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Old 12-06-2010, 06:07 PM   #1
MM
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Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Location: Aikido of Palm Beach in Florida
Date: December 18th & 19th

This work shop is a continuation of the workshops already taking place at Dan's Dojo with advance level aikido students and teachers from all over the United States. Dan is making his research into the Japanese arts and the resultant training practices of his private dojo available on a national level. The goal is to offer a workshop in a neutral environment, with an emphasis on learning and understanding internal power and aiki as a basis for martial movement in a global sense, while undertaking the difficult task of taking that first step into personal training and integration of the concepts into your own art.

The work shop will cover introductory basics of the system Dan has developed and taught successfully to hundreds of students and teachers from a wide range of martial arts. Dan will outline Internal training in such a way as to make the relevancy to martial movement immediate, clear and accessible. Included will be:

A presentation of how the martial arts take advantage of natural and common postural failures and methods for building a martial body that moves antithetical to the principles most martial arts use as their foundation for defeating the common body frame.

How the trained body can begin to take care of itself automatically in a live environment.

An emphasis on specific training tools (solo and paired) to develop internal power, and specifically how it relates to aiki connections in a martial context.

Creating and maintaining a structure supported on all sides and how to strengthen it with breath training exercises.

The material covered; while benefiting aikido greatly will not be "specific" to just the aiki arts like Aikido and Daito ryu, but any grappling or striking art, so teachers from other disciplines are welcome.

Dress will be sweats or shorts and T-shirts. No Gis, No budo affiliated T-shirts please. This will be very informal, and casual, but I strongly urge you to bring a notebook.

This was a closed workshop however it is being opened up for a few first time people. Please email Dan at homeoffice@charter.net. Participants are required to fill out an application (available by e-mailing Dan @ homeoffice@charter.net ). People may or may not be accepted by Dan's sole discretion. No pictures, video, or visitors allowed.
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:04 AM   #2
DodgingRain
 
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Hey. Im just wondering if anyone is going through Northwest Florida to go to this, and can accomodate one more. I will help out with gas and pay my own way, just need a ride since mine backed out. If worse comes to worse, I will rent a car, but just trying to see if anyone else is in need of a road trip partner and wants a little extra gas money.
attempting to be economical in these hard times..
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Old 01-10-2011, 02:39 PM   #3
Rothgar
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Hi All:

Went to the Dan Harden workshop here in South Florida. Background: 21 years in Aikido and other martial arts including judo, iaido, brazilian jujitsu, and karate. I practice at Florida Aikikai (sandan) and teach weapons and taijitsu techniques every Friday morning.

My experiences: As soon as Dan started talking, he said Aikido sucks. From then on it was Aikido sucks every 40 minutes or so. This is the first time I've gone to a martial arts seminar anywhere where the invited guests from a different martial arts background insults the host dojos. Additionally, he says Aikidoka don't know how to use weapons even thought the ken forms can be traced to Kashima Shinto Ryu and the jo forms can be traced to O'Sensei's sojitsu practice. Additionally, many Aikidoka do Iaido and other martial arts...

Second, I was expecting Dan to clearly state where he learned and practiced his internal art and which teacher/s he practiced with; he never did. All he said was that he practiced MMA. Thus, how are we newbies to internal practice know that Dan is legit?

Third, after 20 minutes of practice, my partner and I were really enjoying the exercises and started realizing, wow, there's something to this. However, every time Dan opened his mouth it was Aikido sucks, or that Koryu were better than Gendai. He then said something about Donn Draeger and how he practiced Koryu in Japan and that there are a lot of "meatheads" out there lifting weights and practicing martial arts which was confusing to me since Draeger introduced weightlifting to the Judo club he was practicing in Japan.

Fourth, he would continually state "don't be a dick," meaning don't roughhouse your partner and instead apply enough force so that your partner knows when to correct their form which I thought was really good but at the end of the class had alternative intentions behind it.

