Small Axe Jiu-jitsu Blog as an Online Community

Abstract

Small Axe jiu jitsu blog is the brainchild of head instructor for Small axe jiu jitsu Tim Sledd. Tim is well known in the jiu jitsu community for breaking down the grappling game into its most basic form and making even complicated moves effortless. His ability to apply concepts and principles into a general application for grappling makes him a very sought after instructor that uses well practiced analytical skills to analyze each position. With Every blog time focuses on an idea as opposed to just a certain move. This conceptualized approach is rare amongst online jiu-jitsu blogs. Using video and well written articles together time is able to better communicate his message and instructions to his audience. He allows each page blog to be commented upon by whoever visits the site. This allows for students and visitors of the site to communicate with him concerning a certain topic he is covering. This give and take style of online blog instruction is rare among jiu-jitsu sites and helps to build a connection between Tim and the grappling community using his blog.

Bio of Tim Sledd and Small Axe Jiu-jitsu

Located in Martinsville, Small Axe jiu jitsu is great facility with a great group of grapplers headlined by black belt Tim Sledd, a nationally recognized jiu jitsu competitor.Tim is an Indiana University Law school graduate and is the perfect example of a well educated jiu jitsu practioner that will use analytical skills to examine his and his student’s jiu jitsu game. Working with someone like this really helps with fine tuning your overall skills as a competitive grappler as time also has a wealth of knowledge in wrestling and judo.

Audience

The online community that makes up Small Axe's Blog is generally mostly students of Tim at his school. This blog serves as a great resource for new information that perhaps they did not cover in class. This is very much a student/mentor type of relationship and generally they will post their questions to the blog for Tim to answer. This builds on the relationship between Tim and his students so that even when they are not training at his school they can still connect with the community he has developed.

“Many bloggers see blogging as a way of developing relationships, via linking back, with an online community: the linking that happens through blogging creates the connections that bind us (Hourihan, 2002). They also manage those relationships through both linking and commentary, which become forms of social control, signs of approval, acceptance, value” (Miller and Shepard).

Although a large base of the users are students of Tim's, people from all over the world that are interested in jiu-jitsu and grappling can partake in discussions and share information with each other. He states how he is just trying to make himself better, which creates a connection with the audience who they themselves are trying to do this very same thing.

"In my quest to be the best grappler I can be, I began studying Judo to supplement my BJJ."

This is a great example of community buildingand by doing this it opens up the online community to people besides just people that already know Tim in person. This allows for new ideas to be shared between people that perhaps could never be in the same room together.

General Design of the Blog

Most of the blogs posted by Tim on his site are written as a article concerning a certain concept in jiu-jitsu. Such as on this particular blog “BJJ Sweeps Tutorial: Using a Judo Principle to Increase Effectiveness” Tim discusses the use of applying kuzushi a judo ideal to jiu jitsu. Kuzushi is the practice of treating your opponent as a square which flat as is it will never roll but if placed upon one of its corners it is easy to pick which way it should tumble. Tim breaks down the ideal very simply for his audience which would have to have some knowledge of jiu jitsu or grappling but by no means would have to be considered an expert. The articles are written in a very scholarly way with a good amount of information rolled into his concept for the specific blog page. They are well written and very clear in their meaning. After each article there are usually videos highlighting a certain technique appropriate to the concept. In this Tim talks through everything pertaining to the above article and how it ties in with the technique he intends to demonstrate.
Tim is the only person able to post blog pages onto his site. People are able to at the bottom of a page comment on it or post a question but as of now Tim remains the only person able to post whole articles. This whether by design or not keeps the relationship of mentor to students with Tim doing all of his instructing through the blog. Other instructors cannot get on and post articles that perhaps would conflict with Tim's teaching style or beliefs and this gives Tim the power to design his site and keep control over the type of information posted upon it.