I’ve been thinking of revamping the site for awhile now, and I am looking for a little input. What are some design elements or features you would like to add or subtract from this blog? How can I make it more useful to you, and how can I increase the accessibility of the site; that is, what can I change that would make you more interested in participating? I’d like to move the focus of the site away from mainly my writing to make this blog more of a place enjoyed by the martial arts community at large. Thoughts?
In that spirit, I’ve also been toying with new names for the site and URL. I spent the last few days looking up words that embody a different, more communal and informal vision. Over the last year or so, my articles have shifted from just Shohei-ryu and jiu-jitsu; I’d like to host a broader discussion about martial arts, personal improvement, and wellness in general.
Would you be interested in contributing content?
Here are some concepts I’m thinking of regarding the new name. I’m not sure how they should (or shouldn’t) fit together. What do you think?
Blue Zones are areas of the world where people live the longest and are considered the happiest. Health and happiness are why many of us started training in martial arts in the first place! You can see author Dan Buettner’s explanation in TED lecture or on his website.
Moai (pronounced moe-eye) are the original “social networks” in which people meet to share interests, experience, and to support one another emotionally (and financially) through good times and bad. The best martial arts schools function much the same way, minus the banking connotation. A good website should offer the same support. Moai was developed in Okinawa, and Buettner suggests is one of the reasons why denizens live healthy, fulfilled lives. Skip to 7:20 for his explanation.
Yuimaru is the concept of reciprocity and working for the common good as expressed in Okinawa. In The Okinawa Program, Bradley and Craig Wilcox, and their co-author Makoto Suzuki say, “In a sense, it is similar to the ‘help thy neighbor ethic of the farmers of the American Midwest and Canadian prairies” (8). This embodies the spirit of traditional martial arts, I think: through teaching and learning we all help each other to improve. Therefore, yuimaru should also be considered during the naming process.
In essence, I’m trying to develop a sense of mental, physical, and spiritual vitality, enabled through martial arts training and knowledge, that is shared by a community of open-minded individuals. We can use this site to work together for our common good.
Are you in?