Dan Harden at it again...

The following typical threads that plague martial arts sites will get moved here if not just deleted: 1 - My style is better than Your style" - 2 - "Internal & External" - 3 - Personal attacks - 4 - Threads that start well, but degenerate into a spiral of nonsense.

Dan Harden at it again...

Postby Bao on Sat May 08, 2021 10:17 am

Funny to see Harden posting in one of the largest Tai Chi Facebook groups:

Let me start by saying I dismiss Taichi entirely for high level fighting. Most amateur MMA guys would destroy Grand Masters in a minute or two.
Forms:
Every source
Every interview
Many classic writings
All state that "The form is meaningless." Or "There is no form."
Indeed, every so called Master does their form differently.
Yet......
Everywhere I look, I see teachers teaching ridiculous, overly detailed corrections with people lapping it up and trying to puppet their chosen hero.
Yet the real power has obviously escaped just about everyone. Enough so that it is obviously not being taught and can't be found "in a form."
So other than fun and health and the nature of people to want to conform and look like each other, what the hell is the point?
And for that matter, in the history of the arts, it appears that the vast majority of the founders...were mavericks defying the practices of the masses.
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby GrahamB on Sat May 08, 2021 10:25 am

Which Facebook group? I want to go and read the comments. I still remember when he told everybody I had met me in a bar and was too scared to talk to him - lol :)
I could be wrong.
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby Bao on Sat May 08, 2021 10:53 am

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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby wayne hansen on Sat May 08, 2021 11:40 am

i responded on the site before I realised who posted
The post is rediculious
He must be getting ready to do more seminars
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby charles on Sat May 08, 2021 11:44 am

Bao wrote:Funny to see Harden posting in one of the largest Tai Chi Facebook groups:

Let me start by saying I dismiss Taichi entirely for high level fighting. Most amateur MMA guys would destroy Grand Masters in a minute or two.
Forms:
Every source
Every interview
Many classic writings
All state that "The form is meaningless." Or "There is no form."
Indeed, every so called Master does their form differently.
Yet......
Everywhere I look, I see teachers teaching ridiculous, overly detailed corrections with people lapping it up and trying to puppet their chosen hero.
Yet the real power has obviously escaped just about everyone. Enough so that it is obviously not being taught and can't be found "in a form."
So other than fun and health and the nature of people to want to conform and look like each other, what the hell is the point?
And for that matter, in the history of the arts, it appears that the vast majority of the founders...were mavericks defying the practices of the masses.


Well, for the most part I agree with him.

There is a very interesting read, a book called Angry White Pyjamas. It is about a journalist living in Tokyo who is out of shape and wants to take up something physical to get into shape. He decides on martial arts. The question is what martial art. So, he goes through the list. When he gets to Taijiquan, he states, correctly, I believe, that the vast majority of it is a geriatric exercise unless one finds one of the few people who can use it, in which case it is one of the deadliest most effective arts. (He ends up taking the Tokyo riot police course in Aikido.)

There ARE people of high level skills who can use Taijiquan as an effective martial art. But, very few. The VAST majority of those practicing Taijiquan are, as Mr. Harden states, doing it for other purposes. Most amateur MMA practitioners probably can wipe the floor with many Taijiquan "Grandmasters". Part of that has to do with how many "grandmasters" obtain their status of "grandmaster".

Many Taiji teachers DO teach a great deal of detail in the forms. Some of those teachers go into great detail about this and that. Their students often feel they are in the presence of "greatness" and are learning secret "indoor" stuff. Unfortunately, what the students often don't realize is that much of that detail is irrelevant to obtaining skill. It is irrelevant because it is detail for the sake of detail: they are not the details that matter.
Last edited by charles on Sat May 08, 2021 11:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby johnwang on Sat May 08, 2021 12:09 pm

charles wrote:Well, for the most part I agree with him.

I agree with him too.

If you want to learn a fighting art, you have to learn the strategy (tactics). How to enter (set up), and how to finish.

