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(Click here for Spanish Version)

Shotokai Karate Budo's Online Enciclopedias


(This article is a synopsis of a more extensive work to be presented at SIM 24/26-Oct-03)

Dear Shotokai Friends,

 

As Shotokai Karate Budo’s Online Enciclopedias approach their 8th year online (September 2003 we'll celebrate 8 years with SKB material online on Shotokai.cl and Shotokai.com), interesting how much has changed since the early days. We are now no longer surprised to see visitors from the most remote places in the world. We are not surprised to see 18,000 visitors a month (only on Shotokai.com alone). We are no longer worried when we get messages from JKA groups in Pakistan or Macedonia asking for a membership... things have changed. It's not that we no longer appreciate visits or contacts, it's rather that we now know what to expect and how to react to them.

 

Internet and the web are powerful tools, just as much today as 8 years ago, that hasn't changed. Its power resides in its "democratic" nature. Though some things have changed in the stucture of internet in the years since it became a commercial enterprise to have presence on the web, people with money are little by little regaining control of it all,  there is still space for small groups without money. We can still gain public and visitors from the web in a free fashion, only based on adecuate work in promoting the website on search engines (like Google and Yahoo) and based on people linking back to the website once they see that it’s an excellent source of information.

 

Before Internet appeared, people with money were the people that got their word across, their version of history (specially in Karate), a wide presence was obtained by paying large amounts of money to magazines, publishing and distributing books (very expensive), publishing ads in newpapers, TV ads, radio ads, etc. All these traditional methods were extremely expensive and not available for small groups around the world, like for example Shotokai Karate Budo. There was no chance of anyone in Europe or North America ever hearing about SKB or even Shotokai in general. This case is repeated all over the world within Shotokai, maybe with the sole exception of Nihon Karate-do Shotokai which was the owner of the important publicactions of Master Funakoshi and Egami's works, Karate-do Kyohan, Karate-do Ichiro, etc. So before Internet our groups formed a diffuse, unlinked and weak organization of (to call it something) small or medium sized clans of Shotokai participants.

 

Thus Shotokai, before the Web, was a large group of weak (relative to groups like JKA) and mostly solitary groups scattered all over the world, incommunicated and very vulnerable to influence and depredation of larger Karate groups with economical success. Shotokai groups in their solitude even flirted with competition as a survival method, losing little by little their focus and straying from the basic premises of what Shotokai is as a Budo.

 

This has changed radically after the World Wide Web expanded and groups like SKB seized the opportunity of having a presence on the web. Suddenly SKB, a small group of less than 200 participants with no money what-so-ever, with a little knowledge on web positioning and publishing quality material accumulated in years of research, could appear better listed than large groups like the JKA with millions of participants and big and deep pockets... That surely was a radical change! It was, of course, a change that could not be missed or squandered, and we did our best to ride the crest of the wave and I believe we still do. Suddenly Shotokai was no longer an obscure, unimportant branch of Master Funakoshi’s karate, it was as important or even more so than the so-called heirs that called themselves “Shotokan”.

 

It's interesting how many things changed after SKB published material on Master Funakoshi, Yoshitaka Funakoshi, Master Egami and other important Budo subjects. Suddenly Yoshitaka was mentioned more and more, Teiji Kase suddenly acknowledged he had trained with him (though I doubt it, seeing as Yoshitaka never taught people under Shodan and Kase was a beginner when Yoshitaka died, they may have been in the same room some time). Now people talk about the Shotokai - JKA conflict, Master Egami has been pulled out of anonymity and is mentioned more and more. I even have a quote out of a new book on "Shotokan" Karate history that has been taken out of the Shotokai.com website (wrongly by the way)... so the influence has been larger than expected and we've not been able to see the full effect nor the end of it.

 

But its not only about getting Shotokai represented on the Internet and influencing the “history” stronger groups had imposed during the Shotokai silence, it was also very much about communication between Shotokai groups, those lonely islands of karateka in the world were suddenly a click and less than a minute away from each other. It was a matter of searching the web for Shotokai groups and there they were!

 

I still remember the first letter I received from José Patrão now some 6 or 7 years ago… what a surprise! Someone in Portugal with views so similar he could have been part of SKB! I remember I was very excited and printed the letter and took it to Heyden Sensei. We established a friendship that has later culminated in various visits to Portugal by both my Sensei and I. This I am sure has not been a unique event. I feel this has repeated many times over all over the world.

 

So the point is that Internet has been our unifier, in great measure the Shotokai International Meeting will be an outgrowth of this process iniciated 8 or 9 years ago by the pioneer Shotokai groups that developed a web presence. We need to build upon these advances, this technology that has helped us overcome the geographical distance. We must work to amplify it by training and sharing together openly, exchanging information and propagating the expanded knowledge and wisdom within the groups and also over the Internet in an ever expanding positive echo within the Karate-do world. It’s time to counteract the deadly contraction and individualism with expansion and solidarity. This is the best moment to do so and we must sieze the opportunity we’ve been presented.

 

M. Gallardo

Shotokai Karate Budo Mexico

Guadalajara, Mexico - July 16, 2003

 

 Texto/Text: © Copyright, M. Gallardo, 2003

 

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Up ] Karate-do como Defensa ] Karate-do como Auto-defesa? ] Karate-do: hit and avoid being hit? ] News About my Death... ] Notícias acerca da minha morte... ] Noticias acerca de mi muerte ] Institutionalisation and Competition in Shotokai ] Institucionalização e Competição em Shotokai ] Institucionalización  y Competición  en Shotokai ] Ensino de Karate-do Shotokai a Crianças ] Enseñando karate-do shotokai a los niños ] Teaching Karate-do Shotokai to Children ] L'insegnamento del Karate-do Shotokai ai bambini ] Vitória sem Luta ] Victory Without Fighting ] Vencer Sin Enfrentamiento ] Shotokai Karate Budo's Enciclopedias Online ] Shotokai Karate Budo’s Online Enciclopedias ] Le Enciclopedie Online dello Shotokai Karate Budo ] Diversidade Técnica e Valores Comuns ] Technical diversity and common values ] Differenze tecniche e valori comuni ] A prática Shotokai é Multiforme ] La practique Shotokai est Multiforme ] Discurso do Presidente da ASP ] Karatecas de todo o Mundo ] SIM-Objectives,Logo and Program ] SIM - Inscr. ] SIM-Questions&Answers ] SIM-particip ] SIM-Conclus ]


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