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Old 10-18-2011, 05:59 AM   #1
Alec Corper
 
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Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

Hello All,
I want to give a brief report on the seminar I just attended with Dan.
OK, first off he can walk his talk. He can do what he says he does, his theory is sound and tallies with everything i have ever learnt about IT, his pedagogy is excellent, so he can teach what he can do, he can fight with it, and in gentle sparring (for the most part;-)) he let me feel what he could do. His breadth of knowledge concerning martial arts is clear, and to top it all, he is a lot of fun to train with.
I consider him a martial arts brother and would train with him any chance I got, and I would advise others to do the same. he has got something to offer the Aikido world and for those who are not ossified or fantasizing, you owe it to yourselves to touch hands with him before offering keyboard BS.
respect, Alec
P.S.
I know this tends not to count on the Internet but I have almost 20 years in Aikido and almost 35 in Budo, so I have some criteria to compare with.

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:10 AM   #2
robin_jet_alt
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

Quote:
Alec Corper wrote: View Post
Hello All,
I want to give a brief report on the seminar I just attended with Dan.
OK, first off he can walk his talk. He can do what he says he does, his theory is sound and tallies with everything i have ever learnt about IT, his pedagogy is excellent, so he can teach what he can do, he can fight with it, and in gentle sparring (for the most part;-)) he let me feel what he could do. His breadth of knowledge concerning martial arts is clear, and to top it all, he is a lot of fun to train with.
I consider him a martial arts brother and would train with him any chance I got, and I would advise others to do the same. he has got something to offer the Aikido world and for those who are not ossified or fantasizing, you owe it to yourselves to touch hands with him before offering keyboard BS.
respect, Alec
P.S.
I know this tends not to count on the Internet but I have almost 20 years in Aikido and almost 35 in Budo, so I have some criteria to compare with.
Thanks Alec,

It is nice to hear a first hand account. I hope I have the chance to train with him some day.
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:59 AM   #3
TimB99
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
Thanks Alec,

It is nice to hear a first hand account. I hope I have the chance to train with him some day.
Yes. Do. Please do.

I agree with everything Alec has said, and then some.

I mean, I can't say I've had the extensive background and experience Alec has had (if he had five years more under his belt, his martial arts experience would be as old as I am now), but man did Dan deliver.
Really, it did something to me. It struck a chord. Many, many times.

And good lord, not only was the martial arts stuff great, I never expected Dan to be such a sweetheart (I know, I was kinda surprised, having read all the flamewars on here O_o), nor did I expect him to be such a downright funny guy. I can honestly say that I've never had so much fun in a seminar. Ever. I've laughed my arse off multiple times. Honestly dude, just meeting the guy will give you your money's worth

I honestly felt like shite knowing that I couldn't attend the two days of extra training after the seminar. I'm so jealous of the rest of da club .

So yeah.. Spring can't come soon enough for me..

Errr.. I think everyone gets the message.. XD

Have a nice day and stuff,

Tim
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:42 PM   #4
robert72
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

Quote:
Alec Corper wrote: View Post
Hello All,
I want to give a brief report on the seminar I just attended with Dan.
OK, first off he can walk his talk. He can do what he says he does, his theory is sound and tallies with everything i have ever learnt about IT, his pedagogy is excellent, so he can teach what he can do, he can fight with it, and in gentle sparring (for the most part;-)) he let me feel what he could do. His breadth of knowledge concerning martial arts is clear, and to top it all, he is a lot of fun to train with.
I consider him a martial arts brother and would train with him any chance I got, and I would advise others to do the same. he has got something to offer the Aikido world and for those who are not ossified or fantasizing, you owe it to yourselves to touch hands with him before offering keyboard BS.
respect, Alec
P.S.
I know this tends not to count on the Internet but I have almost 20 years in Aikido and almost 35 in Budo, so I have some criteria to compare with.
Hi Alec,

Thanks for that " gentle sparring" Dan dit not blow you away within one second (or maybe hè was just kindly ) so... Thanks for that, it gives me à little hope... That maybe one day....I can do..SOMETHING!!

Regards Robert
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:08 PM   #5
woudew
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

Darn Robert, what a surprise seeing you here

Alec, it was great training with you also. I hope we can do that again soon.
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:17 PM   #6
TimB99
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

Quote:
Tim Bergman wrote: View Post
I mean, I can't say I've had the extensive background and experience Alec has had (if he had five years more under his belt, his martial arts experience would be as old as I am now), but man did Dan deliver.
Whoops.. Meant to say his martial arts experience would be twice as old as I am now

So yeah.. Geez.. Learn to type, Tim
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:06 AM   #7
woudew
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

A small review from me:

We have started where we had left in May. After a quick review of the seminar in May, we were shown what we would be doing this seminar. Most of the attendees were also present during the first seminar. Those who weren't, were struggling sometimes a little bit to catch up, but, due to the open atmosphere and Dan's teaching skills, they were able to follow the rest of the seminar.
Dan was talking more in concepts now and showed us exercises to feel and train these concepts. Dan was always present to assist and/or point out flaws. One of the great things of working with Dan is, when you make mistake, he will tell it to you and then immediately tell you how to correct it.

