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Old 11-25-2012, 06:40 AM   #1
Howard Popkin
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Sometimes you just gotta be honest

Dan Harden is the best martial artist I have ever met, bar none. I consider it an honor to train with him and to call him a close personal friend.

I think that about sums it up.


Howard Popkin
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:16 AM   #2
Ernesto Lemke
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest


Yeah, what Howard said..."forgetaboutit"

Ernesto
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:19 AM   #3
gregstec
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

Actually, I am always honest, and as such, I have to agree with Howard - however, I am afraid if this thread gets too long, we will have to reel Dan in from the stratosphere due to an inflated head - he is GOOD, but let's try to keep him guessing a little so he works on getting better; we all benefit from that

So, IMO, it is best to just ask him why you suck more than him the next time you see him - just got to keep it all in perspective

Greg
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:16 AM   #4
hughrbeyer
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

Sounds to me like there's a story there. What happened such that you had to post this now?

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:35 AM   #5
Howard Popkin
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

nope, just training

Howard Popkin
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:01 PM   #6
Gary David
 
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

Quote:
Howard Popkin wrote: View Post
Dan Harden is the best martial artist I have ever met, bar none. I consider it an honor to train with him and to call him a close personal friend.

I think that about sums it up.

Howard
Coming from my limited background across the broad spectrum that comes into play in what we talk about here I agree. Dan is the real deal.

And what is even more amazing he is really a nice guy and wants to help. I call him friend also.

Folks
There are others (a limited few that are visible to the public) that offer varied approaches going in the same direction that Dan is.......if you are at all interested for any reason...curious, something seems missing, waza is no longer the answer..... whatever the reason....seek out help. Find someone who fits you and work with them.

It is my believe that a number of others have bits and pieces that are helpful if recognized....the problem here is having enough understanding to recognize these jewels and a "knack" for putting them together in a way that is useful/helpful.

For most of us the best way is to find those folks who have already put it together and if they are willing then get what you can from them by actually being with them....go work with them. If you can go to them figure out how to get them to come to you. Dan came to Southern California the first time because I worked to make it happen (of course the stars alined to make it work...that being Mark) and Dan has been here twice since and we are working to make it four.

Again...Dan is a really good guy.......to bad so many of you miss this.....

Gary
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:38 PM   #7
DH
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

Quote:
Howard Popkin wrote: View Post
Dan Harden is the best martial artist I have ever met, bar none. I consider it an honor to train with him and to call him a close personal friend.

I think that about sums it up.

Howard!!!!
Wow!! Considering where you've been, who you have trained with, seen, met and touched hands with...wow!
I am humbled.
It's all a bit weird for me to, now that I am getting out and about. 42 years, reading, researching, and then sweating and freezing in my barn working it, seems to have paid off in some ways. Than again, you have guys here who said they learned all this in a year from an expert in internals (who himself denied being one) so maybe I'm just slow, or as many have told you on Aikiweb...you're all stupid, gullible, easily impressed (I would live to see someone say that to Bill Gleason's face) and taken in by my excellent "marketing"!!!!

No worries Greg, you can never get a big head in budo. Why? There's too much to learn. I just suck.... less than you!!

I am really surprised Howard. Let's keep trying together to make a better budo.
Dan
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:03 PM   #8
jamie yugawa
 
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

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Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
Howard
Coming from my limited background across the broad spectrum that comes into play in what we talk about here I agree. Dan is the real deal.

And what is even more amazing he is really a nice guy and wants to help. I call him friend also.

Folks
There are others (a limited few that are visible to the public) that offer varied approaches going in the same direction that Dan is.......if you are at all interested for any reason...curious, something seems missing, waza is no longer the answer..... whatever the reason....seek out help. Find someone who fits you and work with them.

It is my believe that a number of others have bits and pieces that are helpful if recognized....the problem here is having enough understanding to recognize these jewels and a "knack" for putting them together in a way that is useful/helpful.

