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Old 01-11-2011, 12:53 PM   #26
Rothgar
Dojo: Florida Aikikai
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Hi Dan:

Thanks for your quick reply!!!! Much appreciated. I didn't have a bad time since I found your techniques helpful during the partner practice. However, having been invested in Gendai arts for 21 years when one insults (or what seems to be insulting) what you're doing as incorrect or incomplete, everything else tunes out.

Everything I've wrote that you said is verbatim, and since I was tuning out, sounded negative and might be taken out of context now in the writing.

My teacher is not Josh, my teacher is Peter Bernath and he wasn't at the Saturday seminar, he was at the Sunday seminar. I never went to the bathroom Saturday morning and decided not to come back to the second part after we all ate at Whole Foods cause I was tired of hearing Aikido sucks over and over and about Gendai this and that. I heard exactly what you said. While praising Ueshiba you still said "Aikido sucks". The ballet/shihan comment was part of this. When one of my colleagues and I went to Whole Foods we sat outside and compared experiences and we agreed that as an invited Aikido guest, praising Ueshiba is great, bashing on aikido teachers as missing the point or not knowing the "secret" techniques should be left off the mat. Just show us what you got. I wrote this very same complaint to Peter the day after I worked with you with the same info verbatim.

As far as hitting, you backhanded me in the stomach without looking at me as if to test my reaction while you were explaining the light pushing process to a group next to us in the beginning of the seminar. I didn't move didn't do anything except wonder what its purpose was. Then I walk over to the corner near the entrance and you knock Marcelo down, 5 minutes later hit Mike in the chest. The problem is it seemed you were doing random attacks without warning while everyone else was doing the exercises. I think if you stop the class and tell everyone ok watch this, and tell the attacker, attack and defend yourself however you want and then do your thing, that would be great and then we can catch maybe a glimpse of the internal process. I never once saw you do your internal stuff straight on to anyone attacking and defending the counterattack...

As for attending, I'll try again and appreciate the invitation. Like I said, all martial arts have something to offer. And like I've said, I've attended different martial arts seminars where it's just a workshop doing the practice and less talking about which art is better than the other one or that your specific art is no good. For example, in Brazilian Jujitsu and Judo jujigatame is taught pretty much the same way at seminars except for very slight variations. Instructors demonstrate, then show an application specific to the art, then ask everyone to partner up, then the instructor goes around, this is pro forma for all martial arts seminars. Not seeing you demo and instead you doing other things was not pedagogically traditional. As a martial arts instructor for 13 years and a university professor for 18 years, your pedagogy is off putting particularly the talking about Koryu and Gendai...

Again thanks for the feedback, open dialogue, and invitation. Much appreciated

Roger

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
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
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:16 PM   #27
DH
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Hello again Roger
Thank you. And thank you for filling in more details. So it wasn't Sunday after all. Saturday was not so much a seminar to me as much as a continuation of training with most of the people there having trained with me before, some many times. FWIW, I can see where I would have been more in "class mode' with people who knew what to expect and not "seminar mode." I am still trying to wrap my head around those questionable comments. We (including Peter for most of it) trained for 6 days straight, from 11am to 11pm, so part of it is a bit blurred together.
Please extend the offer I made you...to your friend as well. Tell him I would appreciate the opportunity to extend a hand, At the very least I will dote on you, try to answer questions and put things in context if you guys are willing.
All the best
Dan
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:18 PM   #28
Tin Tran
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
You sure do come to a lot of strong convictions and conclusions based on some hearsay. Makes one wonder ...
Hi Mark-

Well, here's the more to that story. It isn't hearsay when the seminar host confirms Dan receives posts from the private forum. It isn't hearsay when Dan confirms it on email. He proved it with a copy of a post and claimed it was sent to him 5 times over (this to address the "paranoia" claim by Keith Larman.)

To fair about it, another seminar attendee also pointed out to Dan the shadiness of receiving this kind of information.

Like I wrote earlier, I'm not shy about being hit or whatever. I'm shy about the ethical shadiness, and I distance myself from those people.

