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Old 12-03-2011, 07:22 PM   #119
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
I got he impression you were looking for some videos of aiki demonstrations by people who have been training with Dan.

The video does demonstrate aiki and sensei Ledyard has been training with Dan, so I guessed this demonstration could be related to what Dan teaches. That's why I brought it up (although it does not look like a demonstration of in yo ho particularly to my untrained eye).

I want to post a WARNING LABEL The only way to evaluate what Dan Harden or anyone else for that matter, is to get your hands on him personally. Not a long time student, certainly not a guy like myself who has done a few seminars. Not by checking out Gleason Sensei or anyone else. Get on the mat with Dan. Yes, Dan has changed my Aikido for the better. So has Howard Popkin, so has Toby Threadgill, Don Angier, Ushiro Kenji, etc. None of these folks are in any way responsible for how I have chosen to incorporate what they taught me into my Aikido.

Dan Harden is the first guy to admit that he does not do Aikido. He teaches "aiki" and a particular take on "aiki" at that. I also learned a tremendous amount from Endo Sensei. But his "aiki" is very different fro what Dan is doing. I am a hodge podge of influences and quite unapologetic about it. But don't try to make me representative of someone else's Aikido.

I know that every body wants to take the easy road and get a video and decide whether he's got the goods without taking any risks, without leaving the comfort of your own home... Well, unlike myself, Dan has not allowed folks to video him and you can't just go up on YouTube and download a clip and make a snap judgement. In the absence of direct information people start too go second and third hand sources... that's ridiculous. I had some tell me he thought Dan was full of it because he trained with someone who had worked with Dan and the guy was a jerk... that's crazy thinking.

Gleason Sensei and I are both Aikido teachers. We are not doing exactly what Dan is doing. Dan has, however been immensely helpful in helping both of us move towards where we wanted to be in our Aikido. But do not look to us for information about what Dan is doing. Go train with Dan... What you get out of that experience and what you do with it all may be totally different from what we have done.

On the other hand, if you want to check out some different ideas about Aikido technique, at least different than what has been the prevailing paradigm, then sure, come train with me or Bill Gleason or whomever. Then you will be able to converse knowledgeably about what we do. That still won't tell you what Dan is doing.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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