Fifth, Dan would randomly attack people around the room using physical external force. For example, a group next to ours was talking to Dan. We stopped to listen to get some pointers. After about a minute, Dan, without looking at me backhanded me in the stomach. I didn't flinch, move, sneeze, cough. I was like WTF. 30 minutes later he attacked one of my colleagues who fell to the floor; 5 minutes later he hit another colleague in the solar plexus with a punch dropping him. All these attacks occurred while the folks were standing and practicing and not aware that Dan was going to hit or drop them. Now, if you claim to be a master at internal art, why are you hitting the people in the room with physical force AND, more importantly, why aren't you telling us, get ready, defend yourself, and I'm going to use my internal energy to throw you or pin you or whatever?

Sixth, Dan's seminar is akin to a travelling carnival: exciting, fun, mysterious, tantalizing, but after the ride, you're not impressed. I for one was not impressed with Dan's seminar, While the exercises are beneficial, Dan needs to stop insulting all martial arts he doesn't like and call each one of us and ask us to defend ourselves in whatever martial art we do and show us his internal energy throws, pins, or whatever. Also, Dan needs to state where and with whom he learned this from. Going around and physically man-handling those in the seminar without warning can be done by anyone. We all know Dan can do MMA, but that's not what he's claiming at these seminars. Thus, next time your down here Dan, you need to divulge where you learned your art, what your ranking is, who you practiced with, and demonstrate with us internal newbies.

Roger Gonzalez, Florida Aikikai (My Aikido videos are available on Youtube)
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:40 PM   #4
Walker
 
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

People, this has got to stop.

Reading the discourse around figures like Dan, Mike, Arkizawa, Ikeda, George, Gleason, Ushiro etc, etc, etc, is starting to stink of partisanship, mixed messages, hidden agendas, bad blood, and a general lack of civility.

I have to say, if Dan was acting as poorly as you describe I am astounded that there wasn't anyone willing to stand up, be an adult and call a halt to the proceedings until your concerns could be straightened out. So if that didn't happen then either it wasn't as bad as you describe or your entire dojo just let someone walk all over you.

And before anyone asks, yes, Dan has hit me (multiple times) with my full knowledge and consent and in front of a room full of people who stopped to watch. Not only did it illustrate a point, but I learned something. Also he was not the first to hit me nor in all likelihood will he be the last. Some of my best friends hit me and I hit them too.

I know exactly where Dan trained and with who. Why? Because I I've been paying attention over the years and then I asked him.

-Doug Walker
光道館 高村派新道楊心流
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:55 PM   #5
Tin Tran
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

"I have to say, if Dan was acting as poorly as you describe I am astounded that there wasn't anyone willing to stand up, be an adult and call a halt to the proceedings until your concerns could be straightened out. So if that didn't happen then either it wasn't as bad as you describe or your entire dojo just let someone walk all over you."

Wait a minute, instead of asking someone else at the seminar to verify the report, you are implicitly attacking the messenger & other attendees?

"And before anyone asks, yes, Dan has hit me (multiple times) with my full knowledge and consent and in front of a room full of people who stopped to watch. Not only did it illustrate a point, but I learned something."

Well, I was at the Santa Ana seminar when Dan hit you multiple times, with your knowledge. I didn't care for the sight of your face being punched repeatedly, but if you were ok with it, who am I to step in and question your adult decision. My adult decision was not to come back the next day of the seminar. That kind of atmosphere, and the passive aggressive smack talking, isn't something I want to support. And it's not because I'm shy about being hit, having been struck powerfully by Ark a few times. The context makes a difference, and for sure I would attend another Aunkai seminar.

And just because you are ok with Dan's punches doesn't meant other attendees are of the same mind, right?