The only thing I wonder about is this general tendency to make personal comments about who disagree with you (general you) as being angry, or paranoid, or having a hidden agenda

Tin
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:42 PM   #29
Tin Tran
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
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.
Hi Dan-

I'm not angry at all, more bemused than anything else. Since your post about my critique is so vague, I cannot address it. If you are referring to the muscle usage critique, you misread whatever forwarded post you received from the private forum. That wasn't my critique. That was from another seminar attendee. I just happened to agree with that person in my post.

Regarding the underlined refund portion, this is the kind of stuff that boggles my mind. For folks who are interested:

1st email: Dan emailed 3 people from the seminar (I'm one of them) because he received forwarded postings those 3 have made on a private forum. Dan disagreed with the posts. Dan offered refunds.

2nd email: I replied and wrote: "No need to refund my money. Regardless of my expectations, the fee is yours to keep and the opinion is mine to express."

3rd email: Dan replied: "I want no part of someones money who was not satisfied. I was raised better than that. I would feel like I cheated you. You deserve better than that. For that reason I will refund your money-with apologies."

But I never did received the refund. I thought I was being nice by not mentioning the refund at all.

Tin
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:49 PM   #30
Keith Larman
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Tin:

The paranoia part for me is actually something a bit different than what you're talking about. I've been around the martial arts world for a little while now. BS goes on all the time behind the scenes. It's the guys who focus on it, participate in it, perpetuate it, and look for it constantly whom I am talking about. Frankly at some point most of us just shrug, shut up, go to workshops and train as much as we can. We say what we think as honestly as possible. Contribute what we can. Let the chips fall where they may and whatever happens, happens. We do as much as we can given our situations. And life goes on.

The same old BS will raise its ugly head over and over.

Some, however, will pursue it, worry about it, start tossing around accusations, start spreading rumors, push buttons, etc. mostly behind the scenes, essentially perpetuating it. They like the drama. They like the conflict. Someone has to be "right", someone has to "win". Someone needs to be anointed. Whatever.

Yes, there are things going on behind the scenes. It isn't paranoid to recognize that. What is paranoid is the unnatural focus on it as it does always go on. At some point it is like listening to group of high school girls complaining about some other girl having tiny boobies. Or that one's dress is "so last year". What the hell is the point? These cliques form and as I said elsewhere it starts to feel like people are running around like wanna-be alpha dogs peeing on the corners marking their territory.

But... Whatever. Like I said, it's always going on and it will always go on. Shrug. The only question for me is whether you're helping or hindering. So on that note I'm going to shut up now. Cause there are really much more important things I should be working on and I can't imagine it is helping much.

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Old 01-11-2011, 01:51 PM   #31
DH
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

+1

Last edited by DH : 01-11-2011 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:01 PM   #32
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

wish folks would go to these seminars and come back and discuss of things they learned. instead of "good times", "got the t-shirt", "i feel bad", "you feel bad", and so on and so forth, blah blah blah.

so what did you learn or not learn and can you share so folks might learn as well?
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:30 PM   #33
Rothgar
Dojo: Florida Aikikai
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

I learned that I'm not rooted as I think I am doing the exercises with Dan.

I too ain't shy about being hit or hitting. I've gotten slapped, a bloodied nose, a scar above my left eyebrow from a bokken strike and blood everywhere, an elbow pull, a hip pull, bruised ribs from a kick, pulled thumb from a kick, pulled wrist ligaments. In turn, I've dislocated two different sets of folks' ribs with a simple thumb punch, broken someone's clavicle doing a basic roll, and doing a koshi from standing to both knees causing a jammed shoulder and countless punches and kicks to the gut, ribs, and legs. We're not wallflowers in our dojo...
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:06 PM   #34
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Josh Lerner wrote: View Post
be prepared to expend a certain amount of energy trying to wade through politics, paranoia, misunderstanding, doublespeak, hidden agendas, hypocrisy, and everything else that goes on ....
Aikido?

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Old 01-11-2011, 03:21 PM   #35
Gary David
 
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

So I was going to stay out of this, but…… Talking only about the Santa Ana workshop I was there both days as I had been involved in the arrangements. I saw all of the parties involved though I didn't see everything that went on as I was training. I did see most of requested hits and there were only a few people who ask for this, with one guy making multiple requests. From what I could see the incidental taps, the unexpected ones, came out of the hands on training with Dan coming round to work with pairs. Actually I don't remember much of this in any case. I did see several individuals test Dan having asked for a demonstration of some aspect of what was being shown or when called up to help with one. These folks didn't mention to Dan before hand what they were about and continued to make adjustment even when ask not to as these were teaching moments not challenge moments. I am surprised that Dan didn't lay the wood to these folks. What I read later was essentially that Dan didn't have the real stuff and had to revert to foot sweeps and basic Jin skills to do anything. It was also stated that Dan really had no ability to articulate the dantien. This is not what I saw happening.

