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Old 01-07-2013, 10:33 AM   #251
sorokod
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Re: Vantage points

Perhaps the following is the most relevant to the current discussion. The source is the FAQ for Fascia Research Group (Division of Neurophysiology, of Ulm University, Germany) website at http://www.fasciaresearch.de

Quote:
Q. Can fascia contract on its own, independently from adjacent skeletal muscle fibers?

A. If one includes long term tissue contractures (like Morbus Dupuytren, Palmar Fibromatosis, etc.) within the realm of that question, then the answer is a clear yes. The work of Tomasek et al. strongly suggests that incremental summation of active cellular contractions plays a substantial role in such tissue contractures. The suspected contractile cells are fibroblasts or myofibroblasts.

In our own research, we performed an immunohistochemical examination for the presence of myofibroblasts in lumbar fascia, plantar fascia and Fascia lata from human donors. (For this we used the presence of alpha-smooth muscle actin containing stress fiber bundles as a marker for myofibroblasts, after subtracting those bundles which are associated with vascular vessels). We found such cells in all examined fascial tissues. We also observed a large inter-individual as well as intra-individual variance regarding the density of those fiber bundles, as well as indications for an increased density in perimysial tissues.

In addition we conducted mechanographic examinations of rat lumbar fascia in an organ bath environment for a potential contractile reaction in response to stimulation with different pharmacological agents. We were able to induce a clear contractile response in a significant number of fascia specimens in response to either the thromboxane analogue U46619, fetal calf serum (FCS) or high dosages of mepyramine. While not all samples responded to such stimulation, retrospective tissue analysis revealed a higher density of alpha smooth muscle actin containing stress fiber bundles in responder tissues compared with the non responding ones. Samples pretreated with the cell disrupting substance cytochalasin-D showed insignificant responses only. Neither adrenaline (epinephrin), acetylcholin, caffeine, angiotensine nor adenosine triggered any contractile responses. Currently we are examining samples pretreated with a a specific thromboxane receptor antagonist for their response to U46619 and also samples pretreated with a Rho-kinase inhibitor substance for their responses to U46619, FCS and mepyramine. Here we have not found any contractile response so far. Maximum force response in successful contraction tests usually occurs 15-45 minutes after substance addition; and seems to reverse when the stimulatory agent is removed.

Based on these findings, we are currently convinced that - at least in some samples of rat lumbar fascia, and within the in vitro conditions used in our examinations - fascia can actively contract within a time frame of minutes and that the presence of intrafascial myofibroblasts seems to be responsible for that capacity. We also performed a hypothetical calculation of the potential contractile force (applied to the paraspinal fasciae of the human lumbar area, based on the histological density values of our human fasciae examinations or alternatively on the measured contractile forces in our in vitro examinations with rat fascia). The resulting force values (of approx. 5 N for the whole lumbar are) were strong enough to predict a potential impact on normal musculoskeletal behavior, such as in gamma motor regulation. Yet they are far below the force quantities of skeletal musculature (and are not sufficient to e.g. move a limb in space in a matter of several seconds).
http://www.fasciaresearch.de/index.php/faq#Q2

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Old 01-07-2013, 10:51 AM   #252
DH
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Re: Vantage points

Dual opposing spirals is not explained by anatomy trains, and fascia and meridian theory alone will not offer much help. No PT, Doc, Acupuncture therapist or otherwise I have met can do it based on ANY prior knowledge of the human anatomy. It is however fairly simple to lay out, you can feel it in others who move this way well and you can feel yourself doing certain portions. It is the end product of training to use the entire body organized in a different way. Very hard to understand in the body at first ...it takes time.
Dan
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:39 PM   #253
Howard Popkin
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Re: Vantage points

what...like a year or so ?
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:09 PM   #254
chillzATL
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Re: Vantage points

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Dual opposing spirals is not explained by anatomy trains, and fascia and meridian theory alone will not offer much help. No PT, Doc, Acupuncture therapist or otherwise I have met can do it based on ANY prior knowledge of the human anatomy. It is however fairly simple to lay out, you can feel it in others who move this way well and you can feel yourself doing certain portions. It is the end product of training to use the entire body organized in a different way. Very hard to understand in the body at first ...it takes time.
Dan
If nothing else it gives some scientific backing to what appears to be happening or at least how it could be happening, which is interesting in its own right. Especially when you start getting some connection in places where you don't really have muscles to flex to connect your body.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:02 AM   #255
sorokod
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Re: Vantage points

Fascia has a long history in the forums: http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&q=fas...b.com%2Fforums .It is nice to see a scientific conclusion on the subject.

