Dan Harden came down to Randall Smith’s dojo, Aikido of Palm Beach County on February 27, 2016 for a one day intensive. Intensive sums it up in one word.
I have to admit that we are lucky to have such access to Dan. I guess he likes training the group at Randall’s because he keeps coming back. And the same group of us, have been consistently training with Dan for five years now. Time flies.
This was a really good last minute notice seminar. Meaning, Dan gave Randall notice at the last minute that he would be here in Boca Raton and to amass the troops for some training. No argument from me or from the others in attendance.
Ok, so here’s the deal. This seminar Dan went over some deep internal stuff. By deep, I mean esoteric, sublime, introspective, and any other applicable synonym.
It’s hard to put Dan’s teachings into words. You have to practice it, feel it and understand it. Then try putting it into words. It’s like trying to explain color to a blind man or the sound of music to a deaf person.
Anyway, the first concept I took away from this seminar was flesh down, bones in, and energy up. We did a number of breathing exercises to engage this idea. I am only going to talk about one exercise though.
The exercise that we did, and which I am now doing daily in my solo practice, is to stand and breath. Easy right?
To do the exercise you stand, breathe into your stomach so that you are expanding your stomach out and dropping the air into your pelvic shelf. Breathing out, you stretch up your spine and push out your back where the two dimples are located, the sacroiliac. Doing so makes you feel completely stable and grounded.
But wait, there’s more. While doing the above, you need to concentrate where your points of energy are going. Whole different topic, but part of the exercise.
I concentrate on either the macrocosmic orbit going up your spine, circling over your head, down your front and circling back up through your spine. An energy continuum.
Or I concentrate on effusing energy from all and every point of my being. Like I am a Stretch Armstrong doll and pulling myself in every direction, from the inside.
Now, to get to the original point of flesh down, bones in, and energy up.
While doing the above, you are to let your flesh hang down, pull your bones in and feel your energy raising up through your spine and up through the crown of your head. It’s a really cool feeling.
Even if you can only get the flesh down, bones in and energy up, for the time being while you are standing, its a start. Practicing this, I believe, will give you a good grasp on manipulating your internal states. Just my humble opinion.
One last thing I want to mention, but not go into detail on, is the practice of elbows in, hands out; elbows out, hand in; elbows over hands. Figure that one out.
As always, this post is my interpretation of what I got from Dan’s teachings. I am not always correct, unless you ask me in person, then I am always right.
Ok,ok. If you want the real deal, go to one of his seminars.