Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Successful Martial Arts Online Communities

DSC_4983 Eazy Bar Koh Tao
Originally uploaded by mureena
Over the last 10 years, I've been a member of several online martial arts discussion forums and websites. Some, such as Warrior-Scholar, are specifically dedicated to the discussion of Tang Soo Do/Soo Bahk Do/Moo Duk Kwan. Others, such as TotalProtectionInteractive
are more concerned with pure self-defense issues and tend to strip away the art and take what works. Over the years, I've learned a great deal from them all. The only downside was that we were often limited to describing what we did with words. Few people had the means or technical ability to post photos and videos. Unfortunately, martial skill does not always go hand in hand with computer skills, usually because we spend too much time developing one at the expense of the other. (note to self, practice your forms when you get home.)

One particular forum has taken an interesting approach to sharing techniques. FreestyleForum is a community dedicated to the freestyle use of nunchaku. As you can imagine, the community is an interesting mix of martial artists, jugglers, and people who are definitely focusing on the "art" aspect rather than the "martial." FSF, as I've decided to call it for the duration of this post, has embraced youtube as a means of sharing their skills and building off each other.

Moves are shared, and challenges are frequently posted to keep member's working on their chops. Someone posts an "aerial challenge" and other forumites can post their responses, using Youtube's handy response feature.

As you can see from the above video, even the beginners are quite talented. One day I hope I can make the time to move beyond lurking in that forum and actually post something.
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