Tin
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:18 PM   #6
Rothgar
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

You're exactly right the Aikido dojo folks in Boca and we in Florida Aikikai let Dan disrespect the dojo. I don't mind Dan calling me up to show his technique, but he didn't do that. He just blind sides people without telling them to defend yourself. This surprise blind side attack is totally bogus. My story of Saturday's workshop can be backed up by anyone who was there; just ask them. I'm sure many are in this Forum...
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:22 PM   #7
Rothgar
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Sorry I forgot, never met Dan Harden or heard of him until this Saturday seminar so I'm not into one camp or another. What I'm concerned is that Dan doesn't call anyone to attack him and show what he's got with someone else defending and resisting and trying to throw or hit him back while he's using his internal stuff. If he can do that, that's fine. Talking crap about this martial art or that martial art doesn't do anyone any good; just show what you got...
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:28 PM   #8
Lee Salzman
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Tin Tran wrote: View Post
"I have to say, if Dan was acting as poorly as you describe I am astounded that there wasn't anyone willing to stand up, be an adult and call a halt to the proceedings until your concerns could be straightened out. So if that didn't happen then either it wasn't as bad as you describe or your entire dojo just let someone walk all over you."

Wait a minute, instead of asking someone else at the seminar to verify the report, you are implicitly attacking the messenger & other attendees?

"And before anyone asks, yes, Dan has hit me (multiple times) with my full knowledge and consent and in front of a room full of people who stopped to watch. Not only did it illustrate a point, but I learned something."

Well, I was at the Santa Ana seminar when Dan hit you multiple times, with your knowledge. I didn't care for the sight of your face being punched repeatedly, but if you were ok with it, who am I to step in and question your adult decision. My adult decision was not to come back the next day of the seminar. That kind of atmosphere, and the passive aggressive smack talking, isn't something I want to support. And it's not because I'm shy about being hit, having been struck powerfully by Ark a few times. The context makes a difference, and for sure I would attend another Aunkai seminar.

And just because you are ok with Dan's punches doesn't meant other attendees are of the same mind, right?

Tin
Wow. Maybe I managed to black out during large parts of that weekend or something, but I do not remember witnessing anything so morally questionable of the sort there, or for that matter, anything resembling the character of interaction described here on several weekends prior? There is, by my guess, seemingly way more to Roger's story than he is letting on between him and Dan, and I would question whether this is the right place or manner to air such grievances publicly?
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:42 PM   #9
Walker
 
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Tin Tran wrote: View Post
Wait a minute, instead of asking someone else at the seminar to verify the report, you are implicitly attacking the messenger & other attendees?
What? How am I attacking anyone? If Dan was abusing people on the mat then someone needed to stop things until the matter was resolved. Either Dan needed to to be told that his abuse was unacceptable in that venue or the seminar needed to end right there. At the very least anyone who felt abused needed to remove themselves immediately.

That is not an attack, it is good advise.

I think you probably did the right thing. You weren't comfortable with the Santa Anna seminar and chose not to continue, but I have to say that your descriptions sound like we were at different events. Maybe we were.

The way I see it these guys can't win. Either people are saying that Mike's no good because he didn't demo with people or Dan is stalking around taking cheap shots or any number of aikido instructors need a compliant uke for their stuff to work.

I think we need to grow a little as budoka or take up some other activity. We need some other yardstick to measure value in the martial arts. If people are going to go around challenging teachers or if seminars become venues for random abuse then sooner or later there will be serious consequences. Budo is a serious business.

-Doug Walker
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:45 PM   #10
Rothgar
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Lee, I don't know Dan on any level except for that Saturday seminar and I didn't even know he was coming until a week before. Quotes from the seminar verbatim: "Dont be dick, Aikido sucks, Aikido people don't know how to handle weapons, I know a female ballet teacher who is 50 something years old that is more centered and would be able to throw several Aikido shihan, Koryu are better than Gendai..." The funny thing is that I found Dan's exercises to be beneficial and helpful so there's something to what he's doing. However, bashing other martial arts especially your host is big turn off especially randomly hitting people without warning. I could care less what martial art you do but if you can prove what you say then you're ok. I appreciate all martial arts and most have something to contribute to other martial arts. Additionally, Lee I don't know you and you don't know me. However, my fellow colleagues from the dojo that were there can verify what I've stated. I have no ulterior motive except that I didn't like how Dan came across with his bashing...
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:51 PM   #11
Tin Tran
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
Wow. Maybe I managed to black out during large parts of that weekend or something, but I do not remember witnessing anything so morally questionable of the sort there, or for that matter, anything resembling the character of interaction described here on several weekends prior? There is, by my guess, seemingly way more to Roger's story than he is letting on between him and Dan, and I would question whether this is the right place or manner to air such grievances publicly?
Well, maybe you did Doug Walker himself wrote he got hit multiple times. Did you missed Dan asking for band aid for Doug, too?

