Re: Guests in the House
The "history" and "IT" forums will not work. Why? It ties in with Ron's query and confusion as to why Aikido journal died and why E-budo more or less is dead to the quality of discussion compared to it's past.
Lack of dynamics in the discussion.
Many times the ones with information are prompted by reading the nonsense from the unknowing (even when the unknowing are the supposed experts). Particularly when you see more "popular support" for incomplete and generally wrong information and direction (I feel that way about the latest turn with just Kokyu as a focus in aikido here lately ) leading to a lowest common denominator type of discussion.
If you get a whole bunch of people with the same interests moving in the same direction there will never be the same dynamics- therefore, less prompts. And the popularity of even bad information reduces the denominator anyway.
Challenging the accepted standard
Judo forum, E-budo, AJ, are all examples of the reducing the dialogue to topics that do not challenge the status quo. E-budo -(particularly one moderator who's behavior I later discovered has become well known across other forums) has allowed hard-line censoring of information, with threads disappearing and even internal editing and rewriting of peoples posts!!. A perfect example for killing a forum.
Were Aikiweb to confine the topic of internal training for aiki by placing into a very narrow parameter and leave the rest of the site for discussing popular aikido-it will all but kill many of the prompts that lead to "IT" discussion. That might prove to be a very good idea for many people; as it will solve the majority of "problems" people see.
It's a question of perception. I see "IT" as everything in aikido from it's spiritual underpinnings, to its waza, to its ukemi, to its aiki. Others see it as only a part, others do not see it at all and want it to go away and return to the peace of shared dialogue in what the majority know.
I happen to think those "problems" are the best thing that has ever happened to aikido since its founding.
Martial arts-left to the natural flow of organizational evolution diminish or die.
1. Entrepreneurial energy and creativeness
2. Creating the industry standard
3. Resting on its laurels (lack of drive to keep up with new information and change)
4. Eventual decline in market (already happening in aikido across the globe)
5. Out of business
In the absence of physical challenge for veracity and intellectual challenge for methodology that leads to soundness in physical expression- "group think" in martial arts always wins out. It is the singular reason why most martial arts and those in them are so bad at them.
The web as an instrument of change
Aikiweb has remained open to these challenging ideas and the difficulties in presenting them-and has become one of the premier sites for Martial Arts on the web. IMO, these discussons are a very sigfnicant reason for that. In other words, becasue of the receptiveness to discuss these difficult topics and also in being patient with the weaknesses and "failings" of those trying to forward them. Jun has not only made a venue for aikido to grow, he is lifting the receptivenss for others artists (Chinese and judo and BJJ) to reconsider the art of aikido that they all but wrote off in the past! That's my observation of talking with people from those arts in person and on the web from what they were told to come here and read, and their subsequant changed opinions for having read these pages!
Whether my idea that this change will greatly diminish the promptsthat forward discussion- remains to be seen.
I think I used up my alloted time for the day.