Monday, June 25, 2007

The magic and perils of YouTube

You have probably heard of Youtube, the video sharing community. In a way, Youtube is much like the text-driven BBS that you dialed into and downloaded funny text files and images. 15 years ago, you were on the bleeding edge of technology if you had a 14.4 kb/s modem. You could download an ENTIRE PICTURE in just one minute!

As hard drive space increased along with the bandwidth, it has become almost dirt cheap to host video online. As a result, people are freely sharing their interests with the rest of the world. A small percentage of these folks are sharing their passion for martial arts as well.

Just a few years ago, if you were interested in seeing a martial art in action, you had two choices: find someone in person, or shell out $30-$50 for a video. If you're interests were Tae Kwon Do, Karate or Judo, this usually wasn't too hard, as almost everyone in the US is within driving distance of one of these arts. But for something a little more exotic such as Silat, Ditang, Pigua, or Tae Kyun you were pretty much out of luck.

While video sharing has been on the Internet for some time, Youtube took down a lot of the barriers of video sharing (paying for disk space, web know-how, etc) and in turn, a lot of martial artists came out of the woodwork ready to share their passion.

How does Youtube help a martial artist? It depends on your level of creativity and open-mindedness. From a marketing standpoint, you can upload videos from demos, classes and tournaments, and then embed them into your website. From an ambassador standpoint, you can share with the entire world your passion for the WTSDA.

But what about the educational perspective?
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