Seminar reports should encompass both sides, the good and the bad, so possible attendees can make informed decisions before traveling to see a teacher and spend their hard earned money. Why is a good "I learn a lot!" report ok, but a bad one implicitly labeled as a personal grievance?

So there are people who likes Dan's seminar, and there are people who don't. Shrug. People should know.

Tin
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:04 PM   #12
Rothgar
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Agreed.
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:24 PM   #13
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

"What? How am I attacking anyone? "

Maybe I read too much into this statement:

"So if that didn't happen then either it wasn't as bad as you describe or your entire dojo just let someone walk all over you. "

If I did, I apologize.

"I think you probably did the right thing. You weren't comfortable with the Santa Anna seminar and chose not to continue, but I have to say that your descriptions sound like we were at different events. Maybe we were."

I don't know Rothgar, but I kind of know what he's talking about I'm sure there's someone at the Florida seminar who disagrees with his experience, too. At any rate, I do think these kind of discussions are more useful to potential attendees than the usual "I learned a lot!" responses.

Tin
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:58 AM   #14
Chris Li
 
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Doug Walker wrote: View Post
I know exactly where Dan trained and with who. Why? Because I I've been paying attention over the years and then I asked him.
Ditto, it's not hard to find out for anyone who can use Google, or who will just ask.

I wasn't in Florida, so I can't comment on anything that happened there. I will say that, in Hawaii, Dan was plain spoken but very friendly and good natured - I don't believe that anybody here took offense. I never heard him claim to be a "master" at anything.

I don't think that the practice was any rougher than any regular Aikido practice. He did hit me (lightly) - but that was in the context of experiencing some of the things that he was explaining - and yes, he showed quite a bit, some of it embarrassingly hands on, and all of it well explained in rational detail.

In any case the strikes hurt less than many of the breakfalls and wrist techniques that I've received from respected Aikikai shihan.

Roger, I'm sorry that you weren't impressed. But I was.

Best,

Chris

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Old 01-11-2011, 02:15 AM   #15
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Hi Roger,
first of all, I am sorry you had a negative experience. There are one or two perspectives I feel I may have to offer - both not relating exclusively to Dan Harden at all:

First of all, can your aikido really be insulted? One IS teacher I met told me he thought that all gendai budo practitioners really had issues; another said he felt sorry when I said I did aikido. Both may have been in jest or not, hard ot tell, but I take it as their valid perspective from where they are and what their goals in training are. And as part of emptying my cup. If they felt aikido was great, they would be doing aikido. If I felt aikido had all answers, I would not train with them.

Second, anybody who becomes a martial arts innovator will anger a lot of people and annoy others in the process - and part of being an innovator anywhere is not caring too much about that. Hell, they may want to annoy others purposefully as part of what they do! So I feel when meeting such teachers it is important to recognize that they probably did not get to where they are by just being kind, understanding and co-operative. (They may also be that some of the time). Of course, that does not really justify any transgressions anywhere. But there is also a need to muster the courage to draw one's own boundaries.

Finally, you may have realised that you stepped into a snake pit here on aikiweb, with lots of agendas, hidden and overt (I hope you did not do so on purpose...). I do not feel I am not part of any camp there, but, just for the record, the one time I met Dan there was no gratuitous violence whatsoever and I greatly benefited from his generosity in teaching and enjoyed his company.

Again, I am sorry your experience was not such, and I hope the bitterness will not last.

Sincerely,
Nicholas

Last edited by Nicholas Eschenbruch : 01-11-2011 at 02:27 AM. Reason: specification
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:00 AM   #16
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
I do not feel I am not part of any camp there,
Double negation was a mistake here....