For most of us the best way is to find those folks who have already put it together and if they are willing then get what you can from them by actually being with them....go work with them. If you can go to them figure out how to get them to come to you. Dan came to Southern California the first time because I worked to make it happen (of course the stars alined to make it work...that being Mark) and Dan has been here twice since and we are working to make it four.

Again...Dan is a really good guy.......to bad so many of you miss this.....

Gary
I agree with you. I have a limited expirience in martial arts, but do understand what people like Dan and Sam are doing is different. I was in attendance at the seminar with the 90 year old sensei that Dan was referring to. Even that Sensei who is open about critiquing modern martial arts (Especially Aikido) was in amazement at Dan's abilities. This is a gentleman who has over 80 years of martial arts expirience in Kung fu, AIkido, and Lua. He has been an uke for O-Sensei and a friend of Koichi Tohei( A black belt from Tohei sensei resides at this sensei's dojo). He expirienced O-Sensei's power first hand during his trip to Hawaii in 1961. This Sensei gave Dan the thumbs up on the right path to learning Aiki. I am happy that I got to be there for that.

One little candle can light 10,000 candles- Koichi Tohei Sensei
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:16 PM   #9
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
......It's all a bit weird for me to, now that I am getting out and about. 42 years, reading, researching, and then sweating and freezing in my barn working it, seems to have paid off in some ways. Than again, you have guys here who said they learned all this in a year from an expert in internals (who himself denied being one) so maybe I'm just slow, or as many have told you on Aikiweb...you're all stupid, gullible, easily impressed (I would live to see someone say that to Bill Gleason's face) and taken in by my excellent "marketing"!!!! ............

Dan
I would add here off of something just said to me during a phone conversation with John Clodig (another good friend) talking about what Dan is bringing to the table that he sees what we do being in four general parts or areas, a progression if you will.....these being a) waza, b) principles and movement, c) IP/IS & d) Aiki. John is focusing now on principles and movement, but all are needed to be complete. Waza is just the beginning stage...and waza can fail without the other 3 in play.

Again...go to whatever level you feel comfortable, but understand there is more than just waza.

Gary
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:31 PM   #10
gregstec
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post

No worries Greg, you can never get a big head in budo. Why? There's too much to learn. I just suck.... less than you!!
I know dude, you make that very evident every time we touch hands see you at Marc's
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:30 AM   #11
Thomas Campbell
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

Quote:
Howard Popkin wrote: View Post
Dan Harden is the best martial artist I have ever met, bar none. I consider it an honor to train with him and to call him a close personal friend.

I think that about sums it up.

Yeah, yeah, but whaddya know. Youse goin' soft in the head wit' da prospect of fodderhood. What dontcha know . . . . about Dan? The stories I could tell ya 'bout da guy . . . . .

. . . . would only reinforce your opinion, so I won't repeat them here. I was just in China, looking for tea not fights, but still got some unexpected training in anyways. On this and past trips, I've had the opportunity to meet some very skilled martial arts practitioners and teachers. I've met and gone hands-on with several hundred from around the world over the past 15 years. No one is better than Dan, as a martial arts practitioner or as a martial arts teacher, in my experience.

I haven't met anyone worse at answering e-mails or returning phone calls, but that is another skill set entirely.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:56 AM   #12
Lorel Latorilla
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

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Yeah, yeah, but whaddya know. Youse goin' soft in the head wit' da prospect of fodderhood. What dontcha know . . . . about Dan? The stories I could tell ya 'bout da guy . . . . .

. . . . would only reinforce your opinion, so I won't repeat them here. I was just in China, looking for tea not fights, but still got some unexpected training in anyways. On this and past trips, I've had the opportunity to meet some very skilled martial arts practitioners and teachers. I've met and gone hands-on with several hundred from around the world over the past 15 years. No one is better than Dan, as a martial arts practitioner or as a martial arts teacher, in my experience.

