Things Electronic


I have to admit to being a bit of a Luddite. I m not crazy about computers, cell
phones, Blackberrys, IPods, etc. My guys laugh at me because gizmos and I generally
don t get along. If it were not for Mike and Kyle here in Ft. Myers I d be writing my
books and articles on a stone tablet with a chisel. I would love to throw my computer in
the pool. I do not turn my cell phone on for days at a time – mostly because it lies. It says
I have messages when I don t and it says I have signal strength where there is none. I did
not buy it, my students did. I appreciate it because it has been handy during the hurricane
aftermath. I have found that while it does not work that well normally, it becomes a
coveted item when I m standing in the midst of hurricane wreckage in some small town
in Florida and I can actually talk to someone. Then it works great and some National
Guard commander is eyeing it, maybe thinking he can take it from me.
The Web and the Internet Service Providers have become necessary today. I do a
lot of my communication with other school owners, seminar hosts, book buyers, etc,
relative to my business in karate. My Comcast connection at home was out for over two
months and it took another 30 days for them to get it right. It took an inordinate amount
of complaining to get it right. I ve been backlogged, needless to say. The production of
my book, Kenpo Karate 301, was slowed a bit due to that. And, thankfully, everyone who
pre-ordered one was patient and there were very few inquiries as to delivery date.
Most of my time on the web is used sending and receiving e-mail and doing
research. I don t go on the kenponet or martialtalk. Why? Because I talk about martial
arts ALL DAY LONG. I have been in the commercial studio business since 1973 when I
started teaching for pay and in my own school since 1976. I started in the arts in 1967.
That s almost 40 years. The last thing I want to do is go home and get on the computer to
see what s happening on a message board.
I write a monthly newsletter for my studio on the computer. I have written five
books on a computer. I have outlines for a few more, as well. I write product reviews for
an aviation magazine. I create PowerPoint presentations for my use as a safety counselor
for the Federal Aviation Administration on my computer. I develop safety directives for
the Civil Air Patrol for wing-wide distribution as well as contribute to the wing s monthly
safety newsletter. That, as well as having other interests, curbs any inclination I have to
go argue with some cyber-person on the “right” way to do Clutching Feathers.
Since almost everyone is hooked into the internet I get students coming in asking
me what I think about some conversation they were in or read about in a chat room. So I
do know what s going on, in a limited way. I know some of the major players and their
screen names. I get copies of responses, the most intelligent of those I have seen were
written by Ron Chapel, and sometimes I even read them. And that s because one of my
guys thinks I have an opinion worth hearing.
There s a tremendous amount of information on the web. I m sure that
participation in those discussions is beneficial for many, as it gives them an opportunity
to question the seniors who do participate, therefore having access to information time
and distance would have prevented or limited in the past. Imagine if Ed Parker were still
alive and working the Web. His phone rang off the hook at home, and his mailbox was
full. I guess today he d get a thousand e-mails a day. And he d have to hire an interpreter.
Maybe when I retire someday and (allegedly) have more time I ll get in on the
action. In the meantime, you guys keep at it in your electronic mosh-pit.