Martial Arts: Mind, Body and Spirit Presented Online
I am very interested in Martial Arts, as I’ve been training in Tai Chi on and off for ten years as well as an Internal Martial Art called Wu Dao Gong for a year and a half. I have searched many websites to find a good one to write about but none seem to compare to the site by the actual organization that I am fortunately part of. They are called the Tai Chi Academy and their online magazine can be found at a link from their homepage or at: http://www.taichiacademy.com.au/magazine/index.htm
What I find so remarkable about this site compared to other martial art sites is the variety and depth of information shared with visitors. These people really want to paint a true, honest picture about everything that they do and why they do it. ‘Flow like a river, and be still like a mountain.’ This famous Tai Chi quote epitomizes the flowing yet static style of this website. There must be at least a hundred pages about everything from basic school principles for prospective students to recipes for healthy vegetarian food recipes! Martial Arts are a lifestyle to this school and I believe they want to address all aspects of life in a truly holistic approach.
Integrated throughout the site are heaps of photos (most of which are in vibrant color) depicting the actual training as well as cool photos of their field trips to China etc. The magazine site itself is separated into main categories such as Archived Features, Testimonials, Archived Interviews, Suggested Reading, and Vegetarian Corner for Non-vegetarians as well as Links.
Under the ‘Archived Features’ section is a category entitled ‘Training in Wu Dao Gong’. This couple of pages gives the visitor an excellent, detailed perspective on the philosophy behind this training. If you are then interested in finding out more you can click on the Tai Chi Academy actual Home Page and click on the subheading ‘Courses’. There you can read several more in-depth explanations about all the aspects of the training from meditation to physical exercises and their effects. They emphasize that emotional and spiritual development are integral to moving forward down the path of happiness and peace. They are adamant that this is a course for the arts and is not religious in any way.
I found the ‘Testimonials’ section to be quite interesting as there are a variety of responses from students. They come across as being very authentic as there seems to be such a diverse reaction to the training. The Kung Fu seems to have helped so many people ranging from older women to teenage boys. One aspect that everyone comments on is the lack of ego and competitive nature of the instructors. Just like the website, the stigmatic qualities often associated with Martial Arts is not present here; no one is trying to look cool or be aggressive. This is very important to people whom just want to increase their health and self-defense capabilities like myself.
This website is a perfect example of the true function and intention of the Internet, to share positive information and knowledge around the world. Of course the Tai Chi Academy is a business, but the honest and open format of their website reflects the philosophy of their teachings and is appreciated by visitors. All products’ costs are right there to be seen; as there is nothing to hide when monetary gain is not the sole imperative of an organization. A lot can be learned here by companies’ and individuals’ approaches to constructing an identity on the Internet.
Jesse S. Somer, M6.Net
Jesse S. Somer is a bamboo tree bending in the strong wind, but rooted to the ground. He is learning and hoping to show others how to be more flexible and stable in our contemporary world.
Jesse S. Somer