Not Sure Where I Am Going
A very common expression in the Air Force is “Vector Check”. As those of you who took physics or were in the Air Force know, it means getting someone else to tell you were you are headed. In a plane you might ask for a vector check to make sure you are going where you wanted or it is often used in phrases like “Someone needs to sit him down and give him a vector check.” in which case it is referring to adjusting someone’s current path to make them better.
What I would like tonight is a vector check from the many people who read this site. It is you after all who I am writing for, so I would like to go in a direction that you too would enjoy. If you don’t normally comment, this is a great chance to start getting more content that you want.
Where I Think I am Going
Recently my focus has been on adding more and more videos detailing various techniques and to fill in a lot of the gaps on this site in terms of ground fighting. I have added a handful of lifestyle articles on conditioning and dieting along with some philosophy posts. As the days go by I see this site being transformed into less of a karate site and more of a “Warrior Lifestyle” website. That is something I enjoy and hope many of the traditional martial artists who read this find value in.
Most recently I started a forum for this site to give readers a way to interact with each other and to pool our collective knowledge together. It is still new and growing slowly but already full of amazing people and ideas. What is interesting is that the posts are extremely varied and include lots of stuff on workout plans, good martial arts movies, and fighting techniques. This reinforces my belief that OKI is becoming about the warrior lifestyle and that is what people want to see more of!
As many have seen over the years, I am pretty busy as a full-time student at a military school and will have weeks where I post like crazy and other weeks where I disappear because of military stuff. I have one week of break coming up and will have a lot of time to ideally finish one of a handful of projects I have for this site. Trouble is, I don’t know what to tackle first!
Here is a list of some of the options:
Dictionary of Japanese Martial Arts Terms
Last year I started a project to translate 50+ pages of Japanese terms into English. Back then this site was far more focused on Okinawan Karate-do and I thought it would be very useful to give people a way to look up any terms on the site they did not know or to provide access to the Japanese terms of things karateka may have learned in class, but did not know the name of.
This list has everything from techniques, to teachers, to Okinawan sayings. With another 10-15 hours of work I could have the list finished and published on here into a few shorter posts along with a download of the complete list for your personal use. The list would be free to use/redistribute/share and would require a few revisions to get it perfect.
If this is something you would find useful to your studies, let me know below.
A long time goal of mine has been to publish an e-book (or a bunch if it is successful) to provide a much longer means of discussing the martial arts. While I enjoy posting these longer articles (compared to facebook status updates or tweets), they rarely cover a subject completely. A few of the topics I have considered exploring are:
- Opening Your Own Dojo
- Common Questions About Karate
- Basics Everyone Should Know
I am very open to any topic really, as long as I feel like I can do it justice. If you would be interested in a 20-30 page E-book, let me know below and be sure to include the topic you want to hear about (anything is fair game).
Online Training System
One of the coolest projects I have been playing around with is the ability to convert a large part of this site into “courses”. I would take all of the requirements for a novice student and lump them into sequential lessons. The format of my articles would stay very similar to how they are now, but at the end of every post would be the option to take a multiple choice quiz (or ideally answer an open ended question) and then have the lesson marked as completed (provided you pass the quiz).
Users who choose to make an account (same one as the forum) would be able to track which lessons they have completed and there would be some cool badges/leaderboards to show off how much you have learned on this site. If you are the average reader and don’t care to try this out – you would be able to read everything just like normal and forgo the quiz.
This is not meant to become an online course in karate but rather a way of tracking your learning from this site and a way for me to see who the most involved readers are and focus new articles on what they want to learn.
While this is definitely the idea I am most excited to do (and will likely do as I work towards my 5th Dan), it requires a $100 investment in software to get it up and running. I am more than willing to put the money into this project, but would want to know there are at least a few people excited to use it first.
If you would use this type of software – please let me know below because I think it would provide a unique, free, experience to the martial arts world!
My final idea that I could work on during my week off is more videos. This site has definitely sparked a large interest in the arts within me and I enjoy creating videos, pictures, and a site that sometimes feels more like art and less like a site you read. I won’t have access to a gym, but would be willing and able to create a large collection of videos covering more techniques, katas, and even some conversational thoughts on philosophy.
Sound like something you want? As always, let me know below.
Second Call for a Vector Check
If you enjoy this site and have benefited from its growth and continued commitment to providing as much free resources to the martial arts community as we (Noah and the other guest writers deserve some credit here too), please give me some feedback below so that I can make the most of my time on break and give you some more of what you really want!