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.

Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby Bao on Sun May 09, 2021 2:03 am

Did anyone else here except Mr Hansen actually understood what he wrote? His point was that he ‘dismiss tai chi entirely.’ You can’t agree partially or with the most part of someone dismissing a style entirely. Either you agree with it or not. Period.

JW seems to agree entirely. Then why does he practice Tai Chi and make the claim to be a lineage holder? If I agreed, I would be embarrassed either by agreeing, or by merely practicing tai chi.

everything wrote:What's not to agree with? :-\


To ‘dismiss tai chi entirely...’ for starters. No? ???

Well, I guess you could start by going back to the old question about if it’s the style or practitioner that is the most important...
Do you really agree with a generalized statement that it’s the style that decides if a person will develop high fighting skills or not?

Personally I find this not only a juvenile thing to say, but also a statement made on false premises.

AJG wrote:Why don't we change the discussion to his good and bad points. He might have something that's of value.


He only has one point, that Tai Chi is is worthless. I have stated what I think about it. Have no idea what value or meaning anyone would have.

dspyrido wrote:
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 ...


He didn’t speak about dismissing people making bouncy videos. Only a small fraction of tai chi practitioners make bouncy videos. He says that he ‘dismiss Tai Chi entirely’.
Last edited by Bao on Sun May 09, 2021 2:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby wayne hansen on Sun May 09, 2021 2:32 am

I'm pretty sure the post I responded to has been changed
Because all that William Chen stuff is no longer there
Either that or I totally imagined it
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby Bao on Sun May 09, 2021 3:02 am

wayne hansen wrote:I'm pretty sure the post I responded to has been changed
Because all that William Chen stuff is no longer there
Either that or I totally imagined it


It has been changed alright. He added a link to his seminars.... ::)

But the William Chen stuff was in a commentary from Bob Klein and it's still there.
Last edited by Bao on Sun May 09, 2021 3:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby Giles on Sun May 09, 2021 4:25 am

Baby and bathwater. There's certainly a whole load of bathwater to be found in tai chi chuan nowadays, and presumably for several generations already. But there's also a very nice baby in there (somewhere), so ultimately I'd agree with Wayne, Bao and Subitai - who are not necessarily saying exactly the same thing, of course.
And even if health (which can mean A LOT of different things) and personal development are the priority for many people (ultimately for me too, I guess), I believe you get much more out of your tai chi in these areas if you also keep things reality-grounded with respect to self-defence. That doesn't mean you have to be 'very good', it just means you train in this area too, expose yourself to this type of training, and don't think that being good at tai chi partner exercises will automatically make you able to defend yourself.

As regards Mr Harden's statement: sure, it's a solid marketing ploy. Which will get you more attention, which will trigger more people? --> Making brash, sweeping statements about tai chi being a load of crap (and hence by implication your own stuff being much better)? Or making more nuanced, analytical statements about what's gone bad but what might also under some circumstances still be good or even effective, exciting and excellent? You see, even my first sentence is more impactful than my second one...

And it obviously works in marketing terms. We're talking about him, right? Free publicity...! -break-
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby wayne hansen on Sun May 09, 2021 4:37 am

I owe dan an apology
It was bob Kline saying all that stuff
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby allen2saint on Sun May 09, 2021 5:43 am

I’ve never met Bob, but I studied with Master Chen for a long time and practiced with a lot of students from Bob’s generation. I think the detail he’s leaving out is that they were wearing boxing gloves when doing all those head strikes. I don’t know that there’s a real esoteric system but it does desensitize, I guess. That was not part of the curriculum when I was there, but I got banged around plenty in the applications and boxing classes, including by Master Chen. A decent man.

I think someone joining a page dedicated to a style and then trashing the style and everyone in it for the purpose of selling one’s wares speaks for itself. I’m not one for formalism or stuffy etiquette for it’s own sake, but I think the behavior is pretty low and should be unnecessary if you have the goods for real.
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby Quigga on Sun May 09, 2021 6:50 am

It's the same as going to a school with solid walls, floor, roof etc and shouting 'You guys suck! Who wanna fight me?'. There's no certainty regarding who's good and who's bad in terms of product being sold without actual challenges. Ofc the possibility of long lasting physical damage / crippling / death is there. Says something about the defense ability of the challangee and character of the challanger. Both influencing where students, fame, money, security in old age, potential successors flow towards. People on average are just less violent nowadays. Making everything about character development / progress in 3nlightenment dissuades people from pursuing martial arts. Idk why so many people dismiss lessons of an actual warrior way of life.
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby allen2saint on Sun May 09, 2021 8:37 am

Well, I live in a place where adults get arrested for being in fights, so, I guess I see challenges in a certain way. People with responsibilities and families don’t walk into places of business and take those risks.

But I don’t see this as a challenge. Hes not even offering a challenge in a collegial kind of way, either, which I understand is also traditional. We don’t need to kill each other, just a test of skill, etc.