All in all, we have learned (again) a lot and Dan left us more than enough stuff to work upon.
I am already looking forward to our third seminar.
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:34 AM   #8
Ernesto Lemke
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

I'm a painter and teacher by profession. Six years ago I took part in the establishment of an innovative schoolconcept that radically and completely challenged the status quo. In a nutshell, we turned the classical vertical schoolstructure into a horizontal structure.
The project was met with great opposition, jealousy and outrage. At the same time it made possible what seemed impossible: We got young people to become more self-motivated, more self-aware and more considerate then most of their junior peers that habituated the vertical schoolstructures. We crossed and widened boundaries and opened doors long thought shut. We didn't set out, out of a desire to altar or reform the status quo, but we did hope that some might find value in what we did. Not by the concept itself, but by showing whatever merit we could bring forth. And though it has been and still is an extremely bumpy road, we sure as hell did produce outstanding results.

Within the aikido community, Dan is a nobody. He holds no high ranking (far as I'm aware of) in the sense of being able to use that as the type of title that is so commonly regarded as THE recognition of ones abilities or achievements. Hierarchically speaking, he is not a shihan of sorts. Training with him in that sense, is like training with one of the boys except for the fact, it's not. If we where to measure things both on a technical and teaching ability scale, Dan might well outrank many a Shihan. A bold statement perhaps, but, as Dan pointed out himself (perhaps too many times now so let's finish this ones and for all) he IS teaching shihans. Not one, not two, but several. Shihans and other very high ranking budo (not just aikido) people who feel themselves drawn to whatever it is he possesses and they too want to acquire.
Let's ponder on that a little. For what are the ramifications of this fact? Shihans training with a nobody? That's quite uncommon isn't it? What did they find lacking in the first place? And what compelled them to rely on the guidance of a nobody? Is it a comfortable place for them to reside? For with the exception of Bill Gleason, no mention of this is made public or shouted out loud. Why not?

A lot of talk and speculation has been devoted to the supposed skills of Dan Harden. He is as guilty for lighting the spark of fascination regarding his point of views on the topic of IP/Aiki (and the controversy hat surrounds it) himself, as are the parties that have debated the topic and at times even his person. There seems to be a mixture of fascination and skepticism, of disbelief and outrage, of desire and doubt, when it comes to IP/Aiki. Nonetheless, at the heart of spreading the word out, amongst others stands Dan. I'm still not quite sure if he can actually see how others may perceive his posts. Especially when reading the sentiments of those who've met him, and the need they felt to convey that he is a very nice and approachable person in person. And he is. That, amongst many other things.

An average seminar day with Dan Harden:
How comfortable would you feel if you went to a seminar without wearing your much treasured keiko gi and or hakama? How would you feel when there is no ritual, no sign that class started, or physical placing that sets apart the teacher from the students? How would you feel if the person teaching allows you to put your hands all over him (all over? Yes, all over!) so he could make you actually feel what he is doing whilst telling you what he's doing and how you should do it yourself? How would you feel if that person could convincingly replicate most of the same feats the founder of this art was known for? How would you feel if that person not needed to show off but sincerely enjoyed the marvel of it himself but was also willing to teach you to do it yourself? How would you feel that even though he outclassed all attending, he was curious to receive feedback on how he was conveying his knowledge? "Did it make sense? What about questions?" Would you feel comfortable missing out on the distance that many a Shihan have assumed? Placing themselves safely on some distant shore.

I think the budo world at large underestimates the ramifications of the events that are currently taking place. I think it is unprecedented, unheard off and maybe even almost unequaled.

Though only time will tell, Dan will not be doing this seminar format thing till Kingdom come. Those with the urge to continue debating him online out of a need to validate or invalidate his skill will miss out. Besides, I agree with Dan's sentiment that it's not about him but about the work. It helps, of course, and there is no escaping the fact that it is his person that is making this possible. I am not saying nor suggesting that Dan is some God-like figure nor that he is ‘the only one.' He is a very down to earth person who just happened to have the good fortune, perseverance, intelligence and innate talent and desire to both acquire IP/Aiki and also teach it the way he does.
Without question, he could make a small fortune if he where to commercially approach it. We are lucky he isn't.

Personally, I feel privileged to have had exposure to his teachings. I actually don't want to encourage more people to start attending his seminars for quite frankly, that would mean less time for me. Let us also not forget Dan's students who are missing out on their teacher on a regular basis due to the demands and growing desire stemming mostly from the aikido community. Time is scarce. But may the prospect of Dan having ever more little time become fact, I would feel saddened not by missing out on Dan as one who is teaching a tremendously valuable treasure, I would miss out on a friend. Luckily I don't foresee that happening all to soon.

The non-believers and skeptics need not worry. This post wasn't for you anyway. I have no desire to convert or argue. I'd rather train and exchange info with my fellow IP/Aiki trainees.
All I have left to say to Dan is: Goede Genade!