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Old 01-08-2013, 06:30 AM   #256
phitruong
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Re: Vantage points

Quote:
Howard Popkin wrote: View Post
what...like a year or so ?
nah! shouldn't take that long. it's child play! *sorry couldn't help meself*

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:17 AM   #257
HL1978
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Re: Vantage points

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
Fascia has a long history in the forums: http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&q=fas...b.com%2Fforums .It is nice to see a scientific conclusion on the subject.
Akuzawa sensei can "tug" on his skin and it doesn't look like flexing muscle. I haven't had the opportunity to ask him if this is the same mechanism that Mike Sigman talks about in terms of tugging on the arms via the middle in silk reeling or not. I would assume it is related.

While Dr. Schliep did state that he gets messages from martial artists around the world looking him to validate their "super powers", Dr. Schliep also stated that it was his opinon that Akuzawa sensei and others like him likely have some sort of "hyper conditioning" of the fascia in correspondence to an aikiweb member .

Last edited by HL1978 : 01-08-2013 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:11 AM   #258
sorokod
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Re: Vantage points

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
Akuzawa sensei can "tug" on his skin and it doesn't look like flexing muscle. I haven't had the opportunity to ask him if this is the same mechanism that Mike Sigman talks about in terms of tugging on the arms via the middle in silk reeling or not. I would assume it is related.

While Dr. Schliep did state that he gets messages from martial artists around the world looking him to validate their "super powers", Dr. Schliep also stated that it was his opinon that Akuzawa sensei and others like him likely have some sort of "hyper conditioning" of the fascia in correspondence to an aikiweb member .
Can the aikiweb member post the correspondence here?

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Old 01-08-2013, 10:36 AM   #259
DH
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Re: Vantage points

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
Akuzawa sensei can "tug" on his skin and it doesn't look like flexing muscle. I haven't had the opportunity to ask him if this is the same mechanism that Mike Sigman talks about in terms of tugging on the arms via the middle in silk reeling or not. I would assume it is related.

While Dr. Schliep did state that he gets messages from martial artists around the world looking him to validate their "super powers", Dr. Schliep also stated that it was his opinon that Akuzawa sensei and others like him likely have some sort of "hyper conditioning" of the fascia in correspondence to an aikiweb member .
There are many different "final word" studies on fascia that have occurred recently, and some of them directly contradict each other. The models used for the test parameters are of their individual making and the test subjects are usually not trained individuals.
Remember the taiji guy, whom the scientist said was doing things they thought were not possible. Care to add up how many "discoveries" science has made of things they previously said were not possible.
On the other hand we have budo and highly trained movement. I lost track of how many of you...told certain people...they were full of it...till you stood in front of them and couldn't explain how they did what they did.
Seriously experienced Budo people are a pain in the ass. They are always convinced they know everything....til they don't!
Dan
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:09 AM   #260
Keith Larman
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Re: Vantage points

I've posted before that the whole fascia thing could turn out to be a red herring of sorts. However, that said, I think the appeal of it as a theory is that it tracks fairly well with the perception some of us have as to how we feel things changing inside ourselves. The more you work on this stuff the more "connected" you feel in a rather odd way. And it isn't easy. Of course it could just be some sort of group mass suggestion going on among the participants and I'm sure those who haven't done the stuff and are offering critique from a distance can and probably would suggest that as a possibility. My problem is that I've felt and seen things done that go beyond the scope of what I understand given current models of physiology. Which to me does *not* mean magic, just that my understanding of current models obviously isn't good enough to explain it. I suppose another alternative is to deny that it even happened or to say it was "something else" entirely and the perceptions of those who have been involved are all simultaneously incorrect.

