What is Body Work?

Bodywork is a Mind/body training program that Dan Harden has adapted from traditional martial art training - eliminating the need for art-specific martial techniques or kata to develop power. Traditionally, all of the martial arts and Yogic training offered various exercises in solo training; Yoga's asanas, pranayama, bandhas, Chinese and Japanese arts offered methods of solo training as forms or katas to unite mind/breath/body to move as one, in order to activate and power their techniques. Activating the mind to control the body was not a simple meditative process, nor was it an ethereal, enlightenment exercise with little value on the physical form. These esoteric practices were pursued by warriors to generate power in a relaxed body in an age when their very lives were dependent on the measurable results. Unfortunately, few modern practitioners have experienced the true power and stability once available through these systems that made their founders legends in their time.

What do we seek in power, stability and motion? What do we mean by power? We do not develop or concern ourselves with power in the sense of how much weight we can lift, or most other conventional measurements of power. Our concept of power first begins as a pronounced sense of supported and dynamic balance in our own bodies. This support has direct health benefits in supporting the skeletal frame and strengthening the connective tissues as well as building a peculiar retained balance in movement that to anyone on the outside feels like, power. Once attained, this new sense of balance becomes a dynamic platform we can build from in all movement; sports, dance, pakour, to martial arts. Balance, or stated more accurately retained balance is a peculiar thing to encounter in a martial setting. It becomes very difficult to move someone who trains this way by pushing in or pulling them out of any shape they adapt or direction they choose to move in. The process of which usually has the person applying forces losing their balance or having to re-position. On contact this typically leaves them open. The movement of this type of supported body in any action produces disruptive forces-on contact. It is the hara (dantian in Chinese systems) support behind the outer parts of our bodies that people make contact with that allows us to absorb and redirect any force from impacting us, compared to the conventionally trained person.