Hi all, I've been stalking this thread (and other IP/IS threads) for a while and I think I have a grasp on why there is so much conflict abound, and I hope to contribute something to help these threads proceed more smoothly.
Just for reference, a quick background of mine is that I train in aikido and systema, and since being exposed to the idea of IP/IS, I have been hungry to get more info about it for awhile. I still have not met Dan or Mike or Ark, but would really love to. The only IP/IS IHTBF experience I've had before is during a short visit to Jimmy Heow (Sam Chin's cousin who teaches ILC in Malaysia). Needless to say, I was very intrigued, but that obviously did not necessarily help me understand what Dan teaches/does except it provided some sort of vague reference to anchor on to.
Now, back to the online skirmishes--I think I understand where all camps are coming from. For the sake of simplicity, let's call them: 1) "the skeptics", 2) "the pro-IP/IS group", and 3) "the mediators".
When I first read about IP/IS on the forum a few years ago, my 'bullshit alert' came up, and whilst finding it interesting, I had lots of doubts. I remember seeing Dan post quite a lot even back then, and whilst he sounded like he knew 'stuff', his posts sounded very arrogant and dismissive of others. He also made so many incredible claims about his ability and followers that I automatically put him the "probably loud bark, small bite" basket. The way the stuff was presented on the forums come across as some cult-like or multi-level marketing type approach. Coming from a scientific background, I understand the need for evidence and moderating one's claims--things that were apparently sorely lacking from the "pro-IS/IP" camp. To help those who are not naturally skeptical to understand how this group thinks or perceives information, perhaps think of this example:-
Imagine that Bob claims to have discovered the great long-lost youth rejuvenation potion of the Mayan civilization. Bob tells you that 100% of all people that have tried the potion say that it works! Tom and Jane have tried it, and they say it works too! Bob isn't going to tell you what the ingredients are because it's an ancient secret. Everyone who's tried it will attest to you that its real, but we obviously can't prove it to you over the internet. If you want to know more, you can come and pay X amount of dollars to see what the big deal is...
Sounds dodgy? Yup, you bet it does. This is where the skeptics gets stuck. They don't believe it, but the only to prove it wrong is to invest the time and money to test it. (Yes, for you science nerds out there, it's the typical testing the null hypothesis concept.) But in order to invest the time/money to do it, they will need a level of credibility to surpass the minimum threshold to bother testing it. And that's why the skeptics keep badgering the pro-IS/IP camp for "proof".
The pro-IS/IP camp on the other hand HAVE tested it. And they KNOW it works. It's no longer an OPINION or IDEA that it MAY or MAY not work. For someone who has felt it or seen it, they need the proof no longer. It's a huge revelation. It's earth-shattering stuff. Imagine a world where all humans lived underground all their lives and no one has ever seen the sun. One day Bob takes a few people with him up to the surface and see the sun! It's amazing! They tell everyone what they saw, but every one thinks that they are crazy or stupid or both. They try so hard to convince everyone to come and see what they saw, but most find their claims so ridiculous and keep asking for proof, when to them, the only proof possible is to climb up to the surface! It's so extremely frustrating to deal with these ignorant fools isn't it?!
The mediator camp (e.g. Jun) on the other hand just wants these two camps to take a chill pill. They understand that different people perceive and appreciate different things, and wants them to talk about it civilly. It's kinda like watching kids in the playground all claiming that their dads are the best/strongest/smartest, and that everyone else's dad is an idiot. It's like reading forums about which Aikido style is the real/legitimate/kick-ass one--Aikikai? Iwama? Tomiki? Yoshinkan? etc etc.
So to me, I can see where everyone is coming from. I can see the huge misunderstanding that each camp has with the other when they ask questions from their own point of view. It's actually quite frustrating to see how productive discussions gets side-track due to these misunderstandings.
For me, I don't know Dan personally, but I'd REALLLY love to meet/train with him some day. Like I said, I was/am a skeptic--but I've had the luck of knowing at least two very, very senior Aikidoka who have trained with him, who have verified his claims. So for me, it's kinda like I know a few people who have climbed up to the surface with Bob, and they told me they've seen the sun. Is it the 'Truth'? As a skeptic, I can't say for sure--but I can say that for me
, my personal minimum threshold of credibility has been met, and I'm willing to find out more directly now rather than wasting my energy demanding for more proof that cannot be found online.
sorry for the rambling. i'll got back to lurking now