Shrug. I just keep training. For me, while I'm intensely interested in how it all works, the real driver to going to get this training is wanting to be able to do the stuff some folk can do. And I find myself getting my little toe in the door a bit with my own training and students. So part of me gets back to what Ellis posted (in another thread? I forget...) about the issues and contradictions/ problems maybe being in how we see things. For me the issue is doing stuff better and finding better tools, new training, new ways. It's all good.

And some seem to think one has to throw away everything to get something new. Nah, just live with a little uncertainty in life and keep learning whatever the hell you can. Frankly I find it astounding that folk even argue about this stuff. Today there are *so* many options to train with so many interesting people. Some are fools and charlatans, others are profoundly gifted. Some are profoundly gifted but couldn't teach if their life depended on it. Others teach really well in person and leave you with a lot of work to do until the next time. I am at a loss as to why folk need to spend so much damned time up front alienating the hell out of each other before actually just stepping on to the mat. Think it's all BS? Great. Say so and move on. I go to a lot of seminars and see a lot of the same people, people willing to try, people willing to test. I also don't see a lot of people who you'd think would be there. Whatever. I plan on getting some training real soon now even though I"ve been on hiatus with massive spinal problems compounded with 2 weeks of walking pneumonia. Hopefully after the plane trip I'll be able to get my degrading spine bending enough to learn a few new things before I may find my career over.

Pfffft. So there. Seriously, there comes a point when someone insisting on being convinced to their satisfaction is a waste of time. Just not going to happen when it appears that the underlying motivation is more about protecting the honor of the respectable art of Aikido. Frankly I think the old girl can handle some questions, some differences of opinion, and a little slap in the butt now and then... But, that said, rest soundly. How many gazillion people train in Aikido nowadays? It's freaking everywhere taught by all sorts of folk from all walks of life. Aikido ain't gonna change much in most places for a very long time. She's safe from the unwashed heathen and it's not hard to ignore the small groups saying "hey, this is more what it's supposed to be". Lord knows the Tomiki guys can coexist with the Iwama guys who can coexist with the Ki Society guy who can coexist with the Aikikai who can... What's one more group of whackos*.

*They're all whacko's IMHO *except* whichever group you, dear reader, are a member of -- your group is great! Really, you're great, the rest are nuts...

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Old 01-08-2013, 12:21 PM   #261
Mert Gambito
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Re: Vantage points

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Dual opposing spirals is not explained by anatomy trains, and fascia and meridian theory alone will not offer much help. No PT, Doc, Acupuncture therapist or otherwise I have met can do it based on ANY prior knowledge of the human anatomy. It is however fairly simple to lay out, you can feel it in others who move this way well and you can feel yourself doing certain portions.

It is the end product of training to use the entire body organized in a different way. Very hard to understand in the body at first ...it takes time.
The above statements, for those who are just starting or planning to undertake IP/IS training, really need to be taken at face value.

Again, in the introductory portion of the ILC training model in which meridians are discussed, the primary purpose of that is to simply allow students to understand which portions of the body are "yin" and which are "yang" -- so for much of the introductory training, a student is asked to think of, and operate his/her body as just two integrated, complementary parts/halves. From ILC's public website: http://iliqchuan.com/content/yin-yang

Quote:
David Sorokod wrote:
Perhaps the following is the most relevant to the current discussion. The source is the FAQ for Fascia Research Group (Division of Neurophysiology, of Ulm University, Germany) website at http://www.fasciaresearch.de . . . It is nice to see a scientific conclusion on the subject.
Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote:
Dr. Schliep also stated that it was his opinon that Akuzawa sensei and others like him likely have some sort of "hyper conditioning" of the fascia
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
There are many different "final word" studies on fascia that have occurred recently, and some of them directly contradict each other.
Quote:
Keith Larman wrote:
I've posted before that the whole fascia thing could turn out to be a red herring of sorts.
David, it's really too early, by the scientific community's own characterizations of the state of fascia research, to say that it has reached definitive conclusions -- and even if they were to do so, those initial conclusions would not address the topic of IP/IS per se:
  • The Fascia Research Congress holds what it calls "international conferences dedicated to the newly emerging field of 'Fascia Studies.'"
  • The Fascia Research Group, from whose FAQ you quoted above, acknowledges, in the Q&A that follows what you quoted, that it hasn't yet published its findings on active contractile properties in a peer-reviewed journal, and concedes: "we suppose that the extra time taken by us for the further substantiation of our reports will contribute to making these findings more acceptable to the wider scientific community."
But really, this is all literally academic, given that incontrovertible first-hand proof of the physiological changes, regardless of what science eventually determines they are -- separate from IP, as well as in function to demonstrate IP -- can readily be had when training with a vetted IP/IS instructor.

