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Old 08-27-2009, 01:25 PM   #1
Ellis Amdur
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"Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

Well, the book is out - and I've been working a lot more than I anticipated - eight-ten hour days to get all the orders completed. And it's possible I made a mistake here and there. Let me know!
Anyway, I am happy to discuss aspects of the book - I don't know if this will end up splitting in lots of threads or not.
But let's see (Jun - let me know).
I got a PM inquiring about Kano's reaction to Ueshiba - and the writer wondered if, per Tokimune, Kano and Takeda were "good friends," why the attraction to Ueshiba, as if he was doing something new to Kano. Was it possibly just personality issues.
I definitely do not think so. Tokimune was a child in the 1920's, and a mostly abandoned teenager in the 1930's. This is corroborated by the wife of Horikawa Kodo. Furthermore, Tokimune was not, in many ways, a good historian. Many of his accounts are not corroborated by other sources. Finally, Kano was a "spacious" man - he was friends with and associated with all sorts - and was always on the lookout to incorporate anything good into the Kodokan. He had Funakoshi demo, he had a koryu research section. Takeda was quite happy to demo/teach in large groups - so please don't imagine that some modesty or sense of secrecy would have kept him from teaching Kodokan people. Most of his DR was of the HIPS variety, anyway. Kano kept a diary - he had many associates. If Takeda was, in fact, a friend, it would be well-known. And those like Mochizuki and Tomiki, who trained in judo and in aikijutsu, and who actually knew Takeda, would have mentioned that. Sugino (TSKSR and judo and aikido) mentions how, in the end of the 1930's, he first saw Takeda, and was astonished by him.
Anyway, I think Tokimune's account is the equivalent of some Bujinkan claims that Takamatsu and Kano were friends, and that the former taught Kano essential info that made judo what it is today.
Best
Ellis Amdur

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Old 08-27-2009, 01:38 PM   #2
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight (re character development)

Mark - you mentioned character development and training. I used to say - without tongue in cheek - that I would much prefer the guys in the kick-boxing gym baby-sitting my kids than a lot of people I knew in trad. martial arts/aikido. Reality testing makes you face who you really are- and this often maakes a more trustworthy individual.
But training in aiki is a puzzle, isn't it? It is what you make of it, what you are made of, and what it makes you. Take Sagawa Yukiyoshi. I know two people who met him personally, and both told me what a thoroughly unpleasant man he was. Take Inoue, Osensei's nephew. Another very unpleasant, narcissistic man, by many accounts. Shioda was often a brutal sadist. Tohei was often grandiose and self-involved. Tomiki was a thorough gentleman. Mochizuki was an exemplary man. Kodo Horikawa was, at least by some of the accounts I have heard, a humble, straightforward man, but some of the people in his own organization are anything but.
Me personally - aikido was not really of help to me in confronting my demons or making me more pleasant. Quite the opposite, really. Araki-ryu and kick-boxing had a far more positive effect on me.
I think, in the long run, it's what you bring to a study and how it effects you - but I do not think there is anything of predictable benefit - or harm. I think some people will train in "good aiki" and become even more manipulative, aggressive, unpleasant, grandiose or self-involved than they were before. Others would experience a kind of inescapable self-confrontation and change in a positive manner. Others - most, I bet - would be exactly the same, only more skilled with their bodies.
Best
Ellis Amdur

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Old 08-27-2009, 02:01 PM   #3
Stormcrow34
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

Hello Mr. Amdur.

Thanks for taking the time to write a very interesting book that I pick up every time I have the chance.

Do you by chance have any idea where I can view the video of O Sensei in Hawaii?

Also, I hope your son is doing well in his boxing endeavor.

Thanks again for your time and consideration.

Mike C.

Last edited by Stormcrow34 : 08-27-2009 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 08-27-2009, 02:07 PM   #4
Ellis Amdur
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

Michael - I believe it's part of the comprehensive DVDs of Aikido Journal - Stan Pranin

My kid lost his first match - decision. A fair one - he did go down on a "timing hit" - (iriminage with a left cross). Won the last couple of rounds, but couldn't quite make it back.