I haven't met anyone worse at answering e-mails or returning phone calls, but that is another skill set entirely.
Tom, wow, and this is coming from someone who has touched Vasiliev (and maybe even Ryabko?) and Ark (I think?). I definitely gotta see what this guy is all about! I came to Japan for bujutsu...now it seems like all the action is there.

lol @ Dan sucking at emails and returning phone calls

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:52 AM   #13
sakumeikan
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

Hi ,
I must confess I have not met Mr Harden .I cannot say whether he is the best martial artist around.
I do of course ask myself the question , how do you decide what criteria one uses to decide who is the best at anything.Is for example a gold medal winner of the marathon lesser than a person who wins 100 metres final and also takes gold?Is the lightweight boxing world champion lesser or greater than the heavyweight world champion.Is a rose better than a dahlia? In religion is being a Quaker better less worthy than Buddhist? Cheers, Joe.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:07 AM   #14
Lorel Latorilla
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

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Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Hi ,
I must confess I have not met Mr Harden .I cannot say whether he is the best martial artist around.
I do of course ask myself the question , how do you decide what criteria one uses to decide who is the best at anything.Is for example a gold medal winner of the marathon lesser than a person who wins 100 metres final and also takes gold?Is the lightweight boxing world champion lesser or greater than the heavyweight world champion.Is a rose better than a dahlia? In religion is being a Quaker better less worthy than Buddhist? Cheers, Joe.
Being that we are talking about martial arts, maybe they judge that on how well someone can control them or kick their asses in the most efficient ways.

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:15 AM   #15
gregstec
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

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Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
Yeah, yeah, but whaddya know. Youse goin' soft in the head wit' da prospect of fodderhood. What dontcha know . . . . about Dan? The stories I could tell ya 'bout da guy . . . . .

. . . . would only reinforce your opinion, so I won't repeat them here. I was just in China, looking for tea not fights, but still got some unexpected training in anyways. On this and past trips, I've had the opportunity to meet some very skilled martial arts practitioners and teachers. I've met and gone hands-on with several hundred from around the world over the past 15 years. No one is better than Dan, as a martial arts practitioner or as a martial arts teacher, in my experience.

I haven't met anyone worse at answering e-mails or returning phone calls, but that is another skill set entirely.
Yeah, ya just got to take the good with the bad
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:19 AM   #16
MM
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

There are two other areas that are just as important.

One of them is what, I think, the Japanese call kokoro. Heart/spirit. Dan has that in abundance. His skills/abilities far surpass most, but yet here he is trying to explain, again, to Chris Hein about IP/aiki. How many times has he done something similar with other people? His training atmosphere is open, friendly, helpful, and everyone just works together to get better. That's everyone from any martial art and any school from beginner to top echelon. He'll work harder and longer than anyone there to get people actually doing what he can do. He'll spend time trying to figure out ways to get the material across better or to help one person overcome an obstacle. His power is off the charts but he doesn't wield it like a bull in a china shop, instead, like Ueshiba, he shares the same vision of a better budo where power is used responsibly in a manner that avoids unneccessary harm. Yet, he still looks at his own level and progress, shakes his head, and says, I suck. All heart and spirit.

The other is his ability to teach. You can see progressive levels in his students from a few years to twenty. As Dan is fond of saying, it isn't about the person but about the material. Training with Andy brings those words alive. On any given training day, you could replace Dan with Andy. Slightly different teaching methods, but you're still going to be able to get to where they both are *if* you put in the time training. That's a great testament to Dan, his realization that it isn't about a person but the material, and to how he's been able to actually transmit that to many other people. Qualities of a great teacher.

While, I agree, that he's the best martial artist I've ever encountered, I think it's all three things that make him stand out.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:04 AM   #17
Patrick Hutchinson
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

Meh.
I can take him.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:50 AM   #18
DH
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
There are two other areas that are just as important.

One of them is what, I think, the Japanese call kokoro. Heart/spirit. Dan has that in abundance. His skills/abilities far surpass most, but yet here he is trying to explain, again, to Chris Hein about IP/aiki. How many times has he done something similar with other people? His training atmosphere is open, friendly, helpful, and everyone just works together to get better. That's everyone from any martial art and any school from beginner to top echelon. He'll work harder and longer than anyone there to get people actually doing what he can do. He'll spend time trying to figure out ways to get the material across better or to help one person overcome an obstacle. His power is off the charts but he doesn't wield it like a bull in a china shop, instead, like Ueshiba, he shares the same vision of a better budo where power is used responsibly in a manner that avoids unneccessary harm. Yet, he still looks at his own level and progress, shakes his head, and says, I suck. All heart and spirit.

