book review: "Hidden in Plain Sight" by Ellis Amdur

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: book review: "Hidden in Plain Sight" by Ellis Amdur

Postby Mut on Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:16 pm

looks good thx for the review, I have just checked the website and think that some of Mr Amdur's other books could be very relevant to my work... now I just need to wait a few days to be cashed up again for another purchase.
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Re: book review: "Hidden in Plain Sight" by Ellis Amdur

Postby Finny on Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:38 pm

Yup - I'll be placing my order in a couple of days - can i still get a copy of Duelling With O-Sensei from your website Mr Amdur?
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Re: book review: "Hidden in Plain Sight" by Ellis Amdur

Postby Andy_S on Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:54 pm

Tom:

Excellent review, will order Ellis' tome on the strength of it. Time to ditch law, I think: Journalism beckons...

Ellis:

Hope you stay on forum, will be interesting to get some of your perspectives - particularly once the various RSF peeps have digested your book.
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Re: book review: "Hidden in Plain Sight" by Ellis Amdur

Postby Ellis Amdur on Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:42 pm

To Finny -
1. Yes, Dueling is still available as is Old School. I have about 200 copies of each left - and do not know what I'm going to do when I sell them out. (I also have a few French and Spanish copies of Old School, and Greek and Hungarian (!!! I know!) copies of Dueling.
2. <Hint> - my psych oriented books are also available. 8-) Might prove useful to someone - feel free to PM me any questions you might have about them. (Not here - too off topic)
3. Finally (and apologies if all of this comes off too commercial - if so, Tom, just pare it away - anyone (usually a school) that buys a combination of more then ten books/DVD - sent to one address - gets them signed and sealed.

Best
Ellis Amdur
Last edited by Ellis Amdur on Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: book review: "Hidden in Plain Sight" by Ellis Amdur

Postby JessOBrien on Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:28 pm

Great news! Ellis's writings on Aikido Journal blog and elsewhere have always been high quality and thought provoking! Good to see more by him. Unraveling the Asian martial arts is a difficult but rewarding task. Thanks Ellis for all you've done to inspire and educate.

And thanks Tom for the shout out for Nei Jia Quan. I don't think it's quite in the same league as Ellis's work here, but I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.

Glad to see everyone supporting good writing about martial arts! Each time you support an author, they are very grateful.

Take care,

Jess O
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Re: book review: "Hidden in Plain Sight" by Ellis Amdur

Postby Interloper on Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:15 pm

Ellis Amdur wrote:To Finny -
1. Yes, Dueling is still available as is Old School. I have about 200 copies of each left - and do not know what I'm going to do when I sell them out.
--snippage--


A fellow from my hometown (owner of a small advertising agency) self-published a novel and a piece of non-fiction that each sold well enough to make back his costs, but didn't make it quite worth the expense of doing another run. He toyed with the idea of re-publishing one of the books as a serial magazine, in part funded by advertising that he would solicit from purveyors of goods and services somehow/somewhat related to the book subject.

I don't know whether he ever carried out his idea, but it certainly was an interesting potential solution, a bit reminiscent of the days when many magazines published serial fiction and kept people subscribing or newsstand-purchasing so as not to miss an installment. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "Sherlock Holmes" series is a case in point, and those serial installments eventually were published as books. Going in reverse -- a book converted to magazine serial form, with the magazine itself being the installment of the serial work -- is a novel idea that would require a different marketing approach than a newwstand publication, but it could be tastefully done.
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Re: book review: "Hidden in Plain Sight" by Ellis Amdur

Postby JessOBrien on Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:13 pm

The advantages of self-publication include getting a much higher rate of earning per copy. A commercial publisher pays author royalties of 10% net, not a lot. A $15 dollar book nets the author around $.70 per copy.

However, you don't have to print, package, stamp and send every dang copy of the thing, and the publisher puts up the money for the print run. Quite a few people self-publish a book, then turn it over to a commercial press when it becomes too much of a hassle or money sink.

Ellis, if you are interested in potentially publishing your out of print books with North Atlantic Books/Blue Snake Books who I used to work for, I could advise you on the pros and cons. Let me know by PM.

