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Old 10-22-2009, 06:31 AM   #1
tomreynolds99
Dojo: Zenshinkan Aikido Worcester, MA
Location: Worcester, Massachusetts
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 4
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Training with Dan Harden

I train in Aikido in Worceser, Massachusetts and am considering training with Dan Harden. Does anyone have any experience training with him that they would like to share.

Domo Arigato,
Tom Reynolds
Zenshinkan Aikido
Worcester, MA
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:08 AM   #2
jss
Location: Rotterdam
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 459
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Re: Training with Dan Harden

Quote:
Tom Reynolds wrote: View Post
I train in Aikido in Worceser, Massachusetts and am considering training with Dan Harden.
You've just made a fair amount of people on Aikiweb jealous.
Why are you still considering? I have never met Dan, let alone trained with him, but when presented with this opportunity, how could you not go and train with him?
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:12 AM   #3
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
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Re: Training with Dan Harden

Quote:
Tom Reynolds wrote: View Post
I train in Aikido in Worceser, Massachusetts and am considering training with Dan Harden. Does anyone have any experience training with him that they would like to share.
Since you asked ...

Dan's a great guy. Intelligent, witty, wicked sense of humor, outspoken in person, difficult to get the best of in conversation, even more difficult to get the best of in training, hell of an awesome teacher, an even better martial artist that has few peers, dedicated, can train all day and into the night, honorable, truthful, sincere, doesn't train aikido but has gone completely out of his way to help a lot of people put Ueshiba's (by way of Takeda) aiki back into aikido, one of the nicest guys I know, etc, etc, etc. I'm sure you're getting a picture by now.

He can not only teach and tell about aiki in an aikido setting, but he can readily show aiki in an aikido setting. With or without cooperation, from anyone. This has been tested by people in aikido up to 6th dan rank. Not only tested, but those people also started studying with him and learning real "aiki".

His students are an excellent measure of how well Dan can teach. You can take any of his longer students (5-15 years) and every one of them is a very capable teacher on their own. Dan not only gets students to *do*, but to understand, and more importantly, to teach what they know and can do.

His abilities are off the current charts. His aiki in an aikido setting is well advanced. IMO, beyond most shihan levels. But, that's just my opinion. Now, add in that he can use aiki in an MMA setting and you realize that his aptitude and skills are daunting to most. But, never out of reach as he has proven multiple times by his students.

If you get the chance to train with him, take it. You'll have fun, work on some challenging solo exercises, meet other aikido people working on the same stuff, but most importantly, you'll start learning aiki as used by Ueshiba via Takeda.
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:16 AM   #4
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
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Re: Training with Dan Harden

Tom:

I started training with Dan in July of this year. I have only been able to attend his seminar and have him over at my place for a weekend. In that short period of time, I offer my following observations:
1) He is a brutally honest, personable, funny and generous teacher.
2) He has a tremendous amount of material for you to work on. He teaches in a methodical, logical and well-thought-out manner.
3) His students are a wonderful bunch of people.

I will continue to train with Dan as often as I can for as long as I can.

Hope to see you there soon!

Marc Abrams
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:36 AM   #5
crbateman
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Re: Training with Dan Harden

Tom, if Dan's participation in this forum is any indication, you're not gonna have to guess what he's about, which in itself sets him apart from a lot of instructors you might encounter. How can you go wrong if you give it a try? You'll have a better read on him after one class than 95% of us here do, anyway.

Last edited by crbateman : 10-22-2009 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:57 AM   #6
gregstec
Dojo: Aiki Kurabu
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Re: Training with Dan Harden

Ditto to what Mark & Marc said...

Greg Steckel
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:09 AM   #7
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Training with Dan Harden

Quote:
Tom Reynolds wrote: View Post
I train in Aikido in Worceser, Massachusetts and am considering training with Dan Harden. Does anyone have any experience training with him that they would like to share.
The biggest single problem folks have with "aiki" training is access. Most of the folks on the forum here who are training with one of the acknowledged internal power teachers have only occupational access. They have to travel long distances and actually get hands on instruction a few times a year. Then they work on what they've been taught until the next time, which might be six months to a year away.

