Why do we need martial arts wiki in addition to wikipedia


June 10, 2009
Yossi Sheriff

When looking at the academical part of the Akban project there is always the question: Why did we, Akban veterans, invest so much time and effort in building and maintaining a martial art wiki when there is an alternative, namely Wikipedia?

A recent Hebrew article in Akban’s journal delves deeper into the reasons. Wikipedia deals with existing fields and articles. You can write a Wikipedia article only when the knowledge and facts about this article are already known. An author wishing to publish original academic work has to publish it in a scientific journal, not in the Wikipedia.

Apart from the Wikipedia focus on publishing existing textual and numerical data, Wikipedia has an unsolved problem with the copyright of non textual media types, a hurdle we solved by videoing and editing all the Akban-wiki techniques.

Martial arts research is either adjacent to physiology , psychology and anthropology or deals with comparative backgrounds in the emerging field of Hoplology. There is almost no Martial arts research that is endogenous and deals with the techniques as an investigated entities.

We are still in the beginning of this comparative research and so far we have little more then 1000 techniques from different disciplines in the Akban-wiki. A growing part of these techniques have textual and semantic data attached and more information is added in English and Hebrew weekly.

After several years of being online we are somewhat disappointed that no one has started a similar effort. That, for us, means the independent scientific investigation of martial arts is a niche subject. It also means that we will have to continue with this effort on the current pace. At this pace we will have 5000 videos of techniques that are articles, not how-to clips, only 6-7 years from now.

We are committed to lifelong training, committed to our community and committed in this endeavour.

Most of the discussion is going on on the Hebrew part of our site, but if you have insights or feedback we would love to hear from you, send us an e-mail.