Maybe this is too early and really need a lot more time to test the waters. But while I was really keen on an SE for Martial arts, now that we have it, I'm not sure it works too well.

A Lot of the questions don't seem that good, or they have legitimate concerns, but are better served with subjective discussion and opinion. The ones definitive answers can usually be answered by googling it.

We have a big limit, we can't post 'code'. Which is the majority of 'stackoverflow' type questions, hey, I'm trying to X, whats going wrong? why does this happen? I just can't make it work? I can't find something that will do Y.

I think this might be represented by the fact we don't have a lot of questions getting generated by current users. And the questions we are getting are starting to get odd.

  • 2
    What questions do you find odd? Of what questions would you like to see similar? We have another part to consider: we're fighting the mentality that one should ask their instructor. The instructor is not infallible nor is he all-knowing, but we have a tradition of perpetuating this myth in martial arts. We have to find ways to encourage multiple viewpoints while maintaining "good subjective" questions and answers.
    – stslavik
    Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 17:24
  • Boo to the downvoter - this is a reasonable question. I agree with Keith that some of the questions that we're seeing are sketchy (e.g., the questions about "music"). The number of objective answerable questions is not dominating the subjective and some of the subjective are vague and low quality. In contrast, a high quality subjective question will be very specific so at least there's no doubt about what you're being asked.
    – Bob Cross
    Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 21:34
  • I think the downvote was to the early asking of the question rather than the question itself (the downvote was not me- but that was my first thought when I saw the question asked this early in the beta)
    – Chuck Dee
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 16:17
  • I think the question isn't too early, as you may of noticed, there is a massive slow down of questions on this site, as everyone's got over asking questions for the sake of asking some questions.... Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 0:32
  • I think it's working just fine. Yes there are very little questions, but martial arts isn't like programing, we have to make allowances for the odd question.
    – Russell
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 15:10

2 Answers 2


The reason we don't have a lot of question generation is simple: It's very early in the beta. We've been out of private beta for around 8 days at this point. Public betas that get promoted last a minimum of 90 days IIRC, and some of the current ones have gone on for over a year, sometimes with fairly low questions per day.

As to the "objective answers" piece… I wouldn't expect that to ever be the case. See also, Good Subjective, Bad Subjective. We don't need objective answers or code, we need great subjective questions. The challenge is: We are currently still feeling out what that is, and one of the only ways to do that is to bring in a lot of new members of various backgrounds and see what happens, and deal with a wide variety of "odd" questions.

So, are there some things that are concerning? Possibly, but that doesn't meant that the site isn't working, it just means that we aren't where we want to be yet.

  • 3
    Well said. The problem hasn't been that answers or questions are subjective; the subjective questions are often not asking for anything that's backed up by experience (good subjective), and the answers are offering anecdotal evidence of "a bunch of sensei told me 'X'" (This is bad subjective; we need to look for personal experience [not third hand] or facts). I think big chunks of @DavidH.Clements answer here are FAQ-worthy.
    – stslavik
    Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 16:57
  • 1
    A relevant post addressing the "Good Subjective, by experience" -- meta.academia.stackexchange.com/a/14/100 Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 20:13
  • @RobertCartaino, you posted a link to a private beta.
    – Bob Cross
    Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 21:31
  • 3
    @BobCross Oh, bother, grrr... It will be public in a few days. Here's the crux of it -- "There's nothing inherently wrong with questions that seek advice and wisdom from those who have more experience than themselves. And there's nothing wrong with sharing that wisdom here, if you can back up your statements with constructive, sound reasoning. But where these questions go wrong is when they become so generic as to stop soliciting hard-earned wisdom and veer towards simply polling the community." Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 21:48

We have a big limit, we can't post 'code'. Which is the majority of 'stackoverflow' type questions, hey, I'm trying to X, whats going wrong? why does this happen? I just can't make it work? I can't find something that will do Y.

We can't post code, per se, but we do have an advantage: we can post pictures.

A really slick objective question (that I've asked at class) might be "how do I defuse this scenario?" with a picture of a man grabbing a woman's arm (with helpers setting your scene in a posed, much like in a textbook).

Of course, that leads into the specific situation: what does defuse mean? How much violence is authorized? Will the police be involved? Will they look at you as a savior or an aggressor?

Given all that, you can expect answers to be somewhat subjective (e.g., interpretations of "defuse") but also specific (e.g., your thumb goes here, apply pressure and twist).

We might need a rule of thumb: if it's not possible to picture what you're asking, it's not a good question.

  • Pictures are good within limitations. I have a bunch of explanations for the Kata Seisan opening move question, but I really need pictures to illustrate it all.
    – slugster Mod
    Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 12:41

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