Mert
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:04 PM   #262
HL1978
Dojo: Aunkai
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Re: Vantage points

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
Can the aikiweb member post the correspondence here?
I can find out, this occurred maybe 3-5 years back.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:06 PM   #263
patrick de block
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Re: Vantage points

Chris,

A simple question: have you read 'Hidden in Plain Sight' by Ellis Amdur?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Yes.
I asked this question because I wanted a common ground and I wanted to disregard all possible information gathered from other sources like this site.

If I read 'intent-driven processes' I try to understand this and I remember something written in HIPS p. 46-47 'Explanation no. 11: The Differences between Shi, Ki, and Ryoku' and I think I understand something more. It is clear from the text that the intent drives in this threefold and it is a process. As far as my understanding goes: intent creates the energy that results in strength.

While leafing through the book to find this Explanation no. 11, I saw a photogragh on page 45 of Hisa Takuma and in the caption is written '... the reciprocal balancing of forces in the body ...' Intrigued I read the whole 'Explanation no. 10'. I won't quote it here, it's too long, but do read the two passages in italics on page 46 again. When I read on about 'Dual opposing spirals' and its explanation given by Mert Gambito and just having read 'Explanation no. 10' I think I have an idea what is meant, also by looking at the pictures provided.

That's how minds work, I think, you connect almost involuntary the new information to the information you already have in an attempt to understand the new information. Do I know now all there is to know, no. Can I do it, no. But if I was interested (I'm not ), I would seek out someone to show me this and let me feel it. And another but, if I would summarize the post by Mert Gambito as: 'So the 'dual opposing spirals' are muscular connections inside of the body, and Dan's method, is a way of using these muscular groups.' my father or mother would tell me: 'Don't play at being more dumb than you already are'. That's a literal translation of a Dutch expression, I don't know the English or American equivalent.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:37 PM   #264
DH
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Re: Vantage points

I discuss fascial connections among other things when I train people. Again, Doctors, Chiropractors, Nurses, PT and number of other therapists who train with me have proven to have no advantage. NONE...over anyone else. The point is that even having the correct anatomical mechanisms laid out does nothing. I think much of this talk of fascia is like most everything else on the internet..a lot of jibber jabber from people, who you meet and they have squat.

Knowing tendon/fascia/muscular connections and even knowing the correct use, does nothing to help when one is lacking an understanding of intent, and yin and yang. Even intent... remains flawed when one does not understand yin and yang and how to not only support movement in opposites but then how to neutralize force using intent to create yin and yang in a constant flow under stress.

It is an understanding born from reaching certain vantage points.
When it comes to these things, it is my opinion that most martial artists simply don't know what they're doing or talking about. It's just simply a sad fact.And rank and decades in China and Japan means virtually nothing. Most people are in various stages of disarray, once side weighted, wobbly on their feet, their lateral stability is poor, they can't find your center with their power, they can't protect theirs and when you touch them they do all the wrong things and fight back or evade.