I meant:
"I do not feel I am part of any camp there"

Last edited by akiy : 01-11-2011 at 09:44 AM. Reason: Fixed quote tags
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:57 AM   #17
DH
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Roger
I am so sorry you had a bad time of it. On the other hand I am taken by surprise at this. How could I be getting along so well with so many Aikido teachers, and being asked to do repeat seminars, if I thought aikido sucked and was hopeless and that I was an abuser? Since I have trained with your teacher several times, what does that say about his judgement? I don't think anything was as intense as you made it sound.

Naturally after 19 seminars and hundreds of people it only stands to reason that a few people might be disappointed with me or my presentation. Hey, I stand in rooms trying to address skills that have by and large gone missing from the arts, and am called to question the veracity of them (in use) with arts as diverse as Daito ryu to Aikido to Koryu weapons to judo to Kali to MMA, sometimes all in one room such as Santa Ana. It isn't easy to address doubts on so many levels. At my initial "teachers only seminar" I sparred with just about everyone in the room Roger. That gets old.

I am not offended and consider accurate critique to be an opportunity for growth.
I found some of your comments a bit out of place and out of character for me though. I think you have taken various comments and lumped them together out of context to make a point; several of which I never stated and others once placed in context, make more sense. An example would be the Aikido and weapons issue, which was part of my opening monologue. What I actually stated was that many of the body movements I was going to demonstrate cannot be done with a modern approach to weapons or even to be found in most Iai I have seen. I went on to discuss why and how it had changed, What you stated as my opinions about aikido and weapons were in fact quotes from aikido shihan, among which were aikido Journal articles and quotes offered here in Peter Goldsbury's columns; where one shihan stood up and noted something on the order of "We should no longer do weapons demonstrations in public, there are koryu people in attendance and people know that we don't know what we are doing." That and other material regarding aiki weapons is really rather well known. I am sorry you found it so shocking. Mores the point is that the various exercises you enjoyed have a consistency or commonality from Koryu to various ICMA or Indonesian arts as well. As many have noted in my seminars they cannot incorporate the type of waist / hip movement drills demonstrated without a great deal of work and a willingness to change. Why? Its not in Aikido, otherwise it would be easy!

The "Aikido sucks" comment is particularly troublesome. As one person in attendance reminded me this morning "Did he miss the part where you said Ueshiba was one of the most brilliant martial artists of the modern era and that Aikido has within it to become one the most powerful arts on earth! Where was Roger in the bathroom?" Your own teacher told the entire table (some 16 people) at dinner that he was "moved" by my opening statements and only wished it had been recorded. You on the other hand were appalled.
Things like this are the reaons why Lee and others would make the comments they did, "That it sounded as if you attended a different seminar."
As for hitting and pushing (you also forgot to mention kicking) I was asked over and over from various people "to feel it." To the point I started to decline, it was embarrassing. You also left out why the mild punching was important and that it was not a punch after all. The lessons about keeping the energy in you, that there was no loss and that the punch, slowed down, was a push, also a manipulation, and that the extended arm had a multiplicity of potential energy if the body were trained correctly. There is a reason so many were enthralled by that movement. You also left out me teaching people how to do it with me being the recipient and joking…how hard they were to take!! And this as the guy doing it was shocked that he wasn't doing much of anything…all while laughing!
Another thing you left out was the light sparring (hands only) to show the manipulative quality of aiki in a more active situation and how aiki age or kokyu works with jabs and punches and went from manipulation and openings to hits. Where and how you got that I was randomly attacking people seemingly everywhere is quite a startling and damning comment. I wonder if your teacher and the other teachers there would ever support that behavior from me or anyone. As it is I intend to call him about this, as I have been invited back.

The comment about the dancers (seen in context as well) is much less dramatic and involved humor. FWIW, it involved two, not one. And one of the dancers was standing in the room with you. She has trained with me in about 6 seminars (and...surprise...she is alive and well) and flew in for the Floride seminar from Minn. She got embarrassed when I commented that she "got it" faster than her karate teacher and peers, and that in her system she should be the one teaching this stuff. No where at any time did I make a ludicrous comment that a ballet dancer could defeat a shihan. I think you are conflating things due to some measure of anger.