Quote:
Tin Tran wrote: View Post
Hi Mark-

Well, here's the more to that story. It isn't hearsay when the seminar host confirms Dan receives posts from the private forum. It isn't hearsay when Dan confirms it on email. He proved it with a copy of a post and claimed it was sent to him 5 times over (this to address the "paranoia" claim by Keith Larman.)

To fair about it, another seminar attendee also pointed out to Dan the shadiness of receiving this kind of information.

Tin
As for the private forum and the "leaking" of comments from there……I was a member of that private forum at the time, as were others at the workshop, and when I questioned the comments made on that forum by a few who had been there I was ask if I were the individual passing along specific information from the forum to Dan. I did not pass any of the comments made on that private forum to Dan. What I did do and what I told the forum administrator that I had done was to inform Dan that some individuals were not happy with the weekend and with the training. I felt the obligation to do this as Dan had stayed in my home during the time he was out here and he was ever the perfect guest. Dan is welcome in my home anytime. I am no longer a member on that by invitation only forum having been dropped a few days later.

As for Dan he is a New Englander with the sense of humor that goes with it. I can see where that might get in the way. When he told me that I sucked I just laughed and agreed. When Dan infers that some skills may be lacking or lost to Aikido I have to agree. I started Aikido in 1974 and have not stopped the journey. Having trained with many of the major teachers during that time it is clear to me that some aspects of the whole are missing. Individuals like Dan, Mike Sigman, Ark and others still unknown to me are trying to help with these gaps. Please understand that while I feel the need to explore the internal aspects that I see missing in my practice, I don't condemn anyone for being happy with the practice and skill sets they have now, or for following the path of their choice,.

As for Dan's background I only know that his training has been in Daito-Ryu and other of the Japanese Ryu-Ha, none of these modern Aikido.

I just needed to express myself here having been involved to some degree. Thanks

Gary
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:26 PM   #36
Keith Larman
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Josh:

I agree with you completely. There is a lot of noise and fury "signifying nothing".

Like I said, it wasn't my sandbox so if whomever decided to delete me from the forum felt I wasn't pulling my weight, fine. I've since received a note from Mike and I have no ill will at all (edited). I had (at least I thought) posted a few things of what I thought might be of value, but I guess others differed. In the end I really didn't post much as much of the discussion seemed more difficult for me to traverse as there is a considerable difference in vocabulary for the concepts.

But again, no big deal, I'm a big boy and I know it was invitation only. I do have a few thoughts on how having such an insular approach could itself cause some problems, but... Not my sandbox, not my choice to make, and I'm just fine with it.

I've had the pleasure of attending seminars with Mike, Dan, Toby and many others. And will continue to do so.

Carry on. I have to finish wrapping a handle.

Last edited by Keith Larman : 01-11-2011 at 03:28 PM. Reason: I just realized I posted part of a private e-mail without thinking. Went back and removed that. Sorry

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Old 01-11-2011, 04:58 PM   #37
Lorel Latorilla
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Hey Dan,

Would you ever do a seminar in Toronto?

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 01-11-2011, 05:05 PM   #38
DH
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
Hey Dan,

Would you ever do a seminar in Toronto?
Oh heck yes.
I have a buddy who has trained with me from there. And I hear it's beautiful.
I have a VERY busy spring though. When the heck does it get warm up there?
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-11-2011 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:09 PM   #39
akiy
 
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Hi folks,

Can we please keep to the original topic of this thread?

I don't think there's any need to discuss things or individuals behind things that happened behind "closed doors" on a private discussion forum here.

Thank you,

-- Jun

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Old 01-11-2011, 06:31 PM   #40
gregstec
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Roger Gonzalez wrote: View Post
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)
Hi Roger,

I can certainty relate to your initial impression of that barbarian from MA - he talks funny and does not mince words - he can be brutally blunt and painfully honest. Some folks have problems with that, but I find it refreshing because you always know where he is coming from.

