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JazzKicker
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 07 Aug 2017
Posts: 116
Location: NJ
Styles: JKD, TSD, MMA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:17 am    Post subject: Generational loss of knowledge in the Internet age? Reply with quote

Before a workout last night I was chatting with my longtime friend and coach. He's a full-time martial artist, and the most popular programs at his gym now are boxing and MMA. There's still a small contingent, including myself, of guys who come for JKD sessions and occasional seminars, but his comment was the interest, and overall market, has changed.

Seminars, even with "big names" like Dan Inosanto, don't draw the crowds they used to. The martial arts pioneers, like him, Chuck Norris, and those before them, are in their 70's or long deceased. The more traditional arts, with their subtleties, training methods, and techniques, are not being handed down directly anymore. My friend blamed things like YouTube, that people are going to this for knowledge and instruction now, and that by the time our kids are grown, much will be lost (in a sea of 3 minute videos and mis-information).

That made me think, though my friend is by no means a traditionalist, he may be right.
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RW
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 317


PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:28 am    Post subject: Re: Generational loss of knowledge in the Internet age? Reply with quote

JazzKicker wrote:
Before a workout last night I was chatting with my longtime friend and coach. He's a full-time martial artist, and the most popular programs at his gym now are boxing and MMA. There's still a small contingent, including myself, of guys who come for JKD sessions and occasional seminars, but his comment was the interest, and overall market, has changed.

Seminars, even with "big names" like Dan Inosanto, don't draw the crowds they used to. The martial arts pioneers, like him, Chuck Norris, and those before them, are in their 70's or long deceased. The more traditional arts, with their subtleties, training methods, and techniques, are not being handed down directly anymore. My friend blamed things like YouTube, that people are going to this for knowledge and instruction now, and that by the time our kids are grown, much will be lost (in a sea of 3 minute videos and mis-information).

That made me think, though my friend is by no means a traditionalist, he may be right.


It could have to do with the rising popularity of MMA too. I wonder how full would the seminars of whoever is the new UFC flavor of the month be?
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6100
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't say I quite agree it's to do with the internet. I think Martial Arts' popularities wax and wane. Sometimes the flavour of the moment is more traditional styles, now it's MMA and UFC. Despite there being a huge volume of information out there for MMA, people still go to seminars taught by the top level coaches and fighters.
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Bulltahr
Purple Belt
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Joined: 08 Mar 2015
Posts: 572
Location: NEW ZEALAND
Styles: Shotokan, Seido Juku

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MMA, UFC are so strong these days. People want a all encompassing system....... Of the "trad" MA I would say that BJJ has become very strong. Grappling seems to be the flavor of the month these days. Karate had the 70's and 80's. Just the way things are.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27542
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think BJJ seminars tend to fill up. I think it has more to do with what's in favor at the time. When Karate was hot, those we know like Norris and Wallace commanded hundreds at seminars. Gracies are the same way now. I think what changes are people's interests.
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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Knowledge is not lost these days. The way people gain knowledge has changed, however. My hypothesis is that the ability to hold onto knowledge is valued slightly less by society today. Now, it seems like it's more valuable to be able to know how to locate the knowledge and to be able to properly vet sources to determine if what's presented is valid. There is a tendency to rely a bit much on the convenience of the internet. Especially since the rise of smart phones. I do feel that the pendulum will swing the other way before too long. Anyone who's been online long enough should know that these knowledge sources are not fixed. Some go away (and they're not always replaced!) Navigating websites also changes in unexpected and sometimes inefficient ways (looking at my current employer as I type this...)

More directly related to the post - Yeah, I agree with DWx. Martial arts is not vogue at the moment. Especially traditional martial arts!
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JazzKicker
Orange Belt
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Joined: 07 Aug 2017
Posts: 116
Location: NJ
Styles: JKD, TSD, MMA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I was sort of getting at is, there is, or was, often more to traditional systems, technique wise, than is fully appreciated and taught, in the pick & choose world of today. So styles have become more specialized, less comprehensive, than they were. Instead we get modern blends with "the punches of boxing, kicks of karate, grappling of BJJ", etc.

I think the filtering started long before the internet age, it's just accelerating now- and that filtering occurs because of both popularity and sport application.

There was a time TKD looked a lot more like karate, for example. Judo had atemi waza, striking techniques, but they are not taught in sport judo. And conversely, old school karate had throws, joint locks, etc. Now, yes, if you have the inclination you can research on the Internet and find this information- but good luck learning it first-hand.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14183
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the most part, change isn't greatly received, especially at its onslaught. However, those very same people that balk at change openly are encouraging change behind closed doors.

I am of the opinion that the advancement of the internet, like anything else, has both its proponents of, as well as its detractors of, which is the normal flow. Is the internet striping the value of said MA school since its advent?? That depends on whom one asks!!

Surely, it's of no surprise that I'm not in favor of the internet replacing qualified instructors entirely, nonetheless, the student is entirely accountable for its own betterment within its own journey.

In short, students of the MA have the right to seek out whatever source they believe that they need from wherever that might be. If a school of the MA is worried about the internet being the cause for lower numbers, I'd challenge that instructor to first look into the mirror before arriving at any unsupportive conclusions.

After all, the internet is here to stay, so we need to figure how to best utilize it instead of placing blame on it. It's a tool, either we learn how to utilize it or we ignore it; either way, it's an individuals choice.

I've never utilized the internet for my own professional and personal reason(s), nor will I, and nor have I and/or am I worried about the internets impact on me and/or my dojo because I'm of exceptional quality on the floor.