The fix has proved to be through a body technology that most budo people really have no knowledge of and cannot address or dialogue on. Once you start taking their body apart and explaining the way we move, people get overwhelmed with a technology and way to move each part that they had no idea even existed on the planet. IME, knowing that fascia is involved is all but meaningless to help them. It just satisfies the western mind. The metaphors and visual models work and have worked for generations...even before modern science stepped into scre....er...help us understand better ways to do athletics.
Dan

Dan
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:31 PM   #265
DH
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Re: Vantage points

Quote:
Patrick de Block wrote: View Post
Chris,
While leafing through the book to find this Explanation no. 11, I saw a photogragh on page 45 of Hisa Takuma and in the caption is written '... the reciprocal balancing of forces in the body ...' Intrigued I read the whole 'Explanation no. 10'. I won't quote it here, it's too long, but do read the two passages in italics on page 46 again. When I read on about 'Dual opposing spirals' and its explanation given by Mert Gambito and just having read 'Explanation no. 10' I think I have an idea what is meant, also by looking at the pictures provided.
If I would summarize the post by Mert Gambito as: 'So the 'dual opposing spirals' are muscular connections inside of the body, and Dan's method, is a way of using these muscular groups.
Of course everyone is "using muscle." In and of itself it is a meaningless phrase.
1. It is "how" we are using them
2. What tendon/fascia has to do with it
3. The undefined quality of intent that most here really don't understand and cannot manifest

Leaving out the details of discussing what dual opposing spirals actually are I would offer in a rough outline that it is a whole body movement from the feet to the top of the head, using a sophisticated use of the legs, qua, waist, dantian, back and arms that takes years to master. Depending on where you touch someone; it offers no-force. It absorbs, projects, leads, suppresses, follows, deflects, or any combination of all of them...at once.

As we often say its like sticking your finger in a Quisenart (blender). It gives no-force, it receives no-force.
It is the embodiment of in yo. It is the living aiki. Hence Ueshiba saying the mystery(s) of aiki are revealed in this one movement.

Anyway, back to intent and yin and yang. It is so very hard to really get down, yet paradoxically rather easy to show. I do one example of someone touching or grabbing my arm and I shut off and move normally. Then I turn on intent driven yin and yang supported movement and the guy instantly feels aiki. Outside they look like identical movements. One Shihan made me do it over and over and then on him...over and over.
I am not being coy or playing games it's just all but impossible to explain on the net and people struggle trying to do it in person. But interestingly enough, entire martial systems are named or have intent in the title of their name. Ueshiba and Sagawa both discuss it as well as any number of lesser lights.
So
1. The seriously good guys for generations in China all wanted their arts named after intent.
2. Rickey and Bobby from the suburban mall dojo want to argue that those Chinese guys are full of crap.

Er....uhm....I'm going with the Chinese guys.
Dan
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:32 AM   #266
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Vantage points

Hey, Dan. Very nice website.

I am interested in the softness aspect that is in the testimonials. I think it is the whole key.

Do you believe you have to be tense first to be able to develop softness? I don't but it seems to many that if one is not using a lot of muscle one is not being martial. Just interested in your take on that.

Happy New Year.

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Old 01-09-2013, 07:39 AM   #267
Allen Beebe
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Re: Vantage points

Those Chinese guys are dead in China.

Ricky and Bobby at the Mall think they (and you) are full of crap anyway.

Meanwhile . . .

Danny , who's next door, won't answer his phone on the day and time he told me to call him.

Just don't forget to pencil us in please!



Allen

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:10 AM   #268
DH
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Re: Vantage points

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Hey, Dan. Very nice website.
I am interested in the softness aspect that is in the testimonials. I think it is the whole key.
Do you believe you have to be tense first to be able to develop softness? I don't but it seems to many that if one is not using a lot of muscle one is not being martial. Just interested in your take on that.

Happy New Year.
On the web site:
Thank you for recognizing my meager efforts. I am struggling with identifying myself as a teacher in any form and having to be responsive to a growing group of people who exercise poor judgement in returning to train with me!

On softness:
I think softness is key as well.

From my vantage point it is not simple as saying "soft."
Unfortunately I tend to part company with almost everyone in Aikido and Taiji and other so called *soft arts* once I see and feel their understanding of what soft is. Soft has always....always...been associated with power. It is just not the type of power people think of when you use the term power. It is almost a waste of time talking to people about it.
  • Needle in cotton
  • Four ounces can move a thousand pounds
  • Ten units of force being handled with 5 and 5 or 7 and 3
  • Guest hand / host hand
  • Heaven and earth ki releasing the mountain echo
  • The weight of a feather or a fly alighting inducing rotation
  • Aiki being Opposing powers
  • Dual opposing spirals creating friction that give birth to in/yo
On and on and on and on...
These things are all based on a common theme of unification that produces power. It is this central power or support that makes all of the rest of the legendary soft arts so powerful. Ueshiba quoted them to a deaf audience and I am doing much the same.