If you are fortunate enough to be near enough to one of them to be able to train regularly without it costing you a thousand dollars and a few days of vacation time, you'd be absolutely crazy not to. Being so close to someone as open to teaching as Dan is is a huge gift. Get over there and train your brains out.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:34 AM   #8
Thomas Campbell
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 407
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Re: Training with Dan Harden

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I'm sure you're getting a picture by now.
I don't know, Mark, you really didn't put in very much concrete detail about Dan.

Seriously, Tom, if you consider what already capable people like Mark and Marc are willing to do (travel a good distance) to train with Dan and his crew, that should be an indication that it is worthwhile. There is a full range of training opportunities available with Dan, from sophisticated solo and partner training ideas for internal strength/connection to honest-contact sparring.

As George said, you're in an enviable position given your location.
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:57 AM   #9
Patrick Hutchinson
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Posts: 94
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Re: Training with Dan Harden

Dan's not so tough. I can take him.
Be sure to ask lots of questions about wrist locks.
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Old 10-22-2009, 12:01 PM   #10
ashe
 
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Dojo: Tempe Arizona I Liq Chuan
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
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Re: Training with Dan Harden

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Since you asked ...

Dan's a great guy. Intelligent, witty, wicked sense of humor, outspoken in person, difficult to get the best of in conversation, even more difficult to get the best of in training, hell of an awesome teacher, an even better martial artist that has few peers, dedicated, can train all day and into the night, honorable, truthful, sincere, doesn't train aikido but has gone completely out of his way to help a lot of people put Ueshiba's (by way of Takeda) aiki back into aikido, one of the nicest guys I know, etc, etc, etc. I'm sure you're getting a picture by now.

He can not only teach and tell about aiki in an aikido setting, but he can readily show aiki in an aikido setting. With or without cooperation, from anyone. This has been tested by people in aikido up to 6th dan rank. Not only tested, but those people also started studying with him and learning real "aiki".

His students are an excellent measure of how well Dan can teach. You can take any of his longer students (5-15 years) and every one of them is a very capable teacher on their own. Dan not only gets students to *do*, but to understand, and more importantly, to teach what they know and can do.

His abilities are off the current charts. His aiki in an aikido setting is well advanced. IMO, beyond most shihan levels. But, that's just my opinion. Now, add in that he can use aiki in an MMA setting and you realize that his aptitude and skills are daunting to most. But, never out of reach as he has proven multiple times by his students.

If you get the chance to train with him, take it. You'll have fun, work on some challenging solo exercises, meet other aikido people working on the same stuff, but most importantly, you'll start learning aiki as used by Ueshiba via Takeda.
sounds like you can't go wrong!

tiger at the gate
-----------------------
discipline, concentration & wisdom
Twitter-@luoyegongfu
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Old 10-22-2009, 01:16 PM   #11
Thomas Campbell
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 407
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Re: Training with Dan Harden

Quote:
Patrick Hutchinson wrote: View Post
Dan's not so tough. I can take him.
Be sure to ask lots of questions about wrist locks.
Be sure he has not had any gimlets beforehand.
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Old 11-13-2009, 04:21 PM   #12
tomreynolds99
Dojo: Zenshinkan Aikido Worcester, MA
Location: Worcester, Massachusetts
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 4
United_States
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Re: Training with Dan Harden

Thank you everyone who has offered information on my inquiry about Dan Harden. I met Dan in about 1992 or 1993 when I was in law school in Boston. I had recently started my Aikido training at New England Aikikai which is where I met Dan. He is a very likable guy and we seemed to hit it off at once. I trained a few times with Dan and then law school seemed to get in the way of my training. We reconnected through a mutual friend recently and she told me that she had met Dan and he had asked her if I would give him a call which I did. I am trying to schedule some workouts with Dan but he is a busy guy. I will definately make a point to start working out with him. With the kind of endorsement he has received through this forum -- how could I not.

Thank you all again for your comments and your insight.

Domo Arigato,
Tom Reynolds
Zenshinkan Aikido
Worcester, MA
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