When I first met him at that initial teachers conference, he said Aikido sucks, Tai Chi sucks, Daito Ryu sucks, and so on - what an arrogant SOB! Then he tapped me in the chest, and as I was knocked back 5 feet or so, he said you suck! Then he went on to explain why; and he was right. His comments were not intended to be insulting but were more of a wake call to all serious budokai looking for that missing internal ingredient in their arts. I saw that and I have been training with him every chance I get. Two weeks before your Florida seminar, he was at my place for a small workshop - and yes, he still says Aikido sucks, Tai Chi sucks, Daito Ryu sucks, and he still taps me in the chest, but I am not getting knocked back as far as I was the first time, but I still suck

Dan gave you a very good and sincere response to your initial post and a very nice offer to pick it again in person to clear any misunderstandings. Your mentioned your 21 years in Aikido and your rank of Sandan (an accomplishment to be very proud of) I personally know of Aikido shihan within your organization as well as other organizations that have twice that time and rank in Aikido that are personally training with Dan one on one on a regular basis to make their Aikido better - so, I highly recommend you take him up on his offer if you are serious about your training and willingness to enhance your Aikido.

Good luck

Greg
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:34 PM   #41
oisin bourke
 
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
Hi Roger,

I can certainty relate to your initial impression of that barbarian from MA - he talks funny and does not mince words - he can be brutally blunt and painfully honest. Some folks have problems with that, but I find it refreshing because you always know where he is coming from.

When I first met him at that initial teachers conference, he said Aikido sucks, Tai Chi sucks, Daito Ryu sucks, and so on - what an arrogant SOB! Then he tapped me in the chest, and as I was knocked back 5 feet or so, he said you suck! Then he went on to explain why; and he was right. His comments were not intended to be insulting but were more of a wake call to all serious budokai looking for that missing internal ingredient in their arts. I saw that and I have been training with him every chance I get. Two weeks before your Florida seminar, he was at my place for a small workshop - and yes, he still says Aikido sucks, Tai Chi sucks, Daito Ryu sucks, and he still taps me in the chest, but I am not getting knocked back as far as I was the first time, but I still suck

Greg
Hi Greg,

Thanks for reminding me why I don't bother posting an Aikiweb all that much.

If you need any more info on Daito Ryu, ask Dan!
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:48 PM   #42
DH
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

I dunno about that Greg
If I thought the arts all sucked I would have never done them or do them still or hang out with so many people in them!
I think it is the majority of people in the arts that are the problem...not the arts themselves. In fact my argument is that there is a true depth to these arts that is by and large unseen and not practiced by many in them. You know the old admonition "The problem is not X art its your X art."
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-11-2011 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:58 AM   #43
gregstec
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
Hi Greg,

Thanks for reminding me why I don't bother posting an Aikiweb all that much.

If you need any more info on Daito Ryu, ask Dan!
Oisin, I do not see your point. The main focus of my post was an attempt to point out that Dan can come across strong and offensive, which is the way he appeared to come across to the original poster. However, he is not really like that and that he really does not bad mouth the arts, he just brings to your attention how they are missing a core ingredient in the way they are generally being taught today. Sorry if it disturbed you in anyway.

Greg

Last edited by gregstec : 01-12-2011 at 06:06 AM.
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:04 AM   #44
gregstec
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I dunno about that Greg
If I thought the arts all sucked I would have never done them or do them still or hang out with so many people in them!
I think it is the majority of people in the arts that are the problem...not the arts themselves. In fact my argument is that there is a true depth to these arts that is by and large unseen and not practiced by many in them. You know the old admonition "The problem is not X art its your X art."
Cheers
Dan
I understand - see me my response to Oisin. It appears that no matter how hard or in what manner you try, some folks just are not going to see things the same as you - that's just the nature of things so you move on.

Greg
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:38 AM   #45
MM
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
Hi Greg,

Thanks for reminding me why I don't bother posting an Aikiweb all that much.

If you need any more info on Daito Ryu, ask Dan!
Hello,

I really don't like the Internet for conversations or communications. Information flow, okay. But it really is horrible at conveying correct intentions.

