Thursday, July 19, 2007

Why blog from a MA teacher perspective?

Part of my Sam Dan essay discussed how martial artists instructors may find blogging to be a beneficial way to reach students. As part of my essay, I noted that I would create this blog, and post sections of my essay. Since that paper made it's way into Kwan Chang Nim's hands, I better have something useful up here should he ever want to look!

Blogging, for me, is multi-faceted in its benefits. It gives me a springboard/soapbox for my thoughts as I develop them, it gives my students an opportunity to further understand my methods and madness, and it serves as a method of building a community.

I'd like to especially touch on that last point. I strongly believe that the Internet has the potential to play a large role in the development of martial arts, as it breaks down borders and constraints, allowing people to work together who would otherwise never cross paths.

In 1968, Grandmaster Shin, Jae Chul came to the United States as a representative of Tang Soo Do. He wasn't just here to put up a shingle and start teaching in a gym on the East Cost; he - along with a few other Korean masters -- was an ambassador for Tang Soo Do. In a sense, my blog seeks to do the same: to spread a positive message for Tang Soo Do and the WTSDA across the Internet. I'm not recruiting, or being paid a commission. No one at the home office is really concerned with me (I hope!) I merely want to share my knowledge and ideas and encourage others to do the same.

Certainly, I don't purport to be on the same level as the men who brought TSD to the US. I don't need to be in order to share my enthusiasm. Instead I want to be an example of the professional and scholarly approach that is taken within our organization. Really, it's no different than holding classes in public.

I hope one day that more senior practitioners share their thoughts online. Unfortunately, most people see the Internet as a waste of resources, and it is hard to blame them for that. People engage in petty flame wars, or outright trolling online all the time. It is a fatiguing proposition to actively participate in many online ventures. Blogging, however, does allow the author some controls. As my own site, I control the content, I can moderate comments (or disallow them completely) and the only person I have to control is myself.

So, where's your blog? :)
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