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Old 11-22-2018, 10:46 AM   #1
Ellis Amdur
 
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ERRATA in HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT (UPDATE)

This is an updated message concerning one particular error in HIPS. On page 64.
Some time ago, I wrote: Vincente Bosch alluded to the fact that my description of circular breathing on my KogenBudo blog was different than that in the book. Others have noted the error directly. ON the blog, I wrote, correctly: "The truth is, however, we ALWAYS execute diaphragmic breathing unless something has gone terribly wrong. When we inhale, the diaphragm always pulls downwards, creating a vacuum that draws air into the lungs. When we exhale, the opposite. The movement of the diaphragm may be constricted or inhibited, but it is always the main ‘driver' of breathing." But somehow, in HIPS, I wrote "the diaphragm is drawn upwards," an anatomical impossibility I read it and think, "how the f**k did I type that? Why didn't I catch it? What didn't my editor, my three critical readers who are supposedly educated. And every person with an axe to grind is going to jump all over that and discount the whole book!"
And although I can accept many editing errors, something substantive as this is something I cannot abide. First of all, because it's wrong, and secondly - to be honest - I am aware that some my discount my entire work because of this error, which is so fundamental. My publisher, Gregory Mele, agrees with me. So what we have done: At the following link is a downloadable label, formatted exactly to that passage on page 64. If you follow the instructions, you can print it out and paste it directly into the book. Of course, new print runs will not have this regrettable error, but this way, I can assure myself that it can be corrected, even in the original. Freelance Academy Press

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Old 11-22-2018, 09:05 PM   #2
jamesf
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Re: ERRATA in HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT (UPDATE)

Thanks for the clarification there! I remember reading that section, being a bit confused, re-reading a couple times, and trying to figure out if I missed something. I gave up after a bit and kept reading. The rest of the book was excellent!
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Old 11-26-2018, 04:46 AM   #3
Bernd Lehnen
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Re: ERRATA in HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT (UPDATE)

HIPS, I thought.
I read it with a twinkle of the eye.
Best,
Bernd
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:17 PM   #4
kironin
 
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Re: ERRATA in HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT (UPDATE)

Thank you. That's useful. I remember noting that made no sense but I was too willing to think maybe it was just a fanciful visualization rather than intended as an actual description of what was happening. That certainly makes it more of a concrete description.

On something else that might lead one to discount your work, is fanciful reference you refer to as strong evidence on page 33, first paragraph. The idea that references in footnote 23 provides strong evidence of a legitimate counter stream in neurology is laughable to say the least. To a neuroscientist like me at least it was a big red flag that the rest of the book would take an extra dose of salt and need a very careful eye of scrutiny. These works you refer to by an M.D. with buddhist/evangelical/"God of the Gaps" agenda who resides at an Intelligent Design institute (i.e. creationist) isn't remotely being taken serious in the field of neurology. Among his pop science crimes is a total butchering of quantum physics. Of course this puts him in the same nonsense camp as Deepak Chopra. Of course that whole section on Life Force is full of woo from that page to the next, leaving it a hot steaming mess that just made me wince. There is a total loss of objectivity and there is no science here.

It's one thing to deal with the idea of vitality or life force from a historical perspective and what may have been believed and how that drove certain practices. It's another to pretend there is any evidence for it actually being reality.

best.

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Old 12-14-2018, 09:53 PM   #5
Ellis Amdur
 
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Re: ERRATA in HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT (UPDATE)

Pretty harsh, Craig, but not well read on your part. I over and over again in that section refer to the idea of qi = elan vital as proto-science. I refer to it as so vague as to mean anything, imaginary powers such as pyrokinesis, or telekinesis. "The 'subtle energy' or elan vital model of qi can be a very poor androgogical model." I also state that misdirection and self-hypnosis lead the suggestible astray.

Essentially, you read the footnote, decided the entire chapter was new age nonsense and didn't read what I actually wrote in the chapter. I write: "The defintion of qi as a pervasive life force, however true it could conceivably be, on a macroscosmic and/or microcosmic level, is a poor method to teach skills in using one's body."

I've no problem learning from you that Schwartz and Beauregard lack credibility from neurologists. (although I suspend any final trust in any neurological theory until consciousness can actually be explained, but nonetheless, I take your point that if these two men's writing is proto-scientific itself, I should be less enthusiastic about their assertions). But your dismissing Schwarz because he resides in an 'intelligent design,' community, which you then parenthesize as 'creationist' is somewhat shabby, in my view. Creationism, the claim that the Biblical account is inerrant (God planted dinosaur fossils in the ground to test our faith, etc) is one stream of intelligent design thinking (and a rather primitive one at that) but I doubt very much that is what a Buddhist former Jew conceives. And even so, guilt by association is not scientific critique either. Heisenberg worked for the Nazi's, but that doesn't disprove his physics.

Again, if these two writer's have not grounded their assertions in science, well and good - a footnote best not inserted, but that has very little to do with the thesis of the chapter which is: reliance on elan vital theories will not really assist most people in learning internal strength skills.

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 12-14-2018 at 09:56 PM.

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Old 12-16-2018, 08:12 AM   #6
jurasketu
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Re: ERRATA in HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT (UPDATE)

Just finished the book last night. Excellent work. I assumed that the breathing description was just a typo or visualization. I've edited my copy to fix the typo.

I do have a question: Is reverse/circular breathing different than breathing techniques used in weight-training (bench press is the most dramatic example) or other acts of strength?

Note: I've been doing either weight-training and/or heavy lifting for over 40 years. But I never thought to practice reverse breathing except for that purpose. I've since tried it on its own accord absent of lifting something heavy and seems useful. And if I'm doing it right - it seems identical - hence the question.