Best
Ellis Amdur

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Old 08-27-2009, 02:12 PM   #5
Ron Tisdale
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

Hey Ellis, where is he fighting out of?

Best,
Ron (got your email, eagerly awaiting book)

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 08-27-2009, 02:43 PM   #6
Ellis Amdur
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

Kaneko Gym - Tokyo

You can see his first three fights:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZIQynTriUM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA9gXvN_7MI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMWl-0G6Sbw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gDnb...eature=related

NOTE: A discussion of this could lead to major thread drift. Just passing on the links

Ellis Amdur

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Old 08-27-2009, 02:54 PM   #7
MM
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight (re character development)

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Mark - you mentioned character development and training.

Best
Ellis Amdur
Thanks Ellis. It certainly will be interesting to see what the future brings.
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Old 08-27-2009, 02:58 PM   #8
Ron Tisdale
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

Kewl, I'll try to look at the links tomorrow...no more thread drift.

Say, did I mention that I'm really waiting for the book?!?
B,
R

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 08-27-2009, 03:01 PM   #9
MM
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

It's probably readily apparent, but I really, really am having trouble figuring out what the cover has. Is that a hawk, phoenix, dragon? Sorry if it's easily recognized by others, but I just can't figure it out.
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Old 08-27-2009, 03:16 PM   #10
Cady Goldfield
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

Definitely a raptor, but as a silhouette the dimension and proportions of the bird become foreshortened, hiding the full form.

I'd say an eagle, though, based on the wing shape -- the "fingers" are typical of eagles and vultures -- but the shape of the head has been softened and rounded (maybe it was a view from above, looking down onto the top of the bird's head). I'll go with "abstract eagle." It's kind of a nice, mysterious figure.

I'm only on p.63 of the book thusfar (arrived yesterday), but really enjoying the read.

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 08-27-2009 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:26 PM   #11
cguzik
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

Slightly off topic but that was a nice interview in the current issue of Journal of Asian Martial Arts.
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:40 PM   #12
Ellis Amdur
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

Regarding the illustration of the cover.
That is a puzzle!
What beast is it?
The artist, btw, knew exactly what beast he intended to draw.
Yet it is hard to make out.
And some are absolutely sure that they can discern it.
And others are . . . puzzled . . .it slips through one's perception in such cloudy ways.
And would it make a difference if someone thought it was an eagle when it was a phoenix or a dragon or a hawk?

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Old 08-27-2009, 07:50 PM   #13
Stormcrow34
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

I thought it looked like "dragon energy". But once I think I have it figured out, it starts to look like something else. This cover art is perfect for this book!
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:51 PM   #14
Mark Mueller
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

Raven.....the creature the bringer of light, truth and goodness...also well known for its penchant for pranks, tricks and poking fun.
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Old 08-27-2009, 08:03 PM   #15
nalu
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

Hi,

Received my copy today. Truly a wonderful addition to any library.
Thanks for the time and energy you put into these endeavors.

Sincerely,
Mike

Mike Maidment
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Old 08-27-2009, 08:17 PM   #16
Alfonso
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

just finished it. Beautiful read.

astonishing ending, how could you do such a thing.

:-D

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 08-27-2009, 08:22 PM   #17
Ellis Amdur
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

Alfonso - Thanks for not posting a "spoiler" -
No spoilers on the ending, folks! Not for a month, until the initial books are all out and read!

Ellis

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Old 08-27-2009, 09:38 PM   #18
eyrie
 
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

Please... make that TWO (2) months. My copy's not due till early-Oct!

