Hidden in Plain Sight: Tracing the Roots of Ueshiba Morihei’s Power

Hidden in Plain SightEllis 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.

This edition is out of print.  A revised/significantly expanded edition, with a number of new chapters, and updated information will be published by Freelance Academy Press in mid-to-late 2017

Table of Contents:

Dedication

Acknowledgements

Author’s Notes

Forward

SECTION 1 – THE CULTIVATION OF POWER

Chapter 1 – Physical Culture: A Uniquely Human Preoccupation

Chapter 2 – The Development of Specialized Martial Strength

Chapter 3 – Connected Strength – a Comprehensive Form of Physical Organization

SECTION 2 – HEAVEN AND EARTH WITHIN MAN

Chapter 4 – The Chinese Connection

Chapter 5 – Kitō-ryū: Rising and Falling

Chapter 6 – Yoshin-ryū: A Garden of Willows

Chapter 7 – Tenjin Shinyō-ryū: Heaven and Man

Chapter 8 – What Happened to Jūjutsu?

SECTION 3 –DAITŌ-RYŪ: THE PAST IS FUTURE

Chapter 9 – Aizu Bujutsu: Takeda Sokaku’s Birthright

Chapter 10 – Takeda Sokaku: Opening our Eyes to True Budō

Chapter 11 – The Heart of Aiki is the Sword: Takeda Sokaku’s Legacy

Chapter 12 – Aiki Nitō Hiden

SECTION 4 -AIKIDŌ AND UESHIBA MORIHEI: MORE THAN A MARTIAL ART & MORE THAN A MARTIAL ARTIST

Chapter 13 – Is the Heart of Aikidō the Sword?

Chapter 14 – Aikidō is Three Peaches

Chapter 15 – Hidden in Plain Sight

Chapter 16 – Circle, Square, Triangle: How to Be O-Sensei in Sixteen Easy Steps

EPILOGUE – ‘Mada! Mada!’ (‘Not Yet! Not Yet!’)

APPENDICES

Appendix A – Find Out Yourself

Appendix B – Cast of Historical Characters Mentioned in the Text

Appendix C – Glossary

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