IkigaiWay.com has been in operation since February of 2008 and has posted over 400 articles (of…varying quality). That’s a long time and a lot of text! Over those years the website has taken on a few different forms. I’ve always tried to keep it modern and usable without losing focus on the most important aspects of the site – the content and the people that visit here.

Since the site’s inception my own personal martial arts journey has taken on various twists and turns. I’ve moved to new states, pursued new styles, and gotten to know the martial arts landscape at large. To say it has been both educational and humbling would be an understatement.

I didn’t have the guts to upload a video until 2010. Get a load of this cutting edge quality!

A few years ago I decided to shift away from regular blog posting in order to get into book publishing. Writing a book had always been a dream of mine, and was certainly part of why I joined the Penn State Professional Writing program as a wee little college kid. When I saw this blog potentially opening that door for me, I knew I would regret not taking it. After almost a decade I decided to shift my focus into longer works, hoping to fulfill a an age-old dream of writing a book.

Needless to say, that process kept me away from steady blogging for longer than I anticipated. But it wasn’t just the book work. I hit upon a personal conundrum – I was lacking any sort of true passion to continue plugging away. Those energies had been spent. And so work on books was a happy distraction.

That carried on until recently, when I started visualizing a bigger picture for where I’d like all of this to go.

Why the Name Change to SanrinArts.com?

When I first created IkigaiWay it was with a singular vision – create articles that help explore the martial arts as a way of life that provides value and purpose. That mission statement still exists, but the scope of the website has expanded beyond that singular focus. I now need a name that helps encapsulate more of my ideas and initiatives. Also, people really struggled to remember and pronounce the name. Say it out loud – “IkigaiWay”. It clashes off the western tongue, doesn’t it? Why have a name that hurts to say?

The name Sanrin (山林) refers to a mountain forest, which has a lot of implications for me personally. I call two different states home – Colorado and Pennsylvania, both of which are known for their mountains and forests respectively. But more importantly, there are key philosophical and martial ideas comparing styles of budo as unique routes up the same mountain, or different branches of the same tree. There are some additional implications with the name, but suffice it to say that I think it paints with a broad enough stroke to encapsulate everything I hope to accomplish with this site.

I’ll be retaining the ikigaiway.com domain so you’ll always be able to type it in and get here, but you’ll see a more consistent shift to Sanrin over time.

The Bigger Picture for IkigaiWay…and now SanrinArts.com

What started off as a place to jot down wandering martial thoughts has now become a hub for articles, interviews, books, events, and who knows what else? I’ve got a few big ideas that I think you’ll enjoy, whether they succeed or become huge flops (should be entertaining either way).

Please stay tuned and help me enjoy the next phase of this website’s life.


Matt Apsokardu