In that case, how would I alter the public's perception of martial arts AND drum up qualified leads for instructors simultaneously so that the instructors get the following they deserve and the public quits treating the martial arts like some neat extracurricular to tack on to a transcript?
Go back a couple of hundred years to the feudal far east - otherwise I don't think you can.
For the overwhelmingly vast majority of the population it's not a life nowadays where there is a dire need for fighting ability.
Because there's no need for it, it's a hobby.
I consider my MA a way of life, but not from a fighting standpoint.
In much the same way, my uncle could be construed to consider going fishing a way of life, but he doesn't need to hunt carp to avoid starving to death.