Forging Strength and Will:
The Role of Martial Training for Women in Japanese History
Asian Art and History: Behind the Silks
Artis—Naples Lifelong Learning
Ellis Amdur, ancient martial arts specialist
Many individuals interested in the history of Japanese martial practice find images and stories of women warriors bearing a naginata in the protection of her home and even on the field of battle. Although it is a glorious image, it is difficult to separate fact from fancy because of the almost complete absence of historical records that document the role of arms-bearing women. This lecture will highlight some of what is known about the early history of arms-bearing women in Japan. To be followed by a brief presentation by Ellis Amdur and one of his students in one of these martial traditions, the Toda-ha Buko-ryu.
This lecture will be followed by lunch and a discussion with the lecturer that is included in the ticket price. This presentation is part of the Asian Art and History lecture series.
Ellis Amdur began training in martial arts as a youth. He went to Japan in 1976 and entered two different koryu bugei (archaic martial traditions). After a number of years, he received shihan license (full instructor’s license) in both of these traditions. Upon returning to the West, he began teaching these arts in a similar manner to the way he was taught in Japan: in small groups, with a direct personal relationship with his students. He has training groups in Seattle, Valencia, Spain, and Athens, Greece. He also developed new methodologies in crisis intervention, a specialized field of psychology that focuses on working with people in extreme states. He has taught these methods to hundreds of social service agencies, law enforcement and corrections organizations and businesses. He has authored 11 books on crisis intervention as well as books on the essence of depth psychology, hostage negotiation and tactical communication in high-risk, unfamiliar environments. He has also authored three books on aspects of Japanese martial culture and co-authored graphic novel, The Cimarronin, and a novel set in pre-modern Japan, The Girl with the Face of the Moon.