept that there are skill sets that really can be focused on, developed and deployed into your martial arts.
There is a danger when discussing it because there are phrases such as "move from centre" that people would jump on with "we do that already!" possibly... that depends on what you mean by it. It's easy to see how you could take a dozen sound bites from a workshop with Dan and have other people (devoid of the face time and hands on comparison) who would state confidently that it was already in their repertoire but the devil is in the details; what do these terms mean when we say them? Why are they important? How do we do them?
To believe that the number of people who've seen Dan and the number of people who are/were not just sceptical (as I was) but downright disbelieving and incredulous I simply cannot believe that you can expect we are all just confused/deluded/protecting our "investment".
Where are the posts by people who've met Dan and said there was nothing special?
Considering the assumptions required for 1000 odd people from all manner of arts, from wide levels of skill to all be confused/deluded/worried about appearing foolish Occam's razor suggests that actually we might be right in that perhaps Dan isn't just talking out of his hat.