Dan Harden Intensvie One Day Seminar 4/2/2017
Dan Harden came into Boca to hold a one day intensive seminar at Randall Smith’s dojo on April 2, 2017. For those of you who don’t know Dan, you can check out his website here at Body Works Seminars. And for those of you who don’t know Randall you can check out his website here at Aikido of Palm Beach County. I must also mention the Peter Bernath 7th Dan Shihan from Florida Aikikai was there training. I really admire the fact that he is constantly seeking to up the ante. He has been my primary sensei since 1998.
I have trained under these gentlemen for a number of years now. I hold them in the highest esteem and feel blessed that I get to train with them on a fairly regular basis.
Dan went over a few things. He’s got a lot to give. But for the first two hours he went into breathing exercises. I found this particularly exciting and productive since I had recently started focusing my practice on breath and its effect on body control.
Dan stated that we are prisoners of our own breath. How true.
My own experience has been that I hold my breath when being hit or hitting. This increases tension in the body and makes my movements tighter than they already are.
Dan was teaching that to free yourself from the tension you have to connect your breath to your movement. Breath out and through the tension. Release it.
When I do that, I can feel layers being peeled away. I gain deeper access to my underlying structure. My shoulders and hips drop while the spine rises.
I believe this is the cornerstone of Dan’s philosophy. Breathe properly to gain maximum benefit and live.
Dan showed this exercise about breathing in and compressing the diaphragm down while pulling up the perineum. It has the effect of pulling down your upper body into your center and pulling your lower body into your center.
The upper and lower meet at the center. If you are breathing properly, you can feel the tension releasing from your extremities and building in your stomach.
Contrary to releasing all tension. But this was an exercise whose purpose was to show the power of proper breathing and its effect on the body.
When breathing, you are not to let your stomach go out when you breath in or out. This is not what we are used to.
By not letting the stomach go in and out when breathing, your lungs will fill and your upper body rises as your lower body goes down. It feels like an internal wave. And you can feel the build up and release.
Dan gave the analogy of being a French press. You are pushing in the grounds and the energy/breath goes out through your extremities.
You can feel it, all of it. Your muscles releasing. A connection to your center. Your spine straightening and activating.
It’s always great training with Dan Harden. I encourage you to visit his site and attend his seminars. They are fun and informative.