View Full Version : Budo before the internet

John Lindsey
6th December 2000, 02:34
Some of us might remember a time when there was no internet. I was thinking tonight about how I used to learn about what was going on in the martial arts community. I guess the main source for me was martial art magazines, such as Black Belt, Inside Kung fu, etc. Interestingly, I can’t recall the last time I bought a copy of either magazine. I wonder if such magazines have seen a drop in sales over the years….

Oh, and then there was the video revolution! Anyone still have BETA martial art tapes?

Lastly, I guess we could say that regular mail and the phone played a part in our networking and information gathering.

For me at least, all but the videos have been brushed aside by the internet….

6th December 2000, 10:20
Hi, John,
I have only been online, at least for reasons other than work, for about a year and a half, and the Internet can do wonders for informational/educational purposes, but there is nothing like falling back with a good book. I tried to read a book online once (an autobiography of a judoka), but ending up printing it out (yes, I know I killed a bunch of trees) simply because it is too easy to gloss over information for the matter of speed.

Not only are judo mags scarce, but so is "real" information, eg, "how did "so and so" really do at that tournament?"

Black Belt and Judo Illustrated were the main judo magazines in the sixties, with JI lasting much longer, as to judo. BB used to have some fine articles, but in the year I suscribed, judo was rarely a subject, except for the back pages and tournament results. Today, there is actually more in BB concerning judo, but not necessarily in a good light.

Most of my judo info came by way of the shiai circuit, and usually this part of participation was more important than fighting. Seeing old friends, or opponents as they advanced, finding people long thought to have dropped out only to find then at a (Ca.) state or national event was usually my impetus for the long grind.

One thing I think is overlooked on the 'Net, and that is that the snapshot, as a friend told me last year, of budo has changed, but that it doesn't mean your beliefs or your convictions must. Sometimes, seizing an opportunity, can backfire, but when one looks into himself as in the way you saw it before, it doesn't seem to be as bad as people, or even how you, yourself, thought it was. One has only to hold on to his/her convictions, believe in what brought you this far.

Heck, until I went on line and explored the budo community, less then half of what I have learned lately, would not have, and my convictions in what I believe might be even stronger now. I worried about budo, judo in particular, and I longed for a return to the "mat," the one which felt so comfortable when young. Moving from the big city (LALA land) perhaps was the best thing I did concerning budo. I may not be up to speed on things within the community, but now I don't worry so much. Instead, I can now, in a way, go back to the way things were, a dojo where I can do things as they once were. At least, for three hours, four nights a week, I can, and the shiai? Well, no changes here really, not with the way tournaments are run. There is no money, so there is no reason to update. I may be the ref now, but sometimes, there are instants of flashbacks which make it feel like those hard, old, used wrestling mats which were so soft then, seem that way again.

The Internet, while especially important, is left at home or work, and the world seems to slow down to a crawl.

Magazines about budo were never that good anyway, and the ones which exist today worth buying, are only available (most) online. The occasional quarterly, JAMA, and Furyu seem to reflect that day while BB, etc., now charge to use search engines, even when you only want to know the date of a tournament you were at, one which held memories, but now at a price.

Yes, it is different, all right. Do you believe the year is almost up? Even on television, the commentary mentions the speed of time, but then we are the "old guys" now, and still must look at those old B/W snapshots from long ago. It may seem more urgent than ever, but simply do a week without the 'net, the videos, the c/ds. It's nice.:)

You seem to ask about this same thing from time to time. Are you worried, too?


Paul Mathews
7th December 2000, 02:54
I think the internet has proven to be a double edged sword to the budo community. On the one hand there is a great deal more information which is available in a much more timely manner than waiting for the next Black Belt, Inside Karate, or ________(insert your favorite rag here), to come to your mailbox or newsstand. It has also made it much more convenient to research topics of interest or to investigate the claims of various grand poohbahs.

The downside of all this is that any nincompoop with internet access is capable of spewing forth self-perceived wisdom, second-hand myths, and/or malicious invective. Sometimes it can be difficult to separate the chaff from the wheat.

All things considered, I wouldn't want to give up E-Budo or my favorite search engines, but like Mark, I think that sometimes it is good to give them a rest. We all have to make time to disect, digest, and reflect upon information which we find.

20th December 2000, 22:14
WAIT A MINUTE... there was budo before the internet????

Feeling smart-alecky tonite,


20th December 2000, 22:22
WAIT A MINUTE... there was budo before the internet???? Why didn't anyone tell me??

Feeling smart-alecky tonite,