Ernesto
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:41 AM   #9
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

Great post Ernesto. I feel the same and I hope I can be there again next time.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:08 PM   #10
Alec Corper
 
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

Yes, there are quite a few of us out here, still doing Aikido but concerned about what has been lost. When someone like Dan ( and Akuzawa) come along it is a mystery to me that people don't find out for themselves. However, I'm with Ernesto on this the less, people are willing to see their own limitations the better is the opportunity for those of us with nothing to lose, so please don't get too interested

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:23 PM   #11
TimB99
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

Now that's what I call compliments to the chef!

Goeie genade, indeed...
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:24 PM   #12
Ernesto Lemke
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

Hey Nicholas! Thanks for the wine bud! Dan and I enjoyed it very much Be there next time dude! Spring 2012...

Ernesto
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:43 PM   #13
Ernesto Lemke
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

@ Alec, I solved my pole problem (yes viagra helps I know hahaha...sigh) but would still be interested in what you may find out.

@ Tim, hope things work out for you wherever the hell your back at. Where was that again? We'll be organizing some get togethers before the spring so if you're interested, drop me a PM. I'll send word out in any case when things work out.

Ernesto
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Old 10-22-2011, 03:14 PM   #14
Chris Li
 
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

Quote:
Ernesto Lemke wrote: View Post

Within the aikido community, Dan is a nobody.
Don't worry Dan, I'm sure that you're something to somebody...somewhere....

Best,

Chris

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Old 10-22-2011, 03:27 PM   #15
Ernesto Lemke
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands


Ernesto
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:44 PM   #16
Henk
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

I completely agree, Ernesto: ggoeie ggenade......
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Old 10-23-2011, 03:24 AM   #17
TimB99
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

Quote:
Ernesto Lemke wrote: View Post
@ Tim, hope things work out for you wherever the hell your back at. Where was that again? We'll be organizing some get togethers before the spring so if you're interested, drop me a PM. I'll send word out in any case when things work out.
I live near Breda, so my situation can be described as such: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Mn_GHPETaU
And sure, I'd love to come round again
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Old 10-23-2011, 05:07 AM   #18
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

Quote:
Tim Bergman wrote: View Post
I live near Breda, so my situation can be described as such: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Mn_GHPETaU
And sure, I'd love to come round again
I live fairly close to Breda. Perhaps we can meet up to compare notes and suck together?

Last edited by Dave de Vos : 10-23-2011 at 05:10 AM.
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Old 10-23-2011, 05:16 AM   #19
Ernesto Lemke
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

Now now Dave…by the man a drink first.

Ernesto
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Old 10-23-2011, 05:25 AM   #20
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

Quote:
Ernesto Lemke wrote: View Post
Now now Dave…by the man a drink first.
Hmm, we might get some strange looks if we start doing our silly walks in a bar
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:27 AM   #21
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

For those of you unfamiliar with silly walks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZlBUglE6Hc
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:55 AM   #22
gregstec
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
For those of you unfamiliar with silly walks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZlBUglE6Hc
I have seen some of those 'ashi' movements in various Aikido dojos I have visited

Greg
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Old 10-25-2011, 01:08 AM   #23
woudew
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

So here i have this thought: how about we (as in all participants of Dan's seminar) set up a date so we can train together and re-live Dan's seminar once more?

I still need (loads of) time to go over all the exercises Dan gave us, study them and then also learn how to do them well.
So I would suggest we take a Sunday and train all day. We can do this of course in our dojo in Zwolle and go over all the exercises. If we like it, we might even consider doing it on a more regular base.
For now I had 27th November or 11th December in mind. As I have little kids 4th December is out of the question

You can let me know what you think of this idea, either through PM or you can send me an e-mail. I guess most of you do have my email address.
I hope we can work something out so we can prepare ourselves for Dan's third seminar.
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Old 10-25-2011, 02:12 AM   #24
Alec Corper
 
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

Hey Walter,
Nice idea, count me in. 27th Nov. is good, but I can make the 11th as well.
regards, Alec

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:43 AM   #25
TimB99
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Re: Dan Harden seminar in The Netherlands

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
I live fairly close to Breda. Perhaps we can meet up to compare notes and suck together?
Sounds like a plan!

Quote:
Walter Oude Wesselink wrote: View Post
So here i have this thought: how about we (as in all participants of Dan's seminar) set up a date so we can train together and re-live Dan's seminar once more?

I still need (loads of) time to go over all the exercises Dan gave us, study them and then also learn how to do them well.
So I would suggest we take a Sunday and train all day. We can do this of course in our dojo in Zwolle and go over all the exercises. If we like it, we might even consider doing it on a more regular base.
For now I had 27th November or 11th December in mind. As I have little kids 4th December is out of the question

You can let me know what you think of this idea, either through PM or you can send me an e-mail. I guess most of you do have my email address.
I hope we can work something out so we can prepare ourselves for Dan's third seminar.
Sounds like a plan!
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