I am glad you covered the "don't be a dick" comment. Again though, you fail to offer context. As I was working with various groups, I found that they continued to push each other too hard to the point of breaking and that it caused the one being pushed to default back to muscle. After repeating my advice not to push to breaking and admonishing people, I asked for a pause and told people "Stop being being dicks" with a laugh and it got the desired laughter in return. Then I jokingly said in my best comedic voice "And Harry asks "How do I know when I am being a dick?"
"Well, when you are pushing on someone and they continue to stress and fail and they don't have time to try and pull themselves together mentally…you…are being a dick." Everyone cracked up, and not surprisingly it finally got the message home.. You failed to mention that I did have people pushing me hard to the point they were sweating, nor the fun they had when I got various people to actually do these things. Come on Roger, there was a lot of laughter and general silliness going on. You make it all sound so intense that everyone should have ran out!!

Overall, the comments I received from many were that they had never felt more relaxed and had so much fun and laughter at a seminar. One group of about 8 people all agreed that never had they been allowed to ask so many detailed questions, had them all "actually answered so you could understand" (that's a quote) and had more hands on in order to make it work. If you remember I had a hell of a time getting off the floor for lunch and dinner because I was surrounded by apparently happy attendees asking yet more questions and among the last…one of my guys prodding one of your guys…who was to shy to ask….if he could "Feel it." He wanted me to tag him.

It can be difficult to walk the line.
I am criticized for not fighting --people want to see how it works
Criticized for being too rough-people are more concerned about IP and aiki
I frequently joke that I can't win for trying.
Others have been criticized for not covering enough material, I have been for covering too much too fast at one or two events I have done. For my part, I do listen and try to improve.

None of this will matter to you if you were offended from the onset. I think you might have seen the entire event from a certain perspective. For that you have my sincerest apology. Should you wish to attend again, it will be on the house and I will buy dinner. Let's talk face to face. Please offer me the chance to more clearly state my opinions for you, as they are just not as dire as you believe them to be. How about a chance to see if we can reach an understanding? Maybe you can keep checking-in in the near future as I will be doing a series of seminars in Florida and you can see how I am doing with your peers and teacher. If not, I wish you well in your training.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-11-2011 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:10 AM   #18
MM
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Tin Tran wrote: View Post
Well, I was at the Santa Ana seminar when Dan hit you multiple times, with your knowledge. I didn't care for the sight of your face being punched repeatedly, but if you were ok with it, who am I to step in and question your adult decision. My adult decision was not to come back the next day of the seminar. That kind of atmosphere, and the passive aggressive smack talking, isn't something I want to support. And it's not because I'm shy about being hit, having been struck powerfully by Ark a few times. The context makes a difference, and for sure I would attend another Aunkai seminar.

And just because you are ok with Dan's punches doesn't meant other attendees are of the same mind, right?

Tin
I was at the Santa Ana seminar, too. Both days. IMO, Doug and Lee have a better interpretation of things. They were there both days, too. Come to think of it, just how long were you there on Saturday? I don't recall seeing you after lunch. Could be my memory, it's been known to be somewhat sporadic. What time on Saturday did you actually leave?

As to being hit ... I guess you missed the many people who actually wanted to feel the power generation (on a small scale) in one of Dan's hits.

I'm sorry if you didn't stay long enough to get a feel for what was truly going on at the seminar. Perhaps next time, you can stay longer so that an actual relationship can start to be built with new people. Personally, I met a lot of people there who were helpful, eager, having fun, working hard, and really, really trying to get a grasp of the complex concepts that were being presented, both mentally and physically.

Of course, I was also told that some people came to the seminar with a hidden agenda and that certain posts from another forum showed this. Since I haven't ever seen any of these posts, I can't say whether that's true or not.

