The whole selling it as a “way of life” gives me images of a cult when it comes to MA. There’s a bunch of BS about the arts and in the arts. Think Hollywood’s version of Shaolin monks, samurai, etc. I’m not a marketing guy at all, but I don’t think the “martial artist way of life” will conjure up similar images. I don’t think that’s what people are really after. And I don’t think the people who respond to that stuff are the people who a lot of dojo owners are after either.
While we’re on the subject of marketing...
Can dojos leave the pseudo Asian cultural stuff behind? I’m not talking about etiquette and terminology, I’m talking about cheesey 80s dragons, tigers, yin yangs, motifs, etc. If you’re Asian and this is actually how you’d decorate your studio back home, that’s one thing. If you’re doing it to look cool, I don’t know what to tell you other than please stop. The 80s are over. If you’re not Chinese and your studio looks like a Chinese take-out restaurant, there’s just something not right. If you’re not Japanese and you designed your school’s logos and the like to be “Japanese looking” you really need to rethink it.
If your certificates and the rest of your dojo look like this, it’s pretty hard to take you seriously
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Sorry, I needed to get that off my chest.
Again, entirely possible that there's gaps in my knowledge to fill, and you've proven that there are. But at the same time, it's for that reason that I'm hell-bent on this, because martial arts, well, beyond self-defense and sport, anyway, has a philosophical and intellectual side to it that people would benefit from for sure. That's what I want to change with public perception. Also, yes, the pseudo-Asian cultural stuff does have to be left behind. Putting pics of the historical lineage of the style you practice is one thing. Crap-tier decorations are another.