I have been doing a lot more advertising on social media sites lately to promote new programs, courses, and training methods. I am not the most tech savvy, but I realize that I need to get out of the stone age if I want to survive in this new world.
Times have changed and what used to work to promote a martial arts school in the past does not work today. Less people want to train these days. It is a hard to face fact. The world has been online for a while now so what better way to reach new students?
In the process of marketing and promoting my studio online and in social media, I have come to realize one for certain. Many martial artists are mean. I am not talking about the badass, defend yourself at all costs kind of mean. I am talking about demeaning others, using unsubstantiated negative remarks, bullying kind of mean.
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While it’s true that being belittled and called names hurts, I am a big boy and can handle it.
It did get me thinking quite a lot though.
I thought one of the main things taught in martial arts, regardless of style, is respect. Why would someone who has been training for decades use profanity laced rant when a fellow martial artist posts a simple picture?
All martial artists have the mindset that their style is the best. There is nothing wrong with that. However, not only do they think theirs is the best, but they also think that everyone else who doesn’t train like them is worthless and needs to be publicly humiliated.
If something has no effect on you, why do you need to say anything at all?
I then started thinking about other industries and if a similar thing happens elsewhere.
I have a great dog walker which I’ve used for many years. If she posted a picture on Facebook for a new service, she is offering would other dog walkers call her names if her way of thinking differed from theirs? Probably not.
If a therapist was trying a new technique for patience to help them recover from post-traumatic stress disorder and was promoting it on social media, would other therapists berate them with hate filled rhetoric? Most certainly not.
Then why are martial artists so different when the principles they live by demand they have more respect than the public?
Great question. Answer? I don’t know.
Maybe martial artists are quick to label something as BS since we have seen so many scams over the years (see ‘no-touch knockout’).
I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment for self-reflection. During this entire process, I have had time to think about my own beliefs and reactions. While I strive to be a better, kinder, more respectful person, I too have been guilty of not being respectful and being quick to judgement.
Even if I disagree with something my goal is to keep an open mind and look for the positives. Being kind and respectful does not mean you approve of something or embrace it. After seeing so much negativity, I have a renewed desire to not be one of the few who express their views at the expense of others.