But, as you said, "Seminar reports should encompass both sides, the good and the bad" and "People should know". Usually, it's just a matter of time before things sort themselves out.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:38 AM   #19
phitruong
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

ooohhh more workshops in florida. hopefully, not too far south that i can't drive or during the time that i can't attend. of course, if it's too far south, i have show up in my zebra striped thong.

dan, maybe you should try kissing instead of hitting, next time. it's terrible that you hit folks in aikido dojo. you should know better. aikido folks don't like to be hit. well actually, karate and kungfu folks too for that matter. maybe you should ask, does the phrase "thank you sir, might i have another!" hold any meaning for you? if their eyes light up, then you know you got a live one, so go for it! otherwise, pass. btw, i like to be spank.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:44 AM   #20
Tin Tran
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Could be my memory, it's been known to be somewhat sporadic. What time on Saturday did you actually leave?

Well, that settles it- your memory is somewhat sporadic. I left at the end of the day on Saturday.

Of course, I was also told that some people came to the seminar with a hidden agenda and that certain posts from another forum showed this. Since I haven't ever seen any of these posts, I can't say whether that's true or not.

If you haven't seen the posts, and you can't say whether that's true or not, why mention it? And whomever showed posts from a private forum broke a confidentiality contract, i.e. they are liars. And the people who received such stolen information, and trumpet such facts, aren't people I care to associate with, i.e. there's too many levels of dishonesty here. Shrug.

Tin
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:50 AM   #21
DH
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
dan, maybe you should try kissing instead of hitting, next time. it's terrible that you hit folks in aikido dojo. you should know better. aikido folks don't like to be hit. well actually, karate and kungfu folks too for that matter. maybe you should ask, does the phrase "thank you sir, might i have another!" hold any meaning for you? if their eyes light up, then you know you got a live one, so go for it! otherwise, pass. btw, i like to be spank.
Well from playing with hundreds of Aikido-ka and dozens of teachers, I think it is more accurate to say in my experience some aikido-ka don't like it. But heck if Systema is any example.....more get what it's about than not.

Hitting is not essential in what I do. The exact same work can be shown in no motion, slow motion, or fast motion. It is the quality of that motion opposed to external movement that makes all the difference, Moreover, how you make aiki in all of those circumstances as one fluid action in freestyle.

This last weekend I was doing a seminar. In fact it was a follow up to the Santa Ana one. And poor Doug was in attendance as well. It was a little more fruity, as we got down to more prolonged work that demonstrated the other half of a banana in more detail ....sorry inside joke.
Point being, here we are again with follow ups to a seminar where people-supposedly abused- think different than those making such observations!!
And I will be back next month.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-11-2011 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:59 AM   #22
MM
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Tin Tran wrote: View Post
Well, that settles it- your memory is somewhat sporadic. I left at the end of the day on Saturday.
As I said, my memory is sporadic. Sorry I missed you for that latter half.

Quote:
Tin Tran wrote: View Post
If you haven't seen the posts, and you can't say whether that's true or not, why mention it? And whomever showed posts from a private forum broke a confidentiality contract, i.e. they are liars. And the people who received such stolen information, and trumpet such facts, aren't people I care to associate with, i.e. there's too many levels of dishonesty here. Shrug.

Tin
Well, why mention "just because you are ok with Dan's punches doesn't meant other attendees are of the same mind" when you didn't really talk to most of the people there or be there for the entire seminar? In fact, you didn't even know Doug's intentions or opinion about getting hit until now. You did want to "encompass both sides, the good and the bad" and let people know, right?

And I never said it was from a private forum ... seems there's more to the story here than is being told ... I also never said that posts were copied or distributed or shown ... reread what I said.

You sure do come to a lot of strong convictions and conclusions based on some hearsay. Makes one wonder ...
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:13 AM   #23
phitruong
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Tin Tran wrote: View Post
Could be my memory, it's been known to be somewhat sporadic. What time on Saturday did you actually leave?

Well, that settles it- your memory is somewhat sporadic. I left at the end of the day on Saturday.

