Ellis Amdur's writing on martial arts has been groundbreaking. In this volume, Amdur has radically reworked his iconoclastic essays first published on the website of Aikido Journal. Here, he attempts to establish the existence of something all but lost in Japanese martial arts -- a sophisticated type of training, encompassing mental imagery, breath-work, and a variety of physical techniques that offered the practitioner the potential to develop skills sometimes viewed as nearly superhuman. Commonly referred to as "internal training," and usually believed to be the provenance of Chinese martial arts, Amdur asserts that not only was it once common among many Japanese martial traditions, but elements of such training still remain, passed down in a few martial arts -- literally "hidden in plain sight." As always, Amdur reminds us that this is a human endeavor and he provides vivid, even heartbreaking portrayals of some of the great practitioners of these skills, men who devoted their lives to an obsessive pursuit of power.
Table of Contents:
The Chinese Connection
The Birth of Daito-ryu
A Unified Field Theory: Aiki and Weapons
Aikido is Three Peaches
Hidden in Plain Sight
Circle, Square, Triangle: How to Be O-Sensei in Sixteen Easy Steps
About the Author:
Ellis Amdur balances two careers, that as a crisis intervention specialist, through his company, Edgework and as a 40+ year practitioner of traditional Japanese martial arts. His writing meets right in the middle. Through his company, Edgework Books, he has self-published eight books on the verbal de-escalation of aggression and calming of agitated mentally ill people, one each for those in the social services personnel, for hospitals, for families, for police officers, for parole/probation officers, for 911 call-takers, for security guards, and for worksite safety (HR, threat assessment professionals, etc), some co-written. He has two final books in this series, one for correctional officers in a jail setting and the other for correctional officers in a prison setting scheduled for release in 2013.
He has written and published three books on martial arts, the iconoclastic Dueling with Osensei: Old School, a work on classical martial traditions and most recently, Hidden in Plain Sight, on esoteric knowledge within various martial traditions.
His books are considered unique in that he uses his own experiences, often hair-raising or outrageous, as illustrations of the principles about which he writes, but it is also backed by solid research, and boots-on-the-ground experience.
He is currently working on his first novel.