3/29/2007 5:39pm, #61Originally Posted by Askari
So maybe I should start another thread, so you guys can continue to use this one to crap up the Internet, but here's a project idea:
The Bullshido Guide to Choosing a Martial Arts School
This will be specifically focused on quickly providing useful information for people looking to train in a martial art. It should be written for a general audience, with the assumption that the reader will be coming to it with no prior knowledge. To foster quick and easy knowledge transfer, it should be written by using a simple and direct style, possibly modified Associated Press.
There is no reason this guide couldn't be up and running in a short time. Content and organization could be generated by a brief round of forum discussion. However, barring any necessary factual corrections, this won't be a living document, or any sort of Wiki or forum sticky - to reiterate, this will be focused only on providing useful consumer information, not something hard to navigate that primarily reflects the culture that made it.
I'm envisioning a single Web page, free from Google ads, excessive explanation of purpose, hectoring, self-congratulation, gimmicks, useless functionality, animation or the general Internet clutter that makes the rest of the Bullshido sites such user-unfriendly visual trainwrecks. Simple words on a page, delivered via attractive, low-key design. If Grandma's looking to find little Billy a karate class and something on the page would confuse or distract her, get rid of it.
Content-wise, I'd like to see:
Something to help the reader define their purpose. Is their primary concern self-defense? Exercise? Sport competition? Self-discipline? Meditation or spiritual nonsense? Totally gay cultural reenactment? Hilarious dressing up in ninja outfits? Etc.
Next would come specific guidelines, perhaps in the form of questions to ask to ensure a potential school is appropriate for the desired purpose, as well lives up to its claims. These would likely be simple versions of the questions we see here on the forums every day when someone asks about a school, but targeted. If the consumer's hope is to learn to fight, mention the importance of sparring, especially with a limited set of rules. In this example, encourage the consumer to ask to watch sparring sessions, and give them a set of criteria to use for observation. Come up with guidelines such as these that address each of the potential consumer needs the forum discussion agrees to include. Keep it simple, short and free from martial-arts jargon.
Off the top of my head, I'd probably move from there to a section that outlines the dangers of extended contracts as well as typical selling strategies instructors might use to push unwanted or unnecessary classes, charges or extensions. This section should strive to empower the consumer, give them an idea of what to expect, what to look out for and encourage them to assert themselves, and not be bullied into signing something that makes them uncomfortable. Encourage consumers to do the research, shop around and compare, etc.
As far as dissemenation, a good start would be to create a banner and have forum members see about placing it on their schools' sites. Note that this banner wouldn't be any kind of Bullshido-approved award or any such nonsense. There should be no judgment involved. It should simply state that it links to a page intended to provide consumer information.
OK, that's just off the top of my head, as a reaction to this abortion of a thread. I'd be interested in any substantive ideas on how best to create, deploy and distribute this, as well as thoughts as to what information should be included, and how best to convey it.Originally Posted by HedgehogeyOriginally Posted by Kidspatula
3/29/2007 6:14pm, #62
Whilst I love Doc Fagbot's work, is that all a little too... in-depth for some of the good folk who might be looking for guidance on MA choice?
I'm not saying dumb it down totally, but... I think the more work someone has to do initially (ie reading... comprehending) the more likely they are to click on a link until they find pics or vids with people jumping around in wu-shu stylie and thinking "oh my god I have to do that it's totally hardcoe Imma gonna eata cookie".
This is an opinion I hold about people in general. This a damning indictment on the room temperature IQ's that we have to assume are also amongst those undecided in their choice of martial art, and a comment on my own cynicism.
Perhaps there should be a more visually attractive "bait". Maybe a like a score card (or trading card game type thing) with different attributes scored out of ten to give an easy reference version for the art feature headings like aliveness, practicality, striking, grappling etc... then click on the card to link to a more in-depth review.
Categories could go on the card somewhere, if necessary...:rolleyes:
Too cheesy? Too dumbed down? Too pokemon?