Tin
come on, tin! you know that all you asians looked alike so he might not remembered you. oh wait! i are too! damn! ok, all you asians out there, stop looking like me!
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:26 AM   #24
DH
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Well I am more than ready to listen to people. How else does one improve? I have gotten great feedback from people "I wish you had covered more of this...I wish we spent more time on that...I think this or that helped more than the other things we did, I think you should slow down and spend more time on things..." Of course I then get just the opposite or contradictory advice to that, and It makes me have to think and review and test. I think it's all great. It means people are thinking, and thankfully they feel comfortable enough with me to talk to me.
Tin offered some constructive critique about the material covered and not covered and the pace...that I listened to and discussed with the fellas in Oregon, as well as some critique he offered of an event during the seminar that no one who attended agreed with him about. I'm not going to throw him under the buss for that-although it would have been nice for him to say I wrote him and offered him his money back. If your goal is to actually help people, then feedback and a willingness to listen to that feeback is essential. Of the three people (out of hundreds) who have told me they were not happy, I offered them a full refund....and another seminar for free. What more can a person do?
No one can offer perfection in a seminar for everyone. Geez Luis.
I cannot begin to count the comments and reviews I have heard of other people's seminars as well. I say "Take the advice and learn." and don't throw THE TEACHER under the buss either.
The web is very strange. I just wish people could manage to disagree over some issue without so much anger. Life's too short.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-11-2011 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:07 PM   #25
Keith Larman
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Well... FWIW. I was at Santa Ana for both days. I've been to a lot of seminars over the years covering a variety of arts. I've been to seminars that were basically feel good fluffy discussions and I've been to seminars that I left battered and bruised (but usually quite happily so). The Santa Ana seminar struck me as rather low impact for the most part. Of course I walked in and informed Dan that I had suffered a rather bad injury only a few weeks prior (broken tail bone and cracked ribs). Which is what you're supposed to do if you have any reservations about maybe getting punched or thrown at a martial arts seminar. I wouldn't bother mentioning something like this if it were a chado seminar or maybe flower arranging. But for what is ostensibly a martial arts seminar it is something that should be mentioned up front if you have any qualms with getting into contact (there's a reason you sign a release for these things).

I *was* (past tense) also on that other private forum folk are obviously alluding to. I saw the thread there were people gave their reviews. I was in full agreement with Doug both here and there. I also posted my observations there (which I also posted elsewhere). Just my own observations -- I have no secrets about my opinions and I have no problems sharing my opinions (obviously). Others wrote things that, like above, gave me the "were we at the same seminar?" reaction. And I replied as such. Next thing I know I was no longer a member of that forum. Don't know why as no explanation was given. It doesn't really bother me much as it isn't my sandbox so if I wasn't contributing what they wanted, fine, by all means.

However, I ended up with a few people implying I had been supplying copies of posts. Nope. Not then, not now. What I found amazing was the incredible level of paranoia about it, however.

I stayed both days of the seminar. I got a lot out of both days. Maybe it was that how it was taught was more congruent with my background hence it "rang more true" and my interpretation of demonstrations and approaches was therefore affected. Don't really know.

But in the end I had the same impression as others have indicated -- were we at the same seminar?

Anyway, fwiw, I walked away from the Aikiweb seminars with Threadgill, Ledyard and Clark with more sore parts than from Dan's. I was nursing an injury there as well and some numbnuts decided to do a judo throw on me (bad back and all) rather than the vastly more "gentle" throw being demonstrated by Mr. Clark (excellent instructor, btw). I also ended up with sore wrists after insisting Toby Threadgill show me a ken disarm. My Neanderthal brain didn't think it would work as easily as it made it look. But in practice, okay, yeah, that worked. Ice packs for two weeks. And the only thing going through my head after he did it was "Coooool...."

And you know what? I was first in line next time I heard he'd be out my way giving another seminar.

So... I'm just tossing out my experiences. I do admit to being baffled about some reactions to these things. Maybe it is the diverse backgrounds. Maybe it is different expectations. Maybe it is just a personality clash that predisposes different interpretations. Don't really know. I just know I'll be signing up for the next seminars of whomever has something good to offer.

But I will say that the petty, behind-the-scenes gabbing and BS is just flat out stupid.

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