Tension or hard training before soft?
All I can offer is my own experiences here
For starters I disagree with that idea completely. All it really identifies is that young men are somewhat stupid and testosterone driven and have to wait until they are older to think. To that, I have personally taught younger guys not to fight the way others did and they grew up with soft power and approaches to budo.
For adults? Hard before soft is not needed either.
It's hard to think of it as just an opinion when I have very real experience teaching people from years of damage in hard budo, years of damage in so called soft budo and newbies with no martial background. My *opinion* is that the ones who comes from hard backgrounds are the hardest to teach. The ones who come from soft arts are also difficult due to their skewed definitions of what soft is. Most people I encounter from the well known soft arts offer either of two approaches:
  • When they are controlled they offer muscle and shoulder movement like everyone else.
  • Evade and offer noodle arms
Most people who participate in soft arts are not very educated about the history of their own arts or the soft arts in general. Hell most don't even know there were soft arts compared to hard. Typically their entire view is traced back to one or two teachers (whom they respect and admire) opinion's on what budo movement is. The realization that soft arts have a profound history, with definitions and practices completely eludes them. You'de have thought that at some point they would be asking: "Where are the new legends?" "How come we don't get it?" Nope. Instead the new approach is that the legend weren't legend worthy either.. Why? Many teachers seem to feel that after 30 years in budo what they feel like must be what everyone felt like, so the legends must have been an exaggeration.

The newbies are more of a clean slate that just accept and work on what you show and you don't have to work out their decades of bad habits and preconceived notions that keep fighting them....and me. Don't get me wrong, It does work for experienced people; according to hundreds of VERY experienced and rather jaded teachers I have had good success with retraining them and re-educating them on what soft truly is and it continues to invigorate their practices, but they will be the first to tell you it was startling, stunning, life and career changing, and a difficult process to wrap their heads around.

I am a huge fan of the soft arts and their potential, just not westerners definitions of what soft is. Particularly those who constantly evade and noodle arm in Aikido and Taiji and yet are 100% convinced that they don't and have no idea whatsoever how to explain hundreds of sayings and explanations for what soft power used to be about for thousands of years before we took over with our version.

I think my web page on The Method offers my view on a progressive model fairly well.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-09-2013 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:59 AM   #269
Michael Douglas
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Re: Vantage points

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I think my web page on The Method offers my view on a progressive model fairly well.
I don't think the word "gyroscopic" is going to do you any favours.
If you remove it the whole page will be better.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:11 PM   #270
DH
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Re: Vantage points

Quote:
Michael Douglas wrote: View Post
I don't think the word "gyroscopic" is going to do you any favours.
If you remove it the whole page will be better.
You may be right.
Dan.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:29 PM   #271
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
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Re: Vantage points

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
ugh, this again? Stay out of other peoples pockets.
It's an unpleasant subject, Jason, but I think it's important to hash out the economics of martial arts teaching in this day and age.

I was a commercial "teacher," charging fees from students, from 1979 until about 1999, when I stopped charging altogether--maybe 2001 or 2002. I opened the first yoseikan budo dojo in North America in 1984 and I have taught at multiple locations and in seminar format of various kinds, only to see the numbers collapse long before it becomes viable as a living. And Dan's prices are not far from what I've always based my calculations on, so I don't see how it comes out looking like he's even breaking even from it, much less profiting. The class sizes are tiny. Sure, he does lots of seminars and now is going around the world, but that's a lot of airfare and a lot of life time invested in each seminar. So you have to figure that into his "profit." I'm not saying Dan's a bad businessman, just that budo is not his livelihood business. He is a professional with a real business as his real life which allows him to pursue his other interests in depth. As I read Dan's fee and class schedules, he breaks even or loses money to share his unique knowledge and methods with people who can appreciate them and their relevance to aikido, and thereby enrich their lives with a new direction for intensive work.