The other is his ability to teach. You can see progressive levels in his students from a few years to twenty. As Dan is fond of saying, it isn't about the person but about the material. Training with Andy brings those words alive. On any given training day, you could replace Dan with Andy. Slightly different teaching methods, but you're still going to be able to get to where they both are *if* you put in the time training. That's a great testament to Dan, his realization that it isn't about a person but the material, and to how he's been able to actually transmit that to many other people. Qualities of a great teacher.

While, I agree, that he's the best martial artist I've ever encountered, I think it's all three things that make him stand out.
I keep stating that over and over. We truly are standing on the shoulders of giants who came before us. This work has produced a stream of giants spanning eras and cultures. Thus, anyone pointing to himself is either a damn fool or an outrageous egotist. The only difference through the ages is too find some yahoo (and that's all I really am) who has a particular twist you like on it, or a teaching model that works. Or...wait...actually giving a shit about helping others to get better!! Gee what a concept.
We are all in various stages of progress so no one needs to get all full of themselves.
Dan
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:02 AM   #19
Jeremy Hulley
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I keep stating that over and over. We truly are standing on the shoulders of giants who came before us. This work has produced a stream of giants spanning eras and cultures. Thus, anyone pointing to himself is either a damn fool or an outrageous egotist. The only difference through the ages is too find some yahoo (and that's all I really am) who has a particular twist you like on it, or a teaching model that works. Or...wait...actually giving a shit about helping others to get better!! Gee what a concept.
We are all in various stages of progress so no one needs to get all full of themselves.
Dan
Yep...

Jeremy Hulley
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Tuesday Night Bad Budo Club
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:26 PM   #20
sakumeikan
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

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Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
Being that we are talking about martial arts, maybe they judge that on how well someone can control them or kick their asses in the most efficient ways.
Dear Lorel,
Excuse me for saying this [I know you are being facetious in your comments herein]if kicking someones butt is the yardstick of a great martial artist you are sadly mistaken.I have known Glaswegian dwarves , who when involved in a rammy[fight ] could administer the world renowned Glesca Kiss[ a seriously dangerous head butt].These diminutive hard men did not study I/P/ Chinese Martial Arts or even Aikido.They had bottle[usually a beer bottle -empty of course -joking here] Bottle /courage is needed not fancy Hakamas and twirly ribbons.]
My own judo teacher was 90% disabled.He hobbled along the street.On the tatami , nobody ever threw him in all the years I knew him.He was to us [his students]immovable.
For me a good Martial artist is a person who knows his/her trade , shows compassion and understanding to others and conducts him/herself in a correct manner both on and off the tatami.
If beating someone up is a measure of a martial artist why spend years training in a Do, just carry a big baseball bat or an Uzi? Cheers, Joe
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:41 PM   #21
Rob Watson
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
I haven't met anyone worse at answering e-mails or returning phone calls, but that is another skill set entirely.
And spelling ... for such a wordy guy, too.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:58 PM   #22
Lorel Latorilla
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

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Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Lorel,
Excuse me for saying this [I know you are being facetious in your comments herein]if kicking someones butt is the yardstick of a great martial artist you are sadly mistaken.I have known Glaswegian dwarves , who when involved in a rammy[fight ] could administer the world renowned Glesca Kiss[ a seriously dangerous head butt].These diminutive hard men did not study I/P/ Chinese Martial Arts or even Aikido.They had bottle[usually a beer bottle -empty of course -joking here] Bottle /courage is needed not fancy Hakamas and twirly ribbons.]
My own judo teacher was 90% disabled.He hobbled along the street.On the tatami , nobody ever threw him in all the years I knew him.He was to us [his students]immovable.
For me a good Martial artist is a person who knows his/her trade , shows compassion and understanding to others and conducts him/herself in a correct manner both on and off the tatami.
If beating someone up is a measure of a martial artist why spend years training in a Do, just carry a big baseball bat or an Uzi? Cheers, Joe
Alright then.