Imho!!



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Fat Cobra
Orange Belt
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Joined: 14 Jul 2018
Posts: 113
Location: Fort Drum, NY
Styles: Ryukyu Kempo

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The internet does not help, but I believe it has more to do with the UFC. My dojo is on a US Army installation, and most of the soldiers want to train in MMA versus traditional MA for a few reasons (and reasons why MMA is currently more popular):

1 - They want instantaneous skills. MMA training (boxing, wrestling, grappling) gives skills quicker than traditional MA with kata and bunkai (that does not mean MMA gives GOOD skills quicker, but it gives skills that can be put to the test quickly).

2 - UFC fighters are cool (to the young crowd). They are exceptional athletes, in great shape, come out to their own music, and make money. This appeals to young adults.

3 - In the ring, MMA has proven to be more effective than traditional MA. In a life or death situation, I would argue otherwise, but no media attention goes to the life or death situations...everything is about the ring.

Now, with the increasing popularity of shows like Cobra Kai, Into the Badlands, Daredevil, and Iron Fist, traditional MA might make somewhat of a come back, but only time will tell.
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Times change.

Is youtube vids the problem? Depends. If you're a complete Newb and depending on what you find... yes.

If you type in a word or phase and click search you will find a plethora of information out there. Some good and a lot bad.

I am by no means a technical guru on the computer or for that matter in searching the web (self taught through trial and error). However I have no problem finding the frauds spouting absolutely useless ineffective techniques on video's right off the bat. It hits you straight away. I'm sure someone will correct me but I think for every one good, informative and effective video you'll find 20 that are absolutely worthless and show everything but real TMA's. The good are there but their far outweighed by the bad. There is no monitoring of quality when it comes to TMA and the internet or really anything for that matter.

The internet is here to stay. As long as there are charlatans and frauds that are allowed to post useless examples of the TMA's then you'll have problems with students wanting to learn TMA's. They will come away with an opinion based on what they just saw.

I feel the major problem is that there are more inexperienced frauds posting examples of what the arts are not than those posting good examples of what the arts are.

Does youtube hurt the TMA's... in a word yes. Why? Because of the message that gets out to the perspective student is not always the one you would prefer they get. 99% of the time its not the right message. Does it help MMA? Absolutely. Why? Because you can watch it in action. Nothing says it better than watching one guy beat another. Does that hold any bearing on what the student will learn by joining an MMA gym? No. But it doesn't matter when on the other hand you search for traditional arts and find a two or three minute video of two guys playing patty cakes or a flashy Kata that has absolutely no bearing in reality. Worse you have terrible examples of absolutely useless "Bunkai" being passed off as effective applications. Even a Newb will turn an nose up and look else where.

However it's not just Youtube. Websites that illustrate everything but traditional martial arts are abound.

In doing a little research I was able to literally waste a day of my life reading through absolute useless, false information (hundreds of websites). I did find some legitimate websites with good information and opinions but again they are out numbered by the McWebDojo's out there spouting nonsense.

Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your stance, the internet gives a sounding board to everyone. You can put anything you want out there as long as you have the money for a website. No one monitors them nor calls them out so you have to deal with it or put more real TMA information out there to combat the junk.

As far as MMA is concerned... this is not a new phenomena. When I was young Kung Fu and Judo where prevalent, then Karate and Jujutsu (japanese), then JKD, American Kempo and the like, then Krav Maga, Pencak Silat, Arnis, and others and the list goes on and on, were the flavor of the year.

It really doesn't matter what the flavor of the year is. If what you teach is effective then it will last. If not then it will go the way of the dodo.

Personally I feel that the sport aspect and the McDojo's have more to do with the decline in interest in traditional arts over the internet or MMA or what ever craze will come tomorrow. They have essentially removed the effective fighting aspect of the arts and replaced it with watered down, flashy junk that is meant to catch a judges eye rather than be used in real situations. Sure the internet plays a role but our industry plays a larger one.

As far as loosing student to youtube videos are concerned... well that same argument was around when I was young in terms of books and magazines. Then came VHS tapes and you heard this argument again. Not to mention other arts being introduced in an area. There will always be some reason that you do or don't get students and even reasons why you loose students. This will never change and depending on the year you can point your finger in a dozen directions and still be wrong.

IMHO you don't loose any perspective students to videos. Not really. Those that would rather watch videos are not real students to begin with. If they would rather watch than do, then lets face it, you were never going to get them into your Dojo in the first place.

Everything goes in cycles. Nothing stays in favor with 100% of the people out there.

The only thing you can do to attract or keep students is give them what they want. In the 70's and into the 80's it was to learn to fight and defend yourself. Then the trend swayed towards tournaments and the sport aspect of the arts. Then it really swayed and gave birth to XMA and purely sport based arts and schools. Then the yoga'esque, work out oriented, meditative, non-violent, non-contact, get a belt if you show up and pay enough, McDojo's were born. Now its back to fighting. Which by the way, and I know I'll get flack for this, is the reason why the arts were created in the first place.

I love it. Maybe it will skew the arts back to what they were created for rather than the kumbaya, everybody gets to be a black belt with next to no effort version that is so prevalent today.

I think that MMA and the internet are a God send. It highlights the flaws in modern TMA's and puts the spot light on the limited effectiveness of how the arts are taught today with the patty cakes no-contact emphasis. I think it will force instructors to move away from modern methods and return to the original founders methods of teaching the art. Basically put the combat back into the arts.

May not be popular but there's my 2 cents.
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