A video series on the 4,000 year old Chinese strategy game of Go.
We've reached our funding goal! I'd like to give a big thanks to all the contributors! This is enough to get Sunday Go Lessons off the ground, but there are a few things that could make the videos even better. Here are some stretch goals and the funding needed:
Lateral Tripod $200 - If we can reach the $1,000 funding level, then I can get one of these bad boys. I've been using my own tripod, but it's really old and is being held together by duct tape and a prayer. A lateral tripod would allow me to do overhead shots, so I can point the camera straight down at the board. If you saw the videos of the professional games I did, a lateral tripod would make the shot a lot clearer. Here is the page on Amazon.
Anything over this, I'll donate the equivalent amount of free lectures to the American Go Foundation so that they can freely give them to Go Teachers who'd like to use them in their classes to teach children or really anyone else who wants to learn Go.
So what is this project?
My name is Jonathan Hop and I'm an author and teacher. I've written 4 books on how to play Go, and I love teaching Go. I've been playing Go for about 9 years. I went to South Korea to study at a professional Go Dojo for a year, the Yu Changhyuk Go Dojo in Migeum, S. Korea to be exact. I sat shoulder to shoulder with kids who might one day go on to be professional players and compete for thousands of dollars in cash prizes on Korean television.
I'm creating a video series to teach people how to play Go and to popularize the game so that more Americans and Westerners finally know what it is so that they can enjoy it for themselves. The videos will be available on my website, Sunday Go Lessons, and the videos will be available for a very affordable $1, allowing you to watch the video 24/7 for a month. The video series will have something for everyone, from people who think that Go is Othello, to people who are hardcore fans looking for a program to boost their skills. I have Go clubs in mind, for those of you who have active Go clubs and are looking to expand your membership by enticing new players into the fold.
I am planning to release the new website and video series sometime between mid and late August this year. With your help, we can make it happen.
Who are the videos for?
For those of you who have never seen Go or don't know what it is, it's a strategy board game. Think of it as Chinese chess if the metaphor helps. Go is great to keep your mind sharp and develops concentration. It develops math skills in children and also builds spatial reasoning for everyone. People who play Go into their twilight years have a lower rate of Alzheimers. It's also just plain fun.
For those of you who currently play and want to get better, my teaching style is based on changing the way my students think about the next move. I love to teach people who feel stuck at their level. You want to know WHY moves are made so that you don't think about the bad moves and just beeline towards the better ones.
All of my lectures will be available in Engish, German, French, Spanish, and (maybe) Russian. I figure I'd put my language skills to the test. My goal is to get more people everywhere to play.
Well, that all sounds hunky dory. So, what is the money for?
Well, I've largely funded the project myself and taught myself a LOT about how to make videos, starting from a knowledge base of just zero. However, I need some help getting across the finish line so that I'll be ready in August. I need to get over the home stretch to complete my home studio where I'll be making videos, finishing off the website, with some money for advertising and Go outreach. I hope to eventually get the videos into schools and use the videos as a tool for Go clubs to help promote to get more members.
Here's an example of what you can expect. This is a video for beginners on the rules of the game.
Remember, if the project is not fully funded by the deadline, then no funding occurs!
I've been playing Go for about 9 years or so. I started playing when I was 19. My friend is Taiwanese and she showed me a program called "Hikaru no Go" which got me hooked. I played a LOT while in college and started teaching once I got a lot stronger.
Yes, I taught ESL in 2009 and since I was in S. Korea I said to myself "There's gotta be a Go school around here somewhere." I enrolled at the Yu Changhyuk Go Dojo in Migeum (despite my broken Korean) and went their on the weekends and sometimes during the week when my schedule would permit. I actually got to meet Cho Hyeyeon 9p while I was there!
I am an author of 4 Go books, the "So You Want to Play Go?" series. I am passionate about spreading Go in the United States and doing what I can to get more people playing. Think of it this way. South Korea is a country of about 50 million people and 15% of the country plays Go on a semi-regular to regular basis. It's an extra-curricular activity in some schools and professional Go players are accepted as equivalent to celebrities in some respects. I think our culture has room for the game and it can be uniquely American and great. A video series on Go is an integral part of spreading Go to the larger culture.
I learned Go like most Americans: from scraps of material here and there on the internet. What was nice for me is I speak Japanese and Chinese, meaning I could get Go books from Asian friends of mine and study with them. A lot of Western Go players learn in an unstructured way without a lot of help. My emphasis is on fundamentals, but it's also about helping you think through how to find good moves and forget the bad ones.
So far just me. I speak 6 foreign languages and will be doing lectures in all of them. It will be a good test of my ability to talk about Go in German!
This is going to be an ongoing project. I want to launch with at least 25 and keep making maybe 4-5 a month from there, depending on how excited I get from month to month. Each lecture is $1 and you can watch a video for a month 24/7. A lot of Go players are college students so it's affordable.