Thursday, August 02, 2007

THE POWER OF BLOGS

Hey everyone, thanks for taking the time to read these posts. I hope that they’ve met the usual standards of quality found here at TDA Training. This will be my last post as more bloggers are anxiously waiting for their turn to fill in for Nathan. I’ve had a great time writing here!


There are a lot of ways to learn the martial arts; classes (of course), seminars, videos, books, movies, and television to name a few. However, one of the best ways is the relatively new medium of internet blogs.

Blogs are an incredibly useful method of communication, that are only just beginning to be discovered by the general population. You can find information, thoughts, and opinions here that’s hard to find anywhere else.

Classes are a great example. Learning the martial arts is impossible unless you take some sort of class (even if it’s one-on-one instruction). In class, however, we’re usually so busy conditioning our bodies, working on form, practicing technique, etc., that we don’t have time to share our opinions, criticisms, creative ideas, or feelings. It’s hard to build these aspects of learning into the structure of a class.

But, a blog, on the other hand, is the perfect place to discuss these things. There’s no time restraint because the learning takes place outside of class, where people can read at their leisure. There’s also a written archive of posts, so people can always go back and check out the things discussed in the past. Best of all, if readers like or disagree with something, there’s a way for them to leave a comment and begin a discussion.

Often some of our best learning takes place outside of the planned structure of a class. Take my last post, about ‘Dutchboy’ as an example. We would never have discussed what to do about getting spit on in the street during class, there was too much training to be done. However, while shooting the breeze after practice, the topic easily came up.

A blog is a lot like an extended conversation after class. It allows us to cover territory not usually addressed in class and discuss ideas we don’t have time to explore during practice.

Chris Thomas, my instructor, has always claimed that the best information to be learned at a seminar is always shared at the dinner afterward.

“Always go to dinner with the instructor after a seminar,” he’d tell us. “That’s were all of the ‘secrets’ get revealed.”

It’s the open and casual atmosphere that allows people to ask questions and talk about subjects that don’t normally come up during seminar itself. (In fact, it was at a dinner after a seminar that he first met Master Instructor, George Dillman; with whom he went on to write several influential books.)

Like seminars, blogs bring people together, but unlike seminars, the people never have to leave home to meet up. (Nathan now lives in Pennsylvania and I live near Chicago, but we can communicate almost as easily as if I just lived down the block.)

Imagine if legends like Gichin Funakoshi or Bruce Lee had been able to keep a blog. Think about all of the information, theories, and ideas that have been generated by Funakoshi’s books and Lee’s Journals.

Now just imagine how much better it all would have been if others could have shared their thoughts and opinions with these masters online. Sure, there would have been some controversy (there was anyway!) but there would have also been a lot of confusion cleared up as well.

With a blog, questions could have been answered, suggestions added, theories examined and extended. Who knows how much their ground-breaking ideas could have been refined and improved if they had been able to share their thoughts across the internet?

We can only guess how much our arts will develop and grow with this mighty new tool for communication at our disposal.

Blogs are now a huge part of the future for the new Information Age. I’d like to finish my time here by taking time to thank people like Nathan Teodoro for making the martial arts a part of that future.

See you all back at Kicksboxes,

Respectfully,

Rick

1 comment:

Ethan said...

Thank you for bringing such nice posts. Your blog is always fascinating to read.