I just finished another weekend training with Dan Harden. For me this one was even better than the last one for a few different reasons. The first reason is because, instead of the minor nervousness I felt last time anticipating meeting Dan in person for the first time, introducing him to my family and having him stay at my house, this time it felt more like anticipating the arrival of an old friend. And my kids were looking forward to seeing him again as well. This first reason, to some, might seem "cute" but ultimately inconsequential. To me it is of primary importance and, to steal a phrase commonly used by Dan, "profound and deep." Secondly, my dojo had been working on Dan's stuff exclusively for a month and were really hoping that our efforts would show. Third, the guys that came from out of town, not only were working on this stuff too, but are also great to train with (no ego garbage at all, great feedback, good insights and questions, and just plain fun) and fun to hang out with as well.
Picking up where we left off, Dan continued to explain things in clear easily understandable terms (no, I'm not going to go into detail; if you want to know, go to one of Dan's seminars), not only demonstrating but also having each individual demonstrate and articulate what was being taught. Questions were encouraged, answered and help was generously proffered. Class progressed in a logical sequence that was at once comfortable, humorous, and free while staying on point.
As a professional educator I appreciated Dan's compassionate (oftentimes hilarious) prodding of individuals to move beyond their self-imposed limitations, while also honestly and enthusiastically celebrating their successes. Once again, finding an individual with something to teach, ability in the subject, talent in teaching and a passion for both (passion and drive to improve what he is already good at, and passion and drive to improve his ability to transfer that knowledge and skill) is a very, very rare and powerful combination.
We will spend the next few weeks and months working on and going over the information dump we received this weekend. We will continue to work on Dan's stuff and continue to explore how it informs our art. (For clarification, we call it "Dan's stuff." Dan is very mindful to say, "This isn't MY stuff!" When he teaches he only claims credit for things he developed individually. Actually, he likes to credit his "guys" with a lot, much in the manner of a proud father or coach. Furthermore, he is meticulously careful to credit individuals for phrases, exercises and concepts that he has found useful. And in that crediting, the diversity and authority of his associations is known as well as his evenhandedness in appreciating input.)
Well perhaps I should stop here. I suppose, in a way, I'm trying to keep the weekend from ending . . .
I'll close by saying that the future looks bright!
A big thanks to Dan and my training friends!