I have been involved in various martial arts off and on for a few years and have taken instruction in Tai Chi Chuan, Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do as well as Yoga and Qi Gong.
While driving I spotted a sign advertising a free class at a local training hall. The sign stated that Yoga, Tai Chi and meditation classes were given. I went in at the next free class and was impressed with the positive attitude exhibited by both the staff and students. I was equally thrilled that the work out made me feel so good. After the free class I was approached by one of the regular students who proceeded to tell me about various benefits of regular Dahnhak practice. Benefits included a new sense of purpose, a stronger sense of harmony with your fellow man and development of Ki (or Chi) power.
The claims he made were not unusual for a martial arts school, but the time in which he claimed these benefits would occur was remarkable. How can you purport that with regular practice you will obtain? certain predetermined goals. You can no more do this for an aspiring musician than you can for a Karate student.
I was also bothered by references to a spiritual retreat, which he was told was where the real spiritual work begins. He also made reference to other retreats and workshops/seminars of which some were free and some not. References were also made to the effect that "spiritual liberation" was also attainable in short order with regular Dahnhak practice.
In all I was put off by the whole affair. To advertise Tai Chi, Yoga and meditation instruction and upon further inquiry find out that there is no set curriculum (one day it might be a Tai Chi class and the next it's Yoga) is disturbing in a school that promises some spiritual liberation.
Hopefully more people will come forward to report their experiences with the Dahn Tao Institute.
The student who spoke to me seemed disturbingly uneducated about the subjective claims made to him that had him so enthused.
My advice is the following:
To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.