George Ledyard-Aikido Shihan Fantastic work on internal power and aiki with Dan Harden. Off the charts skill level and clear, body centered instruction. This man is changing the face of Aikido.
Some recent feedback from Aikido Shihan and teachers from Australia:...... "Survived 3 days so far with the most complete martial artist I ever expect to meet in my lifetime. Dan Harden is truly incredible! Dan is obsessed with Budo and Internal Power. A Genuine master who can do all that you read about and more. This has been a complete eye opener and life changing experience.I am afraid that other Budo men pale in comparison. Stunning is an understatement!" ......."36 yrs of aikido and it still didn’t make complete sense as to what Osensei was actually manifesting. I attended 2 of Dan Harden’s Internal Power seminars in Hawaii. It was a cathartic experience. Suddenly it made some sense and I could experience the unstoppable power for myself. I had met a remarkable man! " Dan teaches how to activate an internal system inherent in us all. From a recent seminar in Hawaii......Ability is where Dan Harden stands tall . He is exposing the essential component of Budo...........He clearly outlined his system and was able to answer all questions to those who asked. When working with us trying to teach us he gave great feedback and tips to achieve results. As a beginner I was actually able to feel and notice the changes in my body with great surprise. One of the interesting results was the use of dantian and how he showed us to connect it to our hands. Dan went through great lengths to demonstrate the use of dantian in his body mechanics including bouncing me off of his dantian. Bill Gleason 7th dan Shihan Aikido...11 years training under Yamaguchi Sensei. Everyday he tells me-"Not soft enough." 33 Years later I encounter this man, Dan Harden. I can't do anything to him. First thing he says to me? "Not soft enough!" It's my opinion that what he is doing ....is.... Aikido! Marc Abrams Sensei, 4th Dan Aikido....I was fortunate to meet Dan Harden several years ago at his first open seminar. I was immediately struck by an inability on my part of being able to read his attacks. He was always remarkably stable, soft, and able to deliver a tremendous amount of power in his strikes with no apparent wind-up. Studying under him has been the critical, missing link in helping my martial arts improve. Dan Harden has developed one of the best teaching methodologies (and still improving) in martial arts that I have ever been exposed to. The best part of all is the friendship, camaraderie and laughter that we all share training together. Christopher Li Chief Instructor - Aikido Sangenkai...Over the years I've trained closely with a great many of the direct students of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. All of these people shared varying degrees of an unusual strength in their practice, gained through direct contact with the Founder. Dan Harden impresses, not only through his clarity and intensity in manifesting this very same Aiki to a level which is rarely seen today, but in his ability to clearly articulate the theory and methodology necessary to its cultivation and development. In Hawaii we have been working with Dan regularly since 2010 in a group that includes practitioners of Aikido, Taiji, Hakko-ryu Ju-jutsu, Bagua, Hsing-I, I Liq Chuan, Judo and a number of Japanese Koryu arts. Each and every person has experienced real and significant improvement in the use and understanding of Aiki and Internal Power, the engines that drive the art of Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei - but are so often lacking in today's Aikido training. Allen Beebe....I've trained more than once with some of those teaching Internal Power in the west; Arkuzawa, Mike Sigman, and Tim Cartmell. In my view, all were good teachers. I met and began training with Dan Harden about a year and nine months ago and that is all I've been seriously working on since that time. I put aside 35 years of weight training and ceased 40 years of TMA practice, including resigning a licensed position under one of the foremost Koryu Jujutsu teachers in the world. I'm that serious about developing internal power and Aiki. So far no regrets. As when Shirata sensei died, if Dan were to "get called up" I don't think I'd have any inclination to learn from anyone else, unless by some unlikely coincidence I found yet another individual teaching/training the same thing*, in the same manner, with the same teaching and demonstrable abilities, and (of great importance to me) with the same high moral character.
William Hazen- Some can Doubt all they want... Question it ad infinitum....I did and found out when I experienced it for myself that I was a ignorant fool. I have felt it and and not one Martial Artist in my 35 years of experience has/had the kind of Aiki Mr. Harden has... So much so that I personally find it pointless to practice any kind of Waza without trying to learn and implement what he has shown me. It's not magic either. Mr. Harden withexplicit detail explains, demonstrates, and then teaches exactly how to achieve aiki. So I suggest that if you are serious about understanding and practicing Aikido the way O' Sensei taught it (and by extension Sokaku Takeda and Sugawa Shihan) with the power of "Heaven and Earth" (now that I truly know what that means ) and preserve the legacy of AIKI-do to pass on to your students...Drop the rock and show up to a seminar. Show Respect, Keep an Open Mind, and you too just may experience the real reason why you got into Aikido in the first place.
Scot Meredith-What is a martial arts master? It isn't a matter of brutality or violence, yet it can't be just talk either. In one word, to me it's: control. Control ofadversary, control of self, control of situation.
I do free meetups with dozens of people every year. Mostly, out of courtesy, I don't comment on them. If I did, 99% of them would be: I met with X today. X is a nice guy. X is very stiff and tense. I easily pushed X around. And sometimes I'd have to add: Then X got frustrated and began to escalate, so I thanked him and ended the session.
But once in a blue moon, I happen to hit upon a true martial arts master. That's what it was today with Mr. DAN HARDEN. He worked with absolute honesty and humility within my game and though we had some playful back and forth, he created outcomes, shall we say, that nobody has done to me in the last 20 years.
My last little shred of ego (that I'm clinging to with my toenails) forbids me specifying some of those details, but I'm honest emough to state the basic fact openly. And the reason I'm stating it is purely selfish: this statement gives you a way to calibrate any other "meetup" type posts that you may see me write from time to time (though as I say, I pretty much skip the post-meet writeup thing these days). Now you can calibrate that I honestly call them as I see them, and today I was working with a genuine martial arts master, who graciously adopted my game and demonstrated his spontaneous mastery of it. An extremely impressive experience and furthermore - one hell of a human being.
In a very rare exception for me, I requested this person to go into "teacher mode" for me (normally my eyes glaze over when my meet up partners want to "go teacher" on me). But Dan's power and sensitivity were so extraordinary that I imposed on him to show me some things that go beyond my normal little Tai Chi game, and he delivered some extraordinary insights, and of course demonstrated them with devastating effectiveness. I will be chewing on those pointers for a long time to come.
So, use this post to calibrate me. When I meet up with somebody truly great, I do not shy away from saying it. Dan Harden is one among the very small handful of genuine martial art masters I have ever met in a loooong lifetime of work and play in this field.
Howard Popkin Founder Ginjukai Daito ryu: Dan is the best Martial artist I have ever met. Bar none!