He’s only ever been interested in drumming up business and I think it’s a rather sad commentary that he gets traction this way.
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby windwalker on Sun May 09, 2021 8:41 am

Quigga wrote:It's the same as going to a school with solid walls, floor, roof etc and shouting 'You guys suck! Who wanna fight me?'. There's no certainty regarding who's good and who's bad in terms of product being sold without actual challenges.


Still happens depending on style and what is being claimed as representing the style being taught.
If they’re too public about what they do and it’s not exactly true they may get a knock on the door.

The family styles of Taiji have nothing to worry about. They’re teaching the traditional teachings of their families.

Their basic claim and what people come to learn from them.

In an effort to preserve the integrity of their methods they all have extensive curriculums. In this aspect they are no longer in the stage of having to prove a method, or develop a method, they’ve moved into sustaining the method.

It’s up to those seeking the method to proof, their own practice.


If someone wanted to make a statement about a new method or a better method it seems like they would either enter into the combative competitions of today themselves or develop other people to show case their methods in the venues.

In the same way that the taiji families established their reputations in the past.
Last edited by windwalker on Sun May 09, 2021 8:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby Doc Stier on Sun May 09, 2021 9:14 am

Good points! However, how many of the top practitioners and teachers among the major TCC style family members have actually risked their personal reputations, or the reputation of their respective family styles, by openly fighting credible challengers like their predecessors in earlier generations of these families did? I don't know of any current standard bearers in any major style who have done so.

Instead, they all simply perpetuate a lucrative rice bowl income derived from teaching a standardized curriculum based on martial art family fame which they didn't establish and are apparently unable to replicate or similarly demonstrate. It's just the family business. :-\
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby everything on Mon May 10, 2021 12:38 pm

so it's a small family business like the corner mom and pop restaurant?

lol. in a way, it kind of is.

nobody says the family (whatever family) has to invent a ufc and win it. some tiny % of fantasy LARPers somewhere want that to be the case. heck why wouldn't it be cool/interesting?

but going to study judo or gracie jiu-jitsu or sambo or boxing or wresting isn't going to turn any of those students into an elite athlete any more than your random rsf member's son or daughter is going to be on a team with messi. it's just totally ludicrous, it's like ma nerds have no idea how elite sports works. not to mention mma isn't even popular enough to get the "best" athletes.

but if the family wants to sell a chicken dish, and this nerd thinks it's michael jordan's special drink, what can you do?
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby dspyrido on Mon May 10, 2021 3:05 pm

Bao wrote:He didn’t speak about dismissing people making bouncy videos. Only a small fraction of tai chi practitioners make bouncy videos. He says that he ‘dismiss Tai Chi entirely’.


He's just looking for attention. You know like a used car salesman. The technique works whether we like it or not. I don't know him but can imagine him thinking 'how do I trigger these guys' & having a chuckle over his posts.

I think it's important to come back to numbers. Tai chi for 'health' actually ranks in numbers. In a 10km area I've got as many TC locations as there are karate, twd or bjj schools (not combined just by branch). I've not visited all but have been to about 30%. Only a small percentage can be classed as a martial art & of those they would do poorly. Dan's just preying on the weak but hey even though he acts a bit dickish at times he might give them some strengthening exercises.

Perhaps his motivation might be a little noble. Maybe it's "Make money but heck I'll show them a few moves that work a lot more better".
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby Dmitri on Wed May 12, 2021 4:54 am

Bao: he does say "just about everyone", which is true and has been talked about on this very forum for decades now. And "...dismiss tai chi entirely for high level fighting", which is also understandable, given that its record for producing capable (outside of "a drunk untrained guy takes a swing at you" scenarios) fighters is negligibly tiny. He has respect for some tai chi work/masters, e.g. he often talks about Liu Chengde; it's just there are so few of them that it makes it statistically irrelevant. Compared, say, to MMA gyms.
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby Steve James on Wed May 12, 2021 6:00 am

Well, since I can't fight at a high level, I'd say the only people who should complain about what Dan says are those tjq people who can. Otoh, I'd suspect that those who could wouldn't bother to complain.
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Re: Dan Harden at it again...

Postby Bao on Wed May 12, 2021 7:08 am

Dmitri wrote:Bao: he does say "just about everyone", which is true and has been talked about on this very forum for decades now. And "...dismiss tai chi entirely for high level fighting", which is also understandable, given that its record for producing capable (outside of "a drunk untrained guy takes a swing at you" scenarios) fighters is negligibly tiny. He has respect for some tai chi work/masters, e.g. he often talks about Liu Chengde; it's just there are so few of them that it makes it statistically irrelevant. Compared, say, to MMA gyms.


It's obvious that it's meant to provoke, and that makes it even more silly to agree with him. What he really thinks and what exceptions he might think there are, is something totally irrelevant for his original statement that he "dismiss tai chi entirely for high level fighting". Most people reading his juvenile post don't know who he is and no one knows about what's happening inside his mind. "Entirely" means now, then, here, there, everywhere and always. It's a ridiculous thing to say regardless what the person who said it actually meant.
Last edited by Bao on Wed May 12, 2021 7:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
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