This week the 10,000th M.A.Q. (Martial Art Quiz) was completed. Ten thousand people have racked their brains. And because we delete repeat attempts, that even allows for those who took the quiz again immediately in order to get a better score. Wow. That's a lot of people. (Not all of them bought the book, heh.)
There are currently over 380 questions in the quiz database, and you get asked 15 each time you take the quiz. The quiz is tricky because it deliberately doesn't ask you much about your own art — that would be too easy — and because, in true Fudebakudo style, it draws from eclectic sources. So in fact the logs show a further 8000+ people started but never got to the end.
The average score for all completed quizzes is 12.49 (that's from a possible range of -15 to +30).
The most common complaint I have received regarding the MAQ is "it's dumb" — which seems to mean "I couldn't answer the questions"… So I haven't done much about that.
But the other grumble is that there are too many questions about Entertainment (that's one of the categories from which questions are chosen). That's an interesting one. Some people don't think they should know who Hong Kong Phooey was. And they may have a point, but I think the role of the mass media (even cartoons) is an undeniable influence over the practice of martial arts in the West. Of course, Bruce Lee is usually cited as the classic example of this (his films really introduced kung fu to the West), but even the documentary-like realism of Karate Kid or Crouching Tiger (and, yes, you too can take a guilty bow, Mr Seagal) significantly affects the attitude to, and uptake of, martial arts outside their native lands. I'm sure many practitioners don't like to admit this because it's neither good for machismo or credibility to acknowledge that some of the people in the same class (not yourself, obviously) are only there because they secretly fancy themselves as Tony Jaa in Ong Bak or — God help them — Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai. Even the current popularity of MMA (with Brazilian jujutsu leading the way) has been driven not because it is a more functional system of effective combat (although it may well be), but because it coincided with the rise in demand for pay-per-view TV fight material. Yes, I know there never was a Gracie/Hong Kong Phooey grudge match, but it's still all to do with how martial arts get into the public consciousness.
Incidentally the MAQ is a rolling project and I am always adding a question or two to the database. So if you think you have a particularly insightful question that should be in there, please have a look at the submission guidelines and consider sending something in.
Oh yes, that grudge match. Phooey woud win, no problem.