For example, how to deal with an incoming punch? You have to train this over 10,000 times to build this experience. Just doing solo form is not enough. The day that your opponent throws 100 punches and still cannot hit your body, the day that you can say that you understand the fighting art.
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby windwalker on Sat May 08, 2021 12:12 pm

Bao wrote:Funny to see Harden posting in one of the largest Tai Chi Facebook groups:

Let me start by saying I dismiss Taichi entirely for high level fighting. Most amateur MMA guys would destroy Grand Masters in a minute or two.
Forms:
Every source
Every interview
Many classic writings
All state that "The form is meaningless." Or "There is no form."
Indeed, every so called Master does their form differently.
Yet......
Everywhere I look, I see teachers teaching ridiculous, overly detailed corrections with people lapping it up and trying to puppet their chosen hero.
Yet the real power has obviously escaped just about everyone. Enough so that it is obviously not being taught and can't be found "in a form."

So other than fun and health and the nature of people to want to conform and look like each other, what the hell is the point?
And for that matter, in the history of the arts, it appears that the vast majority of the founders...were mavericks defying the practices of the masses.



yep always strange to see people commenting on others practices,
doing the same things they'er commenting on.

A little different should they get in a ring showing their work and the advantages of the practice.

what the hell is the point?


Indeed what is the point ?
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby Bao on Sat May 08, 2021 12:20 pm

wayne hansen wrote:He must be getting ready to do more seminars


If he feel the need to piss off a whole community in order to get people attending his workshops, I would suggest that he visits a psychologist.

charles wrote:There ARE people of high level skills who can use Taijiquan as an effective martial art. But, very few. The VAST majority of those practicing Taijiquan are, as Mr. Harden states, doing it for other purposes. Most amateur MMA practitioners probably can wipe the floor with many Taijiquan "Grandmasters". Part of that has to do with how many "grandmasters" obtain their status of "grandmaster".


Well, a "grandmaster" is usually just a honorary title to a person who started an organisation or created a new style, and does not automatically has something to do with skill.

But still, I don't agree with Mr Harden. I don't agree because most people cannot fight regardless style. The same goes for most MMA amateurs. A whole lot of people begin studying MMA, and a whole lot of people drop out for various reasons. Many who continues does it for exercise or social meetings and many have no interest to compete. And only a few can do good in competitions just like it is in any other style. Personal experience, attitude & mind-set, social background etc. as well as physical and psychological prerequisites all play its role regardless "style". You just cannot generalise this way about a style as Harden does.

And BTW, I could say the same thing about his Aiki. I have not met any "Aiki" dude or "aikido" who could fight. So should I judge the whole style because that everything I have watched sucked? Of course there are people in this tradition with enough personal experience as well as correct mind-set and psychology to be able to fight. Martial arts are not magical in a sense that some only create fighters and others turn everyone into mindless morons. Every practitioner regardless style is still an individual.
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby Subitai on Sat May 08, 2021 12:46 pm

I also agree allot with what he's saying but ...here's my grain of salt. He also answers his own question.

The posted quote said; " So other than fun and health and the nature of people to want to conform and look like each other, what the hell is the point?"


Allot I think,
1) Fun...fun is huge. Fun drives a big piece of human motivation. If it ain't "FUN"...people won't like it so much, let alone continue to practice it.
2) Health, this is another significant BIG REASON. If it can he keep you healthy and moving with better lubricated joints...Heck this reason alone is worth it.

Now, back to his point which I think is: "If you can't use it for fighting, then what good is it?" Correct me if i'm wrong...but that IS HIS POINT ...isn't it?

It doesn't matter to me if Tai chi as a style is not commonly trained for MMA or that weak people get their asses handed to them. Hey they took a chance and lost. big deal.

* Also lets refer to ALL TRADITIONAL MARTIAL ARTS NOT JUST TAI CHI... OK. ... if I ask ANY OR ALL OF THE TEACHERS ON this board;

Have you ever taught a student (at least one) a traditional method or fighting technique that they were able to use in at least:

1) a full fighting situation or just plain old self defense at the spur of the moment?
2) on the job? Like a bouncer or some other spontaneous reason?
= to the effect that the student was able to defend themselves or make it work for that particular moment?

** IF you can answer yes to those questions....I say that is ALSO the POINT! In relation to the OP question.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I taught a woman tai chi (Regular student not just some private). We also used to spar and standing grapple clinch allot. She was attacked once and threw the guy on his ass easily, thus defending herself. Is she a full on MMA fighter? NO, but she has the confidence to not get pushed around and will make you pay if you get close.

