Yin & Yang of Martial Arts and the Internet.
When I first started training, televisions were only just changing from black and white to colour, radios were still called wirelesses, landlines telephones in your home were an absolute luxury and washing machines were for the extremely rich.
Forty year plus on and all of this has changed, we have undergone a technological revolution. Televisions are now flat HD plasma screens; radios are integrated into mobile phones along with high resolution digital cameras and MP3/MP4 players and who can do without a washing machine?
Two things that has really revolutionised mankind is the invention of the personal computer and internet; all our lives are individually affected by these inventions, shopping, banking, policing and hospitals are just the tip of the computer/internet ice berg when it comes to you, your details and the computer, internet record system.
I could not say with any accuracy how many computers are in the U.K alone, it must run into millions. For myself I own four personal computers and one laptop.
So how has this computer and internet revolution affected me?
Well as a professional martial artist, business man and published author, I now could not do without them. My day to day business is very reliant on just being able to print from my computers, forms, literature and handout leaflets about all the classes I run at my Dojo (club). I have data bases set up for club membership, grading certificates for all the arts I teach and an important one for club members insurances. For gradings I also have templates for progression packs that are printed out for each new student and for the odd one or two that misplace the old ones. The list is endless.
As I run my own martial arts organisation, this too requires more computer data, data basis and address listing and multi news letters mailing via the internet. E-mails are a mini revolution, I remember having to “duplicate” the news letter, individually fold them, put them in envelopes, hand write hundreds of envelopes, stick stamps on them and then post them. All of this has been eliminated by just composing a letter on my computer and e-mailing it to any where in the world. The job is done in hours not days, …………fantastic!
For the book's I have written and had published and the others that are being written, my computers and the internet are invaluable tools. The internet has made it possible for me to research valuable martial arts information that otherwise would have been impossible to find through the old method, a visit to the City library, now with just one click on my mouse I am in wikipedia.com and the information is mind blowing.
A very affective way of advertising for my martial arts business’s is to have a web site, this puts me right in the market place for advertising and attracting new members, however, It still comes in second place to that free service and the best advertising ever “word of mouth”
So is there a down side to all this technology? Well for every thing that is good in the technology world it seems that bad has to have a portion of glory, this could, for martial arts purposes this can be be described as Yin and Yang.
The Yang side of computer technology and the internet is all the positive things that we can all benefit from its daily usage that helps use do our business and have some fun using them The Yin is the viruses, identity fraud and other nasties that invade our computers and try to destroy and disrupt our modern way of life. I have no idea why people develop computer viruses, I realise in big business this could be done to sabotage the competition but for you, me and Joe Bloggs in the street???? The Yang side is extremely bright people develop anti-virus software so we can stop viruses invading our computers. This also create jobs and income, so out of this Yin we get a Yang.
An e-mail can be classed as Yang and e-mail spam can be classed as Yin. Why do people bother sending spam? Over the Christmas period I had 600 spam e-mail's all of which were zapped and dumped in the spam killer bin before I read them, but what a waste of time and effort on behalf of the spam author's. Are spam authors therefore classed as Yin. Well they seem to prey on the e-mail computer novice, so in my books they are definitely YIN.
As you surf the internet you can find an amazing amount of martial art web sites and free online martial arts magazine and forums where you can catch up on the latest topics and chat with fellow martial artists about various martial arts and styles. These are definitely Yang as it allows the inquisitive mind to explore the martial arts fully and years ago before the internet, would not have happened as most of your knowledge would have come from your instructor or the odd good book that could borrow or buy.
Unfortunately areas of debate and forums have a Yin side to them as the have allowed a new Web-Para-Site to evolve: these I have personally named Cyber S.I.M's (S.I.M stands for “Sad Immature Martialite”). “Martialite” is another name given by me for a person who has done little or no training and then thinks they are in a position to question and judge the credentials of established martial artists. A Martialite is certainly not a person to be taken seriously.
These Cyber S.I.M's try to swarm in and feed off various web sites information. Once they get no joy out of the web site material they migrate to another web site trying to attack the integrity and credentials of that particular instructor. They have a distinctive pattern, hold a inquisition based only on the information on the web site, and ridicule the instructor before he or she knows about it and then e-mail the person to invite a response.
The Cyber S.I.M’s sanctuary is on a few forums that are pleased to Host this Web-Para-Site. Ebudo and Bullshido seem to be the two major hosts. Both of these site are definitely YIN. Type my name in on either site and see what a load of rubbish they write.
One Cyber S.I.M individual whom I shall call Lurkey has even invented events in my life that are not true and even tried to black mail me!!!. Lurkey is definitely YIN. Lurkey even cyber lurks me, what a moron, some people really need to get a life away from the computer screen. Lurking on the internet all day and night is is definitely YIN.
So what can one do about a Cyber S.I.M infestation. Well first of all, you have to realise that these individuals have a right to surf the net and as yours and my web site is open to public view, they can have free access to the parts that are not for members only. The next thing is to look at each person who makes up the swarm. Well it does not take much research or imagination to understand what the S. I stand for in S.I.M. With that in mind don't worry about them, they are just like the naughty children who live in your street or area and deliberately kick a ball in your garden or knock on your door and runaway. One day they will grow up and then the next generation of Cyber S.I.M's will do the same to them. So in this case a Yin can change to a Yang.
So as you can see computers and the internet have Yin and Yang sides to them but isn't that is also what life is all about.
One last lingering thought is, can computers and the internet ever take over the martial arts? Well we have all have seen the movie the matrix. Could we have virtual instructors, say like some old past master standing in a dojo teaching? I am still of a belief that hard work and dedication and constant training are the only way to become a good martial artist but when you look at all the changes I have seen in my short life time who knows what the future might hold.
"Beam me up Scottie"
Professor James Moclair 10th Dan Soke Shodai.©
Yin (Chinese: 陰/阴; pinyin: yīn; literally "shady place, north slope (hill), south bank (river); cloudy, overcast") is the darker element; it is sad, passive, dark, feminine, downward-seeking, and corresponds to the night.
Yang (陽/阳; yáng; "sunny place, south slope (hill), north bank (river); sunshine") is the brighter element; it is happy, active, light, masculine, upward-seeking and corresponds to the day. Yin is often symbolized by water or earth, while Yang is symbolized by fire, or wind.
Yin (receptive, feminine, dark, passive force) and Yang (creative, masculine, bright, active force) are descriptions of complementary opposites rather than absolutes. Any Yin/Yang dichotomy can be seen as its opposite when viewed from another perspective. The categorization is seen as one of convenience. Most forces in nature can be seen as having Yin and Yang states, and the two are usually in movement rather than held in absolute stasis.