From reading Chris' translations of O Sensei's materials, very importantly including the Floating Bridge of Heaven material, I believe that Dan's method is what O Sensei was doing. In fact, I'd say that modern aikido was a less esoteric though still awesome thing created to bring in large numbers of participants to finance the free and unimpeded life of Morihei Ueshiba in his esoteric and unmarketable interests.

Anyway, congrats on getting Dan on schedule for Atlanta next month. Sorry I couldn't give more support on that and that I won't be able to attend. I hope this takes hold among the serious IP guys in ATL and that some of our local folks can attend in February.

Good work.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:56 AM   #272
cagivaplanet
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 4
Singapore
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Re: Vantage points

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
On the web site:

On softness:
I think softness is key as well.

From my vantage point it is not simple as saying "soft."
Unfortunately I tend to part company with almost everyone in Aikido and Taiji and other so called *soft arts* once I see and feel their understanding of what soft is. Soft has always....always...been associated with power. It is just not the type of power people think of when you use the term power. It is almost a waste of time talking to people about it.
  • Needle in cotton
  • Four ounces can move a thousand pounds
  • Ten units of force being handled with 5 and 5 or 7 and 3
  • Guest hand / host hand
  • Heaven and earth ki releasing the mountain echo
  • The weight of a feather or a fly alighting inducing rotation
  • Aiki being Opposing powers
  • Dual opposing spirals creating friction that give birth to in/yo
On and on and on and on...
These things are all based on a common theme of unification that produces power. It is this central power or support that makes all of the rest of the legendary soft arts so powerful. Ueshiba quoted them to a deaf audience and I am doing much the same.

Tension or hard training before soft?
All I can offer is my own experiences here
For starters I disagree with that idea completely. All it really identifies is that young men are somewhat stupid and testosterone driven and have to wait until they are older to think. To that, I have personally taught younger guys not to fight the way others did and they grew up with soft power and approaches to budo.
For adults? Hard before soft is not needed either.
It's hard to think of it as just an opinion when I have very real experience teaching people from years of damage in hard budo, years of damage in so called soft budo and newbies with no martial background. My *opinion* is that the ones who comes from hard backgrounds are the hardest to teach. The ones who come from soft arts are also difficult due to their skewed definitions of what soft is. Most people I encounter from the well known soft arts offer either of two approaches:
  • When they are controlled they offer muscle and shoulder movement like everyone else.
  • Evade and offer noodle arms
Most people who participate in soft arts are not very educated about the history of their own arts or the soft arts in general. Hell most don't even know there were soft arts compared to hard. Typically their entire view is traced back to one or two teachers (whom they respect and admire) opinion's on what budo movement is. The realization that soft arts have a profound history, with definitions and practices completely eludes them. You'de have thought that at some point they would be asking: "Where are the new legends?" "How come we don't get it?" Nope. Instead the new approach is that the legend weren't legend worthy either.. Why? Many teachers seem to feel that after 30 years in budo what they feel like must be what everyone felt like, so the legends must have been an exaggeration.

The newbies are more of a clean slate that just accept and work on what you show and you don't have to work out their decades of bad habits and preconceived notions that keep fighting them....and me. Don't get me wrong, It does work for experienced people; according to hundreds of VERY experienced and rather jaded teachers I have had good success with retraining them and re-educating them on what soft truly is and it continues to invigorate their practices, but they will be the first to tell you it was startling, stunning, life and career changing, and a difficult process to wrap their heads around.

I am a huge fan of the soft arts and their potential, just not westerners definitions of what soft is. Particularly those who constantly evade and noodle arm in Aikido and Taiji and yet are 100% convinced that they don't and have no idea whatsoever how to explain hundreds of sayings and explanations for what soft power used to be about for thousands of years before we took over with our version.