If we take a step back and look at a larger picture, it might help clear things up a bit.

There are quite a few Daito ryu people training with Dan. These people are still doing Daito ryu. They only see their art as getting better.

There are quite a few Aikido people training with Dan. These people are still doing Aikido. They only see their art as getting better.

Of the very few (less than 5 out of hundreds) that actually stopped training in their art, it wasn't because of Dan. I would say politics or personality conflicts within their own art played a part in a few. I count me as one of the 5 but my intentions were to focus on aiki and then come back to Aikido but not to leave it for good.

And then I have heard from quite a few people that they think their own art "sucks". One person actually had harsher words than that and he was ranked above 4th dan.

Does Daito ryu or aikido suck? I think we both know the answer is yes and no. The art itself is built upon solid foundations. The art itself has more to it than we'll ever know in our lifetime. So, no, the art itself doesn't suck.

But, Takeda, Sagawa, Ueshiba all took challengers from all martial arts. Takeda would travel around and teach without his own uke. He'd use someone who was attending. How many in Daito ryu or Aikido *can* or have done that.That isn't including people from within their own art because that isn't the case with Takeda. The people in attendance were from many different martial arts and not usually from Daito ryu. Even Ueshiba later on in life used his own ukes to specifically show what he wanted. So, yes, the art sucks.

That's not even getting into the "no touch" throws shown in some Aikido circles. Or the dive bunny ukes in both Daito ryu and Aikido. Even Okamoto, as good as he is, is shown on video with some of these dive bunny ukes who collapse on the ground, a grimace in their face as if in pain, and an arched body while Okamoto isn't even touching them. And I know Okamoto doesn't need dive bunnies to make his Daito ryu work. What use, then, does training men to do such things on the ground have? Do they gain any martial abilities in such performance?

Sagawa says that at times, even he tried to foil Takeda's techniques. That he didn't do exactly as Takeda wanted all the time.

Who, then, is the epitome of Daito ryu? Sagawa or those men on the ground performing some act? How many Sagawas do we currently have in the world? How many "dive bunnies" do we have? So, can you honestly tell me in the above circumstances that Daito ryu (or Aikido) does not suck?

I don't know about Japan, but over here, there's people training themselves and others to be another Sagawa, another Kodo, another Ueshiba. Instead of one or two in each art, we'll have many. And I have no doubts that some of them will go beyond that in their lifetime.

So, take what you will from Internet "conversations". Over here, we've crossed boundaries to help each other become stronger. There's heart and soul in it. Budo no kokoro. And we still hope that others will train along side us and become strong. Because this stuff is what created preeminent martial arts and what allowed a martial artist to stand out among the millions. From Takeda to Ueshiba and Sagawa to Kimura and Kodo to Okamoto and just a handful of others.

Rather than keep it secret, though, we aim to build it among many so that those who come after us can aspire to even greater heights and greater skills. Allowing only one or two to have the secrets has caused these skills to almost die out. That is clearly evident from Koryu to Gendai. It would be sad to see that extinction occur and the arts diminish for good.
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:51 AM   #46
Lorel Latorilla
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Oh heck yes.
I have a buddy who has trained with me from there. And I hear it's beautiful.
I have a VERY busy spring though. When the heck does it get warm up there?
Cheers
Dan
Hi Dan,

I'm still in Japan, but I'll be back home in a matter of a year. Or two. Getting tired of Japan. Another guy you know (Josh) is interested in organizing this event. Also, you can meet Vlad! I used to do Systema with him. I have a feeling you will hit off with him (in all ways, lolz). Plus we got the most beautiful girls in the world and also have the best Jamaican restaurants.


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Old 01-12-2011, 09:08 AM   #47
gregstec
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Hello,

I really don't like the Internet for conversations or communications. Information flow, okay. But it really is horrible at conveying correct intentions.

If we take a step back and look at a larger picture, it might help clear things up a bit.

There are quite a few Daito ryu people training with Dan. These people are still doing Daito ryu. They only see their art as getting better.

There are quite a few Aikido people training with Dan. These people are still doing Aikido. They only see their art as getting better.

Of the very few (less than 5 out of hundreds) that actually stopped training in their art, it wasn't because of Dan. I would say politics or personality conflicts within their own art played a part in a few. I count me as one of the 5 but my intentions were to focus on aiki and then come back to Aikido but not to leave it for good.