Take care,

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Re: book review: "Hidden in Plain Sight" by Ellis Amdur

Postby Mut on Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:41 pm

i'm now excited i just ordered 'Grace under Fire" which looks like it will be a very interesting read.
"I've done 19 years of Tae Kwon Do.... I'm a blackbelt third dan.... I don't think I should start with your beginners..." ....phone enquiry I recieved....
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Re: book review: "Hidden in Plain Sight" by Ellis Amdur

Postby Finny on Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:26 am

I got Old School a year or so ago, and I've been meaning to get Duelling so I guess I'll get Duelling and Hidden in Plain Sight in a couple of weeks

An excerpt from Duelling With O-Sensei:

http://www.koryu.com/library/eamdur2.html

All of Mr. Amdur's writing that I've read has been just as insightful and thought-provoking.
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Re: book review: "Hidden in Plain Sight" by Ellis Amdur

Postby yusuf on Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:39 am

In classical martial arts, the teacher is uke. He templates skill within the student through his mastery of the form . . . demands that the students perform at the limits of their capacity. The student receiving an attack from a skilled and sincere teacher will be forced to feel how their own body responds, either moving the energy of the attack through or getting stuck and collapsing. The skill of the teacher lies in delivering an attack with force and clarity sufficient to challenge the student while not overwhelming her. Aikido practitioners at a truly high level are those created by skillful teachers who mindfully place their students in situations where they must learn freedom through responsiveness—counters and strikes implicit, if not explicit, in their every move.


i wanted to say thank you for the review, will be ordering the book.. especially for this passage :) it is truly the primary characteristic of a good teacher, be they spiritual, martial, artistic etc etc
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Re: book review: "Hidden in Plain Sight" by Ellis Amdur

Postby Tom on Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:22 pm

To clarify: this book is not a "how-to" training manual in any sense of the word. It describes certain specific practices of some schools and compares them with some specific practices of Ueshiba--that's all. These practices are set in a historical context, with Ellis suggesting, more or less credibly, that they are possible (probable?) sources of Ueshiba's acknowledged internal connection, power and skill. From what Ellis suggests, one can research and locate and learn how to do specific training methods. The book will not teach you how to do it. It will point you in the right direction(s) to seek out training.
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Re: book review: "Hidden in Plain Sight" by Ellis Amdur

Postby I am... on Wed Sep 09, 2009 4:02 pm

Tom wrote:From what Ellis suggests, one can research and locate and learn how to do specific training methods. The book will not teach you how to do it. It will point you in the right direction(s) to seek out training.


Tom/Ellis/To whom it may concern,

Any good suggestions on books, videos, teachers, and other resources for those that would like to do just that? I don't know of any Daito Ryu people locally that I can train with, but would love to learn more of how they forge their martial body.
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Re: book review: "Hidden in Plain Sight" by Ellis Amdur

Postby Bodywork on Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:54 am

I am... wrote:
Tom wrote:From what Ellis suggests, one can research and locate and learn how to do specific training methods. The book will not teach you how to do it. It will point you in the right direction(s) to seek out training.


Tom/Ellis/To whom it may concern,
Any good suggestions on books, videos, teachers, and other resources for those that would like to do just that? I don't know of any Daito Ryu people locally that I can train with, but would love to learn more of how they forge their martial body.

You will have a difficult time in finding people who actually know and or actually have developed their body to a a significant degree in that art. I don't know of anyone in the NW.
FWIW, there are some guys in Seattle who have been practicing aunkai stuff for a couple of years now and others just starting to learn DR.
There are no how-to books I would support.
Good luck
Dan
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Re: book review: "Hidden in Plain Sight" by Ellis Amdur

Postby Ellis Amdur on Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:22 am

Real quick reply from my side - not surprisingly, I've gotten a fair number of emails similar, now that I'm an "authority."
1. My book has the relationship to IT as an art critic has to art. I'm writing what I've observed - it is not a book about what I claim to be able to do - or how to do IT.
2. I've just started my own training in this area, training that I think might actually teach me something. Just started, even though I've known about it for 30 years, and assumed I would find it here and there, and didn't get IT, even when encountering some teachers who did have IT. But lest there be any confusion, aint me.
3. Books and DVD and discussion can give added info to someone who is training - with a teacher. I don't believe the former will be of any help without hands-on, face-to-face.
4. I'm not going to make any recommendations on who's good, who's not. Given I wrote "the book," my word has too much spurious weight. I recommend someone and you think he doesn't have it - you come back to me. I recommend someone and you don't like her - you come back to me. Only come back to me to say hello, exchange info and to buy ten more books for all your relatives.
Best
Ellis Amdur
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Re: book review: "Hidden in Plain Sight" by Ellis Amdur

Postby Tom on Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:09 pm

Ellis Amdur wrote: Only come back to me to say hello, exchange info and to buy ten more books for all your relatives.
Best
Ellis Amdur


8-) You'd have to run a second printing to take care of all of my relatives.

Clarification: IT refers to "Internal Training."
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