I think my web page on The Method offers my view on a progressive model fairly well.
Dan
this has been a question of mine for the longest time. Thank you for this post Dan.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:58 AM   #273
NathanMishler
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 9
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Re: Vantage points

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I think my web page on The Method offers my view on a progressive model fairly well.
Dan
That whole post makes me very happy, Dan. Lets me see what you are thinking better, at least a little bit. I look forward to learning this stuff from you someday.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:47 AM   #274
chillzATL
Location: ATL
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 846
United_States
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Re: Vantage points

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
It's an unpleasant subject, Jason, but I think it's important to hash out the economics of martial arts teaching in this day and age.

I was a commercial "teacher," charging fees from students, from 1979 until about 1999, when I stopped charging altogether--maybe 2001 or 2002. I opened the first yoseikan budo dojo in North America in 1984 and I have taught at multiple locations and in seminar format of various kinds, only to see the numbers collapse long before it becomes viable as a living. And Dan's prices are not far from what I've always based my calculations on, so I don't see how it comes out looking like he's even breaking even from it, much less profiting. The class sizes are tiny. Sure, he does lots of seminars and now is going around the world, but that's a lot of airfare and a lot of life time invested in each seminar. So you have to figure that into his "profit." I'm not saying Dan's a bad businessman, just that budo is not his livelihood business. He is a professional with a real business as his real life which allows him to pursue his other interests in depth. As I read Dan's fee and class schedules, he breaks even or loses money to share his unique knowledge and methods with people who can appreciate them and their relevance to aikido, and thereby enrich their lives with a new direction for intensive work.

From reading Chris' translations of O Sensei's materials, very importantly including the Floating Bridge of Heaven material, I believe that Dan's method is what O Sensei was doing. In fact, I'd say that modern aikido was a less esoteric though still awesome thing created to bring in large numbers of participants to finance the free and unimpeded life of Morihei Ueshiba in his esoteric and unmarketable interests.

Anyway, congrats on getting Dan on schedule for Atlanta next month. Sorry I couldn't give more support on that and that I won't be able to attend. I hope this takes hold among the serious IP guys in ATL and that some of our local folks can attend in February.

Good work.

David
Oh you don't have to tell me. My comment wasn't directed at Dan, but at people who want to complain about someone else charging for their time. I've paid for plenty of Aikido seminars that cost the same and really only amount to about 4 hours of training time per day and no hands on time with "the man".

Sucks that you won't be able to make it. I was hoping we'd finally get to meet. The good thing about getting him down is that the hooks will be in and he'll have to come back, so there's always next time.

Now I just have to get him to reply with details...
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:02 AM   #275
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
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Re: Vantage points

Regarding fees:
Start a thread stating the fees of Saotome or Ushiro, and cut and paste the same negative comments that have been posted here.

There is an obvious undercurrent here toward me and those who train with me. I have taken more personal slams directed at my character, motives and honesty than any combination of individuals I have seen. Have we ever seen posts calling the students of Saotome or Ushiro idiots and brain washed?

It is very disheartening sometimes.
The fact that 99% of the seminar attendees write in with positive comments and the fact that no one....not one person from Aikido has been physically able to handle me matters not.
The fact that -once again- almost 100% of the people exposed ..change and adopt this matters not.

Hopefully we can someday turn the page. We'll see how it goes.

_________________________________________________________

I started the thread in an attempt to discuss why no one from here will acknowledge that almost all of those who come to these seminars switch and start training this way. Those are almost impossible odds. As outrageously successful as an outcome as you could hope for. It is far beyond anything -I- ever imagined would happen.

I wanted to discuss that. In and of itself it offers compelling credibility to the discussion that we have been having on the boards.
At the very least, if we address that topic alone, we can move forward with the fact that there must be something to this to convince so many credible teachers.

Instead, and exactly....exactly...as I predicted....no one wants to address that and they would attack me personally in any way they can. Look at the original post, look at the replies, all over the map to avoid the OP.....

I keep trying to help -and I am succeeding- so I'll keep my eye on the ball and satisfy myself with the incredible letters I keep receiving from teachers with decades of experience, thanking me for opening their eyes....with material that isn't even mine.....
It came from the founder of their own art, Aikido!!!

Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-10-2013 at 11:15 AM.
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