It is one hour before class on a Thursday evening, and I am at the University Recreation center, making changes to my Sam Dan essay on my laptop while eating a snack. I have uploaded my essay to a central server so that I can edit it from any computer with an internet connection, such as my current wireless connection. No longer am I constrained by remembering to bring a floppy disk, cdrom, memory key, nor do I worry about whether or not my computer has the right software to open the document. An amazingly short time ago - when preparing my E Dan essay -- I would have to take a notebook everywhere, write notes down and transcribe them later and try to fit them in to the flow of my essay.
After saving the changes to my essay, I update some sections of the studio web page, and add them to an RSS feed which will automatically inform everyone who subscribes to the webpage. From there, I logon to a popular video sharing website, youtube.com, and download a performance of Janggum hyung from the 2006 Eastern PA Championship to check on a sequence before reviewing it in class. All of this in 20 minutes before class without having to get out of my chair.
Over the years, technology has influenced our lives, and the martial arts have not been immune to the phenomenon. The internet, and its growing ability to present more information to more people faster every day, has entered more and more facets of everyday life. Just as companies must adjust their business models to accomodate new technology, martial artists, studio owners and even worldwide associations must do the same. However, doing so is not as simple as publishing a web page and then returning to business as usual. To make the best decision, we must be able to examine each new technology and see its advantages and disadvantages. We must understand the culture associated with this technology and see how it meshes with our own. Finally, we must decide which technolgies are best to embrace and which are a poor investment.