Ignatius
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:52 PM   #19
Janet Rosen
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

I'm confused. There are clearly 2 ravens on the cover of my book. Sheesh, I'm working my way through the words and the thoughts INSIDE the book and ya'll are turning a common raven into a dragon? :-)

Janet Rosen
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:50 PM   #20
crbateman
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

Great book, Ellis... Went cover-to-cover on it yesterday. Couldn't put it down. I'll give it a more thorough look over the next week, and put a review up on AJ (without spoilers) in a couple/three weeks. Aikido needs to look at itself from this angle more often.
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Old 08-28-2009, 12:02 AM   #21
Walker
 
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Alfonso - Thanks for not posting a "spoiler" -
No spoilers on the ending, folks! Not for a month, until the initial books are all out and read!
What!?! My book didn't have an ending!

BTW - I thought the cover was an Aiki-Bunny going down in flames.

-Doug Walker
光道館・叢雲道場
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Old 08-28-2009, 07:32 AM   #22
Bob Blackburn
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

Still waiting too. I need an excuse to avoid remodeling the basement.

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Old 08-28-2009, 08:45 AM   #23
Stormcrow34
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

There is so much information packed into this book, that I am not really sure what you would classify as a spoiler, Mr. Amdur. I doubt that this question would be considered a spoiler, but if it is, I apologize.

But I was thinking about ukemi and its purposes aside from the safety of falling without being injured. I weigh about 220 pounds, and there are days when my legs are sore after an especially rigorous training session from the previous evening of taking numerous falls (especially flat falls)(as opposed to rolling out) and getting up as quickly and as efficiently as possible. As time goes by, I have noticed that they usually become less and less sore, unless I have taken a short training break. So I was wondering what you thought about the idea that perhaps taking ukemi in this way, may be yet another intentional method to strengthen and/or maintain your legs and load bearing abilities?

Last edited by Stormcrow34 : 08-28-2009 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 08-28-2009, 09:31 AM   #24
Ellis Amdur
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

Spoiler? I was just talking about the ending - the Epilogue, called "Mada, Mada." It's just a fun progression to go thru the book and come to the epilogue, that I didn't want those who have been waiting for the book to miss the experience. I'm going to the post office this morning and will send out the last pre-ordered books. Most international orders, by report, have gone thru pretty quickly.

Some things are power-building without, perhaps, a calculated intention to do so. Don't mean to be crude here, but consider squat toilets - that requisite activity, done in that fashion, makes the hips flexible and legs stronger. On certain occasions (ahem), one spends a fairly long period of time immobile in that stressed position. In the third world, people squat effortlessly. In fact, one of the reasons that many believe that there were US prisoners of war held in SE Asia, after the end of that war, is an aerial photo of a group of men sitting cross-legged in a jungle clearing - the point being that no local people would dirty their clothes by sitting on the ground, they being able to squat for hours, with only the soles of the feet touching.

I think ukemi - in the sense of taking falls - is another example of this. I no more think that taking falls was <devised> as a body building exercise than iidori (working on one's knees) was <devised> as a hip-strengthening practice. But the latter, done properly, has that effect, and the former certainly makes one stronger and more resilient.

And, I would wager - I haven't done this yet, but it makes sense - that taking falls could be integrated with breathing to <specifically> work on some of the components of internal training, specifically what Mike Sigman calls "suit."

OH yeah, Janet, regarding the cover. Read the title again. Then look at the picture. Read the title. Look at the picture from another perspective. Read the . . .

Best
Ellis Amdur

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 08-28-2009 at 09:34 AM.

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Old 08-28-2009, 11:01 AM   #25
gregstec
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Regarding the illustration of the cover.
That is a puzzle!
What beast is it?
The artist, btw, knew exactly what beast he intended to draw.
Yet it is hard to make out.
And some are absolutely sure that they can discern it.
And others are . . . puzzled . . .it slips through one's perception in such cloudy ways.
And would it make a difference if someone thought it was an eagle when it was a phoenix or a dragon or a hawk?
It is the reflection of the inside of my brain after an extensive Aiki training session - confused with no clear definition begging the question what next?
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