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Old 08-12-2009, 01:40 PM   #83
JeremyAhouse's Avatar
Dojo: Mill City Aikido
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3
Re: "Internal training, Aiki, and empowering Aikido" Seminar w/Dan Harden

Dan and all the people I got to work with, a hearty thank you!

As I wrote to Dan privately, it is a great compliment to him that his students were, without exception, really terrific to work with. There was something so congenial and helpful in the attitude. It was mentioned above but is worth underlining that Dan emphasizes his hope that people develop the capacity to teach and share and articulate this approach.

He encouraged us to bring these ideas back to our respective dojos now, not until some distant day when we had mastered the approaches. And his students illustrated by example what it is like to talk through the techniques. The continuous and helpful feedback is something I think many training situations could benefit from. And you can see that talking about what is happening in the middle of technique, to your body, muscles, intention, fascia, ... benefits from practice. If you never struggle to describe it you won't get better at describing.

So kudos to the people who regularly train with Dan, who came out to help those of us who were new. It will be interesting to see over the next few years how a language and set of useful metaphors develops around these practices. There is probably a useful thread to be started about both how metaphors communicate kinesthetic information and which metaphors seem to work best (for most people).

The various ideas and exercises from the seminar have been rattling around my psyche since the seminar. As I wrote to a friend they stick to you and with you and challenge how you think of any number of techniques. I suppose that cross training always raises existential questions about where one art ends and another begins. I was left with both the feeling that Aikido was distinctive and that there were helpful and provocative gifts in what Dan is sharing.

I have enjoyed recapitulating parts of the seminar to folks at my dojo and would encourage others to do so. Nothing like trying to explain something to help it settle into your bones (or fascia ).

Again, thank you Dan for the workshop and the participants for the experience.

- Jeremy

p.s. For folks who attended the seminar, you may find the last chapter, "An Introduction to Anatomy Trains", in The Concise Book of the Moving Body by Chris Jarmey, contributed by Thomas W. Myers to be of interest.
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