To me, that makes all the difference in the world.


I swear...for a guy with all his experience...i'm sure Dan can also say Yes to my questions.

Why does this same topic pop up every 5yrs or so?
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby dspyrido on Sat May 08, 2021 4:01 pm

johnwang wrote:If you want to learn a fighting art, you have to learn the strategy (tactics). How to enter (set up), and how to finish.

For example, how to deal with an incoming punch? You have to train this over 10,000 times to build this experience. Just doing solo form is not enough. The day that your opponent throws 100 punches and still cannot hit your body, the day that you can say that you understand the fighting art.


For you Tai Chi guys who do it for fighting - How many train this way? If you don't do this what do you do instead?

I ask because there seems to be a big difference in training philosophy of easily accessible TC that reinforces Dan's blatant promotions vs. the more difficult to access TC that is fight oriented.

Bao wrote:
wayne hansen wrote:He must be getting ready to do more seminars


If he feel the need to piss off a whole community in order to get people attending his workshops, I would suggest that he visits a psychologist.


I see it as the inverse of those people who post staged bouncy bouncy videos. Why on earth do they feel that would work? Because it does. It might only attract 1 in 100 but in 10's of thousands ... Heck I think the number of people seeing bouncy sorcery & having no fight experience might even attract 1 in 10. Then it's just down to some careful staged grounding physics that is presented as activated fascia, chi, juice or whatever & ... bang you've got a new follower!

Dan comes along & if he gets 1 in 100 out of 10k's TC people who are doubting their progress then he's got a boat load of seminars. The best part is they are going to be made up of many soft warriors which won't pose any real threat. Maybe the once in a while guy will turn up & challenge him but that's easy to manage through group dynamics & careful manipulation.
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby AJG on Sat May 08, 2021 5:52 pm

Dan Harden is making a statement. Whether its true or not no one really knows.

But the level of defensiveness that arises when he makes a statement suggests people have an underlying concern that either don't want to discuss or are ignorant of.

Accepting criticism is healthy and gets one thinking "does he have a point"

That said you get nothing from internal seminars. It's not generally about making you better, otherwise the business model would fail.

I don't know Dan, don't know what he does but he looks like he has trained physically and that's not a bad thing. And when you have weak and poorly conditioned people at a seminar anyone can look like an internal master.

Why don't we change the discussion to his good and bad points. He might have something that's of value.
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby BruceP on Sat May 08, 2021 6:15 pm

Image
Appeals to authority is why we can't have nice things
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby everything on Sat May 08, 2021 9:20 pm

Jimmy game is strong.

Agree with his rant as well. What's not to agree with? :-\
amateur practices til gets right pro til can't get wrong
/ better approx answer to right q than exact answer to wrong q which can be made precise /
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby Doc Stier on Sat May 08, 2021 10:38 pm

I would bet that most of the people who study and practice any martial art do so as a fun, leisure time hobby pursuit for health and physical fitness, or for personal self-cultivation in some way. They don't practice to be competitive fighters, nightclub bouncers, professional bodyguards, or security personnel. They know that their natural physical talent and personal combat skills will probably never be sufficient to use whatever they study in these ways for any number of viable reasons.

As such, the lure of acquiring special training methods and application techniques, via well marketed seminars and workshops, is very tempting, since these opportunities could potentially help make them a Fist of Legend in spite of their oftentimes limited physical athleticism and lack of serious self-discipline in training anything. The path of magical shortcuts with minimal efforts will always be attractive to a lot of would be experts. Most commercial martial art schools and seminars alike are filled with students like this.

Human nature is such that most people may not find the time or money to do what they NEED to do to insure their successful achievement, but they will generally find the time and money to do what they WANT to do, regardless of the actual outcome. :-\
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby wayne hansen on Sun May 09, 2021 12:12 am

He does not seem to have pissed too many off here
They all seem to be singing from his hymn book
The thing I found funny is him talking about William Chen starting the class by everyone punching each other in the head until their hands hurt
Strang thing for a man known as wasp waist or the man who could neutralise the wind
Last edited by wayne hansen on Sun May 09, 2021 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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