They explained that Dan had the heart, the spirit, the skills, the power, etc. I think they pretty much answered your question.

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:50 PM   #23
Thomas Campbell
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

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Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Hi ,
I must confess I have not met Mr Harden .I cannot say whether he is the best martial artist around.
I do of course ask myself the question , how do you decide what criteria one uses to decide who is the best at anything.
Joe raises some good questions. The qualification for my opinion hardly needs to be stated, but I did anyway--"in my experience.". So what criteria do I use to evaluate martial arts practitioners and teachers? Several: (1) the relevance of the training material and methods offered to my personal training goals; (2) the demonstrated martial skills of the individual in question with respect to control, power, and tactical feasibility under varying degrees of pressure; (3) the consonance between the training methods and explanations taught and the demonstrated skills in usage; (4) the clarity of the teaching; and (5) the kokoro in which the teaching is offered, a factor raised by Mark Murray above.

Not all skilled martial arts practitioners are good teachers or would be interested in teaching (although much can be learned from training or sparring with them). Not all good teachers of martial arts methods are consummate fighters. Dan happens to be a fortunate (for me) combination of excellent teacher and highly-skilled fighter using the methods and explanations he teaches--with true kokoro.

Even so, stating that Dan is the best in my experience is not the same as saying that Dan is a better teacher than Sam Chin or could beat Akuzawa in a fight or has more relevant insights into surviving combat operations than Ryabko. I have hands-on experience with all of those gents, but it's been far more limited than training time with Dan, partly because of limited opportunities and partly by choice. In the end it's an unsolicited endorsement based on my own enthusiasm. Capisce?

Dan gets a lot of unsolicited endorsements, poor thing.

A lot of my enthusiasm relates to my own personal training goals. I've been interested in internal martial art training methods in large part for physical therapy purposes. I knew how to fight and had plenty of painful experience long before I encountered the internal martial arts or ever heard of Dan Harden. Severe concussions and injuries to joints and spine made me far more interested in health and resilience than in new techniques of inflicting violence on other human beings. I came on this forum and others to find out more about training methods that offered balanced and profound cultivation of health and resilience. I've found training information and methods, including material from Dan, that will help sustain my practice in the years to come. Having found what I was looking for, with the added bonus of some new friendships, I'm signing off from Aikiweb and other forums now, but wanted to add some measure of appreciation to what Howard so concisely expressed in the original post.

Cheers.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:52 PM   #24
sakumeikan
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

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Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
Alright then.

They explained that Dan had the heart, the spirit, the skills, the power, etc. I think they pretty much answered your question.
Dear Lorel,
All of these things you state above are related to martial ways.You can have these in abundance , but if imo these factors are all you have and you have no moral , spiritual or ethical dimensions to your life you are in my opinion less than you could be.Regardless how good anyone is at a particular discipline , some where some place there is someone who is faster , stronger and skilled than you.Even if you are indeed the best man around the fact is that you will decline in time.The grave awaits us all.
I have been taught by absolute beginners many truths about life.It is my contention that my own personal aikido development is a combination of tuition by my own teacher and others coupled with interactions by everyone I have ever met on the tatami and in a social environment.You can acquire wisdom for example by talking to a drunk guy in a bar.Refining and enhancing ones own character development I feel is more important than being the 'fastest gun in the west'.
Cheers, Joe
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:56 PM   #25
sakumeikan
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Re: Sometimes you just gotta be honest

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I keep stating that over and over. We truly are standing on the shoulders of giants who came before us. This work has produced a stream of giants spanning eras and cultures. Thus, anyone pointing to himself is either a damn fool or an outrageous egotist. The only difference through the ages is too find some yahoo (and that's all I really am) who has a particular twist you like on it, or a teaching model that works. Or...wait...actually giving a shit about helping others to get better!! Gee what a concept.
We are all in various stages of progress so no one needs to get all full of themselves.
Dan
Dear Dan ,
Well said. Cheers, Joe.
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