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 would characterize it as 1.1) A very highly informed mode of training working on subtle aspects of body dynamics. The form isn't much different than other practices, but I get the impression the depth of understanding of specific aspects is the real difference. And there's always something to be said for inspirata to make a person focus better.
I think the hype tends to drown out the message. I'm not exactly an awesome martial artist, but I do think I have a realistic (enough) view of things. It's not BS. Perhaps it's more than some folks think it is, but I'm inclined to think it just comes across that way because of the hype.
I attended the first time just out of curiosity for the kind of training and went back because it struck me as worthwhile and the people I got to meet were incredibly nice, so my wife gave me the second go 'round as a birthday present.
I sympathize with the blowback because I think the message has come across as a bit pushy at times. I've decided to chalk that up to differences in communication styles as well as the natural problems the internet creates.
For what it's worth.
p.s. I'd like to add I agree with David's idea that it's not either-or when it comes to spiritual or physical. There is a high degree of biofeedback training (I believe) which demands such a high amount of mental focus that it is a great place for the two to come together.