And then I have heard from quite a few people that they think their own art "sucks". One person actually had harsher words than that and he was ranked above 4th dan.

Does Daito ryu or aikido suck? I think we both know the answer is yes and no. The art itself is built upon solid foundations. The art itself has more to it than we'll ever know in our lifetime. So, no, the art itself doesn't suck.

But, Takeda, Sagawa, Ueshiba all took challengers from all martial arts. Takeda would travel around and teach without his own uke. He'd use someone who was attending. How many in Daito ryu or Aikido *can* or have done that.That isn't including people from within their own art because that isn't the case with Takeda. The people in attendance were from many different martial arts and not usually from Daito ryu. Even Ueshiba later on in life used his own ukes to specifically show what he wanted. So, yes, the art sucks.

That's not even getting into the "no touch" throws shown in some Aikido circles. Or the dive bunny ukes in both Daito ryu and Aikido. Even Okamoto, as good as he is, is shown on video with some of these dive bunny ukes who collapse on the ground, a grimace in their face as if in pain, and an arched body while Okamoto isn't even touching them. And I know Okamoto doesn't need dive bunnies to make his Daito ryu work. What use, then, does training men to do such things on the ground have? Do they gain any martial abilities in such performance?

Sagawa says that at times, even he tried to foil Takeda's techniques. That he didn't do exactly as Takeda wanted all the time.

Who, then, is the epitome of Daito ryu? Sagawa or those men on the ground performing some act? How many Sagawas do we currently have in the world? How many "dive bunnies" do we have? So, can you honestly tell me in the above circumstances that Daito ryu (or Aikido) does not suck?

I don't know about Japan, but over here, there's people training themselves and others to be another Sagawa, another Kodo, another Ueshiba. Instead of one or two in each art, we'll have many. And I have no doubts that some of them will go beyond that in their lifetime.

So, take what you will from Internet "conversations". Over here, we've crossed boundaries to help each other become stronger. There's heart and soul in it. Budo no kokoro. And we still hope that others will train along side us and become strong. Because this stuff is what created preeminent martial arts and what allowed a martial artist to stand out among the millions. From Takeda to Ueshiba and Sagawa to Kimura and Kodo to Okamoto and just a handful of others.

Rather than keep it secret, though, we aim to build it among many so that those who come after us can aspire to even greater heights and greater skills. Allowing only one or two to have the secrets has caused these skills to almost die out. That is clearly evident from Koryu to Gendai. It would be sad to see that extinction occur and the arts diminish for good.
Nice post Mark. As a published author, you certainly have the talent for expressing intent with the written word.

Public Note to All: For future explanations of what my posts mean, please ask Mark - he is much better at it than I

Greg
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:14 AM   #48
gregstec
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
Hi Dan,

I'm still in Japan, but I'll be back home in a matter of a year. Or two. Getting tired of Japan. Another guy you know (Josh) is interested in organizing this event. Also, you can meet Vlad! I used to do Systema with him. I have a feeling you will hit off with him (in all ways, lolz). Plus we got the most beautiful girls in the world and also have the best Jamaican restaurants.

Sounds like an event to look forward to. I could come up as well to meet my internet friend Josh P and enjoy those Jamaican restaurants - however, my wife says I am too old to be fooling aground with beautiful young girls anymore, but it is a nice thought!

Greg
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:06 AM   #49
Lorel Latorilla
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
Sounds like an event to look forward to. I could come up as well to meet my internet friend Josh P and enjoy those Jamaican restaurants - however, my wife says I am too old to be fooling aground with beautiful young girls anymore, but it is a nice thought!

Greg
A shame! Really, lotsa pretty girls here in Japan, but I don't think they can match the grace and flair of Toronto women. I really look forward to getting back. Aiki, good Jamaican food, beautiful women. If Dan comes here, I'm gonna try to get some friends to join me, and we'll all work on it.

Lorel

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 01-13-2011, 07:17 AM   #50
gregstec
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Re: Dan Harden workshop in Florida Dec 18-19

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Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
A shame! Really, lotsa pretty girls here in Japan......
Lorel
That's the way I remembered it when I was last there in 86/87 - and Toronto sounds good too

Greg
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