I'm a big fan of breathing exercises for general health and fitness.

In martial practice, though, I tend to focus on natural breathing for two reasons:
(1) Natural breathing maintains calmness of mind
(2) While coordinated breath with action can certainly provide power, I think too much focus on breath coordination interferes with reflexes, martial actions, deception, and feeling [timing].

PS I am an asthmatic and was taught breathing exercises to strengthen and relax my lungs before I learned to read. But I've only done martial arts for the last 11 years, and so I have been fascinated to learn about the various breathing methods in martial arts.

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
AWA - Nidan - Started Aikido training in 2008
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Old 12-16-2018, 07:22 PM   #7
Ellis Amdur
 
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Re: ERRATA in HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT (UPDATE)

I've read about some of the breathing methods used in power lifting, but I'm really not qualified to discuss them. I do use reverse breathing during certain lifts (I don't do that much heavy lifting, but I find it really helps when I do squats with a slosh tube, boh in terms of stabilzation of stance and posture - and coordinating my body during the movement.

For me, CONSCIOUSLY using reverse breathing is a training device for development of a connected body and expression of power. But when I'm doing kenjutsu, for example, I let the breathing do it's own work as I do kiaijutsu (and there is no doubt that, when needed, I am doing reverse breathing without thinking of it).

I, too, have asthma. I have not found that reverse breathing provokes my asthma in any way.

Ellis Amdur

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Old 12-16-2018, 08:57 PM   #8
jurasketu
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Re: ERRATA in HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT (UPDATE)

Thanks.

I've been trying reverse breathing as a stand alone exercise. Seems like a good complement to my other breathing exercises. I definitely like the feel of it.

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
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Old 08-03-2019, 01:44 PM   #9
kironin
 
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Re: ERRATA in HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT (UPDATE)

I'm not on this forum much anymore so I'm just seeing this. I guess it might come across as harsh, but I also never stated anything that should make you assume that I did the following, "decided the entire chapter was new age nonsense and didn't read what I actually wrote in the chapter." Nor did I say you thesis for the chapter as you stated at the end of your reply was in anyway wrong.

To the contrary, there is some interesting ideas in that chapter, it's just that footnote that I found very disappointing. After all, you gave me high expectations and interest for that footnote with "however, that there is counter stream in neurology, finding strong evidence for ..."
No. It's neither a real counter stream in neurology nor strong evidence.

The term proto-science has been used with several different meanings. I've never used the word so was not that familiar with it. But if the following is what you meant, I don't agree that Schwartz and Beauregard is proto-science. What they are involved in is pseudoscience and yes, to attempt to make this point does reveal a certain wistful indulgence that leads the reader to question your critical faculties. It's not relevant to your chapter's thesis but that only makes the reader wonder more, fair or not fair, where else in the book have your let personal biases seep in too much.

----
"Protoscience (in Kuhn's sense) is activity that occurs while people are trying to figure out what does and does not constitute scientifically rigorous practice. It differs from pseudoscience because the people involved are trying to be scientific (i.e. trying to make empirical measurements with respect to well-organized theories), but haven't yet agreed on what 'being scientific' means in their particular area of research."

"Pseudoscience is an intrinsically political activity. It tries to leverage the authoritative power of science without actually engaging in the rigorous practices that are what give science its authority in the first place. Creationism is the archetypal pseudoscience, in that it simply calls itself scientific so that it can claim a particular status in the social world, without so much as trying to do anything that a science must do to be scientific."
----

The assertion that intelligent design thinking exists outside of creationism be that creationism in the traditional Christian fundamentalism, or some new-age creationism, or some other religion (Christianity hardly has a lock on such ideas), I find rather odd to claim. It hasn't been a credible theory in science circles for a long time. It pops up most often by either scientists that profess some form of Christianity or by Christian backed think tanks. That's the most common form of Creationism in US by far, but it's not necessary that it be biblical. Intelligent design is clearly pseudoscience.

It isn't guilt by association, the whole thinking process is rotten all the way through.

and by the way, Heisenberg's story is way too complicated a tale to be so casually used in a throw away example like that, https://www.americanscientist.org/ar...-of-old-werner

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Pretty harsh, Craig, but not well read on your part. I over and over again in that section refer to the idea of qi = elan vital as proto-science. I refer to it as so vague as to mean anything, imaginary powers such as pyrokinesis, or telekinesis. "The 'subtle energy' or elan vital model of qi can be a very poor androgogical model." I also state that misdirection and self-hypnosis lead the suggestible astray.

Essentially, you read the footnote, decided the entire chapter was new age nonsense and didn't read what I actually wrote in the chapter. I write: "The defintion of qi as a pervasive life force, however true it could conceivably be, on a macroscosmic and/or microcosmic level, is a poor method to teach skills in using one's body."

I've no problem learning from you that Schwartz and Beauregard lack credibility from neurologists. (although I suspend any final trust in any neurological theory until consciousness can actually be explained, but nonetheless, I take your point that if these two men's writing is proto-scientific itself, I should be less enthusiastic about their assertions). But your dismissing Schwarz because he resides in an 'intelligent design,' community, which you then parenthesize as 'creationist' is somewhat shabby, in my view. Creationism, the claim that the Biblical account is inerrant (God planted dinosaur fossils in the ground to test our faith, etc) is one stream of intelligent design thinking (and a rather primitive one at that) but I doubt very much that is what a Buddhist former Jew conceives. And even so, guilt by association is not scientific critique either. Heisenberg worked for the Nazi's, but that doesn't disprove his physics.

Again, if these two writer's have not grounded their assertions in science, well and good - a footnote best not inserted, but that has very little to do with the thesis of the chapter which is: reliance on elan vital theories will not really assist most people in learning internal strength skills.

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