3/29/2007 6:21pm, #63
In-depth? Look, I know all those words in a single post can be daunting, but go back and read the fucking thing. Where in my suggestions was anything even as remotely confusing to make or understand as your pokemons? Fucking c'mon.Originally Posted by HedgehogeyOriginally Posted by Kidspatula
3/29/2007 6:59pm, #64Originally Posted by Dr. Fagbot Q. MacGillicuddy, PhD
Your ideas, if followed through and placed as some kind of article would be informative, would be useful, but the execution of the idea could have left it wordy, sterile and unattractive to the average/below-average reader.
My point was that too much initial information can scare people off. That's why I suggested a more idiot-friendly fast-food abridged intro (with a magic the gathering pokemon vibe:icon_geek) leading to an article along the lines of your suggestion.
In closing, I still love you.
3/29/2007 7:12pm, #65
We could always adopt a color coded (lack of) threat level indicator for each style.
3/29/2007 7:24pm, #66
I think there's some merit to a) Mostly good styles and b) mostly crap styles. And c) Always crap styles.You are a total Douchbag. Train more, post nevermore.
FickleFingerOfFate -08-21-2007 08:59 AM
just die already.Plasma - 08-20-2007 11:45 PM
Best MA website ever!!!!!: http://www.dogjudo.co.uk/
3/29/2007 7:39pm, #67
Originally Posted by Phrost
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
Or the Cooper system?
Edited to add, DFQMP, your just jealous of the squid.
I think a limited access wiki could produce your desired document very quickly. Get 4 or 5 editors that want to do such a project and give them access, let them work on it for a week or two and it would be ready.
Last edited by Askari; 3/29/2007 7:44pm at ."Sifu, I"m niether - I'm a fire dragon so don't **** with me!"
3/29/2007 9:53pm, #68
I was actually thinking something similar. Instead of just classifying martial arts under some useless system of catgorization, we creat a guide for people to find the martial arts they're looking for.
If there is such a system, we have to think of everyone who's using it. There are people who are starting martial arts, or they want to put their kid into martial arts. The guide would need to be friendly to these people, and guide them to find a school.
At the same time, some people will be using the site to find information on other martial arts. Example, we have a guy... let's call him Fred. Fred has been doing BJJ and Judo for many years, and is quite a good grappler. However, he wants to find a nice striking style to accompany his grappling. While I'm sure he'd know something about martial arts, Fred might want to do some research to find something that suites him. He finds Bullshido.com's "guide to choosing a martial art," and starts browsing. We want to help Fred. The guide needs to accomidate him as well.
A taxonomy is not really needed. Yes, some labels may be applied, but we can't force these labels. You don't want to have certain categories and consider each one individually. For example, I don't want to have to ask myself, "Is wrestling useful in a self-defense situation?" if I'm simply trying to create a page. I label it, "Combat sport" and "Grappling" and call it a day. If you're talking about BJJ, you can label it "Combat sport," "Grappling," and "Self-defense." Whatever applies, but you don't need to consider every single option every time.
Lastly, we need to talk about objectivity. If we do get five or so people on this project (as reccomended above) there will likely be subjectivity. This applies for some arts more than others. TKD, Booj, and other arts are heavily debated, and opinions are conflicting. How will we handle that? Will there be a forum discussion? Will it be too confusing to guide parents on how to find a "good" karate school and how to identify a karate mcdojo? I don't have an answer here. Just something to consider.
3/29/2007 9:55pm, #69
- Join Date
- Mar 2007
Perhaps generally categorize the style, then remark on what its competencies are? (e.g. grappling, striking...whatever.)
But I'm getting pretty skeptical of this. For one thing, doesn't it reinforce the "smart shopper" view of martial arts? Like, "I want to learn to (X). I will now pay money and receive this." Is the learning process "a service being rendered", like paying someone to cut your hair or shine your shoes? That's not, at least, anything like how I've envisioned martial arts study.
Last edited by PSanderson; 3/29/2007 10:59pm at . Reason: removed unnecessary remark
3/29/2007 11:09pm, #70Originally Posted by PSanderson
What a horrifying thought. While the consumerist approach is problematic (I agree wholeheartedly), I don't think there's anything inherently 'market based' about a guide to martial arts choice.
It's probably closer to many of the course guides for university (outlining what they do, their strengths, their histories). That many students still view education as a market has more to do with late modernity than any individual guidebook or hand-out.Martial Arts and Philosophy: Beating and Nothingness
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